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Old 12-18-2012, 09:50 PM   #1
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Wink Overnight in a rest area??

I am new to RV'ing. I recently purchased a 2001 Itasca Suncruiser 35U. I am planning our first trip (Chicago - Tampa). I would like to break the trip down to tampa into two days with a stop over around Chattanooga. Pretty much just looking for a place to sleep in the RV overnight. I'm debating whether or not to try and find a campground or just park in a rest area for the one night. does anyone have knowledge about parking in the rest area's? If there is enough room, I'd like to bump out the 2 slide outs. Any thoughts/experiences would be appreciated.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:56 PM   #2
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Looks like 2 600 mile days for starters. Rest areas are generally not places to get a nights sleep and not legal to do so in many areas. No idea about Tn. I would suggest getting a CG along the way. YMMV.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:07 PM   #3
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Personally I would not stay in a rest area. If I had no choice I would park in the auto section away from the building and opposite side of the angle parking. If your just looking for a place to sleep there is always WalMart. At the bottom of Mt.Eagle there are a couple of places you could stay at,just to sleep for the night.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:12 PM   #4
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We've done it many times, usually not a problem. Also try Wal*Marts with no problems although some are posted "No Overnight Parking", usually due to city laws.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:13 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. A couple of nice options. Are the Mt. Eagle local's campgrounds??
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:21 PM   #6
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I, too, can't speak for the laws in Tennessee and how they affect the rest areas. There may be some "no camping" laws in effect. That doesn't seem to discourage any of the many trucks that spend the night "resting" in the rest areas. I think that putting out your slides might throw up a red flag that says you are "camping" and not just resting. You might also research any Walmarts along your route that allow overnight parking in their lots.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:32 PM   #7
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It positively hurts my feelings to stay at a campground. I've done it before I got my AC working properly, but to own a self-contained MH AND pay is more than I want to abide.

The slide-outs are kind of a giveaway, but rest areas, away from the majority of the trucks, is usually quite do-able. Some have 16 hour limits. Truckers sleep there all the time.

And not only Wal-Mart welcomes RVs. I"ve stayed at Safeway, Albertson, Dollar Store, anywhere I've asked. I think they like the presence, keeps the drug dealer's away.

I've gotten pretty brazen.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:47 PM   #8
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The way to go.

If you plan on doing a lot of R.V.ING. I would sujust that you join the ELK.s or the Moose that way you can get a list of all of the lodges in the Country and they will say if you can stay over night and some have water elect. and some have a dump station. My wife an I took a trip cross country and were gone for 6 months and stay at 33 Elks lodges.
Just a thought.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:03 PM   #9
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We've stayed at a lot of "Rest or View Areas", but going through Utah at about midnight my wife made me 'move on when I pulled into "Ghost Rock" view area, then 10 miles down the road I got the keep going signal from her when I pulled into "Devils Canyon" view area.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:58 AM   #10
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When I am only concerned with getting there I always stay in rest areas (where legal to do so).

I never put the slides out as I don't want anyone running in to them.

Have never had an issue once in the rest area. Sometimes if I wait too late (after 9:00 or 10:00 PM) at night to pull in the rest areas are full and I have to motor on to the next or the next.
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max49 View Post
We've stayed at a lot of "Rest or View Areas", but going through Utah at about midnight my wife made me 'move on when I pulled into "Ghost Rock" view area, then 10 miles down the road I got the keep going signal from her when I pulled into "Devils Canyon" view area.
maybe she was holding out for the "Lovers Leap" parking area LOL
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:58 AM   #12
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We stay at the Flying J truck stops for overnighters. They have a section, usually up front of the facility for RV's. We've never had a problem staying at one but I doubt you would have room unless you were on the perimeter of the parking area to put out your slides. Good luck and have a great trip.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:34 AM   #13
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I stay at Flying J, Travel America, Walmart and Cracker Barrel. There are plenty of all 4 between Chicago and Tampa. Especially driving down I 75. There is a very large rest area at mile marker 127 around Lexington Kentucky. I have spent many a night there, but I wouldn't put out slides.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:05 AM   #14
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It interests me that rest areas have "no overnight parking" when truck drivers are required by law to stop for rest aka sleep.

The last time we "rested" overnight in one we did not notice the sign until morning but no one bothered us.

Some rest areas not only have space for RVs but are patrolled at night. You would think they all should be. As said before Walmart (good idea to ask manager first) is a good stop as are Flying J. I understand Home Depot is too but have never tried it. Wherever you stop take a look around and ask yourself if it looks safe. If you feel at all uneasy, move on.
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