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Qwimby1

Truck stops

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I posted this in the boondocking section first, but it appears it's more appropriate on this forum.   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..

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We have spent nights at trucks stops if we are off of the road early. They fill up fast and are often full by 6:00 PM. We have never had a problem staying in one but then again, our tow vehicle is a Kenworth T680 so we fit in a little better than some. 

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We typically overnight near one, while making miles, but we try to leave the actual lot spaces to the professional drivers. It's usually quieter a bit further out, the exercise makes the morning coffee taste that much better, and gives the dog more room for business.

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You can stop at truck stops, but yes you may get some angry looks.  The issue is normally with RV'rs that open slides and take up two or more spaces.  Yes truck drivers are now required by law to have 10 hours consecutive off (normally in a sleeper) after being on-duty for 14 hours, or after driving for 11 hours.  This is why most truck stops start filling up around the time the sun goes down.  The other issue is many companies (not all) but many have what is known as "Sitting Duck Policy"  This does not allow them to park on off-ramps, or sides of roads where they can be hijacked, or in an accident etc.  They are forced to find a truck stop.  While truck stops cater to professional drivers, many years ago they realized they were missing a lot of business.  So they renamed their businesses to Travel Centers and tried to pull in autos that pass by.  But truckers are their bread & butter.  They are not the best place for RV's to stay the night due to most truckers will idle, or high idle their engines to keep warm, or cool.  So there is a lot of noise with the sound of 100 or more trucks with engines running.

I've been on both sides, I am a professional truck driver, and I own a Diesel pusher RV.  I don't generally get upset with RV's that take a space, as long as they don't have slides open and take up more than one space.  Or I've seen RV's that can't back up and park over lines.  If you stay at a truck stop, I would just advise to be respectful, and keep your slides in, you should be OK.

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I just came to this part of the forum I am usually over on the HDT hanging out on the dark side talking about my Volvo 780 and getting it set up to pull for me.

As far as truck stops go if you are ever in Hysperia California and looking for a place to pull off and stay for the night, the Pilot there is friendly to both truckers and people pulling trailers, as long as it is not a busy Sunday. Semi Drivers get first priority plus, be willing to park out in the back of the parking lot and not taking up prime spaces closer to the front of the Truck lot.

The Outpost Cafe is next door to the Pilot gas station in the same lot as trucks park. This is an excellent little place to eat. It has that Mom and Pop feel. I heard they even give out a free meal to truckers on Thanks Giving and Christmas that are on the road without their families, that is pretty awesome! My food is always Hot when it comes to the table, not just warm but hot.

We use the showers at the Pilot station. 12.50 clean and good service and that is for me and my wife at the same time in the same shower room. The first time I was there I asked the attendant what the procedure was how I got a shower room for each of us, he just looked at me and said you can both shower in there at the same time, he winked and gave me a thumbs up. In this day and age of political correctness you have to appreciate those that still have a since of humor. So I have nothing but good to say about this truck stop, and at the end of the day to stay and park for free, you can't beat it. I think they even have a dumping service too, but you might call and check that. Since we were only 100 yards from everything we needed we were not worried about dump services or water.

Later,

Vegas Teacher 

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Not to hi-jack the thread.

Cory, back in the day your favorite truck travel eatery used to provide free meals to on duty drivers both at Christmas and

Thanksgiving

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Whenever I pull into a truck stop or rest area and need to park with the "big guys", I look for empty slots that are the least accessible for them, yet still doable for me. 

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Flying J has spots in front from the trucks but now the bobtail rigs are parking in the RV spots. Last fall going to Denver 3 Flying J 's  had Bobtail rigs parked in most RV spots. As I was fueling 4 RV pulled in and left. I went down the road a few miles and went to a Walmart  and there where 9 trucks in there also. Went in and asked. Told it was fine for the night so we went shopping there. 

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Not to change subject, but on this two month trip I’m on, I’ve only had limited luck finding room for my 20’ trailer and PU in a FlyingJ. A couple times, their latest list of truck stops offering RV parking (2016 edition) is inaccurate. 

Ive been staying in regular rest areas without any issues. Lastnight I was in the best I’ve ever stayed in. Amarillo TX info center off RT40 exit 76. Special area for RV with wide parking spots for slides. Very easy in and out. But not over 13’ high. In that case yo7 need to go to the ajo8ningbtruck area. Also very nice.

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I generally try to look at truck stops via Google Maps ahead of time.  About a third of them seem to have a large gravel overflow lot out back that almost never fills up.  Some of them also have some dedicated RV spots.

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We have not been overnighting at truck stops for about 4 years. Just because the truckers have to have a spot to park. We don't need to stop and park. With the electronic logging now in use the truckers need is more critical as there is no leeway for traffic or weather problems. Rest areas, Walmart, Cabelas etc or a quick overnight for sleeping. 

We really try not to be in the A to B drive mode anymore. We can do that mode but it is no fun.  

Bill

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