Are you traveling a long distance with a moving truck? Will you need to take overnight stops while traveling to your destination? Do you need a list of recommended areas where you can park a truck? This article will help you find places to safely park your moving truck overnight throughout your travels.
To learn more about the best places to park your rental box truck overnight, keep reading!
- 1 17. Truck Parking Lot
- 2 16. Truck Stops
- 3 15. Rest Stops
- 4 14. Gas Stations
- 5 13. Hotels
- 6 12. Grocery Stores
- 7 11. Restaurants
- 8 10. Casinos
- 9 9. Walmart
- 10 8. Welcome Information Centers
- 11 7. BLM Land
- 12 6. Movie Theaters
- 13 5. Churches
- 14 4. Campsites
- 15 3. City Sponsored Parks
- 16 2. City Streets
- 17 1. Truck Parking Experts
17. Truck Parking Lot
Truck parking lots are a less temporary solution than many of the others on this list. Typically truck parking lots are gated and require a code in order to enter. There are also usually security guards and a higher likelihood of frequent police patrols. All of these security measures combine to keep the trucks safe from damage or theft. This solution does tend to be more expensive but is worth it if the truck is being kept for a longer period of time.
16. Truck Stops
There are designated truck stops that are usually attached to big-name gas stations such as Travel Centers of America, Loves, or Flying J. While truck stops are mainly for semi-truck drivers, in recent years, they have also been adapting to accommodate people that come in with rental box trucks that are in need of a place to spend the night. The rules that apply to the truckers are the same for those that come in with rental box trucks, so make sure you are aware of those before staying the night there. Some truck stops even have separate parking for rental trucks from the semi-trucks.
The thing to note about staying the night at a truck stop is that there are all kinds of people that are coming and going through the area, and it would be especially wise to bring padlocks for extra security to make sure all of your belongings are properly secured and safe.
15. Rest Stops
If you are driving on the freeway with no significant town in sight and need to pull over to spend the night, rest stops are going to be your best option. It is legal to stay overnight at all rest stops, and it is an option that should be taken advantage of instead of continuing to drive when drowsy to reach a town to find a hotel. Most rest stops have their restroom areas unlocked 24/7, and not all, but some even have picnic tables that you could also use as well. Rest stops can be found fairly frequently while driving on the freeway, this is so you can take a break when you need to to ensure safe arrival.
14. Gas Stations
Gas stations are open 24/7, have tons of parking, and are well-lit. They are also ideal for being able to get gas the night before so you can head out first thing in the morning, or you can fill up with gas in the morning before you get back on the road. The one thing to be wary about when stopping at a gas station for the night is that while you may be sleeping and resting, the gas station does not, and there will be customers who come in periodically through the night, and that might be loud and disruptive. The gas station may not be the best option if you are traveling with small children.
Hotels are an ideal option for parking your vehicle overnight, especially if you and the people traveling with are staying in a hotel for the night before you continue driving the next morning. Parking in your rental box truck in the same parking lot of the hotel you will be staying in is an easy option and is usually pretty accessible. When booking the hotels prior to your road trip, make sure that they have large enough parking spots for your truck.
A safety tip to consider is to request to be put in a room that has a view of the parking lot so that you can keep an eye on the truck to avoid any break-ins.
12. Grocery Stores
Grocery stores are an option if you are running low on supplies and need to restock to continue your drive. You can either pick that stuff up prior to spending the night in the parking lot, or you can grab it first thing when they open before you start driving again. Grocery stores have large parking lots and have lots of room for a big rental box truck to stay overnight, especially when it’s empty, and there are no customers or employees around. You should note that it is common courtesy for large trailers that will be staying in the parking lot to park in a back corner out of the way.
Most restaurants are not open 24/7, with a few exceptions; however, those that aren’t open 24/7 and have empty parking lots at night are a great option to park your rental box truck overnight.
Restaurant parking lots are big and well-lit, which allows plenty of room for a rental box truck to park for the night. This will help you feel out of the way as well as a sense of safety being in a well-lit area. The only downside to parking overnight in a restaurant parking lot is that you would have to only be there within the hours they are not open. Don’t park there before 10 if that’s when they close, and make sure you leave before people come to open in the morning so as to not cause any disruption or inconvenience for employees or customers.
Because gambling is legal in most states, there are a lot of casinos throughout the country that have designated truck parking. Almost all casinos are open 24/7, so there is no worry about having to get there or leave at certain times, and the majority of the time, they don’t charge for you to park there overnight. Casinos and casino parking lots have heavy security and a number of security cameras around the entire parking lot, so you should feel safe and secure during your overnight stay. Most casinos do request that you park in the back of the parking lot so as to not disrupt the flow of customer traffic.
If you have ever been to a Walmart, particularly later at night, there are usually semi-trucks and rental box trucks that can be found in the back of the parking lot. Walmarts allow you to park and stay the night in their parking lot. It is important to be cautious of what Walmarts you choose to stay at, as the Walmarts that are attached to shopping centers won’t allow that. However, standalone Walmarts will let you stay there free of charge, as long as you stay out of the customers’ way. While grocery stores will let you stay the night, Walmart seems to be a favorite location.
8. Welcome Information Centers
Welcome Information Centers are not as frequent as rest stops, but you can always count on being nearby as you cross a state line. If you are close to crossing into a new state and are looking for a place to stop for the night, a Welcome Information Center is not too far down the road, and that is a place that is both safe and free to spend the night. Not many people think about Welcome Information Centers as a place to stop, much less spend the night, but that may play to your advantage as the parking lot is less crowded and noisy.
7. BLM Land
If you didn’t already know, BLM stands for Bureau of Land Management, which offers free camping on their land. The nice thing about parking and staying the night on BLM land is that there is no risk of breaking any laws or getting into any trouble with law enforcement. The camping and parking spots are distanced nicely between each other, so you don’t feel crowded around the other people that are camping on the land. You can stay on the land between 14 to 30 days depending on your needs of how long you need to park and stay there. If you are still traveling to your destination, just stay one night.
Please note that if you do decide to stay on BLM land, adhere to the Leave No Trace practice and leave the campsite cleaner than you found it to help preserve the natural beauty of the land.
6. Movie Theaters
Movie theaters are a good option to park your rental box truck overnight for a couple of reasons. They typically have large parking lots that fit a lot of cars; the downside to this is that late into the night, there are lots of cars coming and going from late showings of movies which can be an inconvenience when trying to find a place to park a large truck as well as when trying to get some sleep for the day ahead.
Most churches don’t have any issues with people staying the night in their parking lot, as long as it’s not Saturday night. Because most churches have services early Sunday morning, they prefer that you don’t take up a lot of the room for their congregation to use. If you are in a special circumstance, you can always call and ask where you think you might want to stay and see if staying in their parking lot would cause any disruption and if that would be of any inconvenience to them, and they can help inform you whether or not you can do that or direct you to another place.
Even if you aren’t staying in an RV or in a tent, some campsites will let you park there and stay the night, it is a matter of asking the question. Most of the time you will still have to pay a fee and in some cases even get a permit for some campsites in order to stay overnight there. Staying the night at a campsite is something that would have to be prepared for and is not an option that could be taken advantage of spontaneously. If this is something that you would like to include in your road trip and stay at various campsites along the way on the way to your destination, then this would be a fun, different option.
3. City Sponsored Parks
City-sponsored parks are often found in smaller towns and allow parking overnight for free. Most people aren’t at the park late at night, so this opens up a lot of space for trailers and rental box trucks to park and even stay the night. Depending on what time you get into town, after dark, most activities and families spending time at the park should be gone, and you should have quiet, open parking space to spend the night without too many disruptions. If you get into town before dark, you should know that the park may still be busy, and not that many parking spaces will be available during that time until people leave.
2. City Streets
You can park and sleep on city streets; that being said, it’s not the most recommended place to stay the night, and you should put this at the bottom of your list if possible. Although it’s free, it can be hard to find parking that allows you to be parked there overnight. The amount of parking available depends on the size of the city that you are staying in. If you are staying in a larger city, there’s a better chance that you are going to find some parking that will allow you to stay there overnight, but if you are staying in a smaller city, it could be especially difficult to find parking even in general.
The size of the city is definitely something to consider if this is your planned way of spending the night in an area.
1. Truck Parking Experts
There are several apps currently on the market that provide truckers with parking information. Drivers can input their start and end location, and these apps will pop up all the recommended truck parking areas between those 2 locations. However, these services usually can not guarantee that the parking areas will all be free of charge. However, if a driver is having a hard time finding overnight parking, these kinds of apps can provide a useful service.