On the road - setting PUP at a rest area?

Camper054

Active Member
Jul 23, 2019
313
Indiana
Hi all,

Not that I am planning to, and I know if needed I can find plenty of camping sites along the highways. But, is it okay to set up the camper at a rest area? Or, does different state have different rules? Being able to do this on a long trip could save little time and money, I am thinking. Has anyone done this, and got away or got into trouble :)?

Just curious...thanks all-
MC
 

roybraddy

Super Active Member
Mar 23, 2016
2,393
King George, Virginia
I don't remember ever seeing this... I have been tempted to do this at a WALMART PARKING lot a couple of times but never did...

That's probably the difference from parking and camping haha...

Roy Ken
SoQ6BfGm.jpg
 

Raycfe

Waterford Ct.
Oct 3, 2007
18,106
Waterford, Ct
I wouldn't setup ...... too many crazies out there. But I would just sleep in the car. Some rest areas are so noisy with the diesel trucks running all night.
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,486
Northern Virginia
I know the rest areas near me essentially say no camping. Now I have slept in the car while at a rest stop and never again. Way way too noisy and bright. If for an hour maybe but sure won't do an overnight again. Not to mention scary. Even though some Walmarts allow overnight parking they do not allow you to "setup". Parking a TT and sleeping overnight is fine but no camp chairs no pull outs, no setup of any kind. Sadly because this was abused and the number of homeless living in cars my Walmart put a stop to overnight parking.
 

MeaganS

Member
Mar 21, 2019
29
The Kansas welcome center rest area on the Colorado border let's you camp for one night. Including tents. I called and asked a few weeks ago because we are planning a trip and I saw on freecampsites.net that they do and they confirmed it.
 

Camper054

Active Member
Jul 23, 2019
313
Indiana
Thanks all...

It seems like one should not 'camp' at a rest area. I did a search and except for few, most states do not allow camping at the rest areas and I am also surprised to find out that some states have a limit on how many hours one can stay at a rest area!

Found a couple of sites with info:
https://www.frugal-rv-travel.com/rest-stops.html
http://www.rvhive.com/rest-areas-is-it-legal-to-park-overnight-in-an-rv/
http://rvlife.com/overnight-parking-at-rest-areas/
https://www.interstaterestareas.com/overnight-parking-rules/

Better to be safe than sorry, so I will find a nearby campground on a long road trip, unless, it is too late and 'too far away' from the exit when and if I need to stop overnight for a good night sleep :).

Best wishes to you all-
MC
 
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NothingsChocking

Active Member
Mar 7, 2017
225
Not on Here
At a lot of the busier ones the "long parking lanes" should be reserved for the Truckers, as I much rather would like them better rested if I am going to share the road with them.
 

Econ

Super Active Member
Aug 18, 2019
1,515
Deep South
Do you really think a state employee is going to tell a tired, sleepy eyed person they have to move along, it's against the rules?
 

Dan from Troup

Super Active Member
Apr 25, 2018
810
Troup, Texas
I’ve decided after our 5000 mile trip to Maine from Texas this summer that a popup is not practical for popping up and taking down every day. We did do a few of those but found staying in a hotel for the night got us back on the road early without taking down the camper. Popups are designed to setup and stay awhile, but not for daily setups and tear downs.
 

kcsa75

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Sep 9, 2013
5,612
Kansas City
Do you really think a state employee is going to tell a tired, sleepy eyed person they have to move along, it's against the rules?

I don't find that far fetched at all. I can easily see a trooper banging on your Pup at 3 a.m. to tell you to move on.
 

Toedtoes

Super Active Member
May 28, 2018
2,840
California
This gets asked a lot. From everything I've heard, most people don't have a problem as long as they keep set up to a minimum. Popups are a bit difficult for this because you usually have to move things out of the camper in order to get inside (e.g., storage bins, etc., that are stored on the floor when traveling), and you have a fairly extensive set up with the bunk ends.

For other campers, most law enforcement will let you sleep at a rest stop rather than drive tired. You can even bring out a slide, etc. - just don't put out chairs, barbeques, etc. And be ready to go first thing in the morning.
 

Camper054

Active Member
Jul 23, 2019
313
Indiana
At a lot of the busier ones the "long parking lanes" should be reserved for the Truckers, as I much rather would like them better rested if I am going to share the road with them.

Agreed, one wouldn't want to take a truck lane away from a trucker who needs well deserved rest. Then again, from my experience I have not seen a rest stop where all truck rest lanes are full (but I am sure there are)...

As for being tired and needing a rest, I am sure state troopers or other law enforcement folks would be okay, if we do not make a mess of the place and keep it at a minimum set up, and of course, ask nicely that I need to get a couple of hours of 'good sleep' and would be moving along :). Specially, if there is a back up on the highway that makes us late getting to a campsite that initially planned for :).

Thanks all!
 

JunieB

Active Member
May 8, 2018
343
Central Florida
I wouldn't risk it. When the rules say no camping, popping up a popup is an attraction for bored law enforcement in middle of the night. Do you want to have to go back to that state for a Court date, really? I've been pulled over in small towns a couple times for DWOS-- Driving with out of state plate--and it's not a pleasant experience. Just changing lanes to go to an open fast food place late at night once, got me read the riot act one time at 11PM, from an ego-laden local cop. Wasn't speeding or anything. He asked if I was drinking, blah blah-- which I never do on any trip; yelled "you can't drive that way around here" etc. I figure he was bored and hardly anyone on the road. No ticket once I mentioned I had family in the area, but I hate being yelled at late anytime. I will pull over and sleep in the car if sleepy, never would setup a popup outside of legal camping.
 

Toedtoes

Super Active Member
May 28, 2018
2,840
California
Rest areas are for resting. "no camping or overnight stays" means that you can get some sleep but it isn't a place to stay outside of sleeping.

If you stop at 4 pm and leave at 8 am, you're overnighting. If you stop at 11 pm and leave at 6 am, you're resting. Use common sense.

If you have time to fix a nice dinner, eat, relax, and then go to bed OR go to bed, wake up, fix a hot breakfast, then head out, you are overnighting or camping.

If you park, go to sleep, wake up and leave, you are resting.
 

1380ken

Super Active Member
Nov 7, 2013
2,867
Mass
Just like anything else. If they allowed people to camp overnight, a few people would take advantage and ruin it for everyone else.
 

kcsa75

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Sep 9, 2013
5,612
Kansas City
I just think different. I would rather a marginal driver stay off the road and sleep a little

I don't disagree. But as others have mentioned, that doesn't mean some "consecience" cop wouldn't leave common sense by the side of the road in the name of enforcing the law.
 

davekro

Super Active Member
Aug 30, 2019
764
SF Bay Area, CA
On our 10' box pup, I could see possibly 'just' sliding out the front bunk 2-3'. Enough to enter thru the door, move the box that travels in the doorway (w/ leveling devices & cranks) on top of the (not slid out) rear bunk and lower the door's top half down into place. Slide under the covers w/ heads towards center of pup and feet to front of trailer. Could tie a rope to hold the bunk end roof support up away from your heads. It would literally look like it does when you first raise it up, just with 2-3' protruding towards the still connected TV.

I don't know if I'd ever have the need to do this. But when I set up camp this Friday camping I'm gonna play with this idea just to see what it looks like! (Hope I remember AND DW lets me!)

I get a kick out of cutting corners and even getting away with stuff outside the box... My wife, not so much. LOL

If I remember to do this, I'll report back.
 
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