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Old 09-14-2021, 06:47 AM   #1
Docjeffry
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Route planning and Fuel

All, my wife and I took our new to us 2012 Keystone Bullet Premier to Lake City, FL. and back from Norman, OK. I had a hard time getting in and out of many fuel stations to top off. Does anyone know of an app, or website that would help you locate fuel stations with plenty of accommodations for towing? I got pretty tired of pulling off the highway to find out there was barely any room for me.

For example, Flying J Travel Stop in Tallahassee, FL. was the best stop by far for fuel. I would love to locate places like that next time for route planning.

Thank you.
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Old 09-14-2021, 07:39 AM   #2
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Apparently you have a gasser with apparently a decent sized RV, you failed to mention either in your question.
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Old 09-14-2021, 07:48 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by travelin texans View Post
Apparently you have a gasser with apparently a decent sized RV, you failed to mention either in your question.
Correct. I have a 2004 F-150 (tow capacity of 6500). I have a Keystone 19 Bullet Premiere (about 4250 lbs). Dwarfs the truck but tows pretty well.
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Old 09-14-2021, 08:16 AM   #4
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Don't know of any specific apps, but a good many Flying Js have RV islands, so Flying J app may be helpful.
If in Texas Bucee's would be a good choice, they typically have 100s of pumps that you should be able to manuever into.
Otherwise you'll just have to be patient & deal with the idiots in their little vehicles.
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Old 09-14-2021, 08:21 AM   #5
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This has been discussed just recently with numerous in-depth responses. Have you considered searching the forum on the subject?
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:13 AM   #6
Docjeffry
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Originally Posted by flybouy View Post
This has been discussed just recently with numerous in-depth responses. Have you considered searching the forum on the subject?
I did do a search before posting but didn't come up with anything. Do you have a link?

Thank you.
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:20 AM   #7
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I've had people suggest the RV Parky app for such things. Can't comment on to how useful it is.

A nice couple at a gas station who wanted to to talk campers mentioned it because they pulled a 5th wheel and were often concerned about clearance at the gas station.

If you try it out, let us know how it works for you.
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:29 AM   #8
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Maybe check gasbuddy app. The only way to know for sure is look on Google map satellite view at the ones that you're interested in.
Some Flying J/Pilots have RV lanes separate from the big truck pumps. Check their website.
Never fails that you scope out a truck stop, stop, and start filling, then notice across the street a gas station with plenty of room and 30 cents cheaper.
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:38 AM   #9
Docjeffry
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Originally Posted by gearhead View Post
Maybe check gasbuddy app. The only way to know for sure is look on Google map satellite view at the ones that you're interested in.
Some Flying J/Pilots have RV lanes separate from the big truck pumps. Check their website.
Never fails that you scope out a truck stop, stop, and start filling, then notice across the street a gas station with plenty of room and 30 cents cheaper.
This did happen to me once in I-20 East of Dallas on the way home. I was not happy. lol
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Old 09-14-2021, 10:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Docjeffry View Post
I did do a search before posting but didn't come up with anything. Do you have a link?

Thank you.
This thread discusses the subject .. https://www.keystoneforums.com/forum...t=fuel+station
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Old 09-14-2021, 10:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docjeffry View Post
Correct. I have a 2004 F-150 (tow capacity of 6500). I have a Keystone 19 Bullet Premiere (about 4250 lbs). Dwarfs the truck but tows pretty well.
Here's link to a large recent thread on the subject:

https://www.keystoneforums.com/forum...light=stations

Don't know the type of roads you travel but with that size trailer, you should have no issues using interstate exit stations such as Pilot, Flying J, Love's and Travel America. I have a gas F350 with 33' trailer and with the exception of sometimes having to wait it out for an end spot, I haven't had any serious pains in the butt yet using primarily these stations.

As mentioned, if you download the Pilot / Flying J app, you can filter by stations with RV islands. I also downloaded and printed out a hard copy of same from their website to keep in the truck. Using Google street view is also your friend for determining ahead of time if the station layout precludes easy in and easy out.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:57 PM   #12
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Read the linked threads and it should give you everything you need to know. Once you get to know what to look for (and how while driving) it's not too bad. The yoyos that use the pump lanes for parking, eating, applying makeup etc. are the major irritations. With your size rig you should not have any issues once you get used to it.

As was mentioned, when we are going to a new place I map it out, check mileages then look at fuel stops via googlemaps satellite and street view. We travel through a lot of small backwoods towns so it really helps to be able to see how I'm going to maneuver in the one and only gas station. Put it in a binder and head off!
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Old 09-14-2021, 01:17 PM   #13
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I guess I'm the exception to the rule, but pulling into a gas station just doesn't intimidate me. My biggest concern is the overhead clearance. If I can get under the awning, I can get out of the parking lot after I refuel. Of course, I start planning my exit before ever turning into the lot. Once the turn signal gets turned on, I have already determined how I'm maneuvering through the entire process. Sure, someone may park in front of me and I may need to wait for them, but as for being "intimidated by the "what if I get ....". I just have never felt that kind of concern or fear about driving a rig with a trailer or two in tow.

Keep in mind that I almost always triple tow (double-tow for Russ) and that usually means a "forward only approach" without the benefit of backing up more than 10 or 15 feet.

I can't remember the last time I couldn't get close enough to the diesel pumps (in the front of the station if they were the only ones available). Getting to the fuel pumps and back out to the highway just doesn't seem to be a problem.

As for "planning days ahead for a refueling station"... Hell I can't plan at 11AM where we're going to stop for lunch at noon, so tomorrow's fuel needs ???? Ain't happenin' ...

I also don't "only watch the brake lights on the car ahead of me"... I always scan the brake lights/turn signals 3, 4, 5 or more cars ahead, watching and anticipating the traffic flow. It's just something that "comes with towing"... After a few trips, it gets easier and less stressful, and after many, MANY trips, it just isn't something to dwell on.

Pay attention to what you do and always have an "escape plan" before you commit to the location.

All that said, there are stations that when I see the "tall price sign and decide to stop, if, about the time I flip on the turn signal, if I can't get my "exit plan in my head" then I just don't turn in. Discretion is the better part of valor, not only in relationships, but also in refueling. If I'm not sure I can get out, I stop, look for a way to make it work and if I can't do that in my head, I don't stop at that station. It also helps to never get below about 1/3 of a tank left before you stop for fuel... Waiting until the "gas pump light is flashing and alternating with 8 miles to empty" before starting to look for fuel, well, that goes back to the discretion and valor part..... YMMV
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Old 09-14-2021, 02:08 PM   #14
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I look for stations at about 1/3 of a tank, and look for major brand stations. That usually means avoiding “Mom and Pop” stations. They usually have easier in and out’s. If a station looks like I might have a problem getting through, I move on.
I’ve been to Panama City and I think one of those easy Mom and Pop shops made me a target for theft on my card.
When I got home 3 weeks later, I got a notice that someone charged about $600.
Another reason to avoid those little places.
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Old 09-14-2021, 03:29 PM   #15
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Yep, what John said. We are only getting diesel now, but back in our gas days towing 38' of boat/trailer we just pulled in and worked it out. Stress didn't enter into it. People are not as bad as we all make them out to be most of the time, and are willing to work with you getting fuel.
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Old 09-14-2021, 04:20 PM   #16
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I have an app on my phone "fuel stations" for short. When open it says Truck and RV Fuel station.
Another is "Allstays Truck & Travel." There are lots more at your app store. Just search for them on your phone.
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Old 09-14-2021, 05:25 PM   #17
sourdough
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
I guess I'm the exception to the rule, but pulling into a gas station just doesn't intimidate me. My biggest concern is the overhead clearance. If I can get under the awning, I can get out of the parking lot after I refuel. Of course, I start planning my exit before ever turning into the lot. Once the turn signal gets turned on, I have already determined how I'm maneuvering through the entire process. Sure, someone may park in front of me and I may need to wait for them, but as for being "intimidated by the "what if I get ....". I just have never felt that kind of concern or fear about driving a rig with a trailer or two in tow.

Keep in mind that I almost always triple tow (double-tow for Russ) and that usually means a "forward only approach" without the benefit of backing up more than 10 or 15 feet.

I can't remember the last time I couldn't get close enough to the diesel pumps (in the front of the station if they were the only ones available). Getting to the fuel pumps and back out to the highway just doesn't seem to be a problem.

As for "planning days ahead for a refueling station"... Hell I can't plan at 11AM where we're going to stop for lunch at noon, so tomorrow's fuel needs ???? Ain't happenin' ...

I also don't "only watch the brake lights on the car ahead of me"... I always scan the brake lights/turn signals 3, 4, 5 or more cars ahead, watching and anticipating the traffic flow. It's just something that "comes with towing"... After a few trips, it gets easier and less stressful, and after many, MANY trips, it just isn't something to dwell on.

Pay attention to what you do and always have an "escape plan" before you commit to the location.

All that said, there are stations that when I see the "tall price sign and decide to stop, if, about the time I flip on the turn signal, if I can't get my "exit plan in my head" then I just don't turn in. Discretion is the better part of valor, not only in relationships, but also in refueling. If I'm not sure I can get out, I stop, look for a way to make it work and if I can't do that in my head, I don't stop at that station. It also helps to never get below about 1/3 of a tank left before you stop for fuel... Waiting until the "gas pump light is flashing and alternating with 8 miles to empty" before starting to look for fuel, well, that goes back to the discretion and valor part..... YMMV
'


While watching that awning for clearance DON'T overlook the little eave of the building you're circling that happens to stick out right at the corner as you pull under the awning!

Some little place in LA I pulled in to get gas; had large elevated awnings for big rigs on one end and I had to drive around the building to get to the end pump (separate gas island). Huge, tall awnings for the big rigs, shorter ones for the gas pumps I was scoping out and this sign for "great crawfish pies" I was staring at. Watching the gas awning, talking to DW about trying one of the crawfish pies and swung around the building to the pumps. Just as I came around the corner of the building I noticed that eave sticking out, FAR lower than any awning. Sucked up some seat cloth and looked up in the rear view mirror - that eave was about 4" under my roofline and about 2" from it as I pulled by it.... Then the crawfish pie was REALLY bad..
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Old 09-14-2021, 05:50 PM   #18
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I use the Gas Buddy app on my phone. I think it's a great app, especially when driving to through new territory. If using the map on Gas Buddy, it gives you a pretty good indication of the layout of the land. It still does not convey everything. As stated by others, that's when Google Maps (Satellite view) comes in and a good co-pilot that can research while you are driving.

The thing Satellite view or Gas Buddy does not show are the dips in the road or the inclines or declines to access the gas stations. With a fifth wheel 41 feet long, the dipping and the side-to-side twisting of the truck and trailer in opposite directions can be more challenging than actually navigating the fuel pumps. I've connected truck bed and fifth wheel on a few occasions now. You don't have that problem with a travel trailer. So, sometimes, even though the parking lot and the fuel pump bays are extremely accessible, if the ground is overly hilly, has dips, depressions, or hills, I'm learning more and more which ones to simply drive by. I don't need the rear jacks dragging the ground, and I don't need the trailer to make contact with the bed rails.

The tools are good though, for what they show. But even the best tools don't show it all. (like dips in the pavement or access points to the main road). Always be prepared to keep on driving if the fuel station doesn't look like one you can comfortably maneuver. There's always another fuel station farther up the road. And that's why is so.... very .... very .... important to begin searching for your next fill up when your tank is at half. If you go empty, it may be too late.
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