We got a slow start yesterday morning and it was a little after noon when we pulled out of the Moose lodge in Myrtle Beach. I immediately set the theme for the day by turning north instead of south on U.S. Highway 501, and it took three miles to find a shopping center where we could turn around and get headed back in the right direction.
Once on U.S. Highway 17, the first order of business was to find someplace to take on some fuel. I had been looking all the way from Morehead City, North Carolina the day before, but didn’t find any place I felt comfortable trying to navigate our big motorhome into and out of. We were not at the critical stage, but we were getting lower than I like to be.
It was 100 miles to Charleston, all of it four lane road, with a lot of traffic and a lot of traffic lights along the way, so we didn’t make very good time. We kept looking for a gas station that sold diesel and looked big enough to accommodate us, but the few we saw were either on the other side of the road, or we saw them too late to stop.
As we neared Charleston, I got on the CB radio and asked a truck driver where we could find a truck stop, and he recommended a Hess on the south side of Charleston. He also recommended that we take the Interstate 526 loop around the city instead of staying on U.S. 17, which would add a few miles but be much quicker and easier driving.
By then I was tired of stop and go driving, so we did just that, and I was proud of myself as we drove over two high bridges, first over the Wando, and then the Cooper River. I didn’t snivel once! If I keep this up, Miss Terry may let me start wearing big boy pants!
By the time we got off the bypass and back onto U.S. 17, I was starting to get uncomfortable with our fuel situation. The Silverleaf engine monitoring system said I still had a range of just over 100 miles before empty, but judging by what I had seen in the last 300 miles since we left Morehead City, I didn’t want to press my luck much further. We didn’t see the truck stop, but after another fifteen miles or so, we did spot a station with separate diesel pumps on the side. It was a tight squeeze, but we managed to get in and fill the tank. If my calculator is right, we got 7.8 miles per gallon on this tank, which is just what the Silverleaf shows.
Another 60 miles, most of which was slow going, brought us to Interstate 95. Usually I like traveling on the back roads, but U.S.17 isn’t a route I’ll be taking anytime again soon. Yesterday, driving it was more work than fun.
The sun was getting low in the sky, making it hard to drive with the glare, and the truckers on the CB were complaining about it. Since we’re not truck drivers and don’t have a schedule to keep, we don’t have to drive in conditions like that. We had covered 206 miles since leaving Myrtle Beach, and that was enough for me.
We pulled into the Georgia State Welcome Center, where signs were posted that said no overnight parking. I went inside to ask the attendant on duty if there was a truck stop or RV friendly WalMart nearby, and she said “Just stay out there overnight, nobody will bother you. Our state troopers who work this area know you’re not sleeping, you’re just resting. That’s what rest areas are for, right?” I like Georgia!
Thought For The Day – Ignore the overwhelming size of the task; just take the first step. The rest will follow, one step at a time.
Nick,I guess people see things different,thats what makes us unique. I’ve driven US 17 many times and like that route for a slow paced drive.
Nick, you have just made me feel SOOOOO much better. Fueling time is close to the most stressful part of RVing for us. Course, we are still driving a gasser, but, your post here tells me that sometimes it does not matter WHAT, gasser, diesel, somtimes, it is just really hard finding a fuel stop that fits the comfort zone.
Hey Nick, Sorry if I led you down the wrong path on using Rt 17. 17 Alt wasn’t any better. Just the price we pay trying to use a short cut. I know what you mean about finding fuel, I start looking when we hit the 1/2 mark.
Glad you like the Silverleaf. We’ve been using it the last two months and we like the accuracy. Like you, we also re-calculate our MPG to “test” the VPS results. We also remembered that running the diesel generator impacts that mileage. The fuel level on the VPS may be accurate and the odometer correct, but the MPG will be different. Our warning light comes on at 25 gallons left in the tank (1/4th tank) so we fuel up at half a tank.
The truck driver gave you good advice. It is a tight squeeze going through Charleston on Hwy 17 and lots of lights along the way. Plus you would have had to drive across the new even taller Ravenel Bridge as you came into Charleston from Mt Pleasant. Although it sounds like you are getting a handle on the bridge crossings.
Good luck in you continued travels south. Do hope you get back to Charleston some time for a visit. We really enjoy Charleston and the surrounding area.
Oh I so agree with the fueling issue. We have only been full-timing for three months but that is without a doubt a stressful time. There just doesn’t always seem to be enough places to stop with a big rig. I am glad to know it isn’t just a “newbie” problem.
Mike and Gerri