7 Unwritten Rules for RV Parking Overnight at Truck Stops

7-unwritten-rules-for-rv-parking-overnight-at-truck-stops

Every RVer NEEDS TO KNOW these rules and proper etiquette for parking overnight at truck stops. Otherwise, angry truckers will tell you (or show you!)…

There are often heated debates between truckers and RVers on whether it’s okay to park RVs overnight at truck stops. Technically, yes, it is okay, but only if you follow these unwritten rules.

Because let me tell you, these rules may be unwritten but an angry truck driver will be more than willing to shout them at you. Or worse, show you.

I’ve heard how truckers have taken out RV slides or parked scarily close to RVs to prove their point. I’ve also heard about plenty of angry threats, too.

So, as a longtime boondocker who has stayed overnight at truck stops, I will share my advice with you. The key is respect!

Parking Overnight at Truck Stops (What You NEED to Know)

7 Unwritten Rules for RV Parking Overnight at Truck Stops
Truck stop wash

First and foremost, you must remember that truckers are working! They are trying to earn a living for their families and they need truck stops to do so.

It’s understandable when they get upset if your RV is interfering with their livelihood. After hours on the road, they want and need somewhere to park, rest, shower, and eat. 

So, the all-encompassing rule to remember as you read the following rules is: TRUCKERS GET PRIORITY.

Rule #1: Don’t Leave Your RV When Filling Up

Do not pull up to the gas pump, start pumping, and then go inside for a snack. Wait for your pump to finish filling your tank, then pull through to a parking spot. Only then should you leave your RV to go into the store or restroom.

Breaking this rule is a sure way to tick off a trucker. After all, they’re on the clock! They shouldn’t have to wait on you to get back out on the road.

Rule #2: Don’t Park in Truck Spots

Never park in a truck parking spot at truck stops, even if there are lots available. Truckers come in and out at all hours and they may need that spot.

Only park in designated RV spots. You’ll thank me for two reasons for this advice.

For one, trucks are loud, even when they’re idling or running off generators at night. You won’t get a good night’s sleep even if truckers leave you be.

For two, you won’t have to deal with a tired, irritated trucker. Put yourself in his or her shoes and imagine what it’d be like to pull in for a much needed rest only to find a vacationer in your spot. I’m sure you’d be disgruntled, too.

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Rule #3: Don’t Park Too Close to Trucks

This is clearly a pet peeve of truckers. After all, they are navigating BIG trucks into small spaces. 

So, even if your designated RV spot is next to a truck spot, give them as much space as possible! More so, park in a spot as far away as possible.

It’s highly recommended that you keep your slides pulled in, as they can accidentally (or, unfortunately, intentionally) get swiped. 

Remember that overnight parking at a truck stop is only meant as a pit stop to rest or sleep at most. You certainly should not set up camp for the night by putting out chairs and slides!

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Mike’s favorite hoodie and beanie in navy – perfect for those crisp RV Lifestyle days!

Rule #4: Don’t Be a Shower Hog

As an RVer or boondocker, you can and should use showers at truck stops. It’s a great way to refresh in a clean shower for a small fee. 

However, don’t be a shower hog! If there are several showers available and no crowd in sight, feel free to enjoy a good long shower. 

But, if there’s a line (especially consisting of truckers), don’t dawdle! Remember, you should always behave as if truckers have priority. 

So, shower quickly if truckers are waiting or, better yet, shower later if that’s a convenient-enough option for you.

Rule #5: Beware of Hustlers

There was a discussion in our RV Lifestyle Facebook group on this very thing. The RVer who posted the warning explained it quite well:

“If ANYONE tries to involve you in anything regarding money at a truck stop, meaning if money is the conversation except maybe just asking for a dollar or so I would stay clear of.

If anyone tries to chat you up about something you know nothing of, just say sorry I gotta get doing stuff and move on.

People work in weird ways. Thieves will approach and chat you up while they eyeball your stuff or see if you’re an easy mark. By deflecting, you show them preemptive position.”

7 Unwritten Rules for RV Parking Overnight at Truck Stops

Rule #6: Buy Something From the Truck Stop

Yes, truck stops are a great “free” place to park overnight. However, out of respect for the truck stop owners, it shouldn’t be completely free.

It’s proper etiquette to make a purchase, whether it’s a snack, shower, or fuel. This consideration encourages truck stop owners to cater to RVers as well as truckers.

Rule #7: Be Nice to Truckers!

By treating truckers with respect and kindness, you will likely get it in return. Remember this even if an irritated trucker approaches you!

I’ve seen truckers quickly calm down if they realize that the RVer will happily right any wrong they might be doing. 

I’ve also seen truckers be incredibly grateful if you give them priority over showers, fuel, etc. 

Just think of it this way: how would you want someone to behave if a visitor came into your home? Behave that way! Because truck stops are home away from home for truckers!

Easily Accessible Spots to RV Overnight

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We all know about overnight places to stop like Walmart and Cracker Barrel…or Harvest Hosts but there are lots of other places where RVers can stop… places right along the highway where pets are welcome and you can find just about anything you need for an overnight stay.

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Mike and Jennifer Wendland

Curious about the gear, gadgets, accessories, and RV products Mike & Jennifer use and recommend?

On this RV Lifestyle Travel blog, our RV Podcast and our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel, we mention all sorts of RV-related products and gear that we use, So we created a special page that links to them. We update this all the time.  CLICK HERE to go to it directly.


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