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Author Topic: Overnighting in interstate rest areas  (Read 1324 times)

clockdrfla

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Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« on: January 09, 2017, 08:13:47 AM »
I have a 5th wheel with no generator.  If I would decide to sleep in a rest area and leave my RV plugged into my truck, would it drain my truck batteries?  Could I put out the bedroom slide?  Could I run the bedroom a/c?  Has a residential refrigerator also.  Some of the things I didn't know to ask when purchasing.  Thanks

John From Detroit

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2017, 08:19:51 AM »
Your truck SHOULD have a device called an isolator that disconnects the trailer electrically when you turn off the engine, Now lights (Tail/marker/stop/turn) remain hooked up but the house system is isolated so it should NOT Run down the truck battery..... assuming they actually installed it and it is working properly that is.
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hoddinron

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2017, 08:30:10 AM »
You could unplug your truck if you're afraid of running down the truck battery (batteries).  :D

I would not advise putting out the slide, running the fridge, or AC without a proper generator of at least 4000 watts.

Ron
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SeilerBird

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2017, 08:37:26 AM »
If you do decide to overnight at a rest area you need to know not all states allow it and some states, like Nevada, welcome it. But no matter what state you are in be prepared to listen to lots of semi trucks running their engine all night long. You are much better off finding a Walmart parking lot.
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Ken & Sheila

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2017, 08:44:58 AM »
I have a 5th wheel with no generator.  If I would decide to sleep in a rest area and leave my RV plugged into my truck, would it drain my truck batteries?  Could I put out the bedroom slide?  Could I run the bedroom a/c?  Has a residential refrigerator also.  Some of the things I didn't know to ask when purchasing.  Thanks

Many states do allow 8 hrs of Parking, but never put your slide out.
How can you run your AC without a generator?

Please note that rest areas are not the safest places to overnight. Also trucking will not appreciate you taking one of the spots.

Back in the nineties we used to overnight in Rest Areas and Truckstops, but no longer. The only truckstops we overnight at are ones with designated RV parking, usually in the car park area (many FJs and a few TA, Pilots and Petro).

ken
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 08:15:44 AM by Ken & Sheila »
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Rene T

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2017, 08:52:12 AM »
I always unplug from the truck even knowing that I don't have to so they say. Why take the chance. Yes you could put out the slide but I would only do it temporarily then put it back in for the night. Do it while still plugged in and let the truck run a few minutes to recharge the battery in the RV. You won't be able to run the bedroom Air Conditioner. You can't run the fridge unless you have a inverter. If you do have a inverter, You'd have to have a battery bank in order to do it. I have a residential fridge also and it runs off the inverter while traveling but that's all the inverter powers up. I'll take that back. It also powers one 110 volt AC outlet next to the fridge/stove. My fridge and stove are in a slide out.
Remember there is a difference between a CONvertor and a INvertor. A CONvertor converts 110 volt AC power to 12 volt DC power for your lights etc. when hooked up to shore power. A INvertor converts 12 volt DC power to 110 volt AC power.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 07:27:43 AM by Rene T »
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garyb1st

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2017, 08:53:49 AM »
We had an trailer with a small slide.  Never disconnected the electric.  We did however have two 6 volt batteries which would give us adequate power for almost a week without recharging.  If you don't have two batteries and have room, you should consider adding an extra battery.  We would put the slide out once in a while at a rest stop, but since it was a small shallow slide it didn't open the trailer much.  As to overnighting in rest areas, officially IIRC, there are only 6 states that allow it.  However all allow you to stop for a few hours and rest.  Unofficially some states, that do not allow overnight parking, will not bother you if your do not set up like a camper.  Whatever you do, do not put out chairs and barbecue or anything that makes you look like your vacationing at the rest area.  And respect the rest area.  Be considerate of others and keep it clean.  At least that's what we've been told and it makes sense.  Otherwise, folks would be camping there for 2 or 3 days while exploring the area.   
Gary B
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clockdrfla

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2017, 09:13:32 AM »
I do have two batteries in the RV and have a 1000W INVERTER. 

SeilerBird

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2017, 09:25:56 AM »
Actually there are a lot more that six states that allow overnighting.

http://www.frugal-rv-travel.com/rest-stops.html

Arizona
Arkansas
Connecticut
- only on Illinois Toll Road
Indiana - only on Indiana Toll Road
Kansas
Nevada
New Mexico
New York - emergencies only
Ohio - only on Ohio Turnpike
Oklahoma
Oregon - 14-hour limit
Texas
Virginia
Wyoming - with some limitations
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Gary [ RVer Emeritus]

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2017, 09:32:29 AM »
1. You cannot run the a/c without a genset or shore power. It's not even hooked to your inverter (which is inadequate to power an a/c even for a few minutes).

2. You should unplug the trailer from the truck to be sure. The trailer battery is connected direct to the truck system and the connection may or may remain active when the truck ignition is off. You didn't mention the truck year/make/model and whether the trailer wiring is factory or a later add-on. There are various ways to wire the trailer plug in the truck, so no sure way to know what YOU have in yours.

3. You have the ability to put the slide out, but it may not be the polite thing to do, depending on space available.  We used to put the bedroom slide out (all but required to use the bed in that rig) and the narrower of the two living room slides, but not the larger one. That way we still fit in a typical 12 ft wide parking slot.

4. Your residential fridge is going to pretty much fully use those two batteries in an 8-12 hour overnight stay. You didn't mention the battery size, but a typical two-battery RV set-up will get used up  (50% discharged) with the just the fridge and modest lighting.

5. Most of the highway rest areas we encountered had limits on the length of stay and overnight parking was prohibited. They aren't campgrounds. There are, however, some states that allow it. Truck fuel plazas often have overnight parking, and many (but not all) Walmarts & Sam's Clubs allow it. In my experience they are mostly all noisy and sometimes smelly (exhaust & fuel odor) as well.
Gary
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garyb1st

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2017, 09:55:27 AM »
Ouch.  Missed the residential refrigerator notation.  Didn't know they came in trailers and surprised they're put in RV's without generators.  A generator is the first thing I'd be looking for.  Look into an inverter generator.  Honda makes some but they're expensive.  We have a 2000i which is about $1200.  We use it constantly.  Even with the motorhome which has its own generator.  It's less expensive to run and much quieter. 
Gary B
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Gary [ RVer Emeritus]

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2017, 10:28:47 AM »
It's no problem to tow for a day and let the residential fridge run off battery (plus the alternator power form the tow vehicle), but 24 hours without shore power is really stretching a typical modest-size trailer battery bank. Especially in warm weather. Plus, during an overnight stop, the fridge door gets opened a lot so it runs more.
Gary
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cpaulsen

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2017, 06:18:08 AM »
Actually there are a lot more that six states that allow overnighting.

http://www.frugal-rv-travel.com/rest-stops.html

Arizona
Arkansas
Connecticut
- only on Illinois Toll Road
Indiana - only on Indiana Toll Road
Kansas
Nevada
New Mexico
New York - emergencies only
Ohio - only on Ohio Turnpike
Oklahoma
Oregon - 14-hour limit
Texas
Virginia
Wyoming - with some limitations
Oregon is 4 hours.


Edit: Moderator fixed broken end-quote tag
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 08:35:14 AM by Gary [ RVer Emeritus] »
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Ernie n Tara

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2017, 09:22:31 AM »
Florida even provides security at many of their rest stops - use one or more annually.
I have a shallow full body slide on the drivers side and often put it out when we stop overnight.

Ernie
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BIG JOE

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2017, 12:22:40 PM »
Years ago Yes.. But In this Day & Age.. Rest Stops for an Over Nighter are a No-N0 for us. A short nap.. maybe.

Can't sleep with One Eye Open.

We've been hassled by Panhandelers, The Homeless, stranded Hitch Hikers... and the like, to feel comfortable with Rest Stops.

If needed by circumstance, a Wal-Mart parking lot (to date) is a better choice.

To Each, His or Her Own... I guess ?
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 04:27:10 PM by BIG JOE »
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Old Radios

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2017, 02:29:54 PM »
Never had a problem staying in any rest area in the Northeast or up and down the East Coast. Usually stop and sleep for between six to eight hours. Been doing it for years when traveling.  Ohio even has RV hook-ups now in eight of theirs.

You pull in and shut it off. No slides, out or levelers down.  If you can't just get in the drivers seat and pull out without doing anything else you're doing something wrong. We don't even crank up the antenna.
If the rest area looks pretty full, move on till you find one that has lots of spaces and hopefully an area away from the road a little.
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RedandSilver

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2017, 10:29:08 PM »
If it's not legal in every state then how come every time I've stopped at a rest area - the truck area is almost
always full with trucks running there engines and no one in the drivers seat?   >:(

I have never seen anyone getting kicked out of a rest area.
The whole idea is to rest so you don't cause an accident from being sleepy.
Falling asleep at the wheel is as or more dangerous than a drunk driver.

What that said, I agree with some of the other comments.
I would rather use a Walmart - however not all of them are right off the interstate.
I wouldn't put out a slide or do anything else that made it look like I might be camping.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2017, 05:17:28 AM »
If it's not legal in every state then how come every time I've stopped at a rest area - the truck area is almost
always full with trucks running there engines and no one in the drivers seat?   >:(
Because it is a rest area. Not everyone in a rest area is there to spend the entire night. Most rest areas are not patrolled very heavy so no one is checking there every hour and looking for someone to kick out.
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stephenm

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2017, 06:45:26 AM »
Is it only reefer units that run all night while parked or is it other type of truck/trailers?
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Gary [ RVer Emeritus]

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2017, 07:04:18 AM »
Many truckers are sleeping in their cab, which often has a bed at the back, or watching tv or online. Trucks that have no auxiliary generators run the engine for heat and power, including inverters for tv or computers.  When they aren't driving, their truck is their living room.
Gary
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Bill N

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2017, 07:15:26 AM »
Many truckers are sleeping in their cab, which often has a bed at the back, or watching tv or online. Trucks that have no auxiliary generators run the engine for heat and power, including inverters for tv or computers.  When they aren't driving, their truck is their living room.

Very true Gary. By the way I like that RV Emeritus  title.  You are most deserving of it.  Keep contributing here please.

Bill
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Ken & Sheila

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2017, 08:24:18 AM »
Actually there are a lot more that six states that allow overnighting.

http://www.frugal-rv-travel.com/rest-stops.html

Arizona
Arkansas
Connecticut
- only on Illinois Toll Road
Indiana - only on Indiana Toll Road
Kansas
Nevada
New Mexico
New York - emergencies only
Ohio - only on Ohio Turnpike
Oklahoma
Oregon - 14-hour limit
Texas
Virginia
Wyoming - with some limitations


California actually has a few rest areas with designated RV parking, the Weed rest area off I5 is one we have used. I think California has an 8 hour limit. [size=78%]Connecticut also has some rest areas with dedicated RV areas. We have used the one south of Hartford off I91.[/size]
[/size]
[/size][size=78%]ken[/size]









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stephenm

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2017, 08:43:38 AM »
Many truckers are sleeping in their cab, which often has a bed at the back, or watching tv or online. Trucks that have no auxiliary generators run the engine for heat and power, including inverters for tv or computers.  When they aren't driving, their truck is their living room.

Thanks Gary,

That makes sense to me now.
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RedandSilver

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2017, 01:27:10 PM »
Because it is a rest area. Not everyone in a rest area is there to spend the entire night. Most rest areas are not patrolled very heavy so no one is checking there every hour and looking for someone to kick out.

That was my point - States that claim you can't overnight there - doesn't make any difference because it's done all the time
by truckers needing a rest (aka as sleep) so it shouldn't make any difference if your in a MH or RV.  because no one is checking what
time you rolled in and starting a clock as to how long you have been there.

If I had to guess - the states that DON"T allow overnights in rest area's are probably afraid if they do allow it, people will
start camping there maybe for days at a time, which would be taking advantage of the system IMO.

But like I said, a Walmart or other place (campground?) might be a better choice.  Very few truckers use Walmart's that I have seen.
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Bill N

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2017, 06:37:05 AM »

But like I said, a Walmart or other place (campground?) might be a better choice.  Very few truckers use Walmart's that I have seen.

There are some exceptions. For example, my local Walmart lot has 10 to 12 trucks over weekends and even more over holidays.  Guys can't put their rigs in front of their house in the city so they park them in the far our spaces of the Walmart lot. Walmart does not seem to object.
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malexander

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2017, 07:42:48 AM »
I'll overnight in a rest area if I can park by a curb, in order to run my bedroom slide out over the grass.
Otherwise, I'll do a WM, or another big box parking lot.
Marshall Alexander
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BIG JOE

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2017, 09:55:06 AM »
There are some exceptions. For example, my local Walmart lot has 10 to 12 trucks over weekends and even more over holidays.  Guys can't put their rigs in front of their house in the city so they park them in the far our spaces of the Walmart lot. Walmart does not seem to object.

Same with our local Walmart & Target shopping centers. And both have a Security Patrol.. 24/7/365.
Joe

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UTTransplant

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2017, 10:19:29 AM »
I have definitely seen trucks overnighting in Walmart parking lots, refers and generators running. I prefer staying in a parking lot to staying in a rest area. Rest areas are noisier and smellier with the trucks parked close together and running generators. Since the sites are marked and generally full, you can't just take up a couple of spots to find room for the slide. I also don't like the idea of taking up a spot that a working person needs for mandatory breaks. I have also been in rest areas with very sketchy people asking for money or assistance of other types. Summary of my personal opinion, worth totally as much as you just paid for it, is that I won't stay overnight in a rest area.
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markbarendt

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2017, 10:49:30 AM »
Found this list that may help.  http://beamalarm.com/Documents/state-rest_stop_policies.html

I pulled into a Florida rest stop late the Friday after Thanksgiving and was greeted almost immediately by a uniformed person letting me know that 3 hours was my limit.

It was a surprise to this westerner, and it would have been nice to stay longer, but getting the info before getting a ticket was appreciated.
Mark & Anna Barendt
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BIG JOE

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Re: Overnighting in interstate rest areas
« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2017, 12:14:59 PM »
Good Link Mark, Thanks.

We've noticed in using  Big Box store parking lots for an overnight, everyone seems to park Front to Back, or spread out some ? Makes for a quieter setting ?

Not bashing Rest Stops here.. but when using Situational Awareness.. we feel that one of us needs to stay with the Rig.. That's gota be your sign (?) about staying very long ?

Most all Rest Stops are Great for their intent .. To take a short break, walk the Pooch, have lunch, use the facilities, then move on. 
Joe

Tow an 016 29RS "Reflection" 5r w/Trailair pin box...with a 2012 Ford DRW, F-350, 4x4, Loaded Lariat, 6.7 Diesel.. Wife & I, Beck & Sheeka the Dogs.. with Bob, the In-Charge Cat

 

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