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Author Topic: Another rookie question  (Read 672 times)

wijames2002

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Another rookie question
« on: October 30, 2017, 12:27:47 PM »
Do you guys fill your Motorhomes at regular gas stations? I'm thinking that it would be very hard to get in and out of most of them with a 32" home.

Kevin Means

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Re: Another rookie question
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2017, 02:06:41 PM »
Our previous motorhome was a 32 footer, was a little over 11 feet tall and we weren't towing anything. While it often took some careful maneuvering, we could get in and out of most "normal" gas stations without too much trouble. Our current motorhome is 43 feet long, 13 feet tall and we're almost always towing something. Now I exclusively use truck stops. There are a lot of gas stations that we physically just can't get into.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
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Larry N.

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Re: Another rookie question
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2017, 02:12:50 PM »
Do you guys fill your Motorhomes at regular gas stations? I'm thinking that it would be very hard to get in and out of most of them with a 32" home.

When I had a gasoline-powered unit I did, even with a toad. It does take some advance planning to be sure you can get in and out. Also, it seems that more and more stations are putting their islands such that you exit in a short space towards their building, instead of traveling parallel to the front of the building, making it a bit tougher, thus planning your route in and route out prior to committing to entry is a necessity. The end islands usually offer a bit better access, but you still need to check it prior to entry.

And don't forget to check the height of the canopy over the pumps, as well as how wide your tail swings and whether there is room for that, too.

In a few places I take my 38-foot motorhome into a gas station (King Soopers near my house, for example -- prices are better with rewards card), if necessary, but I prefer truck lanes for my diesel rig (they don't usually have gasoline in those lanes, though).
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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Greg Barker

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Re: Another rookie question
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2017, 03:52:02 PM »
I've been in some gas stations where the rear tire of the toad cleared an island or another vehicle by a couple of inches. Without a toad you should be able to get into most. Look carefully before you enter. On some trips I will plan ahead using google maps and calculate mileage.
Greg & Kristina
2016 Winnebago Sunstar 31 KE
2015 Toyota Tacoma 4wd
Rocklin California

Isaac-1

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Re: Another rookie question
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2017, 11:51:03 PM »
I have a 28 ft class A (29'3" bumper to bumper) and have squeezed into some tight spaces at older gas stations with only a couple of pumps, though I do prefer the larger more modern mega gas stations, if not full truck stops.  The problem are those stations that try to squeeze in too many pumps in too small of space, and also the trend of mounting the pumps so the vehicle faces the station or is at a 45 degree angle.  As you travel you will learn to judge gas stations as you approach to see if they are viable options for refueling as it is not always about the size, but the entry and exit from the pumps.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

kdbgoat

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Re: Another rookie question
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2017, 07:08:22 AM »
My "C" is 33' bumper to bumper. No toad yet. It's really surprising where one can maneuver one of these things. The one issue I have is watching for severe dips in and out of some stations. I really don't like dragging the back end of the motorhome even though it has skids made to do that. I've also seen "A"s put in some places that looked tight, but the drivers didn't seem to have any issues getting in and out. I see it recommended that folks go to an empty parking lot to get used to backing a trailer. The same thing could apply to a motorhome. Find an empty parking lot, and see just where one could fit and not fit.
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JudyJB

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Re: Another rookie question
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2017, 03:45:47 PM »
It does take some practice, but you will soon be able to get in and out of most gas stations without problems.  I also drive a 32' Class C, and I DO try to use larger gas stations on the edge of towns.  The big ones like Love's or JA, etc. tend to be very easy and also have some parking if you want to run inside for a snack.

You do need to:  1) check the height of the canopy if it is an older station, 2) use an outside lane if possible, and 3) drop your mirrors a little as you drive in and out so you do not scrape the side of your RV, and 4) most importantly, as kfdgoat pointed out, check to see if the curb has a dip so you do not scrape the bottom of your rear end leaving.  (This is true also for shopping malls and other parking lots.)  Most larger Class Cs have a lot of real estate behind the rear wheels which means they occasionally drag, making a horrible noise.  (Check out the scrape marks on the asphalt before you drive in.)  Also, they have "tail swing" which means that your tail moves to the side a couple of feet when you turn in the opposite direction.

Most of us get in the habit of doing a quick scan of a place before we drive in.  Occasionally, I will even drive by and circle the block to check out whether I can get in and out of a gas station.  And if you are alone, as I am, and you get stuck or are unsure about how to get out of a tight space, just ask someone to help direct you. 
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wijames2002

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Re: Another rookie question
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2017, 05:36:17 PM »
Thanks, all good info. I like the idea of practicing in a large parking lot. I plan to do that.

HappyWanderer

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Re: Another rookie question
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2017, 09:11:38 PM »
The cheapest gas station near home requires two 90 degree turns to get in, then the same turns to back out again. The only thing I'm worried about hitting is the idiot drivers that have to cut in behind a vehicle that's obviously backing up.

What I'll do to save 12 to 15 cents per gallon...
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Dream Chasers

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Re: Another rookie question
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2017, 09:29:46 PM »
We just returned from a 14,000 mile trip in a 35' Class A DP with a toad. Most locations we stayed 3 to 7 days. So we would try and refuel upon departure. This way we could scout gas stations when we were in the Honda on our daily excursions. We would check entry/exit, canopy height and price. Also most places were less busy first thing in the morning.  If we needed to refuel enroute, then we would just stop at a truck stop. After fueling, we would pull into the truck lanes and take a break for lunch, walk the dog, go into the store or restaurant, and stretch our legs.
Sheryl & Bobby and Roxie the Yorkie
Polk City, Florida
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2011 Honda CRV SE

Isaac-1

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Re: Another rookie question
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2017, 09:55:58 PM »
Another thing, I try to fill up when I get below about half a tank (which is about every 250 miles in my case), this gives me a big cushion for spotting an easy to access station, allowing me to pick and choose ones with easy access most of the time.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Heli_av8tor

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Re: Another rookie question
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2017, 08:54:48 AM »
We were forced to use some pretty tight stations on our Colorado / Utah trip. Our coach is 38' plus the CR-V.

A couple times I was heading for the empty outside lane only to have someone jump in as I approached. DW jumps out and explains to the driver that we can't maneuver into the other lanes. In all cases they have moved for us.

I've been concerned on canopy height too. So far I haven't found one too low. I've never seen one marked with the clearance.

Although close, we haven't had to disconnect the toad at any station.

You'll get a feel for it.
Tom & Theresa
2004 Pace Arrow 37C
Workhorse W22, 8.1 Vortec
2014 Honda CR-V Toad, Roadmaster -5 Base and tow bar
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wackymac

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Re: Another rookie question
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2017, 01:26:25 PM »
Do you guys fill your Motorhomes at regular gas stations? I'm thinking that it would be very hard to get in and out of most of them with a 32" home.

I would think you could get into any station with a 32" (inch) motorhome.
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ArdraF

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Re: Another rookie question
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2017, 01:55:59 PM »
Quote
I've been concerned on canopy height too. So far I haven't found one too low. I've never seen one marked with the clearance

But you'll see a lot of canopies that have been dinged, and some pretty badly!  When in doubt, don't.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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wijames2002

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Re: Another rookie question
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2017, 08:51:07 AM »
But you'll see a lot of canopies that have been dinged, and some pretty badly!  When in doubt, don't.

ArdraF

I never claimed to be a typist!

TedThiel

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Re: Another rookie question
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2017, 12:57:59 PM »
The Important thing is to not be intimidated and have patience . I have an 06 Winnebago Adventurer and take what space I need. Most cars respect the MotorHomes but a few like to cut you off.  Take your time you have a right to be there just like any other vehicle. Look for ones that you can pull in and out of without facing the store. Many of them (LOVES) do not give you that luxury but remember slow and steady wins the race. Good luck.
Ted

 

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