I don't know the specifics in AZ, but I suspect it would much more likely be an issue related to budget cuts. A lot of states have closed, or at least considered closing, rest areas to help deal with major deficits.
It's a funding issue in AZ.
I just returned from a road trip to/from Arizona. It's definitely a state-budget issue. Along I-8 between Yuma and Stanfield, there is ONE open rest area. That's the one that is around MM 86, west of Gila Bend and Sentinel. There's one on the maps at MM57 that has been closed for years.
On the California side on I-8, there are three open rest areas: one at the sand dunes, one at Seeley west of El Centro, and one in the mountains. The latter 2 have been recently remodeled. The one at Seeley has a sign that says that you can only stay for 8 hours.
I never had a problem finding nice rest areas in AZ, CO or NE. I felt very safe and was treated well. Some were very scenic and had lots of places to have your morning cup o joe, with a fantastic view. Believe me, I'm going back again.
Course, your experiances may be different. Mine were good. B)
We just went on a 5-week Roadtrip (San Francisco to San Diego to the Grand Canyon to Arches NP, Vegas and back to San Francisco) in a Campervan. We managed to only have to pay for 3 nights. Two of the nights we spend in a hotel in Vegas. One on a camp ground right before Bryce Canyon, because that was the only area where free camping didn't really work. ;)
We were two girls travelling, and we were perfectly fine looking for free sleeping-spots. We tried to find Diners, restaurants, grocery stores, fitness studios (...) that were open 24h and asked if we could stay on their parking lots and if we could use their restrooms. ;) And it worked every single time!
Truck stops can be creepy, especially if you're just girls travelling!
In Vegas you could also sleep in one of the many parking garages. I'm not sure if it's allowed, but nobody will notice.
As far as showering is concerned: Truck stops are great (especially if the truckers pay your showers every time;) that saved us 10-12$ per shower) and the ones we saw were also really clean. On the coast you can shower on the beach (beach showers, water gallons, solar showers) and you can look for hostels - some offer cheap showers for non-guests!
So if you're planning a roadtrip on the westcoast: free camping works out great and we felt perfectly safe - and my friend really isn't an adventurous person. ;)
Enjoy & have fun!
Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-15-2012 at 02:10 PM.
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Thanks for the update!
Thanks for the field report.
Glad you had a great time.
Hmmm..... Truckers paying for your showers? Why didn't I think of that? ;)
Originally Posted by jurcaro
I've slept in the back of my car loads, admittedly only in the Welsh mountains, UK, and not in the US. I'd only do it if I was comfortable with the area.
It's warmer and more comfortable than a tent though! :)
Just one tweensy little problem here...
Nice illustration, but where is the rest of your road trip gear and supplies when you're sleeping that way? Insects and wild critters would be happy to join you if you kept all of the doors open!
Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum and thanks for the photo!
Thanks for the welcome!
I stumbled across this forum whilst planning for my 2-3 week road trip next year around CA / NV / AZ. Absolutely can't wait - so much to see and not enough time from what I've read on here.
PS The road trip in my pic was only 2 days so we had enough supplies in the car. The UK isn't quite as big as the US it seems! :)
Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-25-2012 at 04:32 PM.
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