Many RVers don’t know that big rig-friendly RV gas station alternatives exist. Finding them is easier than you think and I’m here to show you how.
How to Find Big Rig Friendly RV Gas Station Alternatives
I find that most RVers think the only safe, easy places to for big rig RVs to get gas are travel centers and truck stop gas stations along interstates and freeways. You know…the Love’s, Flying J’s, TA Travel Centers, and the like.
Well, after 6-plus years of RVing, including the past 3 years and 34,000 miles of full-time RVing through all of the Lower 48 states and Canada, I say, “Nope, it just isn’t true!”
What is a Big-Rig RV Friendly Gas Station?
By “big rig” I am referring to pretty much any fairly long RV setup. That could be from any size of motorhome towing a toad, to any size fifth wheel or travel trailer and tow truck combination.
My wife Jeanne and I travel in a 31-foot mid-size Class A motorhome towing our Honda CR-V. We have a combined length of 54-feet. This means we can’t back up when towing. And, guess what? We almost never gas up at the big travel centers and truck stops.
Instead, we easily get fuel at smaller gas stations as close to our destinations as possible.
Let’s get into why we prefer these gas stations. Learn how we find big-rig RV friendly gas stations that are easy to get in and out of, and how you can ditch your fears of fueling up your RV at smaller gas stations.
Why We Avoid Typical Big Rig-Friendly Truck Stops and Gas Stations
Okay, maybe we are daft for not filling up at big rig-friendly gas stations! We get it. There is a lot to be said for travel centers’ big pump lanes (even dedicated RV lanes), hundreds of pumps (here’s looking at you Buc-ee’s!), and close proximity off major interstate highways.
But, here’s why travel center gas stations are not for us, and maybe not for you either.
1. Travel centers and truck stops can be crowded and hectic.
We don’t like the hustle and bustle of big travel centers. Available parking for larger RV tow combinations can also be a challenge, depending on season and time of day.
2. Backroad travel is often more fun.
We prefer secondary routes and local two-lane highways for our travel days. They are often more scenic, with fewer trucks and less traffic in general than the interstates and freeways.
3. We limit our driving day miles.
Jeanne likes modest travel day mileage, usually no more than 200-250 miles per day. That equates to less than half a tank. So, we never have to fuel up enroute.
4. Arriving at our destination with a full tank is how we roll.
We never have to think about getting gas at the start of our next travel day. We pack up, turn the key, and drive. Gassing up our rig right before our camping or RV park destinations typically means using smaller local gas stations.
How to Relax More and Find Big-Rig Friendly Gas Station Alternatives on Your Route
Believe me, I understand how intimidating it can be thinking about maneuvering your 50-to-60-foot (or longer) RV in and out of the average local, small, corner gas station. This used to freak us out, too! But. we’ve learned a few tricks that calmed our fears. Today, it’s easy for us to avoid truck stops in our RV and find small, RV friendly gas stations.
Follow these 10 steps to easily and safely get your RV in and out of smaller gas stations like a pro
6. Evaluate the gas stations from above, based on these factors
7. Switch to Google StreetView in front of the gas station.
10. Choose the best gas station for your fill up.
Add this station to your GPS route. Make it your next to last stop. You’re set!
Finding Big-Rig Friendly Gas Station Alternatives Gets Easier with Practice
This process sounds a bit tedious at first. But I assure you that after you’ve done it a couple times, it becomes second nature. Locating RV-friendly gas stations is a fun part of our trip planning process. I like the challenge of finding the best local gas stops that we can slip in and out of with ease/
So there you have it. Even smaller, local gas stations away from the main highways can often accommodate bigger RVs. It just takes a little RV trip planning. Then, you can sleep soundly at night. No more worrying about where you’ll fill your big RV’s tank the next day.