It’s become common knowledge that RVers and non-truckers can stay overnight at most truck stops. They may not be the quietest of overnight stops, but they come in handy when nothing else is available.
However, a well-known vlogger recently experienced a rather disturbing situation after pulling into a truck stop.
We found out what happened and what you need to know when you consider staying overnight at a truck stop.
Let’s jump in!
Famous YouTuber Recalls Disturbing Overnight Parking at Truck Stop
Solo traveler, Emi, pulled into an Esso Truck Stop in Canada to stop for the night. After driving most of the day, she was ready to get some shut-eye.
Emi is a seasoned traveler. She knows when staying overnight at a truck stop to park her van away from where semi-trucks park. The last thing she wants to do is get in the way of truck drivers pulling off the road for a rest.
So she parked in an area that appeared to be for car parking only. Emi could clearly see that the designated truck parking across the lot was pretty full.
Surrounded by Trucks While Overnighting at a Truck Stop
She was only there a short while before she began hearing trucks pulling up close to her van. After a little bit, she decided to look out her windows.
Emi saw two semi-trucks parked so close to her that she wouldn’t be able to move if she wanted to. She said they were about an inch away from her van!
She decided to wait it out to see if the drivers pulled over for a short stop to grab some snacks inside. Fortunately, that’s exactly what happened. After a bit of time passed, Emi noticed the trucks blocking her in had left.
She took the opportunity to move to another part of the parking lot, clearly in an area for cars only. It also wasn’t in the path where trucks might stop.
Part of the problem was likely because there were piles of snow throughout the parking lot. The truck drivers probably had limited parking places for a quick stop due to the snow piles. Plus, Emi mentioned that the designated truck area was packed with trucks parked for an overnight rest.
Emi lucked out by not getting blocked in for the night and being surrounded by loud trucks all night.
Who is The Cat Lady VAN?
Solo Canadian vanlifer, Emilie “Emi” Guerin, has been traveling throughout Canada since September 2019. She owns a 2011 Ford Econoline van she converted herself to suit her living and traveling needs. Her cat Kelly is her traveling companion.
Emi initially started her nomadic life in September 2018 when she left a toxic relationship. She left the home she shared with her boyfriend and her cat Kelly. Since she didn’t have a steady place to live, she left Kelly with her ex.
Emi had an SUV and decided to sleep in it while looking for a place to rent. She thought it would be a temporary living situation while looking for a new home.
After a month, she still didn’t have any leads for a place to rent. Emi lived in her SUV for an entire year before deciding the nomadic life was what she wanted.
According to the bio on her website, Emi explains, “I took that year to focus on myself, to decide what I wanted, and most importantly, to decide what I didn’t want. That year also made me realize that for so long; I was chasing the wrong dreams. I was chasing what society wanted me to be: to have a big house, a steady job, get married, have kids… None of those dreams were making me happy.”
So many full-time RVers and vanlifers share Emi’s experience. It takes focusing on ourselves to truly figure out what our dreams really are.
Emi has been vlogging for about a year. Her YouTube videos cover topics ranging from how to travel with cats to van conversions to vegan cooking on the road. We look forward to watching as Emi continues to share her travel experiences with the world.
What You Need to Know About Overnight Parking at Truck Stops
Most truck stops allow overnight parking for RVs, vans, cars, etc. However, you want to find the best place to park so you won’t be in the way of truckers. Locations such as Love’s, Flying J, and Pilot often have signs for designated truck and car parking. If you’re unsure, go inside and ask.
Once you find a spot for the night, use it simply as a place to rest, not to camp. Don’t put out your slides, awning, camp chairs, etc. It seems like a no-brainer, but we’ve seen some RVers take up multiple spots by extending slides. It’s also possible that a passing truck or vehicle could run into an open slide.
Use common sense when stopping to park overnight at truck stops. Don’t take up more space than you need. Do park in spots away from designated truck parking. And don’t dump trash anywhere other than proper trash receptacles.
Is Sleeping Overnight at Truck Stops Safe?
Yes, it is safe! We’ve done it many times. And we know many other RVers who overnight at truck stops in their travels. There are usually plenty of places to park near lit-up sections if that makes you feel safer. And look for security cameras to park near for added peace of mind.
Benefits of Overnight Parking at Truck Stops
Emi shared one of the benefits of stopping overnight at a truck stop in her video. Clean showers! While not every truck stop will have showers, the larger travel centers like Love’s and Flying J usually do. You can get a hot shower for around $12 at most truck stops.
The food at truck stops may not be the healthiest option, but fast food or snacks can do the job in a pinch. In our travels, we’ve found more fruit and non-junk food options available at truck stops.
Of course, there’s also the benefit of fueling up or filling your propane tank before hitting the road in the morning. And many truck stops also have dump stations.
Be Smart When Parking Overnight at a Truck Stop
While Emi’s experience turned out OK, it could have been much worse had she been blocked in all night. She did the right thing by moving to a better location when the trucks moved.
Staying overnight at truck stops is a decent option when you’ve been driving all day and need a place to rest. Following the tips included in this article, you’re likely to have a good experience staying overnight at a truck stop.
Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA
To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).
You should give it a try!
As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.
Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers who love to score the best site!
We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below: