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  1. Default overnight Car Camping

    Hey, my friend and I are planning to drive all the way from montreal (canada) to mexico across the USA in our car. (not an RV).

    We were wondering if anyone knows of any available locations across the USA where we can park our car for free overnight just to sleep and continue on our way the next morning?

    if so, it be great if you could write us back

    cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default get a tent

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Truck Stops are usually a good place to sleep for the night. They are well lit, with security, and usually even have showers available. Some other parking lots, like Walmart or Hospitals can be an option too. However, anytime you are parking at a private business, you should always check with management to make sure that it is ok and legal.

    Personally, I'd be looking at getting a tent for this kind of trip though. Sleeping in a car isn't that comfortable, especially with 2 people in a car, and setting up a tent is a nice cheap way to spend the night outside of the same car you'll be spending all day inside.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Showers?

    When traveling cheap, some folks plan to sleep in truck stops so that they can make use of the pay showers along the way. Fees for this vary but some charge as much as $10-12 per shower. Considering that you can find campground sites for $15-25 per night, and that these will either include free showers or showers that only cost you about 50 cents or so, you aren't really saving much, if any, money if you sleep at the truck stop instead of camping.

    And you really should purchase something at the truck stop if you're going to sleep there. Of course, this could just be fuel that you'd need anyway so that's not really adding anything to the cost of your trip. But if you eat your meals there instead of eating cheaper, healthier meals out of your cooler, than these costs will also add to the cost of your trip. Just something else to consider.

    Of course, if you're not going to worry about getting in a shower, then truck stops are free to sleep at. Personally, one night here and there doing that is OK but multiple nights gets old quick. So, really a tent and a campground are the most comfortable bet. And it's fun to visit with others in the campground in the evening. Take a walk and strike up conversations. You will undoubtedly find many people who have just visited the areas you're going to be driving through and get some good tips for things to see and do along the way.

  4. Default campgrounds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Truck Stops are usually a good place to sleep for the night. They are well lit, with security, and usually even have showers available. Some other parking lots, like Walmart or Hospitals can be an option too. However, anytime you are parking at a private business, you should always check with management to make sure that it is ok and legal.

    Personally, I'd be looking at getting a tent for this kind of trip though. Sleeping in a car isn't that comfortable, especially with 2 people in a car, and setting up a tent is a nice cheap way to spend the night outside of the same car you'll be spending all day inside.


    we were considering that as well. we do not mind going to campground for overnight, pitch a tent and sleep the night there. can you suggest any possible websites, or places we can get more information on possible campground throughout the USA to sleep the night for under 20 dollars?

    cheers,
    Brian and Omes

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default a few places to look

    Personally, I usually just pull out my trusty map and look for public campgrounds, like State Parks, that are marked right on the map. I've probably found 75% of the campgrounds I stay at on a roadtrip using this very basic method, and the prices are ususally under $20.

    Actually one of my favorite places to camp is often a county park. These are a bit harder to find, but are often even less expensive and often fairly empty even on weekends. Often you need some sort of local intel (local tourism/convention and visitors groups work very well) to find these though. Its worth doing a little research if you have a specific area where you know you will be.

    Otherwise, there are a number of campground directories on the market, and there are some websites that will help you find places to stay. There is also a series of books called "Best in Tent Camping: (name of state)" for a variety of states. I like that series because they really focus on campgrounds made for tent campers who don't want to set up camp in a crammed RV park where you are 5 feet away from the next site.

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