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Old 04-19-2016, 09:44 PM   #1
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You can't buy gas in the South

In the last two years we have seen a huge change in how interstate gas stops are set up. We just returned from a trip to Orlando (from Ohio).

Gas became a problem right away and continued to be a problem the entire trip until we got as far north as WV/KY.

It is the new configuration of gas stops that is driving us nuts; we can't get in to the pumps and if we do, we can't get back out. I imagine you know what I am talking about. They have changed the configuration of gas stations, from having two or three lanes of pumps laid out parallel with the road to setting up 8-10 pump islands set up perpendicular to the road. Great for getting more cars to the pumps at one time but impossible for larger rigs to use.

Like many of you, our rig is 57 feet long with the jeep attached. And also like most (but not all) with a gas rig you have a larger turning radius because you can't create a 55 degree cut when you have an engine sitting between the two front wheels. So even if you can angle in (blocking two islands typically) you don't have the wheel cut to pull out. These islands put you in the position of having to drive toward the building, or toward the curb, even if there are no cars parked in the spaces in front of the building, it is still doubtful you can make that sharp turn. It doesnít help the problem when they fill the area on either end of the islands with parking spaces.

This was really a frustrating situation this trip. We made a half dozen dry attempts to get gas off the interstate until we found an older gas stop that had the longer islands with enough space to get in and out.

The turnpike plazas have proper entry and exit setups and the truck stops do too but again only one or two the rest of the islands are the short ones.

We made 6 successful stops for gas and half again that many unsuccessful stops. The point is, though we did find gas on the 2100 mile trip, it wasnít easy and I find some stops to be a little stressful as you try not to swing the toad into the pumps on the way out while also watching the curb, building and traffic. If you get caught or blocked, there is only one way out, disconnect the toad, something I try to avoid when on the road.

This is not as much a problem for shorter rigs of course.

What are others with 36/40 foot rigs doing about this? Have you find a way to use these new set ups?
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Old 04-19-2016, 09:56 PM   #2
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Roll,
I favor Flying J with RV lanes. Some I have found to be very very busy but easy in and out with the dedicated lanes. We have the Pilot App on our phones and plan our fuel stops around them. Also a number of Love's have lots of clearance around the pump lanes.
Good luck,
Larry...
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Old 04-19-2016, 10:16 PM   #3
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I use Flying J/Pilot as often as possible. It is difficult in the Florida Keys to find gas stations that I can get into with a 37 MH and a Jeep.
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Old 04-19-2016, 10:19 PM   #4
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Looks like the planners, like you eluded too, are maximizing pump layout for the auto. That makes sense, but causes a huge problem for rigs like yours. I don't see those same planners, taking into account, customers using those fuel island layouts with 50+ foot rigs since $'s sold drives the layout.
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Old 04-20-2016, 12:59 PM   #5
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I use a combination of Gas Buddy and Google maps (using the Satellite view) to preview where I'm going...I can usually see the layout of the station in the Sat view and plan accordingly, sometimes skipping the station that is tight looking.

I've also found much cheaper gas before or after major cities (about 30-50 miles out). Many times in the plains states, the stations that cater to the cattle semis have way cheaper fuel than the name brand sites close in. Probably not much help on the east coast corridor tho :-/
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Old 04-20-2016, 12:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roll View Post
In the last two years we have seen a huge change in how interstate gas stops are set up. We just returned from a trip to Orlando (from Ohio).

Gas became a problem right away and continued to be a problem the entire trip until we got as far north as WV/KY.

It is the new configuration of gas stops that is driving us nuts; we can't get in to the pumps and if we do, we can't get back out. I imagine you know what I am talking about. They have changed the configuration of gas stations, from having two or three lanes of pumps laid out parallel with the road to setting up 8-10 pump islands set up perpendicular to the road. Great for getting more cars to the pumps at one time but impossible for larger rigs to use.

Like many of you, our rig is 57 feet long with the jeep attached. And also like most (but not all) with a gas rig you have a larger turning radius because you can't create a 55 degree cut when you have an engine sitting between the two front wheels. So even if you can angle in (blocking two islands typically) you don't have the wheel cut to pull out. These islands put you in the position of having to drive toward the building, or toward the curb, even if there are no cars parked in the spaces in front of the building, it is still doubtful you can make that sharp turn. It doesnít help the problem when they fill the area on either end of the islands with parking spaces.

This was really a frustrating situation this trip. We made a half dozen dry attempts to get gas off the interstate until we found an older gas stop that had the longer islands with enough space to get in and out.

The turnpike plazas have proper entry and exit setups and the truck stops do too but again only one or two the rest of the islands are the short ones.

We made 6 successful stops for gas and half again that many unsuccessful stops. The point is, though we did find gas on the 2100 mile trip, it wasnít easy and I find some stops to be a little stressful as you try not to swing the toad into the pumps on the way out while also watching the curb, building and traffic. If you get caught or blocked, there is only one way out, disconnect the toad, something I try to avoid when on the road.

This is not as much a problem for shorter rigs of course.

What are others with 36/40 foot rigs doing about this? Have you find a way to use these new set ups?
I have a Flying J/Pilot app most of them are pretty easy in and out, same with Truck Stop America. Prefer FJ/P because of rv discount.
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Old 04-20-2016, 01:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by badge2283 View Post
I use Flying J/Pilot as often as possible. It is difficult in the Florida Keys to find gas stations that I can get into with a 37 MH and a Jeep.
X 2 Later RJD
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Old 04-20-2016, 01:30 PM   #8
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Not nearly the problem of maneuvering to the pumps what I find frustrating in South Carolina is that the price you see on the sign is only for cash. If credit card it is much more. These days who really uses cash especially in a gas hog like an RV? This misleading price is not in North Carolina, or Virginia that I can see. Haven't been in other states in the region but at least I see it all the time in SC.
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Old 04-20-2016, 01:57 PM   #9
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Ever. There are a lot of stations in CA that have that same cash thing.
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Old 04-20-2016, 02:13 PM   #10
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QT marks in lower NC and SC and upper GA on I-85. they allow for bigger rigs. We just drove that route a few weeks back. Nice Quickey marts too. Very clean, I do use the Gas and Diesel pumps on the truck sides.
randy
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