As we are in the height of the travel season, I wanted to share two tips that may save you money and make you a lot safer in your travels.
A few days ago when we were riding on the famous Chisholm Cattle Trail in Kansas, I took another rider to town to fill their propane tanks. They wanted to do an ‘exchange’ of tanks. You and I have seen these exchange locations at 7-11 stores, gas stations, and a variety of places. They were surprised to learn that I never use these locations. There are a couple of key reasons.
First, I do not want to give up my tank in excellent condition for a painted over old one or one of less quality. You just do not know where the tank you are getting came from or what its true condition is, so I want my tank re-filled.
However, the main reason I strongly recommend to folks at equine expos where I speak on traveling with horses to refill your tank is that it will save you almost double your money. Here is why: Did you ever wonder how they can sell those exchange tanks for the same price every time? The reason is the tanks are most often not full. That’s right, they have roughly 3 and one half gallons in that tank rather than six or so. These fill exchanges are a high profit item. If you have any doubt, exchange one and before you use it, take it to a refill place and see how much more propane they add to it. You are paying for a partial container. That is why they do not say how much is in it. So, the next time you need propane, have your own container refilled.
Also, most trailers have two propane tanks. Keep one turned off until you need it. That way, they cannot leak out or get used up until you need them. It can ruin your weekend when you finish a great ride and go to cook a beautiful steak dinner, only to find you are out of propane.
The other travel tip I want to share is simple: I have said it before, but try to avoid stopping at a highway rest area. There is a high chance someone is sitting there, waiting to pan handle money. When you stop, you are ‘trapped’. Some folks see your large truck and trailer and assume you are wealthy! Further, if you run in to the bathroom and leave your window down a bit for extra air for your dog, it also is enough space to reach in and snatch a pocketbook or other items such as a cell phone. Avoid the problem and take our advice to always stop at a truck stop. Cameras are everywhere, easy access in and out with plenty of parking, great food, and plenty of service for your vehicle makes truck stops the superior choice for taking a break while traveling.
At a recent expo seminar, I shared my opinion on this and added that in all my years of traveling or watching the news, I had never heard of a robbery at a truck stop. There are probably more guns there than at the local National Guard armory. Truck drivers are professionals and you will not encounter any drunks or problematic people. Regardless of your political thinking on guns or society, truck stops and truck drivers are the safest people to be around.
If we can help you plan a trip, advise you abut a location to visit, or help you in any way, email me directly at my personal e mail, firstname.lastname@example.org and I will write you back. You can also visit our website for great equine vacation destinations, our travel schedule, and past television shows all for free at bestofamericabyhorseback.com.
Tom Seay is the executive producer and host of RFD-TV’s Best of America by Horseback television show. Beginning his career as an outfitter in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Tom is an experienced Trail Master and has traveled more than 300,000 miles with riders on horseback since the show began in 2005. He organized and led the wildly successful American Transcontinental Trail Ride, where he rode more than 3,000 miles from coast to coast, as well as a highly publicized ride from Mexico to Canada– all on horseback. Tom invites folks to ride with him at destinations across the country. You can learn more at www.bestofamericabyhorseback.com