Home to the Polar Pop, Circle K is a popular gas station frequented by all types of drivers. Whether they’re filling up fuel tanks or their bellies, Circle K is a great place to stop.
However, RVers must be a bit more cautious when choosing a gas station, no matter what their gas gauge says. If not, they could quickly find themselves and their rig in a sticky situation.
Some gas stations, especially older stations or those in urban environments, can’t handle larger vehicles, including RVs. So is Circle K RV friendly?
Let’s look and see!
What’s New at Circle K for RVers?
Circle K is looking to capitalize on a few growing markets across the country. One of the most notable expansions is their desire to cater to RVers. Some features they want to add to select stores include waste dump stations, bulk propane purchases, firewood, water fill stations, air pumps, and fueling stations designed for RVers.
The company is testing these offerings at select stores in Arizona, a popular RVing state, and could expand if the pilot program is successful.
Not only is Circle K looking to meet the needs of RVers, but also those who are licensed to purchase medical marijuana. The brand is partnering with Green Thumb Industries to sell marijuana at a select number of stores where it’s legal. The partnership allows Green Thumb Industries to occupy space adjacent to the convenience stores and serve those who can legally purchase marijuana.
Whether either venture will be successful for Circle K remains to be seen. However, if they do well, there’s a good chance they’ll roll out the features to as many locations as possible.
The History of Circle K
Circle K started in 1951 when Fred Hervey purchased a chain of food stores in El Paso, Texas, called Kay’s Food Stores, named after the founder Kay Misenheimer. As the brand evolved into a new identity, it was later changed to Circle K as we know it today.
The brand would eventually expand to New Mexico and Arizona before going through a series of acquisitions that led to its rapid growth. The growth resulted in the chain having more than 1,000 locations by 1975. They entered the international market in 1979 and reached $1 billion in sales by 1984.
Currently, you can find Circle K gas stations in 47 states. Nebraska, Utah, and Wisconsin are the only states without one. They’re more heavily located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas. However, it seems they’re constantly expanding and creating new locations. If there’s not one near you, there might be soon.
What is Alimentation Couche-Tard?
Circle K was acquired by Alimentation Couche-Tard in October 2003. Alimentation Couche-Tard purchased the business from ConocoPhillips for $830 million and made them Canada’s #1 convenience store operator and the fourth largest in North America.
As a whole, Alimentation Couche-Tard operates more than 14,000 convenience stores worldwide. The company is run by a qualified team that includes the Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board, Alain Bouchard, and President and Chief Executive Officer, Brian Hannasch.
Since acquiring Circle K, the Canadian-based Alimentation Couche-Tard has used its expertise and position to expand into other parts of Europe and Asia. They’re a force to be reckoned with and go toe-to-toe with major convenience stores like 7-Eleven.
What Conveniences Does Circle K Offer?
It should come as no surprise, but for a convenience store to be successful, it must offer certain conveniences. A large part of Circle K’s success is because its locations have plenty to offer customers. Let’s take a look at some of the amenities they offer.
One of the most popular conveniences that Circle K offers is its Polar Pops and coffees. Countless drivers stop each morning during their commute to say hello to the attendant while grabbing roadside refreshments. They even provide a “monthly beverage subscription” where subscribers can get one drink of their choice per day.
In addition, they also offer fresh food like hot dogs, pizza, and deli sandwiches. Whether you skipped breakfast, forgot your lunch, or are craving a special treat, Circle K can hook you up with a fix.
Fleet & Gift Cards
Keeping fuel in the tanks of a fleet of vehicles can be challenging, especially when fuel prices are through the roof. Circle K offers a fleet card that gives fleet operators access to a massive network of fuel stations and saves them money each time they fill up their tanks. Tracking purchases and controlling spending are also incredibly easy with this card.
If you don’t happen to operate a fleet of vehicles, Circle K offers cards that can be helpful. Gift cards can be excellent gifts for birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions. You can purchase one inside the store, and recipients can use it at any Circle K in the country for food, gas, or other purchases.
One of the most convenient offerings from Circle K is their Easy Pay program. This connects to your checking account and allows you to quickly and easily pay for fuel purchases. As a benefit, they offer $.30 off per gallon for the first 100 gallons and then $.10 off each once you’ve reached the limit. No matter how much fuel you purchase each month, this convenient offering can help you save money.
How Do You Find RV-Friendly Gas Stations?
RV-friendly gas stations can be challenging to find during your travels. You need to find places that can accommodate the size of your rig and make it easy to get in and out. Luckily, some resources can be helpful and save the day.
The popular app GasBuddy is one of the best free resources. Not only does it tell you the prices for gas and diesel near you, but it can also give you turn-by-turn directions to whichever station you choose. You can filter the results to specific criteria, which limits the results only to those that meet your needs. For RVers, we suggest filtering the results to “truck stops,” which can easily handle any RV.
Apps like iExit Trucks and Next Exit are worth downloading if you travel primarily on interstates. These resources can help you to know what’s ahead, including grocery stores, restaurants, and fuel stations. Once installed, you can find just about anything you need while on the road.
Don’t forget to download apps for your favorite truck stops like Pilot, Flying J, and Love’s. These corporate-run spots have locations all over the country. Using their apps, you can quickly and easily locate the nearest station and see what amenities they offer.
Is Circle K Really RVer Friendly?
Some Circle K’s are more RVer friendly than other locations. And some spots may be impossible for larger rigs to navigate safely. As a result, you’ll need to research each location to ensure it works for your situation.
You can check Street View and Satellite View on Google Maps to check for possible issues in an unfamiliar area. When in doubt, you can always call the location, chat with the attendant, and see if they have space for RVs to fill up.
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