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Old 08-23-2014, 08:27 PM   #1
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Sleeping at the highway rest areas

My partner are heading to Yellowstone from Los Angeles in September. Does anyone know if it's legal to sleep in your camper while it's parked at the rest stop in Utah? It'll be a long trip and am looking for zero cost options for sleeping while on the trip there. Utah is sketchy enough for FOD and we'd like to minimize any problems from the friendly highway patrol folks there.


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Old 08-23-2014, 08:32 PM   #2
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As long as you park in an "Authorized" rest area such as truck stops/public rest area, you'll more then likely see other RV's there. Flying J's offer free overnights in the larger Stations (i.e. Barstow).
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:49 PM   #3
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I would look for a Wal-Mart or Flying J instead. Some truckers think they own the rest stops and will do what they can to make your night's sleep miserable. Like lining the diesel engine up as close as possible to your trailer and letting it run. Not all, but there are always a few ah's in every crowd. It can be noisy anyway.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:03 PM   #4
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Truck stops and rest areas have trucks coming and going all night long. It can be very distracting if you are not used to it. However, you can't be much safer than tucked in between truckers. They are usually very friendly, and most of them hit the road in their own campers when they can.

Walmart is also a good place. Still it can be noisy but usually quiets down after 11 PM or so. Small town Walmarts are the best.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:51 PM   #5
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We always run a fan, either in roof or stove fan to create even white noise, smooths the outside noises.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:57 PM   #6
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I once tried to get a nap to a Flying J. I lasted about an hour before the diesel fumes and truck drivers revving their engines ran me off. If I have to do that again I have really screwed up and misjudged my driving day.
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:15 PM   #7
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There's a road that seems to zig and zag on itself off the highways in Utah called "Ranch Exit." I'm sure if it is after dark (and you leave relatively early) you could get some sleep off some of these exits.
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:23 PM   #8
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We misjudge our travel days all the time. Following a travel regimen means we seldom discover new things, and when we do, would have little time to explore them.

Years ago there were many places to pull off for the night. More difficult and perhaps more dangerous today, so Walmart, Flying J, rest stops often have to do.

I would rate them as 1) Walmart - a decent nights sleep 2) Flying J - a chance of a decent nights sleep if there's parking space 3) Rest stop - slim chance of a decent nights sleep or parking space
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:25 PM   #9
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We have stayed in rests stops a couple of times...not in UT, but when we have stayed we have noticed that there is usually a sign as to any restrictions...in NM it is 24 hours max. We have not been bothered by truckers, noise or any other unpleasantries getting a little shut-eye.

I'd also consider national forest campgrounds that you may be passing through or near by. They are relatively inexpensive and you can usually find a space for an overnight stop. Plus many of them have hosts which adds to the safety factor.
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:28 PM   #10
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I have never had any problems sleeping in our Airstream at Walmarts, rest areas or truck stops. I have also stopped in church parking lots, but usually I will just be in my car in that situation.

I don't see why you should have any problems.

Good luck, Dan
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Old 08-24-2014, 05:47 AM   #11
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In North Carolina there may be a sign at Rest Areas stating no overnight parking. This is primarily intended to stop folks from parking and sleeping in cars. NCDMV stated in an email to me that in an RV or truck, there is no problem even if the sign is there. It is much safer to take a nap than drive while sleepy. And if questioned by a LEO, explain that you are tired and need sleep to drive safely. In most situations there should be no problem. At least in nearly 100,000 miles of RV travels, dozens of Rest Areas, truck stops, and Walmart's, I have had no issues.


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