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Save Money On Diesel With The TSD Fuel Card For RVers


You'll be using the truck fuel stop lanes at at truck stops
You’ll be using the truck fuel stop lanes at at truck stops. Photo: Shutterstock

What Are The Benefits Of A TSD Fuel Card For RVers?

Based in East Texas, TSD Logistics is a freight transportation company that other companies hire to move their goods from one place to another. There are hundreds of these types of companies, all utilizing contract fuel rates with various diesel stations to provide savings for their drivers, who are usually paid per-mile and must purchase their own fuel. 

What sets TSD apart from the others is that they have opened their fuel discounts to RVers, and we believe it is a wise move. “Open Roads” is their fuel division, semi-separate from their trucking transportation business.

How does the TSD Fuel Card for RVers work?

Rather than having large fuel station chains, like Loves, have to work with thousands of individual companies to negotiate rates, there are a few major companies that offer fuel cards and establish the computing network necessary to make these cards a success. 

An EFS fuel card looks like this
An EFS fuel card looks like this

The “EFS” card, which is what TSD utilizes, is one such major company. Think of it like your credit card.  There are just a few like Visa and Mastercard. You might have an Amazon Visa card that offers point rewards or an American Airlines Mastercard that offers airline miles. But underneath, it’s really all just Visa or Mastercard. 

These large companies have the infrastructure to support your charges and billing, but allow them to be “white labeled” with names like Amazon, Star Trek, Verizon, or Lowes, each providing specific benefits to that company. The EFS card is the same. You’re just tying into a network, with TSD being the “broker” of sorts.

TSD Open Roads EFS Fleet Card

The first thing to know is that this is a diesel only program. When it comes to gasoline, this won’t be of value to you yet. (The Open Roads FAQ says “coming soon” for gasoline.)  This means that the fuel card will apply to larger RV owners or those towing with a diesel truck. It’s worth noting, however, that you really don’t even have to have an RV.  We tell our non-RV friends with diesel trucks they should sign up!

With the TSD Open Roads EFS Fleet card, they split some of the savings with you. You save, they make a little to keep the program running. It’s a good relationship!

When and where can you use the TSD fuel card for RVers?

We all know that at a gas pump there are the three levels of gasoline, and sometimes there is a diesel pump as well. The TSD Fleet Card doesn’t work there. Very few, if any, standard gas stations are equipped to accept any type of Fleet Card at the normal pump. You should note, too, that most pumps where a fleet card works, your regular credit card will not and vice-versa. 

Don't try to use your TSD EFS fleet card at these pumps
Don’t try to use your TSD EFS fleet card at these pumps

This means you will be driving through the 18-wheeler truck lanes with the big rigs.  This can be very convenient when filling up on an RV relocation trip. We certainly aren’t going to try to put our 44’ fifth wheel into a standard Shell station pump! It just isn’t practical. But the truck lanes at the back are great, and we know that a location with truck fuel lanes can accommodate our large size. At first we were a little daunted by that, but now we wouldn’t have it any other way. 

A further piece of information for you: Just because a fuel stop accepts EFS cards doesn’t necessarily mean you will receive a discount.

Why use the TSD Fuel Card for RVers?

Fuel rates vary. That’s important to understand. Just like every gas station (even those across the street from each other) have different prices, so too will the big rig diesel fuel stops. 

There are a variety of factors involved, including the current price of oil, the company’s purchase of gas and oil futures, contracted rates with their supplies, supply and demand, current oil output, quantity and uptime of refineries, inflation, profit margin for the truck stop, and many more reasons. Today’s diesel price at the truck stop near your campground probably won’t be the same price next week!

The TSD Fuel Card gets you a discount somewhere below the pump price, which is the price you see at the pump and on the big, visible-from-the-highway signs. That discount absolutely will vary from location to location and from day to day. This discount could be 5 cents per gallon, 25 cents per gallon, etc. With some relationships they have established, it might be a constant flat amount at all of a given chain’s locations. (For a time, Love’s was always 12 or 18 cents discount.)

RVers can find more than just a discount on the diesel fuel. Because you’re using a truck stop, you have DEF available right at the pump. (Note, some truck stops do not offer a DEF pump. Frustrating!) 

We prefer to fill up this way because, just like the diesel, you’ll have great turnover on the DEF supply and what you’ll be getting may be “fresher” than purchasing boxed DEF. Plus, you don’t have to carry and lift the box and mess with the little plastic spout! It is important to note that there is no discount on your DEF purchase, but it can be made in the same transaction.

How do I find TSD eligible stations?

This is the easy part. TSD had an original mobile app, and if you tried it but were frustrated with its functionality, fear no more. TSD released a new mobile app called “Open Roads” and it’s really great! This is the name of the app as well as the fuel program subdivision of TSD Logistics. Downloading this app to your phone allows you to check the fuel prices of eligible truck stops around your current location. You can even move the “current location” (center of the map) to use with trip planning. 

If you are using Google Maps or another mapping tool on your phone, clicking the directions button in a gas station’s detail view will add a stop to your route. If you are planning your trip with RV LIFE Trip Wizard, you can easily add the address as one of your stops as well as find more points of interest and campgrounds along your RV-safe route.

Furthermore, TSD is constantly adding new fuel stations to their list of places your card will be accepted!  You can use the TSD fuel card for RVers at any EFS-compatible fuel stop, but if that station is not listed in their app, there is an additional $1.00 fee that is applied. In a pinch, a dollar doesn’t matter if you have to fill up, but planning can save that amount. In addition, at a non-TSD station, you’ll be paying the full pump price with no discounts.

How do I apply for a TSD Card?

Start by visiting the My Open Roads website. This is the official fuel program site for TSD Logistics. Order early, and order when you know you have time to receive it, as there can be a bit of a stretch between the order and fulfillment, which is stated on their site.

You’ll start by creating a login and password.  (You’ll need these later to log in to the mobile app.)

Open Roads login creation and application first page.
Open Roads login creation and application first page.

Next, you’ll provide a few key pieces of information including your bank account and Social Security number. Why? The TSD fleet card is not a credit card, but they are extending you credit between the time you get your fuel and the time they draft your account, which can be 2 to 5 business days. 

You will be responsible for keeping the right amount of funds in your chosen bank account to ensure that any fuel purchases you make can be covered. Depending on the size of your rig or tow vehicle’s fuel tank and the current price of diesel, this can be quite a bit. But you never have to “pay the bill” at the end of the month. Just make sure you’re the account is topped off… just like your fuel tank!   

We set up a separate bank account for this and other RV-related draft charges, separate from our regular checking account. If you want to do this, have the new account open and ready, along with your routing and account number, before you apply.

Please note, if you are Canadian, you will be required to have a US bank account and US currency, and your Social Insurance number replaces the US Social Security number.

How will I know how much I saved?

Each time you use the TSD EFS Fleet Card at a pump, you’ll receive an email from [email protected] once the money has been drafted from your account. There is a PDF attachment that has a breakdown. Here is a sample of a Settlement Report.

A sample TSD Settlement Report from the TSD Fuel Cards for RVers
A sample TSD Settlement Report

You’ll see that our bank draft for this transaction was $237.41. With the two small fees TSD adds (the RV Transaction Fee and Fee for Reimbursement), the total amount is $249.94. But the draft amount is only $237.41. This means that the number we watch for is the $12.53 on the last line. That’s what we saved for that fill up. We’ve seen this be as high as $40, about a year and half ago in Florida! 

More tips

  • You’ll always need to provide a “control number”. With TSD, this is the last four digits of your Social Security number. (Not a fan of that choice.) Usually this is done at the pump. This is essentially the PIN number for this card; never share it!
  • If you want a receipt from the truck stop, you’ll almost always need to go inside to get one. Be sure to note your pump number and the approximate gallon count. The cashier will not be able to see your rig from where they are working!
  • Sometimes you’ll have to go into the truck stop first with your EFS Fleet Card to have them turn on the pump and they’ll hold it until you’re through, at which point you have to go back in and obtain it.  Often, you’ll get a receipt here and they will ask you to sign it. These stations will ask for your control number since you didn’t enter it at the pump. When they ask for other information (sometimes) like “truck number”, just make one up for simplicity. Easier to do that than take the time to explain you are an RVer!
  • Always make sure the transaction shows complete on the pump before you vacate the slot. You don’t want anyone else to fill up on your account, especially considering it will be a big truck with a huge fuel tank! (Or two, or three!)
  • While there are more etiquette tips than this, here’s an important one: After you fill up, before you go into the station, pull forward to clear space for the trucker behind you to start his fill up. We’ll often go inside after fueling to grab a cold drink or hit the restrooms, and I do not want to return to an angry trucker! Also, keep this inside trip short. If you need longer, find elsewhere to park.

Eliminate RV fuel anxiety by planning every fuel stop in advance, before your RV trip begins. By using RV LIFE Trip Wizard to plan your trips in detail, you’ll know exactly when and where you will need fuel for your RV or truck. You can also vet those fuel stops with satellite and street view to make sure you can get in and out safely, and back on the road.

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Author Lucinda Belden Avatar

Lucinda Belden

Lucinda Belden is a travel writer and advisor.  She gets her inspiration from her and her husbands full-time RV lifestyle, her avid motorcycle/sidecar adventures, and world travels.  Lucinda is the Program Director for MyRVRadio.  Follow her stories and adventures at fb.com/DirectionWideOpen.

19 thoughts on “Save Money On Diesel With The TSD Fuel Card For RVers

  1. My accounts have been hacked within 24 hrs. Beware. I am changing accounts with the bank right now. Other accounts from out of the country. Checking each one now. Just because posted here, not reliable. Disabling checking account now

  2. We have used the TSD card for about a year now and traveled over 8000 miles. Out truck has a 36 gal tank and we have saved as much as $8.50 on a fill up. We also find the Open Road App easy to use and convenient for trip refuel planning.

  3. I quite using my card because I can’t handle diesel spilling down the side of my truck with these pumps.

  4. We use TSD often (we’re full timers) when pulling our 43′ 5th wheel and would never try to get into a gas station. Its very easy to use.. Also Mudflap which serves a lot of smaller lesser known truckstops that are a little lower priced than the big guys. Its also very easy to use. Pilot/Flying J offers a discount program, but are usually higher priced at the pump. When not hooked to our 5th wheel we use Gas Buddy, because gas stations are generally cheaper than truckstops. Any little bit helps with these astronomical prices.

  5. The ONLY time we pumped DEF out of the ground at a truck stop, it nearly ruined the engine on our Ram 3500! We got a “warning” message and fortunately we were close to a dealer who was able to drop our def tank, clean it and the lines out and get us on our way with only a several hour delay. We were also fortunate that there was a Walmart parking lot across the street from the dealership where we could drop our fifth wheel.

  6. I have the card and on this trip I haven’t used it yet. I’m taking more US highways and staying off the interstate’s. Doing this you find less affiliated stations. Discount off pump price is generally greater than what you can get at other stations. I use them being careful to find room for my 35’ 5th wheel!
    The app that Open Roads is your best bet for comparison with other gas prices.

  7. We have been using the Pilot/Flying RV Plus card for a number of years. Automatic discounts at the pump.
    Bills are emailed to you and you can mail a check for payment if you prefer.
    .
    Of course it still pays to check prices.

  8. Just returned from a 6 week cross country road trip with our diesel sprinter van, overwhelmingly the fuel prices at the big rig stops (love’s etc ) were considerably higher than nearby gas stations. We used gas buddy but also noticed big differences on roadside billboards. Many many times there was a savings of 40 to 50 cents a gallon. I have never seen such disparity on past trips, puzzling??? Perhaps you could shed some light on what’s happening.
    thanks

    1. Prices on billboards are showing Cash or Credit for diesel. With the TSD card your discount is on the Cash Price. The TSD card is a debit card, not a credit card.

  9. Don’t rely on a single fuel program. TSD used to be great but they lost their deal with Pilot a couple of years ago. To get the best deals you need to use multiple apps to get the best price. Some require signing up, others the best price is direct withdrawl/credit card, etc. Check Philips 66, Escapees Discount, Mudflap, Upside to be able to compare prices. None of them really cover the entire country. But we all need to be smart shoppers.

    1. We do use Mudflap, but haven’t had much luck lately. (I’ve only used it twice since we got it.) In addition, they did not offer DEF at the pump through the card, you had to do a separate transaction for that and this was a real turn-off for us. About a year an half ago, when we signed up with Mudflap, I asked about DEF, and they said they were hoping to add it by the end of that year (2020), but to my knowledge they have not yet done so.

  10. When the fuel card first came out, the savings were really good. Over the past 6+ months, I have found other truck stops so much cheaper for fuel than the ones that accept the card. I mean 40cents to as much as 70 cents less than the Loves, Ta, Petro and so on.

  11. This card seems to be so convaluted, confusing and unclear.
    * WHAT WAS THE PUMP PRICE PER GAL. Diesel,
    * WHAT WAS THE PUMP PRICE AT NEARBY STA.

    I see this as a starting price above the norm for a given area, then a add on or two, abd WHAMO
    YOU COULD HAVE FUELED UP NEARBY WITH NO CARD, NO EXTRA BANK ACCOUNT, CHEAPER.

    1. This can definitely be true. It really depends on the area. For us, it depends, too, on whether we’re just filling up the F-350 without the rig attached or if we’re on the move. We even use GasBuddy sometimes, though they love to limit you to $75 or $100. That’s not going to fill our 47 gallons, and we have to run it twice.

    2. Nope, it’s simple. Use the Open Roads app to find the best price available after discount.
      I just checked the TA truck stop close to me.
      Discount is currently $0.93 off the cash price. Add on $0.65 transaction fee. (Less than a penny per gallon) and that would be a big savings on a 80 gallon fill up. The biggest discount is with TA or Petro but that’s why you use the app to find the best deal.

    1. Well, remember, it IS an extension of credit. We’ve had the card for almost three years, with no credit issues.

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