View Full Version : Sleeping on the road....

05-03-2010, 09:29 AM
So question for you guys/gals that travel several hours to contests. I am looking at doing one about 7 hours or so away, and am concerned that I will get tired driving home by myself Saturday night. Short of a hotel, what are some options? Are truck stops good / safe? I just have a pickup and cargo trailer, so I'd be sleeping in my truck.

Rick's Pit Stop
05-03-2010, 09:42 AM
I've slept at the state run rest areas. No problems at all. Not sure about the "big" truck stops. Some guys used to stay over in Walmart parking lots but I hear they put an end to that.


05-03-2010, 10:01 AM
Rest Stops are cool. So are WalMarts and if they stopped people from sleeping overnights, I don't think anyone else knows either. Their lots have been jammed with overnight guests the 2 contests I've cooked this year. also Sam's clubs are good.

Flying J's are friendly for the trailers as well. Most of those that are called "Travel Centers" welcome overnight parking.

Best bet is to have a plan ahead of your trip... google some walmarts or rest stops or travel centers. Being tired and having to drive that extra 30 miles can be dangerous. Have a plan ahead of schedule.

Otherwise, sleep at the contest and get going early in the morning...

Man, 7 hours away? Are you stepping out? Where to?

05-03-2010, 10:14 AM
I usually just fall asleep while I'm driving. :doh:

Some comps will just let you stay in you spot until the next morning... then you can start fresh.

05-03-2010, 10:55 AM
Thanks - I'm looking at doing Steeleville in a couple weeks, and figure it will take between 6-7 hours to get there. I'm cooking solo that weekend, which will be a first for me.

Buster Dog BBQ
05-03-2010, 11:10 AM
There was an ad for some site called overnight parking or something like that I saw on Facebook. They had Google maps of Wal-Marts and such. Can't think of the name now but maybe someone will see it and post.

I do know this weekend I stayed overnight in Belton, Mo and was told that Wal-Mart there does not allow overnight parking and people had been ticketed. So do, some don't.

a casino lot is another good one to stay.

05-03-2010, 11:30 AM
Here is a site that lists wal-mart stores that don't allow overnight parking...


and here is a site that lists sites for RV overnight parking.


05-03-2010, 11:33 AM
I also found this site...


It lists either free or less than $10 campgrounds

Buster Dog BBQ
05-03-2010, 11:36 AM
Here is a site that lists wal-mart stores that don't allow overnight parking...


and here is a site that lists sites for RV overnight parking.

That was the one Ron.

Smokin' Joe
05-03-2010, 11:41 AM
Ron L has a couple of great links....also the walmarts that don't allow overnight parking all have a clearly visible sign.

I also like Flying J truck stops, the majority of them have RV overnight parking which is seperate from the semi parking

05-03-2010, 07:54 PM
Play it safe and stay overnight at the contest site. That's what I do.

Rick Hamilton
05-03-2010, 08:10 PM
I have had good luck at Wal Marts. I also was turned onto Cracker Barrel as an overnight parking. Flying J's are great also. You can get fueled up, have some food, and get some sleep all in the same place. Only thing is you will have the noise of the trucks idling all night. I avoid rest areas at night for sleeping. Just try not to stop where you are the only vehicle there. That is just looking for trouble.

05-03-2010, 09:06 PM
I'd guess the WMs that don't allow overnight stay are either in areas that are not safe to stay in overnight or it's a city ordinance. WMs strategy to allow overnight stay is a win for them too. It's highly likely that people using their lot overnight are going to run into the store in the morning for something.

Vern, Jeff and I stayed in the WM lot in Paducah KY on the way to the Jack last year and I don't think I'm exaggerating by saying we were only one of 30+ campers in that lot when the sun came up. And yes, we all went into the store to get some consumables and other items we forgot.

05-03-2010, 09:46 PM
Solo cooking a comp 7 hours away is gonna make for one scary ride home. I'd treat yourself to a bed and a hot shower after driving a couple hours. Once the adrenaline wears off you are gonna be fighting to stay awake.

Sorry to be preachy, but this advice comes with love from a guy who put a truck into the woods at 60mph when he fell asleep trying to push the envelope. Ain't nothin' you have to get home for important enough to die for, brother.

05-04-2010, 12:42 AM
If you want free, just google "boondocking". It's the RV term for a free stay.

If you want a little more safety and amenities than the Walmart parking lot, try a campground. They are much cheaper than hotels, they will have bathrooms and showers for you, and you can reserve 'em ahead of time instead of looking for that place to stay late at night.

I use them to split up long drives. Just be aware that they aren't hotels, so if you are planning a late night arrival, let them know ahead of time. Some places can check you in late at night, and some can't. If your contest is on a holiday weekend, you will need to reserve well ahead of time, and might have trouble getting a single night stay.

www.koa.com (http://www.koa.com) has a network of sites, and online reservations. There are lots of other places out there that will be cheaper, but you might have to go old school and use the phone to reserve. (the horror! :rolleyes:) National Parks are especially cost effective, but sell out early.

05-04-2010, 12:45 AM
stay away from truck stops, too damn noisy.

05-04-2010, 07:24 AM
Thanks everyone. I've found a few Wal-Marts at various stretches along the route and plan to simply pull over and sleep when I get a feeling of being tired. Getting home at midnight or 8 am the next morning is no different to my wife and kids, so why risk it.

Cooking solo will give me one advantage, however, as my normal teammate is a bad influence on not getting sleep Friday night. Not that it's too hard to twist my arm, but I hope I can get a better sleep being on my own.

05-04-2010, 07:41 AM
Just get an FEC that way you can sleep soundly overnight during the cook and you can drive home well rested:becky:

Gilly T
05-04-2010, 06:49 PM
I wil be at steeleville and I cook by myself all the time. If you need something just say. I will be there around 9 or 10.

Gilly's Barnstormin'

05-05-2010, 08:23 AM
Hey Gilly, I'll be pulling in Thursday night if all goes according to plan. I'll see you there!