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Old 09-15-2010, 03:56 PM   #1
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Gas pump access

I'm about to hit the road for the first time. I do have some worries about being able to pull in to a gas station with my truck and 28' AS and have access to a gas pump with out causing a big problem for others. Should this be a big concern or is it just me???
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:01 PM   #2
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i try to use truck stops with rv islands when traveling,since they tend to have more room.in a pinch i have used regular fuel stops with extra caution.not a big problem.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:05 PM   #3
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David, if felt the same way when I started towing our Airstream. The more you tow it the more confident you will become. I go into the small stations usually because their prices are lower. My biggest concern is locating the diesel pumps. Relax and don't worry.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:07 PM   #4
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Thanks for the comments, as I will be a solo RVer, I do have some thought about getting in and out of stations while not causing others to get pissed at me.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:29 PM   #5
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David,

This is a common concern and rightly so.

I find that I can use any island except for the ones where they've set it up so you pull into a dead end, that were being built for a while to discourage drive offs before the industry pretty much went prepay. Usually these are in urban areas.

Busy gas stations can be problematic but I find that if I pick a pump and am willing to be patient I can get in when someone leaves. It is vitally important to go slow and be aware of the trailer swing at all times, especially when leaving, and sometimes that means waiting a few minutes for someone ahead of you to finish up and leave.

So sure it's best to plan gas purchases at larger truck plaza type places, or when there's not much traffic, or when the trailer isn't hooked up, but if that doesn't work out it's not a big deal. People do dumb stuff but if you go slow and wait your turn you can get gas. Lots of people with trailers of all kinds on the highways and freeways so it's not like you're exceptional in maybe covering up two pumps.
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:03 PM   #6
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We have a similar concern, but our travel style helps: We generally don't do a single day's travel that requires more than a single tank of gas. And we never hitch up the Airstream before first driving to the nearest reasonable gas station and topping off the tank.

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Old 09-15-2010, 05:35 PM   #7
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You soon get good at sizing places up before you pull in - ie ensuring that you can not only get in, but have a good route to get out after!

In that respect I generally try to avoid the places where the pumps have you lined up pointing at the building - especially when they allow cars to park in front of the building!

I make an exception for large truck stops such has Flying J who do this, becasue they generally have lots of space in there lots.

In fact, I generally try to fill up on interstates where I can use larger truck stop places such as Flying J.

I always try to make sure I have lots of fuel when approaching a large city as i don't want to find myself stuck in a traffic jam and then having to get off looking for gas downtown someplace!

I do find it a little worse now that I require diesel. Its not only a matter of finding a service station that has diesel, but also knowing which pump is diesel. If I cannot easily see in advance, I sometimes will park (if I can) before reachin teh fuel islands and walk over to size things up.


By nature, I don't like to incovenience others and try hard not to! I don't think it has happened yet, although it may, becasue sometimes, depending on the layout of pumps, I will stop quite far away from the pump to ensure that I can turn around the pump island after - if I need to - without wiping out the pumps with the trailer!

Worse case scenario, you could always back out from the pumps.


I'm slowly learning not to worry too much about it! I'm sure you will too!


Brian.
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:54 PM   #8
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A valid concern David. We start looking for stations with easy access just before hitting the 1/4 tank mark. This way we don't feel "Pressed" to make stop or run out of fuel.

That being said, we've pulled into some tight spaces where some maneuvering was required. One thing to remember...stations big or small receive their fuel deliveries by tanker truck. Maybe a 10-Wheeler, or an 18-Wheeler, so with that in mind we don't worry too much. I figure if they can swing a big rig in some of the places we've stopped at then we should be able to gain access too.

Just remember that most stations want our business, and as long as we aren't blocking several other pumps we've never had a problem. As for other motorists. Sometimes they'll crowd us or pull in behind the rig thinking we're going to exit by pulling forward. Occasionally we'll have to wait a few minutes for things to clear, and several times I've walked back to the driver(s) waiting behind us to let them know that we're backing out. When I inform that I can't see things located behind us very well they usually give us plenty of leeway.

Good luck, have fun, and write about your adventure,

Kevin
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:17 PM   #9
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All great comments, thanks. What about carring a extra 5 gal. gas 'can' in the pick-up bed, just in case?
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david686 View Post
I'm about to hit the road for the first time. I do have some worries about being able to pull in to a gas station with my truck and 28' AS and have access to a gas pump with out causing a big problem for others. Should this be a big concern or is it just me???
I know your fear, tomorrow will be our 2nd time out with our 34' AS. We bought a book called the "next exit" and it contains information about what is available off each exit on major US roads. RV friendly fuel stops/ restaurants etc are highlighted. Mileage between exit numbers allows easy calc of distance to next friendly exit. Other roads - we are on our own.
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by david686 View Post
I'm about to hit the road for the first time. I do have some worries about being able to pull in to a gas station with my truck and 28' AS and have access to a gas pump with out causing a big problem for others. Should this be a big concern or is it just me???
I know your fear, tomorrow will be our 2nd time out with our 34' AS and crew-cab TV. We bought a book called the "next exit" and it contains information about what is available off each exit on major US roads. RV friendly fuel stops/ restaurants etc are highlighted. Mileage between exit numbers allows easy calc of distance to next friendly exit. Other roads - we are on our own.
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:33 PM   #12
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All good advice above, in my view. I'm also usually solo also, and it's true that a second person "lookout" is a big confidence booster. Moreover, if it's a diesel, it is a little trickier, bacause most places don't have that many diesel pumps (yet), but they do tend to be located at one end of the line of pumps.

Sizing up the place before you're committed is very important. I've only had to back out once, when I found I couldn't make the turn between the pumps and the office building. Almost always, larger stations have more turn-around room in them and those located on corners often have two or more ways in or out (on two different streets / roads), which makes "escape" easier.

That said, I try to frequent truck stop kinds of places, and especially Flying J, because they have more maneuvering room, and Flying J has special RV lanes with lots of turning room, and some Flying Js have dump facilities in those lanes as well, which can come in handy.

One more thing to watch before you pull in, is the approach / departure angles of the pavement of the station versus the roadway. I've passed up quite a few fuel stops at which it looked as if I'd drag either going in or leaving. That plumbing is expensive to replace, or so I'm told. I'd rather not find out!

Take it real easy and plan ahead and you'll do fine. You may have to wait for a bit somewhere, and you might annoy someone behind you who's in a hurry, but that's a lot less disturbing than bending sheet metal!
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:13 PM   #13
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Pfft. You can back up. I regularly dealt with tight gas stations with the B-van while towing a car on a dolly (a rig that can't back up). Dealing with a trailer that you can back up sounds like easy street to me.

Seriously, like others have said, you'll get used to it. Just go slow and be careful and soon you'll be doing it like it's second nature.
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:30 PM   #14
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Plan your route through the station before pulling in, including driveway angle. Circle around the block if you're not sure and check again.

Memorize or record RV friendly stations you've used for future reference.

Try to get fuel before you hook up. Try to buy fuel during dead periods for the station such as very early morning. Avoid smaller old central city stations. Newer suburban or interstate stations tend to be bigger. I'm always open to fuel purchase when tank hits the halfway mark. If I spot an inviting RV friendly station with a clear shot through it, I'll stop even if I have plenty of fuel.
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