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Our Top RV Travel Tips

September 19, 2018

Traveling in an RV can be one of the most luxurious ways to take a road trip; some really feel like a hotel on wheels. But whether you are an experienced RV-er or more of a novice, a few tips and helpful ideas will ensure you have a smooth and un-eventful road trip to your vacation destination and back home again. Having a few of these things checked off your list will give your peace of mind when traveling in an RV - especially in the deserts of Nevada and Utah. At Virgin Valley Food Mart, we meet many RV travelers on the road and a few of these tips might keep you safer or better prepared for your next trip:


Securing Your Cargo

If your vehicle has undercarriage compartments for storage, it is a great opportunity to keep loose items tucked away and safe, where they won’t be able to move about in the cabin of the RV. Packing as much as you can inside these holds is a smart way to save space for the things you’ll need on-hand.

Although cabinets can latch and ensure your dishes or food don’t fall out, big bumps in the road or a rocky surface might rattle things up quite a bit on the inside. Be smart about how you arrange your kitchen and ensure that anything breakable be either secured down and immobile, or padded to ensure its safety. You can use things like kitchen towels or paper towels in between ceramic plates to minimize any rattling that might occur from a stack of dishes. The same could apply to glass bottles of cooking liquids or anything standing upright in the cabinets - use something like a basket or plastic bin to house these items and place padding in between when in transit. The absence of that noise alone could be helpful on a long bumpy trip.


Know Your Vehicle’s Capabilities

If you plan on traveling somewhere with dirt roads or intend on going on rougher terrain in your RV, take the measures to make sure that is something your vehicle can manage. Although they are larger and more powerful vehicles, not all of them are made to withstand very rough roads or terrain. Be sure before making the trip to an off-road adventure that your RV can hold up.

rv capabilities mesquite nv

Another side of the coin is knowing what your vehicle can do. It is very useful to know exactly how much the storage tanks hold, how long the generator typically will last, and all of these kinds of metrics. You don’t want to run out of anything and you definitely want to be sure you are keeping an eye on it all.


Map Out Your Dump Stations

While many rest stops offer pump and dump services, not all of them are desirable or easy to maneuver a large vehicle into the space allowed. If you do a little homework before embarking on your journey, you can map out the time and distance you’ll need to find a dump station for your RV. Look for gas stations or rest stops which have a large space to not only turn into, but also has a clear and spacious exit for your way back out.

pump dump parking gas station mesquite nv

If you pass through Mesquite, NV on your way to or from Las Vegas or Salt Lake City, Virgin Valley Food Mart provides the perfect place for you to stop with your RV. We offer parking on our lot, which also has access to free wifi during your stay. It’s a convenient place for pump and dump as well as some fun while you’re stopped. Across the street at the Virgin River Hotel & Casino and the Eureka Casino, you can grab some food or play some games to pass the time. At our facilities you can also fuel up on diesel and propane, get some snacks, beer, wine, and ice to keep things cool as you head back out on the road.


Available Drivers

Sometimes only one person on a trip can be the one behind the wheel of the RV or motorhome, but it is a smart idea to have at least one other person who could operate the vehicle in case it was needed. After driving for long periods of time traveling long distances, it can be helpful to be able to switch drivers and get some rest in between shifts. If only one person can drive the rig, there may come a time when you need to stop because the driver needs to rest. If you want to save some time, make sure you have other available drivers for your trip.


Be Prepared for Small Repairs

You might need to repair something small like a door handle during the course of your trip. Things happen, and it is always a good idea to keep some helpful items on hand when traveling in an RV. Make sure you have some tools with you - hammer, nails, screwdriver or drill, a wrench, and some of the basic handy tools that don’t take up too much space. If you have some strong tape, strong glue, an extension cord, and any small items to keep you covered if something comes loose or needs to be tacked down, a temporary solution is sometimes necessary.

rv repairs parking mesquite nv

Getting ready to hit the road in your RV? The key takeaway is to always plan ahead and know your stuff. Make sure to check in with us at Virgin Valley Food Mart if you are traveling through Mesquite, NV for a clean, spacious, and friendly place to park your RV. Follow us on Facebook to learn more tips and advice about road trips and traveling in your RV. Check out the nearby travel destinations in the surrounding areas in the valley to see some memorable and unique natural attractions. Contact us with questions you have about visiting our location before you begin your trek on the road.


History of the 76 Gas Station

August 21, 2018

People know the 76 Station brand from the orange circle and blue numbers. As a reliable and known station since the 30’s, 76 Stations have been a solid and strong contender in the oil and gas market because of their commitment to quality of product. Offering premium gas and quality services, Virgin Valley Food Mart is happy to provide 76 gas to the community surrounding our location as well as the many travelers coming to us from Salt Lake City or Las Vegas. Mesquite is a great place to stop on any longer road trips between these cities, and 76 gas is the reliable way to get you from one side to the other. This ubiquitous brand was formed in 1932 and the history of the 76 Station is one to be shared with their consumers.

Where It Started

76 stations originated in California, operated by Union Oil of California, otherwise known as Unocal. It was a popular brand in the Los Angeles area and grew in popularity and recognition throughout the west coast upward toward Seattle. Since its genesis the company has gone through other changes of ownership and now operates in company with Conoco and Phillips 66. There is a mysterious nostalgia that surrounds the brand however, and people have come to remember then and recognize now the same commitment to quality.

The Orange Ball

While the company, Union Oil established itself in California in the 30’s, the well-known orange ball did not come into play until 1962. These orange 76 balls were a part of the brand’s signage, but this kind of invention in signage was actually quite radical for the time. The designer, Ray Pederson, had referenced the typical gas station signage that was used as a “lollipop” style. This hampered its visibility in his mind, as it was only visible as it spun in two directions at a time. The sphere that became the 76 ball was his solve to the lacking visibility in signage and it became instantly memorable. 

Five years later, gas stations began distributing them to the public as antenna balls. This incited almost a craze of individuals representing the brand on their own vehicles, sporting the little styrofoam 76 balls on their radio antennae. The bright colors could be seen as helpful if spotted in a winter storm, but did not actually have any function, just a knick-knack and now, a nostalgic picture.

The 76 brand has since done away with the spinning orange sphere atop most of the gas stations, as they ran into different road bumps like energy concerns, and ultimately followed the trend of keeping things more simple and clean to represent their culture. Many west coasters found the change to be upsetting, since that styrofoam ball brought back sweet California memories and nostalgia from the 1970s, but it is important for brands and companies to reinvent and promote new ideas.

You can get your own piece of history - some people have their personal car antenna 76 balls for sale on eBay!

Commitment to Quality

Ultimately, 76 stations focus on providing the highest quality and always meeting their high standards. They pride themselves on being the cleanest stations available for their customers, and at Virgin Valley Food Mart, we keep that focus ourselves as well.  

What’s in a Name?

The name of the company - 76 - is not as well explained. There are theories online that describe the name stemming from an association with American independence - 1776 is the year of the American Revolution. There have been different marketing campaigns which reference the “spirit of 76” referring to the liberty and independent spirit of the founders of the county. This is more of a sentimental association and could be the inspiration for the name of the gas company itself.

Quality Above All

At 76 gas stations, you can be sure you will be met with quality products. As a tenant of the ethos of 76, the PRO clean fuel is top of the line and the best fuel you can use in your vehicle. There are a lot of benefits that come with using top tier fuel, like keeping your car’s engine from getting buildup and clogs, as well as keeping the underside of the hood a lot cleaner than with other types of fuel. The best part about getting gas with 76 is that you know that any type of fuel you use is top tier. Even the unleaded (not premium) fuel is top tier, so it is just a smart way to ensure you are using the best products to protect your investment.

The difference in cost for consumers to receive the best quality fuel they can for their vehicle is also extremely minimal. If you think about what you might save in automotive repairs when compared to the few extra dollars that might go toward better gasoline, it is the more economical choice in every way. If you choose to visit 76 stations for your fuel, you can be confident you are filling up your tank with the best option at your disposal.

Looking for more information about our gas or our station? Follow us on Facebook to learn more about the history of the 76 stations as well as some helpful advice to guide you along your journeys on the road. Virgin Valley Food Mart is the perfect stopping place if you are traveling by RV - you can park on our grounds to sleep, but enjoy plenty of entertainment conveniently located within walking distance of our station. We’ve got all the snack and supplies you’ll need to keep you going along your way, so be sure to stop in and check out our facilities while you are in Mesquite if you’re just passing through. Check out our guide for some activities to keep in mind as you travel through the area and catch some of the lesser seen parts of nature!

Exploring Nevada: Sights Near Mesquite, NV

August 3, 2018

Many people only know Nevada for one thing of course: Las Vegas. But in fact, there are so many natural beauties in the wild of Nevada that get little attention from the majority of travelers. At Virgin Valley Food Mart, we see many people traveling out of Las Vegas to Utah and vice-versa, and we know about a few sights that are not too far from our station that are definitely worth a visit. In particular, Whitney Pockets and Gold Butte are two destinations that are near Mesquite, NV and can enrich your journey on your way to or from another city. 

Where to Find Gold Butte

Coming from St. George or from Las Vegas, the Gold Butte area can be found very close to Mesquite, off of the I-15 interstate taking exit 112 toward Riverside. Continuing toward Gold Butte will take you about 20-25 miles with plenty to see along the way. You’ll find the Virgin River running alongside you for part of the drive and you’ll even see a peek of Lake Mead when you almost reach the halfway mark of your trip to Gold Butte. Most people would recommend parking in the lot not far from the main trailhead to get your exploration started. As with many natural sites which don’t get the attention that a destination like a National Park might, the roads can be a little rough during your drive out to Gold Butte. Be careful traveling on the roads to avoid major bumps and as always, just take your time with things. The roads there are paved, but not paved like city streets or highways with the comfort that we get accustomed to with smooth roads.

Gold Butte area is a meeting place for all the surrounding deserts and wildlife areas in one - it is in between the Virgin River and Colorado, with the Great Basin, Mojave, and Sonoran Deserts coming together at the site.  

What You’ll See

The Gold Butte area is a large expanse of about 360,000 acres of the wild - as BLM land. Part of the area is also home to the desert tortoise, which has been in past years one of the Critical Environmental Concerns as the natural formations, historically significant artifacts, and wildlife habitats here are definitely something to preserve. As with much of the Nevada desert, rock formations with incredible colors can be seen throughout both areas of Gold Butte and Whitney Pockets. Many visitors comment on the spectacle of color that they see within these beautiful formations - mixtures of sandstone in yellows, reds, and whites really contrast beautifully against the bright sun in the clear blue sky up above. Seeing these colors alone might make the journey worthwhile when passing through or visiting Mesquite. During your exploration, you’ll also catch the view of the man-made concrete dam to catch runoff water in Gold Butte.

Getting to Know Whitney Pockets

If you are an amateur, professional, or just enjoy exploration as a hobby, visiting Whitney Pockets delivers some once in a lifetime things to behold. The natural setting is beautiful and majestic to take in, but humans have been a part of this part of nature for a very long time. At Whitney Pockets you will find many artifacts and historic petroglyphs from Native American tribes long ago who inhabited and traversed the area.

In additional to the historic man-made etchings and visuals, the rock formations have, over time, created intricate and interesting caverns and windows throughout the rock. You’ll see many deep fissures in the sandstone, with plenty of arches and natural wonders that erode and appear over many years for us to witness and enjoy. This area truly is home to very unique pockets to discover throughout the hike through the valley.

During your hike through Gold Butte and Whitney Pockets, you won’t have to deal with much in the way of difference in air pressure. Being at about 3,000 ft elevation, the hike should not change much in terms of noticeable elevation - meaning, you likely won’t be unexpectedly out of breath during your excursion. The whole of the journey of the hike should be no more than about three miles, so it would definitely be something to do in a day trip.

How to End Your Desert Adventure

After spending some time in the little-known deserts of Nevada and catching up with some of the beauty there, it is a short trip back to Mesquite where you can enjoy all the comforts of home. If you plan to stay in Mesquite, there are plenty of hotel accommodations in the area - across from Virgin Valley Food Mart, you will find the Virgin River Hotel & Casino. If you’re travelling by RV, Virgin Valley Food Mart is the perfect location to park and stay overnight for just $1 per hour and enjoy free wifi. Many of our customers park at our facilities and make their way to the Virgin River for some fun before heading back out on the I-15 Interstate. It’s a comfortable alternative to booking a room in a hotel and definitely a cost effective option.
mesquite nv gas station

At Virgin Valley Food Mart, you can gas up at our 76 station, only pumping quality gasoline for your vehicle. Make sure to stop in to load up on snack and beverages in our food mart before getting back out on the road as well! You can find diesel fuel at our station as well, with ample space for large trucks or RVs. There are so many natural beauties out there to see at some point in your travels, so plan ahead and make the time to see Gold Butte and Whitney Pockets near Mesquite, NV - you will not regret the choice to spend a little extra time with all the views of painted desert you’ll find.

Looking for more tips about exploring Mesquite, NV or how to plan for your trip? Stay up to speed with Virgin Valley Food Mart for new tips, places to visit, and how to’s for your travels through Nevada. Follow us on Facebook to see the latest posts, or contact us directly if you have questions about how to plan your trip or when to make the stop at our station in Mesquite, NV. We look forward to meeting you and helping you on your journey.

Use 76 Gas Stations for Quality Fuel

July 10, 2018

Everyone has their favorite kind of anything - favorite soap, beverage, brand of detergent, and the list could go on. Then you have your favorite places to frequent, favorite restaurants, clothing stores, even grocery stores and gas stations. Many people find their favorites because of things like customer service, but most are concerned with the quality of the product itself. Something that a lot of individuals these days would not be aware of is the discretion they should also have when choosing a gas station to refuel. At Virgin Valley Food Mart, we hope to become your favorite stop between Las Vegas and Utah, with a convenient location, friendly staff, and quality products, we are a 76 gas station. When refueling at a 76 gas station, it is important to understand why your gas is of higher quality and what it means for your vehicle.
gas station in Mesquite, NV

What Your Car Requires

Many cars which are made by high-end manufacturers like BMW, Audi, or similar companies will require the use of top-tier fuel for running their vehicles properly. Top tier gas is also referred to as “top tier detergent gasoline” - which refers to the added detergents used in this type of fuel. The EPA requires a minimum amount of detergent in gasoline, but certain fuel suppliers will go above that minimum requirement for a higher level of detergent in the fuel.

We don’t often hear the word detergent when referring to gasoline in general conversation, but it is important to know why it matters for your car and choice in gasoline. To keep things simple, it basically just means that the gasoline you are adding to your vehicle is cleaner for the engine and fuel system itself. The benefit is seen by consumers in their regular auto maintenance, which correlates to overall performance and lasting power of the vehicle.

In addition to the way that a higher detergent content will lead to a cleaner engine, it can also help reduce emissions overall - a top-performing vehicle should have top-performing emission outputs as well. This is the reason that high-end vehicle manufacturers state that the higher grade fuel is required for their vehicle’s operation - it will make the vehicle last longer with care.

Choosing the Best Option

Gas will get you and your vehicle from where you are, to where you need to be whether it is low grade, minimum level detergent gasoline or top-tier, this we know is true. Over the lifetime of your ownership of the vehicle, you will see the choices you make have an effect on the quality of the car’s engine function and how well it wears over time. If you are faced with the decision about which gas station to use, 76 will always be a reliable choice. All 76 gas is considered to be top-tier gasoline, as it has 3 times more detergent than required by the EPA and surpasses the top-tier gasoline marker’s requirements by 30%. You can rest assured that at 76, the standard IS top-tier.
76 gas station Virgin Valley Food Mart

Price Differences

While drivers would usually expect to pay more for higher quality gas, typically the price difference is not very significant in its increase. If it came down to cents - under a dollar more for a much higher quality of gas and potentially reducing automotive repairs and engine work in the future, would it be worthwhile to make the switch? The best part about learning more about how the quality of gasoline affects your vehicle is that it is not ever too late to begin using a higher quality fuel. Making the switch at any point in time can be helpful for your car’s overall maintenance.

Reducing Deposits

Another major benefit to using fuel with high levels of detergent is the effect it has on leaving behind deposits within your engine. Typically the fuel intake valves will take on the brunt of the effects of low-quality fuel with build up that eventually can block certain functions from happening and reduce overall performance of the vehicle. These deposits will also register on an emissions test, and increase the emissions output, so that smog and emissions check could have a lower chance of passing simply due to the type of fuel you are using in your car.

A distinction that is very important to make that some people may not be aware of as well is that at a 76 gas station or another station which pumps top-tier fuel, all the fuel you can fill up your tank with will be top-tier with a higher detergent content. This means that whether you are filling up on regular unleaded, plus, or premium, you can be sure that the quality of the gasoline itself is not in question. For this reason, it is smart to know which brands of gasoline or gas stations offer this type of gasoline. If you stick with using 76 gas stations, you know you are always safe with their commitment to adding 3 times the amount of detergent required to their fuel.

Curious about how to save on gas, where to stop, and how to make the most of your road trip? Stay in touch with us at Virgin Valley Food Mart - right in between Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, our 76 gas station in Mesquite offers a unique place to rest or stop during your journey, with lots of convenient nearby businesses and sights to see. Take a break at the hotel or casino across the street or make your way inside to snack on some of our select food items and beverages before getting back on the open road. Feel confident fueling up at our gas station and follow us on Facebook to learn more helpful advice about traveling on the road and ways to help you save while in transit.

How to Find and Use a Gas Station with your Fifth Wheel or RV

June 22, 2018

Have you ever been driving a large truck or diesel truck, RV, or towed a fifth wheel and had trouble finding or even just using a gas station? It is one of those issues that plagues the frequent road-traveller and is something that is important to plan for during your trips out on the open road. Generally, truck stops or gas stations will advertise that they offer diesel fuel, a place to stop, or a dump station, but there are some other ways you can be efficient with your planning and take care of things ahead of time to reduce your worry in the long run.

Many gas stations that are RV, fifth wheel, or diesel truck friendly can be found near the major highways, but it is smart planning to know where these are located in reference to your specific trip.

One stop to make on your way out to Las Vegas from Salt Lake City or vice-versa is Virgin Valley Food Mart - a Union 76 gas station. Like other major stations and stops for drivers, it is near a major highway - the I-15 - and is definitely a friendly place for truck drivers or RV drivers alike to stop and take a break in between stints on the road.

Find it on an App

Your map might get you where you need to go, but without fuel, your plans for reaching your destination make you tap those brakes a bit. Map apps usually display the different gas stations along your route, but sometimes you won’t find all the information you need to feel confident you’ll be able to fit, the fuel type you need is there, or that there is a place for you to park and stay overnight.

One of the smartest ways to plan this in advance is to get an app that shows you all the different features of gas stations and which ones suit your needs best. If you had to drive an extra 10 miles to reach a station with plenty of room to turn your large truck or RV around, that might be worth the reduction in stress, right?

While apps like AllStays can be great for showing you the stations along your route, technology isn’t perfect, so make sure to do your due diligence and research the area you intend to visit ahead of time, and that might mean making a quick phone call or two to figure out specific logistics. Some stations will offer ample space for a diesel truck, but in an RV, you might require regular fuel - and that also means extra space for your RV to fit in the fueling stations.

If you have time to plan out your trip and are towing a fifth wheel, make sure to gas up your vehicle doing the towing prior to heading out on your trip. Getting gas while towing anything adds complication to the situation, so take an extra pre-vacation prep step and get the gas before you hitch up your fifth wheel or trailer.

Mentally Prepare Yourself

If you are driving your car in your hometown or the city you live, typically gas stations are numerous, and you might not even think about refueling until your gas light turns on and you hear the alert chime. In an RV or large truck, you should always take an extra precaution with gas, since not every station will have the space you require, and potentially might not even have the type of fuel you require. If your tank is getting close to halfway full, begin your search for your next gas station to refuel. This conscious approach to your travels will ensure you aren’t adding any extra stress while operating a large vehicle and can add some peace of mind to your journey where extra stress is not very welcome.

Navigating the Space

If you find a station that appears as if it will work out perfectly for your vehicle, there are some considerations that can help make the stop a bit smoother. As you approach the station, consider how you will need to maneuver the vehicle into the fueling station, whether you will need to enter from one direction or another with the most ease, and how busy that particular station is at the time. One other important thing to note is how you will exit the station. If you end up blocked in by other cars at the pump behind or in front of you, that is likely to add unnecessary frustration to your journey that can be avoided. Pull into a spot that makes it easy for you to drive out when you are ready, into an open space as often as possible.

Some stations will have a dedicated RV lane for refueling, which can be helpful and ease the stress of planning out your interaction with the space, but consider the pathways directly out of that space as well. If you need to get back on the highway and the road adjacent to the station requires a sharp left turn to make it onto the onramp, you might think about alternate ways of entering that road, like perhaps traveling further in the opposite direction and finding a lot to turn back around. When in doubt, always choose the outermost lane when refueling to allow for the greatest amount of surrounding space possible.

One place RV enthusiasts or truck drivers can feel at ease is at Virgin Valley Food Mart. Not only is the area spacious for all types of navigation and maneuvering your vehicle, but it also is conveniently located near a hotel and casino to add some entertainment to your stop. Shop the Food Mart to find snack and beverages to keep your body refueled along your journey, and park and stay in the lot to rest before heading back out on the road. With an easy location and quick access back to the highway, Virgin Valley Food Mart is the perfect truck stop in Mesquite between Las Vegas and Utah.