Friday, January 9, 2015

Boondocking at a truck stop on I-65 near the Kentucky/Tennessee state line

After four days in the service center at Airstream's headquarters in Jackson Center, Ohio, our camper was ready and we got on the road around 5 p.m. We wanted to get a few hours down the road so that we could reach home before sunset the following day. (See the previous posting to learn about our adventures at Airstream's factory service center.) That meant we needed to be south of Cincinnati and Louisville before stopping for the night. Our goal was to find a place to camp before 10 p.m. and to be back on the road early the following morning.
We use the AllStays app on our iPhones to find potential places to camp for the night. As we were heading south on I-65 in Kentucky, we were running out of options and decided to stop at the Flying J Travel Plaza at Exit 2.

Rosie spot for the night
This turned out to be a huge truck stop with spaces for more than 170 trucks. Since we were arriving late that night, it appeared that most of the truck parking spots were full.
One of the things we learned from our first night boondocking at a truck stop was to get as far away from the trucks as possible. That way you don't have to listen to their desel engines and air breaks all night. We found a place to park next to the curb in front of the Denny's restaurant and figured we found our spot for the night.
The temperature was in the teens and the memory foam on Rosie's bed (our 25 foot Airstream trailer) was hard as a rock. We fired up the furnace and went inside the truck stop while the heater took the chill off inside Rosie.
The cold may have been responsible for the LED lights in the main cabin area not working. We would turn them on and they would quickly dim. The LED lights in the bedroom area worked fine. The main cabin LED lights are on a dimmer while the bedroom lights are not. Now that we are home and Rosie is in her inside storage space, we have been unable to replicate that problem.
After hanging out inside the store for a while, we ventured back out to Rosie. The furnace was working hard and we doubt that it turned off during the night. The memory foam on the bed didn't have time to thaw out and continued to be stiff, but we were warm enough inside Rosie.
The lessons we learned from our first camping experience at a truck stop paid off. By not parking in the middle of the trucks, we didn't hear their constant loud noises.
We were glad we decided to start heading home when Rosie was released from Airstream's service center. Once we were on the road that morning, we realized that we would be home in time to pick up our dog, who we boarded at her vet.
We have to classify our trip to Ohio as a success. We were able to make some improvements to Rosie, fix several nagging problems and learned many new things about camping in an Airstream trailer. In addition, we found the farm that Becky's father grew up on and that led us to many pleasant memories.
We are already planning the next round of improvements for our next trip to Jackson Center, Ohio.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,where in Tn do you hail from? I am not far from the Bowling Green exit off I-65. If you check free camping at Barren River Lake in the Tailwater area it is free with water and chemical toilets...Hobo Joe