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Old 02-05-2018, 10:23 AM   #21
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Name: Cliff
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Connecticut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoot View Post
My concern is that I have never really pulled my trailer very far, I've never taken it on an interstate, and I've never had to get gas with it. I've never had to go to a dump station, or stay in a rest stop. I've never had to replace the tires or pack the wheel-bearings with grease. And in about 24 hours, I'm going to tow it 2000 miles.
Sounds like an adventure to me. Everyone was there once, don’t let anxiety spoil the fun. By the time the trips over you’ll have a wealth of new experience 😎
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:41 AM   #22
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Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoot View Post
My concern is that I have never really pulled my trailer very far, I've never taken it on an interstate, and I've never had to get gas with it. I've never had to go to a dump station, or stay in a rest stop. I've never had to replace the tires or pack the wheel-bearings with grease. And in about 24 hours, I'm going to tow it 2000 miles.
You'll be fine! Caution is a much more desirable attribute than over-confidence. Think of it as towing 20 miles... over and over.

Learn the art of the walkaround. Before you enter the driver's seat- every time, without exception- do a 360 of the whole rig. Look under, over, and behind. Notice wheels, tires, windows, doors, vents, curbs... Inspect the hitch carefully.

Plan a short drive the first day. Keep your speed down to 65 mph or less and maintain extra following distance. Don't let others on the road pressure you to hurry. My experience is the annoyance of a slow RV is somewhat lessened by the "cute" factor of our small egg trailers.

Except for major cities interstates are fairly easy driving. You don't have to worry about cross traffic, and it's easier to maintain a steady speed. Merging lanes takes some getting used to. Merging left is easier than merging right, so try to stay right as much as possible (which is where trailers should be, anyway). In cities with more than two lanes and a lot of merging traffic from entrance ramps, I usually settle in the second lane from the right. Leave plenty of time to get into the correct lane when your exit or freeway interchange is coming.

Aim for the big travel centers for fuel stops. They have plenty of room to maneuver. Start planning as soon as you get below half a tank.

Check lug nuts and tire pressure each morning. Put the back of your hand near the hubs after each stop to feel for excessive heat. Problems with any of it is unlikely, but they're good habits to develop. After a tire or bearing service, it's always possible a mistake was made, so that's a time to be vigilant.

Always have an exit strategy... Before you enter a parking lot make sure it doesn't dead end. When you park, make sure you won't get blocked in.

As Steve says, watch for steep driveway aprons (and speed bumps). Gouges in the pavement in line with the direction of travel are a big clue to be careful. Cross at an angle when possible and creep slowly to reduce the likelihood of damage. Or give it a pass altogether.

Safe travels! Keep us posted.
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:00 PM   #23
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Name: jon
Trailer: 2013 Casita 17' SD
Illinois
Posts: 103
Gas buddy helps

Never had a problem with our truck and 17 Casita, ....But....To find a big gas station and lowest price we use our ‘Gas Buddy’ app. Plan ahead for when we need gas and drop the city in the app. Tells us the loves, Flying J, etc and cheapest price. They often have the cleanest toilets and can grab some hot food for the road if we’re trying to hit a deadline.

Jon
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:36 PM   #24
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Name: Walter
Trailer: 2017 Escape 17B
SW Virginia
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I also use Pilot/FlyingJ when possible, with a $.05/gal discount.
I find the new Pilot app useless for locating stations but my Garmin gives me very detailed and usually accurate information. I can either type in Pilot or FlyingJ, or just use the gas station option for all stations.

Walt
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Old 02-05-2018, 02:02 PM   #25
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Name: alan
Trailer: looking
Colorado
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I've found some of these POI files useful. They download to my GPS easily.

POI Files for United States & Elsewhere | POI Factory
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Old 02-05-2018, 02:26 PM   #26
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Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
Mid Left Coast
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"Ok, Google..." (soft beep from car stereo as the music mutes), "Find gas on route"... boom, gas stations pop up along my route. in general, I find any major brand gas station along a major route can handle a trailer or RV.


I do wish it showed the DISTANCE from your current location to said stations so I could refine my choice based on much much gas range I figure I have left.
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Old 02-05-2018, 03:02 PM   #27
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Name: von
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South Carolina
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Buy "The Next Exit" tells you what is at the interstate exits. Large access for trucks / RVs is printed in red.
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Old 02-05-2018, 03:36 PM   #28
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Montana
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One point I will agree with is having to drive a ways to the station after exiting. Solved, of course, by " if I cannot see a towering oil company sign at the exit, I continue until I see something promising."

But, this can be annoying in general. Pocatello Id for example has an exit listing gas stations and fast food places. Once you exit, you get to the end of the offramp and see a sign pointing to "gas 2 miles" that way or this way. I don't remember the exact distance. But it didn't state that you'd be driving a while until after you exited. What I do remember is being in an old, little Toyota motorhome, exiting to get gas and ending up stuck in rush hour traffic for 30 minutes because the gas station was across town from where the exit was.

I think a few good solutions to that kind of problem have been posted here. I also think it's a legitimate question, especially if you're new to towing and want to think through problems.

Once you have some experience, you learn what to pay attention to. Or you ask other people.
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Old 02-05-2018, 05:02 PM   #29
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
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Google "gas station" on your phone using "Google Maps (GM)". It does a good job...usually. GPS is another, but GM is better. "Yelp" sometimes works, as does "Around Me". Both free as is Google Maps. Siri (Apple iPhone) does Ok also.

My Tundra's gas tank is small. I have been carrying a 2 gal gas can, but I just bought a 5 gal and will take both this year.

Several times I have pushed it a bit too far and had to get gas where I could. I have been in a number of gas stations that were too tight in turning radius and width, never height. A couple of times I had to actually have my wife get out and guide me. This has happened at stations in downtown LA and on the Oregon coast, as well as a couple of small town stations in WY and NM.

I have been caught in the "gas at the next exit" issue which turned out to way, way out of sight and not to be found at all. Another time the GPS said the station was right off the expressway, and sho'nuf, it was boarded up. Had to use my 2 gal gas can on that one.

Don't Worry, Be Happy!
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Old 02-05-2018, 05:40 PM   #30
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Name: Dean
Trailer: Casita
Kentucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
You'll be fine! Caution is a much more desirable attribute than over-confidence. Think of it as towing 20 miles... over and over.

Learn the art of the walkaround. Before you enter the driver's seat- every time, without exception- do a 360 of the whole rig. Look under, over, and behind. Notice wheels, tires, windows, doors, vents, curbs... Inspect the hitch carefully.

Plan a short drive the first day. Keep your speed down to 65 mph or less and maintain extra following distance. Don't let others on the road pressure you to hurry. My experience is the annoyance of a slow RV is somewhat lessened by the "cute" factor of our small egg trailers.

Except for major cities interstates are fairly easy driving. You don't have to worry about cross traffic, and it's easier to maintain a steady speed. Merging lanes takes some getting used to. Merging left is easier than merging right, so try to stay right as much as possible (which is where trailers should be, anyway). In cities with more than two lanes and a lot of merging traffic from entrance ramps, I usually settle in the second lane from the right. Leave plenty of time to get into the correct lane when your exit or freeway interchange is coming.

Aim for the big travel centers for fuel stops. They have plenty of room to maneuver. Start planning as soon as you get below half a tank.

Check lug nuts and tire pressure each morning. Put the back of your hand near the hubs after each stop to feel for excessive heat. Problems with any of it is unlikely, but they're good habits to develop. After a tire or bearing service, it's always possible a mistake was made, so that's a time to be vigilant.

Always have an exit strategy... Before you enter a parking lot make sure it doesn't dead end. When you park, make sure you won't get blocked in.

As Steve says, watch for steep driveway aprons (and speed bumps). Gouges in the pavement in line with the direction of travel are a big clue to be careful. Cross at an angle when possible and creep slowly to reduce the likelihood of damage. Or give it a pass altogether.

Safe travels! Keep us posted.

Hi Jon,

As always, a great post. Informative, encouraging, and polite.

Thank you,

Dean
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Old 02-05-2018, 05:49 PM   #31
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Name: Dean
Trailer: Casita
Kentucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoot View Post
When I tow my Casita on the interstate, how will I know if a gas station is "big" or not? When driving my truck, I just pull in wherever it says "GAS", but some of the stations would be difficult to get a trailer in to.

Every once in a while, I see the giant gas stations, like "TA" and "Flying J", but I never seem to know when I will encounter one. Or do you basically have to plan your trip in advance, or maybe a 17ft truck and 17ft Casita are still small enough I shouldn't have to worry about it?

I seem to have an uncanny knack for ending up going down dead-ends or in to residential areas when trying to find a "GAS" station that was supposed to be "0.5 Miles" away.
Hi William,

We just finished a round trip towing the Casita 1,600 miles (our longest). I always try to top off the tank the night before I hitch up and plan to tow. We have a Garvin RV GPS. It helps, but is not perfect. I usually start looking for gas with “100 miles to go” before empty. We also try to look for Pilots, Flying Js, Love’s, or places that advertise diesel. I typically try to get the end pump. We are just starting our 3rd year RVing. I have found that the Casita does a great job just following me with no major issues of tail swing or cutting it tight, etc. We are vigilant and try to avoid a tight spots in the first place.

Enjoy your trip and Happy Camping,

Dean
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Old 02-05-2018, 06:19 PM   #32
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Name: sharon
Trailer: Scamp
Virginia
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I've been lucky & only ran into trouble twice.
one the gas station was elevated above the road ALOT & I dragged the skirt of the egg when I pulled out onto the road. skip those kinds of stations!
the second is funny now but it wasn't at the time. when I pulled into the station, there was traffic around the pumps & an awkward approach. so I thought 'no problem, go around the building'. big mistake, the pavement didn't wrap around. but I couldn't see that until I was down in the dead-end of the lot in the dark. so I'm trying to get turned around in this tiny space, & cars keep pulling up toward the building & blocking me. I asked one guy to please park elsewhere before he went in so I might be able to get out & he said no! so I'm stuck, inching forward, backing up, over & over. people were honking at me for being in their way but I had nowhere to go! I got so mad I was about to unhitch & try to spin the egg in place! finally the guy that refused to move his car came out with his soda & when he pulled out I was able to get out of there.
so, as much as we all hate to be behind the 'old fart' that stops & looks before turning in, trust me, it's better to look first than to get boxed in!
good luck!
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Old 02-05-2018, 07:23 PM   #33
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Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
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I've had the gas low indicator come on twice. While I know I've got several gallons left it still makes me uncomfortable. It happened once in traffic just outside of Chicago. When we finally located a station there was quite the line. Push the truck, maybe. Push the truck and the trailer. I don't think so. Luckily we had enough in the tank. Since then I start looking for gas when we get to 1/2 a tank. It's better for my blood pressure.
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Old 02-05-2018, 09:58 PM   #34
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Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoot View Post
When I tow my Casita on the interstate, how will I know if a gas station is "big" or not? When driving my truck, I just pull in wherever it says "GAS", but some of the stations would be difficult to get a trailer in to.

Every once in a while, I see the giant gas stations, like "TA" and "Flying J", but I never seem to know when I will encounter one. Or do you basically have to plan your trip in advance, or maybe a 17ft truck and 17ft Casita are still small enough I shouldn't have to worry about it?

I seem to have an uncanny knack for ending up going down dead-ends or in to residential areas when trying to find a "GAS" station that was supposed to be "0.5 Miles" away.
We tow our 17' with a Yukon XL which is as long as a 4 door pickup. We have never had any problem getting into or out of a gas station. Just make sure you swing wide enough to not clip those little protective walls at the ends of the pumps. We've traveled long distances on the interstates and on the back roads. We look for the best value of gas and go in. If it looks really horrible I'd pass it up but that has been maybe once or twice in many years.
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:30 PM   #35
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Trailer: Casita 16 ft
Texas
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I usually get my gas at WalMarts. Their stations don't have a lot of room to maneuver in, but I've never been dead ended unless someone parked their car in the wrong spot.
Flying J's / Pilot, Bucee's, Raceway all give you plenty of room but you still have to make that sharp turn to miss the store.
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:14 PM   #36
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Mid Left Coast
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my worst trailer gas experience trailering was last month with the Escape at a Valero in Nevada that turned out to be a 7-11, but I was stuck, and had to wait. and wait. and wait. finally gas, then wait a bunch more.
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:54 AM   #37
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Trailer: 1986 Bigfoot FT20
Michigan
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Station locations and prices

GasBuddy Mobile Apps - GasBuddy.com
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:02 AM   #38
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Name: Gene
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The gasbuddy app might help.

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Old 02-10-2018, 09:24 PM   #39
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Name: Tom
Trailer: Sprinter 'til I buy
Denver, CO
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A simple habit that helps is to always try to jackknife your rig to your left when possible, either driving, or particularly backing.

When you jackknife (acute angle) to the left, you can still use your window if you lose your target in the mirror. On the right, you are much more flying blind.
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