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If you’re a seasoned RVer or have a big rig, you know how crucial it is to find RV friendly gas stations.
You might even have horror stories about hitting a pump with your tail end or crashing your air conditioning unit into an awning.
If you’re new to RV travel, let’s save you the headache of worrying about those problems.
There are easy ways to find RV friendly gas stations so you can get in and out safely, efficiently, and quickly. Let’s dive in!
What Features Does An RV Friendly Gas Station Have?
When RVing, stopping for fuel can be more of a headache than it is for someone driving a standard vehicle.
In most cases, your RV is over 30 feet in length, and depending on if you have a towable RV, you could be around 50 feet.
Plus, RVs are taller, so you need high clearances. However, RV friendly gas stations will have amenities to provide safe spaces for RVs to get in and out without a headache.
An RV-friendly gas station must have easy access. RVers don’t want to drive three or four miles off the interstate, down a winding mountain road, and over a tiny one-lane bridge to reach a fuel station.
They want to see it from the highway, so they know they’ll be back on their journey within ten or fifteen minutes.
They know they can safely get to the station without encountering narrow roads, tight turns, or low clearances.
RVs are wide. An RV friendly gas station must have broad spaces for RVs to get around. Much like a semi-truck, RVs can’t simply turn around.
They need room for wide turns to avoid tail swing accidents. If the fuel station has a small parking lot, RVers won’t stop there.
This one is tricky because not all RVs take the same fuel. A diesel pusher needs diesel, but other motorhomes run on gas. The same is true for towables.
An RVer may own a gas truck or a diesel truck. When fuel stations have dedicated RV lanes, this is especially RV friendly because RVers don’t have to worry about getting in the way of other drivers or truckers.
An RVer with a diesel F-350 dually towing a 42-foot toy hauler doesn’t have to get in a truck lane. An RVer with a gas motorhome doesn’t have to worry about fitting into a lane at the regular pump stations.
The designers of RV pumps made them for RVs, so knowing a fuel station has designated lanes will make getting in and out straightforward for RVers.
A Dump Station and Water Fill Station
A dump station and a water fill station are luxuries. You will not see these at every RV friendly gas station.
But when you do, you’ve hit the jackpot. If you’ve been boondocking for several days, it’s pretty convenient to empty your tanks and get fuel at the same stop.
You don’t have to worry about finding another place to rest on your travel day. If you’re heading out on a week of dry camping, it’s pleasant to stop and fill your fresh water tank in a location that’s easy to navigate.
Keep in Mind: Before you head over to a communal dump station, make sure you don’t Break These Unspoken RV Dump Station Rules!
Like dump stations and water fill stations, not all RV friendly gas stations will have a propane refill location. When they do, it makes the stop even better.
Motorhomes have propane tanks that you attach to the vehicle. When owners need to refill their propane tanks, they must drive the motorhome to the location. This is inconvenient.
However, if a Class A owner stops for fuel and sees a propane refill station, they’ll jump on that opportunity to top off their propane.
Things to Remember When Pulling Into a Gas Station
When pulling into a fuel station, RVers need to remember a few things.
First, you must turn off the propane. If you’ve been driving with the tank open to run your fridge, you must stop and close it before entering the gas station.
Suppose there are no dedicated RV lanes or pumps, head to the rear where the truck lanes are if you need diesel fuel. Always follow the signs for truckers, so you don’t get stuck in a tight spot. This also helps to avoid tail swing accidents.
The truck lanes are lengthy and broad, offering room to maneuver. If you have a gas truck or motorhome and must use the regular lanes, pay attention to your tail swing when you leave.
You don’t want to make the nightly news for taking out a telephone pole or fuel center column with your rear.
It’s also crucial to pay attention to clearances. RV friendly gas stations should have tall awnings. Don’t attempt to stop at a location where you’re unsure if you’ll fit underneath the roof. Sometimes owners are so busy looking around that they forget to look up.
How to Easily Find RV Friendly Gas Stations
It’s a travel day, and you’re wondering how to find RV friendly gas stations along your route.
First, looking ahead is critical. Plan your stops by the RV friendly gas stations available.
This way, you won’t get close to running out of fuel, and you won’t have to make a last-ditch effort to get in safely at a fuel station.
GasBuddy is an excellent app that provides real-time data for travelers. You can find the cheapest fuel along your route and plan accordingly.
Saving money on fuel is always a plus when traveling. You can also search by amenities, so if you need propane, you can search for locations with a propane refill station.
Or, if you want to search for truck stops, you can eliminate any fuel stations that might be too challenging to navigate quickly.
This app is a beneficial tool for RVers traveling on the interstate. The app finds your location and alerts you to what is off each exit.
You can find restaurants, fuel, grocery stores, and more. Like GasBuddy, iExit Trucks will also provide real-time data for fuel prices, saving you money.
The staff of Next Exit has been driving roads country-wide for more than 30 years. As things change, so does the app.
Like iExit Trucks, Next Exit shows you what’s ahead at each exit as you travel along interstate highways.
Anything you could need will be on the app, including shopping, food, gas, camping, and more.
Keep in Mind: Some apps are a lifesaver while RVing! These are 17 RV Apps Every Camper Should Download!
Use the Love’s Travel Stops App
The Love’s Connect App is only for Love’s locations rather than all RV friendly gas stations. However, if you use the rewards system, it’s a helpful app for finding locations all over the country.
In addition to finding stations, you can also search for Love’s RV stops to stay overnight.
If you’ve been dry camping, you can also use the Mobile Shower Check In to find available facilities and get a warm shower before hitting the road.
Use the Pilot Flying J App
Like the Love’s app, the Pilot Flying J app is solely for these locations. You can gain rewards as you stick to these sites.
In addition to being an RV friendly gas station, Pilot Flying J also offers Mobile Fueling and Mobile Shower Reservations to save time when you need to get back on the road quickly.
TSD App for Diesel Users
Diesel truck or diesel motorhome drivers can get a TSD card to save money at the pump.
The TSD Open Roads app is the fastest-growing discount program for RVers. Fuel pricing updates with the latest information so you can search for locations that will save you money.
This is only for diesel fuel and is applicable at certain fuel stations.
Can You Park Overnight At RV Friendly Gas Stations?
Love’s Travel Stops has RV hookup locations around the country. Although they’re not the most ideal for an overnight stay because of noise, it’s nice knowing RVers have the option.
It’s also possible for RVers to stay overnight at other RV friendly gas stations. Find a place in the back where the truckers park and catch some sleep before heading out on another travel day.
The smell and noise deter many RVers from staying at these locations, but if you’re fatigued from a day of travel, it’s better to stop than continue driving while tired.
Avoid Travel Day Headaches With RV Friendly Gas Stations
Stopping for fuel shouldn’t be a headache. These apps are excellent resources to avoid travel day frustrations.
Look at your route the night before and compare with various apps to find RV friendly gas stations where you can fill up, grab a bite to eat, use the restrooms, and perhaps empty or fill your tanks all in one stop.
This will keep you moving without having to stop again and give you peace of mind. You’ll get in and out easily and quickly.
Which app do you use to find RV friendly gas stations?