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Old 12-17-2016, 05:56 AM   #1
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Navigating Gas Stations and Restaurants While Towing

I purchased a Coleman 192RD earlier this month and drove it over 500 miles to get it home. Towing this distance for a first time tower was quite an experience The biggest problem I had was navigating through gas stations and restaurants. Even with this small trailer, under 23', and a 19' F150, I'm almost 42' long.

Does anyone have suggestions on better ways to maneuver in these tight quarters surround by other vehicles?
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Old 12-17-2016, 10:37 AM   #2
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You should hang with the "big boys" now. Stop using gas stations and start using truck stops or places that cater to RV's. If you don't it will just be a matter of time....
Rusty
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Old 12-17-2016, 12:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by WannaBeFree View Post
I purchased a Coleman 192RD earlier this month and drove it over 500 miles to get it home. Towing this distance for a first time tower was quite an experience The biggest problem I had was navigating through gas stations and restaurants. Even with this small trailer, under 23', and a 19' F150, I'm almost 42' long.

Does anyone have suggestions on better ways to maneuver in these tight quarters surround by other vehicles?
Don't?

Everyone has different skill sets, however with a trailer in tow you will need to start thinking like a truck driver, as Rusty pointed out. Truck stops, Wal-mart and Cracker Barrel are all good places to use. When we travel and want to stop and eat I will pull the place up on a satellite view on my phone to see what the situation looks like. In some many cases restaurants will be located on the outside perimeter of a shopping center, that is a good thing. You can park in the shopping center and walk over. If they are stand alone, I won't pull into the parking lot.


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Old 12-17-2016, 01:13 PM   #4
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Last bit of advice, same with docking a boat; if your not sure of your skills or if you have enough room, don't push it. Better to move on down.
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Old 12-17-2016, 04:28 PM   #5
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Thnaks lcv800,

I was thinking places like LOVES, PILOT, and SHEETZ would provide more space but they too were tight at the gasoline vs the semi truck pumps.

Do you know if the semi truck pump areas also dispense gasoline? I never did drive though those pumps.

Great advice on skipping those tighter areas and moving on down. I've done that a couple times and have happily not hit anything :-)

Thanks!
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Old 12-17-2016, 04:34 PM   #6
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Thanks Aaron,

Using the smartphone satellite view is a great idea. After this maiden journey I hope to have a stocked kitchen to reduce the need for restaurant stops but when the need arises I'll be checking the satellite views.

Thanks!
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Old 12-17-2016, 04:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeFree View Post
I purchased a Coleman 192RD earlier this month and drove it over 500 miles to get it home. Towing this distance for a first time tower was quite an experience The biggest problem I had was navigating through gas stations and restaurants. Even with this small trailer, under 23', and a 19' F150, I'm almost 42' long.

Does anyone have suggestions on better ways to maneuver in these tight quarters surround by other vehicles?
We have a 201QB and are at 40' with Jeep and trailer. I think the more time you spend on the road and backing into really tight places you will find it is way more maneuverable than you currently think. That was certainly the case for me.

As others suggested it is best to plan ahead to avoid a tight spot. You will be surprised overtime what you can get away with. Don't be in a rush when backing up. Take your time and having a spotter helps.
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Old 12-17-2016, 04:42 PM   #8
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Thanks Jordy,

My wife was an immense help with spotting for me. I probably would have collided with something without her or more likely I would have worn out my truck door (opening and closing) as I inched back, jumped out of truck to check spacing, inched back, jumped out of truck to check spacing, etc :-)
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Old 12-17-2016, 04:46 PM   #9
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Thnaks lcv800,

I was thinking places like LOVES, PILOT, and SHEETZ would provide more space but they too were tight at the gasoline vs the semi truck pumps.

Do you know if the semi truck pump areas also dispense gasoline? I never did drive though those pumps.

Great advice on skipping those tighter areas and moving on down. I've done that a couple times and have happily not hit anything :-)

Thanks!
Most truck lanes don't dispense gas. I have a buddy that delivers trucks for a living. I was chatting with him the other day and he was cussing about his latest delivery. Apparently he had a 3 truck stack of straight chassis trucks and the 'driver' was gasoline powered. He said it was a major PITA getting into places to fill them up. Usually he has diesel powered units. He was having to look for places with outside pumps and plenty of room.

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Old 12-17-2016, 04:57 PM   #10
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Thanks Aaron,

I think I'll give corporate a call for places like LOVES to see if they have a listing of locations with gas at the truck pumps. It would be great if all the GAS RVers could pull through a truck island lane with GAS.
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:05 PM   #11
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Most Loves have good space at the gasoline pumps. Some of the Pilot do not have adequate space. I like the cell maps idea. Also the tucker path app is pretty good, but is geared for big rigs.
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:09 PM   #12
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I forgot one Flying J is usually very good for gas.
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:15 PM   #13
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Camped close to twenty times over the past 2 years and have never been at a gas station. Actually one, just to pickup beer on the way to the campground.
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:18 PM   #14
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And don't forget, if your going to Pilot or Flying J get the RVPlus Charge Card from Good Sam Club, you will get discounts on Gas and Propane....With my RV and Toy Hauler, I'm over 60ft long, and some places we have gone, we have had to Disconnect in a parking lot and go gas up and then reconnect! So the more miles you put on, you will get better at driving and have places to get gas, every time you go in that Direction....
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:22 PM   #15
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For those times that your wife is with you as a spotter, a pair of walkie-talkies are a great benefit, except when wife panics and yells into walkie-talkie and you cant understand her.
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:41 PM   #16
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Wife and I also use a pair of walkie talkies when she is spotting me. We try to anticipate our fuel needs and try our best to not have to bring the trailer with us to fuel up, sometimes we are not that lucky and will try to find a Pilot/ Flying J or other large fuel chain. Our experience those stations near an interstate are usually larger. Also, I have seen several people utilizing Costco for fuel. Good luck and just take it slow.
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Old 12-17-2016, 06:22 PM   #17
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We use costco when we can. There is usually lots of space. For pilot and flying J all you need is your good sam membership card to get the gas discount.
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:48 PM   #18
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And don't forget, if your going to Pilot or Flying J get the RVPlus Charge Card from Good Sam Club, you will get discounts on Gas and Propane....With my RV and Toy Hauler, I'm over 60ft long, and some places we have gone, we have had to Disconnect in a parking lot and go gas up and then reconnect! So the more miles you put on, you will get better at driving and have places to get gas, every time you go in that Direction....
Just FYI...you can still get the fuel discount at these locations by showing your Good Sam's membership card at time of purchase, even if you don't have the Good Sam credit card. This means you can't "pay at the pump", but if you are using the diesel fuel islands, you usually have to go in to pay at the fuel desk anyway.

And another tip for WannaBeFree - always be sure of the exit route from your pull-off for food or gas. Nothing worse than finding a spot to pull off, only to learn there isn't room to pull thru or turn around.
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Old 12-20-2016, 04:53 AM   #19
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Thanks chily3,

I'll check out the apps and Loves/Flying J.
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Old 12-20-2016, 04:55 AM   #20
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dawniewest,

Like the idea of picking some booze :-)
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