In this week’s RV Podcast, we pass along some little-known but very effective tips on saving on RV fuel costs. With record-high prices straining everyone’s travel budget, these tips from a fuel industry insider are well worth your time.
But there’s lots more we talk about in Episode 398 of the RV Podcast, including some geopolitical news that affects RVers, the favorite apps we use on the road and a lively question and answer about when someone may be too old to RV.
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Saving on RV Fuel Costs
One of our Podcast listeners named Dean sent us these tips.
We found them fascinating.
Here’s Dean’s note:
I don’t know what you guys are paying for gasoline…. but here in California we are paying up a fortune per gallon. My line of work is in petroleum for about 31 years now, so here are some tricks to get more of your money’s worth for every gallon:
Here at the pipeline where I work in San Jose , CA we deliver about 4 million gallons in a 24-hour period thru the pipeline.. One day is diesel the next day is jet fuel, and gasoline, regular and premium grades. We have 34-storage tanks here with a total capacity of 16,800,000 gallons.
- Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening….your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products play an important role. A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.
- When you’re filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. You should be pumping on low mode, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you’re getting less worth for your money.
- One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL. The reason for this is the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupies its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.
- Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up; most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.
Makes sense, doesn’t it! Thanks, Dean!
Our favorite apps for Saving on RV Fuel Costs
There are lots of apps out there that help make our RV travels more effective.
Here are the three roadside fuel apps Jennifer and I most use in our travels.
GasBuddy is consistently a top choice for many looking for the lowest price for gas. It is easy to use and navigate. Simply search by zip code, city or state. The huge number of users contribute by updating prices regularly, meaning the app is almost always up-to-date. One unique feature of GasBuddy is its so-called “Gas Price Heat Map” which shows gas price per gallon across the United States and Canada. The app is free for iOS and Android.
Gas Guru is another favorite. The app also has a simple interface with big buttons and large fonts that are easy to read. Gas prices and stations can be sorted in various ways, too by company, types of gas, types of payment accepted, restrooms, ATMs, service stations, and more. A favorite feature of Gas Guru is the ability to get directions to a particular station. The app is free for iOS and Android.
IExit Gas is a good fit for those traveling the intestates. Use the app to find stations near exits that you are approaching, including how far they are from your current location. Find gas stations by name and available fuel type. IExit Gas also provides a map of each exit, making it easier to navigate in an unknown area. The app is 99 cents for iOS.
What are your tips on saving on RV fuel costs?
Share your tips in the comments below!
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