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Old 05-30-2018, 10:29 AM   #1
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When the gas pump is out of reach...

How do you handle a situation where the gas pump islands are too tight to get in to make the turn to get in or out?

A number of times I have passed up a gas station because I did not think I could get in or out due to the area being too cramped. So far I have managed to get to a station that works, but a couple of times I was really low on gas and in a highly congested area.

This has happened in Los Angeles in particular, but other states and areas as well.

I do carry a spare gas can, which I have to use quite often because my Tundra gas tank is way too small. But there have been places where I can't even pull over so that I might walk to the gas pump with a five gallon can, and just keep going back and forth until full.

Sorry, probably should not even post this... I guess the only solution is to carry (2) 5 gallon gas cans...I d have AAA...
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:35 AM   #2
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This is a tough one, the best answer you have already posed is to find a less congested fuel station. It comes down to planning, Waze App can help with planning your fuel stops at large stations or truck stops.
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:49 AM   #3
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We tend to start looking to refuel just as soon as we get to 1/2 tank. I have a Tacoma, but am aware the newer Tundras have an optional bigger gas tank--and I will insist on that option if I do up size the tow vehicle in the next year or two. DUmb on Toyota's part to put a small tank in a nice BIG truck...

Tight quarters at the pump make it 'interesting'. We won't talk about the bent AS steps from dodging a fuel truck to the left, and not dodging the curb on the right. Fortunately the fuel truck driver was almost done, and helped us back out of the tight spot.

We try to find a gas station where the pump aisles are parallel to the front of the building--that usually indicates a better path in and out. Truck stops are usually set up- better.

If all else fails, it's find a place to park the AS, unhitch, get fuel, come back, and re-hitch. I don't like carrying gas cans, because they are a spill, leak, and fire hazard, and can be 'interesting' when you change altitude, or generate a spark near them--since we live in the high, dry California desert, static electricity is a VERY real hazard around propane and gasoline...so we are seriously aware of grounding ourselves to the vehicle before messing with either...

If you are forced to carry gas cans, make sure you fill them ON THE GROUND, and keep them out of the passenger compartment of the tow vehicle...

Trying to tow an Airstream anywhere near Los Angeles traffic must be a frustrating exercise--we stay far away from that madness...usually no closer than Victorville or the Corona area if at all possible.

I've managed to solve the tight quarters issue sometimes by being very patient to get a clear path, being real aware of clearances, and putting Wife and Daughter out to spot BOTH sides of the AS for me. We've come real close a couple times, but (knock on wood) managed to avoid scuff marks on the AS so far...

Most times, other drivers are patient, will give some space, then come up and ask a bunch of questions about the rig as you refuel...biggest thing I can advise is don't be in a hurry and pick your path carefully...
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Old 05-30-2018, 11:09 AM   #4
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In our extensive Airstream travels, we are most often able to find a gas station set up in such a way that I can maneuver in and out without doing any damage. Even though I have a 400 mile range pulling Lucy, I start considering my next fuel stop at the 250 mile mark. This way I can pick and choose. I can bypass filling stations where the logistics are not favorable.

I have, one one occasion, unhitched, fueled, and rehitched. It was a bit of a pain, but not that bad. In my situation, I have some extra drama in that my tow vehicle is a Diesel. In many stations, Diesel is only available at certain pumps.


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Old 05-30-2018, 11:12 AM   #5
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I always use truck stops when hitched up. When I fill up I am planning g my next stop based on how far I can drive on my tank. I have an app and a little booklet from Pilot/Flying J and plan ahead. Maybe add a little food or ice cream to the bill while there.
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Old 05-30-2018, 11:23 AM   #6
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Except in rare circumstances, not using fuel cans as extra capacity is the best practice. Usually, the tight circumstances are a factor of time. If you wait, space opens up, but it is not easy to take that role.

Step one is to review the type of stations that have a pump configuration which works for your rig. Next step is to fill before it is critical. Suggest the 1/2 tank level. Then when you do stop, have your spotter help with getting in and out.

One approach is to drop each day and fill for the next day without the trailer. While on the road, refill at a small town or large truck stop.

Major metro areas usually have fuel options, but close to interstates the price is higher. A drive through an area that is more residential can net you a strip mall with a station on the corner that has an easy drive through for the pumps. Exit easiest and use a block to right turn your way back to the direction of the route you want. Take care that driveway transitions are not too severe. Do not try to fuel in rush hour or lunch hour. Shift your schedule to least traffic. Make miles between metro areas in the rush hours.

And whatever, remember everyone has this issue from time to time. The car or truck that double parks in front and blocks your exit will move soon. Just give it some time. It does help to pick a pump that has the space to exit in two different directions, but not always possible.

If this issue is beyond your ability to manage with the stock tankage, a spare fuel tank is an option that expands your range and is less hazardous than can storage. It is also an option to use a fuel cell to improve the safety of transporting a larger volume of gas.

Of course, you could get a 23, we never have this problem ...... well, almost never, maybe seldom, or once in a while, or every trip ........ Pat
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:26 PM   #7
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I always try to find gas stations where the pumps are parallel to the store, not perpendicular. That way, cars pulling up to the store don't force me to back up.
I watch the exit signs for stations I might like, Flying J, Love's, Murphy Oil, and I'm always prepared to drive on by if they don't look usable.
Also check how the dip at the entrance will be, I don't need to scrape the hitch or bumper. And sometimes I just have to wait behind others. (I hate when they go into the store and are gone 20 minutes!)
I've never had to pour a gas can in, but there are cans for the generator if it's an emergency.

Once I thought I was circling the parking lot of Love's and it funneled into a MacDonalds drive through! With a 7' clearance! Needless to say I backed up about 100' through the parking lot. Cars were actually nice, I think they understood my predicament.

Here's another idea, fill up before you hook up. Maybe the night before! It will get you 200 miles down the road!
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:34 PM   #8
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You can always unhook and go fill up with no worries.
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:47 PM   #9
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Plan ahead and pass on stations with tight pump areas. We use gas buddy to plan ahead and find the best price as well. Flying J and Pilot offer a 5 cent discount with a Good Sam card.

My current (2016) Tundra has the 38 gallon tank, much better than the 26.
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
-- snip -- DUmb on Toyota's part to put a small tank in a nice BIG truck... -- snip --
Not so. Most folks use them to drive to and from work. It's the reason that lots of nice cars are only available with driver's side seat upgrades like lumbar support. The majority of use they will see is single driver commute trips. Folks climb on an aeroplane and make their long trips by air and rental car/Uber-Lift. So, why install a bigger tank that won't get used. Better wheels are much more likely to hook the buyer.

But no one is preventing you from adding an extra tank. Upgrades are much less expensive than a new vehicle. Get that value from the one who brung you. Pat
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:31 PM   #11
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I never felt constrained by the 26 gal. tank.
26 gal x 11 mpg (conservative) = 288 miles.
At 250 miles I'm ready to get up, stretch, and see if the pup might like to do the same. If you plan a long 600 mile day, that's two gas stops.

Didn't you all just tell me that I needed to get up every two hours to avoid blood clots?
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
I never felt constrained by the 26 gal. tank.
26 gal x 11 mpg (conservative) = 288 miles.
At 250 miles I'm ready to get up, stretch, and see if the pup might like to do the same. If you plan a long 600 mile day, that's two gas stops.

Didn't you all just tell me that I needed to get up every two hours to avoid blood clots?


27 gallons on my Silverado, agree, thats far enough without getting up and stretching, my days of ten hour continuous stretches behind the wheel are long past.
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:21 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone.

Drop the TT, then drive to the gas station. Never, even one time, did I consider this option. What a reasonable thing to do.

I have considered a replacement gas tank, but I am way over payload capacity as it is.

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Old 05-31-2018, 06:52 AM   #14
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A good sense of humour will make your travels much nicer, yes, I too was significantly smarter at 18 than I am now at 58.
I also use truck stops as my normal choice for fueling and start looking to fill at 1/2 tank which is designated stretch time.
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