Just after Christmas we hit the road on our epic winter adventure to Texas. We traveled more than 4,500 miles over three weeks, and along the way Pilots and Flying Js kept our GMC Savana van fueled for the adventure. We have long appreciated that along unfamiliar highways, Pilots and Flying Js are a familiar and consistent place for RVers to make a pit stop. As brand ambassadors for Pilot Flying J, which sponsored our trip to Texas, we had the chance to learn more about some of the great services available to RVers.
Flying J vs. Pilot
Along our route to Texas, we stopped at both Pilot and Flying J gas stations. There seemed to be more Pilots along our particular route, while the Flying Js were spread out a bit more. But as you can see in the myPilot app picture below, there is quite a concentration of locations:
We found that the Flying Js consistently offered more RV-friendly services. The Pilots were more in line with a regular gas station but they generally still offered large fuel lanes to accommodate camper rigs. At the Flying Js, we loved being able to fuel up at the RV islands, which usually have dump stations located nearby.
We also consistently found clean and modern restrooms at both the Pilot and Flying J locations. It was nice to be able to make only one stop for fuel and bathroom breaks–and that definitely helped us conserve time on the road.
The app is awesome!
Before our trip to Texas we downloaded the MyPilot app, and it proved to be invaluable on our trip. Within the app you can search for Pilot and Flying J locations. The app can either use your current location to find the nearest station, or you can enter a destination to view all the stations along your route. With the “Get Me There” option it will also calculate how many miles away the selected Pilot or Flying J is, so you can determine if you have enough fuel to make it to that location, or whether you need to fill up sooner.
Once you’ve selected a location, you can click on it to find out more information, including the address, phone number, and what amenities/services are offered.
Under the “Amenities” information you can see what restaurants are at the location and whether there are RV lanes, dump stations, or propane available. We found this feature to be helpful when we were debating between two nearby locations: We’d take a quick look to see which had more RV-friendly options and go with that one.
The scoop on the RV Plus Card
The Texas trip was also our first time using the RV Plus charge card, which you can link to the myPilot app for added convenience. Charge card holders can tap into exclusive perks, such as discounts on fuel, propane, and dump station fees.
A few important details about the RV Plus Card:
- You must be a Good Sam Club Member to apply for the charge card.
- The card can only be used at Pilot Travel Center and Flying J locations.
- Although the card can be used at most Pilot Flying J locations it has restrictions at “dealer” locations. Pilot Flying J owns over 550 locations in the U.S. and Canada but has about 80 “dealer” locations. All of the Pilot Flying J owned locations accept the RV Plus Charge Card both inside and outside for all types of fuel (whether at the diesel truck lanes or in the regular gas lanes). All of the “dealer” locations accept the RV Plus Charge Card at the truck diesel lanes, BUT, most of these “dealer” locations DO NOT accept the RV Plus Card for gas at the regular fuel lanes or for in store purchases.
This last situation happened to us once on our trip. We pulled in at a Pilot and tried to begin fueling after swiping the card but the fuel pump wouldn’t take the card. When we went inside to figure out what was wrong the clerk explained that this location only accepts the RV Plus Card at the truck lanes. Unfortunately we can’t use the truck lanes because they only offer diesel, so we ended up having to drive to another station to fill up. It was highly frustrating at the time, but then we realized we could use the myPilot app to verify which locations accept the RV Plus Card. Under the “Amenities” section, it will list “RV Card Discount” and “RV Card Accepted in Store” if the location accepts the card. Once we figured this out, it was smooth sailing and we didn’t have any more issues pulling into “dealer” locations. Here’s a picture of what it looks like in the app if the location accepts the card:
And at this location you can see that the RV card can only be used in the truck lanes:
If you are going to use the RV Plus charge card and you don’t fuel up with diesel, we would suggest you use the free myPilot app to avoid any frustration with unknowingly pulling in at “dealer” stations where the card is not accepted.
To learn more about the other services Pilot Flying J offers RVers, check out our earlier post here.