RVers, perhaps more than many others, have to be truly smart about fuel prices. We don’t travel every day, of course, but we use a lot of gasoline when we do. Here’s what we have learned.
Don’t stop at the stations on the edges of a city. The prices are higher than in town.
We do stop at the major truck stops along the highway. They usually have pretty good prices for name brand gasoline, and they are usually accessible to big rigs. We have found that Petro Stopping Centers are better than some of the others. As Good Sam members, we get a discount of two cents per gallon as well.
We are Costco members, but seldom see a Costco when we travel. However, we use their American Express Card, and we get a rebate of three percent if we buy our gas from a regular gas station (not at Sam’s Club, WalMart, Circle K, Safeway and other grocery chains with gasoline, etc.).
Another tip, buy gasoline as early as possible in the day, before the warmth of the day expands the fuel in the underground storage tanks. A warm gallon of gas has less fuel than a cold gallon, but you pay the same price for either.
We tanked up Wednesday morning at a Petro Stopping Center outside of Amarillo using our American Express Card from Costco. Then we headed east on I-40 toward Oklahoma. However, the weather had an eye on us. Heavy rain and wind drove us into Groom, TX, where we sat for 45 minutes having lunch and waiting out the fierce storm raging all around us – lightning, thunder-boomers, and anything else the weather gods could throw at us. There were virtual waves of water blowing along the main street of town. Once we got under way again, we got as far as Shamrock, TX, before we had to pull off again for a half hour to wait out the storm.
Once we got across the state line into Oklahoma, the rain stopped and the landscape changed to a smoother, greener appearance. At the Oklahoma State Visitors Center we picked up some maps and leaflets about attractions to visit, and were told that Oklahoma allows overnight RV parking (up to three nights!) on their highway rest areas. We moved on, however, to a Passport America half-price park in Elk City, where we will visit the National Route 66 Museum, honoring the old Mother Road.
So we will be driving parts of the Mother Road along … Our Life on Wheels.