Financial Tips & Guides
Multiple colored semi trucks lined up at a truck stop

The Art of Choosing Perfect Trucker Rest Stops

Updated on May 13, 2019


Truck rest stops provide truckers the opportunity to relax before hitting the road again. But, there are security issues involved at trucker rest stops, some of the questions you might have as a beginner or a seasoned trucker could include, “Can you sleep at rest stops?” or “Does sleeping at a truck stop put me at risk of theft?”

Truck drivers can sleep at these rest stops; however, you must be very conscious of the security especially in places with questionable individuals. We'll provide everything you need to know about trucker rest stops across the country.

Different States Have Different Rules for Trucker Rest Stops

Different states have their rules that regulate what truckers can enjoy concerning rest stops. Some states don't allow visiting truck drivers to stay over the night whereas others do. If you would like to enjoy truck rest stop sleeping as a visitor, only Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming will allow you to do so.

Finding a Rest Stop

Finding a truck rest stop is quite easy as there are two common ways to do so:

  • Look for signs on the highway — There are signs on the road that will let you know when a trucker rest stop is nearby. These signs will make it easy for you to locate the places where you can rest.
  • Use trucker apps — There are also apps that help you find any place where you can enjoy sleeping for the night. Park My Truck, Trucker Path Pro, and Allstays Camp & RV are some of the most common apps that you can use to find rest stops within your current location. These apps allow you to filter different rest areas and stops that suit your needs. Merely finding a rest stop is not enough, you should also pay attention to the amenities within the trucker rest stops.

Some of the amenities you can look out for include:

  • Restrooms
  • Laundry
  • Restaurant
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Electric hookup
  • Picnic tables
  • Free dumps
  • Vending machines
  • Drinking fountains

Apart from these amenities, another thing you need to ascertain when you need answers to “can you sleep at rest stops?” is security. A few rest areas have patrolled security while others do not have such. Whether the place is patrolled or not, a good rest stop should be able to guarantee the safety of the truckers.

Safe Rest Stops for Truckers around the Country
While there are several truck rest stops in various locations around the country, some are known to provide better basic amenities and security for truck drivers. Picked from different cities and states, here are some safe rest stops that truck drivers can use:

  • Jubitz Truck Stop and Travel Center — Portland, Oregon
  • Sapp Bros — 16 different locations in the USA
  • Clearwater Travel Plaza — Clearwater, Minnesota
  • Whiskey Pete’s — Primm, Nevada
  • Highlands Petro — Racine, Wisconsin
  • Trails Travel Center — Albert Lea, Minnesota
  • Tamarack Tourist Information Center — Beckley, West Virginia
  • South of the Border — Hamer, South Carolina
  • Iowa 80 — Walcott, Iowa
  • Little America — Little America, Wyoming

Important Tips for Truck Rest Stop Sleeping

As a truck driver that follows these truck driver tips to stay awake, you know that spending the night at a trucker rest stop is common. You also know 'its your responsibility to ensure that you and your truck stay safe all through the night. Check out the following tips to keep you and your vehicle safe at any location across the country:

  • Pre-plan your trip
    Before embarking on any trip, you should learn to pre-plan your route and decide where you'll be spending the night. Through this, you can avoid areas that are poorly lit, which are notorious for thefts and robberies.
  • Get to your rest stop early
    Getting to your chosen rest stop late in the night may lead to disappointment as the place may be filled up already. Therefore, you should be at your trucker rest stop by mid-afternoon.
    In case the place is filled up or closed for the day; you can easily and quickly find other truck rest stops that are nearby. Even if you cannot find any, ask any Walmart if they allow overnight parking. The major benefit of getting to the rest areas early is to make sure that you can have a backup plan if the chosen rest stop is not available.
  • Scan any rest stops or areas first
    Before getting out of your truck, the first thing you should do is to scan the whole rest stop quickly. Perchance you notice any signs of scams or suspicious activities, do not hesitate to leave the place. If you are able to establish that criminal activities are going on there, get in touch with the highway patrol so that you can protect other truckers.
  • Stop near other truckers
    An isolated or deserted rest stop is a red flag that must never be neglected. Basically, you should only park in rest areas where you can see other truckers nearby as the presence of others can serve as a form of security for you if any unwanted event should happen.
  • Travel with protective devices
    Choose your preferred protective device you can take along with you as you are moving from one city to another. The benefit of having these protective devices is to ward off any dangers that may come your way while you are at the rest stop.
    Nevertheless, having a protective device is not enough; you must ensure that you can use it effectively. It is also important to get permits for any firearm that you carry.
  • Check out the amenities before sleeping at any truck stops
    If you would like to get the most out of your truck rest stop sleeping, you should always check the amenities available at the place before settling down. Can you sleep at the rest stop without fear of being robbed? Do they have proper showering facilities, food, and other important amenities? These are a few questions you must answer to be certain that they can offer everything you need to enjoy your night at the rest stop.
  • Go on your trip with a pet
    You should never underrate the ability of a pet to warn you of impending danger. Your pet can also serve as a good companion that will keep you engaged during the odd, boring hours. So, it is advisable for you to travel with a pet.
  • Choose a spot you can pull through
    If you have the option of choosing the type of parking at a truck rest stop, you should choose a spot you can easily pull through. This type of parking allows you to pull out of the parking space in a jiffy; which gives you more chance of leaving a truck parking space if there is any trouble.
  • Beware of any suspicious activities
    In many cases, suspicious activities usually precede crimes. So, if you're perceptive, you may be able to prevent falling victim to any wrongdoing. One of the common ways of getting robbed at a trucker stop is by someone luring you away from your truck while another person robs it. Therefore, you should be suspicious of any activities that may be targeted at luring you away from your truck.
  • Lock your semi whenever you are leaving it
    Whether to eat and drink, use the restroom or do anything else, there are various legitimate reasons to leave your truck. To ensure that your loads and other valuables are kept safe while you are away, lock your truck and trailer properly before leaving.
  • Help other truck drivers
    Though every truck driver is responsible for their safety, being a good neighbor can help you avoid trouble and create a good rapport. For instance, if you notice that any trucker is having trouble with parking properly, you can help and reduce the risk of a trucker ramming into others. Also, helping other truck drivers at truck stops can encourage them to help you too if you run into any trouble.

The Last Word on Truck Rest Stops

Remember that it's your responsibility to keep yourself, loads, and truck safe while you are on the road. Therefore, do everything possible to prevent getting into any kinds of trouble while you are at a truck rest stop.

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Noel Ballon

Noel Ballon is a skilled personal finance writer passionate about helping people to succeed financially.

As a guest writer for CASH1, Noel has shared his knowledge on a variety of financial issues, including budgeting, saving, investing, and retirement planning

Noel has a background in economics and finance with over five years of experience writing in the financial sector.

He works to simplify complicated financial ideas so that people from every area of society may understand them.

When Noel isn't writing, he likes keeping current on the latest financial sector changes and looking for fresh approaches to assisting people in choosing wise financial decisions.