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Old 10-25-2021, 04:30 PM   #1
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I Need Some Coaching On Refueling Stops

Last week was the first time I've had to stop for gas while still towing the trailer. Yes, I'm a real newbie who hasn't strayed far from home yet!

I tried a Love's and a Pilot, thinking that since they cater to the semis there should be plenty of maneuvering room for my RAM 2500 and 34' TT. I followed the signs to the back where the truckers were heading since the front looked pretty tight with lots of cars and not much maneuvering room. Well, all I saw back there was diesel pumps, no regular gas. Am I missing something or is it indeed diesel only in the back?

So I exited and tried the station next door since it wasn't as crowded. Still required some very tight turns and I was very uncomfortable with the spacing - terrified I would bump someone's car or hit a pump. My blood pressure was pretty high by the time I got out of there.

I know I need to practice more in a big, empty lot but I need advice in the meantime.

Is there a certain branded station that is known to have extra room for RV's? How do you plan your fuel stops to take advantage of these locations? Is there an app or website that you use to plan your trips, specifically with fuel stops in mind?

Thanks!
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Old 10-25-2021, 04:41 PM   #2
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Yes, just diesel around the back in the truckers section.

Some travel centers have dedicated rv lanes off to one side. Id say plan your fuel stops in advance and look on google earth for islands that are oriented for easier access. 34’ would be a lot to maneuver in most gas stations, even if they aren't busy.
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Old 10-25-2021, 04:48 PM   #3
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I am with you. I managed to find a station that was not very busy and had fairly open area a few weeks ago when I was on backroads. It still was an uncomfortable stop.

Yesterday, I went to Buckees on a return trip. It was busy to the point that my wife almost had a panic attack going to the restroom. The pump on the end was a pretty clean shot, but I will be danged if a guy in a diesel Ram didn't back up to the pump I was headed to and cut me off as I pulled in. I had to wait till he finished, with my trailer poking out into the drive lane slightly. At least he seemed to recognize he was a jerk, he did his best to hurry.

There are fuel stops around some of the places we like to camp, but between the tight pumps, crowded lanes, and for more than one of them the hills literally in the entrance and exit, they are a no go for me.

There is a Quiktrip on one of our frequent travels, has great diesel truck stop area, but the gas pumps are not conducive to a long rig setup.

Would love to hear other experiences.
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Old 10-25-2021, 04:49 PM   #4
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When I had a gas rig I looked for stations where you fill-up parked parallel to the street. If it was more $ it was worth it to me.
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Old 10-25-2021, 04:49 PM   #5
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As stated, typically in the truck also known as commercial lanes there is rarely gas. That is not a fuel type they use.

Most truck stops have the worst layouts for traditional pumps if you have a large vehicle or trailer. While I use the truck lanes to fill my HDT, I am rarely ever able to fill my toy hauler tanks at the same station. I am about 70' long and 13' 5" high......

I use google maps. Learn what good stations look like from the air. #1 thing to look for is pumps that run parallel to the station, not perpendicular. Next look for how to get in and out, are there tight turns or is it nice and open. Does it come out right at a light were traffic will be backed up, or down the street a ways where you can get in/out?
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Old 10-25-2021, 05:27 PM   #6
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Most Flying J stations have a dedicated RV pump with gas and diesel off to the side.

One of the biggest reasons I went all diesel was the increased difficulty in filling up with my old 35' gasser while towing a car. SOOOO much easier just pulling around back with the trucks and filling diesel.
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Old 10-25-2021, 06:50 PM   #7
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Agree with ByeTheWay, look for older pump stations that are aligned this way. They are usually only 4 pump stations but room to maneuver in and out. Even with my 23’ TT I have difficulty making the turn to get back out.
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Old 10-25-2021, 07:23 PM   #8
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Even though our coach is diesel and we tow a Honda, we rarely stop at truck stops. Normally we head for the smaller stations to fuel up. Our favorite stations when we are traveling are Costco, Walmart's, Super America etc. Some of our coolest experiences were at small Mom/Pop stations. The more you do it, the better you get.
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Old 10-25-2021, 08:06 PM   #9
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I usually try to get into an outside end aisle.
Be sure to watch your headroom, too! Some of the older stations just ain't tall enough for big RVs. At 10'6" I don't usually have to worry about that, but I've come across a couple older stations that were only 10' tall. In both those situations the outside lanes were not under cover, so that's where I pulled in.
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Old 10-25-2021, 09:05 PM   #10
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Well, I'm sort of relieved that I'm not the only one feeling stressed out when it's time to gas up.

Excellent idea using a satellite view on Google Maps to get a better idea of the pump layout.

I'm still curious if there's an app where you can set parameters like "RV Friendly" when searching for gas stations.
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Old 10-25-2021, 09:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Dolittle View Post
Well, I'm sort of relieved that I'm not the only one feeling stressed out when it's time to gas up.

Excellent idea using a satellite view on Google Maps to get a better idea of the pump layout.

I'm still curious if there's an app where you can set parameters like "RV Friendly" when searching for gas stations.
Even if there was, the data would only be as good as the person entering the data and remembering to update it if anything changed........
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Old 10-25-2021, 09:26 PM   #12
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Getting gas while towing. Will always be a pain. You will learn to plan your route and stick with a few familiar stations. You will also learn to try and refill with the trailer unattached whenever possible. Fueling a gas rig will always be a challenge.The more homework you do the easier it becomes. If traveling in unfamiliar areas,do your reconnaissance with google maps. Knowing what's ahead is a huge advantage. Prior planning will allow you to avoid the gas station rodeo.
Diesel vehicles do not have to deal with the gas station challenge.
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Old 10-25-2021, 11:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVThere View Post
Most Flying J stations have a dedicated RV pump with gas and diesel off to the side.

One of the biggest reasons I went all diesel was the increased difficulty in filling up with my old 35' gasser while towing a car. SOOOO much easier just pulling around back with the trucks and filling diesel.
Here’s a Flying J I like (I-5 South of Dunnigan) for fueling while towing - note the easy in/out diagonal access off to the side. Once you know what to look for they are pretty easy to spot.
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Old 10-26-2021, 06:08 AM   #14
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Check out “The Next Exit”. Handy to have when looking for an RV friendly stop.

https://thenextexit.com
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