Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Beginning RVing: Pilot/Flying J
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Expyinflight

Mesa, Arizona

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Posted: 06/13/18 04:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have just traveled thru Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois. Flying J/Pilot are a hit and miss. Some easy to navigate, some not so much.
We found each one to be extremely busy....often waiting for an available pump. Those people that abandon their vehicle and spend half the day inside the store.....getting snacks, sodas, and using the facilities are more than frustrating. Encountered that numerous times. People are inconsiderate, everywhere.
I also notice how dirty, oily, and greasy the ground is....which I always find to be worse at Flying J/Pilot. Don't want that tracked inside the motorhome.
The water in the windshield cleaning buckets is always muddy, and desperately needs to be changed. Often the paper towel dispensers are also empty.

So although we do use Flying J/Pilot at times......I far prefer to stop at other gas stations. Usually makes for a quicker stop. I don't care if it costs a few cents more per gallon.


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wa8yxm

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Posted: 06/13/18 05:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Someone talked about how the Big Stops have higher prices.. I did my every other week 60 mile hike yesterday.. Lowest price the route was 2.66/Gallon (Regular gas) @ Love's. Most of the stores are 2.89-2.99


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happy2rv

Huntsville, AL, USA

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Posted: 06/13/18 06:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Expyinflight wrote:

... Flying J/Pilot are a hit and miss. Some easy to navigate, some not so much.
We found each one to be extremely busy....often waiting for an available pump. ... Encountered that numerous times. People are inconsiderate, everywhere.

I completely agree with this. However, that's been my experience not just with Flying J but with pretty much all of the Interstate exit gas stations regardless of brand. Even with "dedicated" services such as dedicated RV parking and dedicated fuel lanes, there are going to be issues and there are definitely going to be inconsiderate people no matter where you go.


Expyinflight wrote:


The water in the windshield cleaning buckets is always muddy, and desperately needs to be changed. Often the paper towel dispensers are also empty.


Again, regardless of brand, I can't remember the last time I found a squeegee that the sponge and/or the rubber wasn't falling off of much less clean water. I've taken to carrying my own telescoping squeegee and dawn soap.

Expyinflight wrote:


I don't care if it costs a few cents more per gallon.

I agree, within reason, I will gladly pay a bit more for easy access and clean facilities. If I can find them.

Everyone please post your Good/Great experiences with any brand, especially brands that consistently provide easy access for RVs. I would love to be able to identify a brand that consistently has accessible facilities, and especially brands that provide dedicated services such as propane, dumping, and dedicated parking. My experience, so far, has been that I haven't found another brand that has made an effort. As I posted previously, I found the Sheetz brand traveling the east coast recently and all of their stations I encountered were at least sized appropriately with easy access for entrance/exit and were clean. I don't think they had any RV centric services and I can't say this necessarily applies to all of their facilities.

As far as brands that don't work, I've found many/most Pilot branded facilities and Love's travel stops to be geared toward cars and small/short vehicle traffic flow on their "public" side. Since I have a gas powered truck, the commercial truck side isn't usually an option for fueling. I would also love to hear of publications that list/describe RV related services at any brand. I know gas buddy has a "RV Friendly" finder, but they don't quantify what "RV Friendly" means...


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jkwilson

Indiana

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Posted: 06/13/18 12:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

happy2rv wrote:



For the record, I'm not in any way affiliated with Pilot or Flying J, but I do appreciate businesses that offer services that make our life easier.


Don't we all!


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RTCastillo

RENO, NV

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Posted: 06/13/18 12:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jkwilson wrote:

RTCastillo wrote:



So far, as new RVer, I've seen so far Pilot/Flying J's in CA, NV, Arizona and Utah,

And my observation is that an RV friendly site is more an exception than the rule. And these are the ones with exclusive RV gas lane and dedicated RV parking.

Businesswise and strategic planning which is my skills set, there are lost opportunities in revenues for providing these ancillary facilities for RVers.

And obviously, I'm just here to give them free advice -- for my own self interest, lol.


My thought is that there would be enormous value in having a brand name associated with easy fueling, clean bathrooms, food and snack selection and rest parking for RVs. If you knew every store of a certain brand would be hassle free, you’d stop there as often as possible. Even putting a little “RV Friendly” logo on their signs for stores that were designed for RVs would create loyalty.


I agree completely. There should be a blueprint for every Pilot/Flying J station (or franchises, if it is).

xpjet96

Olive Branch, MS

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Posted: 06/13/18 02:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Used to be a loyal Flying J customer when we had our first MH. Just bought another one last fall and recently went on a 3000 trip. Tried to stop and FJ and rest for night for a short period but couldn't find any "RV" capable spot that wasn't taken up by a semi. Noticed this at most of the FJ's we went to or passed up. Still bought the gas as their lots are maneuvering friendly. Found out from one of the guys filling my LP that things went downhill after Pilot got in charge. Now charging for dumping and really does not care about the RVers anymore.

I have really liked Love's lately and now go to CW for propane and dumping when available. Stopovers have been at Walmart. So far so good.


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RTCastillo

RENO, NV

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Posted: 06/14/18 10:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

xpjet96 wrote:

Used to be a loyal Flying J customer when we had our first MH. Just bought another one last fall and recently went on a 3000 trip. Tried to stop and FJ and rest for night for a short period but couldn't find any "RV" capable spot that wasn't taken up by a semi. Noticed this at most of the FJ's we went to or passed up. Still bought the gas as their lots are maneuvering friendly. Found out from one of the guys filling my LP that things went downhill after Pilot got in charge. Now charging for dumping and really does not care about the RVers anymore.

I have really liked Love's lately and now go to CW for propane and dumping when available. Stopovers have been at Walmart. So far so good.


Finding out that there are swat of highways and freeways where there is no Pilot/Flying J. Learned to be strategic too since price differences in isolated areas can be as much as $0.70 and maybe forced to bite the bullet if tank is running on fumes.

PastorCharlie

NC

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Posted: 06/14/18 06:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have found that circling the pump islands in a counter clockwise direction using the outside pumps accommodates my 60' length very well at the vast number of stations. I have traveled coast to coast twice and through over 40 states and used many different stations. There have been only 3-4 that I had any trouble with and I could have done a little better with them if I had took more time planning my approach. I find it to be "The Art of The Fill."

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