Saturday, November 22, 2014

Boondocking at a truck stop on I-71 north of Louisville

We heard that some national retailers permit campers to stay overnight in their parking lots, but we never considered stopping at a truck stop. This idea came up in conversation with some camping neighbors while staying along the Florida Gulf coast.

That was a timely idea because we found ourselves on the road about two weeks later and needing a place to stop for the night with no campgrounds near us.

We had a growing list of repairs for Rosie, our 25 foot Airsteam trailer, and we heard that it was hard to beat the factory service at the company's factory in Jackson Center, Ohio. The word must be out because Airstream's service center is booked solid and we had to wait more than three months for our scheduled appointment. We booked our time and hoped that the weather would be good during November, the timeframe we ended up with for our service appointment.

Entering Tennessee while on the road to Ohio

Bet you don't see signs similar to this in the North

The Kentucky state line

Selfie at a Kentucky rest stop

That brings us to a truck stop in northern Kentucky.

Our camping site for the night

The weather forecast for the day before our appointment predicted snow and freezing temperatures. We both grew up in Florida and have lived in the Deep South most of our lives. The idea of towing 6,000 pounds of aluminum over snow and ice wasn't appealing to us, so we we left two days early and timed our arrival in Ohio a day ahead of the winter weather.

Our goal for Sunday was to get far enough up the road so that we could easily reach Jackson Center on Monday before 4 p.m. This would allow us to park in Airstream's Terraport, where we could stay without a camping fee while our trailer was being worked on.

So, that was the set-up. We calculated that we needed to camp north of Louisville if we were going to arrive in Jackson Center on time. The Pilot Truck Stop, or Travel Center as they called it, at exit 28 in Pendleton, Kentucky was our camp site for the evening.

Rosie in the middle of the trucks that evening

Having never ventured into the land of the 18-wheelers for the night, we first went inside the store to ask permission. It turns out that boondocking at truck stops is common and they said to find a spot and have a good evening on their lot.

The temperature was in the mid-30s that night and Rosie's propane heater did a great job keeping us warm.

Rosie after spending the night at the truck stop

We were not prepared for the loud sounds of the air breaks and diesel engines reving up all night. We will be better prepared for these annoyances the next time we camp at a truck stop.

We categorized our stay at a truck stop as an adventure and will not hesitate to try again in the future.

1 comment:

  1. We like love's truck stops huge parking lots, awesome showers, and wicked fast wifi.

    We bought a Honda generator, now if it gets noisy we just fire up the AC while we sleep ( for the white noise).

    Also, for $40 get the heating element to go in your AC.... In terms of money well spent, we rank that small upgrade tops cause LP use in the winter dropped way down.