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Old 07-11-2016, 09:57 AM   #1
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Filling the TV at the gas station- Tips needed

What a PIA! I just did my first ever trip (1200 miles) with my 30ft T.T. & found out the dilemma of finding a gas station that I can get in & out of was a real challenge. What does every else do? I can't believe I was able to maneuver through the pumps in these crowded gas stations. Some were easy & some were OMG!
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:24 AM   #2
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"The RVer's Friend: North American Diesel/Parking Directory" which is oriented toward diesel RVs but they all have gas too. The first column includes "RV Gasoline" as an entry. It's arranged by state with a map showing locations at the front of each state.

"The Next Exit" pertains to interstate highways but entries in red indicate RV friendly locations for everything from gas stations to restaurants. Both are available at places like Camping World or online.

those books are quite handy where Flying J and Pilot and Loves are unheard of.. Like here in Maine.
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:24 AM   #3
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A few strategies:
If travelling the interstates, look for truck stops. Flying J/Pilot most often have wide accesses to the regular pumps too; that makes things easier.
I start looking sooner for an appropriate station when towing (anything under 1/2 tank) so I can afford to pass a couple of really lousy stations if need be.
If in unfamiliar territory, I use GasBuddy to scope an exit with multiple options so I can hopefully find a station with better clearance.
I don't worry about paying a few cents more per gallon for better access. Really, what's a buck or two more if you can get in and out without a headache.
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:24 AM   #4
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Try searching for a Pilot or Flying J. They usually have roomier pumps and some even have pumps off to the side just for people who are towing RVs. Some have dump stations also. And if you become a Good Sam member you can get a 3 cent discount per gallon if you swipe your rewards card. They also have a cell phone app that can help you find locations near where you are.
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:30 AM   #5
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I try to get off at exits that have at least 2 or 3 stations close by. Then you can pick the one with the most room. More than once on our Disney trip south I had to wait for other to move before I could get out of some.
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:56 AM   #6
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I was using that strategy also but the most annoying thing I have been finding are those who fill up & go inside but leave the car parked at the pump. Its almost as bad as road rage when that happens.
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:02 AM   #7
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I was using that strategy also but the most annoying thing I have been finding are those who fill up & go inside but leave the car parked at the pump. Its almost as bad as road rage when that happens.
Had that happen on the way home from the lake... went to a Sheetz gas station that only had 1 diesel pump. Some small car parked in the diesel pump and the guy was nowhere to be found. I just waited patiently for the guy to come sauntering back eventually (wife took our daughter inside to go to the potty anyways). Not road rage worthy in my mind, just annoying. I guess he didn't pay attention to the fact that he was blocking the only diesel pump, but the rest of the station was pretty empty.
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:40 AM   #8
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I start looking early. I will pay a few cents more, to ensure an easy exit. Getting out is more important than getting in. I always eye up a station, and plan my great escape. More than once I looped through a station (around back) came back to the front facing the other way, so I knew for fact I could get out. If I can I try to take an outside pump as there is usually a bit more room.

I got stuck once near Hudson WI, I think it was a Flying J. The signs pointed all RVs this direction. I got an outside pump, from the pumps it looked like I had an escape route. I pull forwards to escape and they had the entire area K railed, had to turn around in a small parking lot, no turning radius big enough. Started to sneak around parked cars when two professional cargo van driver came and moved their rigs for me.

Next day, I called the District Manager and complained, I informed them what happened to me. They know immediately about the K rails, and told me they were there to keep the semis out. I drive by that station periodically for work, which I had to do the following week. They removed a couple sections, so pickup trucks with trailers could get out. Man that was the biggest pain, I have experienced.
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:48 AM   #9
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I try to get off at exits that have at least 2 or 3 stations close by. Then you can pick the one with the most room. More than once on our Disney trip south I had to wait for other to move before I could get out of some.
Same but try to watch interstate signs for an exit with 3 or 4 stations [5 is better] and then cruise by them and look for one that has pump islands that are parallel to the station so you can take a wide turn into the lot and then pull straight thru and out when you are done. DO NOT ENTER A STATION WITH THE ISLANDS POINTING TOWARD THE STATION. That set up will require you to make a tight turn as you enter or exit the pump island. Those metal pipes that protect the pumps do not bend [ask me how I know].

Since stepping up to diesel the process changes a little as you have to figure which stations have diesel. Diesel pumps are almost always on the outside islands. I stay away from truck stops for several reasons. Yes you can use the hi volume pumps in the back lot, but most times you will be required to go inside to prepay. Have only rarely been hassled by truckers but found them more of a hassle because of inability to pay at the pump with a reg credit card.
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Old 07-11-2016, 01:38 PM   #10
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We basically plan out our fuel/rest stop exits before departing in the morning and try to pick Pilot/Flying J stations with RV lanes. Otherwise, when needed, the DW uses Google Earth on her tablet to get a "birds eye view" of the stations and their pump setups well ahead of time. The only issue we have had when trying to do this is when the station has canopies over their pumps. But in that event, we just look for the pavement stains on the edges of the canopy, which can indicate which way the traffic flows underneath. Works out great for us and have yet to get into a "situation".
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