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Old 03-05-2021, 08:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by dsurette View Post
A lot of Pilot/Flying Js have dedicated RV lanes with both gas and diesel available. I printed out a listing of those with dedicated RV lanes and don't leave home without it. I have it in an XLS format. If I can convert it to something that I can attach here, I will later.


To be honest I rarely find an RV friendly Pilot station. Many are too tight for an RV, especially if towing. Flying J on the other hand usually has dedicated RV lanes for gas and diesel. Unfortunately Flying J was bought out several years ago by Pilot. Maybe they exist somewhere, but Iíve never seen a Pilot with RV lanes.
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:07 PM   #16
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Google is your friend....
Yes, we used Google extensively, both satellite view and street view.

When we had a shorter DP (36' + toad) at one time, we would frequently use gas stations rather than truck stops especially when we were going through smaller towns away from the interstates or freeways. So by using something like Gas Buddy to determine price and type of station, we'd then use Google satellite so we could zoom in and determine the "lay of the land" and then using Google SV could see exactly what the station and surrounding area appeared. By zooming in, we could sometimes even tell where the diesel pumps were located but that won't be necessary in your case.

I'll give an example. I've never been to Davison. Let's assume that I'm traveling through that part of Michigan on I-69 and determined that we'd want to stop for gas in Davison. We would determine what station we possibly would want to use by planning ahead of time to see if there appeared enough room to maneuver in and out, etc. and to strategize how we would want to approach the station once there ...what entrance to use, best possible island to use, and how to exit once done. We either did planned on it at the last stop we made or DW would fool around with it online while we were underway.

So assuming that we chose the Sunoco station at S. State Rd and Lapeer Rd., we would zoom in using Google Maps satellite view ...see it HERE

We would then look at all the surroundings by using GSV (Google Street View) to see how the islands are configured, how to approach the station, and ingress and egress routing. ...go HERE, and HERE and HERE, etc as you can rotate the scan yourself on any one of those images as I just randomly isolated those three.

We possibly could determine that this particular Sunoco would be okay to use if it's not in the middle of rush hour as it appears to have enough maneuvering room and relatively easy in and out. Or we may search around to see if there's one that is even better. It only takes a few seconds.

Now let's take a quick look at the station across the street. That's one we probably wouldn't use at all: G-satellite, --GVS and GVS, and GVS.

These two stations are only examples but you get what we are doing and it can be done very quickly.

Sure, sometimes Google satellite views are not up-to-date with their images but GSV will give you the actual date of the last image at the very bottom of the page. Notice how the GSV is dated June of 2019 so is a bit old but not too bad. But yes, sometimes you arrive at a location and it doesn't appear how you thought it would because GSV isn't quite up-to-date but that didn't happen to us very often.

You can do this for truck stops alike as when we had a longer coach and used truck stops more often, we'd still frequently use Google satellite and SV just to familiarize ourselves with the surrounding streets, etc.

It's quick, free, and easy to use.
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:20 PM   #17
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This has been a concern of mine and from what I'm reading, getting gas can be more difficult than diesel with the larger class A units. Am I correct in this?
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Old 03-05-2021, 09:21 PM   #18
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West of the Rockies. Fred Meyers, Costco and most others where the vehicles gas up parallel to the road. Also, always watch your overhead clearance.
I have never had a problem anywhere finding an appropriate fuel station. But occasionally i have driven past ones that at a quick glance have questionable access or height.
Leave with a full tank. And fuel at the local costco or fred meyer when back home.
I note gas stations that have good prices, close to my route and good access from previous trips and plan ahead for future trips. With an easy 650 mile range with an extra 100+ mile reserve i dont have to stop alot to fuel.
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Old 03-06-2021, 12:42 AM   #19
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I have never seen a Loves or Pilot with a RV gas lanes like Flying J. Yes for diesel, but not for gas.
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Old 03-06-2021, 06:35 AM   #20
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I have never seen a Loves or Pilot with a RV gas lanes like Flying J. Yes for diesel, but not for gas.
The Pilot just South of Valdosta GA has RV only gas . . . right out front.

Find a Buc-ee's and you'll be golden. Very RV friendly, gas or diesel. They're big in TX but now popping up (slowly) in AL, GA, FL. Be sure to get the brisket while your there.

Someone mention Costco . . . of course, you have to be a member. I use Sam's Club a lot as they frequently have long straight access lanes and enough room to get out (32' class A w trailer). That said, the Sam's Club in Ocala FL is a real challenge, especially mid afternoon when all the old people decide to fill up.

I've also had to set out orange cones to "protect" my position in line, otherwise I'll be blocking travel lanes. Some people are surprisingly 'orange intolerant' and I have go knock on their window. Then they get all ticked off. One lady ran over my cone then started yelling at me for putting it there. You meet all kinds!

Now we have a new-to-us 39' class A DP w trailer. I've filled it one time and know many of my old fueling stations are no longer available, and no diesel at every pump. We have a TCS fuel card on the way but it's diesel only, truck lane only and debit only so it's not for everyone, but it will be # 1 convenient and # 2 offer significant cost savings at (right now) TA Truck Stops.

So that's my 2c

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Old 03-06-2021, 07:26 AM   #21
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Some flying-Js have a motor home lane.

We are about the same length. I will look up on google maps and use the satellite view the morning we need to fuel up. I have no problem with 60+% of filling stations. I look at the image and figure if its going to work. Normally I use the outside end lanes. It seems to work better. Just remember you have a long tail.
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:05 AM   #22
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While the layout of the pumps is the most obvious thing to look for, one thing I haven't seen mentioned is the exit from the pumps. It seems MOST stations have the pumps set up so they are perpendicular to the building rather than parallel so you need to be aware of the exit: you want to leave the pump so that the rear end of your motorhome swings AWAY from the pumps, not toward them! There is usually enough room between the pumps and the building for you to make the turn as you leave, but if your rear end swings TOWARD the pumps you'll most likely hit the bollards on the end of the island.
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Old 03-06-2021, 11:18 AM   #23
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This is from the Flying J web site. I guess in the original post I shouldn't have called it Pilot/Flying J although there are a few Pilot Travel Center locations with RV fuel lanes.
Only locations with dedicated RV fuel lanes are included in this list.


Flying J RV Locations.pdf
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Old 03-06-2021, 04:37 PM   #24
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While the layout of the pumps is the most obvious thing to look for, one thing I haven't seen mentioned is the exit from the pumps. It seems MOST stations have the pumps set up so they are perpendicular to the building rather than parallel so you need to be aware of the exit: you want to leave the pump so that the rear end of your motorhome swings AWAY from the pumps, not toward them! There is usually enough room between the pumps and the building for you to make the turn as you leave, but if your rear end swings TOWARD the pumps you'll most likely hit the bollards on the end of the island.
So a lot of times there is also an enterance from a side street. You can come in that enterence and wait for the end lane to free up. Use that lane and head out the front. Most of the stations along the freeways have more room between the pumps and the parking ahead of the store.

I like the end lane and I like to be as far from the pumps the the fuel hose will reach. I know I will have to turn and the tail will want to head for the pump, or the toad will track into the turn.
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:44 PM   #25
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Your first decision is to stop deciding where to fill with gasoline based on price. Learn to make the decision on ease of access. If you bought a MH based on fuel price you misled yourself.
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Old 03-06-2021, 08:54 PM   #26
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We constantly search for Flying Jís, love the RV islands, dump stations and propane all in one place.
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Old 03-06-2021, 09:15 PM   #27
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You can look at google maps and that may assist you. I use a Book called "Next Exit." It shows all services, food, lodging, fuel etc. at all exits. It has a special designations for fuel stations that are RV friendly. It is mainly for the major highways.
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Old 03-06-2021, 11:17 PM   #28
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I guess I'm a little old-fashioned in that I use an Atlas first when planning a trip. Check out routes, look at travel times, determine where to stop for fuel/lunch/etc. Next is the "Next Exit" book for RV friendly places along the way. After that I call in the technology and check Google Maps for any proposed stops to be sure I can get my 60 feet of RV and auto trailer in and out easily. Maybe I'm overdoing it but I feel a lot more secure knowing I won't get stuck in some place hard to maneuver.
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