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Old 05-23-2018, 01:59 PM   #1
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OMG I came -this close- to stranding us!!

Sitting in front of my desktop PC mapping out our route.
One leg is across northern Montanna.
From Theodore Roosevelt NP in western ND across MT to Great Falls.
According to Bing maps and Google maps the straightest most direct, fastest route is I94 west to Montanna state route 200 west.

I had actually printed the notes and was ready to move on when I decided to run it by an RV friendly program called RV Trip Wizard. It gave me the same route BUT there was a section of MT 200 with a red triangle in it that sad GAS.

I went back to Bing maps and clicked the gas stop option and there is a section of MT 200 that's an incredible 249 miles between gas stations.
It's literally "the middle of nowhere Montanna".

My truck has a measly 24 gal gas tank and get's a miserable 8 MPG. It wouldn't have even been close.
A more southern route adds 50 miles but it's all interstate or US highway.
No state routes.
Bing says there are gas stations all along that route.

My hands are shaking as I type this.
It would have been so bad. Out of gas. Middle of nowhere, no cell service.....
Nightmare stuff!!
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Old 05-23-2018, 03:02 PM   #2
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Wow, You dodged a bullet!
I'll be checking several different programs when mapping our trips once we start traveling to unknown places.
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Old 05-23-2018, 03:06 PM   #3
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That is a small fuel tank and of course your range would be low. It might be worth carrying three 5 gallon gas cans in your truck if you can spare the weight.
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Old 05-23-2018, 03:20 PM   #4
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I used to carry a 5 gallon can on trips that maybe be tight between fuel stops...I figured at max it could get me another 35-40 miles...My previous TV was a Chevy 2500HD gasser that got about 8mpg it only had a 26 gallon tank so at 160-170 miles I started looking for gas which is a real bummer

My Ram diesel is alot better 31 gallon tank and around 11-13mpg towing so my range is greatly improved.
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Old 05-23-2018, 03:29 PM   #5
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I carry 2 full 6 gallon cans of diesel since my short bed gas tank only holds 26 gallons (but is on "E" at 18 gallons). I get 11 MPG towing.

I have found diesel stations with one pump (empty), one pump (blocked by inconsiderate person who was inside eating dinner), stations with low overhead rain covers, and just looked unsafe to stop.

Carrying the extra fuel has come in handy more times than I can count.
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Old 05-23-2018, 03:29 PM   #6
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Traveling in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho I always carried a full 5 gallon fuel container.

I also planned my fuel stops in those states.
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Old 05-24-2018, 02:26 PM   #7
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When I sold our GMC 2500HD 6.0 gas'er and purchase the Chevy 2500HD diesel, the very first thing I did was add a 60 gal. auxiliary fuel tank. I now have 36 gal. in truck tank and the 60 gal. auxiliary, at 12 to 13 mpg, I do not have to worry about running out of fuel or finding a station that I can get into. If I need fuel, I will refuel at a truck stop or drop the 5th wheel and go for fuel with just the truck.
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Old 05-24-2018, 02:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walholler View Post
When I sold our GMC 2500HD 6.0 gas'er and purchase the Chevy 2500HD diesel, the very first thing I did was add a 60 gal. auxiliary fuel tank. I now have 36 gal. in truck tank and the 60 gal. auxiliary, at 12 to 13 mpg, I do not have to worry about running out of fuel or finding a station that I can get into. If I need fuel, I will refuel at a truck stop or drop the 5th wheel and go for fuel with just the truck.
Would love to do that, but my 2500HD diesel does not have the payload and carry the pin weight of my 9200 pound 5th wheel and much else besides the family and two plastic fuel containers.

My 2008 GMC 2500HD weighs 7500 pounds empty and 8000 pounds loaded for camping without the camper on. The GVWR is 9300 pounds.
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Old 05-24-2018, 03:10 PM   #9
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I used Gas Buddy and found Cenex gas stations along the #87 & #200 route from TRNP to Great Falls. There is a station in Jordon, MT; Lewistown, MT; and Great Falls, MT. Last summer I traveled from TRNP to Shelby, MT and did not find gas stations lacking. The distance from TRNP to Jordon is 177 miles, Jordon to Lewistown, 129 miles, Lewistown to Great Falls 106 miles. When you use Gas Buddy be sure to have Cenex, Sinclair, Conoco, Co-op and Liberty checked since they are popular out west by not so in the East. Good Luck.
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Old 05-24-2018, 03:18 PM   #10
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We just returned yesterday from a two month trip that included Wyoming and Montana. In many places there were signs "Next Services XXX Miles". Hopefully there would have been one to alert you so you would not have been stranded.

Our return included 30 miles of MT 200. It was beautiful county.

Our Sunseeker has a 55 gallon tank. It usually gets 7 - 8 mpg. (We always tow a car.) 300 miles between gas stops is usually comfortable. During this and other trips on the Great Plains we sometimes encountered 15 - 20 mph headwinds that dropped us to 5 - 6 mpg and slowed us to 45 mph when going up even moderate hills. Maintaining 60 mph even on level ground wasn't workable. It would drop out of 5th (top gear for our Ford E450) and run 3500 rpm in 4th to hold 60 mph.
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