View Poll Results: Would you use a pay by the hour RV parking service with electricity?
Yes, I would use such a service 18 18.37%
I think boondocking is a right and I will never pay to park overnight 7 7.14%
I would try this service if it is not expensive 43 43.88%
Yes, would use this service if less than overnight fee at a local campground 30 30.61%
Voters: 98. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-15-2015, 10:31 AM   #1
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Requesting comments to overnight parking while in transit concept

A company has contacted me for advice. The company is considering offering electric service at truck stops and other venues that RVers could use. The concept is that the RVer would be able to park, hook up to electricity and pay an hourly rate.

My advice was that a traveling RVer would like the service.

The service would offer a flat parking area, either paved or gravel. There would be some lighting and security. Likely, there would be no water service or trash collection.

I suggested that RVers would prefer pull through sites, but that most could handle back in sites, except for Class A motorhomes pulling a car. I strongly advocated for pull through sites.

Based on my personal RV experiences, I would use this service. When traveling, I don't like pulling into a campground late and then leaving early. Too much time and too much money for what I get.

I can easily spend up to 4 nights in my Class B before needing to dump tanks and refill the fresh water. When I have a trailer along, probably add a week more. So I don't need full hookups when traveling, but electricity is a big plus. Something that I'm willing to pay to get.

The concept would be this: you pull up to an open site, go to the company's web site on your phone or PC, ID the site, then select how many hours of parking you want. Pay via CC or account with the company (if you have one). Possible add-ons would include a reservation system [a time window for a site].

Here's what this would mean to me: power to run the roof A/C, electric heater, TV, and refer + keep the batteries charged without running a genset or checking into a CG. Essentially, I would have a level, secure parking space that I am "renting" + the electricity that I need.

What I wouldn't have is the things I don't need: water service, the hassle of CG check in/check out, truck engines idling all night beside me with the diesel fumes, and the need to find a overnight space to "hide" while trying to boondock for the night.

Please let me know if you would use such a service when enroute to another destination. If you have any concerns or questions, I could discuss here on the forum.

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Old 06-15-2015, 10:36 AM   #2
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I would only try to stay at another truck stop if it was an absolute emergency. I had a very bad experience at one and have no desire to repeat it.
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Old 06-15-2015, 10:41 AM   #3
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I think it's s very viable concept, tho if they want a hefty hourly rate for electric only, people won't use it.

There are a fair number of campgrounds that keep a stretch of pull thru sites, just for over nighters...easy in and easy out, which seems to work very well. I also vote for pull thrus.

Away from the trucks would be a plus, and something on their website that lets a user know if there is a dump at that particular truck stop.


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Old 06-15-2015, 10:58 AM   #4
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The Ohio turnpike has 4 stops that offer elec up to 50 amp, water and dump for $20 a day, one day max.

Too rich for me. I own an Airstream that is designed to boondock. Unless you REALLY need AC or TV, shut off the truck, climb in the trailer, fix dinner, have a beer, and go to bed. No cash needed.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:11 AM   #5
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I think a daily rate would make more sense than an hourly one, or a 12 hour rate maybe. And I would want a water source and dump station included on the grounds or lot (not at the site). Trash location too.

And I would never pay more than $20 for such a deal, probably would want it less than $15. I am cheap.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:39 AM   #6
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I would not want to spend the night at a truck stop. Rest areas maybe, but not really. Walmart or other big parking lots maybe, but not really. Civic center/arena parking lots possibly. RV dealers, car dealers, Harley shops, churches, possibly.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:57 AM   #7
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how much?

How much hourly rate we talking?
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:12 PM   #8
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related reading:
DEEP: Truck Stop Electrification
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:26 PM   #9
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A charge by the hour would be the fairest, some would come in by 6pm and others by 8pm, some would want to leave by 6am others by 8am. I guess a minimum could be charged with a max at $1 an hour. The problem with Walmarting is questionable safety in some areas and no electricity. That means no AC in summer and battery for the furnace in the winter, same for rest areas and truck stops. This could be an idea if the provider could actually have a business plan that would make it worth his/her while and still low enough to stay fairly full.
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
I would not want to spend the night at a truck stop. Rest areas maybe, but not really. Walmart or other big parking lots maybe, but not really. Civic center/arena parking lots possibly. RV dealers, car dealers, Harley shops, churches, possibly.

I'd choose truck stops over many other types. That said, not in a metro area, etc. Truck drivers tend to be up at all hours, in my mind a good thing.

Also, some of the modern "travel plazas" have areas not in the truck lot that can accommodate RVs. This is where satellite views pay off. Cars and big trucks are nearly always segregated per entrance and exit.

My preference in a big truck and for personal travel is with Flying J.

Granted, in all this, it is usually easier to park at a truck stop off the major east-west lanes. Use a corporate locator to find the ones with high levels of service for car travel.
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:36 PM   #11
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I too would like a secure place to RON with electricity. The range of responses reflects quite a range of diversity. In transit, we frequently have used Pilot/Flying J truck stops, even more than Wal-Mart and Cracker Barrel. Only once, maybe a dozen years ago, at the Flying J in Manteca, CA did the manager tell me there had been some vandalism from trans-border drivers and moved me to a -place right in front of the restaurant. Truckers really seem to love the AS and many have told me how they want one.

It appears that KOA is recognizing the in-transit RVers with their new "Journey" classification. I haven't seen it in operation so not sure what it entails.

Maggie, I have never seen sites for just overnighters. Where/how do you find them? On a couple of occasions, I have requested parking in a campground's overflow at a reduced rate, but not all campgrounds allow it when they still have regular high-prices available.
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Old 06-15-2015, 01:00 PM   #12
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Angry Overnight in route

Truck stop camping is an idea with no use for me. There are free overnight copping all over the U.S. with electricity. A little googling will find these sites in every state and usually less that an day apart, some as close a 30 miles apart.
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Old 06-15-2015, 01:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Wolf Alaska View Post
The concept would be this: you pull up to an open site, go to the company's web site on your phone or PC, ID the site, then select how many hours of parking you want. Pay via CC or account with the company (if you have one).
That's overly complicated. A simple "pay at the pump" system just like when you buy fuel would work better. Enter the number of hours of service you want, swipe your card, print your receipt, hook up your power, transaction complete. And the card-swipe system would be able to accept all the same cards that the truck stop already takes for fuel.

Some truck stops already provide shore power for semis, especially in states where there are laws to prevent the trucks from being idled while parked. That way they can run a heater or air conditioner for their sleeper cab even with the engine shut off. There's already an app to identify the truck stops that provide this service, too— Allstays TSE (for Truck Stop Electric) Adding shore power for RVs-only is not a big stretch, if the truck stop has adequate real estate to provide a separate RV-Parking-Only section and is willing to spend the money to install the system.

But I don't think many truck stops would be willing to try it. Semis are a guaranteed market, and the cost of installing shore power for semis is pretty much guaranteed to be recovered, especially as more states legislate maximum idle times for semis. There's one state (I forget which) that limits idle time to just three minutes before they have to shut off the engine. They could spend longer than that stuck at a red light in rush hour!

But for RVs, that's not a guaranteed market since few RVers like the noise of a truck stop for their overnight stays, and the cost to install the system might never get recouped over the life of the system. So while it might be a good idea, the chance of anyone fronting the venture capital to implement it is slim, very slim.
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Old 06-15-2015, 01:50 PM   #14
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Being retired, we normally plan one or two nights in CGs en route no matter what our destination is. We only drive 200 miles/day so we have time to explore each area we stop, it is after all, "recreation".

I can only imagine using something like this if I can't find a vacancy in a campground which would mean poor planning on my part.
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