Qwimby1

Flying Js and other truck stops

30 posts in this topic

For six years, ending in 2005, I roamed the country staying almost exclusively in flying J's overnight.  I never had a problem and was never turned away.  I don't know if it's still the case. Can anyone advise?  Are Flying Js and other truck stops such as TA and Pilot still open to RV ONP? 

I've read a little bit about potential problems at truck stops now, which  didn't exist before.  One thing I read is the truckers now resent RVs because new driving rules requiring rest periods make the truck stops more congested.  At the time most flying Js had  RV parking in front and truck parking in the rear.  Since my rig with trailer was 64 feet overall, I always parked in the rear with trucks.  I also found rear areas to be quieter.  There would often be parties and a lot of traffic out front, while the guys in back were just interested in sleeping.  If you don't mind the sound of the refrigerators running it wasn't a big deal..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Qwimby1,

You have this exact same topic started in the days end forum. It would be better if you kept the topic in one location and consolidate all of your answers there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, GeorgiaHybrid said:

Qwimby1,

You have this exact same topic started in the days end forum. It would be better if you kept the topic in one location and consolidate all of your answers there.

I noted that at the top of my post in the Day's End section.  I'm new to the board and still getting used to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem Qwimby1, some just tend to jump the ditch to quick! Try AllStays.com, it has many topics concerning overnight stays and also campgrounds, both have phone #S as i recall!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stay at PFJ once in a while, I park in the RV section in front for the reason stated, trucker drivers mandated driving hours. It's becoming common to see a semi parked at the side of an on/off ramp, I suspect overflowing truck stops and rest areas may be a reason.  

DW and I taught ourselves to sleep with a battery-powered sound machine running a long time ago. I remember one time we parked at a Walmart, awoke to discover several semi's all around our 5er, most with refers running. We never heard an outside sound and had a good nights sleep.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the reason some Truckers don't like to see us. They have to take that break. And if there about out of time. Have no other place to go. Even years ago when I was trucking. Parking spots were hard to come by. And these days Flying J's and the rest are cutting back on how many spots they have. While we can with our campers. Find lots of other spots to park. Cracker Barrels for the most part will let us stay over night. Walmarts, lots of other spots. And we also have RV parks. 

And if truckers were to start keeping the RV parks full. What do you think RV owners would do?? Years ago I could run an hour or more to find a safe spot to park. But these days with Electronic logs trucking company's are forced to use. a minute over your legal time. And you have a ticket. Get a couple of those. You job is gone.

Pete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I generally tend to avoid truck stop RON's. Not that there is anything wrong with them, or that I don't use their services. You can (almost universally) expect to get a decent meal and good coffee in their restraunts, grab a shower, do a little laundry or wash your rig.

However... just my personal thoughts... I consider them to be a truckers "place of doing business" of a sort. Their jobs are vital. They don't have the options I do about where they stop for services critical to their day-to-day. Even "comfort" conveniences like idle air.

There may be quite a number of open parking spots when you pull in, but you'll also notice that by the early hours they are generally packed to the gills. It just isn't worth the risk, to me, to potentially force some rig to park on an on-ramp. They deserve to have those services convenient to them and easily understandable if some truckers develop the opinion that RVers are a PITA.

Where RV only parking is provided... that's a little different matter, but in the corridors I tend to travel, I haven't seen many that do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Where RV only parking is provided... that's a little different matter, but in the corridors I tend to travel, I haven't seen many that do. 

Flying J and some Pilot have RV parking spaces and some even have special Fuel Islands for RV's that welcom RV's.
They even give Fuel/Gas discounts with the right RV membership.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I once parked at Flying J in an RV spot only to have a refrigerated truck park next to me. It gave me a whole new perspective.

Linda Sand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then there was the time we tried to meet out OTR driver daughter at a truck stop for lunch once on a holiday weekend near Minneapolis. There was no place for her to park. She wound up at an abandoned building near by and we picked her up there. She left a note on her cab that she would only be gone an hour just in case. There was a responding note on her cab when we got back saying this was private property so it's good she left the first note. Semis can't just park anywhere.

Linda Sand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We use Flying J a lot, as they are probably the most RV friendly "truck stop" out there and generally (but not always) have at least a few dedicated RV spaces.  In fact some truck drivers I know avoid Flying J because they do cater to the "front side" (us and cars) more than other truck stops.  I always use the rv spots first, but if they are full I'll pull around back and find a spot with the trucks.  As noted, Flying J does specifically cater to RV's, so I figure every spot is fair game, I too am a paying customer.  When I am too tired to drive safely, that spot is just as valuable to me and others on the road around me as it is to someone with a logbook.  Naturally, don't be an idiot and keep your slides and steps in so you don't interfere with the next space.  Of course that should apply in the front lot as well, but some folks don't have common sense.  Perhaps one of the reasons truckers don't care for RV's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sandsys said:

Then there was the time we tried to meet out OTR driver daughter at a truck stop for lunch once on a holiday weekend near Minneapolis. There was no place for her to park. She wound up at an abandoned building near by and we picked her up there. She left a note on her cab that she would only be gone an hour just in case. There was a responding note on her cab when we got back saying this was private property so it's good she left the first note. Semis can't just park anywhere.

Linda Sand

There used to be a saying that you should eat where the truckers eat, the thinking being they get around and pass any number of restaurants, so where they stop must surely be the best food around.  Nope, the truckers eat where there is enough room to park.  Got nothing to do with the food.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When we travel I look for PFJ that have a restaurant and the RV amenities,  and have gone 50 +/- miles extra just to get there as we did on this cross country trip. 

What I am finding 80% of the time is there are bobtails and cars in the dedicated RV spots. See picture I took. I found this to be at 4 of the 5 we stopped at. 

Really ticks me off because I'm not thinking of me but my 92 year old husband needs to be within walking distance to get a bite to eat and a reasonably quiet place to snooze. 

If they are going to have rv spots, then I would pay a small fee to reserve it. They do have "Truck" spots that are reservable but they are rarely used. 

I've seen many RVs circle around with no where to park. Im sure pfj is loosing sales. I always buy something. 

I pulled into one to get fuel and saw a bobtail in a clearly marked rv spot. I asked the driver how long he was going to be. He got a bit upset I even said anything, saying he always parks there, but told him my husband wanted to go inside and obliged and moved. 

Somehow they think it's OK. So, I don't know what to make of it. I know they need breaks, but so do we. I'm usually beat from driving and just need a spot.

IMG_20170625_145850671.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/25/2017 at 2:45 PM, Hot Rod said:

There used to be a saying that you should eat where the truckers eat, the thinking being they get around and pass any number of restaurants, so where they stop must surely be the best food around.  Nope, the truckers eat where there is enough room to park.  Got nothing to do with the food.

But, it sometimes has to do with the service. Flying J used to have a buffet where truckers could fill their plates before even sitting down then a server would come take their drink order. Drivers could be in and out without using up many daylight hours. Then Flying J changed to Denny's which they understaffed and their service went to pot. I stopped seeing many truckers there.

Linda Sand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used RV parks for extended stays, but in six years while traveling I only spent one night in an RV park, when my generator air-conditioning broke down.  It looks like things are going to be quite a bit different than 15 years ago.  My rig with trailer was 64 feet overall so I almost had to park in the truck spots in back..  I'm going to be about 50 feet overall this time, but pulling a tow dolly which is far less maneuverable than a trailer.  I also believe the only real way to tow is with a trailer which you can back up, but I'm not set up for that yet.  I'll try to find spots out front at flying Js.  What has been mentioned here makes me feel a bit guilty about using spots in back reserved for truckers. 

One very bothersome item is that Florida now prohibits overnight parking in interstate rest stops.  Stays are limited to 3 hours.   I don't know how stringently that's enforced.  In the old days I spent many nights in those rest stops.  very convenient.  I never cared for Wal Marts very much because they were noisy and I just didn't feel comfortable.  I spent many a night off in a corner of a mall.

When I was traveling before, campground operators associations put tremendous pressure on local zoning boards and politicians to get us outlawed from overnights in Wal-Marts.  They effectively put all Wal-Marts along 441 up the central area of Florida off limits.  I don't know if the parent company of Camping World, Good Sams, Woodalls and the others is the same as it was then.  But I made a point to avoid doing business with those places because I knew that the money I spent was being turned around and used to lobby against my parking freedoms.  That's why I don't think I ever stayed in a Good Sam park.  I called a Camping World on my intended route and was told they don't allow overnights.  I think that's outrageous, unless they've been forced into it by local politicians.   I'd be interested to know if the same group is behind the Florida rest-stop rules.  An article I read recently indicates that only six or seven states now allow overnights in interstate rest stops.

I was pretty aggressive in those days and stayed pretty much were I darn well pleased, but this time I'm traveling with a lady friend and her cat, and she's understandably nervous about all this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quimby1, on I  95 S. between Jacksonville and St. Augustine is a rest area with specific parking for RV's, overnight OK per signage, specific area for trucks, and of course a area for autos. The large RV area is behind the service buildings, can't even see the truck lot from there for the trees. I never asked about the N.bound side rest area being the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"As nightfall does not come at once,"

Justice Douglas didn't get a chance to go to Hawaii, I guess.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a member of Good Sam Club I have a RV discount card for fuel at Flying J. I always get at least $100 or more of fuel before spending the night. I only stay one night at a time while traveling from one location to another and then park in a RV Park at my destination.  I always leave my slides and steps in. They encourage RVs to go to them by giving us a discount. I see no reason why I can't spend the night after a large purchase. I have spent a few nights at rest stops. Most Wal-Marts do not allow overnight parking anymore so our options are getting limited 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Twotoes said:

  Most Wal-Marts do not allow overnight parking anymore so our options are getting limited 

Sorry, but we don't find this to be the case. There are some, but they are usually a town policy and not that of WalMart. Every one we have stopped at or stayed at have allowed overnight parking. Chuck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to run Hot Shot loads with my dually Chevy and 40' gooseneck trailer. I admit it looked out of place parked at the truck stops with the big rigs but I never had a problem and had to comply with log book rules just like they did. I would not stay at a truck stop with our camper and would feel guilty taking up one of their spaces as most truck stops are filled by midnight, forcing other drivers to move on. As a full timer, I consider it the cost of the life style and have set aside $$ to pay for a campsite nightly. With Passport America, I can usually find $15 campsites for half of the nightly stays while traveling.

Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/6/2017 at 3:08 PM, Twotoes said:

Most Wal-Marts do not allow overnight parking anymore so our options are getting limited 

If you visit the Walmart corporate website you will find this information as of today.

Quote

While we do not offer electrical service or accommodations typically necessary for RV customers, Walmart values RV travelers and considers them among our best customers. Consequently, we do permit RV parking on our store parking lots as we are able. Permission to park is extended by individual store managers, based on availability of parking space and local laws. Please contact management in each store to ensure accommodations before parking your RV.

1

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎8‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 4:08 PM, Twotoes said:

As a member of Good Sam Club I have a RV discount card for fuel at Flying J. I always get at least $100 or more of fuel before spending the night. I only stay one night at a time while traveling from one location to another and then park in a RV Park at my destination.  I always leave my slides and steps in. They encourage RVs to go to them by giving us a discount. I see no reason why I can't spend the night after a large purchase. I have spent a few nights at rest stops. Most Wal-Marts do not allow overnight parking anymore so our options are getting limited 

Who helped change the overnight policy - we did by some of the STUPID things some RV community members did, trash the place, not pick up after their pets, dump their tanks and set up grills and lawn chairs. Make it a homestay sometimes for days! Just ASK some of the store managers. You will get an earful!

 

Safe Travels!

Edited by StarDreamers.us
spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, StarDreamers.us said:

Who helped change the overnight policy - we did by some of the STUPID things some RV community members did, trash the place, not pick up after their pets, dump their tanks and set up grills and lawn chairs. Make it a homestay sometimes for days! Just ASK some of the store managers. You will get an earful!

 

Safe Travels!

They're overnight policy HAS NOT CHANGED so I will repeat my previous post for your benefit. Sorry, but we don't find this to be the case. There are some, but they are usually a town policy and not that of WalMart. Every one we have stopped at or stayed at have allowed overnight parking. Also read Kirk's post above. Chuck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/12/2017 at 6:13 PM, chuckbear said:

They're overnight policy HAS NOT CHANGED so I will repeat my previous post for your benefit. Sorry, but we don't find this to be the case. There are some, but they are usually a town policy and not that of WalMart. Every one we have stopped at or stayed at have allowed overnight parking. Also read Kirk's post above. Chuck

X-2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

RVers Online University

Dish For My RV Military Offer.

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

Rvonthego.com

Rv Share

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.