Can RVs Park Overnight at Truck Stops?
Many truck stops welcome overnight RV parking. Some even offer designated RV parking spaces. Overnight RV parking at truck stops is often free, although fee-based options with additional amenities such as electric or water hookups, dump station use, or the ability to reserve a space are emerging.
On occasion, a truck stop may prohibit overnight use by those other than professional truck drivers—or altogether. Call ahead to confirm that overnight RV parking is permitted and have a backup plan in case it’s not. You may arrive to find signage prohibiting overnight RV parking, a lot that’s full, or a stop that doesn’t feel comfortable to you.
While most truck stops are happy to accommodate RV patronage, professional truck drivers may find the presence of RVs in a lot built to accommodate their needs irksome. Stick to the automobile side of the business or RV-designated areas when possible.
Perks of Overnight RV Parking at Truck Stops
While truck stops might not be the most peaceful or scenic locations, they can pack conveniences for the RV traveler. Truck stop amenities might include:
Typically stationed within view of a highway exit ramp, truck stops provide an accessible resting location for any sized RV with negligible additional travel time added to an itinerary.
Food and Snacks
Most truck stops feature quick-service food and snacks. Some are home to familiar fast-food restaurant chains, while others house sit-down restaurants. Whether you’re looking to grab a quick cup of self-serve coffee in the morning, order an over-the-counter meal for the drive, or sit down for a table service, truck stops give you a variety of food options.
You can combine your overnight with a rig refuel without adding additional distance to your route. Truck stops almost always feature high-flow lanes that are popular with Class A diesel RVs. Gas fueling lanes at truck stops are typically built to accommodate oversized vehicles. Some even cater to RVs with RV-specific fueling areas.
Dump and Water Fill Stations
Some truck stops offer a dump station, providing an option to empty your holding tanks. Freshwater filling stations can sometimes be found too.
If you’ve got propane on board, many truck stops offer both bulk refueling and tank exchanges. The ability to have an onboard tank filled is dependent on the availability of a trained staff member.
Showers and Laundry
Showers can be found at many truck stops. While a fee is often associated with the use of truck stop showers, they’re typically private and clean. For a small fee, you can also do laundry at most truck stops.
WiFi is commonly available at truck stops. There’s often a level of free access, which can be notoriously slow. For those seeking a better WiFi experience, many truck stops offer a higher quality, paid level of WiFi access.
Maintenance tools, fluids, and professionals are available at many truck stop locations. Tire pressure measuring and air filling stations are also available for rigs of any size. Wash bays and services are commonly found at truck stops as well.
Many truck stops offer quick lube or repair services for diesel rigs. Truck stop quick lubes are a popular choice for those in large diesel RVs due for an oil change and chassis lube. Certified Automated Truck (CAT) scales are available at nearly every truck stop and provide a quick option for making sure your rig is at a safe traveling weight.
It’s not atypical to see a place of worship located at truck stops. Catering to transient worshippers, they are most often nondenominational and offer travelers a place to meet their spiritual needs while on the road.
If you plan to frequent truck stops as overnighting or refueling locations, seek out the professional driver rewards cards for each chain. You can earn free showers, coffee, and other discounts.
How to Find Overnight RV Parking at Truck Stops
Overnight RV parking at truck stops is typically first-come, first-served. A few truck stops now offer the ability to reserve an RV parking slot for a fee. These fee-based reservable spaces often include electric hookups and the use of a dump station and water fill. Reservations are often available through the truck stop’s website. (Many truck stops now offer reservable truck parking spaces. These are not meant for and should not be used to accommodate RVs.)
If you’re looking to find a truck stop for an overnight rest, Overnight RV Parking by Togo RV is the best way to find it. Overnight RV Parking is a premium feature available in the Togo RV app for Roadpass Pro members.
Using Overnight RV Parking by Togo RV
Overnight RV Parking allows you to search for an overnight RV parking location by city, state, province, zip code, or coordinates, or by utilizing the “My Location” feature.
There are a few ways to access Overnight RV Parking, including the Togo RV mobile app or the Overnight RV Parking website.
Roadpass Pro members can also log in to Togo RV and navigate to Overnight RV Parking where a map with a search box will ask you to input your desired location.
To search, type a location into the search box, tap the magnifying glass icon, and select the location from the drop-down. If you want to search in your immediate area, tap the “My Location” icon (it looks like an arrow) to see what’s around you.
Upon search, you’ll see pins of differing colors populate the map. Click on any pin for details on that location. Red pins indicate places that prohibit overnight parking, so you can quickly rule those out as options.
If you only want to view truck stop overnight parking options, tap the information icon to the right of the search bar, locate the “Show/Hide Markers” categories, and deselect all but “Truck Stops & Gas Stations.” You can zoom in or out, or drag the map to reposition the search location.
Truck Stops That Allow Overnight RV Parking
Most truck stops allow overnight RV parking, including chain branded truck stops and mom-and-pop style truck stops.
Be sure to respect any signage that prohibits overnight RV parking or limits it to specific areas. Heed any request from management or staff to vacate a parking space or area at a truck stop. Always attempt to park away from the spaces designed for and frequented by professionally-driven tractor trailers.
Here are some examples of truck stop locations that allow overnight RV parking.
Pilot Flying J
Pilot Flying J locations typically allow overnight RV parking. Many offer RV-specific parking spaces or areas, and some offer RVs the ability to pay to reserve spaces. There’s even a webpage dedicated to the amenities offered to RVers en route, and ways to save on services.
Love’s Travel Stops
Love’s Travel Stops tend to be RV-friendly and often feature dump stations and RV fueling lanes in addition to specified RV overnighting areas.
In recent years, Love’s RV Stops (aka Love’s RV Hookups) locations have popped up at various Love’s Travel Stops locations. These offer reservable RV spots with partial hookups (often just electric, but sometimes more) for a fee.
TA Travel Centers
Most TA Travel Centers don’t offer amenities that cater to RVs specifically, but they often do permit overnight RV parking. If there isn’t a designated space to park your RV at a TA, do attempt to park away from truck parking spaces. TA Travel Centers almost always feature a sit-down restaurant.
Locally-Owned Truck Stops and Travel Centers
Most businesses that cater to fueling and overnighting truckers are tolerant of RVers seeking an overnight pitstop too. If you arrive and don’t find signage specific to where an RV is permitted to park, ask the staff. Calling ahead is never a bad idea.
Dos and Don’ts of Overnight RV Parking at Truck Stops
DON’T camp. Overnight parking is not camping. Lawn chairs, rugs, and other outdoor furniture setups for your RV are not welcome at truck stops.
DON’T extend slide-outs unless you are in an RV-specific area with room to do so. Keep your rig within the confines of the parking space you are utilizing.
DON’T encroach on a neighboring parking space—even if no one is currently occupying that space. Truck stop parking spaces tend to fill up in the wee hours of the morning. You may find yourself falling asleep in a half-full truck stop parking lot, but waking to one brimming with RVs, cars, and tractor trailers.
DON’T unhook your rig from a towing vehicle. Most truck stops prohibit dropping a trailer.
DON’T leave your rig to venture off of the property.
DO utilize RV-designated parking if offered. Ask staff if RV parking is permitted when a marked location isn’t apparent.
DO patronize the truck stop by purchasing fuel, paying to dump, filling up on propane, or buying a coffee or breakfast sandwich.
DO be careful when ambulating about the travel stop. Truck stops are extremely busy locations where vehicular movement is not strongly moderated. Patrons pulling into truck stops are often tired on arrival, increasing the chance of a mishap.
DO be prepared for a less than peaceful evening. Truck stops cater to the transient, with vehicles of all sizes and noise levels arriving and vacating at all hours of the day and night. Earplugs or noise-canceling headphones may be useful.
DO know that parking an RV in areas designated for tractor trailers is often frowned upon. While typically not prohibited by the truck stop itself, some professional truckers find the practice disrespectful. It’s best to avoid parking overnight in trucker lots if at all possible.
DO minimize the time you spend at a truck stop—use the amenities you need to use, sleep, and continue on your way.
DO follow all posted rules.
Common Questions About Overnight RV Parking at Truck Stops
In general, you can sleep overnight at a truck stop in your RV. Be sure to obtain permission from staff if rules aren’t clearly posted.
Traditional camping, including boondocking, is not welcome at truck stops. Boondocking is camping off the grid without hookups to electricity, water, or sewage, often in scenic, remote locations. At a truck stop, you shouldn’t set up chairs or other items outside of your rig. You also shouldn’t unhook your rig from your tow vehicle. Refrain from extending slides or putting down levelers if it interferes with others’ ability to maneuver or park.
When you’re ready to boondock somewhere scenic, use Campendium to find camp spots that allow this practice.
There’s a small but growing number of truck stops that offer some hookups for a fee. Sometimes you’ll find a water fill or dump station on the property, often for a fee.
It’s best practice to limit your parking time at a truck stop as much as possible. Most truck stops don’t specify how long an occupied rig can stay. However, truck stops aren’t meant to be locations where you park for extended periods of time. A rule of thumb is to stay for the amount of time that it takes to refuel and sleep. If circumstances require you to stay longer, contact staff for permission.
Typically, overnight RV parking at truck stops is free. Some truck stops offer RV parking for a fee, which can sometimes include hookups.
RVers are allowed to use truck stop showers, but you might find that there’s a short wait. Most truck stops charge a fee for the use of showers.
Truck stops are generally safe, but be smart and trust your gut when staying overnight. Assess the area before locking your door and using earplugs for the night. If possible, park in a lighted location within view of the truck stop’s security cameras. Always park in a manner that allows you to leave when needed or desired.
The following apps can help you save money at truck stops.
Roadpass Pro Togo RV Discounts: Save on dump fees and bulk propane at Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores using the Togo RV app.
Pilot Flying J Good Sam Club RV Plus Card: A charge card that provides members discounts on fuel, propane, dumping, and more.
My Love’s Rewards Card: A free rewards card that earns points redeemable for fountain drinks and showers.
Open Roads by TSD Logistics: A free discount fuel program that works at specified locations such as Love’s and Travel Centers of America.
GasBuddy: Features gas and diesel discounts via a card linked to your checking account. Paired with an app to look up the discounted fuel price where you’re at, you can save up to $0.25 per gallon.
MudFlap: This app-based fuel discount program pairs with your credit or debit card to provide discounts at pumps across a wide range of truck stops, allowing you to pay at the pump with a code.