RV Friendly Gas Stations: How to Find and Fueling Up When Towing A Big Camper or Trailer

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I’m the queen of waiting until the last minute to find gas. I know I can get at least another 20 miles out of this tank!

When you’re pulling a big camper, that’s a dangerous game to play. These gas guzzlers won’t afford you any extra time on E before you’re stranded on the side of the road.

Planning your stops ahead of time gives you peace of mind that you’ll make it to the next RV-friendly gas station. Chances are, your rig won’t fit in every pump, so you need to be prepared.

I’ve learned a lot from pulling my fifth wheel, so I’m here to impart some wisdom about finding gas stations on the road.

If you’re wondering which gas stations are the most RV-friendly, what kind of other amenities they offer, and whether or not they have an app for that, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ll discuss the best places to fill up and how to find them

How to Use a Gas Station For Fueling Up While Towing

How to Use a Gas Station

First things first, you have to know what you’re looking for. It’s not as easy as just swinging in from the road in your car and pulling up to the next open pump.

You have to plan your approach and your exit, and sometimes you have to do it quickly. Here’s what I’ve learned about how to use a gas station in your RV.


I can’t count the number of times I’ve scoped a gas station out from the highway before even taking the exit. If it doesn’t look like I can get in and out, I don’t even try.

If it looks RV-friendly, you’ll want to take a look at the approach to the pump before you get there.

Does the awning above the pumps give you enough clearance? Can you pull in straight from the road or will you need to circle around the station?

Even better, is there a dedicated RV lane? This is less common, unless you’re stopping at a travel center or truck stop, but they do exist.

Planning your approach will ensure you fit into the spot without impeding regular traffic.

You want to be able to fill up as safely as possible, but if you stop traffic at the gas station for a few minutes, that’s better than hanging out in the middle of the street.


After you fill up, are you going to want to go inside for snacks or the bathroom? If so, you’ll also want to check out the parking situation.

Is there enough room for you to park your rig in the parking lot while you head in and get what you need?

Even if you have to park across the back of the lot and take up several spaces, make sure there’s room to get your RV out of the way.


You might think this is the last thing you need to worry about, but if you don’t plan your exit strategy before you pull in, you might be in trouble.

Where is the exit? Does it dump you out on a road that’s not quite as busy as the main thoroughfare?

Can you reach the exit without turning sharply around any pumps, parking, or the building?

Gas station layouts

Gas station layouts

Every gas station is different. There are a few key things you can look for to see if it will easy for you to get in and out.

Dedicated RV lane

Dedicated RV lanes are made for you! Choose this if you can! They provide plenty of width and height clearance, and they should have unleaded and diesel.

There are a few other perks to using the dedicated RV lane including:

  • Propane
  • Freshwater
  • Dump station
  • DEF at the pump
  • Extended windshield squeegies

The outside lane

If there’s not a dedicated RV lane, check for an open outside lane. These are typically the easiest to get in and out of.

It can prevent you from having to make any sharp turns or squeeze in between pumps and the building.

Pumps parallel to the street

The great thing about pumps parallel to the street is that if you can find an opening on the outside nearest the street, it makes it easy to get in and out. You’re virtually pulling straight in and straight out of the station.

Angled pumps

Angled pumps also make for pretty easy pulling in and out. They don’t require such sharp turns in from the street.

As long as there’s clearance, you can get in and out without too many problems.

Pumps perpendicular to the street

This is the configuration that gives RVers the most trouble. Pumps that are perpendicular to the street make it pretty easy to pull in, but getting out is harder, because of your proximity to the building.

The most common difficulties with pumps like these are:

  • Clearing the building and any parked cars in the front
  • Avoiding any safety poles around the pumps
  • Making sharp turns upon exit

You don’t have to avoid these stations altogether. If the outside pump is open, it’s likely the most convenient, but you do need to analyze your entry and exit to make sure.

A note about truck lanes

If you opt for a truck stop, you’ll certainly have plenty of room to get in and out. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all truck lanes are RV-friendly.

Most truck lanes only have diesel, so if you don’t drive a diesel pickup, you can’t use these.

Some gas stations only allow commercial vehicles to use these lanes, and they require a membership.

Tips for Finding RV Friendly Gas Stations

Tips for Finding Fueling Stations

Here are some quick tips for finding the best and easiest refueling spots.

1. Start looking at 1/2 tank

Once you get below half a tank, it’s time to start looking for a gas station. If you wait until you’re almost out of gas, it will be much harder to find a place to stop.

Not only will you be stressed about running out of gas, but this anxiety could cause you to choose a station that you can’t get in and out of very easily.

You want to make sure you start looking early enough to give yourself plenty of options.

2. Plan your route

Before you hit the road, take a look at the map and plan your route accordingly. It’s always good to know where the gas stations are located before you start driving.

This way, you can plan your stops and make sure you’re never too far away from a station.

3. Look for truck stops

When you’re towing a camper, it’s always a good idea to look for truck stops.

These are designed for big rigs and they usually have everything you need, including gas, diesel, and sometimes even propane.

Truck stops are a great option because they’re usually easy to get in and out of. However, they can be a bit more expensive than regular gas stations.

It’s also important to remember that dedicated truck lanes will typically have diesel only.

If you need gasoline, you’ll have to find a gas station with an RV lane or with pumps spacious enough to pull through the car lanes.

4. Look for exit options

When you’re looking for a gas station, it’s important to consider your exit options. You don’t want to get stuck at a station that’s hard to get in and out of.

If you can, try to find a station that has multiple exits. This way, you can easily get back on the highway without having to worry about getting stuck in traffic or having to back out.

The best gas stations for RVs are typically located near exits, so keep this in mind when you’re planning your route.

5. Consider your size

Rigs that are 30-feet and under can usually navigate just about any gas station without much trouble. The problem comes when you have something larger.

My first fifth wheel was 45-feet long. That meant I was going through dedicated truck or RV lanes most of the time.

However, that’s not always an option, and I’ve navigated plenty of tight spaces because I didn’t have a choice.

It’s always best to think about this first and avoid these situations at all costs. It’s not fun.

6. Price doesn’t matter

If you can’t navigate small spaces as easily, price isn’t the most important factor. You don’t want to find the cheapest gas. You want to find the largest gas station.

You’ll also want to consider how easy it is to get in and out of the station. If you’re having trouble, it’s probably not worth it to save a few cents per gallon.

7. Look for wide open spaces

When you’re driving down the highway, keep an eye out for wide open spaces. This is usually an indication that there’s a gas station nearby.

If you see a large parking lot or an empty field, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find gas that’s easily accessible.

8. Stick to the outside

If there’s no dedicated truck or RV lane, pumps on the outside of the station are typically the easiest to use. This isn’t always true, but it’s a good rule of thumb.

You’ll also want to avoid stations that have a lot of obstacles, like trees or buildings. These can make it difficult to maneuver your rig.

9. Gas up before you hook up

If you’re leaving on a long trip, it’s always a good idea to gas up your tow vehicle before you hook up the camper.

This way, you won’t have to worry about finding a gas station as soon as you hit the road.

Of course, this isn’t always possible, but it’s something to keep in mind. If you can, try to fill up your tank the night before you leave.

10. Consider DEF

If you drive a newer diesel pickup, you’ll also need to pay attention to your DEF gauge. DEF is a diesel exhaust fluid that helps reduce emissions.

You can find DEF at most truck stops and gas stations. However, some stations only have it available during regular business hours.

If you’re going to be driving late at night or early in the morning, you’ll need to plan ahead and make sure you can find a station that has DEF available.

Follow the same simple rules you followed when looking for gas, because running out of DEF can spell big trouble for your tow vehicle.

Best Apps for Finding RV Friendly Gas Stations

Best Apps for Finding Fuel

The best way to find gas is by using an app. There are plenty of apps out there that can help you find the nearest gas station, and some of them even have filters that you can use to find specific types of fuel.

Here are a few of the best apps for finding gas:

1. GasBuddy


GasBuddy is one of the most popular apps for finding gas, and for good reason. It’s easy to use and it’s available for both iOS and Android.

The app has a map that shows you all of the nearby gas stations, and you can filter the results by price, distance, or fuel type. You can also see user-submitted reviews of each station.

GasBuddy offers tools like:

  • Gas price charts
  • Gas price map
  • Fuel demand
  • Fuel insights
  • Outage tracker
  • Vehicle recalls
  • Fuel logbook

The app will also help you plan the cost of your trip with a free gas estimator. The GasBuddy card is another great way to save money on gas.

This free card gives you up to 25 cents per gallon off at participating stations and helps you earn rewards for further discounts and cashback offers on hotels and other items.

2. Waze


Waze is a navigation app that’s owned by Google, and it offers real-time traffic information. The app can also help you find the nearest gas station.

When you open the app, just type in “gas station” and it will show you a list of the closest options. You can also see the prices for each station.

Waze also offers features like:

  • Live traffic updates
  • Gas prices
  • Route planning
  • Hands-free navigation
  • Driver alerts

It’s important to note that Waze is a community-based app, so the information is only as good as the users who submit it.

However, it’s still a great way to find gas stations, especially if you’re looking for real-time prices.

3. Gas Guru

Gas Guru

Gas Guru is another popular app that’s available for both iOS and Android. The app shows you a list of nearby gas stations, and you can filter the results by price, distance, or fuel type.

The app also has a gas price map that shows you real-time prices for stations in your area.

Gas Guru also offers features like:

  • Gas prices
  • Fuel type filter
  • Payment type filter
  • Distance filter

The app also has a built-in trip planner that can help you estimate the cost of your trip.

The true stand-out feature of this app is the ability to view additional details about each gas station.

That means that you can find fuel and a clean restroom, an in-store restaurant, a car wash, and a cash discount all at the same time.

4. AllStays Truck Stops

AllStays Truck Stops

If you’re looking for a truck stop, AllStays is the app for you. The app shows you a list of all the truck stops in your area, and you can filter the results by fuel type, amenities, and services.

The app also has a truck stop locator that can help you find the nearest truck stop, no matter where you are.

AllStays also offers features like:

  • Truck stop locator
  • Fuel prices
  • Toll calculator
  • Weigh station locator
  • Parking availability

The great thing about the AllStays app is that it will help you find Love’s, Flying J, Pilot, TA, Petro, AM Best, and other large truck stop brands that you prefer.

It will also help you find campgrounds and hotel rooms. In addition, the AllStays brand has a family of apps that offer even more convenience when looking for a dump station, Walmart overnight parking, rest stops, or military camps.

The downside to this app is that it’s only available on iOS, and it costs $10.

5. GetUpside


GetUpside is GasBuddy’s primary competitor, but it works more like Fetch Rewards or Ibotta. You scan your receipts to earn cash back on gas, groceries, and other items.

The app also offers a gas price map, but it’s not as robust as GasBuddy or Waze.

GetUpside does offer features like:

  • Receipt scanning
  • Cash back rewards
  • Gas prices

You can also use GetUpside to locate nearby restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores, which is especially handy when you’re staying in a new place.

GetUpside offers their cash back by simply scanning a receipt as opposed to requesting a card, like with GasBuddy.

The downside to this app is that it’s only available in select markets, and the cash back rewards can vary widely.

6. AAA TripTik Planner

AAA TripTik Planner

If you’re a AAA member, then you have access to the AAA TripTik Planner. The planner is a great way to find gas stations, especially if you’re planning a road trip.

The planner will show you a list of gas stations along your route, and you can filter the results by price, amenities, and more.

AAA also offers features like:

  • Trip planning
  • Gas prices
  • Route planning
  • Toll calculator

AAA also offers a mobile app that can help you find gas stations, but it doesn’t have as many features as the TripTik Planner.

The downside to this app is that it’s only available to AAA members. However, the AAA mobile app is also a great way to access trip planning tools for anyone who’s not already a member.

7. Fuelio


Fuel.io is a gas station locator app that’s available for both iOS and Android.

The app shows you a list of nearby gas stations, and you can filter the results by price, distance, or fuel type.

The app also has a gas price map that shows you real-time prices for stations in your area.

Fuelio also offers features like:

  • Fuel type and distance filters
  • Driving tracker to improve fuel economy and fix bad habits
  • Clean interface

Even though Fuelio brands itself as a vehicle management app, you can also use it to find the most affordable gas in your area.

Best Places to Refill on Gas or Diesel When Towing A Big Camper or Trailer

All across the country, there are reputable places to get fuel, and many of these gas stations, travel centers, and convenience stores offer rewards programs of their own. Here are just a few places you might want to try.

1. Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores

Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores

Love’s is one of the most popular truck stop chains in the country, and they offer a rewards program for their customers.

The Love’s My Account app will help you find gas prices, locations, and even coupons.

You can also use the app to track your fuel purchases and get alerts when your account balance is low.

Love’s also offers features like:

  • Truck stop locator
  • Fuel prices
  • Toll calculator
  • Weigh station locator
  • Parking availability

Under each location, you’ll find other amenities listed, like Subway and Godfather’s Pizza, so you can make your stop count.

The Love’s My Account app is available for both iOS and Android.

2. Pilot Flying J Travel Plazas

Pilot Flying J Travel Plazas

Flying J is another popular truck stop chain, and they offer a rewards program for their customers.

The Flying J Travel Plaza app will help you find gas prices, locations, and even coupons.

You can also use the app to track your fuel purchases and get alerts when your account balance is low.

Flying J also offers features like:

  • Truck stop locator
  • Fuel prices
  • Toll calculator
  • Weigh station locator
  • Parking availability

Simply open the locator and find your position on the map. This app will show you every Pilot and Flying J location around. You can zoom in or out to find the best option.

Clicking the pin on the map will open the details of that location, including gas prices and whether or not the location is RV-friendly.

The Flying J Travel Plaza app is available for both iOS and Android.

3. QuikTrip

image 8

If you’re ever in the Midwest, you’ve probably seen a QuikTrip. QuikTrip is a gas station chain that’s known for their low prices and convenience store amenities.

In fact, they prefer to think of themselves as a convenience store rather than a gas station.

The QuikTrip app will help you find gas prices, locations, and even coupons. Check the app for daily rewards on hot, fresh food, drinks, snacks, and other in-store items.

You can view QT locations as a list or on the map. The list view will give you more details about how far away the location is, what kinds of fuel they offer, curbside pickup options, and other amenities like free air and scales.

You can even order fresh food ahead of time so it will be ready when you make your stop.

QuikTrip is also known as a Safe Place. It’s frequented by law enforcement and the company makes a point not to open store locations in dangerous areas.

Not all QuikTrip locations offer diesel, so it’s important to check the app before choosing a location.

The QuikTrip app is available for both iOS and Android.

4. Casey’s General Store

image 9

Casey’s is a nationwide chain that offers a rewards program within their app. It’s easy to set up and use, and you earn rewards on every purchase of gas or in the store.

Not every location is RV-friendly, and the app doesn’t include a store locator, but if Casey’s is your gas station of choice, the app is still a great way to earn little extras.

You can also use the app to order ahead and you can choose curbside pickup for even more convenience on the road.

5. Buc Ee’s

 Buc Ee’s

Buc Ee’s has a unique model in which they pay their employees more than any other convenience store.

In fact, director of real estate, Stan Beard says, “The reason we’re successful is we pay more. The reason we are successful is we know that our employees are the face of Buc-ee’s.

So when you walk into a Buc-ee’s, you hear ‘good morning, welcome to Buc-ee’s.’ And it’s not somebody on their phone behind the counter. It’s somebody who’s interested in you being there.”

Their stores are massive, at more than 50,000 square feet, and have more than just snacks and quick meal options.

Inside the store, you’ll find Buc Ee’s merch, BBQ, home decor, outdoor furniture, and a whole lot more.

Most locations have over 100 gas pumps, including diesel and DEF. They’re massive, so they’re easy to get in and out of, even with a huge rig on an inside pump.

They often have other extras like car washes.

Unfortunately, Buc Ee’s doesn’t have an app, but it’s more of a destination than it is a stop for gas. If you can find one throughout the southern states of Texas, Florida, Alabama, or Georgia, it’s well worth going out of your way.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of ways to find refills on gas or diesel when you’re towing a big camper. With a little planning ahead, you can make sure you’re never far from a fill-up.

Choose your favorite app to start finding fuel and other amenities near you, or pick your gas station of choice and use their app to make the most of your stop. Happy travels!

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Written By Mallory McDonald

Mallory is an avid traveler, writer, and mom living in Maine with her husband, daughter, and 3 cats. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and has worked in mental health off and on between adventures. Before their daughter was born, Mallory and her husband, Nate, set off to travel America and live full-time in their 35’ Winnebago Adventurer with their 3 cats. As they traveled from Maine to California and back, they ran a blog called Life As Nomads and documented their adventures and what they learned along the way (these adventures can now be read about on Mallorywrites.com). Now living in a sticks and bricks home with her family, Mallory aims to get back on the road and share all the joys that travel has to offer with her husband and daughter (and write about it along the way!).

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