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Old 06-27-2022, 10:39 AM   #1
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TSD questions

This morning I came across an article on the TSD card program (see here) and read through it. I have seen posts concerning this on a lot of RV forums, and read them, but I was still left with some questions, so I thought I would ask here.

OK. The article explained how it works. You use a TSD card at stations that support the program and the parent company applies a discount to the purchase and draws from you specified bank account to cover the costs. I guess I understand the basics, but ...

I have always been a bit leery of allowing companies to draw directly from a bank account because if they draw more than they were supposed to I then have to go through the process of getting a refund. I always thought it was easier to take care of over charges on a credit card because then I only have to challenge the charge and not worry about getting a refund. So, first question, has anyone who uses TSD seen any overdraws? And, if so, has it been much of a hassle getting the refund?

Next, one of the things I have noticed is that the truck stops I generally see when traveling charge considerably more than the smaller stations. When we drive through southern New Mexico I pass multiple truck stops where the diesel price is often 30 cents/gallon more than smaller stations. When driving through Texas Love's, which was mentioned in the article, always is noticeably higher than competing stations. So does the discount make up for this cost difference?

Basically I guess I am asking if using the card is more trouble than just using regular fuel stops. And, if so, is it really worth the trouble? Our RV is a B+/C on a Sprinter 3500XD chassis and we generally get about 17 mpg when not pulling a toad, and 14-15 mpg with a toad. We put on about 12,000 miles a year so given those parameters is it worth using the program?
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Old 06-27-2022, 10:47 AM   #2
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I was reluctant at first too, but set up a separate checking account for TSD card to draw upon. Have never regretted it. No issues at all, and while discounts aren’t what they used to be, still equal or below most gas station prices. And since I can’t get into most it’s a good deal. I’d say go for it.
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Old 06-27-2022, 12:15 PM   #3
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The easiest question to answer is, "is it wroth it". The answer is absolutely. There is zero cost to have it. Even if you never use it, the cost is still zero.

Most of the users on this forum seem to have a separate account just for TSD. I do also. It took around 5 min to do online though my bank and has zero cost (I know others are different).

Some people use the card since they only want to fuel up in large commercial stations. With the TSD card you can activate the pump, at the pump and do not have to go in, and you can get a full fill up. I always use commercial pumps when filling my tow vehicle since I have a total of 275 gallons and having tanks on both sides. However even at 70' long I still have to go to regular gas stations to put fuel in my toy hauler. I have never used it with my pick up holding 86 gallons. Not saying I won't, I have just never been in a situation where it made sense.

As for the discount, it is variable and changes so there is no way to say if it makes up for the difference you are seeing. Some people are happy to be getting a discount and do not look at the total fuel price. I look at the total fuel pice. Because of this I use out of network stations more than I use in-network stations. I can still use the card to activate the pump outside, but I do not get a "discount" and there is a $1 fee to use it out of network. However if I my overall price is cheaper without the discount I am still better off overall. For example this winter we headed for AZ from WA. We topped off in Pendleton OR as there is an out of network station there that is traditionally at least $0.25/gallon cheaper than any in-network station in the region. We then topped off again in White Hills, AZ as it was the cheapest one we could find, it did happen to be in-network.

Again with smaller tanks you should be mindful of overall price, but how much is the time and effort to find the best price worth. 12,000 miles at 15 mpg is 800 gallons of fuel/year. So for every $0.10/gallon that you save is $80/year.

Again I have my card, it does what it says and is another good tool. If I was still using my pick up to pull, it is unlikely that I would have a TSD card. With fuel prices rising that might change my mind. Yesterday I was only able to put 20 gallons in before the pump kicked off.
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Old 06-27-2022, 12:41 PM   #4
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I agree with Warhorse. I use the card 80-90% of the time. With a comfortable range of 750 miles I can always find a discounted price better than local stations. Big advantage to me is being able to use truck lanes, including DEF at the pump.

Discounts seem to be coming back. I'm been checking TA stations in Maryland and Virginia almost every day since January. Discounted price is now down to about $5.20. Can't find at smaller dealers. Diesel prices seem to have peaked and have headed down. Think everyone realized that $6/gal diesel is a catastrophe for the whole economy. Not sure who did what but helpful.

I do believe there aren't very many trucks fueling without some sort of discount program. Truck stops use high posted prices to keep small diesel vehicles from using truck lanes.

I thank TSD for making this available to RVers.
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Old 06-27-2022, 12:52 PM   #5
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I used mine yesterday. Pump price was $5.599 and I paid $4.980 after discount at a TA truck stop. Some times the truck stop prices are less than local stations with the discount and some times not. The big convenience is using truck lanes with high speed pumps, plenty of maneuvering room and pay-at-the-pump without having to go inside.
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Old 06-27-2022, 01:57 PM   #6
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Your questions might be moot. Does your Class B Sprinter have a large fill tube like those on a DP? If not, you'll need to purchase an adapter to utilize the larger pump nozzle and then be able to manage the high speed delivery through the adapter at the truck stop pumps.

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Old 06-27-2022, 02:15 PM   #7
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I saw this video a while back where two people discuss their opposing ideas about the TSD card. They agreed to disagree, so I think this is a fairly unbiased discussion that can be considered to make up your own mind if the TSD program is right for you.

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Old 06-27-2022, 02:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Warhorse6 View Post
I was reluctant at first too, but set up a separate checking account for TSD card to draw upon. Have never regretted it. No issues at all, and while discounts aren’t what they used to be, still equal or below most gas station prices. And since I can’t get into most it’s a good deal. I’d say go for it.
Same. . .

I too was reluctant to let some company just take money out of my checking account at their discretion. I set up a separate checking account, and a week or so before we travel (we're still part-time) I'll do a rough estimate of upcoming fuel costs, and transfer that plus a little more into this special account.

After the trip - and all TSD withdraws have cleared - if there's any money left I'll use it to pay my insurance bill or something.

Now. . . with all that said, in the 2 years I've been using TSD, they have never withdrawn more than they were suppose to. . . thus I've never had to request a refund.

As for the discount amount, yes. . . you can probably buy fuel for about the same price in the "Off-the-beaten-path" places, but these places can often be hard for me to get my 42' motorhome into. I know I can get my coach into a truck stop. So even if I'm paying the same (or even a little more) than the "Off-the-beaten-path" places, it's worth the convenience to me.

In summary . . . if you're in a class-B on Sprinter chassis, I'd say the whole TSD program is probably not worth the effort. After all, you can easily get into and out of the "Off-the-beaten-path" places. What's more, the Semi Trucks will probably appreciate you staying out of their fuel lanes (TSD only works at the big rig pumps). BTW. . . will a truck pump nozzle even fit into the Sprinter fuel fill spout?
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Old 06-27-2022, 03:04 PM   #9
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what I have found, is that if you travel primarily the interstate routes, then the TSD card really comes into play for discounted fuel, at stops for big rigs. When I had a gas class A, it was always a PITA trying to find a station I could move around in, with a toad and the fill port in the back end of the MH (whose bright idea there?). Now, I will also say that I can often find diesel cheaper than the TA / Loves / Pilot stations. Case in point: several weeks ago, we were coming back to central Oregon from Astoria, Or. We hit I5 south and the cheapest diesel, discounted, we could find was $6.49 / gallon. On a secondary road, heading over towards Santiam Pass, we found a station that was $5.89 a gallon. I guess my point is this; if you travel primarily interstates / truck route, have a big diesel, towing, then the TSD card is the way to go. The company has never overcharged me. If you travel secondary roads, same rig, TSD is a good backup cad. If you are in a Class B Sprinter, I don't think it is worth your time and, like another post said, the commercial diesel nozzle won't fit your unit.
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Old 06-27-2022, 04:18 PM   #10
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We have up on small stations years ago when we were filling our 3/4 ton diesel pickup towing a 30’ trailer. Been using truck lanes ever since. Guess we were lucky and the Ram pickup handled the high volume pumps just fine. If you routinely use truck lanes, the TSD card is a no-brained to me. The discounts are as low as $0.10 and as high as $0.50 or a bit more. We find TA has recently been giving the best discounts, but that varies from time to time. I particularly enjoy being able to completely fill the tank with a single transaction, something that can’t be done on my regular credit cards. We travel 12,000-15,000 miles a year at an average of 8.5 mpg; it makes a difference.
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Old 06-27-2022, 05:33 PM   #11
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Use the TA app and you don't need to swipe a card.

TSD is just one option I try. Also look at the apps Mudflap and Fuelbook. All are diesel and usually steer me to the high-speed pumps.

Since I'm in a 45 foot coach small stations with tight turns are a no go so I plan my stops well in advance for price and ease of access.
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Old 06-27-2022, 06:00 PM   #12
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For me, being in Canada the fuel discounts with the card are pretty much non-existent. HOWEVER, because it’s an EFS card I get another benefit - access to cardlock stations across the country with two separate fuel companies. We don’t have a lot of truck stops that are open to the public except on major routes in more populated areas, but we’ve got a lot of cardlock stations. It means fuelling our 43 foot motorhome while connected to the toad becomes easy.
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Old 06-27-2022, 07:11 PM   #13
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When we first started using the card 2-3 years ago, the only place we saw a decent savings was at T/A and Petro. Pilot, Flying J and Loves were miniscule. Then they started guarantying that Loves would be .28 off the price. That helped a little.

Currently, were on a three-week trip and the truck stop prices, even T/A and Petro haven't been anything special. We have a PenFed credit card that gives 5% off of the purchase. So far, we haven't seen a truck stop that can beat that. The 5% off isn't available anymore to new customers, but I'm sure some of you are at least getting 2%-3% off with various credit cards.

I know many are only comfortable using truck stops because they're easier to traverse, but there really isn't a savings there anymore with the TSD card, just convenience.
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Old 06-27-2022, 07:51 PM   #14
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This weekend I paid $5.11 at a truck stop that was about half the size of a typical Loves or TA. Next best price was $5.50. Plenty room to maneuver.

Seems to be an unwritten rule at truck stops that all traffic just figures it out. No painted arrows or lines.
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