In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can RVs stay overnight at Flying J? We will discuss the pros and cons of staying at truck stops with an RV and give you some useful tips for a safe journey.
Can RVs stay overnight at Flying J?
Yes, RVs can stay overnight at Flying J truck stops. There are usually parking spaces that allow you to empty and refill your water tanks, you can use the restroom facilities and even connect to Wi-Fi. Still, RVs at truck stops are a controversial topic.
Truck drivers complain that when RVs take up space and the Flying J parking lot is full, they do not have where to eat, wash their clothes or sleep. They argue that RVs may go to a different location, such as Walmart for the night if they don’t want to go to a campsite.
Tips for staying overnight at Flying J with an RV:
- Keep alert – Just stop in a well-lit place. Park and immediately verify that you have cell phone coverage in that rest area. If you don’t have one, keep driving.
- Protect your property – Take your cell phone with you wherever you go but leave your other belongings – such as cash, wallet, purse, and electronics – hidden in your vehicle under lock and key. Carrying these things could make you a potential target for thieves.
- Do not go alone – Walk with someone to the bathroom, vending machines, and other areas. If you are travelling alone, try to avoid rest stops at night. Instead, choose to stop at a gas station or restaurant.
- Never sleep in your vehicle – Sleeping in rest areas can make you vulnerable to attackers. In fact, many states have made sleeping at rest stops illegal. Instead, spend the night in a hotel or camp. These options can cost but the added security is worth the money.
- Plan ahead – Before your trip, research the rest areas on your route to find the safest places to stop. If there are no attractive options, plan stops in the different cities or towns you will pass through. Information about rest areas on interstate highways in the United States may also be helpful.
- Lost items – If you have lost or left items in the area, you can contact the appropriate transportation office in charge of maintaining the rest area.
- Take care of your keys –Thieves can intercept and replicate your key fob’s remote control signals from outside your home. Armed with that code, they could open the doors of your car and even take it away. Store your keys in an inexpensive keychain bag that uses protective material to block the wireless signal.
- Protect your Wi-Fi – If your vehicle has a Wi-Fi wireless access point, hackers could use it to gain access to your car’s electronic controls. Practice the same strict security you use for your other devices: Choose a hard-to-guess password and keep your software up-to-date.
- Track your vehicle – Vehicle tracking systems are widely available and some drivers are even able to track the location of their vehicles with smartphones and mobile apps. Even a simple window sticker announcing the use of a tracking system can deter would-be thieves.
- Invest in an anti-theft device – Car alarms, steering wheel locks, and ignition switches may be enough to convince thieves to reconsider. Contact your insurance agent to see if an anti-theft device equates to a discount on car insurance.
- Remember: the basics work too. While high-tech crime continues to affect the safety of your vehicle, many thefts are low-tech. Don’t neglect the obvious. Never leave your vehicle running unsupervised, close doors and windows, and park in crowded, well-lit areas (or in a garage when possible).
Practice common sense and you will help greatly increase the likelihood that your vehicle will stay exactly where you left it.
Is Flying J safe for RVs?
Yes, Flying J is quite safe for spending the night in an RV. But there are a few drawbacks. Often, if you arrive too late in the afternoon the space in the parking lot at the front is limited.
Also, there are several which are quite noisy because of the constant comings and goings of heavy trucks. This is why many travellers prefer spending the night at Walmart rather than at truck stops!
Many Walmart parking lots have “No Night Parking” signs. According to some, these signs are for tractor-trailers, according to others, they are put for the end of insurance or to avoid great traffic of motorized vehicles.
In order to have peace of mind, all you have to do is walk into the store and get informed by wearing your best smile. If you are allowed to stay overnight, staff will direct you to the appropriate location.
If you don’t want to come to the store to request overnight parking clearance, it’s best to call. To find store locations and get a feel for sleepiness in advance, use these two mobile apps: Allstays Truck and Travel and RV Parky. If these two apps tell you that overnight parking is allowed at the location you are targeting, then you have a plan. Otherwise, read the comments of other users and get an idea.
If you have a choice of two or three stores a few miles apart, choose the furthest from the highway. The possibilities for it to be open 24 hours a day decrease and by the same token, the chances of peace and quiet increase. On-site, keep your extension closed. Try to be as discreet as possible.
Can RVs park anywhere?
Yes, you can park an RV wherever you can park a car. However, some municipalities are taking measures and restricting their access to certain car parks or areas by installing gantry cranes. This is often to avoid the phenomenon of concentration and long-term parking.
Because while you can park wherever you want with these recreational vehicles, camping is not allowed everywhere! We remind you that it is forbidden to leave its holds, its table, its chairs, the awning, etc., “on the shores of the sea, near classified sites or registered, in the heart of nature reserves, in zones of protection of historic monuments … “
It is then necessary to observe the road signs. Parked in the city? Nothing prevents you from sleeping in your RV… But we don’t take the camping table out onto the sidewalk, we don’t do “camping”. The best is to find a reception or parking area (they each have their own rules) or a campsite, which are made for that!
You can also park your vehicle on private land, whether for a few days or even to park while waiting for the next road trip. But if you live in the motorhome or van for more than three months a year on land, the vehicle changes destination and you comply with the Town Planning Code. You, therefore, need municipal authorizations.
Safety in an RV: our tips for sleeping soundly anywhere
Whether in the heart of nature or at a Flying J truck stop, discover our five tips for sleeping well in your RV:
Tip 1: Secure the opening/closing of the doors: The net is full of a whole lot of equipment (bar/alarm/lock/straps…) and even ingenious discoveries (such as the one which consists in passing and clipping the seat belt in the handle of the door).
Tip 2: Park in reverse: Why? To be ready to leave the site quickly without having to manoeuvre.
Tip 3: Have the keys to hand: same as for the previous tip, not having to look for your keys to be able to start quickly when you have your head in the fog is better.
Tip 4: Don’t clutter up the cabin: Always for the same reasons, more responsiveness to danger or the need to move in an emergency.
Tip 5: Put the shims in the right direction: It’s still fun to sleep, cook, read when you’re level … So putting the shims in the right direction allows them to be left in place if necessary …
This list is obviously personal. Not feeling safe is very subjective.
The bottom line
Of course, if there is a choice, we recommend you plan your trip well and stop with your RV only at campsites with basic amenities. This type of camping for RVs usually has the basic services included, that is to say: electricity, water (at least within the nearby area) and bathrooms (generally with a shower, although not always with hot water).
As for truck stops, keep them in your pocket for emergencies such as when you are just too tired to drive to the closest campsite.
If you have any questions or if you’d like to share your experience of sleeping at Flying J, feel free to get in contact!
FAQ on Can RVs stay overnight at Flying J?
Are truck stops dangerous?
Generally, truck stops are not dangerous places to rest for a few hours. Still, there are some risks that you must consider, and thus prepare yourself in order to rest.
Can cars sleep at truck stops?
It is not prohibited for cars to sleep at truck stops. The parking spots, however, are on a first-come-first-served basis, so you must think well and plan ahead your rest time on a long journey.
Where can I park an RV?
An RV is perfectly entitled to park in the parking spaces along the roadway. However, its size must allow it, it must not interfere with road traffic or pedestrians. However, due to its size, the motorhome cannot park everywhere.
Where to stop with a motorhome?
A motorhome can stop in town in a parking space and spend the night there. It does not matter whether the motorhome operators are on board or not, as long as they comply with the regulations.