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Old 04-07-2020, 05:46 AM   #1
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Interstate Rest Stops

When the time comes to Snow Bird it south/north, can we over night at a Rest Area on the Interstate, or do we have to over night at an RV Park?...
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Old 04-07-2020, 06:13 AM   #2
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It varies with the state. Some allow overnight parking others don't. We like staying overnight in parks. That way, we get to see some interesting places that we might not have otherwise seen plus it gives us a target for the day's driving. For us, its about the journey not the destination.
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Old 04-07-2020, 06:22 AM   #3
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We've slept in rest areas when permitted.
We also search out Cabela's stores as most will allow/ have a dedicated area for those traveling. The only exception is where it's not permitted in a municipality. We've stayed in some nice Cabela's store lots dedicated to RV's. Dump stations, water, one even had a cage where you could house your animals overnight if that was needed.
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Old 04-07-2020, 06:43 AM   #4
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Rest areas typically do not allow overnight RV stays. But there are lots of free overnight stops you can use:

Walmarts- Call and ask the store but the great majority allow overnights.
Camping World
Cracker Barrrels
Cabelas

Walmart is the one we use the most while traveling cross country. All of these prefer that you do not use slideouts, but that isn't always possible and I haven't gotten any push back so far. Also keep your toad or TV hooked up and park where the store suggests, away from most traffic.

Allstays, the campground finder app shows most of these, but we just use Google Maps. Zero in on the approximate location you want to stop and search for Walmarts, etc. Usually you will find one within the next 50 miles on most interstates. Click on the store to get their phone number and call to ask permission.

We usually arrive late after picking up some take out food for dinner and leave about 7:00 the next morning. And obviously never, ever dump in the parking lot.

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Old 04-07-2020, 07:09 AM   #5
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I wouldn't say never overnight at a rest stop, but I'd avoid it if possible. Save those high demand spots for the 18 wheelers. There really is a shortage of space especially with all the mandatory rest period regulations.
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Old 04-07-2020, 08:50 AM   #6
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Topsail made a good point. Trucking industry is at a max roll-out right now trying to get goods to the stores.

With that in mind, see if this Where To Spend The Night
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Old 04-12-2020, 07:15 PM   #7
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Rest areas typically do not allow overnight RV stays. But there are lots of free overnight stops you can use:
Not true out west here. Texas and Oklahoma both welcome the RVer to spend up to 24 hours there. We've done it several times and have had absolutely no issues. Just be polite and take only as much space as you need if you are in the area with trucks. In the area designated for RV's, we still keep our slides in to make room for other weary travelers.
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Old 04-12-2020, 07:51 PM   #8
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I use Allstays app to find places to overnight while transiting; Walmart state park works well for us most times. Have used Cabelas/Bass Pro. Cracker Barrel is okay but is often too close to the interstate for me as I am a very light sleeper. Any port in a storm... use what works best for your needs.
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Old 04-12-2020, 08:02 PM   #9
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Almost all rest areas allow overnight parking. You can google rest area info to discover if yes or no. I also use Next Exit for on the road info
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Old 04-12-2020, 08:09 PM   #10
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I’ve stayed in rest area a lot. NEVER in a ‘Truck Space Only’ section. Christmas Eve I stopped at the Mississippi Welcome Center on I-20 east of Meridian. I was surprised that rather than the usual ‘Trucks This Way - RV’s Trailers That Way’ the sign read ‘Truck/RV Parking’ to left & Cars Only to right. Multi spots. I took last one on end. Woke up to find someone SLASHED 4 of the 6 expensive tires on my RV. It was one expensive, stressful mess. I always honor truck only spaces & heard if not they may let the air out of tires or unhook a 5th wheel connection but had to be a sick person to do what they did. I do believe they did not read the sign & thought I was taking a truck spot, but STILL!! So now ONLY if specific RV spot in rest area. I mostly do Cracker Barrels & 24-hour Walmart’s. I put slides out if FAR BACK spots no one would need prior to my leaving. Never a problem. I use RV Parky app to see where overnight’s are allowed. Sometimes (I’m single female, gratefully alone! haha) I can call & even get permission at a Lowe’s & put sign on door saying ‘Asst Mngr So & So have permission. Call xxx-xxx-xxxx if a problem.” Good luck!
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Old 04-13-2020, 07:16 AM   #11
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If you stay at a rest area because you are too tired to go on and there are no viable alternatives check to see if you can overnight. If you are not allowed but are too tired to go on I would stay at the rest stop. If the Police come simply tell them you are experiencing electrical problems with your rig and are afraid of getting stuck out on the highway in the middle of the night. Its unlikely they will ask you to leave.

Again I would only do this is if I was really tired and there are no alternatives.

I have seen in Ohio rest stops that allow overnighting and have 50 amp hookups!
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Old 04-13-2020, 08:40 AM   #12
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Texas has rebuilt some old rest areas into new “Safety Rest Areas”. They have large parking lots with truck lanes and separate RV parking lanes. They’re well lighted and the two I’ve seen had security personnel too. The two I’ve seen were on I-10. One was near LA the other on the other side of the state near NM.

I just checked and the state has a brochure for these, but doesn’t mention security or RV parking. So perhaps it was just the two we’ve stopped at. The buildings and bathrooms were much nicer. Seems like they have quite a few and are remodeling a lot more too.

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot...a_brochure.pdf
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Old 04-13-2020, 08:48 AM   #13
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I have seen in Ohio rest stops that allow overnighting and have 50 amp hookups!
Are those for RVs or electric cars?

As an aside, some Washington rest stops have sewer dumps.
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Old 04-13-2020, 09:00 AM   #14
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Are those for RVs or electric cars?
RVs but they do charge $20 a night to use them. I’ve seen them on the Ohio Turnpike I-80.

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As an aside, some Washington rest stops have sewer dumps.
Many Texas Rest Areas have sewer dumps but not all. And lately I’ve seen a number that were locked up. So, it’s not a sure thing.
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Old 04-20-2020, 06:11 PM   #15
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We have noticed that many truckers are starting their day VERY early which gets them off the road somewhere around 3pm. So, we decided to beat them into the fuel stations and get an outer ring area to spend the night and open 1 bedroom slide so we can use the full bed.
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