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Old 03-20-2016, 08:57 AM   #15
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A few thoughts......

Fill up at the end of each day so you can start each day with a full tank if at all possible. If you fill up near your overnight stop, you can just unhook the toad if necessary and drive it separately the last few miles to your campground.

Know how far you will be driving, because we have found we seldom drive further than one full tank (see above).

Start looking for gas stations once you get to a 1/2 tank as appropriate.

Look for gas stations that have the pumps parallel to the road, giving an easy in and out.

Stations on busy interchanges / city exits usually have smaller footprints than rural stations and have tighter in/outs, and often with the pumps running perpendicular to the road and your exit is impeded by the building. Rural stations often have a lot of area around the pumps.

Use a spotter outside guiding you, and use Walkie talkies to communicate. Have them constantly moving around to ensure you are not missing (or about to hit) anything, and also watch your tow bar so you don't pinch / bind it if you have a really tight turn.

You'll also get more comfortable with tighter spaces. But don't get over confident.

If all else fails, you may just have to unhook the toad...... But don't sweat it too much.

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Old 03-20-2016, 09:54 AM   #16
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We fuel up at a half tank or when close and a good opportunity presents itself.

Often during *off peak* hours making a left across traffic into an empty outside island puts us on the outside/easy side for fuel.
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Old 03-20-2016, 10:16 AM   #17
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Betr2Trvl has pretty much said what I was going to. My first coach was a gas unit.
Pilot stations are great for diesel but not so much for gas. TA and Loves are usually bigger and can accommodate gas rigs easier, though not all. Also, many stations of all brands have end pumps that you can get into and out of fairly easily.
As stated the preferred stations have pumps parallel to the road.
And to reiterate Betr2Trvl, fill up when stopping for the night.
I think you will find that getting gas is just not a big deal and will become as routine as filling your toad.
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Old 03-20-2016, 01:44 PM   #18
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During our first year of fulltiming in our 43 FT (61 ft w/toad) we fueled quite often at truck stoops such as Flying J, Love's, etc. Then we noted that their fuel prices were almost always significantly higher than non-truck oriented stations, even after discounts.

I now fuel almost exclusively at traditional non-truck stations or truck stops that are price competitive, but only if I can see ample room for getting to the pumps and exiting the site after fueling. After more that 25,000 miles of doing this I have not had to unhook our toad once to get in and back out.

Personally, I was able to benefit from my earlier years when I drove semis, fueling tankers and even a bus for a number of years. If you do not have prior experience in handling a big rig, getting that experience will surely help. Investing in some training may also be worthy of an investment both to provide knowledge and experience as well as bolster your confidence and awareness of your capabilities.
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Old 03-20-2016, 02:24 PM   #19
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The book, Next Exit, is my first suggestion. The second thing to look for is an exit with multiple choices in gas stations. The next thing I look for is which way the pump traffic is headed. If it looks like your vehicle is pointed at a building then skip it. I agree with your experience with Pilot but I've never had a problem with Flying J.
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Old 03-20-2016, 02:43 PM   #20
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Our Rand McNally lists RV friendly service stations. Most Flying J/Pilot do not mind if you use the truck fueling lanes. We have a Flying J card so get a fuel discount and do not have to go in to get the pump started.
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Old 03-20-2016, 02:52 PM   #21
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Here's what we do. Hope this helps. I look before we leave in the morning on our iPhone app "gasbuddy" and use the map view. Check for stations about 300 miles down the road to see where gas might be the cheapest (normally Walmart, Sams, or grocery stores with gas). Then use the google maps app with the satellite view (this is where you can see the buildings/cars, etc ... just like you where taking a picture from above) to zoom down and look at the stations from above see see if you can get in and out in a MH. I might also (on google maps on the laptop since can't seem to get street view from iPhone) go down to the street view if the station is beside the road and look at the entrance and also get a better look if you can maneuver in and out. So for us taking 15 minutes in the morning before we start the day to do the research takes the guess work and stress out of finding the right station later that afternoon/evening. And saving .10+ cents a gallon is a small bonus for your efforts!!
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:31 AM   #22
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This was just one of the challenges when we were "gassers".

Just one caveat on the "Next Exit" book. We always travelled with one too, but their ratings were not infallible. We eventually came to the conclusion that their "big rig" rating didn't differentiate between gas and diesel. If a big rig could use the facility, regardless of fuel type, it got the rating.

I'd use the book to scout out possibilities along the route ahead of time then confirm the facility is suitable with Google Earth.

Technology available to us today takes most of the anxiety out of these "details".
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:08 AM   #23
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Next Exit comes also in an app, IExit. It's much easier to use as long as you can access the app.
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Old 03-22-2016, 01:15 PM   #24
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We took a short trip this weekend. On the way back I spotted a Shell station with a diesel pump that had easy access to the road, both in and out. I stopped and I had to swipe the card twice to fill up because the max it would take at one time was $80. As we were climbing in the coach to leave, I mentioned that to the Katherine. She asked me why I didn't pull into the truck pumps on the side of the station. I was so fixated on the "easy access" auto pumps that I totally missed the fact that they had 12 almost empty truck pumps!
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Old 03-22-2016, 01:51 PM   #25
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Extremely apprehensive on finding proper gas filling stations

One other thing to consider:
When parked at a campground and touring the town in the toad, many RVers will scout the local gas stations for easy access as they leave town. I recently found an ideal station on a corner. The pumps were diagonal, so you could enter from one street and exit on the other in a straight line. Perfect. I couldn't put my finger on it, but something just didn't look right. This was an old station in San Jose, California. I finally looked up at the faded fine print that reported the vertical clearance to be 11.5 feet. It reminded me of the day I watched the tourist filling out paperwork at Starbucks after trying to take his class C rental through the drive-through. Plenty of room...except for that little awning that turned out to be stronger than fiberglass.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:01 AM   #26
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I also use Flying J/Pilot with diesel and Gas. Never had issues.


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Old 03-23-2016, 12:21 PM   #27
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adding my 2cents here.. when we had the gas coach I found that many times, getting off the interstates on the blue highways provided more options for gas. Seems like there are more stations in smaller towns with plenty of room and/or pumps aligned parallel to the highway. Plus (if you have the time) better scenery!
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Old 03-23-2016, 05:38 PM   #28
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just out of curiosity- what brand of 40 foot coach that is a gasser do you have?
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