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Old 11-02-2014, 03:16 PM   #1
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Fueling a Diesel MH

Do all diesel pumps pump at the same flow rate .. And if not .. are some diesel pumps not compatible with diesel motor homes ? I thought I had heard that the semi,s use a higher Presure hose to fill there tanks faster...and was wondering if this can be a problem ? Thanks Glenn
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Old 11-02-2014, 03:21 PM   #2
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NO!!
The diesel pumps for cars/pickups are much smaller nozzles than the truck stations use (but the pressure may be the same). The truckers don't want to spend time fueling their 200 gallon tanks up! They don't make money sitting still.
Usually the truck nozzles won't fit in pickup tanks anyway.
Only "problem" I've noted was the extra foam a high volume nozzle produces takes a little more care when topping off.
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Old 11-02-2014, 03:22 PM   #3
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Not all pumps pump at the same rate. Generally, pumps at the truck pumps at truck stops do have larger nozzles and higher flow rates. For example, the truck pumps at most Flying J's pump pretty fast and the diesel pumps in front at the 'RV' island pump slower.
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Old 11-02-2014, 03:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by smlranger View Post
Not all pumps pump at the same rate. Generally, pumps at the truck pumps at truck stops do have larger nozzles and higher flow rates. For example, the truck pumps at most Flying J's pump pretty fast and the diesel pumps in front at the 'RV' island pump slower.
Tell me about it. The truck pump meters seem to spin at about a gallon per second when filling our rig.
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Old 11-02-2014, 03:31 PM   #5
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No they don't. Pumps in auto lanes are much slower/lower volume than the truck pumps.

How well the rig takes fuel is dependent on the diameter, length, slope, venting, of the line from filler inlet to the tank. I teach RV Driving and get to see a wide variety of installations...some "engineers" should be shot!! Some designs are so poor that truck high flow pumps are impossible to use...a definite don't buy sales point IMHO.

If it gets really serious in the buying game you might want to ask here for owners experience with the exact same rig. Asking the salesman for a demo fill even if it costs $10 is probably worth the cost. Bad designs will show immediately, step to side and let the salesman get the fuel bath.

Finding out after you buy may be correctable, but if not you face a long time with slow or messy fills. It is worth exploring ahead of time. GOOD QUESTION

The very best design is where the fuel goes directly into the tank.
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Old 11-02-2014, 03:45 PM   #6
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NO!!
The diesel pumps for cars/pickups are much smaller nozzles than the truck stations use (but the pressure may be the same). The truckers don't want to spend time fueling their 200 gallon tanks up! They don't make money sitting still.
Usually the truck nozzles won't fit in pickup tanks anyway.
Only "problem" I've noted was the extra foam a high volume nozzle produces takes a little more care when topping off.
Except the Dodge/Ram diesel pick-up trucks they have been known for years to be able to use the semi truck fill up islands with the larger fill spot for fuel. One of the reasons I bought my Ram Cummins truck as a tow vehicle.

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Old 11-02-2014, 04:06 PM   #7
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We use the truck pumps. Just put them on the slow side!
The first notch. When getting clos to full, I holt the trigger by hand!
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Old 11-02-2014, 06:24 PM   #8
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Truck pumps in the truck lanes at truck stops usually have a pump & nozzle/hose on both sides of the island to fill both fuel tanks at the same time. This is to save time for the truckers. I only use one at a time.
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Old 11-02-2014, 08:04 PM   #9
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Semi pumps have the bigger nozzle and faster flow rate. The car islands it depends on the brand. The Sunoco up the road from me has on one side of the pump a large nozzle and the other side a small one. Flying J....beware of the rv islands, if your looking for diesel, grab a snickers, I takes quite awhile (small hose and slow flow rate)
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Old 11-02-2014, 08:07 PM   #10
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Coincidentally my 2001 f250 diesel pu can use the semi islands as well like the dodge. Just watch out when you get near the top
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Old 11-02-2014, 08:21 PM   #11
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We fuel at Pilot/Flying J truck pump islands. Bigger nozzle, faster fueling, DEF at the pump, generally easier access (wider pull through), and always use the long pole windshield scrub brush. I use a Good Sam RV Plus fuel card which has no dollar limit at the pump, meaning no typical credit card per purchase limit, gives me a 9 cents per gallon discount, a 7 cent discount when I fuel the Toad, and discounts in the convenience store. In other words I avoid the the RV pump islands.


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Old 11-02-2014, 09:19 PM   #12
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The OP asked about diesel motorhomes, not pickups.

We've always filled at the truckers islands and see many other motorhomers do so. The flow is fast but we've never had a problem.

Remember though, to fill and then immediately move ahead if you need to go in and pay. Don't dawdle buying food or using the bathroom.
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Old 11-02-2014, 11:07 PM   #13
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Our DP can't handle the full 25 gal/min flow from the truck pumps due to a poor design. I can fill at ~10 gal/min which many times is less than the first "click" on the nozzle. So I hand-hold it for the ~6 minutes or so it takes to fill my typical 60 gallons. Not that big a deal.
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Old 11-04-2014, 05:16 PM   #14
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As others said, there are two sizes of fill nozzles. The large size as used on the truck islands, about 1.5 inches diameter. Truck islands also have nozzles on both sides to fill tanks on both sides of truck at same time. That gallon and dollar meter both rack up quick!

The smaller size nozzles on the car/pickup/RV islands are about 1 inch diameter. Obviously a lot less flow capability. I have no idea on pressure differences between the big truck pumps and the car/pickup/RV pumps. On my diesel pickups I just use the car/pickup/RV islands as I am never getting that much fuel the speed of delivery is of any concern.

My super C is a truck chassis and I almost always go to the truck islands and fill both side tanks same time. I do put on first click so it does not splash out, althoug it still flows very high rate; and then take advantage of the longer handle window washer squeegees to clean the windshield. I can put in 80-90 gallons in a fill so the delivery rate does make a difference.

As long as your MH has a large filler that flows well, no reason not to use the big truck islands if you want.

One thing using the big truck islands - be courteous and pull forward when done fueling so you are not blocking the pump. That trucker waiting behind you will appreciate your courtesy. Then you can go inside and use restroom, get drinks, etc while he is fueling up. You will notice the other truckers do this also and the lanes are set up with a long pull forward short term parking area.
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