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Old 09-09-2014, 07:41 AM   #1
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Fueling on long trips

Again, we're new at RVing and are gradually beginning longer trips from home with our 2014 WhiteHawk 30DSQB.....we tow with a 2014 Chevy 2500HD 6.0 gas burner.....in the past a full tank in the truck would get us where we were going, then unhook, and fill up before we head home... so I didn't worry about needing a gas stop....as we have branched out and now do need to make a stop for fuel, here's our problem....we are limited on places we can get our rig's length into...the truck stops don't put gasoline at the diesel islands(that we've stopped at so far) where there's always plenty of room to get our 55 feet of TT/TV into....we find ourselves having to squeeze into their gas pumps and it's a challenge......what are other's doing with situations like ours....is this something we just will have to live with....in the world of high technology, is there a way to find out about fuel stops up and down the highways that will fit our needs...thanks for your comments.
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:46 AM   #2
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any of the rest areas I have stopped in that have a separate area for campers has a gas island at them. I don't go to those simply because they have the price so high. I prefer to get off the highway and take a break and pay less. Just have to get used to towing and you will. Most people will get out of your way and be kind.
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:04 AM   #3
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There are gas station or truck stop locating websites you can use. I find them on the website and then view them in Google Earth before a trip to an unfamiliar area . I find ones that look suitable that will require about 3/4 tank of fuel apart. I do this a lot because I tow a boat behind my fifth wheel so I'm at about 75' and can't fit into most stations. If you start taking longer trips along the same freeways, you will start memorizing where good stations are. Your first time on a new route though, I'd start looking for stations at about 1/3 tank. Just go slow and you will find something. I always hate how they line gas pump lanes up perpendicular to the building and only 30 away.
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:09 AM   #4
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Pilot/Flying J as well as some HESS (IIRC) have RV Islands out front with both gas and diesel. They are a pull through set up.
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
Pilot/Flying J as well as some HESS (IIRC) have RV Islands out front with both gas and diesel. They are a pull through set up.
X2 . . .

UPcamper also has a good idea. I've found google/earth to be an invaluable tool, as well.

Option #3: I just picked up a Magellan RV5365T-LM GPS from Camping World. It has a feature where you enter your rig's dimensions & weight, and it selects routes that are "friendly" to your set-up. There is an option for selecting fuel stops along the route, which (I believe) will also meet your rig's requirements. Not sure about that, since I've only used it once so far, and didn't need to get gas. Mine has a 5" screen, which I've found to be the perfect size for my F-150 dash/windshield. It's also available in a 7" screen, and CW also sells a 5" & 7" model from Rand-McNally. They run in the $270 - $285 range (depending on whether or not they're on sale). You might find such a devise to be a worthwhile investment.

Otherwise, I've often tried to stop at stations along the interstates. They generally (but not always) have RV friendly fuel islands. I've been known to circle around the station until an outside island pump opens up - one that I'm sure I can get into and out of. Then, I'll pull up to the front pump, so no one can pull in in front of me and block me in.

And, as UPcamper suggested: start looking before you need it!

Just my $.02!
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:52 AM   #6
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For facilities near Interstates nothing beats The Next Exit. Everything that is RV friendly is clearly marked.
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
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For facilities near Interstates nothing beats The Next Exit. Everything that is RV friendly is clearly marked.
Smartphone app?

Nevermind. I guess I should have realized it was a link before I posted that.
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:58 AM   #8
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Definitely did the circling thing last week on I55 on a trip north to St.Louis waiting for that outside island to open up.....I agree with UPCamper....most everyone lines up there gas lanes on the front pumps perpendicular to the building and as he said...about 30 feet away.....used a Phillips 66 and a Loves truck stop last week and both had the perpendicular setup....finally got the outside island at both but even with that, our TT was blocking the drive thru area in front.
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:32 AM   #9
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I've taken a number of "driving tests" in filling stations when towing and on rare occasions had to perform such maneuvers as pull up to an island, refuel and back out again. Even being diesel powered, I prefer the auto diesel pumps to the truck ones because the truck ones are often high-speed pumps and can be difficult to control the rate of flow.

Sometimes, I have to take up both sets of pumps to refuel and sometimes, I have to wait because the only pump island with diesel at the station is occupied or a vehicle has me blocked until it moves out of the way. Fortunately, most filling stations place the diesel pump(s) on the outermost islands which helps make access easier.

In time, you'll master the skill of towing and be a pro at it. Since your TV's a gasser, you already have a lot more pumps to choose from at a filling station than I do. Refueling should be a piece of cake the majority of the time.
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:43 AM   #10
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I try to ensure I stop at Loves/Pilot/Fling J/TA (bigger truck stop type stations). Usually even their regular gas pumps are more spacious. I've gotten into a tight spot and had to back up at a small local gas station twice since we've owned our TT. Just take it slow, use and trust your spotter, and just own the fact that you're towing a big trailer and that other people will just have to wait. If you have to, use your spotter to hold a position for you so someone doesn't pull into a pump you're waiting for. I would even consider using safety cones if I needed to (never had it come to that, but I'll do what I have to do). Over time, and since I've already dealt with some fuel stops at TINY stations, I've gotten to the point where I'm not scared of virtually any station; if it's even a somewhat reasonable size, I'll go ahead and stop if I need the fuel. If I have to wait a couple minutes to get a pump on the end, then so be it, DW will go inside and get me a fresh cold soda to enjoy while I wait, I'm not really in any hurry.

The absolute biggest thing I harp on in these discussions is: DO NOT get into somewhere you don't know how you're getting out. It's even better if you have 2 or 3 ways to get out. It's kind of like a game for me and DW. She'll ask "So how exactly do you plan to get us out of here?" (you know, with the hands on hips and condescending tone). And I'll detail to her every move I'll make getting out while the pump is filling the tank with explanations about what I expect other drivers to do, and what I'll do based on whatever they do. This exercise helps me tremendously, but don't tell her that!

All that being said, I have my favorite stations picked out for our normal trips if needed, and while I prefer not to stop, I know I can do it even in the more challenging stations.
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