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Old 01-08-2014, 06:42 AM   #1
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Gas stations

We are new to Class A RVing and are looking at a ~31 ft unit and will be pulling a toad behind it. Looks like the height will be around 12'.
How do you best judge if you can fit into a gas station? It looks like many have the pumps perpendicular to the pull in driveways and convenience stores which could make it pretty tricky. Throw in a few parked cars and I can envision real fun
Do most of you stick to the Flying J's and larger stations, or is it really possible to get into most normal stations as well?
Any apps you folks use for help in finding fuel?

Thanks!!
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:51 AM   #2
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gas buddy, as for ability to pull into local gas stations, depending on overhang, you might beable to pull in at a 45 degree angle away from pump but that also depends on where fill hole is. best to check ht prior, as a repair to there over hang could be 1000$.+
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:22 AM   #3
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We drove our 33' coach and toad on a dolly, FL to ME last year and used the NextExit guide to locate RV friendly fuel stops on interstates and Google Earth to get a look at pump layouts along our route. Had no difficulty finding fuel stops.
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:25 AM   #4
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Even some of the truck stop stations have tight regular fuel areas. Most new stations along interstates are doable height wise; its the older stations along US highways that you must use caution. As already stated, the 45 degree pumps are the best.

1. I make my decision before I pull off the highway. If there is the least question of relatively easy in and out, I'll pass and go to another station.

2. When I do pull in, I try to find a pump for the easiest exit. If possible, this includes making a complete 180 degree turn to use a pump facing the exit while there is no traffic. I'll also wait in line to use a pump with easy exit vs. an empty pump with possible traffic congestion.

3. Always pull to the most forward pump so nobody blocks you in.

4. While at the pumps, I'll recheck my plan to exit.

5. Sometimes, even the best of planning goes amiss. You are in a class A. Pay for the gas and wait for the problem congestion to clear. Check the map, have a drink, snack, etc.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:02 AM   #5
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I don't know if a MH is much different in a gas station, but our truck + TT is 50' overall. In our first year this past summer with the longer TT, we haven't had a problem filling up yet. Had one station where DW had to get out so I could back up a bit to get out but no biggie. We try and scope out a station as we approach it but granted, that's not always easy or possible. Sometimes stations are just too busy and congested with other vehicles and we keep going.

One thing is to not let the tank get down to the bottom before looking for a station. One thing I found challenging was filling up at a big station like Pilot where the island is long and has a bunch of pumps on each side. First you have to wait for all vehicles on one side to clear to get to the pumps and while waiting, you hope you're not partly out on the street. Then when filling up, you block all the pumps on one side...
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myredracer View Post
I don't know if a MH is much different in a gas station, but our truck + TT is 50' overall. In our first year this past summer with the longer TT, we haven't had a problem filling up yet. Had one station where DW had to get out so I could back up a bit to get out but no biggie. We try and scope out a station as we approach it but granted, that's not always easy or possible. Sometimes stations are just too busy and congested with other vehicles and we keep going.

One thing is to not let the tank get down to the bottom before looking for a station. One thing I found challenging was filling up at a big station like Pilot where the island is long and has a bunch of pumps on each side. First you have to wait for all vehicles on one side to clear to get to the pumps and while waiting, you hope you're not partly out on the street. Then when filling up, you block all the pumps on one side...
Thanks for the info!
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:57 AM   #7
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My first coach was an Allegro 36LA and we never had a problem finding a gas station. Didn't bother with using an app. We drive a lot of state and county highways and just used normal gas stations. Start looking when your gauge is between 1/4 and 1/2 and you won't have any problems. Even on interstate exits I always found a gas station to use without having to find another exit.
It won't take long to recognize which stations you can use. Even those that have the pumps perpendicular to the store will often have the end pumps with easy in/out.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:13 AM   #8
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Hi ChesapeakTec,
If your route allows it the Flying J stations may offer the most mind easing solution. Their web site provides station locations.
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChesapeakTec View Post
We are new to Class A RVing and are looking at a ~31 ft unit and will be pulling a toad behind it. Looks like the height will be around 12'.
How do you best judge if you can fit into a gas station? It looks like many have the pumps perpendicular to the pull in driveways and convenience stores which could make it pretty tricky. Throw in a few parked cars and I can envision real fun
Do most of you stick to the Flying J's and larger stations, or is it really possible to get into most normal stations as well?
Any apps you folks use for help in finding fuel?

Thanks!!
Don't know about aps but I judge very quickly by a quick observation of the gas station. I also like to stop at the little exits on the interstate that are nothing more than gas stations and restaurants. Most modern gas stations are no problem at all and that's with the darn fill point dead center in the rear of my coach behind the license plate.

Most Pilot truck stops that I have seen are worse for gas rigs than normal gas stations.
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:24 AM   #10
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Download the Pilot/Flying J site to your computer and use them. They may be a pennie or so higher then some but get the RV'r discount card and save a couple of cents on the advertised price. They have parking for rv's in a seperate section so you're not with the trucks out back and they have RV lanes for fueling. Most are easy in and outs. Along with the restaurant (if needed), convenience store and being able to stay the night there for free it's worth it in our opinion. Have never had any problems at all. Besides if you need LP gas or need to dump or need some water on board it's all right there in the RV area. Try it out. Good Luck.

If I'm going to one I'm not familiar with I'll get the address of the location then go to Google Earth and pan down and look at how it's laid out so it's NO big surprise when we get there. Of all the Flying J's we've been to the two hardest are I-4 Seffner, FL at Lazy Days, and I-75 at the Dade City/San Antonio, FL exit.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:01 AM   #11
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X2 on the Sefner FJ! We even had to unhook the toad at a FJ in NC. The RV Lane was very tight and vehicles parked in front making the swing impossible. Get the Pilot/FJ RV card it will save you 8 cents per gallon. We use the OTR lanes when in doubt. With the FJ card you can fill quick and not have to go inside. Makes our life easier as we are right around 65 ft. When towing which is always!
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:04 AM   #12
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if you are getting a 31 foot RV your wheels well be 21 to 22 so it well all most drive like a big SUV

this setup would be nice to drive

to get to know how it drive
take the hard way in first on what side of the pump you want and set your self to never back up when towing

week of driving and you well be a pro
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:18 AM   #13
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My Wife and I just made a trip to Florida and back (to Michigan). We found the "Next Exit" book was a big help. It lists what gas stations are at each exit (among other things) and if they are RV friendly. It's only about $10 on Amazon. I preferred the Flying J stations because they have separate pumps for RV's with both gas and diesel rigs. If you use gas be aware that the truck specific pumps do not have gas. If you use diesel, I would use the truck specific pumps.

The Next Exit 2014 The Most Complete Interstate Hwy Guide Ever Printed: Mark Watson: 9780984692125: Amazon.com: Books

Since you are towing an auto watch out for steep driveways or your tow bar may drag!
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:26 PM   #14
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I take a look at the station, I try to take an outside pump (Usually easier to get away from and often not under the awning either)

But basically, you have to inspect before you pull in.. Some stations, I drive past.
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