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Old 10-18-2015, 06:10 AM   #15
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+1,000 to the "Don't rush!" advice!

Older gas stations tend to be the worst. Truck stops are great - although they're often mediocre in terms of pricing. We seem to have our best luck at the stations that are part of other stores (Meijers, Walmart, Krogers, etc.) Around here - they seem to be the newest (and often roomiest!) fuel stations. They're usually located in the middle of a sprawling parking area (which means you can stop and sit in the "parking lot" area adjacent to the actual fuel station and wait for an opening at the pump - without being stopped in traffic). Plus, many of them offer discount programs that can be pretty helpful.

My "home" station is at the local Kroger store where my wife often shops for groceries. Points generated by grocery purchases turn into discounts at the fuel pump. A "pre-trip" BIG grocery shopping trip can turn into as much as 20-30 cents off the first 35 gallons of diesel fuel. What's not to like about that!

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Old 10-18-2015, 06:23 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by PanJH View Post
Just survey the situation and if you don't like it, move on. When I had a gasser, I looked for station where the pumps were parallel to the road, that way, you didn't have a 90 degree turn to get to/from the pumps.

Certainly is the ideal pump set up we look for.

It seems to us that gas stations in more rural areas have a lot more land, and often have the pumps parallel to the road as well. Gave up very quickly getting off the highway at major exits near big cities and expecting to find a station we can easily get in and out of.

In addition, we start looking at the 1/2 tank point too.

Our other strategy is filling up at whatever station is close to the campground we will be staying. And, if necessary, we'll just unhook the toad there and drive both the last couple of miles. This way you also start the next day with a full tank.

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Old 10-18-2015, 06:33 AM   #17
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This was a concern for me going into it. Part of the reason we went with the brake and hitch that we did was for quick/easy connect/disconnect. Those decisions have since payed in spades even when you aren't all bound up. The ability to disconnect in seconds (literally) takes all the stress from the potential of having to do that.

Also, I read somewhere, that when/if all else fails, often maneuvering room in a gas station can be pre-determined as you approach it by the height of it's sign. The taller the sign, the more room. Check it out....
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:55 AM   #18
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Never had a problem yet or worry as long as pumps are parallel to the building and clearance is adequate.
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:58 AM   #19
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Gasoline Station Paranoia

You'll get used to it. I pull my 40' with Chevy Avalanche toad into just about any gas station.

I could disconnect the toad in a few minutes if necessary, but have never had to.


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Old 10-18-2015, 09:37 AM   #20
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My first requirement is that pumps have to be parallel to the street! Have found Costco's to be rv friendly as well as Fred Meyers. As we rarely travel more than 200 miles per day, I will often just go and scout out our overnight destination for an acceptable station and fuel up the morning of departure.

But certainly can sympathize with the OP regarding the stress of searching for fuel.
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Old 10-18-2015, 12:52 PM   #21
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"Doc Vegas"......I've been RVing for 40+ years and I still get a little pucker when I first drive off on a trip. It goes away in a few miles. You'll get proficient at driving the coach and toad after a few trips.

It's all about judgement and being able to visualize what it takes to move your RV through obstacles. Go practice in a big parking lot and see what it takes to turn and maneuver through tight spaces.

Here's another tip.....if you plan on overnighting and disconnecting the toad, use the toad to investigate the best stations near the campground while out and about. You can even gas the RV in the morning and connect the toad on a side street once the coach is fueled.
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Old 10-18-2015, 01:57 PM   #22
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With a gas coach on the west coast, let me suggest Costco. Usually you have to arrive very early to beat the crowds. Having said that here's what works best for me. When we stop for the night, I disconnect the dinghy, then go search out the best place to gas up in the morning. I drive the 37' Class A to the station first thing in the morning - which is usually about 9:30. My wife drives the car in separately. This warms the car up before towing it, & allows me to maneuver the RV in the station if necessary. I never drive so far that I have to gas up again that day.
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Old 10-18-2015, 04:45 PM   #23
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WOW, thanks everyone

I am really impressed by the responses in less than 24 hours. These forums are amazingly helpful. My family and I are sincerely appreciative of the advice we continue to gain from the forums, hopefully I can give back someday as well.

I do like the idea of the CostCo fueling, but of course, it always seems to be busy no matter what time of day. Definitely we have, so far, relied on truck stops, but perhaps I am doing something wrong! We see the sign for "Trucks", but I assume it is Diesel only, is that true or false?

I should add that I did fuel up without the Toad before we left California, but we drove 435 miles yesterday, I had to get gas about 50 miles from home. I might have made it, but.... So, last night, we stopped at two different truck stops. Both had the "car" gas pumps perpendicular to the station, definitely this stinks. I thought I could get into either "end" pump, but not the center ones. I tried 3x at station one, but cars were swarming like gnats and people would cut me off as I tried to stage. We gave up and continued down the highway. Next truck stop was a Flying J's. Same orientation sadly, but, I could see what looked like gasoline over on the "truck" side of the station. We did manage to get the far right pump on the outside facing the station, but, the only way out was to turn left - go past the front of the store - the left again and again to get out. We made it, but was not super fun with the cars buzzing around.

I get the planning for the "home" station and the "base" station, my worry is much more oriented to those "foreign" stations along the route.

Thanks again, I will try the suggestions - especially being patient!
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Old 10-18-2015, 04:54 PM   #24
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Doc I would recommend the my pilot app if you have an iPhone. This will let you know if they have RV lanes.
Before a trip I try to plan out where I will be stopping for fuel. Then I look for Pilots or Flying J's with RV lanes. I also will check which part of the route has the better price on fuel and will plan around that. Since we are diesel I have used the truck lanes a few times, they take a little more work as you usually have to go inside first and then after to pay. So far we have not had any trouble and we are pushing 70' with the toad.

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Old 10-18-2015, 05:21 PM   #25
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We use Flying J and Pilot a lot. Both can have RV lanes. Get the FJ and Pilot apps to see the station information. When we had our 38' unit w/ jeep towed we also had to be careful. We occasionally used some of the "Quick Trip" type stations. When we did I always looked for a way to drive into the parking spaces at the front of the building and then back to the pumps. This allowed me to get out and kept others from blocking me in.
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Old 10-18-2015, 05:35 PM   #26
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I always try to get the last row, that way it's normally easy to get out without being blocked. Since my tank fill is located closer to the drivers side I try to get on the right hand side of a pump island. Practice will make you less nervous.

Best of luck.
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Old 10-18-2015, 09:17 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by l1v3fr33ord1 View Post
Doc Vegas-

I had the same worries.

Here's a link to a recent iRV2 thread on this topic:

Looking for RV friendly gas stations

I rendered my advice on post #7.

Thanks for this link, more reinforcement and good info.
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:35 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Steve N Sal View Post
We use the Flying J for all our fuel stops. They have an RV Island and most are an easy in and out. I know a lot of people will say why in the world stop there. They're so expensive. No. 1 I didn't purchase one of these rigs to try and save a few $$$$. On average they may be a tad more in price but the convenience is the key. As already mentioned, get the locations of the stops you may use along the way and go to "google earth" and look at the layout. It will give you a real heads up for when you arrive. A GREAT tool. JMHO! Enjoy and be safe.
J rv islands are a big joke they put you right up against the front of the store and cars are all over. I can get into a murphy (wally world) easier and just go SLOW around the back of lot and out.

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