Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. Default East Coast Road Trip

    Hey guys!
    New to the forum. My wife and I have been travelling different countries for the last 6 months, currently in Canada and embarking on the last leg of our trip soon, which is Toronto down to Charlotte, NC. Our rough route will be Buffalo to Philadelphia (flying back up to NY at the end for Christmas), to Washington DC, then towards Charlotte. We're in our own Campervan so free to move as we please. Does anyone have any suggestions for cities or cool places to visit along that route?

    And does anyone know what the deal is with free camping in the US? Is it ok to stay over at rest stops for example or is it discouraged? Illegal?

    Any help is massively appreciated!

    Nick :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    In most states, staying over in rest stops is illegal, and actually unsafe. There are exceptions in some states where there is a 24 hour security guard. You can stay at most truck stops and Walmarts with permission, and it's courteous to give the establishment some business.

    Do you have a good set of paper maps or a road atlas? That's the best way to research attractions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Truck Stops.

    Truck stops are great places to park overnight. There is a directory - The Trucker's Friend - which lists those truck stops that welcome RV parking overnight. Speak to reception tell them you would like to park overnight. They will tell you where to park. Remember that it is 'parking', so don't pull out the BBQ or outdoor chairs. Most truck stops have showers for a nominal fee and microwaves as well as all the normal facilities. They are brighly lit with people coming and going all night. Some have extra security overnight. In other areas law enforcement keeps an eye on them all night.

    If you do not make the establishment aware of your stay, you could find the van being towed. This is to avoid having empty vehicles being parked overnight.

    As mentioned, staying at rest areas is mostly illegal and always unsafe, unless there is overnight security present..... which is rare in the area you will be travelling. I'm only aware of this in FL and some rest areas in MS.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default ...And As For Your Other Question

    Given your proposed basic route (Buffalo, Philadelphia, Washington, Charlotte) and your proposed mode of travel (campervan), I'd suggest that you eschew the Interstate-based routes that most mapping software will proffer you and instead stick to slower but more scenic routes. That would basically start when leaving the Buffalo area where, instead of taking the New York State Thruway (I-90) to I-81 and then the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-476) to Philadelphia, you would cut more directly cross country on roads such as US-20/NY-63/NY-36 past Letchworth State Park, then I-390/I-86/NY-17 across the Southern Tier of New York to Waverly, US-220/US-6 down to Tonawanda and across to Scranton where you might want to consider some combination of PA-309 and PA-611 from Hazletown around Allentown and down into Philly.

    Similarly, the usual route from Philly down to DC is I-95. But this is absolutely one of my least favorite stretches of road. I prefer to take US-13 south out of Wilmington to US-302 across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and then US-50 into DC. If you go that way, by all means take some time to take a walking tour of Annapolis MD, a charming town and home to the US Naval Academy. Then from DC to Charlotte, take I-66 west out of the Washington Metro area to Front Royal and then use the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway down to Fancy Gap VA and finish up on I-77 into Charlotte.

    And while truck stops and Walmart parking lots may let you use their parking lots for free, I think you'd be much happier (and not that much poorer) looking into the US National Forest System and camping in one of the dozen or so units that are all along the above outlined route.


  6. Default

    There are low cost state and county campgrounds, BLM campgrounds, etc.

    you might even find a casino with camping. There are even free places to camp; some are very rustic or worse. You get what you pay for. Try this site

    If the area makes you nervous, move on!

Similar Threads

  1. Summer Road Trip -- East Coast to West Coast and Back!
    By ptobencropper in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 02-23-2015, 12:54 PM
  2. Dec. Trip from West Coast to East Coast: Road Conditions.
    By Windy Shadow in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-01-2013, 11:41 AM
  3. Road Trip East coast to West coast Sept 2013 in a hire car
    By janelouisestockdale in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 01-27-2013, 07:25 AM
  4. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-31-2009, 04:04 PM
  5. Road trip route - 3 months from East Coast to West Coast
    By tasha in forum Off the Beaten Path
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 08-26-2008, 09:26 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name