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  1. #91
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A contradiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by jurcaro View Post
    Truck stops can be creepy, especially if you're just girls travelling!
    As far as showering is concerned: Truck stops are great (especially if the truckers pay your showers every time;)
    Somehow I am having difficulty reconciling these two statements. Would you care to share why truckies, who paid for your showers, make truck stops creepy?


  2. Default

    Ok there's couch surfing and dinner surfing so surely the younger generation has figured out driveway surfing for rural and urban areas :)

  3. Default Road rules. Follow them and prosper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allie View Post
    Next Saturday I leave for a road trip (spring break), from Arkansas to Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Boston. I am staying with a friend in Boston and for one night in Hartford, have a motel room booked in Rhode Island, but a night or two I have nowhere to stay and honestly, no extra $$$. Soooo...

    What do you think? Is it safe to sleep in your car? If so, where would you recommend parking and sleeping? It makes me a bit uneasy but I've got to sleep somehow, and in my car seems like the only way.
    What I prefer to do is to stop into the hotel lobby and ASK if you can park and wait inside your car because your having car trouble and it wont start, your waiting for a tow in the morning when the shop opens. Then make sure you get their name and card and they have your licence plate. This won't quite work as well if your kind of scrubby or have a junky car dont pull up in front of them, if you have a nice car too. Always works for me and they have security keep an eye on you. Get out and shake the hand of the security guy and introduce yourself. Usually they let me use the pool too, and bathrooms. The same can be applied to 24 hr restaurants, always pick a place with a 24hr bathroom handy. If your going to drink get out and lock your car and take a walk or you'll get a DUI. If you see cops stay away from your car. This is very effective for ladies, kids. Hotel security has always made me feel very safe and Ive had some really great conversations with these security guys. Mind the cameras if your going to be doing anything private or illegal, like smoking pot or drinking. Public intoxication is way way cheaper than a DUI. Never ever leave the keys in the ignition, but be able to get them fast and flee, always lock your door. Set your alarm. If your drunk hide the keys well and say you lost them, so your stuck, waiting for your friend to bring spare keys tommorrow. Always carry a flashlight and pepper spray in your pocket not the car Espesially if you are rural, or dicey place, Dial 911 on your phone so all you have to do is hit send. Know where you are. If someone approaches you get out of there, if they stand in front of you slowly proceed anyway or reveres. If you cant call 911 before they get too close tell them where you are and your conserned and put it on speaker, never get out of your car, crack the window to talk. If nothing happens, move to a new spot ASAP. If you have to call 911 on speaker don't let them see the phone then stall like your life depends on it. Never park where it's easy for one car to block you in. I've followed these rules and had 1000s of good experiences, not one bad. If you get a bad feeling don't hesitate to move to a new spot. Stay away from sleeping at truck stops, truckers are dangerous. Always better to have a car where they can,t see you in it. Never leave phone, laptop or anything valuable in sight.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 10-17-2012 at 06:12 AM. Reason: fixed quote format

  4. #94
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default some very bad and dangerous advice

    Welcome to the RTA Forum, Avirdee, but I'm sorry we can't recommend much of your advise.

    First, Trucks Stops are not a place that should be avoided - in fact they are among the safest places you can stop for the night. They are well lit, patrolled by security, and are typically welcoming to people who spend the night.

    Hotel parking lots, on the other hand, are among the last place I'd look. While it doesn't hurt to ask, the reality is they are in business to be paid for people to spend the night, and most quality places - where you'd actually be able to be safe as you sleep, are not going to allow it. Sleeping in a hotel parking lot without asking is very likely going to result in a trespassing ticket.

    If you are going to sleep in your car in a parking lot, then drinking (or any drug use or illegal activity) has to be off the table. It is certainly correct that you can be arrested for drunk driving even if your car is in park, but that's almost the least of the concerns. Put real simply, if you are sleeping in your car and are doing something where you have to try to get away from a police officer, then you've already put yourself in an extremely dangerous situation.

  5. #95
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Not my experience.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avirdee View Post
    Stay away from sleeping at truck stops, truckers are dangerous.
    Would you care to share what experience has caused you to form that opinion?

    As a senior female and solo traveller, I have just completed six months on the road, covering almost 26000 miles through much of the US (including AK) and Canada. A large percentage of my nights were spent at truck stops, where I always felt comfortable, welcome and safe.

    Choose a truckstop which welcomes RVs (this publication lists them all), and ask at reception where the best spot is to park. Truck stops are 24 hour operations, well lit, have folk coming and going all night and have excellent security. Almost without exception, their facilities are clean; you can have a shower for a modest fee; do your washing in their laundry and watch TV in the truckers lounge. There are normally plenty of power outlets to let you recharge your electronics. Most have wifi available and have an extensive shop - though for food you are probably cheaper of buying food at the local supermarket. There is usually a microwave available for use, where you can heat a microwave meal or anything else you may have with you.

    I have always found the truckers to be courteous, considerate and friendly. But then, you have to be a friend to make one.

    Never have I carried pepper spray, or for that matter any other weapon.

    Last edited by Lifemagician; 10-17-2012 at 05:24 AM. Reason: correction

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    I like rest areas for this. Sadly, most are on the (bummer) Interstate system. They're a good source for free maps and information about area events. If it's cold, use a sleeping bag, which isn't a bad thing to pack for trips when you expect cold weather. My bag may well have saved my life when I skidded off the road and huddled in it until help came. After a few days, you'll smell so bad that even you can't stand it. Then I use a truck stop parking lot or campground, either a public park or private ground, so I can shower even though I have to pay for that privilege.

  7. #97
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I like rest areas for this.
    That is not safe, and illegal in almost all states.

  8. Default

    Great thread!!!

    I can't believe I just spent an hour reading all these 10 pages. I'm more motivated now more than ever! I've been in the transportation industry specifically Trucking, for the last 20 years. I can't believe how many people are afraid of truckers! Haha. I am a cute blonde pushing 40. Let me tell you most of these truckers are harmless. Just all talk.

    Personally I'm more afraid of just people in general breaking into my car when I'm sleeping ! I see a lot of people put things up in their windows in the comments, I would think that would be an invitation to check things out. I don't think I would ever sleep in the front seat of my car. For one I can't fall sleep on the airplane so there's no way I can fall sleep in the driver seat!! I would have to sleep in the backseat. Like others here I am curious to know what would be best for a road trip. My Toyota RAV4 has 80,000 miles I don't trust it to be on the road for the long-haul! Yes I can probably purchase AAA and get roadside assistance if needed, but I don't want to waste my trip I'm sitting and waiting for them. I'm really intrigued about those camper vans! Want to say I think that would be very cool to travel in! Nonetheless I'm sure a minivan would do the job for a more economical price!

    Anyways I'm very happy to hear that there are other females out there that are interested in this. I've had a lot of things going on in my life and I was planning on doing a two week trip in Europe, however after just coming back from Colorado Springs for a week vacation I feel I need to be more in touch with nature and I would love to drive out west!!

    My larger concern other than sleeping in a car or similar overnight would be how tiring is it to be sitting in the car for so long in a short period of time?? I know a lot of people suggest mapping things out before I leave, but I would really like to just go at it without any plans. Personally I have never driven longer than four or five hours and that was from Chicago to Wisconsin up north. I'm curious to know are there a lot of truck stops in the middle of these fantastic states going from Colorado to wherever out west I go?? Have any of you found a really good site to give you a good itineraries where to go and where to visit ?

  9. #99
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Design a great trip, it's in your hands.,

    Wekcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Thanks for your contribution sharing your experiences.

    In 2009 I did a five month trip in a Dodge Caravan, with the rear seats removed and a camping mattress in the back, along with sleeping bag and pillow. Many nights were spent at truck stops, but there are areas where truck stops are not readily available. The publication to which I referred (above) lists those which make RVs welcome. State Parks and BLM campgrounds are good alternatives, interspersed with the ocasional motel. Any well maintained vehicle with 80K on the clock would be eminently suited for a road trip. Mine is going on twice that much.

    I have seen many other vehicles on the road converted to allow sleeping. Mostly mini vans, but even sedans with the rear seat removed. If you can't sleep lying down comfortably, sleeping in a vehicle is not recommended. My travels these days are in a conversion van with a bed and fridge as well as some storage. It is a comfortable way to travel, and as you would well know, showers and laundry facilities are available at truck stops, and lots of other places.

    Like you, I like to travel without necessarily setting a destination for the day, stopping as the mood takes me. With good maps in hand I then decide where my next day will take me. So just head for the horizon and go see what is on the other side. Suprises await!


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