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Old 01-14-2013, 08:25 PM   #1
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Re-fueling truck with diesel towing a 30'

I am considering purchasing a 30' S/O Classic and am wondering how you re-fuel your diesel trucks. I have a 2008 Duramax and tow a much smaller Airstream so it's not a problem pulling into most diesel pumps. But I am concerned the extra size of the 30' makes pulling out of normal gas station diesel pumps an iffy prospect. Do you find this a problem or do you just use truck stops and pull in with the big rigs for diesel refueling?
Thanks.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:47 PM   #2
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I usually stop at the truck stops for easy in and out with a trailer. I can't stand the "auto diesel" pumps mixed in around the gas pumps. It never fails that someone either blocks the diesel pump or blocks me in once I'm fueling.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:51 PM   #3
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We tow a 34' and its pretty amazing where you can get into to refuel. Stores with multiple islands that all point toward the store front are only good if you can get fuel on one of the end pumps AND point toward a side exit or loop behind the store and back onto the road. I have never found a good Walmart to refuel. I have had to back out of a few...

The only drawback to the Big Rig pumps are the lack of pay at the pump.

We have towed 24 states and 42,000 miles and ever had to drop the trailer to refuel, it gets easier with practice.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:58 PM   #4
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Mike, the 30's do add just a little more concern for dragin and banging yellow poles. With the diesel trucks, you can get after market fuel tanks that can get you up to 65 gallons (or even more) of fuel capacity. That makes picking out the rest stops based on convenience easier and you can shop for fuel based on price. We typically stop at the big rig stations if convenient, those pumps run at a gallon nearly every 5 seconds also, which makes taking on 50 gallons quick. It's nice leaving on a trip and know you have a 750 mile fuel range.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:00 PM   #5
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I have a 30'er and have only gotten into a jamb once. You learn to refuel before you NEED to. Throw an eyeball on the place before you drive in. Make a note of just where the diesel pump is. It's not rocket science most places are fine. Some of the more remote areas just require being observant before you get into trouble.

Enjoy your travels. It's not as big a deal as you think it is.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:09 PM   #6
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I usually stop at the truck stops for easy in and out with a trailer. I can't stand the "auto diesel" pumps mixed in around the gas pumps. It never fails that someone either blocks the diesel pump or blocks me in once I'm fueling.
I agree. Fuel at the truck pumps, and then pull forward before you go in to pay.
The RV pumps are a lot slower and many RVers don't know to pull forward before going to pay.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:20 PM   #7
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I use truck stops. Just expect that re-fueling will take longer. I've not ever had the fueling portion of the stop exceed thirty minutes (wait for pump, pump, pull out to go inside and pay or receive change from bills tendered). I then find a parking place to do anything else.

For purposes of trip planning a fuel stop at the four-hour/200-mile mark is consistent with being out of the vehicle for about one hour. The other two-hour/100 mile breaks from driving only need about 10-15" (this is industry safe practice).

Choose the fuel stop in advance, and check it out with GOOGLE EARTH or some other satellite or street view to know access/egress in advance. I try to choose based on chain or affiliation (PETRO over PILOT, for example; AMBEST members over all other types; genuine real person owners) and in direction of travel where possible.

Truck stops aren't always at the most crowded edge of a metro area. But if they are, it can be a good place to get away from the road to avoid commuter traffic, etc.
And, that is where the CAT Scales are located. Not to mention BLUE BEACON. Plenty of RV traveller services outside of a real sit down restaurant (if chosen well).

.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:22 PM   #8
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I agree. Fuel at the truck pumps, and then pull forward before you go in to pay.
The RV pumps are a lot slower and many RVers don't know to pull forward before going to pay.
Some drivers have been trained not to move from the pump since some stations have signs saying not to move vehicle until after you pay.

Apparently with some pumps it is to hard for the clerks to find out how much to charge if someone else starts pumping before you pay and it seems like in those stations there is often a 5-10 minute wait in line before you can pay so the next person could be done and a third person started before you even get to the register.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:30 PM   #9
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I also have 40 gallons in the pickup bed to augment the too-small (26 gallon) standard tank. That gives me 2 days of towing before I MUST stop. I do stop sooner when it is convenient.

I use Flying J when possible since they have RV pumps. Failing that, I will refuel solo if we unhitch to drive to a restaurant or if I happen to see an especially good bargain in fuel.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:13 PM   #10
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We try to use the big boy stations but a few times we've had to wedge in to a Mom-N-Pop store. There have been a few times where we've had to back out after topping off. My SO is a great spotter and we've never had any difficulty even when we had to back out into the street to exit the station, or asked the car that pulled in behind us to kindly give way while exit.

We've done this with the 31' and more recently I've done it solo with a 3500 crew cab hitched to a 32' 5th wheel. If I can get it to the pump... Then we can get it back out

With a diesel I start looking for easy refuel sites when I get to a 1/4 tank.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:13 PM   #11
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I downloaded an app. on iPad and iphone called "All Stays Camp and RV." It will show all truckstops as well as the brand and whether or not they have RV fueling lanes. It also shows how many truck lanes and parking spaces are at each place. Oh, and it locates and describes campgrounds as well. I also use a RV Plus card from Pilot and Flying J and they cater pretty well to RV'ers. But I am cautious to stay out of a jam pulling a 34'ft since total rig length is over 50 ft. One thing more, I enjoy every trip.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I downloaded an app. on iPad and iphone called "All Stays Camp and RV." It will show all truckstops as well as the brand and whether or not they have RV fueling lanes. It also shows how many truck lanes and parking spaces are at each place. Oh, and it locates and describes campgrounds as well. I also use a RV Plus card from Pilot and Flying J and they cater pretty well to RV'ers. But I am cautious to stay out of a jam pulling a 34'ft since total rig length is over 50 ft. One thing more, I enjoy every trip.
We also use the "All Stays" app. What a great app! I never let the tank get below 1/2 tank since I want to avoid "having" to get diesel at some place small/tight. Also I need my coffee!!
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:27 AM   #13
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When I first started driving a Diesel about three years ago I was always worried about finding Diesel, but since I'd been towing trailers for many years, getting in and out wasn't a concern.

It is a little more difficult with Diesel because many times stations only have Diesel on one island out of four, so you not only must be able to get in and out, but you must be able to get to the one Diesel island.

The real problem is when carravaning with several other Diesel rigs, so then you must find a big station.

I has always worked out without too much trouble.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:17 AM   #14
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For the most part I use the truck fuel pumps @ Flying J's, etc. faster pumping and easier in/out.

Most of the time I will top off before pulling into a cmapground for the night so a few extra minutes walking to/from paying for the fuel isn't that big a deal.

Also, if we're trying to get somewhere quickly we'll often times try to stay @ Casino's that have RV parking as they often have nearby truck stops or many times easy to access fuel pumps on the way in.
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