How much cash and what denominations?

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    • #3380

      Good Great Morning:  Is it May yet?

      Working on the only other “major” information I am missing (after this all the other ?’s will be minor)…

      Need to come up with WAG for how much cash and denomination of same for fuel.  Sort of figure if  couple of you experienced give me your MPG on your ride and how you allocated denominations I can figure out my needs…thanks so much from this very excited FNG

    • #3381

      I am just an FNG so take this with a grain of salt.  I get kind of anal with spreadsheets so I plotted this all out.  Taking into consideration the donated gas stops vs. stops where I pay and using a gas price of $2.25 per gallon, with my trike getting somewhere around 35 MPG I figure my total bill for the ride out is somewhere close to $150.  I am thinking of just getting a stack of $5 bills in that amount.  I figure the access (which would never exceed $4.99) goes to a good cause (fueling the support vehicles) and working with a single denomination makes it quick and easy to just peel off a few bills at each stop.  Hope this helps


      Chris "Bird" Earley
      USAF 1975 - 1995
      American Legion Riders 209
      CR 2017 FNG

    • #3383

      Last year I rode a Honda Goldwing pulling a loaded trailer, tank size 6 gallons.   Between fuel stops I never went below half a tank except once on a long stretch.   Most of the Harley Davidson’s were running close to empty.   I would count then number of fuel stops for that day and carried the same number of 5 dollar bills, and enough 1 dollar bills to make enough to fill up my tank each stop.    Usually around 9-12 dollars.   I hope this helps.

      Central Route Staging Team 2019
      Southern Route Fuel Team 2017
      Central Route ATW 2016
      FNG 2016
      HM1 (FMF) Ret. 1979-1999

    • #3386
      Pretty BoyPretty Boy

      The RFTW Fueling process is quite a feat to witness. On average The Run stops about every 80-120 miles for fuel stops. This is mainly for the guys with smaller tanks. You are not required to get fuel at every fuel stop. If you don’t want fuel, you will be waived thru to the staging area.

      Fuel is paid for in CASH, and no change is given. It is best to have a good supply of $1, $5, $10 bills. If you take on $8 of fuel and hand the fuel crew a $10 bill… You just made a $2 donation to the Chase Trucks’ fuel tank, which is not always a bad thing. 🙂

      If the fuel stop is a donated stop, then I would suggest getting fuel. The people that raised the $ for it did it for YOU!

      Personally, I have a 7.5 gallon fuel tank, on my BMW K1600GT. The first time I take on fuel after leaving Ontatrio, CA is Kingman, AZ.

      All of this information is also in the Itinerary booklets. If you are going Central see Page 9 of last years booklet, Page 8 of Midway’s booklet. Does not look like Southern put a fuel page in theirs last year, but it is all an RFTW universal process.

      P.S. 2017 Itineraries will be out in the next couple of months. Let 2016 be your guide, not too much different, except the dates. Same overnight towns, and mostly same gas stops, etc.

      Kirk "Pretty Boy" Olson
      Route Road Guard Captain - Central Route
      Central Route Road Guard - 2010-2019

      Participant 2009, 2015 | All the Way 2010-2014, 2016-2020
      2012 BMW K1600GT

    • #3390

      Chelangel – that info, and more about the Run, is in the Jan. newsletter on this website. It was just posted yesterday.

    • #3409


      Just as a caution, do not count on the same number of donated fuel stops on any route. These might and will change from year to year. I usually prepare for an every other fuel stop and figure around $10 to $12 Per stop. I have never really spent that at each stop, but I like to donate to help with the fuel costs for chase and water trucks and trailers. It is always best to carry $1, $5, and $10 bills. I will paperclip them together and keep a couple of these in my vest inner pocket. Some will clip their bills to the inside of their windshield. Also, if you need a key to open your fuel tank, bring a spare that you can easily get to. Fueling requires lots of cooperation from the riders to complete it in a timely manner. The longer it takes the less time we have for restroom and to get to our next destination. AS a side note from last year, due to donated fuel stops, I came home with almost all of what I set aside for the trip out. One last thought, remember to include the cost of your return trip no matter where you start from. I am sure there are things I have not covered, but as always, someone will fill in the gaps on the forum.


      Lonny "Goofy" Weissman
      Vietnam 67-69
      FNG 2013 Southern
      4th platoon APL Midway 2014
      5th Platoon TG Midway 2015, 2016, 2017,TG Midway 4th Platoon 2018

    • #3411

      Huge and grateful thank yous for the quick and helpful replies. My OCD is happy!!!

      Thanks again and IS IT MAY YET?

    • #3414

      The night before each day of the Run, I generally count the number of fuel stops the next day. I’ll make up a “packet” of 4 one-dollar bills, one five-dollar bill, and one 10-dollar bill for each stop and paper clip the “packet” together. All the bills go in my right breast pocket of my vest so I can get to them quickly at a gas stop. I prepare a “packet” for donated gas stops just because ya never know. Any left-over “packets” roll over to the next day and any unused gas money goes into my pocket. I get gas at every stop (Harley Ultra Classic) and I have never needed to us the $10 bill.  Hope that helps

      USMC In-Country I Corps 69-70

      RFTW "Participant" 2003, 2004, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018
      ATW 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2019

    • #3416

      After twelve years on The Run I’ve developed my own system very similar to Dutchman. When the itinerary comes out I go through it and count every gas stop (including those listed as donated). I also put together packets of four $1 bills, one $5 bill and one $10 bill for each gas stop, held together by a paper clip. They all go into a zip lock bag. I take out one packet at staging in the morning and put it in a vest pocket. The bag with the rest goes somewhere easily accessible between gas stops. Part of my staging routine after fueling is to get another packet for the next stop and put the remaining bills from the current stop loose in the bag. Anything loose is considered fair game for  discretionary spending money.

      I, too, have never needed the $10 bill for fuel.

    • #3418

      I also did the same thing as Dutchman and Hawkeye.  I don’t spend so much time thinking it out as the itinerary is in your hands from the start.  You have to start the day with a full tank and you normally have two fuel stops during the day and you fill up again before you hit the rack.  That’s when I get some cash and set aside some bills for the gas stops.  I don’t carry any cash except what I might need for the next two or three days.  I use any credit union’s ATM and get cash when I need it.  No charge for ATM use and there are thousands on any route (many not at a credit union but a part of the system).  I donate some money or more because the last fuel stop was a free fill up.

      On a side note, I have seen people be rude to the fueling team because they feel they are over charged ( they do not reset the counter they, just note where the last bike stopped the pump and then figure what you put in when you stop the pump) but when they go through a free refuel stop, they top it off as much as possible.  Can you say fuel spill?  The fuel team has to work hard to get things done.  They leave before you do and don’t finish till the last bike is refueled.  I just say thank you and try to work WITH them.


      Good luck.

    • #3419

      If you are not on too tight a budget, you might just consider handing the fuel team $10 regardless of what they tell you. No, you won’t get change but you will be giving them a much appreciated donation, and saving yourself from having to do all this math. At most you’re likely to overpay by about $2, and if you had to pay for every fuel stop, which is not likely, you would donate approximately $60 for the whole trip. Not a bad gesture for an organization that does so much for us. Remember, your donations goes directly towards helping to pay the fuel costs of our Chase teams.

      USAF 70 - 74
      Vietnam 71 - 73
      Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association 41-2 Reno, NV
      Midway Route FNG ATW 2015, TG 2016, TG 2017, TG 2018

    • #3425

      If I may, premium fuel is all they pump on the run. At least on southern route. Figure fuel cost at 2.50 – 2.75 a gallon possible more as oil and fuel prices continue to move

      Philip "Juice" Tutton
      Uh-1D/H crewchief. 1985-2000
      2015 FNG SR
      2016 SR Participant
      2017 SR ATW
      2018 SR ATW RGIT
      "No mission too difficult, No sacrifice too great"

    • #3479

      I use the old tried and proven method of snack bags.  I count the number of fuel stops for the Run from Grand Prairie Tx to Arlington VA.  I build up that number of snack bags of ca$h ($25) in each bag.  I will put the number of bags in my coat pocket for that day.  After I fuel up and pay, the remainder ca$h goes back into the snack bag and into my trunk, cubbie, or saddle bag.  The remainder money is used for any service I may need for the scoot or I can use it for donations or TShirts or such.  I use my credit card for evening fill ups.  I always stay in my planned budget with no issues.  My $25 is made up of 1-$10, 2- $5, and 5 – $1.

      My plan works for me but it isn’t for everyone.  Determine how much you need and how it is easily accessible and controllable for you.

      Semper Fi,



      2013, 2015,2016, 2017 and as many more as the old body will handle.

    • #3483

      I only keep 5’s and 10’s. 5’s in one vest pocket and 10’s in the other. Pretty quick on the draw when it comes to handing the bills to our fuelers. A couple of bucks going into the tip jar when I do have to pay for fuel is a good thing. Giving back a little for those doing so much is good for the soul!

      Ride safe


    • #3496

      A similar method but this works for me. I place $19 into bank envelopes (banks will give them to you at no charge) and put the days number of fuel stops at easy access in my vest or other place where I can get to them quickly without dismounting. Give what the fuel team asks for with a smile- use the rest for raffles or whatever. That evening, prepare your vest for the next day. Suggest that you NEVER bypass a fuel stop EVER and be sure to fuel up before calling it a night.

      Tom Wistrand “Ziptie”

      Midway Route- Rear Road Guard

    • #3497

      Ditto on what Zip Tie said.  Never – EVER bypass a fuel stop.  I ride a 2013 Road Glide and can typically get over 200 miles on a tank at highway speed.  You never know when the unknown will happen, when there will be a construction delay, etc.  Not worth the risk in my opinion.

      There are just as many ways to store money as there are riders on the Run.  I just leave my money in my wallet, but I can get to it quickly.  The main thing is that you be able to safely and quickly access the money so that the fuel team can do their job as efficiently as possible.

      Road Guard - Southern Route
      Operation Iraqi Freedom
      CVMA Chapter 6-3

    • #3714

      I am just an FNG so take this with a grain of salt. I get kind of anal with spreadsheets so I plotted this all out. Taking into consideration the donated gas stops vs. stops where I pay and using a gas price of $2.25 per gallon, with my trike getting somewhere around 35 MPG I figure my total bill for the ride out is somewhere close to $150. I am thinking of just getting a stack of $5 bills in that amount. I figure the access (which would never exceed $4.99) goes to a good cause (fueling the support vehicles) and working with a single denomination makes it quick and easy to just peel off a few bills at each stop. Hope this helps



      You may want to bump the price up a bit.  They only pump premium gas, so it will most likely be more than $2.25 per gallon.  If you figure more like $3 per gallon in your estimates it will be much closer.  Looking at the Central Route for last year, the longest distance between fuel stops looks like about 120 miles.  If your trike gets 35 MPG that’s about 3.5 gals on the longest run, at $3 a gallon $11 per envelope in a $5 and six $1 should do just fine.

      US Army 1982-1989 Signal Corps
      RFTW 2016 FNG 2nd Platoon Central Route
      RFTW 2017 Participant 2nd Platoon Central Route

    • #3939

      Great advice from all of you.

      I’m on the Central Route Fuel Team, and I’ve seen many, many people struggle with money at the fuel stops.   Like Gonzo, if your wallet is easy access, no problem.



      The Central Route can get, We’ll call it chilly for now, and we’ve got our sissy leathers on making it difficult to get to our vast financial reserves.  Whichever way you bundle your cash, keep in mind where you’re going and what kind of weather you’ll be encountering, remembering to keep gas cash handy.    Plan ahead.

      We try to fuel each bike in 20 to 25 seconds. If the cash transaction takes more than a few seconds to complete, multiply that times 300 to 500 bikes, times three to four stops per day, times ten days,  That’s  a butt load of time.

      As Dee and many others have said, to donate a couple bucks, to make the money search seamless benefits you, the Fuel Team and all the support vehicles. Which we count on DAILY. and everybody behind you.

      I LOVE MY JOB!!!!!!!  Is it May yet?




      I can't breath if the wind isn't in my face

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