How Dare They!

 Posted by at 6:56 am  Nick's Blog
Mar 152010

There is an ongoing thread on the Escapees Forum about the fact that Flying J truck stops are now charging RVers $5 to dump their holding tanks. Some of the people who have commented about Flying J’s new policy, as well as some who have written to me about it, are really ticked off, calling it corporate greed and vowing to buy their fuel elsewhere from now on. One fulltime RVer who e-mailed me said “I have bought fuel at Flying J for 8 years, used their dump stations, and spent the night many times. But I’ll go out of my way to avoid them from now on!”

Well, I don’t blame you, brother. The nerve of those guys! After years of giving you free camping and free dumping, now that the economy has changed and businesses are scrambling to cover their costs, let alone make a profit, you deserve to be able to continue to freeload. How dare they start charging you for the same things that commercial campgrounds have been charging for ever since they first opened!

I remember a similar thread last year before the Escapade rally in Sedalia, Missouri, when folks were complaining that barriers in the parking lot of the Sedalia Wal-Mart prevented RVers from entering to dry camp overnight, and there were comments about boycotting the store. 

Where is it written that a business has to give its customers anything for free! Good service, yes; a fair price, absolutely; but free camping and the free use of an RV dump station? I guess I missed that memo.

I served many years on my town’s Planning and Zoning Commission, and I remember codes requiring businesses to jump through a lot of hoops if they wanted to set up shop in our community. But I can’t ever remember demanding that a business give something away to customers.

For the most part, RVers are pretty special people, and I’m proud to count myself among their numbers. But every barrel has a few bad apples,including ours.

My friend Bill Joyce sent me a link to a blog post yesterday about Wild Horse Casino near Chandler, Arizona. It seems that in the past, RVers had abused the casino’s hospitality by setting up housekeeping for weeks, even months on end. That has changed, and now casino security is clamping down on the RV slobs who take unfair advantage of the casino’s free RV parking. I’m sure that there are some who feel this is unfair too. Probably the same jerks who caused the problem in the first place.

I just don’t get this idea that somebody owes us anything and we deserve to get it. I appreciate it when a business gives me a break, whether it be free camping, free dumping, or a discount on a purchase. But I don’t expect it, and I don’t demand it. And if a business has been generous in the past, but things change and they have to start charging me for a service that was free in the past, I certainly don’t feel offended, I don’t boycott them, and I don’t whine and complain. I appreciate the courtesies of the past, pay up and figure I’m still ahead because of prior savings,and continue to support them. It just seems like the right thing to do.

Bad Nick has been busy, by the way, posting a new Bad Nick Blog titled Our Tax Dollars At Work. Check it out and leave a comment.

Thought For The Day – I want to know – therefore I go.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  22 Responses to “How Dare They!”

  1. Perhaps one of those whiners is the same RV owner who dumped his gray tanks on the farigrounds in Yuma last week:(

  2. Nick: when I started reading the very first paragraph of your blog my thoughts were of the same as yours as I read on down=everyone now days seems to want something for nothing and when not given to them they make it known=I am almost 80 years old and still read your blog every morning and think to myself where did we turn the wrong corner on so much, I don’t remember it being that way when I was younger=oh well have a good day

  3. This is just simple marketing. We tend to take our business to places that offer what we want. If they offer some perk or discount for giving them our business, that’s great. I suspect Flying J will quickly discover how important this particular perk really is or isn’t to their RV’er customers. We all need fuel and there is still a lot of competition out there.

  4. Those same folks that feel that should be able dump there tanks, camp, eat and everthing else for free are the same ones that will run this country into the ground with free health care!

  5. I have been to a few Flying J dump stations that were being washed down because whoever used the FREE dump station could not get the hose down the drain, or didn’t want too. It costs money to clean up these messes. So if you want to blame someone, blame yourselves!

  6. A reporter once said to a former president — “Give ’em hell, Harry!” President Truman replied, “I’m giving it to them!”

    Give ’em hell. Nick. Somebody’s got to knock some sense into their heads — not that it’ll do any good. You’ll just get castigated yourself, and the idiots will show you — they’ll stop reading your free blog!

  7. Nick,

    You have to remember there are people who would complain about a free lunch!

  8. Nick,
    Folks, stop whining and vote with your feet. Flying J made a business decision. I am sure they gave it careful thought before dong it. If you don’t like it go somewhere else pay more and be satisfied that “you showed them”. I’m sure Flying J will spiral out of business because you no longer shop there. Hmmm, let me think, RV = 100 gallons of fuel a few time a month, 18 wheeler = 500 gallons a day. Yep, Flying J is done for. Some folks are just plain spoiled.

  9. We totally agree with you Nick.

    “I appreciate it when a business gives me a break, whether it be free camping, free dumping, or a discount on a purchase. But I don’t expect it, and I don’t demand it.”

    Well said. 🙂

  10. What happened to the Thought for the Day at the end of the entry ? I always enjoy reading them along with your entry.

  11. Good blog, Nick!

    To John C., among my acquaintances, those who would most like to see health care reform of some form (more politically liberal), are politically opposite of the RVing folks who want “free” everything (more politically conservative). Also, everyone I know, without exception, who favors health care reform, NOT ONE has ever expressed any desire or expectation of FREE anything – only access. Big difference!

    Another observation: among my acquaintances – the politically more “conservative” espouse “buy American” when critizing my choice of Honda cars, are the ones who will drive across town to save a few $$ at Walmart, where much of the merchandise is made in China, etc., while many of the more “liberal,” will pay more & avoid Walmart entirely because of the labor practices of some of those exporting countries.

    Ah, life’s intersting inconsistancies….

    Just my unscientific observation — among your acquaintances, this may not hold true.

  12. Gee Nick, at first I thought this was a “bad Nick” blog….either way you are right on again. Most campgrounds charge at least $10 to dump, and some of them here in southwestern Arizona, including the Shell station on I-8 charge $15.
    Flying J’s are easy to get into and have been very kind to rv’ers…I will continue to use them, and the boycotters can go to hell!!!!

  13. First off we do not patorinize Flying J or any other truck stop as it is such a hassel to use their credit card services. We go to stations that we can use the card reader at the pump and don’t have to leave our card laying on the counter, in sight of a host of lot lizards.
    We fully understand why stores and such are coming down on “residents” that set up shop an their parking lots. We have seen this through out the country. If we are traveling we stay at Wal-Marts only for a night, if we are in the area for a period of time we check into a CG for the time.
    Generally the public only has to look into a mirror to see why things are changing.

  14. Got a giggle about this post, Nick. Just last night I was commenting to Stu that the thread you mentioned was now three pages long. I couldn’t believe it. I read it the first time I saw it and knew I wouldn’t come back to read further.

    We use Flying J’s most anytime we can, especially when they have an RV Island. Makes fueling up on our Freightliner much easier. We are collecting the license plates for the grandkids and we almost always get snacks & drinks as well. Once in a while we park there but usually not…only because of the truck noise at night.

    The world doesn’t owe us anything, folks. Unfortunately each generation on down the line to the youngest seems to get worse about feeling that it does.

  15. “Ah” the Flying J, we fuel up there every chance we get. 1. the fuel is the best price around no matter the state. 2. we use a Flying J discount card and get cash back after buying anything from them, gas, food… 3. Its very easy to get in and out of in a bus with a toad. It takes alot of land to do that. 4. I can sleep there at no charge. 5. Restaurant. 6. RV dump. Shall I go on???? Some people don’t know when they got it GOOD! M&C

  16. Remember Flying J can just close the dump !l! I’d rather pay the $5 and still have the service available.

  17. In Austin Texas, the going rate if you are a snow-cone trailer (a little tiny airstream vendor) if about $500 for a parking space. Mind you most people considered parking free at one time.

    $5 seems pretty cheap. Even without an RV, I buy a soda ($1.00+) just so I can use the restroom and feel guilt-free.

  18. hi…. i was surfing around online today looking for blogs about people living and traveling around in RV’s. I came across yours.

    I am working at putting a resource site up for RVing and would love to repost some of your blog there.

    The site is I’m trying to build up stories, resources all with the aim to provide people inspiration so they take the plunge and live the dream!

    If you feel you’d like to participate, you can email me at, or just reply to the comment and i should get that.


  19. Give it to ’em, Nick! I agree. They have to make a profit and pay folks to clean up others’ messes.
    On another note…thanks SO much to you and Miss Terry for such an awesome rally!!!
    We really enjoyed it and that is saying something. As you know, we work alot of rallies but rarely do we get to say that we “enjoyed it” too. Don’t worry about the small stuff. You guys did great. We hope to be with you again in the fall. When does registration start?? Thanks, Chris

  20. We just got back from a 5,400 mile run from Nevada to Florida and back. Didn’t stop at a Flying J once because they were usually asking more for diesel than anyone else. That’s our bottom line. Whether you can stay or dump doesn’t compute for us. It’s just our method of travel; like everything else, personal and maybe weird!

  21. My question is why are these people not dumping at a campground where they stay? If you are boondocking your way across the country then of course you should expect to pay for someone to take your “waste”. If you owned a stick n brick you would be paying for sewer so what’s the difference! We like many others utilize Flying J. We use the truck pumps being careful to be polite and pull forward when done so the next in line can start to fuel. The RV pumps are a joke for a 40 foot bus and a toad and I have seen everything but RV’s using them. Anyway, back on track, you have to pay sometime, somewhere, someplace. I say right on Flying J!

  22. I so agree with you Nick. We went on three trips last Fall: to Montana, to Salt Lake City and to Napa, CA and never thought we shouldn’t have to pay to dump when the time came.

    I know a few people who think the world owes them and it just drives me crazy. I don’t mind paying to dump and will definitely continue to use Flying J for fuel and dumping.

    Thanks for your honesty and speaking up. Hopefully some of those complaining will realize how fortunate they are in only having to pay $5 to dump.

    PS Love your blog.

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