How to save MORE THAN PENNIES at the pump!
Save Big on RV Diesel in the Truck Lanes!
A few other RV travelers recently opened our eyes to a huge way to save on fuel. We wanted to give y’all a breakdown of how the programs works, things we’ve learned and how you can use all that to your benefit. So we broke it down and tracked every fill-up and penny spent for 3,500 miles!
We’re also going to share how YOU can take advantage of this killer deal at the end of the post. Let’s be real, that’s what your after, “How can YOU save money and travel more?” If you do apply, we’d love if you would put “The Camper House” as your referral source. We share everything openly to help you save, but the referral absolutely helps cover costs for the blog and vlog to give you all this great info and there is no additional cost to you.
Don’t miss the fuel discount program at the end of this article!!!
You can live in an RV and cut your living costs substantially, but when you are literally dragging your house behind you it does not improve your fuel mileage or costs. That’s the one area that we haven’t been able to cut out of our previous budget… until now.
We’ve RV’ed for years and in all honesty only occasionally use the truck lanes. We also used to have a much smaller rig. With the behemoth that we now call home, the truck lanes are much handier. They fill fast and have the clearance for our 13’6″ trailer and since they are designed for semis we can get in and out of them. The problem is that many don’t accept a credit card and only take a fleet card or you have to go inside and prepay cash. As a single operator we didn’t have that option.
One of our fears of the unknown before we started RVing was how to fuel the rig.
* Can we use those big truck lanes that the tractor-trailers use?
* Will the truckers be angry that we’re using “their” lanes?
* Do they work like a regular pump?
* Can we pay at the pump?
* Is the price the same?
We had a lot of questions so, let’s break them all down!
You’re welcome here
Truckers are quite friendly as long as you are courteous. We’ve never run into an issue fueling at the big rig pumps. Pull in, fuel up, and pull out. Don’t camp at the pump. You might not be in a hurry, but for these truckers, time is money.
Truck lanes are DIESEL ONLY pumps.
If your truck or RV is not diesel powered please see the next section.
RV lanes will have both fuel types. They can be difficult to get into with a large RV and even more difficult to get out of if the station is busy, but are likely a better option that the standard pumps and typically have higher canopy clearance. Not all stations have them and honestly, the only stations we have seen have them are ones along major highways and interstates.
The pumps at the truck lanes are HIGH FLOW PUMPS. That means that the nozzle has a larger diameter than a typical handle. Tractor trailers are fueling 100’s of gallons at a time and time is of the essence so these pumps move fast. Keep in mind that you should start off with about a 1/4 squeeze of the handle and you can adjust from there. The last thing you want is fuel covering the side of your truck and the ground!
Pay At The Pump
Truck lanes are designed with commercial truckers in mind, and they aren’t typically using a credit or debit card. Most are using a fleet card so that’s what the pumps take. You can still use another form of payment, but often times you have to go inside first and authorize the transaction amount. Over estimate here! You will only be charged the amount that you actually pump and if you under estimate you won’t be getting a full tank. IF YOU PAY WITH CASH, you will need to go back inside and collect your change but please pull forward or move to a parking spot!
There is an option for those of us who aren’t part of a fleet that would like the benefits.
We recently joined TSD Logistics. We’re able to use it at many stations across the country and we got incredible fuel discounts! We’re talking 0.20- 0.60 CENTS A GALLON! The only fee they charge is based strictly on your savings and it comes right out of that. There’s no monthly charge or membership fee and if they don’t save you money then you own nothing. We calculated all our costs and savings with this card for about 3500 miles. You can check out the breakdown below.
Another option that we have no experience with is the RV Plus Card from Pilot/Flying J. We have heard many RV’ers talk about it and this card offers smaller discounts on fuel AND gas as well as half price RV dumps. This may be a good option for those of you who aren’t driving diesels, but the discount is nowhere near as good as our fleet card and we can’t give you any first hand experience with it
If you plan to run inside after fueling, make sure to pull forward and out of the way. The last thing you want to do is to hold up another driver trying to get fuel.
Get a pair of gloves to use for fueling. Fuel pumps, especially those that are high flow are NASTY and covered in fuel and oil.
* Jordan uses these work gloves.
* Others prefer single use disposable gloves like we use for our black tank.
* Sometimes the stations offer these, but not all.
Download the App before you plan to use it.
Allow three to four weeks from application to card in hand. Chances are you will have it in about half the time, but that’s not a guarantee!
Fuel Discount! | TSD Logistics
Recently multiple RV’ers have brought TSD Logistics to our attention. Basically, a trucking company was looking for better discounts for itself and in looking for a solution knew they needed to grow their fleet. The way that they did that was to open up their fleet to others. You are still responsible for your own costs, but you get the fancy little card to join their fleet and make it possible to pay at the pump too. The real benefit to everyone is that TSD is able to negotiate deeper discounts and we all win!
If you apply for this program, we would love if you’d use as for a referral.
The Camper House
The amount of discount varies from day to day and location to location, but you can use their phone app (after your approved) or the daily price sheet that’s sent out.
To cover the administrative expenses and maybe make a few bucks on the program, TSD Logistics keeps 10% of the discount. So, if they save you $0.40 per gallon, they keep 4 cents and you reap the remaining $0.36! If for some reason, you fill at a location with zero discount, you pay the regular price and you are charged nothing. There is an exception that some stations charge a $0.15 fee when they aren’t members of your network. We simply used our debit card instead of the EFS card at any station who was “out of network.”
They made a whole $12.27 off our purchases and WE SAVED $110.42. That was a great return for us!
When applying for the program, you do need to tie a checking account to it. Your account will be debited for the fuel in 1-2 business days. You can see all of the details of each fueling immediately in the EFS Card Control App. The app also allows you to search an area or even a route for stations that are included. The prices are all listed in circular bubbles and the best price will be in a green circle. More details are available on the TSD Logistics web site.
Here is our breakdown of fuel costs and savings
This card was well worth it to us. In just a few short weeks and about 3,500 miles we SAVED MORE THAN $100. We only used the card on about 60% of our fill-ups. If we had stuck to trucker routes for more of our trip we could have nearly DOUBLED our savings!
You can APPLY HERE
Remember to use the referral, “The Camper House“
UPDATE: Flying J’Pilot has removed their affiliation with the TSD card. Love’s are a much better place to stop anyway, in our opinion, but be aware of the change!
UPDATE!!! : TA/Petro has recently offered TSD fueling discounts at their locations. They will likely be the cheapest place to fuel up. We have always stopped at Loves because they were the cheapest so we are excited to see what TA/Petro has to offer. TSD has also offered Kwik Trip and Kwik Star to their program. You can save 10 Cents per gallon at these locations.
TSD current discount network is TA, Petro, Loves, Road Ranger, SAAP Brothers, Ambest, Kwik Trip and Kwik Star.