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Old 10-15-2022, 07:36 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by powerboatr View Post
we drove our 40 foot bus up that old volcano , capulin or something . man what a drive up and down
they closed the road so we could drive the up, we didnt have a towed with us at the time

https://www.nps.gov/cavo/index.htm
Wow that is it. That area (Sierra Grande) is where I normally make my altitude adjustments for the generator. We took the RV up a mountain outside Golden CO (6,500 ft) going to a trail. It was just as nerving going down as going up with all of those Jeeps in the way

We have a 29 ft (no towed) and had no problem pulling the hill or braking coming down. That said, I can't imagine a 40ft up top that volcano, kudos to those park officials to close the road for you.

Since you know the region,
and for another nugget for the OP on rest stops and why I never worry about them day or night. We stopped in a town called Memphis, Texas one night at around 8:00 PM, very small, but we saw a restaurant that looked very enticing for the area and we wanted dinner, plus a football game was coming on TV So the DW goes inside and orders dinner, the parking lot was basically empty, so I found the perfect parking spot. The food was great and we tipped good. We noticed they were about to close at 9:00PM. The DW wife goes back inside and asked if we stay parked overnight? Not only did they say yes, the Manager wrote out a note with a name and contact info should any authority approach us We spent the night and was not bothered. When we got up at 7:00 am the next morning the parking lot was packed. I could barely get out. What makes this story so great was about 30 - 40 miles West of Memphis Texas was a Rest Stop that we had stopped at first, but it was on the full side and we had to park on the side close to the restroom building, but it was not too clear to me if it was a legit parking spot or not even though others were doing the same? So we left the Rest Stop and just kept driving. As fate would have it, we got closer to our end destination, I had a steak dinner, watched a NFL football game streaming from my T - Mobile phone Hot spot at time, and a overnight parking lot all to our own. ( No slide out, but jacks were down and generator running)

Thanks for the Capulin video, it reminded me of how awesome the Sierra Grande and the Capulin volcano areas were.

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Old 10-15-2022, 02:08 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by dkoldman View Post
Well they say a $#&%er is born every minute, I could be a billionaire by now.

Location

IH 45 - Southbound, north of Huntsville
Latitude = 30.8007 Longitude = -95.6841
Milepost: 125

Features

2 sets of Men's and Women's Restrooms
Picnic Tables
Air-conditioned lobby and restrooms
Playground
Drinking Water
Separate Truck and Passenger Parking
Family/Assisted Restroom
Vending Machines
Group Picnic Facility
Walking Trail
Handicap Access
Interpretive Displays

Plenty of room, not crowded, no noise, you can run generator. Do I dare add 4 bars of T Mobile on my T-Mobile Home Internet Black Box!!!

I am bringing my fishing gear next time I drive RV to this Rest Stop

See one of the Mods to work out my payment arrangements

But point to made to OP, there are some nice Rest Stop areas. Whenever I do stop, and I don't like something; I just drive some more... unless you way out West in the middle of some dessert.

I use to stop at that location regularly before it was upgraded (replaced). Like many of the old Texas rest stops, it was a dump.

That location looks great now. I hope Texas replaces the welcome center on I-10 westbound half that nice. Compared to Florida, Alabama and Mississippi rest areas, it needs much more than an upgrade.
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Old 10-15-2022, 02:29 PM   #43
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We rest in rest areas regularly on long trips mostly to save time. However, our use is quite different than OP was asking about. As I have stated before, our van obviously doesn’t have a slide, and I don’t run generator at night. Additionally, the biggest difference for us is that I park in auto section and far from restrooms. I do not take up a semi parking spot, and there are always plenty of empty car spots in middle of night, whereas truck parking is often full.

Some rest areas are far better than others at separating trucks from cars so that truck engine noise isn’t much of an issue. If I had to park between semi at night to sleep, I probably wouldn’t use rest areas at night.
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Old 10-15-2022, 02:58 PM   #44
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We got tired (2 25' RVs pulling open trailers) heading to Memphis TN. Could not find spot at rest area or campground. We pulled into a Walmart in Alabama. Was trucks in lot so figured decent area. No slides out, generator to make coffee in morning. No issues.

When we have slept in rest areas we try to stay out of truck parking.
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Old 10-15-2022, 05:28 PM   #45
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Hey Greybear

Garden City/Bear Lake are beautiful locations. The last time I drove down from Yellowstone, I stopped at the KOA Bear Lake/Garden City. Busy summer place but a wonderful place with lots to do. We are heading to Riverton for Thanksgiving and Christmas for a week each time visiting friends. With the new coach, I plan on staying at the Salt Lake KOA and use the car to get around. I am having the Demco Stay and Play braking system installed with the Blue Ox Base Plate and Blue Ox Alpha Tow bar. We will not travel with our car right behind us. We are planning out next summer's trip to Florida and all points between.

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Cool! We love it here. My wife was born and raised here, and we returned full time when we retired.

You might luck out for Thanksgiving, as the temps here are still in the 60s/70s, and they forecast a dryer than normal winter. Still lots of construction, so be safe!
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Old 10-19-2022, 07:40 PM   #46
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My wife and I have 'rested' many nights in interstate rest areas with no issues. However 'resting' in Rest Areas is always my second or third choice. If you do have pull into a rest are don't put out your slide. It would be very easy and unfortunate for a trucker 'accidently' take it off your rig. The parking areas are usually very flat so no need to lower your jacks either. Running a generator is no issue as it will usually be quieter than the rigs on both sides of you. trucks come an go all night and with their generators running, it probably won't be a peaceful nights rest. Also if you come in late at night I can almost guarantee there won't be any spots available. All the above is subject to the regulations in the respective states.
My first Choice is Cracker Barrells, followed by Cabelas, Wallmart, Fair Grounds, and Welcome Centers (Not always the same as a Rest Area)
Regardless of if the business has a policy of allowing overnighters, like Walmart, be sure to check the parking lot for any signs that there is a municipal regulation prohibiting overnighting. You want to have to be awaken at 3 in the morning and told you have to leave.
There are a lot of of options for free overnighting (more than I've mentioned) it just takes a little research and being flexible.
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Old 10-19-2022, 08:25 PM   #47
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Do your research

Like many are saying here, states are different and rules ever changing. In WA state, I believe it is 8 hours. We do this quite often but find the rest stops noisy and well lite. Not all Walmarts will allow RV overnight parking so call and talk to a manager. Cabelas, Camping World, and some truck stops do allow overnight. If you do choose to go with the campgrounds, pick some nice ones and stay a couple days. Enjoy the journey.
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Old 10-19-2022, 09:53 PM   #48
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When we were returning from our recent trip to the Carolinas we came across a Love’s RV Stop. You do everything online. Make the reservation, pay, and they send you an email with the code for the gate. And let me assure you those gates were closed. There is a large kiosk with people inside at the entry gate. It was an easy in and out for the night. It was located behind a Love’s truck stop. Electric and water hookups. With tax it was $59.40 for the night.
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Old 10-19-2022, 10:52 PM   #49
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On the note about not putting out slides…

We’ve overnighted at rest stops and WalMart both, and are always a bit anxious about the “no slides” advice. Our bed won’t unfold unless one slide (opens straight back toward the rear rather than to a side) is deployed.

We would like to use pull offs like WalMart more often but the slide-out situation sometimes stops us. I try to rationalize that this rule just means don’t do more than the minimum necessary, don’t set up camp, drag out chairs, open the awning etc. Then I hold my breath and put out the rear slide so we can sleep. Because sometimes we just wanna sleep for a night.

No consequences so far; do folks think I’m safe in using that approach?
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Old 10-20-2022, 12:28 AM   #50
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On the note about not putting out slides…

We’ve overnighted at rest stops and WalMart both, and are always a bit anxious about the “no slides” advice. Our bed won’t unfold unless one slide (opens straight back toward the rear rather than to a side) is deployed.

We would like to use pull offs like WalMart more often but the slide-out situation sometimes stops us. I try to rationalize that this rule just means don’t do more than the minimum necessary, don’t set up camp, drag out chairs, open the awning etc. Then I hold my breath and put out the rear slide so we can sleep. Because sometimes we just wanna sleep for a night.

No consequences so far; do folks think I’m safe in using that approach?
I say you safe, just more risks at being questioned as you already know. IMO you made the decision when you bought a floor plan that required a slide out to get full bed. I tossed and turned about that a lot, I rationalized every which way from Sunday why we would be alright with the 27B floorplan, but at the end of the day; we didn't pull the trigger. We can sleep 6 Adults with slide in with our RV

If I am you; I enjoy my coach; and do what I need to do, if somebody complains; so be it. Worst case you bring it in and go to the next place. Small price to pay for Coach you wanted
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Old 10-20-2022, 01:24 AM   #51
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We have been all over the PNW and slept in many rest areas. Couple times a year. We see it as all business. Drive, sleep, go in regards to rest areas. Never had an issue. Truck drivers fill them up every night. Lots of noise. Ear plugs.
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Old 10-21-2022, 12:27 PM   #52
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On the note about not putting out slides…

We’ve overnighted at rest stops and WalMart both, and are always a bit anxious about the “no slides” advice. Our bed won’t unfold unless one slide (opens straight back toward the rear rather than to a side) is deployed.

We would like to use pull offs like WalMart more often but the slide-out situation sometimes stops us. I try to rationalize that this rule just means don’t do more than the minimum necessary, don’t set up camp, drag out chairs, open the awning etc. Then I hold my breath and put out the rear slide so we can sleep. Because sometimes we just wanna sleep for a night.

No consequences so far; do folks think I’m safe in using that approach?
I think you are good to go with that arrangement. I think the big deal with putting the slides out in a rest area is because they can protrude into the next space. I would also worry about someone coming in late and tired and taking out the slide. Our ACE gives access to everything except a couple drawers and cabinets in the bedroom. If we need something out of these I stand outside long enough for the wife to run the slide out, get what she needs and retract slide.
Not huge travelers but we have stayed in WM, CB, Lowes, different truck stops and rest areas with no big deal. We did leave one rest area at night because of the noise. The truck section was right near the interstate in the middle of a long grade, noise came from that not the parking lot. Once we stayed at a campgrounds that had a RR crossing about 50 yards from the entrance. Heard the whistle go off about every hour waking even me up, terrible night and worse that most rest areas. Jim.
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Old 10-21-2022, 06:01 PM   #53
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We always put our slides out and place inexpensive plastic orange cones around it. Folks park a little further away from us
Good luck our fellow travelers
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Old 10-21-2022, 08:40 PM   #54
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We always put our slides out and place inexpensive plastic orange cones around it. Folks park a little further away from us
Good luck our fellow travelers
The way some of these threads / posts read, I would be afraid to put my slide out unless absolutely essential. If I have to be that close to anyone or suspect traffic where I worry the slide may get hit, I am not spending the night in that spot. I have parked in a WMT way out by myself only to wake up with 2 or 3 RVs parked around me in all kinds of orientations ( not close enough to worry about a slide though). With that said; I am pretty sure one night some RV'er must have drained his / her Gray tank as they were slightly uphill from me. I never bother to get out and check, we were gone 15 minutes later
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Old 10-22-2022, 04:04 PM   #55
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When staying at Walmarts I look for a spot where the (side) slide will overhang onto a grass area... usually way out at the end of the lot. No chance of getting hit.
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Old 10-22-2022, 04:43 PM   #56
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When staying at Walmarts I look for a spot where the (side) slide will overhang onto a grass area... usually way out at the end of the lot. No chance of getting hit.
Our 1st Wal Mart was Daytona Beach, Florida. Upscale area with nice trees etc. I had stopped because it was my 1st day and 1st night driving the RV and to be honest, I had the white knuckles thing going because roads were bad and every bump felt like tires were falling off. I saw Wal Mart and took the exit. They had signs all over the place clearly stating "No Overnight Parking" My wife had stuff she wanted to buy that we needed like pillows, toilet paper etc. etc. When she got back she had over $300 worth of crap. I told her we could not spend the night because of the signs; so she went back inside and talked to Customer Service, she showed them her receipt and they apparently did not need the Manager; they told her we could stay overnight.

I didn't let the slide out, and it was not because I was afraid it would get hit or some other etiquette. Back then this site had me scared to death to use a slide out of fear it would get stuck out and not come back in.

I guess the takeaway is, between rest stops, walmarts and other options for some, you don't need to overkill your planning for a trip unless you just have specific places you wish to go and stay.

I use to try to find a campsite on my journey, call them confirm availability and pricing and but not reserve. Once we got to that area we would do a drive by and in most cases I did not like. So we just moved on with no liability. I don't bother anymore, I just drive, it is part of the adventure for us.
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Old 10-22-2022, 09:05 PM   #57
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Look into Harvest Hosts. We boondock at these places on every trip we take. Always some convenient to the interstate, too.
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Old 10-26-2022, 06:32 PM   #58
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Response to the OP's question

Sir,
i have been doing this for alot of years.... i have never been told to leave a rest stop.... i have noticed that alot of ppl make incorrect assumptions concerning Rest Stops... there are normally 2 sides to a rest stop... the car side and the RV/cars with trailers/trucks side.... a side note i have seen rest stops for Trucks only.... anyway, to answer your question yes you can stop and spend the night and sleep there.... especially since u are going BC to AZ... Washington rest stops and some Oregon rest stops have ppl living there... the police won't enforce most misdemeanor violations (personally i see ppl living in the rest stop i won't spend the nite in that one) ... when i spend the nite in a rest stop, i will try to park with one side to the woods and i might then put out a slide with jacks down and generator running (if needed, normally i have enough power to run CPAP and watch tv and keep juice to my frig and internet all nite) if i run AC.... most of the truckers will run their aux generators or engines all nite also... so, tell your wife its ok, the rest stops were intended to let ALL tired drivers get rest for the nite.... and i have never had an issue spending the nite at a rest stop anywhere in the USA... Now on to topics the OP didn't ask about... Truck stops (Loves, Flying J, Pilot and Petros and TA's etc... the list goes on) yes you can stay there... I asked the truck stop owners/managers if RV are allowed to stay there... the answer was a resounding YES... you are a customer not just the truckers and they want your money too.... anyway, there are some risks with parking at a truck stop.... ppl driving skills vary and bumps and scraps happen more often at truck stops, so park to minimize your risk to bumps and scraps ... i wouldn't put out any slides, i would run generator (if needed) and if not level i put down my jacks (hate rolling off bed... hehehe) all this being said i have never had an issue overnighting in a truck stop....
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Old 11-23-2022, 10:29 PM   #59
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Rest Stops Safer than Walmart?

Not always, and we do assess each situation individually, but in general, we feel safer at rest stops than at Walmarts. In many places, Walmarts now have a significant homeless population or are where kids can give you a hassle. Rest stops also allow for the quickest on and off on those days full of driving (we try to have few of these).

Having said that, we're in a 24.1 Axis so only 25', don't need to push our slide out, and don't use our generator at night. We often park on the car side if there appears to be more space there and we are sure not to take up someone else's spot. If there is a staffed info building, we'll ask there and are often directed to the car side since we're small, it's quieter, and we leave the truck section for the big guys.

Usually, we go for Harvest Hosts or a state park, but for those unavoidable long-haul travel sequences, rest stops fit the bill.
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