It's AMAZING what people will do to get .03 off at a Pilot or Flying J. For the VERY reason many of you describe, I never use them. You talk about going in and getting a manager to tell the employee to swipe the card or how you spent hours trying to figure out how to get the card to work. I've read enough of these posts over the past ten years to know that even those who get the cards to work, find that they change the rules all the time.
And while you're inside fighting with the employees, others are waiting in line, another common problem at these locations. I want to fill at the pump, get my receipt at the pump and be on my way, without making others wait. Another poster stated that he doesn't want to go to some crappy little station down the street to save a few cents. Apparently, he hasn't been watching as he drives down the interstate. For the past ten years, most new stations, especially along the interstate are huge.
We travel all over the western U.S., almost 10K miles a year and the OTHER stations are regularly .08 - .15 cents less than the truck stops. So your .03 cents off is actually costing you .05 - .12 cents more. I use one card, the Pentagon Federal Credit Union card, that gives 5% off, not .05 cents, but 5% at the pump. I know there are a couple of other cards that do the same. So using something other than a truck stop will save you at least .08 - .15 cents plus another 5%. On $3.00 a gallon fuel, you'll save 23. - .30 cents a gallon.
Finding stations is easy.....you can use Gas Buddy, it even has photos of the station, you can scout out places with your toad when you go out for dinner when camping somewhere overnight, and you'll usually find several name brand stations at the same off ramps as the truck stops.
A prime example of this is Quartzsite. If you're driving west on I-10, the first station you come across is a Pilot which is always crowded, if you go to the next Quartzsite off ramp, you'll find a brand new Chevron with huge lanes that pull straight through and around the facility, back out to the road. They're ALWAYS .08 cents less.
I think most are fearful of not fitting at other stations and is why they defend these dirty, nasty truck stops so vehemently. For many new RVers there is a learning curve and getting comfortable with your RV, but soon you'll know what turns you can and cannot make. I'm 65' long and NEVER have been stuck at a smaller station or non truck stop station. Venture out of your comfort zone a little and try these other stations. You'll really enjoy not having to stand in diesel fuel and kitty litter absorbent and tracking it into your RV!
Don & Mary
2019 Newmar Dutch Star 4018 (Freightliner)
2019 Ford Raptor