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Old 07-20-2016, 11:41 PM   #1
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How far do you let your gas gage get before you start looking for fuel ? Also Octane

3/4 , 1/2 , 1/4
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Old 07-20-2016, 11:50 PM   #2
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I start looking at 1/2 tank, DW gets on Gas Buddy App
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Old 07-21-2016, 04:56 AM   #3
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At 1/2 I start planning.

By 1/4 I'll be at a station.

I'll tell you guys about a great App that I love - iExit . Its available for iPhones, I'm not sure about the other phones. Give it a try.

Octane should be as per owner's manual no matter what you drive.
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:51 AM   #4
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Depends on where I am at and where I am going. But 1/2 tank I start looking at 1/4 tank I better be filling up. On my motor home the generator won't pull fuel if I am below 1/4 tank. Run what passes for regular gas these days, 87 octane. If I can find ethanol free gas I will. If we are going to be staying somewhere for more than a couple of days I prefer to hit the campground with a full tank just to be prepared. I had power go out at a campground I was staying at due to storms, took about 36 hours to get it fixed. Several rigs had to leave and go get fuel because of their generators.

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Old 07-21-2016, 05:55 AM   #5
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I run till 30 km till empty shows on my trip computer. I always know where fuel is and have a full tank going into desolate or rural areas.
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:59 AM   #6
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We use Gas Buddy

We have an MBS 2400WS and I know I can safely go 250 miles on a tank of diesel fuel, so I start looking for fuel at around 175 miles if I am highway driving or 4 bars on the fuel gauge if I am doing a lot of rural driving (Sprinter fuel gauge has shows 10 bars when full).

When planning a trip (I use google maps) we drive a maximum of 6 hours daily which means one fuel stop somewhere in route. Seeing as we are pulling a trailer behind the motor home, I will figure out which town to stop in. I will then use the Gas Buddy app/website (set on Diesel fuel only) and will locate either a Speedway, Marathon, Mobil, or PB station. Once I get their address, I will then use google maps on "earth mode" so I can see the station layout to insure I can get in and out without any problems.

I won't drive out of my way to find the cheapest fuel but I may drive out of my way so I don't have to squeeze in and out of a station designed for autos only.

If I'm in a part of the country where cities may be 100 miles or more apart, I will fill up my tank at each city regardless of what the fuel gauge says. I figure it is better to be safe than sorry. Its another reason I carry a 5 gallon can of diesel fuel in the trailer when on extended trips.

I just started working on a 16 day 2600 mile trip for next April. I already have the main route picked out with stops at State Parks that have sites that will fit our rig. Next step will be Fuel stops along the way. Then some POI's. After that we play it by ear.

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P.S. We do an extended trip in the spring before my golf league starts and in the fall after it ends. During the summer months we may do several weekenders but they are usually within 3 hours of home.
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Old 07-21-2016, 06:09 AM   #7
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If I am on a familiar route with lots of options, I will bring it way down. This last trip, I was down to about 1/8, and contemplated bringing it one more service area on the NYS Thruway, as the next one had cheaper fuel, but it was cutting it too close. Unfamiliar routes that seem to lack options, I will be looking at around 3/8 of a tank.
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Old 07-21-2016, 06:41 AM   #8
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I run till 30 km till empty shows on my trip computer. I always know where fuel is and have a full tank going into desolate or rural areas.

You are braver than I am, Brian.
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:16 AM   #9
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I run till 30 km till empty shows on my trip computer. I always know where fuel is and have a full tank going into desolate or rural areas.
MUCH Braver than me.

I have been to way to many pre-planned fueling stops where the only diesel pump is blocked by a gas vehicle whose owner is inside having dinner; the pumps are out of service; the station is under construction; there is a line of trucks 8 deep waiting their turn; the station in the iExit Book (or app) has a car sized rain cover; the campground is more that 1/2 tank away from the closest truck stop; I could go on ...

I Pre-plan stops at 3/8 tank (calculated - which works out as just under a 1/2 indicated) and carry two 5 gallon cans of diesel in the bed of the truck.

I find myself needing to use that fuel often enough during the camping season for one reason or another to rotate it regularly.
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:18 AM   #10
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I have a 72 gallon tank. I have a three hour bladder.

Usually somewhere around 1/2. I don't like to run it below 1/2 because below that, I can't run the generator. (lowering the generator intake down to about 1/4 is on my ToDo list.)
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:19 AM   #11
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I never like to get below 1/4 tank towing or otherwise.
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:58 AM   #12
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I have a 3011DS with the 55 gallon tank. We start looking at around 1/2 tank and usually fill up right around 1/4 tank. We try to find the big stations that get lots of traffic so the gas isn't stale. Not sure if that is a myth or not but...

I use 87 octane usually. When there is the option to get true gas and not ethanol added, I get that.
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Old 07-21-2016, 08:17 AM   #13
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Just under 1/2 tank, but it depends on whether I am out in the southwest where service is far apart or traveling through more populace areas. I carried a Justrite safety gas can under my truck cover last year on our trip through NM, NV, and northern CA on our way to Oregon. It was a security blanket for running out in the TV and for our small generator should we need it. I have another Justrite can that I can carry if needed.
I just have this recurring mental picture of running out of fuel pulling the RV and stuck in or blocking traffic. Not good.
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Old 07-21-2016, 08:24 AM   #14
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You are braver than I am, Brian.
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MUCH Braver than me.
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For us, Gas (Diesel ) buddy is our friend and 1/2 tank (even in the Berk!) is ALWAYS Empty!

Why? well at 1/2 tank you have options to find the best price (for instance we have recently learned to NEVER buy Diesel in IN or MI - it's 20-30’/gal cheaper in KY/TN).
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:25 AM   #15
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(for instance we have recently learned to NEVER buy Diesel in IN or MI - it's 20-30’/gal cheaper in KY/TN).
Welcome to Michigan. the state with some of the highest gas taxes in the nation , along with some of the worst roads!!!

I only saw one other person mention a very important reason for trying never let your fuel/gas tank get below 1/4. That is the fact that the fuel pump is located in the tank in most of today's vehicles and being immersed in fuel is how the motor dissipates heat.

I am not sure how many of you have actually seen what a fuel pump and pickup assembly looks like, but in most cases, the fuel pump is a 2 1/2" diameter x 4" tall cylinder with the fuel pickup and screen at the bottom. It will either sit almost vertical or at a 45° angle. Due to this configuration you should keep 3" - 4" of fuel in your tank to keep the pump motor completely immersed in fuel. The engineers have set up the low fuel light to come on just prior to the top of the fuel pump no longer being covered in fuel.

The moral of the story is, if you wait for the low fuel light to come on before you search for fuel, Your fuel pump is no longer completely immersed in fuel, will be heating up, and may not last through the warranty of your vehicle.

Now your thinking, who cares, that's what warranties are for... Unfortunately with today's on-board computers, they keep track of all kinds of things, including how often that low fuel light goes on. If it goes on too many times. the failure is no longer a materials and workmanship problem but rather a user misuse issue and you may be stuck paying to replace that fuel pump yourself. It isn't an easy job nor is it an inexpensive one. The fuel tank has to be emptied, then removed to access the pump assembly.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:38 AM   #16
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I am far, far different pulling this thing than I am otherwise. Reason? The layout of all new service stations! Some goober decided, at some point in the recent past whilst I was sleeping, to make all pumps 90 degrees to the road and the building. DUH! Now I can't get 55 feet of heavy into there and still get out.

So....I used to drive DW crazy because I'd go till it was on EEEEEEEE and a half, before I'd get fuel. I mean, that's the most efficient way to do it right? When SHE travels, she thinks 3/4 means E.

Now.....I have to think differently. There are apparently only a few, few of the newer stations that have separate high-ceilinged diesel lanes. I can't get in the 'far right auto diesel' lane and still get out......so I either find those stations, or I find myself in line with the big boys and it takes 45 minutes to get fuel, see picture. THEN, I usually can't pay at the pump, and have to go in, give the lady my CC, tell her the ESTIMATE of how much money I'm going to spend, and she charges that amount, and limits the pump to that amount. Very, very cumbersome, but I can't get into just any station and get out. Plus, the prices are higher......and Flying J, Pilot, etc......always charge X for diesel CASH and X+ for diesel on a card. Ticks me off!!!

There is a SpeedWay station on I-40 in Jackson, TN that is the best one I have found. I wish they were all like this. It's on the N side of I-40 on Exit 85......it has a totally separate area for big trucks and campers. Not only is it the cheapest fuel on I-40 almost, it's beyond easy to get into and out of. I should have taken a picture of it.........
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:39 AM   #17
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[QUOTE=ShermanD;1265607]Welcome to Michigan. the state with some of the highest gas taxes in the nation , along with some of the worst roads!!!

I only saw one other person mention a very important reason for trying never let your fuel/gas tank get below 1/4. That is the fact that the fuel pump is located in the tank in most of today's vehicles and being immersed in fuel is how the motor dissipates heat.

I am not sure how many of you have actually seen what a fuel pump and pickup assembly looks like, but in most cases, the fuel pump is a 2 1/2" diameter x 4" tall cylinder with the fuel pickup and screen at the bottom. It will either sit almost vertical or at a 45° angle. Due to this configuration you should keep 3" - 4" of fuel in your tank to keep the pump motor completely immersed in fuel. The engineers have set up the low fuel light to come on just prior to the top of the fuel pump no longer being covered in fuel.

The moral of the story is, if you wait for the low fuel light to come on before you search for fuel, Your fuel pump is no longer completely immersed in fuel, will be heating up, and may not last through the warranty of your vehicle.

Now your thinking, who cares, that's what warranties are for... Unfortunately with today's on-board computers, they keep track of all kinds of things, including how often that low fuel light goes on. If it goes on too many times. the failure is no longer a materials and workmanship problem but rather a user misuse issue and you may be stuck paying to replace that fuel pump yourself. It isn't an easy job nor is it an inexpensive one. The fuel tank has to be emptied, then removed to access the pump assembly.[/QUOT


I call BS on the last paragraph. Where in my manual does it say "warranty will be void if low fuel light comes on too often"?

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Old 07-21-2016, 09:49 AM   #18
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Start looking when it shows just below 1/2, usually fill @ 1/4 minimum.
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Old 07-21-2016, 10:04 AM   #19
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[QUOTE=JohnF;1265622]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShermanD View Post
Welcome to Michigan. the state with some of the highest gas taxes in the nation , along with some of the worst roads!!!

I only saw one other person mention a very important reason for trying never let your fuel/gas tank get below 1/4. That is the fact that the fuel pump is located in the tank in most of today's vehicles and being immersed in fuel is how the motor dissipates heat.

I am not sure how many of you have actually seen what a fuel pump and pickup assembly looks like, but in most cases, the fuel pump is a 2 1/2" diameter x 4" tall cylinder with the fuel pickup and screen at the bottom. It will either sit almost vertical or at a 45° angle. Due to this configuration you should keep 3" - 4" of fuel in your tank to keep the pump motor completely immersed in fuel. The engineers have set up the low fuel light to come on just prior to the top of the fuel pump no longer being covered in fuel.

The moral of the story is, if you wait for the low fuel light to come on before you search for fuel, Your fuel pump is no longer completely immersed in fuel, will be heating up, and may not last through the warranty of your vehicle.

Now your thinking, who cares, that's what warranties are for... Unfortunately with today's on-board computers, they keep track of all kinds of things, including how often that low fuel light goes on. If it goes on too many times. the failure is no longer a materials and workmanship problem but rather a user misuse issue and you may be stuck paying to replace that fuel pump yourself. It isn't an easy job nor is it an inexpensive one. The fuel tank has to be emptied, then removed to access the pump assembly.[/QUOT


I call BS on the last paragraph. Where in my manual does it say "warranty will be void if low fuel light comes on too often"?

John
X2
Shorten service life? Possible
Void Warranty? No

But as far as looking for fuel.....I start the search at 1/2 tank whenever I'm on roads that I don't travel often
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Old 07-21-2016, 10:07 AM   #20
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I like to play it safe ... on all my vehicles I fill up when I get to the 1/2 way mark.
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