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Old 04-29-2004, 11:20 AM   #1
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Is rest area overnight camping enforced?

I inadvertently stayed overnight last week in a state rest area where it isnít allowed (Pennsylvania) and I wasnít bothered. It was on Route 80 and it wasn't posted that overnight stays weren't allowed. I thought it was okay as the parking lot was filled with 75% truckers and 25% campers -- all staying the night. I was just wondering how much this law is enforced from state to state. Has anyone had any experience with getting ďbootedĒ from a rest area? Let us know what state this happened in so we can beware.

Note, I recently researched the RV state rest area camping laws for each state and discovered that, for 2004, the following states donít allow any overnight stays in rest areas: Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

For anyone interested, the link is: http://www.rvadvice.com/travel/AL.html. Additionally I compiled a handy document with the 2004 RV road laws for each state and attached it to this thread.
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File Type: doc 2004 RV Road Laws.doc (40.5 KB, 745 views)
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Old 04-29-2004, 11:37 AM   #2
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Nice job! Thanks!

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Old 04-29-2004, 11:46 AM   #3
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I stayed in a rest stop in PA on 80 last fall and not only got booted out at 4:00AM but was also handed a souvenir in the form of a $65 parking violation. Thereís nothing like waking up to the sound of a Mag-Lite tapping on your window.

When I [politely] asked the trooper if he thought I should have just kept on driving while tired instead of pulling over and parking within about 50 trucks at 1:00am he said he agreed with me but still had to uphold the laws. Now, there were huge no parking signs all around so I knew I was taking a chance on a ticket, it just seemed a little silly to me to put tired [but ticketed] truckers and RV'er back on the road in the early hours of the morning..

He gave all of the truckers tickets as well. The CB chatter for the next twenty miles was pretty interesting....at least it kept me awake.

Now - in many other places, TN, GA, NY, OH, MO I've stayed in rest stops with no problems at all. Typically, if I'm traveling en route and I need to pull off I'll look for a Truck Stop with RV parking (Like a Flying J) or a Wal-Mart. In any case I always make a fuel purchase or pick up some supplies as a small thank you for their hospitality.
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Old 04-29-2004, 12:09 PM   #4
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I'm pretty sure Oregon rest stops are marked with signs that say no over night parking. We've only stayed in them long enough to take a dinner break before pushing on.
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Old 04-29-2004, 12:15 PM   #5
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Oregon state allows 12 hour parking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
I'm pretty sure Oregon rest stops are marked with signs that say no over night parking. We've only stayed in them long enough to take a dinner break before pushing on.
According to the 2004 laws I found on the aforementioned website, the rule in Oregon state is: "Overnight parking is permited in state rest areas not to exceed 12 hours."
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Old 04-29-2004, 12:17 PM   #6
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I've never stayed over at a rest area, but I ran across the following from a free camping/boondocking site:
Quote:
A WARNING FROM A CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROLMAN:



"Overnighting at highway rest stops in California: The law says "NO", but it really becomes the discretion of the Patrol Officer, or Commander for that area. Where we have high crime report activity we will 'suggest' moving along. Some of our rest stops, particularly those close to major metropolitan areas, are prime "Gimme all your cash and credit cards!!" opportunities for the missguided youth of the area. If you ARE going to hole up there, make it one night only, lock every entry to your coach to eliminate surprise visits, and don't open your door for ANYONE except a law enforcement officer no matter what the sob story, screaming or other enticement. We see a lot of "Good Samaritan" robberies, where someone will knock rapidly on the door late at night or early in the morning and holler, "There's smoke and sparks coming from under your ***!!" Once you open the door to see what they're talking about, you get shoved back to inspect the business end of their weapon of choice. So.. don't overstay your welcome, and....be careful! -- JIM IN SACRAMENTO, CHP.
Source: http://www.freecampgrounds.com/california.html#Warning

If you want the home page: http://www.freecampgrounds.com They're selling their guide, but do list some free camping places across the country, plus good tips and links.
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Old 04-29-2004, 12:26 PM   #7
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California rest stop camping

Interesting because my source indicates that the 2004 law in California is: "Overnight parking in state rest areas is "as posted"."
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Old 04-29-2004, 02:11 PM   #8
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The info on that page with the CHP Officer's comment may be at least 5 years old. The comment above it was Edited in 1999. Also, one has to trust that "Jim" is indeed a peace officer, although I see no logical reason for someone to make that up.

Perhaps you could provide a link to your source, or name it if it is a booklet ,or something not avaiable on the web. Laws change so much, what was acceptable last year, may not be today.

Edit: Didn't make it want to sound like I don't believe you, I just like to keep up to date, and not having a source makes my info 3rd hand if I pass it along.
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Old 04-29-2004, 03:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtpalms
Perhaps you could provide a link to your source, or name it if it is a booklet ,or something not avaiable on the web. Laws change so much, what was acceptable last year, may not be today.
Check out the first posting in this thread -- I provided a link and a handy document which summarizes the RV road laws from the link.
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Old 04-29-2004, 04:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna
Check out the first posting in this thread -- I provided a link and a handy document which summarizes the RV road laws from the link.
Thanky. I clicked on it before, but didn't peruse the whole page, was just checking to make sure it wasn't the same page I was going to link to. It's in my bookmarks now.

Edit: I followed the link to CA, and read the attached Document, but neither mentioned staying overnight at rest areas.
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Old 04-29-2004, 05:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtpalms
Thanky. I clicked on it before, but didn't peruse the whole page, was just checking to make sure it wasn't the same page I was going to link to. It's in my bookmarks now.

Edit: I followed the link to CA, and read the attached Document, but neither mentioned staying overnight at rest areas.
mtpalms,
California RV Laws:
Quote:
Overnight parking in state rest areas is "as posted".
Plain English..
ciao
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Old 04-29-2004, 05:54 PM   #12
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Thanks, Yukionna. This looks like a useful travel reference. I've printed it and stored in my trip file that stores in my AS. Now if we do it wrong, it can't be that we didn't know better! I was somewhat shocked to see that my own state of Missouri allows travel in a moving trailer. I just hope all Missourians and travelers through Missouri practice greater common sense than this law seems to propose!
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Old 04-29-2004, 06:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 53FlyingCloud
mtpalms,
California RV Laws:

Plain English..
ciao
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I don't have Word, and I was too lazy to run it through MacLinks, so I opened it in another app that ran the copy all together, took awhile to disect it. Sounds like it's unenforceable anyway. CHP has better things to do than chalk mark tires all night long.
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