Gas Station Maneuvering ?

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by rcpopup, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. rcpopup

    rcpopup Member

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    Very first trip, nervous and another question comes to mind:
    Getting gas at regular stations with the Pup and I am thinking it should be too difficult, right? Any types of gas stations I should avoid, etc?
    My TV's fuel tank is 16.6 gals only. Expecting 16 to 18 MPG (272 to 252 miles range) but have to gas up before tank is empty, so maybe the range is less.
     
  2. vagov

    vagov Well-Known Member

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    i run the same type of gas as I normally do
     
  3. lugoismad

    lugoismad Active Member

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    Read your car's manual.

    I know my van has the same engine as the Honda Pilot, and the Pilot's manual says to run premium when towing. My Odyssey does not say to do that, but I'm going to try it next time to see if I get better towing mileage.


    Don't worry about gas pumps. Just look for a gas station with plenty of room. Don't feel like an ass if you block more than one pump. It happens. Just try to get in and out fast, don't spend all day blocking the pumps. DO try not to block the diesel pump, if its a gas station with only one or two diesel pumps. Thats kind of a jerk move.

    If you are going to be on major highways, truck stops are really nice areas to fill up. Tons of space at the pumps, and better food and drink selection inside.

    Whatever you, don't stress about it. You are towing a popup. Gas stations get far bigger vehicles towing far longer trailers on a regular basis.
     
  4. sleach

    sleach A short run will get you within walking distance.

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    Getting gas for the tow unit is one of my least favorite things about hauling a trailer. A few thoughts:

    Fill up just before you hookup to leave on the trip.

    If you leave the campsite with your tow unit to go fishing, sightseeing, etc. fill up while away from the trailer.

    Look for newer gas station/convenience store locations. These tend to have more maneuvering room. Try to use the pumps on the outside end, where you can sometimes go around behind the building and get a simpler path back to the highway.

    Don't pull into situations where you will have to back up to get away from the island! Pull in to the station, but be willing to wait for the best approach and departure angles for a straight through island.

    If someone blocks you in, politely ask them to move their vehicle after fueling but before they go for the Big Gulp. Extend the same courtesy to others!

    If you have a companion, have them stand in front of your tow unit so someone doesn't back in to block you.

    Start making a notebook of stations that are easy to use, and places to avoid. Truck stops usually have the most room. If all the tourist gas islands are crowded, check out the big rig diesel islands- sometimes they have a gasoline pump or two. Be careful of low volume small town stations- we learned to avoid one in Parshall, CO- water in the gas. It's worth noting prices too; in Avoca, IA going a mile off the interstate saves $0.15/gallon.

    Above all, relax and enjoy the trip.
     
  5. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Sleach has a lot of good points, the things we've learned with two pups and now the TT.
    We quickly learned to scope out exits in many gas stations - depending on the layout, it is possible to get blocked in. It is even worse with the TT, but we use the knowledge we gained with the pups. Some gas stations have gas (not diesel, though some are combined) pumps for RVs, which is helpful. I don't wish to scare people, just to remind them to look before driving into a spot, whenever possible.
    When we bought our first pup, we realized that in addition to the pumps themselves, parking the TV/pup combo so that we could go inside might be an issue - even for gas stations that aren't in located on a tight lot.
     
  6. Ductape

    Ductape Well-Known Member

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    I'll admit that I will always go top off the tank before I hook up the trailer, but its really only because people are crazy today and I'm half concerned some road raging nut is going to shoot me because I might be causing him / her to wait an extra 3 minutes to use the pump behind me. Practice, practice, practice. No reason you can't wheel into any gas station you would without the trailer. I do look for a station that might be less busy... but again it goes back to people being so impatient today.

    Maybe I don't find it intimidating because I owned this for many years...

    [​IMG]

    [:D] [:D]
     
  7. WingShot

    WingShot New Member

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    I guess I've never been too concerned about the maneuvering around a gas station. Most modern ones are designed with trucks and trailers in mind. Hasn't been an issue. But it seems like I am almost always using one pump and blocking the one behind me. Just the way it goes. And enjoy the look on the face of the person waiting for me to finish up, after putting more then 20 gals. into the TV, I move on to the jerry cans mounted on the trailer...
     
  8. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    My TT tow vehicle only holds 18 gallons. With the way I drive it, it only gets about 9 mpg....I am quite skilled at getting gas. [:D]
     
  9. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    That's a no-no when paying inside (other than prepay). They want you to pay before moving the vehicle.
     
  10. bondebond

    bondebond New Member

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    Rule #1: Cardio

    [​IMG]

    Wait, wrong movie.

    Rule # 1: Relax.

    Seriously, don't over think it. When possible, I just use a pump on the outside of the island. There's generally space to pull in and out. Look for a gas station that has an entrance towards the front of the pump area and towards the rear or side so you can just pull on through when done.

    Rule # 2: Take your time and don't get flustered. That's when you make mistakes.
     
  11. rcpopup

    rcpopup Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement.
    This first trip is 2:30 hrs but the next one is 2200 miles (16 hrs.) to Shenandoah Nat'l. Park Oct. 4th.
     
  12. fallsrider

    fallsrider Active Member

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    You must have an incredible TV if you can do 2200 miles in 16 hours. [emoji2]
     
  13. swordfish

    swordfish Well-Known Member

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    No sweat
    [​IMG]
     
  14. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    I always try and fill up at gas stations just off interstates when I have the trailer. I find those stations usually always have enough room to maneuver with trailers. If you find yourself needing to fill up at stations off the beaten path with your trailer, before pulling into the gas station try and see if there is a second exit and room to maneuver. I got stuck in one gas station when I failed to look before pulling in. I managed to fill up just fine, but couldn't make the tight turn required to get back out. I had to literally back the trailer into some bushes to get back out. Most of the gas stations where I live are extremely unfriendly with trailers or bigger vehicles. So I fill up before I hook the trailer up. When going on real long trips I try to calculate how far I think I can go on a tank of gas and using google earth or sateline view figure out how before hand if that stretch of road may have a gas station. I've been on many long mountainous stretches of road with no activity more many miles. Sure don't want to jump on that road before knowing I will have more than enough gas to get through it. Otherwise like others said above, remember to take a bigger swing into the pumps so your trailer has room to get in too, take your time, be patient if the best way to get out is wait for the person in front to finish filling up. Sometimes you may be required to go around the block a couple times in order to get into the station in the position you need.

    Good luck and happy camping.
     
  15. rcpopup

    rcpopup Member

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    When we were tenting only we would make one overnight stop, now with the Pop we are planning two stops.
     
  16. RotnMom

    RotnMom Am I there yet?

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    I learned the hard way NOT to pull into pumps where you end up facing the store. Once people park for the store, there's NO room to swing anywhere. It's a waiting game. My Chevy has a HUGE gas tank, so at least I know how many miles I can tow before I have to stop.

    I've learned to use truck stops mostly. Although one appeared to have a drive around, when I got back there, dead end!! I did a '42' point turn, but I got it outta there and didn't hit anything! I LOVE mirrors!! LOL One trucker evidently was watching me and hollered out his window "Want a job lady?". Cracked us both up. Little did he know I dated a trucker for a few years and yes, I CAN back one up to a dock! [8D]

    Good luck!!

    [:D]
     
  17. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    137 mph is pretty fast to tow a pup.
     
  18. rcpopup

    rcpopup Member

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    My 2200 miles trip is 1100 each way.So 16 hrs 1100 miles one way.
    [LOL]
     
  19. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    When i drove from Alabama to California with my popup, going to gas station every 250 miles was not a big deal. I did not have any problems getting gas and I avoid small gas station. Sometimes I found the perfect pump, but I had to wait in a longer line for this certain pump which is fine. Towing a popup is a stressful driving and I rested and relaxed while waiting in line.
     
  20. friartuck

    friartuck Well-Known Member

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    I will add: be aware of where the sides of the pup are also. I had a very close call with my first pup/TV and gas pumps with concrete filled posts around them. The TV fit just fine, but the pup was wider and I almost crushed the marker lights! Watch both sides! [;)]
     

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