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Old 05-17-2009, 09:47 PM   #1
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Stopping at rest areas?

I was out this last week, it was about 12:20AM, pouring down rain, I had just stopped at my fourth full or non-responsive RV Park, getting tired, real tired, and a rest stop came up. What do states say about overnighting at a rest stop? I figured I would have some kind of trouble and so I pressed on, found a slot in a few miles and all was well, but still wondered...
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:55 PM   #2
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Most states do not allow overnight parking at rest stops. Texas does, however. Some states specify maximum parking times, typically 2 or 4 hours, so you can at least catch a couple of hours of shuteye in a pinch.
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:00 PM   #3
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I was out this last week, it was about 12:20AM, pouring down rain, I had just stopped at my fourth full or non-responsive RV Park, getting tired, real tired, and a rest stop came up. What do states say about overnighting at a rest stop? I figured I would have some kind of trouble and so I pressed on, found a slot in a few miles and all was well, but still wondered...
It would indeed be interesting, if you stopped for the night because you were very tired and deemed yourself "unfit to drive or tow safely," until you had adequate rest.

What then could happen if a cop said, get back on the highway, "NOW."

Who would be right, and why?

I encountered that once, at a rest stop that had signs stating, "NO OVERNIGHT PARKING," many many years ago, and the cop said "well OK." But, please, move on as soon as your properly rested.

Andy
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:00 PM   #4
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I havent had too much trouble. We stop and line up next to the trucks. If you can deal with the refers and all the truck traffic through the night nobody will really bother you. Pull in by 9pm and leave by 6am..

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Old 05-17-2009, 10:26 PM   #5
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I've done it a few times, but like vlamica says, because of all the noise and truck traffic, I did not rest very well at all....sort of grabbed a few winks and then went on.
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:31 PM   #6
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I asked at a rest area in Georgia, about their signs that say no overnight parking. I was told that the signs were there so that they could remove anyone causing a problem, and I was welcome to stay the night. I've never had a problem staying at rest areas anywhere.
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:25 AM   #7
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I was out this last week, it was about 12:20AM, pouring down rain, I had just stopped at my fourth full or non-responsive RV Park, getting tired, real tired. . .
Just wondering, what you meant by "non-responsive". Most RV park offices close quite early--5:00 is not uncommon. Provisions for after-hours arrivals are highly variable. Many post a list of available sites in front of the office and provide after-hours registration forms. One of my favorites just had a big sign that said, "Take any unoccupied site. Stop by the office in the morning."

Past midnight, in a park lacking any after-hours arrival advice, I think I would just find someplace to park off the road and turn off the key. I doubt anybody would bother you, at least until next morning.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:03 AM   #8
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I have stayed in many rest areas. In fact I could count on a spot in NC that was right under the No Overnight Parking sign because no one else would else would park there, I was last man in that night.

Most states have the sign for control if a problem comes up. The police can tell the difference between a squatter and a traveler.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:09 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by frscott View Post
I was out this last week, it was about 12:20AM, pouring down rain, I had just stopped at my fourth full or non-responsive RV Park, getting tired, real tired, and a rest stop came up. What do states say about overnighting at a rest stop? I figured I would have some kind of trouble and so I pressed on, found a slot in a few miles and all was well, but still wondered...
You might want to consider Flying J truck stops.

We have used them for years - mostly because of the convenience, but of course also you save a few $$

When travelling across country to a destination, we often plan a day's trip between Flying J's. I usually try to stop around 6 or 7pm to ensure getting a spot, but even when we stop later at night, we have never yet not found space, although the "choice" spots are usually taken.

We always try to pay them a back a little by eating supper/breakfast there and filling up the TV.

Filling up the TV is usually a good experience too as their prices seem to be as low as you will find, and there is lots of space for the RV.

You can pick up a brochure (or check the website) to find all the locations across the country.

We have only run across one that didn't have enough parking space to accomodate RV's I believe it was in Albuquerque or Amarillo, don't recall which.

You normally do not park with the trucks but in the auto area - some have spaces especially for RV's

Some folks use Walmarts and also Cracker Barrel restaurants in a similar way. We haven't tried that yet, but would do so if stuck.

I wouldn't feel comfortable about doing it unless there was at least one other RV.

Never tried rest stops, but would do so if stuck. I think I would only stop at one if there was lots of activity - not one in the middle of no-where with no-one else around!

Brian



PS - I haven't tried the other big truck stops such as Pilot and TA, I have the impression they are not as welcoming to RV'ers as Flying J, but don't know that for a fact.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:20 AM   #10
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A number of years ago my wife, Lynn, and I decided to take our first road trip without kids (both then teens and very capable of taking care of themselves). We pulled into a rest stop on I-5 in Northern Calif. for a 'break'. It was a late afternoon on Saturday. Upon resuming our travel the car would not start. After trying all the logical issues decided to pull the starter out right there in in the parking lot. A 'bench test' concluded that the starter was defective. By this time it was early evenng. We decided to set up our pop-up and prepare a dinner while discussing options. Dinner was good and we decided to stay the night amongst the truckers and get help in the morning, Sunday. After breakfast and a plan we implimated it. I went to the rest stop phone booth (before cell phones) and located a Napa Auto Parts store about 15 miles from where we were. They had the starter that we needed. No they did not deliver. I asked if there was a taxi service (Lynn's idea) in his town. Yes, a one cab service. Well, after another delightfull story about the cab service, we were back on the road in a couple of hours and a fun trip. As for spending the night in a rest stop....no CHP knocked on our pop-up,,,,truckers are a secure group to park with albeit noisy. Confession; I was the one that missed the kids the most.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:27 AM   #11
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Most rest areas I past have parking for overnight, You always see the truckers there. I made the mistake of parking in the middle once when there weren't many trucks around. With my old popup. Then the trucks came in on both sides of me. Never will do that again. Now is not as loud with the AS.
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:50 PM   #12
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Nuvite-F, The "non-responsive" park was a ### (should I name names???) that did not have a notebook with open slots on the easel, there was a phone with a number but no response. There was a man watching TV in the office but he would not come to the door, so I got frustrated and left...back into the rain! I think it sounds like rest stops are not too forbidden, I thought about Wally world but don't you have to ask the manager? The Flying J sounds like a great idea, I do like to travel until 10PM and then stop, maybe this will simply be an issue for me.
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:05 AM   #13
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I was over the road for 35 yrs before taking a city job. I have spent a lot of 8 hr breaks in Rest areas when I was just flat bushed or out of time. I never can remember being harassed or told I had to leave by any law enforcement officer. Given a choice I'd rather rest in a nice truckstop. I have went to sleep with the hum of that little Mercedes Diesel 3 feet away, many nites. Let it shut down for any reason and I was awake. We have not yet been out on the road over nite yet and had to use any of those facilities. But I can imagine it will be like old home week.I probabley will sleep like a baby,amongst all those deisel engines.
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:50 AM   #14
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We've stopped at Rest Area's for years when running late, to do just that, REST...if it's overnight, so be it, that's what those areas are meant for...and we've never had a problem with officials - If they felt we've overstayed our welcome, I'm sure they'd ask us to leave...

If you're into POI's (points of interest) on your GPS, you can download files of most all Rest Areas of the US...go here to check them out, and many, many other POI files as well...and they are free after you sign onto their site...

POI Factory | new & interesting places for your GPS

We had an enlightened experience along these lines, many years ago...we had a Class C Moho and were traveling up the rugged Northern Calif Coast...it was late afternoon, and we pulled into a County day use beach area, needing to get some road rest and take a break...as it grew darker, we decided to get some sleep and be prepared to leave if asked...

Early the next morning, we had a polite knock on the door, and it was a County Sheriff...knowing we'd been there all night, he asked that we raise all our window shades so it would look as if we had just arrived, to anyone coming to the beach that morning! (wink, wink)...we thanked him and offered a cup of fresh coffee...nice guy...these kinds of rules can be 'bent' if one doesn't take advantage all the time...
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