Thursday, October 27, 2011

My RV husband has a terrible gas problem

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
Maybe you can shed some light on my husbands gas problem. He is obsessed with buying the cheapest gas available and twice now our motor home has run out of gas because he thinks it’s going to be cheaper around the next bend. He has three or four websites he is always checking for gas price postings and they are never accurate when we reach the supposedly cheapest stations. It ruins our travel time, preoccupies our leisure time, and in the end doesn’t save us any, or little, money. Please help me get his head screwed back on straight so I can relieve his gas symptoms and move us on to more enjoyable adventures.
--Gas Pressure in Peoria

Dear Gas Pressure:
This is a common symptom among RVer’s. The truth of the matter is that the websites your husband is monitoring are not accurate. They are supposedly based on the latest credit card data collected from each station, but there is lag time and even in this day of instant internet data collection this pricing is old and stale. What it will often show your husband is the cheapest station. As gas fluctuates in price the cheapest station is often still the cheapest station. You can make your husband aware that he is not saving money by letting his tanks go empty. Besides the danger and inconvenience of running out of gas he is also at risk of his fuel pump clogging up. This can be an expensive fix as the pumps are most often in the tank. If life were fair we could all buy gasoline futures at the pump. When we were happy with the price we could buy a thousand gallons at that price just like any other commodity. One way to help elevate his gas pressure would be to invest in some energy stocks. At least when gas prices go up so will these investments. Most pay a hefty dividend. If you buy enough oil stock you can buy your husband a ten-gallon, Texan sized, cowboy hat and he can pretend he’s a Getty trust fund baby while he fills his tank. Playing out this fantasy could solve your problem and put you on track for those more enjoyable adventures you are dreaming about.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink



KarenInTheWoods said...

My husband used to do the same thing. After the THIRD time we ran outta gas (because he just HAD to see if it was cheaper in the next town) the whole "savings" he had been seeking amounted to 35 cents! Once he came back from walking 2 miles with a gas can, I had 35 cents sitting on the dash in front of him. Not too many words needed to be exchanged after that.

scooter said...

Good point! Think about how much it costs you if you spend 2 cents more per gallon? 50 gals is a buck! Big deal!!

Anonymous said...

As well as the inconvenience, as stated by the author there is a real chance that the lack of gasoline in the tank will cause the fuel pump to fail. Firstly by clogging up trying to pump all the crap accumulated in the bottom of the gas tank, and secondly by not being immersed in gasoline which acts as a coolant for the pump motor. I tried to save a couple of cents and ended up with a $1300. bill for a new fuel pump. Now I start looking for fuel at about the half empty mark and never go under a quarter tank. With a fifty gallon tank it also doesn't hurt as much to "half fill-up".

Anonymous said...

And one more thing: driving around on surface streets gets me about 4mpg, compared to the 8-10mpg I get on the highway. It just doesn't make sense to drive around looking for a deal, when a quick stop off the interstate will save the extra "seek" expense.

glen said...

Guess I will be happy w/my hubby's practice of filling the motorhome when it gets down to 1/2 full. He says it never makes that big a difference.

Gene and Jean said...

I follow a variation on the situation. When the fuel gauge gets to about half, I start noticing diesel prices as we pass stations. If I run into one that seems to be cheaper, I pull in. Otherwise, when the gauge gets down to one-quarter, I pull into the nearest station and pay whatever. That way I fool myself into thinking I am getting the best price without going any extra distance.

tooltrdr said...

Simple, make your absolute MUST fill up just above the 1/4 tank mark. All searches for "Cheap" fuel, etc. are still done the way you like, but you will have enough fuel to avoid getting stranded.