Don't miss the fuel discount program at the end of this article!!!
One of our fears of the unknown before we started RVing was how to fuel the rig. Can we use those big truck lanes that the tractor-trailers use? Will the truckers be angry that we're using “their” lanes? Do they work like a regular pump? Can we pay at the pump? Is the price the same?
We had a lot of questions like any new RVer might. So, let's allay the fears and break them all down!
RVs have every right to be in the truck lanes and truckers don't mind at all. You might get a different reaction if you're taking a lane with a tiny class C that could easily fit in the regular lanes. But, you still have a right to use them. However, there are a few things you should know…
The truck lanes are diesel only. While they might exist somewhere, we've never seen a gas pump in the truck lanes. If you have a gas RV, you'll need to use the regular gas lanes or find a truck stop with dedicated RV lanes (see below).
Large Diameter / High Flow
The truck lanes have a pump nozzle that is a larger diameter than the regular gas lanes. This is to accommodate high flow fueling. Large commercial tractor-trailers sometimes carry 300 gallons or more and need to get in and out without taking an hour to fuel.
Doing a little research on the topic, it's difficult to find any documentation on the actual size of the nozzle. But most newer diesel trucks in the 3/4 – 1 ton arena should have the larger filling port. In the regular lanes, we've found about half of the diesel pumps have the large nozzle and half are the same size as the gas nozzles.
These pumps are high-flow! Start out with 1/2 squeeze on these pumps and work your way up. We've found several where the flow was too high for full-throttle filling, spewing diesel out before stopping.
Pay At The Pump
You can not use a regular credit card in the truck lanes at the pump. You can still use a credit card, but you will need to go inside first and authorize the transaction maximum. It's okay to over-estimate the amount as you will only be charged for what you pump. If you under-estimate you will not get a full tank.
To pay at the pump in the truck lanes, you need either a special card issued by the fuel station, like the RV Plus Card from Pilot / Flying J (www.rvpluscard.com/) or a fleet card like the commercial truckers use.
If you don't drive a truck commercially, as most of us don't, you can still get one! See the Fuel Discount | TSD Logistics section below!
Pick a lane and wait. Don't try to back up and switch lanes. Some of these commercial drivers come in HOT and backing up a large RV in the fueling area is ill-advised.
Many of the truck lanes can be a bit dirty. Take care to not slip on cement that's had fuel spilled on it.
When done fueling, it's perfectly acceptable to go inside for a quick bathroom break, get a snack, etc. But before doing so, pull forward! Most truck stops have a full forward line to show you where to stop, but just make sure the rear of our RV (including toad, trailer, etc.) are out of the way of any truck pulling into the pump behind you.
- Get a pair of fueling gloves to keep handy just for fueling. Many times, the pump handles are quite soiled with fuel and oil.
- The DEF pump lines all seem to be under high tension. Pull out some slack to get things lined up before filling. You may need one hand just to hold the line itself while filling DEF.
- Stop filling DEF on the FRIST automatic shut off (one click). Attempting a second “top-off” usually results in DEF (which smells like cat urine!) to spray out of the filling port!
Some of the truck stops (Flying J, Pilot, Loves, etc) do have dedicated RV Lanes. These are usually located adjacent to the regular fuel lanes and are completely separate from the truck lanes.
These lanes will have both diesel and gas. However, they can be a bit more difficult to get into and out of than the truck lanes with a very large RV. They are usually doable but scope them out ahead of time before just pulling in. We've had a few that were VERY tight and we had to wait for regular car traffic to move out of our way to get out.
We only use these lanes if we need to fuel our generator, which is gas.
?Fuel Discount! | TSD Logistics
Recently, our friends Phil and Stacy (You, Me & the RV) turned us on to a discount fuel program by TSD Logistics. Essentially, TSD Logistics is a trucking company that is sharing its fleet program with the RV community. You get the benefit of paying at the pump at every major truck stop AND share in the volume discount they receive! They benefit by being able to have a larger fleet (you become part of the fleet), which allows them to negotiate deeper discounts! It's a win/win all around for sure!
We have been saving over $0.40 cents per gallon!!!
The amount of discount varies from day to day and location to location, but in the few times we've used it, we have been saving over 40 cents per gallon! We've seen this discount at both Loves and Pilot locations so far.
To cover the administrative expenses and maybe make a few bucks on the program, TSD Logistics keeps 10% of the discount. So, if they save you $0.40 per gallon, they keep 4 cents and you reap the remaining $0.36! If for some reason, you fill at a location with zero discount, you pay the regular price and you are charged nothing.
When applying for the program, you do need to tie a checking account to it. Your account will be debited for the fuel in 1-2 business days. You can see all of the details of each fueling immediately in the EFS Card Control App. Details on the TSD Logistics web site.
You can apply online here: www.tsdlogistics.com/services/fuel-program/
Please, put Changing Lanes in the “Referred By” box. ? Please and thank you! ??