Sunday, August 18, 2019

A Way to Save Dollars on Diesel Fuel Purchases

Posted from near Bryce National Park, UT

Who doesn't like to save money when it comes to RVing?

 I've been called cheap by some, but I like to think I'm frugal. I can sum up my philosophy by saying that I don't like to pay more for a product when I don't have to.

When I was informed of a new way to save some money when it came to purchasing diesel fuel for the motorhome I sat up and did my own research and decided to give the following program a try.

Wow, I just read the above and it sounds like an advertisement.  Believe me, it isn't. This is just a simple way to save money at the diesel pump.

Let me begin by saying that the following post is pertinent to DIESEL FUEL users only. If you own a gas rig you can stop reading at this point.

When we travel, we re-fuel the motorhome almost exclusively at Pilot or FlyingJ. I'm not interesting in getting into a debate over cheaper places (because I already know of them). We like the convenience of using the truck lanes at these stations because we know that there will be no issues getting in and out of the station.

Also, because we are Lifetime Good Sam Members we have been able to use the Pilot/FlyingJ RV Plus card and receive a discount of .08 cents per gallon for diesel and .06 cents per gallon on gasoline for the toad.  Pilot/FJ then sends a monthly statement which we pay in its' entirety from our bank account. This has worked without a hitch for all of our 7 years of fulltiming.

Recently, however, I discovered a new "fleet discount card" program which RVers are eligible to sign up for. The trucking company which administers the program is called TSD Logistics, Inc. out of Texarkana, TX. If you would like to learn more about TSD Logistics, Inc. Click here.

The above company is offering the TSD Fuel Discount Program to RVers thru the use of EFS card locations (Loves, Pilot/FJ, Petro, and Travel America) truck stops. TSD Logistics claims savings of between .20 and .40 cents per gallon.

Here is a brief description of how the program works
1. An interested party (RVer) fills out an online application form and submits it to TSD Logistics.
2. Fuel purchases are quickly sent to a phone app (We have android phones and the app is entitled "EFS Card Control".) I would imagine there is an available app for Apple users also, but not sure. On Edit: Thanks to one of our blog readers (See comment #1 at end of blog), the EFS Card Control app is available for Apple users under the same app name.
3. When fueling at one of the above stations you insert the EFS card at the pump. When finished, you may still go inside for a receipt if desired.  We don't do that anymore, because the phone app has already received the transaction in short order.
4. TSD Logistics charges a fee of 10% on the SAVINGS for each gallon.  An email is sent out daily with the prices TSD has contracted with the above truck stops.
5. On the following day,  your selected bank account is automatically debited the price of the transaction.

Real Life Examples
Here are two examples using fuel purchases at Loves Truck stop.

8/15/19  Loves in Grand Junction, CO
              Cash Price at the Pump:   $3.069              Pumped 48.88 gallons
              EFS Price for that station on that date:  $2.623

EFS savings per gallon was 44.6 cents
TSD fee is 10% of savings per gallon:  44.6 x .10 = 4.46 cents
My NET savings per gallon off the station price was 44.6 cents - 4.46 cents =  40.14 cents/gallon

So.........we saved $19.62 on this fill up.  Not too bad for just using the EFS card.

8/16/19  Loves in Salina, UT
              Cash Price at the Pump:  $3.049             Pumped 32.14 gallons
              EFS Price for that station on that date:   $2.701

EFS savings per gallon was 34.8 cents
TSD fee is 10% of savings per gallon:  34.8 x .10 = 3.48 cents
My NET savings per gallon off the station price was 34.8 cents - 3.48 cents = 34.45 cents/gallon

So......we saved $11.07 on this fill up. Again, savings just for using the EFS card.

What we've found so far is that Pilot/FlyingJ prices are discounted at a consistent basis of 5 cents/gallon. That means that our current Good Sam card tied in to the Pilot RV Plus card would give us a better discount (8 cents).
As you can see from the above uses at Loves' Truck Stops the discount was 34 and 40 cents per gallon.  Pretty good discount for using the same product (diesel fuel) I feel.

For anyone wanting to take advantage of the EFS fuel card offered through TSD Logistics, here is the link to a simpler form they've created for RVers.    EFS Card Application
(Please note that the increased demand for these cards has caused a delay in TSD mailing them out as quickly as when I obtained mine. I believe the average wait is about 10 business days at this time.)

If all of the above has confused you, here is the quick version of how the fueling process works directly from the TSD Logistics' site:

        We issue you an EFS card.
Pull into the truck line in the back of the store.
Insert your EFS card into the fuel pump.
A prompt will show to ask for specific information that verifies the owner.  You enter the correct information and pump your diesel.
The next day the money is drafted from your bank account and you receive an email showing you the details of the transaction and our fees.
Our fee is 10% of the savings per gallon.  So if the retail cost is $3.00 per gallon and our cost is $2.50 per gallon, your fee will be 5 cents per gallon.
If we can’t save you money, you owe us nothing!
There are no long-term contracts to sign and no hidden fees.  If you choose to not use the program any longer, simply don’t use the card.

Full Disclosure on "Spreading the Word" about this diesel price savings program

Ok, so here's what I get out of this should you decide to take part in the program.
You'll notice on the EFS Card Application that there is a place to insert someone who referred you to this program.  The choice to fill in this line is TOTALLY up to you. If you decide to insert "Steve Fischer" on that referral line, here is what I get (directly from the TSD Logistics site):

                                   Refer a Friend Program
If we sign someone you refer
We will pay you $25 after the first 100 gallons
and another
$25 after they reach 500 gallons.

Again, the choice is up to you concerning the referral, but hopefully you'll find the program will save you some money in fuel costs.  We are very satisfied after only 2 uses of the program thus far.

Should you have any specific questions about the program, the best person to assist you is Tara Rape ( or her phone number   800-426-7110 x125.

As always, thanks for stopping by to take a look!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Major League Baseball and The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO

Posted from Montrose, CO

(Click on pics to enlarge)
To view additional photos not included in today's blog,
                       click on the link below.

The Cardinals vs. the Astros Ballgame
The Gateway Arch Park

From Kentucky we traveled a bit west to visit St. Louis, MO. We had wanted to stay a bit closer to the city, but many of the nicer campgrounds are located on the western side of St. Louis, but many were along waterways which had sustained heavy flooding a few months ago.  As a result, our  campground of choice was still awaiting re-opening, or we were too late in attempting to make a reservation at some of the other campgrounds.

It was back to the state parks again.  We stayed for a week at Cuivre River State Park with FHUs. The park is very popular on weekends, but clears out nicely during the week. There was road construction going on within the park, so we entered from the north side.  Quite an adventure on a narrow road. The entrance to the park on that side was pretty narrow and we barely made it thru the gate without having to unhook the toad. Once settled in, everything went fine. The utilities worked great and the sites were fairly large.

Since we were going to be in the St. Louis area I wanted to try and see a major league baseball game at Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals. This is a very nice stadium right in the heart of the city.

Since I'm not a big fan of driving and trying to find parking for intercity games, we chose to take the metro from the closest point to our campground. The metro stop just east of the airport has free parking and the cost is only $2.50/person to ride each direction. As we approached the stadium, we found that these folks had used an alternative method to come to the game.

The Cardinals' fans seem to do a nice job of supporting their team. The crowd for the game against the Houston Astros was over 46,000 tonight.

Yes, we had some pretty high seats, but the view of the game and surrounding area was great. You can sense that the game isn't going well for the team when there is a "meeting at the mound" late in the game.

The old Fischer jinx was working again tonight against the home team. The Cardinals wound up losing 8-2 against the Astros tonight, but we enjoyed ourselves at the game.

We had made prior ticket reservations for Monday the 29th to travel back into the city and visit the Gateway Arch and take a guided tour on a riverboat. Of course, Monday is the only day on which it rained during our stay.  We decided to forego the rain and returned on Tuesday.

The new visitor's center to Gateway Arch Park was completed in July of 2018. The ticketing center, along with a very nice museum of the area is located at the western entrance to the Gateway Arch. There is also a theater which shows a movie on the construction of the Arch. The movie is a good starting point for understanding the engineering construction marvel of the Gateway Arch.

There are unique cars which travel up each leg of the arch. A model is shown in the visitor's center for those who would like to know what they're getting into beforehand. This little pod seats 5 persons. There are no windows except for a vertical piece of glass in the entrance door. Each ride up to the top takes about 4 minutes, and the ride to the bottom about 3 minutes.

The marker at the very top indicates that you are 630 feet above the ground.

Once at the top, all of the cars from both legs empty and you are free to stay at the top as long as you'd like to take photos out of small windows on the eastern and western side of the arch.

Here's a view looking west toward St. Louis. The white building in the center of the photo is the Old Courthouse where the famous Dred Scott case was initiated.

Here's a bit closer look at the Old Courthouse.  This building is part of the Gateway Arch Park and is free is visit.

This is the view, looking back to the east, of the Mississippi River and into Illinois.

The weather today was excellent. For folks who don't like to drive and attempt to find a parking spot in large cities, public transportation systems are the way to go. We again were able to exit the metro just a few blocks from the Old Courthouse and Gateway Arch Park. We had a very nice visit to the "jumping off point to the West".

As always, thanks for stopping by to take a look!