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Old 05-21-2020, 07:54 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Truckers are federally mandated to get off the road. Called Hours of Service. It's more than just wanting to pull off and get some sleep. They can only work so many hours, then MUST park. Those on vacation or traveling between jobs aren't pressured by law to get off the road. Truck drivers can't pull into an RV park or campground, be courteous and don't take space they absolutely need to stay legal.
I agree, Donna, but I think it's more of a system-level problem than an RV-caused problem. The federal government mandated the rest time (a good thing), but made no provision to create the additional parking (an unfunded mandate). The long economic expansion, shift to e-commerce, and retiring baby boomers combined to strain the system as increased commercial transportation accompanied a boom in RV travel.

The need came suddenly, but the response has come slowly. States have been converting shuttered rest areas (some of which were closed due to crime) and unused weigh stations to truck-only parking. Private enterprise has contributed by buying land and expanding parking on the truck-only side of travel centers. The general trend seems to be recognizing a distinction between RVs and trucks in new or remodeled rest areas. That benefits both. It will take a while to reach equilibrium. In the meantime, there is going to be tension at older rest areas that mingle trucks and RVs in the same area.

For myself, I'd have to be really, really, REALLY tired to get even a wink's sleep within 200 yards of a parking lot for big rigs!

Seems to me if this is something you're going to be doing often- touring long distances, driving long hours, sleeping in parking lots- a Class B might be a better RV choice. Then you can park on the quiet side and have the added security of being able to wake up and drive away without exiting your vehicle.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:58 AM   #42
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Lots of great advice

Wife and I have never spent more than a few hours at a Rest Area/ Stop..But always in the back of my mind to do so if needed...Would never want to take a spot away from a Trucker...During the day, always a good opportunity to get off the road for a bit, use the rest rooms, take a quick nap, have a quick meal and maybe shoot the breeze with other travelers...We pull a 17 ft Casita..
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:12 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Truckers are federally mandated to get off the road. Called Hours of Service. It's more than just wanting to pull off and get some sleep. They can only work so many hours, then MUST park. Those on vacation or traveling between jobs aren't pressured by law to get off the road. Truck drivers can't pull into an RV park or campground, be courteous and don't take space they absolutely need to stay legal.

If you stayed in as many rest areas as I have if would appear the "Federal mandates" are often ignored. Observation 1. Many truckers drive until around 1:00am .
2. The rest area truck/trailer parking fills up around 11:00 pm.

3. At 6 am the parking spots and road in and out are filled trucks. One trailer has very little impact. Even if I didn't take up a Truck/trailer spot they would still be parked anyplace possible in the morning.
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:47 AM   #44
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Rest Stops

Has anybody ever traveled through northern Minnesota? What are the rest stops like there?
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Old 05-23-2020, 12:00 PM   #45
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Kalifornia rest areas

God bless America as we start the Memorial Day Weekend. We celebrate those that gave it all for America..........

I am a former Cal Trans worker and one of the jobs I did was help service rest areas as well as remove trash from the road and shoulders. The rest areas are to be a safe place to stop and rest. CHP consider if you are in there you are resting, taking a break from the drive so they leave you alone unless they see you involved in illegal activity of any kind. If you are there sleeping, resting they don't care. They rarely enforce the time limit and if you are you have broke down they will usually use ask if you need help and advise you as to services available near by to contact if you are not able to fix it yourself. Sleeping in your vehicle or on the grass or table is ok. You can take out a grill and cook but just not in the parking area and you are not allowed to put up a tent as that is considered camping. You will get a warning usually and they want your trash picked up and put in the trash bins. They don't want to have to go to an accident because someone crashed because of fatigue or any other reason. Public safety is their main concern during their shift...... Yes, there as some that abuse the authority but they are few. Your attitude will get you lots of attention...

We travel Kalifornia to Michigan every summer and as for rest areas in other states, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma. Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Minnesota, Nevada, Colorado, we have stayed over night in their rest areas and have stayed longer then 8 hour many times and never run out or even questioned about our stay. But we don't look like homeless transients either, and are always respectful of others. God is my Pilot, and I am His and receive His blessings. We also stay in Wally's more then rest areas and have never been run out but we don't camp there either, just overnight and almost always make purchases there. We don't block lanes and park away from the buildings. We have stopped at a few the we left because of the transients seen in the lot and junior street racers in the lot.

We are boondockers, so we don't leave trash around or make any loud noise in any place we stay. Yes, we are seniors that love and appreciate this Great Country in which we live. Do a good deed for someone else every day.
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Old 05-23-2020, 12:13 PM   #46
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Texas Picnic Areas

In Texas, they used to place "picnic" rest stops along the highways. Evidently someone working in the Texas Highway Department had an eye for beauty because some of the ones that remain are absolutely gorgeous spots with wonderful views. Many have history plaques that tell a bit of the local history and far enough from the roadway that traffic sound is no problem. Others are little more than a wide spot beside the road. Pitching a tent is not allowed, but sleeping in RV is no problem. They seldom have hookups or toilets.

You will not find them on interstate highways, and I have not been able to find any map or registry of these gems. When I come across one of these spots, I record the longitude and latitude and make notes for myself. That way I can revisit the spot if I ever pass that way again.

Also, some Texas towns have RV parks for visitors. This is a hold-over from the days when each town had a "wagon yard" where people could stay while in town to purchase their yearly supplies. Often there is no fee for the first 3 or 4 nights, then a very modest fee for additional nights. Some have full hookups, others only water and electricity.

When I want a quick break, I often head for one of the "picnic" areas rather than a state park or recreation area. After hundreds of nights, I have never had any discomfort or fear for my safety staying in a Texas "picnic" area. I know that I am much safer sleeping in a picnic spot alongside a Texas highway than I am walking down the main avenue at noon in Austin or many cities around the country.
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Old 05-23-2020, 01:33 PM   #47
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I think it’s great that there is an appreciation and respect for truckers. Their responsibilities have come into the light recently. They bring us stuff and must do so safely. I’ll continue to avoid spending a lot of time at rest areas. When I do, and have my Scamp, I think that I am required to park on their side of the restrooms.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:07 PM   #48
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I sleep in rest stops as needed, all across the US. Had a couple where fights occurred between other folks. Wife stayed awake I just slept right through or just moved on. Prefer rest stops over Walmartís because kids like to leave skid marks and make noise late at night. Prob will not carry a gun in the trailer anymore. Have had the odd thing happen now and then, both good and not so good. Itís all good...
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:55 PM   #49
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rest areas are for weary travelers, not just trucks. Most have specific areas for trucks only but they have truck stops for the trucker.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:21 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by ginpow View Post
Has anybody ever traveled through northern Minnesota? What are the rest stops like there?
Make sure you stop at the new Goose Creek rest stop along I-35 north of the Twin Cities . The State of Minnesota spent $7,500,000 building it and it shows
The rest areas in Minnesota are as good as any that I’ve seen and better than many
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:59 PM   #51
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Rest Areas

We had reservations at KOA is Missoula. Since we had a 17' trailer, they tried to put us in a tent site. Our rented 4 door, 8' box F250 would never have fit. They refunded our money and suggested the Cracker Barrel parking lot. That worked out perfectly, and on our way back home we used it again. We also ate in the restaurant twice. The Cracker Barrel staff was very welcoming to us.
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:39 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by DougnVicki View Post
We had reservations at KOA is Missoula. Since we had a 17' trailer, they tried to put us in a tent site. Our rented 4 door, 8' box F250 would never have fit. They refunded our money and suggested the Cracker Barrel parking lot. That worked out perfectly, and on our way back home we used it again. We also ate in the restaurant twice. The Cracker Barrel staff was very welcoming to us.
cracker barrel is great and I don't have to make breakfast.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:51 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Al and Cindy K View Post
When stopping at a rest area for a few hours sleep late at night, if the trucker's area is over half full, I'll take up several slots in the most remote area of the cars only parking section. I've never had problems with this
Yes but usually by the time you see the truck side is to full there is no way to get to the car side. I few times I got back on the highway and did a turn around at the next exit to go back just to get into the car side. There are signs after all that send cars one way and trucks, busses, and RV another way.
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:13 AM   #54
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In early March we used an app, Allstays I think, to find a rest stop in Texas that turned out to be a barely widened spot on the road and barely long enough for our two 17' trailers with TVs. We were on the way to Big Bend from Tucson.
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:38 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Damp Scamp Tramp View Post
It has been my impression that rest stops are not for overnight stays. In fact, I believe all in California have signs prohibiting them. During daylight hours, there are usually plenty of other travelers around. If I pull into one at night with very few people, I just keep on going. Even though I've been retired over 25 years, I'm still the skeptical old cop. And I hardly ever carry a fire arm with me.

Bill
There are rest stops in Texas (outside of Amarillo and Texarkana) and Louisiana (Atchefalaya) that are fine with overnight RV parking. They have security and nice rest rooms. Mike
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:34 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
I prefer rest areas to Walmart parking lots.
A hearty agreement! I'll add truck stops to the "I'd rather stay at..." list.

I've slept overnight in my teardrop in almost every state, and while Mall-Wart can be convenient, it's almost never quiet. In some areas there is a cadre of folks who call the parking lot home, and that's not a bad thing, but a lot of the time there's at least 2-3 street racing/bass contest/rice rocket noise problems a night, which sucks when you really need the rest.

Pilot/Flying J/Loves/TA truck stops almost always have a pull-through RV area someplace where it won't get in the way of the truck business, and are typically very friendly, and have great showers, and food, and....
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:37 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by bjsmitty View Post
Occasionally there is a decent Walmart, but they are beginning to restrict overnight stays.
Note that it is generally the local municipality that has banned overnight parking, not the Mall-Wart.
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:47 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Tennessee is even worse, two hour limit and no overnight parking. Florida limit is three hours.
Those signs sure are purty, eh?

Aside from that, I ignore them. I've never been asked to move on. I suspect that they are placed to prevent encampments from happening, not to keep you from being safe.
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:54 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Al and Cindy K View Post
When stopping at a rest area .... I'll take up several slots in the most remote area of the cars only parking section. I've never had problems with this
This is me. I never use a truck space, and have never been corrected.

If you do this, make sure you park such that nobody can accidentally block you in. Did that once, and didn't want to wake them up - the rising sun did... :-) Cars get hot quick in the morning.
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Old 05-24-2020, 10:00 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by 100mpg View Post
rest areas are for weary travelers, not just trucks. Most have specific areas for trucks only but they have truck stops for the trucker.
Problem with this is that there are new hours of service regs for truckers, and they have teeth, and are difficult to get around. Use the car side rather than the truck side, as the car side is almost never full. Truck stops aren't that panacea for truckers, because they tent to fill up first.
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