Where are the safest places to sleep on the road?
One of the most common questions I’m asked is ‘where do I sleep this week’? I’m going to cover about ten of my favourite places that I’ll usually look for when I’m travelling on the road
People writing in and asking me where can we find places to sleep. What are the safest?Where can we stay for the night without being asked to leave? This week I’m going to cover that, so sit back relax and we’ll be right back.
When I turned 50 I sold my business. I bought a band and now I travel. I live day to day and night to night. I spend my time searching for the perfect picture, the perfect shot.
I look forward to every day and discovering more fantastic journeys so the bio would hammer out some of the least likely places I like to stay. I would have to say that motels and apartment complexes.
I’ve spent many a night in the parking lot of a motel. You typically want to choose a real busy motel, not a small mom-and-pop operation. The same thing with the apartment complexes. If I’m going to stay in an apartment complex for the night I would typically pick one that has lots and lots and lots of apartments and lots and lots and lots of cars.
I stay away from condos or town-houses. People tend to have a little more pride in ownership and tend to keep them, keeping the eye out on what’s going on in a neighbourhood and what’s going on in the street – not recommended.
Shopping malls. I look for shopping malls. sometimes I’ll always look for an ‘open 24 hours a day’ grocery store. Those are my favourites.
I could run and grab some groceries or I could grab some snacks and usually there’s a restroom there .If I wake up in the morning and want access to a restroom, I can get it.
Land and Forestry Service land – those are mostly out on the West Coast. Those are big, big tracts of land that are set aside. You can usually stay for more than one night, sometimes as much as a week or two. If you’re looking to set up camp in one area for a long period of time on the cheap I recommend that.
The downside is that often-times your amenities are far away and getting water and the shower could be challenging, if you don’t have onboard water. I am a little hesitant sometimes about sleeping BLM land simply because you never really know what’s going on out there in the desert.
You really never really know what sort of drug-trafficking or what kind of cartels are using those those lands sometimes for for their meetings.
I’ve heard stories of people having trouble out there when they’re by themselves but it’s like anything else, you know – be careful. Be cautious and you can utilize those places for for a week or two at a time and they’re a great place to set up and camp long-term.
Boondocking – feel a little more comfortable sometimes with a group and sharing big spaces on land with groups. At night-time I usually lock my doors.
I usually leave my keys in my ignition. I usually put a black t-shirt over it so no one can see that the keys are in my ignition. One other thing I keep real handy at night-time is this bear spray made for bears. Works real real well on people.
Those can be a great place to crash for the night. You always see tons of nomadic travellers utilizing the parking lots here. Great spot to have some dinner, kill some time and sleep safe.
Here’s a bit of a strange one – car dealerships. Yes, I’ve slept in parking lots of car dealerships. I usually look for the service area and park next to the place where people would drop their cars off. If by pure chance you happen to find a car dealership of the same brand of van you’re driving, you get bonus points.
All right, so here’s a neat little trick I learned. I want some hot water. I want to wash up, so what I do is I line up some small individual water bottles on the dashboard and turn off the defroster. It doesn’t take long, usually about 15 20 minutes. You have to kind of plan ahead.
Well, here we are at Walmart. Maybe the number two place I most commonly sleep. You will need to be careful though – at some Walmart’s it is posted for no overnight parking. We’re at the Walmart and I’m just gonna say this, I’m gonna stay here tonight, but I sure as hell I’m gonna make damn well sure that I blend in with everybody else.
That poor bastard over there just parked in the big-ass RV and if the manager comes out and tosses his ass out, well I just as soon blend in with the rest of these cars.
Good luck to you Mr. Winnebago and then of course there’s no marks at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. That’s Walmart’s that are taking in more campers in our fears then they actually are taking in shoppers. Go figure.
Walmart parking lot St. Augustine – it’s like driving through an RV park. Most of my stops tend to be rest areas and truck stops. Here in Missouri it was about 15 degrees when I woke up in the morning – BRR! And here’s another in Texas I pulled in too late at night in my opinion.
Truck stops all seem to be fairly safe. Most of the people here, including truckers of course, all want the same thing – a good night’s sleep, a safe place to get off the road and while you’re here you can grab a shower and some food and fuel up.
I’ve got to say some of these showers in these truck stops are actually cleaner than some of the showers and the hotels I’ve stayed in. I’m making a little chillie. I got some sausages I want to cook up. A lot of the food that I cook, I cook when I’m stationed at home base, so that it’s not raw.
So we got a little potato salad, a little macaroni salad, some sausages – a meal fit for a king or putting up shop. I don’t got to wash one pan. Working on my social media for a little bit and get a good night’s sleep camping at the Walmart. Some call it lot-docking, parking-lot-docking. I call it home tonight. Yes, that’s it.