Safe rest areas to sleep at overnight - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-06-2020, 05:33 PM   #1
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Safe rest areas to sleep at overnight

Heading out in the near future and mapping out a plan that will allow for all the closures.
Main concern is finding a safe place to sleep/rest, not camp at in the Indianapolis area or Shelbyville Il.
Second area would be somewhere after Waterloo Iowa but not too near as that is now a hot spot!
I know we can try Walmart, but that sounds sketchy and uncertain now.
Thank you for kind thoughtful suggestions,
PJ
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Old 05-06-2020, 09:02 PM   #2
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Heading out in the near future and mapping out a plan that will allow for all the closures.
Main concern is finding a safe place to sleep/rest, not camp at in the Indianapolis area or Shelbyville Il.
Second area would be somewhere after Waterloo Iowa but not too near as that is now a hot spot!
I know we can try Walmart, but that sounds sketchy and uncertain now.
Thank you for kind thoughtful suggestions,
PJ
For many years now we have stopped at Benton Il when heading south , exit 71 on I-57.
We stay at the WalMart which is right next to the exit on the west side of the Highway. It is a nice Walmart, with a cozy parking lot. there are always a couple of other campers and a couple of trucks with room to get close or stay a comfortable distance from them.
Benton is a nice small town. there is fuel right close and the Walmart has a nice deli.


Salem Il (exit 116) is another nice Walmart in a rural town just north of Mt Vernon.
You can see them both on google earth.
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Old 05-06-2020, 09:04 PM   #3
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It is a nice Walmart, with a cozy parking lot.

Do you sell real estate?
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Old 05-06-2020, 09:36 PM   #4
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I think safety in numbers is still a smart move and WalMarts usually have a few other overnighters.

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Old 05-07-2020, 10:07 PM   #5
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Heading out in the near future and mapping out a plan that will allow for all the closures.
Main concern is finding a safe place to sleep/rest, not camp at in the Indianapolis area or Shelbyville Il.
Second area would be somewhere after Waterloo Iowa but not too near as that is now a hot spot!
I know we can try Walmart, but that sounds sketchy and uncertain now.
Thank you for kind thoughtful suggestions,
PJ
Flying J/Pilot or other truck stops are good to stop at. Usually you can find a place away from the trucks to park and sleep. Safer than rest areas that don't allow overnight parking anyway. Many Walmarts are no longer allowing overnight parking.
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Old 05-08-2020, 12:29 AM   #6
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Not saying one is better than the other, but I agree with Jann about Flying J/Pilot truck stops. I try to avoid taking a spot a big rig might need, but you can also park close to the gas pumps, under the lights, and seem to just blend right in. There is no chance that somebody will bang on your door and tell you to move on, in the middle of the night. Don't worry about the activity, I'd rather have that than being way out back in the dark by myself. You don't have to get special permission, as there might be 100 trucks there resting. There is a lot of room, you can fuel up, and you can get a coffee or step over to McDonalds in the morning at some of them.

At one Walmart in Texas, I made the mistake of politely going in and asking permission to park for a few hours, and be gone by 7AM. What a big deal they made of it. Had to go find the manager. He had to think about it, had to confirm my departure time, and finally, begrudgingly said OK. By morning a half dozen or so trucks and vans had pulled in, and I suspect none of them asked. But nobody bothered us.
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Old 05-08-2020, 06:11 AM   #7
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We did only one night at a Walmart and one night at a Flying J. Asked permission at both. The Walmart manager said we could stay but asked us to park off to the side and asked when we would leave so he could tell the next shift manager. No problem at all and he was very agreeable to us staying. At the Flying J we asked a clerk for permission and he directed us to an area where they put camper trailers away from the truck parking. We have seen no overnight parking at some Walmarts.
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Old 05-14-2020, 02:32 PM   #8
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overnight places to stop for the night

PJ there are a lot of places to stop for the night and even apps for that. Overnight parking, Park advisor, RV parky and more. Have you thought of joining the Elks or Moose lodges for parking. They are just a phone call away when you know where you'll lay your head for the night. Nice thing about them is most have meals and at the end of the day it's nice to go in and let them do the cooking! I've even stayed at the Elks when nobody answered the phone to confirm it was ok.
Cracker Barrel and Home Depot allow overnighters and again it's just a phone call away to confirm it's ok. Have fun!
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:15 AM   #9
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There are no safe places, just some safer than others. Don't like Walmart, too bright and lots of traffic. Have had good luck at Cabella's and Cracker Barrel. OTOH, it depends on the area surrounding your choice. If it looks like a bad area we just move on. This winter one Cracker Barrel was in an area that looked suspect, so we moved on to another Cracker Barrel.

Rest/truck stops are also too noisy for us. We sometimes pull into small towns, look for the police and ask for a campground (knowing there is none around). Once we tell them we'd like to go to their ball park or fair grounds just to climb in back to sleep with NO camping they have always said, "OK!" There are still small towns in this country, with officer Barney's.

We've also stealth camped numerous times, but only after we have exhausted all other options.

Enjoy,

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Old 05-15-2020, 11:22 AM   #10
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I never think of rest areas or Walmarts as anything other than to catch a few winks. Usually by the time I'm ready to "rest" I'm not too picky thus being too light or too noisy aren't considerations.
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Old 05-15-2020, 03:46 PM   #11
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Safe rest areas to sleep at overnight

When Im by myself I like travel centers for a few ZZZs en route. Ive never had trouble finding a quiet spot on the auto side, not too isolated for safety. Light doesnt bother me unless its right in my eyes, but noise does. Theyre on the interstates for convenience, and they stay open all night for food, coffee, or bathrooms.

When the whole familys along, its a motel if no campground is available.
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Old 05-15-2020, 05:12 PM   #12
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Thanks for all of the suggestions

We are now in South Dakota. It has been a very different experience this time traveling as you can imagine, but we were prepared for that.
First night stayed at a KOA near Indianapolis but don't particularly like them as they sandwich people in, but felt safe. Restrooms closed and no amenities and had to be self contained but we were doing that anyway.
Second night was the best as we found Iowa had just this week opened many State Parks so we stayed at Brushy Creek just south of Fort Dodge and we were backed up to a beautiful meadow and had lots of birds around and water fowl. Walked down to the beach there and weather was perfect and campers were considerate. No public bathrooms or showers opened so again that was fine with us.
We saw no RVs or campers in Virginia, WVa, Ohio, Indianapolis on the interstates so Im guessing most boomers are staying put. The above truck stops were open for gas but subways or mcdonalds inside these places were closed and no showers for the truckers. Some had carryout. Some rest areas were open and some not. Many clerks wear masks and have plexiglass shields but customers often do now wear masks. We did.
Saw 3 campers on the interstate in Iowa.
South Dakota has no restrictions on campgrounds but none have open restrooms or showers because they "cannot get the cleaning supplies" they need!
Again happy to be self contained at this time. We avoided stopping for gas at Sioux Falls as that is a "hot spot" for Covid-19.
Final destination is Montana tomorrow where the governor has ordered al persons traveling into Montana to be self quarantined for 14 days which we will do. Happy to spend time with family after that.
Thought this snapshot may be helpful for those wanting to venture out.
PJ
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Old 05-15-2020, 06:02 PM   #13
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Final destination is Montana tomorrow where the governor has ordered al persons traveling into Montana to be self quarantined for 14 days which we will do. Happy to spend time with family after that.
Thought this snapshot may be helpful for those wanting to venture out.
PJ
Sounds like you won't mind being quarantined in Montana.

I had to make a quick trip to Washington 3 weeks ago. Every state I went through except AZ had big signs up at the border stating that nonessential travelers could be required to quarantine for 14 days. I drove through AZ, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Idaho again and then Washington. I minded my P's and Q's and didn't draw attention to myself. In all honesty I really didn't notice much of a decrease on the roads up or the return trip back.
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Old 05-16-2020, 05:34 AM   #14
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Last trip I overnighted at a Flying J. This one was somewhat unusual as they had RV parking spots on the car only side, while the trucks had the other side of the plaza. Thought it was a good layout, until.....I got up in the morning, and the car side was jam packed with TRUCKS. It was very difficult to get out that morning.

An added plus of a Flying J is they have shower facilities and a decent 24 hour restaurant.
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