Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
I have a gas problem. Unlike most people I don't need Gas-X. I can't get enough gas. My motorhome has a 75 gallon tank. The problem is, most gas pumps will only give me $100 dollars worth of gas before shutting down. I'm throttled at the pump. I took my frustration out on an attendant and she told me it was the card company. I called the card company and they told me it was the merchant. I know the old saying, "The buck stops here," but my buck stops at 100 and I find it very frustrating. My wife tells me to, "Just get over it." I know I shouldn't let minor details bother me so much. I'm retired, have all the time in the world, move slower than I used to, but I can't get my mind wrapped around today's gas prices and the fact I can only buy 25-30 gallons at a time.
There was a time that I supported a wife, two kids, a dog and a mortgage on less than $100.00 a week. Now I can't even fill my gas tank. Help me Doc. I need some couch time.
--Fuming in Flagstaff
It is a bit of a catch-22. The card company won't honor a fraudulent purchase over $100 dollars, so the merchant is only trying to protect himself by making you swipe twice so that no one swipes his gas once. You can go into the station and let them swipe your card. That action is considered like any other large purchase and allows you to put one large dent in your balance with one quick swipe. With your size tank you can consider other fueling strategies. Using online gas pricing information makes it possible to save considerable money by not filling completely until you find a real bargain. Smaller rigs with smaller tanks often have to make a purchase every two or three hundred miles.
Other than that just decide if it is better time management to go inside and have a short visit with the attendant or swipe a couple times at the pump. At today's price that could be three swipes. It is more expensive to go inside if you have a hard time getting past the coffee and donut counter.
Another suggestion is to go to the several online RV forums and study the fuel strategies of others. One important lesson is to keep your foot out of the carburetor. I would also suggest you stop taking your frustration out on the attendants. Like your wife, they are just laughing at you.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink