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Old 01-25-2007, 03:38 PM   #1
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Rest Stops

On one of the threads there is a lot of talk about overnighting in Wal-Mart parking lots, Cracker Barrel parking lots, Flying-J's, and truck stops. What about rest stops?

I see signs at rest stops that say night time security. Is that to keep overnighters out, or keep them safe? Seems if everybody did it, there'd be no room for people who needed to stop for a bathroom break...but I have seen truckers lined up with their engines idling so I didn't know if an overnight stop for a nap would be OK or against the "rules".
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Old 01-25-2007, 03:45 PM   #2
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Here's a big I don't know.
But I suspect it will depend on which state you're in. IIRC, you aren't supposed to stay overnight in California rest areas. I don't know how they would enforce it. If you're too sleepy to drive, that would be a huge liability to make you move on and risk a wreck. In California we have to consider lawsuits... .
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Old 01-25-2007, 03:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
Here's a big I don't know.
But I suspect it will depend on which state you're in. IIRC, you aren't supposed to stay overnight in California rest areas. I don't know how they would enforce it. If you're too sleepy to drive, that would be a huge liability to make you move on and risk a wreck. In California we have to consider lawsuits... .
Dave
It does depend on the state. We have stayed in a rest area in CT when we were heading home from FL (northbound) that has night time security, a special parking area for RVs only, a dog walk and a dump station (dump station I hear is now closed). Pretty fancy for folks who are parked for free.
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Old 01-25-2007, 04:09 PM   #4
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Yeah, all Georgia rest stops used to have dump stations (Why, I don't know) but I have heard that they have been closed or will be in the future (Why, I don't know).

I'm like the first responder, what if you are too sleepy to drive or raining too heavy or other weather conditions?
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Old 01-25-2007, 04:16 PM   #5
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I've stayed in rest stops. Some are amazing, TN and FL and AL have special RV spots and dump stations. One I remember in TN was nicer than most campgrounds. Some in FL even have windshield spraydown that you drive up to and it washes down your rig.

Other are less than happy about overnighters. Got a $75 ticket one night in PA. Nothing like the sound of a billy club tapping on your window at 4:00am to shoot you out of bed.
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Old 01-25-2007, 04:19 PM   #6
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Washington State allows you to stay up to 8 hours at a rest area, but you can't officially "camp".
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Old 01-25-2007, 05:47 PM   #7
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In California you can spend 8 hours per visit, but you cannot camp. I have spent the night without problems and seen many others doing the same. I have even seen larger rigs put out their slide-outs, crank up the TV antenna and settle in for the night.

The problem is you are parked with the truckers who seem to leave their engines idleing, also there are trucks coming and going all night. So while I stayed at the rest stop, I didn't sleep much. I have seen some rest stops in the desert that are large enought that you can park away from the trucks.
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Old 01-25-2007, 06:40 PM   #8
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We've stayed at rest stops from time to time. It's a crap shoot sometimes, but it can beat the alternative....falling asleep while driving with loved ones and 3-4 tons or more behind you.
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Old 01-25-2007, 07:17 PM   #9
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We have stayed overnight, or at least slept for 4-5 hours at rest areas all over the country and never have been bothered by the "authorities". However we did get an earfull in South Dakota once from a trucker who was mad we were taking up space in their area. What if a desperate tired trucker needed our spot? Geez.

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Old 01-25-2007, 07:22 PM   #10
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i've overnighted (it's not camping, just a long bathroom break ) at rest stops in...

washington, oregon, cali, arizona, new mexico, texas, colorado, utah, wyoming, idaho, the carolinas,
montana, kansas, nebraska, missouri, arkansas, mississippi, tennessee, kentucky, illinois, minnesota and canada...

and a few others east of the river...

scariest was cali and illinois because of so much traffic/use and defaced signs and restrooms...

noisest was missouri because they are so close to i70 a very busy truckers run...

i almost always crank up the batwing and watch a little tube to wind down....

or pop in a movie, or surf a little, cook a meal, take a shower and walk the dog several times ...

some of the 'welcome centers' (usually the 1st rest stop) have signs that say 'overnight stays limited to 1 night'

that is pretty cool...

also some states have secondary areas that wind back away from the main parking...

quieter and intended just for sleepers...

the states with 24 hour security are for the safety of all users...

they aren't there to boot people out...

these seem to be more common in the south post katrina...

cheers
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Old 01-25-2007, 07:40 PM   #11
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. . .i've overnighted (it's not camping, just a long bathroom break ) at rest stops in...washington, oregon, cali, arizona, new mexico, texas, colorado, utah, wyoming, idaho, the carolinas,montana, kansas, nebraska, missouri, arkansas, mississippi, tennessee, kentucky, illinois, minnesota and canada...
and a few others east of the river..." Man, 2air, you've been everywhere. . . (hear deep voice of Johnny Cash singing) Envious, ~G
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Old 01-25-2007, 07:51 PM   #12
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I have not spent the night in rest stops. Especially the ones that have overnight security. This usually means they have had problems.

I will spend the night in a truck stop. I have several times. Just don't park in the back row. That is where those who want to do questionable things park. I feel safer when others are around.
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Old 01-25-2007, 07:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
I've stayed in rest stops. Some are amazing, TN and FL and AL have special RV spots and dump stations. One I remember in TN was nicer than most campgrounds. Some in FL even have windshield spraydown that you drive up to and it washes down your rig.

Other are less than happy about overnighters. Got a $75 ticket one night in PA. Nothing like the sound of a billy club tapping on your window at 4:00am to shoot you out of bed.
WOW! That brings back memories of my cross-country drive in 1990 in a Grumman step van fully loaded with everyting I owned at the time. I was really tired in PA and pulled off into a rest area. I was sound asleep when a PA Trooper rapped on my window and told me to move or get a $100 fine. When I protested that I was to tired to drive, he again said to go or get fined.

I found an abandoned gas station at the next exit and pulled off there. I wrote several letters to the head of the State Police, Governor's office and State Tourist Board, voicing my displeasure with their tactics, and have never driven thru PA since! No gas $$$, no hotel expenditures, no toll revenue...................
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Old 01-25-2007, 07:59 PM   #14
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I went in and asked at the first rest area on 75 coming north from Florida. They have a sign that says no overnight parking. I was told that the sign was there so they could move along anyone that was causing problems.We stayed the night with no problems.
We have stayed in rest areas in many states just stayed out of the way of the trucks.
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Old 01-25-2007, 08:12 PM   #15
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the better half and I have gone to visit our dauter in Texas and have stopped at rest areas on the way. There have been security. It seems they are there for our security. One time a small dodge drove up with 5 young females passengers in the vehicle. They just parked and slept. acouple of them on the hood of the car. I was surprised. Since then I always take a snoozeat rest areas where there are other people around too!
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Old 01-25-2007, 08:19 PM   #16
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I stopped at a few on I-95 between Delaware and Florida, but only for a few hours of rest, and moved on. The rules for after hours sleeping were usually posted. As someone mentioned earlier, the truck noise can bothersome at the busy ones, and try to stay upwind of the diesel fumes.
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Old 01-25-2007, 08:43 PM   #17
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Try this for different state laws at rest stops: RV Travel Guide , click on the state and then RV road laws.

Some I have stayed at said you could stay no longer than 4 hours and a number said no overnight stay.
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Old 01-26-2007, 02:45 AM   #18
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I stop at rest stops almost exclusively when traveling long distances. I look for light, a crowd of either trucks or rvs, a grassy area to walk the dog and avoid urban areas. I have no need to use the building or facilities and after I wake up I hit the road again. Sometimes I cook, watch the news or occassionally take a quick shower, but usually it is just a stop to nap or wait for daylight if I am finding night driving challenging in the area, or to wait for better weather conditions. I nearly never miss a single rest stop en route, well I hit a lot of them anyway. I walk the dog, take a break, and feel refreshed and ready to drive. I enjoy being on the road and do not have to be at a destination to begin to appreciate where I am. I think there are so many wonderful wonderful stops, beautiful gardens, sculptures, scenic views, interesting buildings, changes of terrain and vegatation. I think it is a wonderful provision for travelers. I find it difficult to find a spot to walk the dog and need to park very far away in the concrete megatruck stops, but I do love to look in the stores and grab food there.

I have seen signs posted for no overnight camping, but not many that say that. If I need to sleep for 5-6 hours then I do. I have seen signs that say 6 hour parking or such. I would never worry about how long I stopped since it is only as long as I need to be stopped. I don't think anyone would rouse you and I have yet to see a meter maid chalking the tires.
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Old 01-26-2007, 06:07 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidz71
Try this for different state laws at rest stops: RV Travel Guide , click on the state and then RV road laws.

Some I have stayed at said you could stay no longer than 4 hours and a number said no overnight stay.
Nice link! I'll book mark it!
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Old 01-26-2007, 10:06 AM   #20
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I assumed the security was for one of three reasons: 1) keep you from overnighting; 2) keep you safe while overnighting; or 3) prevent cruising.
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