How long can one "rest" at a rest stop? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-24-2014, 10:22 AM   #1
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How long can one "rest" at a rest stop?

First of all, I'm not suggesting nor condoning breaking any laws. That said, has anyone ever been asked by authorities to leave an interstate or highway rest area for "resting" there too long? Signs might say something like "No overnight stays", but if it's a "rest" area, who is to say how much rest is enough rest and determine it's time for you to move on? Just curious if anyone has any experience, good or bad, with this, and it might be helpful to know in which state, just for reference....
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:28 AM   #2
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Washington says a maximum of 8 hours. I thought I'd seen 4 hours on some signs but not sure where.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:30 AM   #3
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When I lived in New Hampshire, I knew a state trooper who told me they used to roust people out rather frequently.


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Old 11-24-2014, 10:40 AM   #4
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There have been a few threads on the topic - a lot has to do with the location. I know that some of the stops I have stopped at in California for example had private security on site so they may be keeping better tabs on length of stays than perhaps a place without that level of security. Don't know as I didnt feel comfortable staying for more than a few minutes in the stops that had that level of security... as there is obviously a good reason for it!

I know Utah is known to be a little unfriendly about staying longer than a few hours ... but other states I have been in not so much - just do not set up camp. To be honest if your looking for more than a short nap & want a really good sleep, truck stops aren't the best place for it due to the fact trucks next to you are coming and going all the time.

Here is one of the previous threads on the topic of Rest Stops for Truck Drivers.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:40 AM   #5
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It would seem counterproductive to roust someone out of a rest area who is sleeping since the alternative would be having a driver out on the roads who is likely going to fall asleep at the wheel and cause an accident. In Colorado, semi trucks use our rest areas for their breaks so I would assume that there's a fairly long time limit. But I wouldn't suggest breaking out the lawn chair, firing up the grill, and putting up the badminton net in the grassy area.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:57 AM   #6
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My brother stayed at the Flying J truck stop at Barlow and Deerfoot tr. in Calgary for a year.

I have never been asked to leave a rest stop. My understanding is that if your can't move, you gotta go. If your are still mobile, you can stay. Don't set up camp.
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Old 11-24-2014, 12:06 PM   #7
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As a Retired trucker i can say rest areas are one of the most dangerous places to sleep if there is no overnight security on site.
My favorite is Petro or Flying J truck stops and park on the cars only side as those two have rv spots.... But more importantly be about 50 miles outside of any major city to keep the drug dealing trash away from you. Get up in the morning and have a nice breakfast at "The Iron Skillet"
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Old 11-24-2014, 01:04 PM   #8
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I heard about the little moron who was found sleeping in a refrigerator.
Someone confronted him and he replied...."It's a Westinghouse ain't it??
Well I'm "Westing!!""

IllAnnoy rest areas are labeled "no overnight parking". You had better stop early if you want a spot to sleep overnight.
We have used them for several decades now without incident (or even seeing an incident) and the State Police patrol them regularly.
I think the signs are to be enforced only when the privilege is abused.

The popular term today I think is "prosecutorial discretion"...
Maybe next year they'll let us live there and bring us freebies !

BTW; I make "executive decisions" on which ones to favor.
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Old 11-24-2014, 01:21 PM   #9
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+1 on a decent truck stop beats a highway rest area for safe place to get some sleep, hands down. Fresh coffee or breakfast readily available, and as Joe Z points out if you avoid the ones right in on the edge of major cities the population of "undesirable" types will tend to not be a problem.

Just a tip if you pull into the lot and can see two "gentleman clubs" and a massage parlor from your vehicle it is probably a good idea to move on. Most truckers would.

Overall truckers are the majority of the population at truck stops which means lots of decent hard working folks, rest area the population is what ever pulls in off the highway in the middle of the night. You and that transient may be the total population of the rest area.

You yell "Help" in a truck stop people will show up. In a rest areas? I know people do sleep for the night in rest areas but it would not be my choice for even a nap unless it was broad daylight.
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Old 11-24-2014, 01:37 PM   #10
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Well you are all quite the cautious group. I am not sure why my experience is so different. I have slept, (rested) in rest areas my whole life. I have seen people setup camp, and frowned, but I have never had a negative experience worse other then a stinky outhouse.

Who here has had a real life bad experience at a rest stop? No, not what you read about, or heard about. Real life.
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
Well you are all quite the cautious group. I am not sure why my experience is so different. I have slept, (rested) in rest areas my whole life. I have seen people setup camp, and frowned, but I have never had a negative experience worse other then a stinky outhouse.

Who here has had a real life bad experience at a rest stop? No, not what you read about, or heard about. Real life.
Back in the 70's stopped late at night on US 23 rest area just north of Ann Arbor. My wife needed to use the restroom, I stayed in the car. She had long blond hair, I had even longer brown hair. We were followed by a car parked off in a dark part of the lot from that rest area, through Ann Arbor, including back street shortcuts and into the parking lot of a closed restaurant I directed her to pull into (located kiddie corner from twp. police station on State street). I got out of our car and the other car hit reverse and squealed tires leaving. I don't know if it was they noticed the police station or the fact that the "brunette" was 6'1" 185 lbs. and had the 2 ft. breaker bar for changing tires (*wink*) from under the seat in his hand.

The boyfriend of a girl we knew was arrested (not charged) for armed robbery at rest area. Mask made an ID impossible but the robbery did take place. Personally since the guy was lower than a snakes belly it would not have surprised me if he did it since he was picked up on foot in a parking lot off of the service drive behind the rest area getting into his car.

There are at least 2 rest areas, one on I-96 near Novi closed due to sexual and drug activity, another over on I-75 near Ford Rd. that has that reputation back in the 90's. At least one of our drivers was propositioned there during the middle of the day.

In the past I can recall taking a nap in rest areas for a few hours when driving straight through on long trips, nothing bad happened. I also owned a dog that would guard my sleep and awaken me if the vehicle was approached. All things considered I think a decent truck stop is a safer environment on a more consistent basis than a rest area in an area you don't know.
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
... Who here has had a real life bad experience at a rest stop? No, not what you read about, or heard about. Real life.
The only time anyone ever even really interacted with me at a rest stop was one time back in the late '70s when I was trying to drive (car, not towing) non-stop from West Virginia home to Colorado and needed to stop for some quick shut-eye. About 30 minutes into a nice nap, an elderly couple knocked on my drivers window to ask if I was okay. I wouldn't say that it was a "bad" experience (I thanked them for their concern), but the adrenaline rush of being woken from a nap by a stranger knocking on my car window in a rest stop parking lot got me several hundred more miles down the road without even blinking - as I recall.
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
I got out of our car and the other car hit reverse and squealed tires leaving. I don't know if it was they noticed the police station or the fact that the "brunette" was 6'1" 185 lbs. and had the 2 ft. breaker bar for changing tires (*wink*) from under the seat in his hand.
I wonder if they would call that a bad experience at a rest stop?
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:51 PM   #14
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First search revealed 2,000,000 home burglaries are reported each year in the U.S. If you want to be paranoid maybe you could sleep better in a rest area!

Then there's that epidemic of identity theft!! maybe you should just STAY AWAKE!!!...
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