Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Reality of Gasoline

We purchased our RV knowing that diesel engines were just a bit more powerful going up hills, but that was all we were told.  Ultimately we settled on an RV that was gasoline.

We have been to New York and to California in it, so we have traveled.  However, this trip has been particularly interesting where gas is concerned.

First, the gas tank is on the back bumper on the drivers side.  That's about 38 feet in front of the pump, and the additional almost 20 feet of our towed car (Mrs. TOAD to us) behind the pump.

the RV bottomed out on the driveway to the right, the exit.  I cringed.  Ouch.  Yet, the only option.

When we need gas:
1.  We start looking when the indicator is well above 1/4 of the tank.
2.  We need to see the gas station far enough in advance to determine if we THINK we can make it in AND out.
3.  We need to be able to stop and turn in time and actually get in and make the attempt.
4.  We need to NOT hit the fueling station or any other vehicles.
5.  We need to be quick, because we often block the flow of traffic on one side of the station.
6.  We need to make it OUT.

It is much easier to make a right to get gas and exit making a right to continue on, rather than making a left and contending with traffic in both directions.

This trip has been curious.  I think the number of gas stations on the left compared to gas stations on the right was at least 5 to one, Roswell to Las Cruces.  No exaggeration!

You may be wondering why we don't use the trucker fill stations.
Me too!
Diesel people.
Very few semi truck stations have gasoline in addition to DIESEL.

NOTE: for this fact alone, I often wish we had liked and purchased a diesel!
The easy button is not available with an RV that runs on gasoline.
I highly recommend diesel.

We have pulled into a few gas stations only to figure out we won't make it and drive right on out to try again elsewhere.

the catalyst for this post:

After looking for gas stations for over 60 miles and 4 towns/cities, or more.  We saw one station on the left that we could have filled up in.
 On the LEFT.
We passed at least 20 stations!
No others met the criteria listed above.

Eric suggested that we purchase two 5 gallon gas cans so we could walk to the pump, fill them up, and walk back to fill the tank.  Ha ha.  Seth suggested we needed 3 containers so that we could be more efficient in a bucket brigade.  Filing, transporting, emptying.
The serious consideration of this scenario is just plain sad.
Has getting gas become this much of a problem?
I guess so.
And this is our solution?  Filling a 75+ gallon tank 5 gallons at a time with a 3 bucket bucket brigade!?  Isn't the convenience of filling up AT the station part of the price?  Now we are adding time and labor.  What?

We finally found a gas station!  80 miles after we started the search, and on the LEFT.
It was so TIGHT!  But it was possible.

My crude drawing of the situation.

There was just enough room to pull off.  But Eric had to cross 3 lanes of traffic, turn in, not hit the pump, and get the toad all the way off the street.  It barely fit and was parked about 2 feet from the curb as oncoming traffic passed by.

While Eric was filling up, I was preparing dinner.
He got in and sat down.
Eric: I need your help.
jaimi: ok
I walked up.
Eric:  I need you to sit in the seat, open the window and the screen and stick your head out and tell me when the traffic is clear.

At this point I was stumped at STICK YOUR HEAD OUT!  Are you kidding me?  But OK
I sat down, opened the window AND the screen.  I had to get up to stick my head out and look backwards.

jaimi: There are 2 cars coming.
Eric: Can you sit down IN the seat so I can hear you when you talk?

Um.....  Am I a 7 foot tall contortionist?
I run it over in my mind - Sit in the seat facing forward, but lean out the window a foot away, facing backward.  Yep I thought it was impossible, except maybe for the 7 foot tall contortionist I was mistaken for.

jaimi: I cannot do that.  But I'll try.

So I proceed to sit on the seat the way I was asked and get up to lean out, facing backwards, plop back down super fast and give the report, then repeat over and over as fast as possible.  Ridiculous!
I received all kinds of stares, especially from the people in the oncoming traffic.  You know, as they passed by, less than 2 feet from me!  Though, I was up higher than the vehicles.
It took me a moment to realize that there was no reason to look backward if there were cars in the oncoming traffic lanes.  Really?  Duh?
Then, I turned around in the seat, sat on my knees, facing backward, and poked my head in and out to report.

jaimi: after the next car, you can go.

Eric: are you sure?
jaimi: the car turned you are clear.  GO.

I watched the traffic as Eric pulled out and he watched the pump to be sure that the RV or car did not swing out too wide to hit the pump, and the oncoming traffic, and the road to get back to the far right lane.
Oncoming cars were in the distance, but far enough, or far enough to see us and slow down anyway.  That's good enough, right?
As I looked at the two cars slowing down, they looked rather entertained.  Amazed maybe that we would have even pulled in to such a fill station.  Win-Win  We got out, they got a show.

jaimi:  anything else?
Eric: no I'm good. Thanks.

I went back to dinner.  The onions were fed and I made something for Eric and took it up to him.  I made seconds, just in case he wanted seconds (or more for me), and took it up and sat down.  Yes, he wanted seconds.  I stole a bite or two though.

We had gas in the tank, food in the belly, on the road, and no spills.
Pit stops that are 10 minutes or less sure beat our old 45 minute minimum stop for gas, food, and bathroom when driving the van.

The onions were miserable though.  It was quite hot.  Some had stomach aches because they ate some Asian trick candy that tasted like a fart in your mouth.
Yes, I really did just say that.
Yes, this "candy" really does exist.
Yes, they really did try it, knowing what it was.
Compliments of Steven Michael.
The taste lingered and was apparently super disgusting.  I'm grossed out thinking about it.  Headaches too.  I think we have spent a little too much time driving.
Car sick = no fun.


  1. This might rival our road trips as kids!

  2. Hysterical. Where are you currently headed my friends?