Friday, January 6, 2017

Finding Places to Stay on the Road

One of the challenges of living full time in an RV is finding places to stay.  When traveling I try to cover about 300-500 miles a day and stop for the night before it gets dark.  When looking for a long term stay more than a few days I use  Even for an overnight stay RVParkReviews has some good information but there are two apps I use that is faster and easier while traveling.
I have found that AllStays Camp and RV using my smart phone serves me well.  When you open the app it has map of the area with a flashing icon showing your location.  In addition to your location it identifies potential places to spend the night along with fuel stops.  To get more information you touch the icon on the screen and you are given the Name of the business and the distance you are from it.  When the name pops up touch the flag and more information is given address, phone number, and if they allow overnight camping etc.  You can see all the different versions at or visit Amazon to check out AllStays Camp and RV .
The other app that I use is an RV Club called Passport America (  Passport America has over 1900 campgrounds that offer you up to 50% discount.  I have stayed at several of their participating campgrounds and all but one gave me a 50% discount. They do have restrictions on what day of the week you can use the discount and how many days.  Most of the restrictions are around holidays and on weekends.  If you are traveling during the week it works out great.
The question I ask is do I need a couple of days to rest or do I need a few hours to sleep.  If I have driven for several days I like to find a campground and spend at least 2 nights.  Two nights give me plenty of time relax and check out the local area.  If I just need a few hours of sleep and something to eat I tend to stay at a truck stop, rest stop, or Walmart etc.
When you just want to get a few hours of sleep and move on early the next morning….Everyone talks about overnighting at Walmart but I try and avoid them when traveling.  You would think that Walmart parking lots would be a safe place but you just never know what the area may be like if you are just passing thru.  If I needed supplies and found a 24 hour Walmart with plenty of parking and possibly another camper in the parking lot I would most likely stay the night.  For the most part I like the large truck stops Flying J, Pilot, Pedro’s, and Truck Stops USA etc.  The truck stops do tend to be noisy but I have never felt unsafe in one of them.  Interstate rest stops would be my second choice for a few hours’ sleep when traveling.  I tend to stay away from rest stops close to large cities.  One thing to keep in mind when parking at truck stops and/or rest stops make sure trucks can see you when they are looking for a parking spot.  When pulling into a spot don’t pull all the way to the end leave the back of the RV in alignment with the rear of the trucks.  If you pull all the way forward a trucker may think the spot is available not see you until he is halfway into the spot. 
The bottom line is if there is any doubt about the area I move on down the road.

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