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Old 01-31-2010, 02:23 PM   #337
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Yes, when we bought this place, we had the same problem with non-guest people using the restrooms and showers. Simple control: Install locks and issue keys.

What's always a little surprising about this kind of maneuver is the non-guest folks who then knock on your door and bawl you out for doing it. Duh.


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Old 01-31-2010, 02:42 PM   #338
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Seems it would be an easy fix - either issue the key thing or to charge a nominal fee. I rarely use public shower facilities - in fact, almost never - so I'm not one to talk about imposing fees.

But if somebody is willing to pay for the luxury of a shower at a truck stop when they really need it - homeless or not - why not let them use it?

If it's a freebie, then yes, there will definitely be those who will abuse it. Sort of like the Walmart overnight parking I suppose, eh?
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:08 PM   #339
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Oh, we had to go further in the end. The keys stopped the outsiders, but some guests (a small minority, I assure you!) are impossible. First problem was that folks would simply leave the showers running. Ah, duh. We were (necessarily) on septics at that time, so one instance of that kind, uncaught for hours, cost us $165 just to have that particular septic tank pumped out, nearly all just nice, clean water. So we installed those spring-loaded pull-down faucets, but they were defeated rather quickly. Folks would bring a string, tie down the faucet, and shower away. But that nice, tight knot, now wet, was not easy to untie, so leave it running. A total backfire and even more expense.

So in the end, I installed pay showers. It cost a bunch up front, but it also stopped all of the silliness in its tracks.


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Old 02-01-2010, 07:48 AM   #340
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Truck Stop Showers

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Originally Posted by Macfrodge View Post
I'm curious - whenever we've stopped at a Flying J for gas, I've noticed the signs for showers, specifying it's for professional drivers only.

Can RVers who are parking overnight use (and pay for, obviously) the showers? As I'm writing this, I realize how stupid this question must sound, but there have been odder things happen to me in life, and since hubby MUST have a morning shower, this might make or break certain travel plans to Florida in the spring...
These showers are researved for drivers because they do not have showers in their trucks, drivers are on a strick schedual and do not have time to wait. If a tourist who has other means to take a shower such as in your camper, motel, uses the shower facilities they tie up the showers and prevent those who need them the ability to take one.
As a retired truck driver I can tell you that many times the intrusion into truck drivers area caused many problems such as when they had phones set up in the booths, this was our only communication with dispatch and home, one evening I came in to fuel, shower, eat, call dispatch, home, a bus had came in and the people sat back in the driver areas, tied up the showers, etc, I waited as long as I could but do to schedual I had to leave so I could keep my appoint time for the time sensitive load I had. Needless to say that I barely made my delivery time, spent 18 hours at the site unable to leave or use the facilities inside such as the phone, had a porta john access and thats it. Once unloaded and I got to someplace to call in I had missed a very good paying reload that would have took me home and missed it because I was not able to use the phones and call in the night before, there was also a problem at home with one of my kids that I did not know about which once I found out required me to go home empty which means I had to pay for it out of my pocket, more money lost. Now with the use of cell phones, Quallcom, etc, that problem is a thing of the past, but at truck stops resturant, shower/cleaning facilities, parking should always be left for trucks.

Sarge

PS: when non drivers begin using these facilities, truck stops are going to raise their prices to get their money thus making it more costly for the trucks and reducing their income.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:20 AM   #341
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Sarge, I understand fully about the truck parking spaces and facilities reserved for the professional drivers.

I will be carrying some fresh water and will shower in our trailer. I will, however, be parking in their RV parking spots. I hope you don't mean to convey that you think RVers shouldn't be parking at a Flying J in the designated areas?

A bit of education and understanding is a great thing for both sides of the story. Now if only we could get the message out to everyone - professional truckers included - to not hog the left lane on the interstates. THAT would be a great day.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:34 AM   #342
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In my exprience, Flying J's cater to RV'ers. Many have separate parking for campers/cars, away from the truck parking area, which are quieter. The one's I've been to also had free dump stations.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:39 AM   #343
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In my exprience, Flying J's cater to RV'ers. Many have separate parking for campers/cars, away from the truck parking area, which are quieter. The one's I've been to also had free dump stations.

You noticed the signs that say "Travel Center" too then.
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:20 AM   #344
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You noticed the signs that say "Travel Center" too then.
That's right - it's not specifically a truck stop, is it? Travel Center means it caters to travellers, not just to truckers.

I have absolutely no issues with the fact that truckers have to use certain facilities in order for them to operate their vehicle in a safe manner - the parking issue specifically. I won't take up their parking spots because it's few and far between where they can stop for rest.

Showers and other facilities though - I feel it's up for grabs if the customer is staying overnight and presumably buying gas there, stocking up on provisions, etc. I personally would feel more comfortable showering in my own trailer though.
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:42 PM   #345
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In my experience, if I need to take a shower at a truck stop while on the road, I ask the attendant if there are professional drivers waiting. If not, I get a shower quickly and get out. If it's really quiet at the showers jut then, I might linger just a bit.

If there are drivers waiting, I either move on or I wait untill they get done. I've never had nor knowingly created a problem using this common sense method.

We all have showers in our RV's, but if you are traveling through northern climes, in winter, with winterized water, the truckstop shower is a good option.

Keep your rig between the lines and your head out of your A--!
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Old 02-05-2010, 06:22 AM   #346
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I will, however, be parking in their RV parking spots. I hope you don't mean to convey that you think RVers shouldn't be parking at a Flying J in the designated areas?
Ans- No I am not saying that RV's should not take advantage of things available for RV's, I am advocating that one should not take advantage of things that are for truck drivers such as parking because trucks are very limited to where they can park unlike RV's that can park just about anyplace. This also includes the inside facilities such as the showers they should always be left for drivers because it is all they have.

A bit of education and understanding is a great thing for both sides of the story. Now if only we could get the message out to everyone - professional truckers included - to not hog the left lane on the interstates. THAT would be a great day.
Ans- I agree with you on this point, especially the left lane issue. I look at this way, use the left lane to pass then once you have done get back in the right lane, especially Semi's. Besides cops always go after those in the left lane first.

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Old 02-05-2010, 06:27 AM   #347
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverRanger View Post
In my exprience, Flying J's cater to RV'ers. Many have separate parking for campers/cars, away from the truck parking area, which are quieter. The one's I've been to also had free dump stations.
Actually they cater to trucks not RV's, RV's are just an added income for what little they spend. In fact if you posed to the question which the truck stop would keep if they was restricted Semis or RV you would find that RVs would loose out because of the amount of money trucks spend on fuel, showers, resturant, store food, amenities, etc.

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Old 02-05-2010, 06:31 AM   #348
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In my experience, if I need to take a shower at a truck stop while on the road, I ask the attendant if there are professional drivers waiting. If not, I get a shower quickly and get out. If it's really quiet at the showers jut then, I might linger just a bit.
If there are drivers waiting, I either move on or I wait untill they get done. I've never had nor knowingly created a problem using this common sense method.
We all have showers in our RV's, but if you are traveling through northern climes, in winter, with winterized water, the truckstop shower is a good option.
John
John you are quite right in the way you do this, if all did this there would be a lot less problems behind the scenes.
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Old 02-05-2010, 06:38 AM   #349
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That's right - it's not specifically a truck stop, is it? Travel Center means it caters to travellers, not just to truckers.
Ans- Not correct, the term travel center was used for truckers to tell the difference between a fuel stop and a full service center.

I have absolutely no issues with the fact that truckers have to use certain facilities in order for them to operate their vehicle in a safe manner - the parking issue specifically. I won't take up their parking spots because it's few and far between where they can stop for rest.
Ans- Thank you for this, we are very constricted on what we do and most are not aware of this fact.

Showers and other facilities though - I feel it's up for grabs if the customer is staying overnight and presumably buying gas there, stocking up on provisions, etc. I personally would feel more comfortable showering in my own trailer though.
Ans- Showers should always be left for the truckers first, that is what they are there for and why you see signs that say Professional Drivers Only says nothing about RV, or Travelers. Now if the showers are not in use and there are no truckers waiting then I would say use it if you wish like N2XBW does.

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Old 02-05-2010, 09:09 AM   #350
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That's right - it's not specifically a truck stop, is it? Travel Center means it caters to travellers, not just to truckers.
Ans- Not correct, the term travel center was used for truckers to tell the difference between a fuel stop and a full service center.
Sarge
Interesting claim, on the other hand the website for one of the largest (if not the largest) of the bunch says on their website....

Quote:
Pilot was founded in 1958 as a single, family-owned gas station in Gate City, Virginia.
In 1976, Pilot built its first convenience store and began converting the rest of its locations to convenience stores.
Pilotís first travel center opened in 1981, and travel centers have been the main thrust of its business ever since.
from Loves
Quote:
Loveís began more than 40 years ago when Tom Love leased a closed filling station in Western Oklahoma. Through the years, Loveís has expanded to more than 200 Travel Stops & Country Stores. The following describes where we began and where we are headed in the future.
I was unable to find much other in the way of commentary on the origin of the term although I am still looking. In the two cases above that commented on the history of the respective businesses, it is clear (at least to me) that the companies started as gas station/ stores and expanded later to accommodate semis. That being the case, perhaps the "professional drivers" ought to be more deferential to the common man out there at these stops. Travel Centers of America had no information about their history on their website. However, they did have this to say about showers

Quote:
RVers

Print

Showers

There is nothing quite like a long, hot shower at the end of a hard day. We've got the cleanest program around. Every shower is sanitized before every use and includes a freshly laundered, trucker-sized towel, a wash cloth and soap.
Best of all, it's free to drivers purchasing 50 gallons of diesel fuel or more (with no towel deposit required).
Customers receive a free shower coupon with a 50-gallon minimum diesel fuel purchase. Customers who do not make a 50-gallon minimum diesel fuel purchase will be charged $10.00 for a shower or use RKC points to purchase a shower at the kiosk for only 900 points. There is no deposit required for a shower towel, soap and bathmat.

None of the above is my opinion or interpretation of history. Its the word straight from the horses mouth (at least the three of the largest horses).
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