hey, sleeping in your car is not the worst idea. the previous post about the FREEZING conditions should be considered though. but if u have a dozen down blankets with you...then you should park along a nice looking residential street without parking restrictions such as required permits, no overnight parking, street sweeping, etc. It is usually better to park between two houses or along the side, rather than directly in front of a house. or parking curbside along a quiet street in front of some fancy apartment buildings is not a bad idea either. the idea is to tuck in between some cars and keep low.
there won't be a problem if you park at ur chosen location after sunset and leave before sunrise. you won't need more sleep than that!
yes hi i sold my house 3 years ago and have been living in hotels between chicago and hartford since. anyway i am working as a courier driving from hartford to providence daily and often SLEEP IN MY CAR TO SAVE MONEY!!!!!!!!!! i drive a ford station wagon and have a suggestion for anyone wishing to sleep in their car! 1) IT IS NOT ILLEGAL UNLESS POSTED OTHERWISE 2) IF YOU GO TO THE BAR AND COME BACK AND SLEEP IN YOUR CAR DO NOT HAVE THE KEYS IN THE IGNITION OR CAR IDILING AS YOU CAN BE CHARGED WITH DUI 3) COMMUTER PARKING LOTS ARE GOOD ESPECIALLY WHEN ON A MAIN ROAD REMEMBER TO LOCK YOUR DOORS! 40 GET A DARK SHEET AND DRAPE IT OVER THE FRONT AND BACK SEAT LIKE A TENT SO NO ONE CAN SEE YOU IN THERE (ALSO CUTS THE SUNLIGHT AND IS QUITE COZY) 5)YOU CAN ALSO TAPE COLORED PAPER OVER THE BACK WINDOWS 6) 24 HOUR DINERS SUPERMARKETS AND WAL MARTS ARE GOOD TO IF NOT PATROLLED 7)SAM WALTON PUT IN HIS WILL THAT PEOPLE CAN CAMP IN ANY WAL MART PARKING LOT AT ANY TIME ALTHOUGH THIS APPLIES MORE TO RVS I THINK THEY LOOK THE OTHER WAY IF YOU SLEEP IN YOUR CAR!
Originally Posted by Allie
On the contrary, rest stops are just that, places to rest. Usually you can get away with a few hours of nap time, so you might consider that. Washington State has a great program out, and a few other states are following suit, about actually posting a highway patrol detatchment in rest areas. The Lynnwood rest area on I-5 near Seattle is one such rest area, and believe me, anyone thinking of doing anything quickly changes their mind when they pull off the highway and see in bright blue lettering "Washington State Parol, Lynnwood Station". If you can find a rest area with a manned visitor center or police station, you can consider that as an option for quick naps, and if you're running low on cash, quick naps might do the trick. But I don't know how plentiful these types of rest areas are on the east coast.
A peace officer might argue with you on advice number 1, number 3, and number 7... I have seen camping, but to say it's company policy I'm not to sure. Tresspassing is tresspassing, whether posted or unposted, and you will either get a quick boot or hauled off to the "iron inn". 2) if you sleep in your car in a bar parking lot, I would almost surely expect an officer to tap his maglight against your window regardless. Number 3 is a major problem as commuter parking lots are usually government property (out west anyways) and many require placards or stickers, and again, you might get visited by an officer. I would stick to hospitals, rest areas with visitor centers or police stations, truckstops, or campgrounds if you must. Its best not to do anything that could get the men and women of the red and blue strobes tapping on your window pane, as it's a pain in the rear for you and the officer.
Last edited by RoadTripper Brad; 11-29-2005 at 06:50 PM.
Reason: removed confusing part
This is an urban myth -- Wal-Mart managers make their decisions about whether or not RV, cars, etc. can sleep in the lot. Generally, if folks are courteous and purchase something from the store they are welcome. The times I have done it, I always got permission before rooting for the night.
Originally Posted by marty
In most rest stops around the USA, sleeping is restricted to no more than four hours. Rest stops are not camping areas and should be used for those short-term breaks we all need from time to time.
NEVER in Hotel Parking Lots
If you decide to sleep in your car, NEVER EVER sleep in a hotel parking lot. I haven't ever slept in my car, but I have stayed at a lot of hotels. Pretty much every hotel I have ever stayed at has asked me for my license plate number. They keep close track of what cars are parked on their property. Hotels are the most likely to call the cops on a tresspasser - you are better off at a campground, 24-hour Walmart or grocery store, travel center, or hospital.
I did it a few times alone when younger, and never felt comfortable enough to really sleep.(Ditto sleeping in airports.) Paying a few $ for a campsite and simply not bothering to set up a tent would make more sense to me. (Although I always have a tent for road trips.)
If I had another adult with me--who I could trust to stay awake-- I would be fine with trading a few hours here and there in shifts at a rest area though.
So through a little lack of planning my brother and I realized upon heading into the west entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park that the Trail Ridge Road was closed. We have had such beautiful weather over the last couple weeks we honestly never even thought to check on it so we decided to head back down the 40 to I-70 and figured we would sleep in a rest stop only to find out Colorado is one of those states that does not allow you to sleep in rest stops. We called a Walmart in Longmont, CO and the manager said it would be no problem to sleep in the parking lot. We bought a couple things when we arrived and slept without a problem. I had actually called two Walmarts in the area and the first said they did not allow overnight parking but the second one did and the manager was very friendly.
Rest Stop Z's
I don't have a problem with catching some Z's at a rest stop if necessary. My trip to Colorado was the first time I had a major road trip by myself, and kind of got caught out in the middle of western Nebraska without a place to stay in the middle of the night. Poor planning on my part, but live and learn. Fortunately, I met a trucker at a rest stop and he thought I would be OK there, and told me to let me know if I needed anything. Nice guy, but maybe I was lucky.
I did sleep without the car running, keys laying below me (which left a nice mark the next morning) and my valuables hidden. I guess the usual for staying anywhere when you are on an adventure.
It really depends
I've slept in rest stops during the day for short naps. And then only in busy ones with lots of activity, clean restrooms that make me feel like vandals and other seedy characters don't hang around there, etc.
I've only slept in my car at night if I'm just taking a long nap to revive. I'm not done it with the intention of staying all night, until morning. When I've done it, I've done it at truck stops, regular 24-hour convenience stores/gas stations, 24-hour grocery stores, etc. Oh, and at casino parking lots. Maybe I'm naive, but I've never felt unsafe. Again, I try to pick places that seem busy and that are well-lit. I've never had a problem but, maybe if I did it more, the odds would start going against me?