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Old 06-07-2019, 09:59 AM   #15
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of course, all of this ignores the issue of "how will they know how long you have been there?" State police drift through rest areas. Of course, if you have a grill out they might wonder. I don't believe that slides are a problem and generally park so our bedroom slide is out of view and over grass.

besides...the worst thing they can do is ask you to leave, which they aren't going to do. One night I stayed the entire night at the long term overheight section of the Tampa airport. Found a cop in the lot and asked him. His response was "You are fine. No Problem." I did make sure to walk up to his car (after dark) with my hands clearly in view!!!!
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:27 AM   #16
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Ive heard several people talk about quick overnights in rest stops, but when I check the legality, there are few states that permit it..

What states enforce no overnight in the truck parking area?

What states have a record for heavy enforcement of no overnighting?
Greetings, Jerry-

This question comes up about every 3 weeks on the iRV2 forums. There are at least 3 different smart phone apps for locating overnight parking so you might want to start there...

As another reply stated, there's a difference between parking to rest and "camping." There are probably legal definitions in each state but based on my observations I'd say that camping is using the rest area for longer than intended (8-10 hours) and setting up your RV in a manner that indicates you intend to do more than rest. Cooking outside? Probably ok so long as return your kitchen stuff to stowage when you're done. Bedroom slide out? Sure, if you're sleeping.

I'd not worry about enforcement if all you are doing is eating, sleeping and then moving on, subject to any signage with time limits or other stated restrictions.


Good luck and safe travels always.
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Old 06-07-2019, 12:35 PM   #17
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I can only add - Can you imagine the liability issue if you are so tired and sleepy and get told by a law enforcement type to move on. You drive off and on up the road someplace you cross the median and kill a car load of people. "Yes judge, I told him I was tired and didn't feel l would be safe driving but he ordered me out of the rest area anyway".
No LEO worth his pay would do that
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:16 AM   #18
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Thanks to all for the information.
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Old 06-08-2019, 02:33 PM   #19
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On a side point, I am not sure if it is still the case, but 25 or so years ago it was illegal to sleep in a vehicle in Alabama, I am not sure about other states. I recall reading some story about a guy around Tuscaloosa that was actually charged with it while sleeping in his pickup truck in front of his house after he and his wife had been in an argument, I forget the exact details, as that was in the 1990's.
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:16 PM   #20
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Do note some out west close at night. They often have a gate barring entry/exit. So careful on planning should you extend your travels west.

Tom
I've covered all the western states and never saw a rest area that closed for the night. In fact I've never seen one anywhere in any of the 48 states that closes for the night.

Could you mention where those rest areas are located?
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:42 PM   #21
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On another note sleeping in rest areas, public picnic areas, etc. in Texas is legal and has been at least since the mid 1990's when a sleepy driver plowed into a group of college students in Texas, which sparked a massive anti-sleepy driver campaign in the state.
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:15 PM   #22
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We have been sleeping in rest stops for many years. Some places even have them patrolled for your safety. We have never encountered a problem. A few stated go all out on the design of rest stops too and make them fun to visit. Texas has the best and the worst. We have met some interesting people working at these stops.

You do need earplugs. The Semi's run the engines all night and come and go constantly. One time I woke suddenly because of a bang and a jolt. A semi hit our mirror. No damage though. Another time a trucker hosed out his hog trailer next to us during the night. Those are exceptions though.
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Old 06-09-2019, 02:49 AM   #23
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I've covered all the western states and never saw a rest area that closed for the night. In fact I've never seen one anywhere in any of the 48 states that closes for the night.

Could you mention where those rest areas are located?
I ran into them on way back home (IN) from Grand Canyon in 2017. May have been NM. I know they were on I-40. They were stops were one had to exit from interstate and then were combined E/W stop. They had locked gate to keep one from entering rest area and closed what to me seemed very early.

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Old 06-09-2019, 03:27 AM   #24
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I can only add - Can you imagine the liability issue if you are so tired and sleepy and get told by a law enforcement type to move on. You drive off and on up the road someplace you cross the median and kill a car load of people. "Yes judge, I told him I was tired and didn't feel l would be safe driving but he ordered me out of the rest area anyway".
No LEO worth his pay would do that
I've travelled extensively by motorcycle -- all 49 continental states and about 8 provinces. I can tell you that tired and sleepy are no concern for a lot of rest stop cops when you get off the bike and lie down. Especially the rent-a-cops employed by some states. The conversation goes something like this:

"Move it along, there. You can't lie down here."
"I'm resting, like everyone else here."
"No, everyone else here is resting INSIDE their vehicles."
"My vehicle doesn't have an inside"
"Then you have to move on."
"So rest stops aren't for bikers?"
"Rest stops are for everyone. Now move along."
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Old 06-09-2019, 10:58 AM   #25
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I ran into them on way back home (IN) from Grand Canyon in 2017. May have been NM. I know they were on I-40. They were stops were one had to exit from interstate and then were combined E/W stop. They had locked gate to keep one from entering rest area and closed what to me seemed very early.

Tom
On I40 between Barstow and Needles a few years ago they had three rest areas completely closed for about two years. Don't know what they were doing.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:02 AM   #26
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:10 AM   #27
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I stayed at a rest area in Ohio just recently but it was kind of loud with the trucks coming and going. I preferred staying at flying j as they had rv spots. Also if you stay there same rules or etiquette applies slides in. I was at one that a guy took 2 spots had his generator outside and all his slides out. He was there when we got there and still there when we left in the morning.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:50 PM   #28
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Over the last 42 years my wife and I have traveled all over the country east to west, north to south and everything in between we have never been bothered or asked to leave a rest area while we were there trying to get some sleep. A bigger problem you will run into, especially along I-95 is full rest areas - no available place to park. This is also true on I-10 from Florida through Louisiana. If you don’t stop early, you may not be stopping in a rest area for the night.

Also, we have found along several of the main interstates highways that the rest areas are closed for renovations. We travel now with the mindset that a lot of people and commercial trucks are traveling on the road these days making stops along the way at rest areas no guarantee.
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