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Old 08-19-2016, 04:56 AM   #1
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Big truckstop fuel prices a bit off?

Morning guys. Getting ready to head out west soon. Heard some weird stories at the campground lastweek about TA, pilot, and flying J being 30 cents higher then some of the other gas stations near them (diesel fuel) ?

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Old 08-19-2016, 05:06 AM   #2
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Its almost always higher right along the interstate. If you can go in to town a lot of times its cheaper. But you have to ask yourself if its worth the hassle. Sometimes I do sometimes I don't. And sometimes I do and its the same price.

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Old 08-19-2016, 05:07 AM   #3
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Just came from a trip to OH, Upstate NY, and then back to Englewood, FL. I noticed that the prices at the stations mentioned were considerably higher?
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:14 AM   #4
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You are paying for the convenience. I haven't seen 30 cents yet but often a dime or a bit more.

Since we can usually travel a full day (300-350 miles) on a tank I try to find a local station after we stop at a CG and disconnect the 5er for the night. That isn't always 100% but works much of the time.
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:10 AM   #5
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I use Gasbuddy for planning fuel stops and can usually save +$0.20 per gallon. The larger truck stops are almost always higher then other stations nearby. It doesn't bother me to pull into the smaller stations if I believe I can fit, it space is limited I'll just go to the next station.
Jim J
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:15 AM   #6
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The truck stops will be higher, ya even 30 cents higher, I won't complain until they reach 4.00 again. Hopefully never. Right now, it's time to relax and enjoy the wonderful life of RV.
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:22 AM   #7
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Fleetwood Discovery 2015

I look for Independent truck stops. They usually are .10 to .30 cheaper. That doesn't sound like much but is $5 to 20, less per fill up, times many fill ups per year is hundreds per year.
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:42 AM   #8
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Be aware of what you are buying ... Out west many stations are using 20% biodiesel not the standard 5%. The 20% stuff is not taxed the same or in many places gives the dealer a big tax rebate so they sell it as much as 30-40 cents cheaper.
Fuel is certainly cheaper off the freeway and at smaller stations. But how's the access and how "fresh" is the fuel ? In diesel it can matter . Just be aware when seeing a really cheaper price, it may be for the same product.... or not !
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:49 AM   #9
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I know perfectly well that I can buy fuel cheaper than what the freeway truck stops sell it for. That should be easily seen by anyone willing to look.

The bigger issue is access when you're driving something bigger. Do you want to hunt around for cheaper fuel sold by a place big enough to allow you to enter and exit without concern for your rigs safety, or just pull into a truck stop and be done wit it? I think the answer to that question will depend on the size of your rig myself...

Re: Gasbuddy, fuelfinder.com and the like, you can still shop price among the truck stops with tools like that, and plan your fuel stops accordingly. That's something I'm guilty of doing. When you have a range of 5-600 miles, you can also avoid areas/states with higher fuel prices.
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:06 AM   #10
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I have a gasser, yesterday at Sams it was 24 cents cheaper than the other stations around town. I know it doesn't sit long in there tanks, We waited 10-15 minutes to get to a pump. On the road we pay attention as we go down the Hwy who has the less expensive gas and stop when we find it cheaper. With a 100 gallon tank it sure makes a difference.
I noticed last year on the way too AZ after we left our home state it was almost 60-70 cents a gallon cheaper. We hit California and it was almost 2.00 dollars more per gallon.
I can remember going with dad when I was a kid it was .19 cents a gallon, cigs were .27 cents a pack now 8.00 bucks a pack in Minnesota.
Just saying,
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:11 AM   #11
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x2 Gasbuddy app or website. Saved me major moola over the years. Not always 100% accurate but pretty close and best information source of fuel prices out there. A little planning can save a bundle. ie do I purchase now or wait till I cross into the next state, take a 2 mile ride up the road and save .30 a gal? I also only stick with name brands with the hope/expectation that their fuel is fresh. That may be right or may be wrong but it's what I do. Never had a bad fuel experience. Some of the stations can be a challenge to maneuver. If that is your concern stick to the close to interstate truck stops where you'll most likely have fewer problems.
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:19 AM   #12
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I oscillate between FlyinJ/Pilot and Pacific Pride. I like going in with the 18 wheelers so I don't have to worry about being trapped in or having to dodge little cars.

If you watch the fuel prices, you can come to within 5 cents of a small station. By using the FJ/Piolt credit card, I get the cash price minus 6 cents a gallon.
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:23 AM   #13
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Gasbuddy is useful not only for where you are, but where you are going. Traveling from Ohio to Florida I have had times when the price difference can be as much as 50 cents per gallon because of what state you are buying in. We always look to see what the next state has for pricing.

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Old 08-19-2016, 11:00 AM   #14
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I'm really shocked!! Apparently I haven't been paying attention, even though I pay attention. I've been rolling around the country for four years, looking at the posted prices of every fuel station I pass; bought fuel round about 50 times, about 4000 gallons, and the greatest fuel price differential I've seen was about 18 cents between NC and VA. Folks here are talking about 20 to 30 cents. I've never seen that. And then there was 50 cents! Astounding! Hard to fathom!

My obviously faulty experience is that highway truck stops run about 6-10 cents above the local retailers, and that's reasonable given the nature of the facility they have to maintain. I always use the big truck plazas, for convenience, security, reliability, and yes, for cost. Your overall long term costs will be lower sticking to the truck plazas. It's not just the price of the fuel, it's the overall risk exposure, as ahicks said above. You can waste a lot of fuel looking for cheaper fuel. Wasted time, RV skin rash, old fuel with scungy water in it, risk of accident on small local roads with thicker traffic, etc.

I only buy about 1000 gallons of diesel a year. That's maybe $100 or less, and it's worth it to me for the reasons above.

What if I bought 20,000 gallons per year? Is it worth chasing the price? Better yet, what if I owned a fleet of 2000 trucks and I bought 40 MILLION gallons per year? Saving a penny a gallon would be $400K in my pocket! But do you see all these big national fleets going local to save that money? No, you don't. Because the fleet operators know that the real risk is operating large vehicles in local traffic, and it's well worth the $200 per year per truck to keep their fleet in large fuel plazas in the company (for the most part) of other professionals, and being fed clean, fresh fuel.

John & Diane, fulltiming since '12 02 DS, FL, Cat330, '04 Element NHSO RVM103

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