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Old 07-29-2021, 04:29 PM   #1
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Default Question on overnite stay at rest stops in Iowa

Does anyone know the rules on rest stops in Iowa?
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Old 07-31-2021, 05:02 PM   #2
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you can stay anywhere you want, until someone asks you to leave.... unless you are 'at' the rest stop, it's doubtful there is any way to find out any 'rules' you are concerned about... a walmart parking lot is better, or Lowes or Homedepot, etc.
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Old 07-31-2021, 07:20 PM   #3
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Thanks for replying.
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Old 08-08-2021, 10:28 AM   #4
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I believe the posted rules at Iowa's interstate rest areas have not changed - see http://www.rvhive.com/rest-areas-is-...ight-in-an-rv/
These rules state you can't park more than 24 hours, etc. So stopping to sleep is fine. This is Iowa's website re rest areas but I don't see the regulations there anywhere: https://iowadot.gov/maintenance/rest-areas

But IMO rest areas aren't necessarily the safest places to stay overnight, and some of the Iowa ones can get pretty deserted overnight - not a good thing. My own preference is a well-lighted truck stop like Flying J where there are employees onsite 24 hours a day.
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Old 08-08-2021, 10:38 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by slaredo View Post
I believe the posted rules at Iowa's interstate rest areas have not changed - see http://www.rvhive.com/rest-areas-is-...ight-in-an-rv/
These rules state you can't park more than 24 hours, etc. So stopping to sleep is fine. This is Iowa's website re rest areas but I don't see the regulations there anywhere: https://iowadot.gov/maintenance/rest-areas

But IMO rest areas aren't necessarily the safest places to stay overnight, and some of the Iowa ones can get pretty deserted overnight - not a good thing. My own preference is a well-lighted truck stop like Flying J where there are employees onsite 24 hours a day.
Cabelas or Bass Pro shops are the most hospitable as far as I am concerned,
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Old 08-08-2021, 11:26 AM   #6
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My own preference is a well-lighted truck stop like Flying J where there are employees onsite 24 hours a day.
I can only speak for myself, but as a professional truck driver and avid camper, I avoid truck stops for overnight stays.

Yes, they are usually well lit, safe and have plenty of amenities, but for truck drivers, it one of the few available places for us to stop and not be hassled by DOT, LEA or Security.

Parking for semi trucks is a growing problem for truck drivers, there are fewer and fewer parking options available every day, especially on the East Coast.

We rely, almost exclusively, on the truck stops for fuel, showers, laundry, etc...and they are literally the only, somewhat comfortable, places we can stay when HOS (Hours of Service) demand we stop for our mandatory 34 consecutive hour rest breaks.

Rest areas are fine for short breaks or when a truck stop isn't available, but many states do not allow us to idle in a rest area, so if it is hot outside and your truck is not equipped with an APU (like mine) you get the pleasure of attempting to sleep in an oven.

I'm not saying you won't be welcome at a truck stop, you will, just don't be that a-hole who takes up two spots so you can use your slide out, awning, grill, etc...

Just my two pennies.
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Old 08-08-2021, 02:02 PM   #7
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Smile Iowa Rest Areas

Stayed overnight at a rest area on I-35 in southern Iowa last August. There was plenty of room, only about half full. No problems at all.
Stayed at a rest area on I-80 west of Des Moines last May. No problems but in the morning, all of the spaces were occupied.
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Old 08-08-2021, 02:15 PM   #8
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Thank you for all the information. We are new to camping and RV, we are taking our first long trip to Yellowstone in a couple weeks. We have been camping close to home in some state parks so this will be our first long trip.
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Old 08-08-2021, 07:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by daltontr View Post
I can only speak for myself, but as a professional truck driver and avid camper, I avoid truck stops for overnight stays.
.....
I wasnít suggesting that campers park with the semi trucks at truck stops. Many Flying Jís have designated RV parking spots (in the auto parking lot), and the bigger stores without specific RV spots have a large enough auto parking lot that they are often fine with campers parking at the outer edges of the lot. In the latter case (when there arenít specific spots) I would suggest checking with them to verify itís okay to park overnight. As with using any truck stop, rest area, etc, overnight parking means parking, not camping.
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Old 08-09-2021, 09:11 AM   #10
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We have been RVing for many years and mostly stayed at Walmart lots with no issues. Just make sure you go in to buy a few groceries or whatever and stay far away from doorways. They are well lit and security overnight and 99% that you wonít be the only one there with an RV.
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