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Old 01-02-2016, 09:08 AM   #1
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1976 25' Tradewind
Sulphur , Louisiana
Join Date: Dec 2015
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Where do you stop for the night?

We eventually want to pull our tradewind to Colorado from Louisiana after we do some restoration. We have a few destinations in mind but aren't sure of where to stay the night and along the way. Did you guys stop at RV parks, state parks, Walmart parking lots? Or all of the above? We always checked the trip advisor app for top ranking hotels, things to do, popular restaurants, near our destinations. This time we have an airstream. Pulling an airstream to a hotel kind of defeats the purpose. Any RV related apps you guys use for finding places to stay? First time camping/airstreaming. Click image for larger version

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Old 01-02-2016, 09:17 AM   #2
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Depends on when you want to stop that night. early stopping often mean a campground fro reason like, I want a long shower, batteries need charging, or it is too dam cold to dry camp at Wal Mart.

The app Allstays has a very wide list of information than goes all the way down to city parks. Plus filters for all kinds of services.
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:17 AM   #3
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Enjoy restoring your beauty! We use Allstays app and it has been wonderful! If we are just passing through getting from point A to point B, we will generally find a campground that has a pull through and we won't even "unhitch". I plan my meals accordingly, usually chicken salad or something easy for dinner that doesn't require getting out grill or other items. We have stayed at many State Parks and absolutely love them but usually find that KOA'a are pretty good for just a night. Have fun and safe travels!!


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Old 01-02-2016, 09:26 AM   #4
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Almost always at some sort of commercial campground or a park that is fairly close to the highway. I have never stayed at a Walmart or Flying J. I almost never unhitch while "on the road". I just feel safer in a real campground. At first we tried hard to do state parks and forest service type campgrounds but found that the additional time driving and the fuel used made that option more expensive than a pull through right near the highway.
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:19 AM   #5
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If it's just for overnight, something close to the highway. Walmart, Flying J, RV Park, small town city park in Midwest. Interstate rest area (noisy, unsafe) only if nothing else.

Better to pick some one-day destinations of interest along the way, spend two nights there and enjoy the place. Or stay longer if it's good and you have the time. There's a lot to see in this country, interesting people and places.
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:29 AM   #6
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We started make long "snowbird" trips from Ontario to Arzona / California / Florida each winter when I retired in 1998 - been doing it every year.

When trying to make good time traveling, we got in the habit of stopping to sleep at Flying J's.

I was a bit apprehensive at first - and still am wary to a degree, but so far, touch wood, have never had the slightest problem.

I might be more concerned if we were the only RV, but that has never happened - typically we are in a section with maybe a half dozen others.

What I appreciate about it - apart from saving a few $,( especially with our present devalued Canadian $) - is no need to unhook hookup. Quick in and quick out, so we can be on the road again early in the am.

We usually need to run our furnace and so a few years ago I started using a Honda gennie. I chain it to the tongue when we arrive and run it during the evening for light/heat/tv/etc, then put it away at bed time and we run the furnace on the coach batteries.

I usually put it out again in the am while we have breakfast to quickly bring the batteries back up.

Flying J seem quite ok with RV overnighters - we always eat at their restaurants (Now Dennie's) and fill up with diesel when we stop.

They also have showers for a fee - showers are cleaned and fresh towels between each user.

Haven't tried a Walmart or Cracker Barrel yet, but I know many folk do.

Brian.
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:45 AM   #7
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When on the road we wing it. When I'm tired we find a place, generally a Walmart, truck stop or rest area. But that's on the east coast. Out west state and national parks do the trick. In Canada it's pretty much provincial parks. Once at our destination we prefer (well I prefer, I'm sure the significant other would be just fine in resort parks) government properties of some kind, or just boon docking it.
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:56 AM   #8
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All of the above. I second the vote for Allstays app. We use a variety of means to locate suitable stopover locations but Allstays is our "go to" app.

For quick overnights we find Cracker Barrel to be most suitable for us. Even though they are typically close to the highway (so you'll hear that noise) they close at 10PM so the parking lots are relatively quiet. We've also stayed at Walmart but the 24 hr. variety can have lots of parking lot traffic noise. Parking lot noise and diesel engines idling are the reason we don't stay at Flying J although we know lots of people stay there. For Walmart and Cracker Barrel we always ask the manager if it's okay to stay overnight. Some locations do not permit overnight stays. I suspect Flying J is not a problem although it's the local code that dictates whether it's legal to stay overnight so even with Flying J it's probably best to ask.

As mentioned above... if we need to dump, fill the fresh water tank, need electricity, etc. we stay at a campground. We very seldom unhitch if are just staying overnight.

For longer stays of two or more nights with some sightseeing involved we prefer state parks, national parks, etc. Once again, Allstays has almost all of those listed and much more.

I joined Moose International and that gives us another option. Sometimes we use it as an overnight or sometimes we stay several days. Some locations are boondocking, some have 15A electrical, some have water, you just have to call ahead. Many Moose locations have RV connections including 30/50A, water and sewer. We typically pay $10 per night at Moose Lodges.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
All of the above. I second the vote for Allstays app. We use a variety of means to locate suitable stopover locations but Allstays is our "go to" app.

For quick overnights we find Cracker Barrel to be most suitable for us. Even though they are typically close to the highway (so you'll hear that noise) they close at 10PM so the parking lots are relatively quiet. We've also stayed at Walmart but the 24 hr. variety can have lots of parking lot traffic noise. Parking lot noise and diesel engines idling are the reason we don't stay at Flying J although we know lots of people stay there. For Walmart and Cracker Barrel we always ask the manager if it's okay to stay overnight. Some locations do not permit overnight stays. I suspect Flying J is not a problem although it's the local code that dictates whether it's legal to stay overnight so even with Flying J it's probably best to ask.

As mentioned above... if we need to dump, fill the fresh water tank, need electricity, etc. we stay at a campground. We very seldom unhitch if are just staying overnight.

For longer stays of two or more nights with some sightseeing involved we prefer state parks, national parks, etc. Once again, Allstays has almost all of those listed and much more.

I joined Moose International and that gives us another option. Sometimes we use it as an overnight or sometimes we stay several days. Some locations are boondocking, some have 15A electrical, some have water, you just have to call ahead. Many Moose locations have RV connections including 30/50A, water and sewer. We typically pay $10 per night at Moose Lodges.

Some good points, but truth to tell, I feel more comfortable (from a security aspect) at the FJ's just because of the bright lights and continual activity around the place!

We spend long days on the road when traveling to our destination, and are usually pretty tired at bed time and for that reason, we never have trouble sleeping!

It isn't often that we hear idling diesels as the 18 wheelers are parked in a completely separate area.

I do recall one instance when we did have an idling diesel next to us though - it was a minor annoyance, but again presented no problem for us in getting to sleep.

Brian.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:17 AM   #10
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Its normal to be a little apprehensive about staying at Flying Js and similar truck stops, or in mall parking lots and even interstate rest areas when you first embark on your AS odyssy. But those are the places I've used for the past 5 years while on the road to some far-flung destinations due to their convenience...without a single hassle. Of course, I move when something intuitively doesn't feel right, stay vigilant, and also have a nice dog and mean gun in the camper. But I never had a hassle using common sense, and it takes 10 min. to be back on the road in the mornings. Safe travels... you'll have a great time. jon
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:27 AM   #11
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We have used Walmart many times with no problems. I can't think of a single time where we were the only RV on a Walmart parking lot. We always go inside and ask if it is ok to stay the night. Tried Cracker Barrel one time but did not like it because we were the only RV and parked in the dark behind the building. I'll take the Walmart anytime. The Flying J are ok but we will take the Walmart over the Flying J.

The problem I see looming on the horizion are campers who are living out of their RV's. They have no home, no job, and usually have children. I'm talking about a very small group and we have all seen them. They will stay, for example at Walmart up to the time limit then move down the road to a Flying J and then back to the Walmart. Most of the times they stand out like a sore thumb. I have seen as many as 10 RV's parked at Walmarts that fit this description. Some Walmart's have already stopped over night parking for this reason. It makes their parking lot look like a run down trailer court.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:47 AM   #12
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Here in Florida many Walmarts restrict overnight parking, I'm not sure if it's the the store policy or town ordinance. Personally we prefer campgrounds for overnight stays, especially pull through & stay connected for easy departure.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:50 AM   #13
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Hanalei, /Chino Valley , Hawaii / Arizona
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Mostly Roadside R V parks, rest stops occasionally, along the west coast in summertime it can be a challenge just winging it as most parks are full up.

When driving south from S F heading for Monterey this summer, every where I called was full. So I ended up just pulling off of a farm access road along the coast.
This turned into a very pleasent stop over. Well off the highway, nice area to explore. It's a shame we feel so vulnerable when just out and about.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:52 AM   #14
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Cool light fog in the morning, lighthouse on the point.
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