Can RVs Use Truck Stop Fuel Pumps?

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A fifth wheel rv is being towed by a large ram truck and parked next to big rig trucks at a truck stop.

As you learn the rules of the road, you may wonder whether it’s OK to use truck stop fuel pumps. After all, they’re designed for truckers, not RVers. If you pull into a truck stop to fuel up, will you feel out of place? Let’s look at the do’s and don’ts as we clear up some truck stop confusion.

Are RVs Able to Use Truck Stop Fuel Pumps?

Truck stops are the domain of the long-haul trucker, with tractor-trailer rigs coming and going almost non-stop. You won’t see nearly as many RVs lined up at the truck stop gas pumps, but that doesn’t mean they don’t belong there. Depending on what kind of RV you have, you can top off your tanks at a truck stop. In fact, here are some good reasons for doing so.

What Are the Benefits of RVs Using a Truck Stop Fuel Pump?

A conventional gas station might make more sense if you tow a travel trailer or have a van-style motorhome. For larger RVs, including Class A and Class C coaches, you might want to pull into a truck stop instead. Some of them even offer discounts for regular users. Let’s look at a few more reasons this might work great for you.

More Maneuvering Space

Pulling a big rig in and out of a regular gas station can be challenging. Truck stops have more room to maneuver, even though you share the space with 18-wheelers. You’ll have fewer compact cars that sneak in and out of your blind spots.

High Clearance

With more headroom, you won’t have to worry about slamming into the overhead canopy. Admittedly, you won’t usually have a problem with this at modern filling stations. Still, some older operations out there have a low clearance.

Long Handled Cleaning Squeegees

Additionally, you may find it easier to clean your windshield. Truck stops have squeegees with long handles designed for trucks. A few more feet of reach turns an impossible chore into an easy feat. Don’t stop at the windshield — go ahead and wash the windows and mirrors, too.

Efficient Pumping

Some of the hoses at truck stop fuel pumps are bigger in diameter. Their faster flow rate means you can fuel up quicker and have less time waiting. In addition, truck stops have second pumps on the passenger side. These are called satellite pumps, and they make it easy to fill up two tanks at once. So if you pull a long fifth wheel, you can fill your truck and rig at the same time.

Can Gas Powered RVs Use Truck Stop Fuel Pumps?

Of course, the big trucks run on diesel, so that’s what you’ll find at truck stops. Some may also sell gasoline, and a small percentage of them have separate lanes for RVs. Many mobile apps help you locate fueling stations with these details. Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of pumping diesel into your gas burner. This costly error may leave you stranded and fill you with regret.

Truck Stop Etiquette You Should Know

Hopefully, you feel more comfortable about the idea of filling up at a truck stop. If you know the proper protocol, you’re less likely to stick out like a sore thumb at a truck stop. Follow a few of these common practices to fuel up like a pro.

Wear Gloves

The fuel pumps at truck stops can get dirty. You’ll often find them covered in diesel because it doesn’t evaporate as quickly as gas. To keep your hands clean and fuel-free, slip on a pair of non-latex or Nitrile disposable gloves. Some stations provide them, but many truckers carry a box of gloves with them.

Wipe Your Shoes Before Getting Back in Your Truck

Truck stops often have spilled diesel on the ground, so be careful not to track it inside your vehicle. Some RVers keep disposable booties or an extra pair of “fueling shoes” handy to change into. At the very least, you’ll want to wipe your feet before you get back in the driver’s seat.

Pull Forward When Finished

Unless you have a fleet credit card, you’ll have to go inside to pay. Before you do, go ahead and move forward so the trucker behind you can pull up to the pumps. Time is money for them, so you don’t want to cause them a delay. If you expect to spend more than a few minutes inside, move into a parking spot away from the fuel pumps.

Pro Tip: You can apply for an EFS fleet credit card and save yourself money and time on the road too!

An RV is pulled forward and parked next to trucks at a truck stop gas station.

Go Ahead, Fill-Up at a Truck Stop

Feel free to go ahead and fill your tanks at a truck stop. Don’t worry; you won’t infringe on truckers’ space. Truck stops have plenty of room for everybody. Just be sure and play by a few simple rules and stay out of everyone else’s way. Do you like to use truck stop fuel pumps?

1 comment
  1. Before getting into RV last year, I had no shame using the trucker’s pumps provided I was towing something of magnitude. The extra clearance all around means less stress. Very good points you made about the cleanliness of the pump area. Given the high velocity of the fuel with those fatter nozzles – I tend to think that’s what causes the spills. Great points on gloves and spare shoes. Wearing slip on booties might get some chuckles from your 18 wheeler comrades. My 2021 RAM 3500 fueling port might not accept those fatter nozzles now that I think about it…. I’m going to have to look now!

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