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rv1
Is it safe to stay over night at rest stops or truck stops in an rv? We are going to florida in the spring dont know if I want to pay for a park to just sleep at we will be coming from ILL going to sarasota. I am a truck driver I know no one messes with the truckers we kinda watch each others back when sleeping or awake but dont know about the rv's not to hard to get in to them. So what you guys think rest stops and truck stops safe to sleep over night at.
danel-ksc
When we do have to layover night we have found rest stops don't appear to be the safest, beside most rest stops do not permit overnight stays in an RV. We do stay at Flying J since they have RV parking slots off to one side in the front of their facilities. We also stay at T/A and will use the CB to contact a trucker(s) already parked and let them know we are an RV and almost every time they will show me where I can park with the trucks that is safe and doesn't interfer with the truckers coming and going and won't lock me in with my tow. This approach seems to be appreciated since they are there trying to earn a living while I'm just trying to get a little rest.
We have also layed over in Walmart parking lot. Although some local areas have stopped Walmart from allowing this practice there are still many that do. All they ask is for you to park at the lighted outskirt parking area so customer parking isn't impacted. There are usually other RVs and/or trucks to keep you company and most stores have night security that ride around the area. Doesn't hurt to spend a few dollars in the store.
Mostly we use our Passport America membership and stay in a CG usually for about $20 or less for the night.
Hope this helps a little with your plans.
rv1
QUOTE(danel-ksc @ Aug 27 2009, 09:56 PM) *

When we do have to layover night we have found rest stops don't appear to be the safest, beside most rest stops do not permit overnight stays in an RV. We do stay at Flying J since they have RV parking slots off to one side in the front of their facilities. We also stay at T/A and will use the CB to contact a trucker(s) already parked and let them know we are an RV and almost every time they will show me where I can park with the trucks that is safe and doesn't interfer with the truckers coming and going and won't lock me in with my tow. This approach seems to be appreciated since they are there trying to earn a living while I'm just trying to get a little rest.
We have also layed over in Walmart parking lot. Although some local areas have stopped Walmart from allowing this practice there are still many that do. All they ask is for you to park at the lighted outskirt parking area so customer parking isn't impacted. There are usually other RVs and/or trucks to keep you company and most stores have night security that ride around the area. Doesn't hurt to spend a few dollars in the store.
Mostly we use our Passport America membership and stay in a CG usually for about $20 or less for the night.
Hope this helps a little with your plans.

Thanks it helps
palod
We often stay nights at WalMarts, KMarts, or other "Free" overnight places when we just need a place to rest for the night. I can't see paying a campground for simply using their campground when we don't unhook, need power, water, or any other amenities. Then too, it's nice to have a place right there to buy groceries or supplies as needed - and get a doughnut and coffee in the morning.

Always choose a parking place that is not blocking traffic. The lot itself should be well lit, and at a store that is open all night. Having other RVs parked nearby is good too.

We always ASK if it's OK. Some store managers have actually gone so far as to call the local police, so they could keep an eye on our safety. We've never been turned away - even at one WalMart that is on the internet published "No Overnight" list.

We have a fifth wheel with three steps to the entry, so it strikes me that it would be pretty difficult to break in before we get a 911 call off. Just don't open the door to a stranger knocking at the door - call 911 instead.

I always have the key fob for the tow vehicle alongside the bed, so we can set off the panic alarm if we deem it necessary.

Last resort? A big can of good mace would be good.

Palod
RV Camper
Truck stops are generally OK, if the proprietor doesn't mind. Rest areas are often unsafe but most also do not allow overnight stops. As others have said, get off of the highway and go to a local Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe's or any of a multitude of stores who welcome RV folks.
summerland
QUOTE
go to a local Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe's or any of a multitude of stores who welcome RV folks.

Most counties in Florida prohibit overnighting in store parking lots. Rv's will do it, then get a rap on the door by the local police at 2am, telling them to move on. Check with the counties that you think you might be stopping in to check the ordinances. The store manager might say he doesn't mind, but the county over rides that decision.
Galli
QUOTE(Kirk @ Sep 7 2009, 12:11 PM) *

Truck stops are generally OK, if the proprietor doesn't mind. Rest areas are often unsafe but most also do not allow overnight stops. As others have said, get off of the highway and go to a local Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe's or any of a multitude of stores who welcome RV folks.

I am commuting every winter from Canada to Florida and spending a night at the truck stop, parking between two trucks. I never had problems and the truck drivers are very niche people even if I hate them for having the engine running all night.
With respect of allowing you to spend the night there, I donít see why not, I am filling up my gas tank, I am having dinner at the local restaurant and I donít see why they should prevent me from spending the night thereÖ.
I would appreciate some comments from the forum smile.gif
JackHammr'
Galli , I'm a trucker , and I see RV's overniting at truck stops all the time , I doubt any one would say anything to you about it ..
Galli
QUOTE(JackHammr' @ Sep 12 2009, 08:55 AM) *

Galli , I'm a trucker , and I see RV's overniting at truck stops all the time , I doubt any one would say anything to you about it ..

Thks JackHammr, I find the truckers a very nice kind of people, may be some what rough in talking but always ready to explain or suggest things
John316
Would you all help me out here?

The OP asked whether it was safe to park in rest areas that allowed overnight stops. My question is, would it be safe? If not, why? Seems like an RV people wouldn't bother at all because they know that there is people inside. Is it not safe from fear of robbery?

Also, are different parts of the country different? I know down south there are a lot of places that say they have a guard on duty. Does that make it safer, or just mean that it is a really rough place?

Also, if it matters, we drive a very nice looking RV (45' motercoach). Is there more risk there?

Thanks a lot.

God bless,

John
JackHammr'
Most of the rest areas in the south , have an attendant on duty 24 hours a day , all I have seen are state parks employees and not armed .. I doubt , that they are "rough" places , but you have to remember , most rest areas are in somewhat remote portions of the highway , between exits on the interstates ..

I doubt you would have problems with the truckers , they're shut down and sleeping .. But I think , if there was a problem , it would be , individuals traveling the roads , looking for an easy mark ...

Not saying it hasnt happened , because I'm sure it has , but I personally have never heard of an incident such as robbery at a rest area .. Usually when something like that happens word gets out pretty fast ..

The last thing a state would want is an incident at a rest area ..

Me , personally , when I am traveling and Sweetie is with me , MH or otherwise , we're not overniting at a rest area .. We plan our trips for stops at motels or campgrounds ..
rollinghills
We have stayed at rest areas before for a few hours sleep when traveling. Never had a problem but then again we didn't set up camp just crawled in the bed and took a nap. The last time we did this we left a campground at 3 in the morning because of the crack heads smoking at the picnic table at the end of our site. Felt safer at the rest area than the CG.
summerland
QUOTE
We have stayed at rest areas before for a few hours sleep when traveling. Never had a problem but then again we didn't set up camp just crawled in the bed and took a nap. The last time we did this we left a campground at 3 in the morning because of the crack heads smoking at the picnic table at the end of our site. Felt safer at the rest area than the CG.

Unfortunately, if this truly happened to you, then you were staying in a nasty park. Maybe trying to save money? unsure.gif
Galli
I think there is not a 100% secure place to stop overnight and all depends which part of the country or the world you are travelling. ph34r.gif
It is my feeling, however, if you stop where there are other RVs or trucks spending the night, the opportunities for malevolent people are much reduced. rolleyes.gif
I agree with the gentleman above who says, I am preplanning my trip and not spending a night out, wink.gif however, there are instance in which, you have to spend the night out and in this case, you better pre-organize yourself. sad.gif
I am one of the one who's spending the night out, I am travelling Km. 2,600 (M.1,300 +/-) and I cannot accomplish every ting in a day but in order to reduce any possible problem, I schedule my overnight stop at the truck stop and I park between two big monsters.
I am sure that if I should have problems and raise my voice one of them will come out and give you a hand . dry.gif
I am not saying that's the best way but I consider it the less dangerous one.
JackHammr'
some truck stops are in bad parts of town , but yes generally speaking , I think it would be safer parked in a well lit area with other people parkedthere as well ..
Bearii
Like another poster said if we're just driving through we never stay at a CG. We usually hop online and find the closest Walmart and stop there. We have had to move from a Walmart only twice in our journey's all around the country. Once was at a ritzy Walmart (oxymoron right) that was in a fancy strip mall. The manager came a knockin' and in a very apologetic tone said the township didn't allow it. He gave us an address for another Walmart just down the road. The only other time the security guard said essentially the same thing and directed us to a Costco just down the road.

We do always go in and buy a few groceries or a bag of ice or something else that is on the envitable "list". It seems to me as only common courtesy to patronize the store that is helping you out.

We have stayed at several truck stops like the Flying J's or TA's with never a problem. Each time we've met great truckers with lots of fun stories. Just remember to be courteous and not one of these, "it's all about me" type of folks that park in the way. (We had one of these morons last night at a Walmart, all of us were parking in spaces and this idiot parked right in the through lane, we all had to back out in the morning to get around him - grrrrr).

The only disadvantage with the truck stops is that many truckers have to run the rigs all night - tough to find a spot that is not too noisy. Often we've been lucky and have been able to tuck off into a corner to get a bit quieter spot.

Personally I would never sleep overnight at a rest stop due to safety concerns. At least in the northeast where we come from many of these are places for the seedier side of sexual encounters late at night. dry.gif . Look for a truck stop or Walmart instead.
Florida Native
QUOTE
Most counties in Florida prohibit overnighting in store parking lots. Rv's will do it, then get a rap on the door by the local police at 2am, telling them to move on.



We live in Florida and have overnighter in Wal-Mart and other parking lots numerous places and I find the above statement to be untrue. Some cities, do ban it, but they are few and far between. We always go inside and ask a manager to get their permission and ask where they would like us to park. We have never had a problem in Florida. I worked trying to get my cityís ordinance changed to allow it, but have never heard of a county having such an ordinance. Most Wal-Marts are in cities and their ordinances take precedence. Floridaís expressway rest stops have security guards 24/7, but I still would not stay. Go to Wal-Mart and you have a great chance of being told it is OK. While you are there, buy something. Getting their gas is always good as the price is usually the lowest around and you can get it before hooking up in the morning which makes the getting in and out easier. Good Luck
RVRVRV
QUOTE(palod @ Sep 3 2009, 05:36 PM) *

We often stay nights at WalMarts, KMarts, or other "Free" overnight places when we just need a place to rest for the night. I can't see paying a campground for simply using their campground when we don't unhook, need power, water, or any other amenities. Then too, it's nice to have a place right there to buy groceries or supplies as needed - and get a doughnut and coffee in the morning.

Always choose a parking place that is not blocking traffic. The lot itself should be well lit, and at a store that is open all night. Having other RVs parked nearby is good too.

We always ASK if it's OK. Some store managers have actually gone so far as to call the local police, so they could keep an eye on our safety. We've never been turned away - even at one WalMart that is on the internet published "No Overnight" list.

We have a fifth wheel with three steps to the entry, so it strikes me that it would be pretty difficult to break in before we get a 911 call off. Just don't open the door to a stranger knocking at the door - call 911 instead.

I always have the key fob for the tow vehicle alongside the bed, so we can set off the panic alarm if we deem it necessary.

Last resort? A big can of good mace would be good.

Palod

Key fob by bed is some good advice. It may just scare someone off. But just because you dial 911 does not mean you will get a help in a timely manner. This is a common misconception. The safest place is in a campground where the owner lives on site or is staff managed. I sleep better a night not subjecting my family to any additional harm.
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