Of the 17 nights I have spent on the road, away from family... so far... 8 have been at truckstops. An unexpected benefit is that I am eating much better, as I always have dinner there, and ocassionally breakfast as well. It is a relaxing atmosphere, and there are normally other lone travellers in the restaurant who are only too willing to share their story and experiences with you. Throw in a shower now and then, and the cost has averaged out at around $20 per night.
Now that my vehicle has (colour co-ordinated) curtains, I find I have to set the alarm, lest I sleep in.
4 nights have been at motels (total $147.49) and 5 nights with friends.
My budget is in good shape, though I do not expect the above trend to continue as I head off into Canada and on to Alaska.
Lifey who could well become addicted to truckstops
Maybe Mark could change your username to TruckStopMomma.............
Just to add more to the topic, I just did a 28 days trip around the USA. Off those 28 days, 24 were in truck stops (2 in hostels, 2 in campsites). The only "problem" was late in the trip at a Flying J where there were oo many people sleeping there that night for the parking space available (very little) and the employees had no spots left so at 5:40AM I got a wake up-knock-on-my-door from an employee asking me to move. I was going to get up at 7:00 anyway so I just started my day faster.
Of course, I'm a 22 y/o man, so it might sound easier than for a girl, but with my home-made curtains I had on my windows, nobody could really see who I was.
Well I guess it all depends on what kind of car you got, I once slept in a chrysler voyager van, with the seats taken out, that was quite comfortable, but sleeping in the normal car seat, even leaned all the way back isn't very pleasant, you can't roll round and stuff :P
Is it safe? Well - Choose wisely where you park, and lock the door ! :P Also; if where you are going it is cold, turn the heater on, but you will have to leave the engine on, otherwise you drain the battery...that should be fairly obvious :P
A No No !
Run your engine and heater before you get into your sleeping bag to warm things up but turn everything off before turning in for the night. Never go to sleep with your engine running due to the risk of Carbon monoxide build up.
Originally Posted by carrick
I've only napped in my car, in busy business lots during daylight, hoping that the probability of witnesses would head off trouble. I've thought about sleeping in my car overnight to save money, but the possibility of someone slim-jimming open my car as I sleep is a scary thought. (It takes car thieves less than a minute to get into a car.)
I know this is an old thread, but I figured I would give my question a whirl on here, as it pertains a lot to what has been said already.
I am travelling along I-5 from Sacramento to the Canadian border on the 21st of April and I am curious if any truckers or travelers have advice on safe places (tried and true!) to nap and sleep along the way. I drove straight through with a friend on my way to Sacramento, but she has since gone her own way and I will be heading back alone. I plan to sleep overnight on the 21st for at least 5-7 hours in my car, which is fairly small, but it has been done before in Canada with no problems.
I will mention that I am quite independent and tend to be a tad bit fearless, which is my reason for posting here. I need a healthy dose of reality. If you have any suggestions on places to sleep safely (specific truck stops, rest stops, parking lots, etc.) or places not to sleep, do let me know. I am less familiar with traveling in the USA, and obviously there are some major differences in America and Canada for traveling.
Any info appreciated :)
Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!
Generally speaking, we recommend that if you are looking to sleep in your car overnight that you avoid Rest Areas (often illegal) and stick to Truck Plazas. These are set up with restaurants, showers and other amenities (often WFi and Game Rooms) and are understand the traveling public. We also recommend that you offer them some patronage in return, such as taking a meal or shower there, and let them know of your plans. There is a Pilot Travel Center at Exit 263 outside Brooks, OR that's about halfway on your journey, or a Jubitz Travel Center at Exit 307 outside Portland.
Another safe place
This recommendation comes with a caveat -- hospitals are private property and anyone using a hospital lot should understand what they're doing.. But if you need a few hours of sleep and an appealing truck/travel plaza is not at hand, you can often find a good place to park and rest in the back lot of a hospital. People often snooze in their cars between visiting their friends and family in the hospital and so you'd tend to fit in. Don't leave any trash and be courteous to all security personnel.
I am a young woman and I have slept in my car with the windows covered at both truck stops and rest stops (most you can stay for a up to 6 hours depending on the area, in fact I had some very good conversations with the rest stops security guards...told me all kinds of places to check out in the area and if they know you are there, they keep a good eye on you...they would rather you rest than crash because you fall asleep on the road...) I prefer the truck stops...especially Flying J...they have awesome showers and also a restaurant that often has a really good buffet with salad bar and if you are bored you can play games in the arcade or even watch tv in the driver's lounge :) This info is from driving all along I-90 and also I-94, and down I-29 and through to Florida...never been to the East Coast...