Rest Stops for Truck Drivers - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-26-2006, 11:10 PM   #1
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I am going to be traveling this Friday night till Sunday afternoon from TX to GA. I am picking a friend up at Hobby Airport around midnight Friday night (Sat AM) and we're going to start heading to GA.

I am going to have my camper, but it will be too late to stop at a site to sleep Friday night, so I am wondering if anyone has stayed at a rest stop for truckers? How long can one "rest" there?

We are going to drive for awhile Saturday and either stop at an RV campground, if I can find one or stay again at a rest stop.

I think the route I am taking is I-10E to I20/59 over to 20E into Atlanta. It's sort of hard planning this trip since I don't know how long/far we are driving Friday night and Saturday. I work till 11pm Friday, so I'm probably only going to be good for 2 hrs (till 2am)


Any suggestions on where to stay (RV campground) Saturday night? It will probably be in the Mississippi/Alabama area) If the rest stop is an option, I am ok with that for 2 days.. I know they have showers to "rent"

Thanks,

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Old 03-27-2006, 12:10 AM   #2
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I believe that the truckers will know that you are not driving a truck. Some of them may be petulant at the thought of you using space that's reserved for them. Some of them may also be painfully and fearfully rude about it. Though I have not heard of it being done, vigilant law enforcement types might also see fit to ticket you.

The Flying J gas chain, Super Walmarts and Cracker Barrel are known to be hospitable. ASK IF OVERNIGHTING IS OK AT THEIR SERVICE DESK. Although its not mandatory for you or them, they generally extend courtesy to their customers - people who buy stuff.
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Old 03-27-2006, 12:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
I believe that the truckers will know that you are not driving a truck. Some of them may be petulant at the thought of you using space that's reserved for them. Some of them may also be painfully and fearfully rude about it. Though I have not heard of it being done, vigilant law enforcement types might also see fit to ticket you.

The Flying J gas chain, Super Walmarts and Cracker Barrel are known to be hospitable. ASK IF OVERNIGHTING IS OK AT THEIR SERVICE DESK. Although its not mandatory for you or them, they generally extend courtesy to their customers - people who buy stuff.
I wasn't thinking of parking in one of their spots as much as which businesses are "OK" about people on there property "resting". I read somewhere that not all Wal-Marts are OK with overnight visitors.

I am curious if anyone has traveled this way.

Years ago I helped a friend move to LA and we drove 2 days non-stop. We took a shower at a truck rest stop... they even supplied towels (I don't remember it costing too much) I once was on my way home from TX (yrs ago) and slept at a rest stop. The patrol stopped and asked if i was OK and said he would keep an eye on me. I was nervous about sleeping, so I didn't stay long -

I will call a few Cracker Barrels.... Lisa LOVES Cracker Barrels
thanks for the leads
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Old 03-27-2006, 12:34 AM   #4
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A trucker's rest stop is risky, and I wouldn't stay at one for more than about 3 hours. I did do that on last year's Long, Long Trip one night when , to make up valueable time, we stopped to sleep for short 2-3 hour naps between 4 hour driving sprints thru the night. Truckers run their engines while stopped. The noise alone is not very conducive to much sleep, not to mention the deisel exaust. I was in the Navy for 20 years and can manage to sleep almost anywhere, but my partner is a very light sleeper.
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:07 AM   #5
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Lisa,
Wal Mart sells a Rand McNally Atlas for $4.95 that lists all their stores (with addresses and map location) in the index. Info does not include if camping is allowed. Most Wal Marts allow overnight stays. Those that do not are mostly in very popular tourist destinations.
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Old 03-27-2006, 09:23 AM   #6
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I have made a few 5000 mile trips all of which I stayed at the rest areas, usually between 2 semis. In georgia it says no overnite stays but the area was filled up in the morning. What you can't do is set up a campsite. we just pull in to sleep or rest during day. It is much more convenient and we have the truckers so we are not alone. I have never had a rude remark from them.
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:32 PM   #7
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There is a Walmart locator book which may be of use to you. It's pricey but might have the answers you need.

http://rvbookstore.com/shop/detail.aspx?m=2&p=379
[indent] If not, try a Google search for "Free campgrounds for Rv's"
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:44 PM   #8
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Lisa, we frequently use rest areas to catch 5-6 hrs of sleep and have never had a problem with truckers, law enforcement officers or wannabe crooks. On a recent trip from NC to Palo Duro in North Texas down to Big Bend and back through New Orleans, we boondocked for a few hours in these on three different occassions. If you're using I-10 to I-59 to I-20 on your return, that's the route we took on our way back.

If I see an attendant on duty or officer in the area, I'll ask if its OK and have yet to be told to move on. The last stop we made (somewhere in Alabama I think) was at a recently constructed rest stop and the design appeared to be an open invitation for travelers with trailers. There were 25-30 'pull thru's' which were well separated from the truck parking (couldn't hear any of the engines or refers). Each spot had a grill, picnic table and water spigot. I've certainly stayed at campgrounds with lesser facilities.

We went through ten states (NC, TN, AR, OK, TX, LA, MS, AL, GA and SC) on our Texas trip and I don't recall seeing a 'No overnight parking' warning anywhere we stopped. I agree with previous posters that this was a NO NO a few years back but some sort of informal policy change seems to be occurring (at least here in the south).

Drive carefully and have a safe trip. Oh, what did you end up doing with the bikes?


Al
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Old 03-27-2006, 08:05 PM   #9
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I have not stayed in Truck Stops. The noise is deafening, and it has been enough to scare me away.

I have, however, overnited in many rest areas, in cars and campers. Thats what they are for. Rest. On the west coast states, on the interstates, they allow an 8 hour stay, some are 24, which is way more than it takes to pull in, toss down your bedding and catch some sleep. No leveling and set up. (You won't usually need it anyway) We all would rather you do that than be out on the hiway 1/2 asleep and towing a brick behind you that could get out of control due to unalertness.

I don't suggest you pull in early evening, make a 5 course meal, watch a few hours of TV and make your breakfast a feast. Enough to get you by and be under the radar should be enough.

If I know that I am going to do this, I get take out, and settle in without putting out all the landing lights, I may make a cup of coffee in the am, but otherwise, I get out of there as soon as possible.

The hiway patrol or state police will know you are there, and they will make sure you don't overstay your welcome.

The trucks are still noisy, but it is almost a soothing "Whirr" and you get used to it.
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Old 03-27-2006, 09:09 PM   #10
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Lisa, we frequently use rest areas to catch 5-6 hrs of sleep and have never had a problem with truckers, law enforcement officers or wannabe crooks. On a recent trip from NC to Palo Duro in North Texas down to Big Bend and back through New Orleans, we boondocked for a few hours in these on three different occassions. If you're using I-10 to I-59 to I-20 on your return, that's the route we took on our way back.

If I see an attendant on duty or officer in the area, I'll ask if its OK and have yet to be told to move on. The last stop we made (somewhere in Alabama I think) was at a recently constructed rest stop and the design appeared to be an open invitation for travelers with trailers. There were 25-30 'pull thru's' which were well separated from the truck parking (couldn't hear any of the engines or refers). Each spot had a grill, picnic table and water spigot. I've certainly stayed at campgrounds with lesser facilities.

We went through ten states (NC, TN, AR, OK, TX, LA, MS, AL, GA and SC) on our Texas trip and I don't recall seeing a 'No overnight parking' warning anywhere we stopped. I agree with previous posters that this was a NO NO a few years back but some sort of informal policy change seems to be occurring (at least here in the south).

Drive carefully and have a safe trip. Oh, what did you end up doing with the bikes?
Al

The bikes are going on the back of the camper... after buying (and returning) a front end hitch I noticed the previous owner had a receiver on the back of the camper. The front end hitch I received is to be installed on the top of the bumper... that would have made the bikes WAY high. I can barely see out the front window now!

I talked to the previous owner about what he used the back receiver for and he used to as a cargo carrier... I cringed b/c of all I've read about not putting weight back there. I don't know how many times he used the cargo carrier, but everything appears ok, so...

The camper is at an RV dealership being serviced for a few things... a few locks need replacing, a hole in the fiberglass, turn signal and brake light out, a hole in the bottom (under the sink) and a wire, with no known purpose, being removed, so the manager said to bring my rack up and he will make sure it will hold well. I still would like to get some reinforcment done to the lip of the casita and downloaded pics from one of the members that has the same rack as me (the flatbed). Hopefully they will make them home OK I am still a little nervous, but done worrying.

Thanks for the info on the rest stops. Do you happen to remember approx where the rest stop is in Alabama? I would love to find that one We are only planning on stopping for 5-6 hrs each night, so this will work out perfect (more time to stop at outlet malls)

oh, and the manager (at the RV place) said he would go over some things with me in the Casita... how to light the pilot for propane, dumping the grey and black tanks, etc. VERY Nice of him - a little walk through per say.

Thanks again -
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Old 03-27-2006, 11:25 PM   #11
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A suggestion would be to stop in at the "Welcome Centers" and get some info, maps, locations, etc. Some places are manned and provide you with different maps pointing out stops, campgrounds, sites to see, places to go, people to talk to,....you get the idea.

If it was me, why not look into hijacking a motel parking lot? If you just ask the counter person, the night person would probably say not to park close to the hotel. Then in the morning, you've got a bathroom to use, though just a lobby one, and may even pick up some coffee/breakfast. THough its for the guests.....
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Old 03-28-2006, 08:11 AM   #12
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We stay at truck stops and rest areas. At this one in Texas I slept very well. Lookk close and you can see the little Casita amongst the protective big rigs.
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Old 03-28-2006, 08:47 AM   #13
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Just a bit more it is not only cheaper it is more convenient stop when you please have reatrooms etc available, and since the rvs go with the semis(most places)(some have special places for travel trailers) I find the rest areas more secure than Walmart etc. I don't jack the trailer for level or rock as you shouldnot un hitch. I have seen dumping station at a rest area I can't remember where. Have a good trip.
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Old 03-28-2006, 10:05 AM   #14
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Thanks Everyone!!!


I feel better and safer already. I guess it will be a trial and error and it will make the trip that much more fun! My neighbor and good friend will be with me and she is pretty laid back as well... so I am sure we will have fun no matter what!

I will check out the welcome centers for sure and will let y'all know if I find any neat rest stops like the one found in Alabama
hmmmmmm....

Could make an interestng topic: best rest stops and gas stations to catch some ZZZZ's (with states and mile markers) and we can include "favorite" motels to hijack parking lot and get breakfast
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