Why Overnight RV Parking At Truck Stops Is Bad Idea
By Rene Agredano
Too broke or cheap to pay for one night at an RV park? Don’t even think about free overnight RV parking at truck stops, it’s just not a good idea.
There’s a popular belief among many RVers that it’s OK to take advantage of free overnight RV parking at truck stops around America. If you’re too cheap or broke to pay for an RV park and a big box parking lot is out of your way, overnighting in a truck stop parking spot might seem like a good idea — but the long-haul truckers of the highways disagree — and with good reason.
Like most frugal RVers, I also thought it was OK to park our rig at truck stops. We never had too many issues, but the last few times we parked at truck stops we got jammed in-between dozens of idling, noisy big rigs with only a few feet between us. Truck stops are more crowded than ever and there’s a good reason for that.
According to this Wall Street Journal article, North American truckers are running out of places to park. There are two obvious reasons for this:
• Cheap fuel means more companies are shipping via long-haul trucking companies
• Federal labor laws requiring more trucker rest periods mean that truck stops are busier than ever as drivers are forced to take more breaks.
We thought we were being polite by not extending our slide into another parking spot, but we were wrong. I wrote this blog post about the incident and it sparked reality checks from real-life truckers like:
And, when you pull into a truckstop to spend the night as a “civilian” you could be preventing a trucker who needs that shower or laundry and rest from getting it done and having her (his) normal. A truck stop isn’t a place to camp or a place to slide out your slide outs unless you want to lose them. I’ve known “drivers” who actually get a thrill from ripping off the sides of “slides….The trucker who pulled in beside you was sending you a message and you would have been wise to roll it up and move on.”