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Old 07-12-2011, 06:10 AM   #15
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Thanks all for your input! Did not realize that Flying J had RV specific lanes. Perfect! And paz, right after I typed this, we started looking at the exit we took and from google maps, saw that across the freeway would have been a much better option so great idea!

On the way down we stopped at a half of tank so gave ourselves some wiggle room - this stop back was at a 1/4 of a tank which gave us some more concern. Better planning gas stops & scoping out the route will cut down on some frustration for sure.

We just hated that we took up almost 4 pumps to be able to squeeze in one time & thought there must be a better way! Without the toad, Keith has become pretty good about rearranging himself even in smaller stations, but the toad prevents him from backing up which added a whole new dynamic!

We also realize we could hook & unhook our toad, but that seems crazy to us (oh, we will do it if we have to, but what a PITA!)

Again thanks for all the suggestions!

RV 'adventure' indeed
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:19 PM   #16
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Planning the route is also a good tip. When doing an extended trip that will require fueling, I use a combination of Allstays (website) & The Next Exit (book) to plot out rest areas, travel plazas & gas stations. Using the worst possible scenario for our gas mileage (i.e. towing+headwind+hills=6mpg) I figure out how far we can go before we hit the between-half-&-quarter tank level. Using the "worse case", that gives me wiggle room for finding an easily accessible station enroute.

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Old 07-25-2011, 11:08 AM   #17
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It is no problem finding places to refuel. The more you drive your RV you will find that you can refuel anywhere there is a gas pump. The key to it all is be sure you have a way out. I'm 36 foot pulling a Jeep Liberty.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geekyexplore View Post
Thanks all for your input! Did not realize that Flying J had RV specific lanes. Perfect! And paz, right after I typed this, we started looking at the exit we took and from google maps, saw that across the freeway would have been a much better option so great idea!

On the way down we stopped at a half of tank so gave ourselves some wiggle room - this stop back was at a 1/4 of a tank which gave us some more concern. Better planning gas stops & scoping out the route will cut down on some frustration for sure.

We just hated that we took up almost 4 pumps to be able to squeeze in one time & thought there must be a better way! Without the toad, Keith has become pretty good about rearranging himself even in smaller stations, but the toad prevents him from backing up which added a whole new dynamic!

We also realize we could hook & unhook our toad, but that seems crazy to us (oh, we will do it if we have to, but what a PITA!)

Again thanks for all the suggestions!

RV 'adventure' indeed
Pick up a Flying J location book next stop or download from their website and you will know there they are when you plan a trip. Flying J and Pilot are now one but I don't think all Pilots have dedicated RV lanes.
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:17 PM   #19
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The first thing we look for are pumps that run the same direction as the road. On our last trip to see the mouse and friends towing our Jeep Commander I really suprised myself when I found I was able to pull into the pumps that faced the building , as I pulled in (pumps to my left) I angled the entire rig to the right. My fill is on the rear cap. When I was done, just pulled as far forward as I could then cut the wheel hard left and the toad followed beautifully. After making it the first time , I got gas wherever I wanted. The key is the angle and using the rear most pump.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:40 PM   #20
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Just another input

I was going to start a thread on this exact subject! But now will only add our thoughts. We just returned from a 3300 mile trip to MN and WI in our gas 36' Pace Arrow pulling an HHR on tow dolly. Our gas filler pipe is behind the rear license plate just above the rear facia (bumper). So when we gas up, we have 36' of MH sticking out ahead of the pump, plus the car behind. We sure clog the area up. We gassed up 13 times on this trip, so we saw a lot of gas stations. We did not get to use a Flying J RV Island. There was one at Dothan, AL right after we had gassed up. Thanks for all the suggestions above.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:02 PM   #21
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As mentioned above, it gets easier with practice and I have learned a couple of things from reading this as well. I still only have about 7000 miles of experience pulling a car trailer or as now a dolly. My first trip in the Tiffin 37DB was also my first experience pulling a car on a trailer and we were making an extended trip from Vegas to east Texas. Several concerned moments, and a couple of aborted fillups on the way down, but by the time I made the return trip 9 months later I was pulling into places I would have avoided on the trip down. There is a lot of good advice given above, the Flying J's and the direction of the pumps and the location of the outer lanes. Read and re-read it. One thing I do that I did not see mentioned above is that I try to place the rig about three feet out from the pumps to allow more turning room as I pull out and when I line up I pull the nose up to the most distand pump which normally lines up the tank fill close to the first pump. Who ever is copilot gets out as soon as it's safe and helps line that up.
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:20 PM   #22
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I have a 37 ft mH and tow a Saturn Vue. My gas fill is in the back of the MH so it does present a problem for I have to pull ahead and block the entire pump island. I usually use Race Track, Pilot, or any other truck stop and try to get on an outside Island. I have had to bak up only once, I try to plan ahead . Yes it is a problem. I find I can get in most Murphy stations also.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:50 PM   #23
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Great topic Keith & Tricia, thanks for starting the thread!

Hopefully, I'll be able to meet with some of the folks posting to this thread as it looks like I could use a driving lesson ... My combined length of coach (36') & toad (08 Honda CRV) are definitely comparable with other rigs mentioned. However, in the past 4 years, I have found maybe 3 or 4 Flying J's, Loves, or other name brand travel plazas that I felt comfortable in getting in & out of. At this point, I just pass'm by and look for another station; I just don't find them RV friendly, not to mention everyone I stop at has seemed to be just jammed with vehicles.

On the other hand, as mentioned by others, I've developed a lot of the same habits:
  • Looking for a station when approaching 1/2 full
  • Look for stations while driving in the toad
  • Just love Costco's!
  • Always look for stations outside of metropolitan areas
  • Keep a log of where I've fueled up on previous trips
  • Use outside lanes
  • Always plan an exit before making an entrance

As it is, I've only had to unhook the toad one time after getting myself in an untenable situation, and only unhook the toad once to gas up. However that time it was snowing so I probably don't need to count it ...

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Old 08-03-2011, 09:31 AM   #24
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I agree with most of what has been posted. Just don't exceed your level of comfort. I, too, have been amazed at how you can manuever around the new stations in a big rig with a toad if you stick to the end islands, even if you have to exit in front of the store. But you need to know that you have an exit. Ok, mine is few feet shorter than yours. Oh, and don't worry about blocking multiple pumps, you will be taking on more gas than three or four Hondas.
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