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Old 06-07-2014, 08:55 AM   #1
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Traveling Info

Finally, almost got my rig ready to take out for the maiden run. Plan on going coast to coast and have concerns about my length of about 60 foot and access for it.
Anybody got some ideas on the easy ways of finding truck stops, etc. for refueling, stopping overnight and so on? The thought of maneuvering this 40 foot class A and toad is a little stressful.

Thanks, Jim
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:05 AM   #2
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Sounds like us. We have taken several short trips to local State Parks in Florida but Monday we leave for servicing the RV and then up to Syracuse, NY from Crystal River, FL. My wife has already planned out the trip and where we may stop.

I was intimidated about fueling up but have done a couple times and I pull into truck stops and fill up where the truckers do. Plenty of room and just be aware that these places are very busy and service a lot of vehicles. Keep your eyes open.

Best of luck on your trip.

Happy RV'ing
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:19 AM   #3
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I know the feeling Jim, went through this last summer when we bought our first ever RV and headed out on our first trip. I was a bit intimidated with the 60 foot length but everything went well.

I plan my trips well and if I use anything other than interstates or major highways I use Google maps and street view to check things out carefully before I travel that section of road. Don't rely on your GPS!!! I can't stress this enough. Plan the trip according to your own research and then put that route in the GPS. We have friends who let their GPS tell them where to go and it has put them in BIG trouble a few times, the kind of trouble I don't want to be in!

Stick with the major truck stops and you won't have access issues but I always check these out in advance as well. The major chains have apps for your phone or tablet to help you find them easily.

I bought a book called Big Rigs - Best Bets, they have a downloadable version or print copy, a great resource for finding places to overnight (short or long term) with easy access for larger rigs.

Safe travels!
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:03 AM   #4
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Just some info when fueling at truck stops. Fill up and pull forward just like the truckers do and then go in and pay. We fill at the truck pumps if we need to when traveling and have never had any issues.
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:09 PM   #5
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We just went coast to coast last September. Our rig was 62' with motor home and truck and our friends in their fifth wheel were 60'. We never had an issue. We don't use truck stops because they're always a pain......people shopping while leaving their rigs in the RV lanes, filthy pumps and surfaces in the truck lanes and prices that are usually .05 -.08 higher.

When we're ready for fuel, we just start watching roadside prices and sometimes check GAS Buddy. We then look for off ramps with multiple stations, pull off and fuel up.

I NEVER understood the people who rant and rave about how great it is to use truck stops. They're dirty, more expensive and time consuming. I think people who are uncomfortable in maneuvering their rigs tout these places because they feel more comfortable. I just don't see it. Even if there is more room, the truckers are rude and you often wait in line forever.

There is only one truck stop we use routinely because it's one of the three highways we use to escape California. It's the Pilot on I-40 at the Havasu exit in AZ. It has four easy to access RV lanes, is always .07 a gallon cheaper than it's digital sign promotes and doesn't limit my credit card.
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Old 06-07-2014, 01:08 PM   #6
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We have never encountered a rude trucker in all the times we stopped at truck stops. We do not use RV pumps because most of them are too darned hard to exit. And we have never had to wait long periods of time to fuel up. We are selective about the stops we make, preferring truck stops that are in more rural areas and therefore less congested. We now have a large fuel tank so generally we do not have to get fuel during a day's travel. We find truck stops have convenient parking so if we want to stop for a lunch break as in go to a restaurant or even to pick up more coffee, we can find a place to stop and usually there are pull thrus available. Yes. truck stops can be dirty places but then they experience high traffic levels. They're a great resource for the traveling public in all sorts of vehicles. Each to his own.
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Old 06-07-2014, 01:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
We just went coast to coast last September. Our rig was 62' with motor home and truck and our friends in their fifth wheel were 60'. We never had an issue. We don't use truck stops because they're always a pain......people shopping while leaving their rigs in the RV lanes, filthy pumps and surfaces in the truck lanes and prices that are usually .05 -.08 higher.

When we're ready for fuel, we just start watching roadside prices and sometimes check GAS Buddy. We then look for off ramps with multiple stations, pull off and fuel up.

I NEVER understood the people who rant and rave about how great it is to use truck stops. They're dirty, more expensive and time consuming. I think people who are uncomfortable in maneuvering their rigs tout these places because they feel more comfortable. I just don't see it. Even if there is more room, the truckers are rude and you often wait in line forever.

There is only one truck stop we use routinely because it's one of the three highways we use to escape California. It's the Pilot on I-40 at the Havasu exit in AZ. It has four easy to access RV lanes, is always .07 a gallon cheaper than it's digital sign promotes and doesn't limit my credit card.
Don, you've been doing this for years and obviously have plenty of experience. For those of us newbies with limited experience, it's going to take us time to get up to your experience level and the level of comfort you have in pulling off for fuel almost anywhere. Personally, I haven't found the truck stops to be difficult at all. I have a Pilot/Flying J card so have no limit on my credit card, I never use the RV lanes because they are usually full and are very limited in number and I know that if I pull into a truck stop I'm not going to have any manuevering issues which makes the whole experience a lot less stressful.
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:31 AM   #8
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My Nuvi Garmin has a search feature that allows us to search for closest diesel in the area we are currently in. This might be behind us or off our route but it will be the closest. That said, it is not always RV accessible, especially the auto diesel in a busy location. We use truck stops when necessary but the fuel islands are not the cleanest when one worries about tracking oil and grease into the coach. Flying J used to be our favorite because of the discount and the dedicated RV islands, but when the sold out to Pilot the prices went up, the quality of the actual facilities went down and half the time something is broken and the new owners (Pilot) don't seem to care if they deal with RVers or not.
The new player in town, growing rapidly in our area of the nation, is QT (Quick Trip) truck stops. The truck stop stores are found mostly on the interstates and main artery highways. They have dedicated RV islands and lots of parking and easy access in most locations. Food is usually roller table, but hot, fresh and good. They are OK with spending a few hours napping and relaxing in their lots
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post

I NEVER understood the people who rant and rave about how great it is to use truck stops. They're dirty, more expensive and time consuming. I think people who are uncomfortable in maneuvering their rigs tout these places because they feel more comfortable. I just don't see it. Even if there is more room, the truckers are rude and you often wait in line forever.
I use truck stops because there is always enough room. I have used a lot of regular stations and some are good and some are too tight for a big rig with tow. You don't really know for sure untill you pull in and then it can be too late. Many stations have barely enough room, and many car drivers will block your access in and out. I don't care to fret over this or worse, incur damage from close maneuvering. With truck stops you are assured of plenty of room.

I have not encountered rude truck divers. If you are respectful of them, they will respect you. Always minimize your time at the pump and pull up or out as soon as you are finished so they don't have to wait for you. They are trying to make a living and their time is money.

If I know a regular station well I will gladly use it if it fits. But while traveling there are too many unknowns and potential gotchas in using unknown stations. Truck stops take that worry away. By the way, with my 45' motorhome (65' with tow car) I always use the truck area at Flying J's. The RV lanes are great for smaller rigs but often very tight for my size rig, and the pumps are much faster in the truck lanes.
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
We just went coast to coast last September. Our rig was 62' with motor home and truck and our friends in their fifth wheel were 60'. We never had an issue. We don't use truck stops because they're always a pain......people shopping while leaving their rigs in the RV lanes, filthy pumps and surfaces in the truck lanes and prices that are usually .05 -.08 higher.

When we're ready for fuel, we just start watching roadside prices and sometimes check GAS Buddy. We then look for off ramps with multiple stations, pull off and fuel up.

I NEVER understood the people who rant and rave about how great it is to use truck stops. They're dirty, more expensive and time consuming. I think people who are uncomfortable in maneuvering their rigs tout these places because they feel more comfortable. I just don't see it. Even if there is more room, the truckers are rude and you often wait in line forever.

There is only one truck stop we use routinely because it's one of the three highways we use to escape California. It's the Pilot on I-40 at the Havasu exit in AZ. It has four easy to access RV lanes, is always .07 a gallon cheaper than it's digital sign promotes and doesn't limit my credit card.

I agree. Truck stops are typically what you have described, and my recent experiences have shown P/FJ and Loves are even bolder in their pricing now. Coming East from AZ to PA they were from $8 to $27 per 100 gallons higher.

But in defense of newbies, some may not have not had enough driving time with their rigs and may not have the spatial feel needed to manuever into tighter spaces like regular gas stations.

I know. I was "there". We all were!

I suggest some folks may benefit from the RV driving courses offered, or gain the needed "feel" and confidence by practicing in an empty parking lot. I did the latter. A lot! It worked.

Not a pro, but smaller stations and tighter campsites are not a problem now. I also take my time in tight manuevers.

Just sayin........


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Old 06-08-2014, 09:27 AM   #11
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I always use truck stops or stations with rv pumps ie: Flying J, Pilot, Loves. Flying J has a gas saver card you get a few pennies discount. They may not be as cheap as the smaller gas/dieel stations but I know I can get in and out without headaches most of the time and the gas is fresh not sitting in the tanks for months without refills. The big problem I have is the inconsiderate rv'ers who fuel up at the rv pumps and take their time puttering around doing other things besides putting gas in their rigs or not pulling out of the way when they go into the station pay the bill.
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Old 06-08-2014, 12:48 PM   #12
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There are a large number of books that cover your needs. Two more are - Next Exit and The RVer's Friend.
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:25 PM   #13
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You've got to go where you're comfortable, but I think some become paralyzed by what they read here.

The argument that you get another .3 cents off with a Pilot Flyng J card is another thing people seem to argue as a great attribute. The Pentagon Federal Credit Card gives you 5% off, not 3 cents or 5 cents....5%. That's .20 cents off of a gallon of $4.00 diesel fuel. The only requirement is that you pay at the pump. With the truck stops charging .5 - .8 cents more a gallon, there .3 cents off isn't much of a deal.

At a fuel stop, other than a truck stop, I can save .5 cents a gallon because of a cheaper price and .20 cents a gallon using the PenFed Card. Fifty gallons at .25 cents is $12.50....lunch money.

If you love the truck stops...great.....but venture out and you'll find just as convenient fuel stops along any of the major roadways.
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:28 PM   #14
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If you unhook your toad to explore, then fillup in the morning on your way out of the camp ground toadless. Be careful, go slow and don't be afraid to leave and go to another station. If blocked in or uncomfortable after fueling, just sit there. It isn't a race. Don't worry about blocking a few cars. The fueling places love to see your huge tank show up. If you want to go in for a pit stop or coke, pull around to a easy exit stop. You will do fine. Millions of others do. Remember, if there is a problem, it will be your wife's fault.
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