RV Camping and Sleeping in Rest Areas - Sleeping and camping in roadside rest areas in United States - camping and welcome center information. The interstate rest program began in the 1950s. There are currently an estimated 200 welcome centers and 1200 rest areas. Before thinking about sleeping at one these, know what to expect. People with RVs are increasingly using truck stops, travel plazas, and rest areas around the nation. Typically, rest areas provide restrooms, pet areas, drinking water, maps, snacks, fueling facilities, exhibits on history or culture, restaurants, gift shops, and telephone usage.
If you are thinking about the idea of sleeping at a rest stop, the noise from diesel trucks is a little loud. Do not open the door for anyone. Don't say alone in isolated areas, and make sure to carry a cell phone. Don't ever park too close to big rig trucks. Stay out of their way. Do not park in the front or back of them as they need room to park. Also obviously never bring out lawn chairs, awnings, and camping equipment around the no camping signs.

I personally gave up on the big class A size motorhomes long ago and instead prefer the highly advantageous and much cheaper Vanabode method of travel. This works especially well for road trips.

As of my last check only about 15 states allow overnight parking; AR, AZ, ID, KS, MS, MO, MT, NM, NV, OK, OR, RI, UT, TX, and WA. Nevada allows camping, and some states prohibit sleeping outside of the vehicle. All states have their different confusing rules that you have to abide by. Don't stay too long at rest areas, just about 2 nights maximum. Once in a while you will find a rest area with special RV areas. Just remember even if they prohibit sleeping overnight. If you lay low, be quiet and keep the inside lights off, you can sleep as long as you want. The worst thing that can happen is a park official knock on your door and tell you to leave. CAUTION: no matter who knocks on the door you do NOT open it. Just speak through the window and then start up your motorhome and leave. This is one of the reasons I prefer a self contained motorhome to a towable trailer or fifth wheel. You don't have to get out to move.

RVs can be fun and comfortable, but they can also be a big target for thieves because people usually carry expensive items in them. When at a rest area never leave your RV unattended for long. Try to travel with others and do not draw attention to yourself or your items. Keep a cell phone close, charged up, and don't be afraid to use it. For protection, hammers work perfectly. Anyone can swing one, you can throw them, they don't qualify as a weapon, and they are pretty cheap.

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Hi Jason, bought your book March 2014.  Enjoyed it thoroughly.  I am almost ready to plunge and am now shopping for a Van, but I am struggling with a question about the windows in back and on the side doors.  Seems like the newer Chevy Express have gone to full no glass on back and side doors except for front doors and windshield.  That seems claustrophobic.  But breaking in is prevented or at least slowed down, what are your thoughts on lack of windows?  I like to look out the back if on a street parked.

I don't intend to carry much inside, but will be camping in places and leaving the van alone for long periods while hiking. 
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I would have no problem with zero back windows but my wife would complain. You can easily wire (or use a wireless one) a backup camera so you can see outside or around you at night. My van has no side windows other than the cab of course. Also you CAN add a back window but the factory ones are about $400+ if I recall, due to safety regulations of motor vehicles.
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