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Old 04-27-2014, 07:48 AM   #1
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Looking for diesel fuel

We just purchased a RoadTrek diesel in Florida this spring. Driving it home back north we had some difficulty finding diesel that was B5 or less. Truck stops were B20. Even some name brand gas stations sold diesel that was B10. It got a bit tricky when we were approaching the by-pass around Richmond, VA and the fuel gauge was getting lower. Located one station - nearly the last exit before I-295.

Now that we're home we're having the same difficulty. Will it get progressively more difficult to find diesel that's not biodiesel? Then what?
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:08 AM   #2
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Why not use bio diesel? I use it in my pickup when ever I can find it except in winter. I get better mileage.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:13 AM   #3
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Why not use bio diesel? I use it in my pickup when ever I can find it except in winter. I get better mileage.

Bio diesel is more hydroscopic than purely Dino diesel so watch your filters closely and keep your tank close to full when parked for a while. It flies in the face of logic that you get better MPG because bio diesel contain fewer BTUs of energy than pure Dino diesel. The difference is probably small and gets lost in bigger issues.

In the current political climate I assume that bio is here to stay. The OP should contact the manufacturer of the engine in question and ask what level on bio is acceptable.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillie View Post
We just purchased a RoadTrek diesel in Florida this spring. Driving it home back north we had some difficulty finding diesel that was B5 or less. Truck stops were B20. Even some name brand gas stations sold diesel that was B10.
Now that we're home we're having the same difficulty. Will it get progressively more difficult to find diesel that's not biodiesel? Then what?
jillie
Sorry to hear that you had, and are having, trouble finding the correct fuel for your RoadTrek.

Although "gas stations" sometimes have only B10 or B20,
in my experience, nearly all "truck stops" have ULSD, (Ultra-low-sulfur diesel).
My coach lives on ULSD fuel, (and LOTS of it)!

Isn't USLD suitable for your RoadTrek diesel?

Mel
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:52 PM   #5
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jillie
Sorry to hear that you had, and are having, trouble finding the correct fuel for your RoadTrek.

Although "gas stations" sometimes have only B10 or B20,
in my experience, nearly all "truck stops" have ULSD, (Ultra-low-sulfur diesel).
My coach lives on ULSD fuel, (and LOTS of it)!

Isn't USLD suitable for your RoadTrek diesel?

Mel
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When driving the Class A, I never paid much attention to the type of diesel available. Just got in line with the big guys. I remember when ULSD started to be sold. Guess I just stopped looking at the pumps . . . until we got this RoadTrek.

Mercedes recommends ULSD or no more than B5 biodiesel. On the trip north, the truck stops we pulled into all had B20. One truck driver told us that B20 is all we would find at truck stops. Several gas stations had B10. Found one gas station with ULSD. We actually had to fill the 3/4 empty tank with B20 once because that was all we could find.

RoadTrek suggested we try brand name gas stations. Today we spent driving the car around town looking for suitable diesel. Found some ULSD at Rutter's, at one Sheetz, and at a local fuel oil distributer who has an unmanned site up the road from us. The chain stations have put most of the brand names out of business here. Looks like we'll be able to fill up near home.

My plan is to start looking for fuel as soon as the gauge reaches half full. I just wish the signs on the Interstates that show gas stations or truck stops at each exit would indicate what type of diesel they sell. We spent a lot of time getting off the highway and finding out that the diesel promised was not what we needed.

And I learned that you can't call ahead and ask the gas station clerk what type of diesel they sell. They don't have a clue what you're talking about.

Tomorrow I call the fuel oil distributer and get a card so we can fill up there. No line, no hassle, fuel up and go.

We love the RoadTrek and will just have to adjust our driving habits, I guess.
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:02 AM   #6
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As discussed, I don't have my new RT yet, but been running a big DP with a Caterpillar for a number of years. Like you, never gave the type of diesel any thought, and never came across any that was not ULSD.

Indeed, it looks like all the auto manufacturers -- MB, Audi, Big3, etc., are recommending no higher Bio than B5. So if that is not available, it would be affecting a large number of motorists. Nobody wants to give the manufacturers the "you used the wrong fuel" excuse to avoid warranting their engines.

On the Shell website, they claim that Shell only sells B5 or less in the US. That might be a start.

Have any of you others running small diesels had fuel problems?
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:52 AM   #7
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ULSD can have bio in it. Bio is more destructive to the internals of things like lines and filters (you can use bio for paint stripper), does not like cold weather (more so than diesel) and has less power.

Now emissions are lower and the lubricity is higher.

Thankfully I have not had issues with fuel but only about 2% of my fuel has come from a location that was not a truck stop.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:12 AM   #8
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Called the fuel distributer that is close to us and learned that their ULSD is B2 as required by the state of Pennsylvania. Hmmmmmm. That got me to thinking. After some internet research, I learned that states require different levels of biodiesel. Minnesota mandates B10 by July 1 of this year. I'm looking for a website that lists the mandated levels in all 50 states. Anyone have a link?
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:27 AM   #9
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In some states, primarily mid-west, they have mandated B-10 and above. I called MB USA and my local dealer and asked them about their position on biodiesel....they both told me do NOT use anything higher then B5 in the Sprinter MB engine...no ands ifs or buts...nice, eh!
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:34 AM   #10
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In some states, primarily mid-west, they have mandated B-10 and above. I called MB USA and my local dealer and asked them about their position on biodiesel....they both told me do NOT use anything higher then B5 in the Sprinter MB engine...no ands ifs or buts...nice, eh!
Well, that leaves us out on a limb. Surely there will be a work-around. MB is doing a lot of advertising of their new BlueTEC cars. Those cars also need no greater than B5 diesel. But if B5 is not available, what next?
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:50 AM   #11
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Called the fuel distributer that is close to us and learned that their ULSD is B2 as required by the state of Pennsylvania. Hmmmmmm. That got me to thinking. After some internet research, I learned that states require different levels of biodiesel. Minnesota mandates B10 by July 1 of this year. I'm looking for a website that lists the mandated levels in all 50 states. Anyone have a link?
You may have a tough time getting a clear answer to each states' implementation of RFS but you can try this link to see what they are up against.

Alternative Fuels Data Center: Biodiesel Laws and Incentives

it's not going to get any easier for awhile finding un-adulterated ULSD. At this point, the trend is going in a more blended direction. In reality, the US resources/availability of BioD won't be able to keep up with requirements of the laws (RFS).
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:50 AM   #12
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Found this link which answers some questions but you need to dig to get to the info for most states.
Alternative Fuels Data Center: All Laws and Incentives Sorted by Regulation
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:10 PM   #13
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Well this is a real bummer. We were thinking , really hard on the MB engine and make it our next purchase. But, we will be travelling back roads and I don't want to spend time and fuel getting on and off roads trying to find fuel. Maybe, I need to start to re-focus on a gas engine and stay away from MB. Darn!
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:45 PM   #14
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jillie
Sorry to hear that you had, and are having, trouble finding the correct fuel for your RoadTrek.

Although "gas stations" sometimes have only B10 or B20,
in my experience, nearly all "truck stops" have ULSD, (Ultra-low-sulfur diesel).
My coach lives on ULSD fuel, (and LOTS of it)!

Isn't USLD suitable for your RoadTrek diesel?

Mel
'96 Safari
All diesel fuel sold in the U.S.A. and Canada today is ULSD <50ppm sulfur. The B5, B10, B20 designation is the percentage of biodiesel blended into the dino diesel fuel. This is because biodiesel is the most effective and least costly method of re-introducing lubricants lost in the ULSD refining process back into the fuel. This is done at the bulk plants while filling tanker trucks.
The percentage of biodiesel was limited by mfgrs for their engines because the internal seals used would not withstand continual contact with biodiesel above a certain percentage.That is not true with recent diesel engines.
If you are buying USLD diesel fuel, you are also buying biodiesel at a percentage of total pumped.
This chart may be of interest: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/fue...ison_chart.pdf

Now to introduce another aspect of diesel fuel. There is a movement underway to blend Methanol and/or Ethanol into diesel fuel to reduce oil dependency. An ill-gotten idea IMO.

To jillie, Were I in your position, I would ignore the B5,B10 labels and buy diesel fuel at any high-volume station to insure I got clean, fresh fuel. I have never heard of, nor read about any diesel engine suffering damage from biodiesel content at filling stations.
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