Flying J Locations 749 and 876 in Carmel Church and Ruther Glen, VA: Truck Stop Review

Fernando Meyer


At exit 104 along I-95 in Ruther Glen/Carmel Church, Virginia, there are two different Flying J stops at the exit, with one being on either side of the Interstate. On the western side is the Carmel Church Flying J, which is the meatier of the two. The one on the eastern side is the Ruther Glen, VA store, which appears as though it was once a Petro taken over by Flying J, which is a somewhat common sight. The Ruther Glen stop, for those just getting fuel, is rather Spartan in what’s available while the Carmel Church side has a Denny’s, a full service lobby with coffee and grill stations, pizza and other foods behind the counter as well as cold sandwiches and salads.

The Carmel Church Flying J offers more of a travel center, but the lot isn’t significantly different in terms of parking at either of these locations. Carmel Church has 239 spaces, while Ruther Glen offers 250. While Ruther Glen offers those fueling less, there is a full-service store and restaurant (plus a free-standing Wendy’s) for those staying longer. Further, Love’s is directly across the street, along with other fast food locations. The Carmel Church location stands alone but operates as a full-service Flying J.

The Ruther Glen location just might be a better choice for those fueling, as the Carmel Church side’s fuel pumps can develop significant lines, leaving one to wait for some time. This is likely because the store offers more for those on the go, while the other store offers some in terms of beverages and simple foods, but that’s all. Beyond that, the Ruther Glen side requires one to drive around this roundabout road in order to access the location, while the Carmel Church store is more easily accessible.

Because I am a driver on the go through this region and have never spent a night, I can say I don’t have familiarity with the Ruther Glen showers or the main building. I have been in the main building but never for long, while I have showered several times on the Carmel Church side. Being the sort of location this is, it should come as little surprise that this stop’s showers are quite acceptable, although the wait times can be lengthy as the day turns towards the evening. But if one is waiting, the lounge and TV room are comfortable and roomy at Carmel Church.

One thing to keep in mind should one desire to fuel on the Ruther Glen side is that if one needs diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), one should watch closely when approaching the pumps. Only every other pump offers DEF, and for those that do not, the console where one pays and enters information is on the passenger side. While that isn’t a big deal, should one be looking for DEF, watch where it is or is not, or you’ll have to circle the building and the scale and try again.

If one is looking for a Blue Beacon truck wash as well as other services, the Blue Beacon is on the Ruther Glen, or eastern side.

The nice thing about this particular exit and these various locations is that the driver has a few choices for where to go depending on what’s needed. If you just need fuel, perhaps going towards Ruther Glen would be quicker. If one desires to spend their entire break there and also desires that common full-on Flying J with the trimmings they normally provide, then Carmel Church is the ticket. If one is running the I-95 corridor continuously and needs fuel but stopped at this exit just hours earlier, there is another choice, which is good for those whose fuel payment systems red flag frequent stops at identical locations.

The entrance to the Ruther Glen location (once one completes the roundabout at the traffic light past the location) is rather easy to get in, past what used to be a guard shack, presumably for collecting fees. It’s abandoned now. On the Carmel Church side, one also has to make a left at the traffic light, but there is merely a corridor along the front side of the store before the space opens up to the whole of the lot. Be advised that a lot of drivers like to park at the end of this corridor when other parking gets lean, and the space to enter can be congested.

Overall, I give this truck stop location an acceptable and positive viewpoint because of the variables in choice and services.

Oh, and as a plus, if the driver is heading towards Maryland/Delaware/New Jersey and desires to avoid Washington DC and the I-95 tolls, heading east past the Ruther Glen stop (straight through the light) moves through and past the Fort A.P. Hill base and towards highway 301. This can be handy, particularly during the time of this writing, as there’s been plenty of road construction near northern Virginia and Washington.

Fernando Meyer

Fernando Meyer

Fernando Meyer is a freelance writer and founder of F-Meyer website. His writing strengths include business, financial topics, and lifestyle. He uses his life experiences to inspire his detailed and informative style of writing.

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