Sleeping in a Car

Thursday, January 30, 2003 1:28 PM
Now I know that the topic seems out there but hear me out. Now on road trips I know that a lot of people sleep in their cars to save money. I am taking at least one park road trip and think this is a good idea to save money. My question is that where do you park to sleep? I am thinking like in a Wal*Mart parking lot near the front or something like that which would be somewhat safe. But otherwise where do you park your car to sleep in it safely?

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Thursday, January 30, 2003 1:30 PM
Well all the Walmarts around my house have cameras in there parking lots. So that increases your safety. :)

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Thursday, January 30, 2003 1:35 PM
Mamoosh's avatar Brendan - how about finding a campground near the park? You don't need to bother with a tent, you can still sleep in a sleeping bag in your car. But they're much less expensive, usually pretty safe, and at least you're usually guaranteed to be near bathrooms and showers.


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edit for clarity and spelling...

*** This post was edited by Mamoosh 1/30/2003 6:36:09 PM ***

Thursday, January 30, 2003 1:38 PM
nasai's avatar You have to remember, as well, that most Walmarts, etc. don't allow people to "camp" in their lots... check with the locals first....:)
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Thursday, January 30, 2003 1:40 PM
Rest stops might not be a bad idea. I have, unwillingly, slept at a rest stop a couple of times when my band's van broke down. We had around 20,000 worth of musical equipment in the trailer behind us, but nobody bothered us either time.


Thursday, January 30, 2003 1:41 PM
I'm with Moosh... Most campgrouds are very in-expensive.
"I often thought of becoming a golf club"
Thursday, January 30, 2003 1:53 PM
I have on many occations slept in my car in a rest stop and have never had a problem. A lot of truckers do it and cops are in and out of rest stop all the time so they are pretty safe. Also, rest stops are often maned 24 hours a day, so someone is usually around.

But I also have only done this as a last resort, like if I can't get a room somewhere orjust am too tired to continue on to where I was headed. Like others have said, check out area campgrounds, they usually have pretty good deals too.

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Thursday, January 30, 2003 1:54 PM
Jeff's avatar Rest stops might be OK, say, on the Ohio Turnpike, but I'd never do it on a non-toll road, as they seem to be a little more scary at night.

I agree with the above statements... find a campground if you can. Even then, I've seen my share of $20 Motel 6's, you've just gotta hunt for them.

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Thursday, January 30, 2003 1:58 PM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar On our Colorado Mother of all Coaster Trips Kristin and I took comfort in her Focus. This was in the middle of Iowa during August and the humidity was horrible. On top of that it was raining all night so we could not open the windows. Needless to say that will be the last time we'll ever do that ;).

I would jump on the bandwagon and say find a camp ground.

-Rob Willi

Thursday, January 30, 2003 2:31 PM
I have never slept in my car on road trips but I wouldn't sleep at a rest stop unless it was maned 24 hours a day. I would suggest a nice hotel parking lot such as a Holiday Inn. If you park by the front desk you know someone is right inside the door if you have any problems. The only problem is hotels sometimes take down license plate numbers and might kick you out if they see your not a guest at the hotel.

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Thursday, January 30, 2003 2:44 PM
I tried sleeping in my car once at a rest stop outside of Mich. Adv. but I couldn't do it. I just couldn't get comfortable so I drove the 5 hrs to home. Unfortuanitly it was a budget trip, without lodging int he budget, so a hotel, or campground, was out of the question. Next time, I will bring enough cash for the hotel, even if I don't plan on staying in one.

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Thursday, January 30, 2003 2:50 PM
Like most have already said, I would not recommend just finding a parking lot for the night. While they may be relatively safe, most store owners don't appreciate it. I believe that it may be a ticketable offense, though I'm not sure what exactly the charge is. I know you can be ticketed for parking in lots that say "parking for [so and so] customers only," so it's probably along those lines. I know most people ignore those warnings, but my friend got a ticketed for parking in one lot and shopping next door.

I'd say youre best bet is a well lit, well trafficked rest stop.

Thursday, January 30, 2003 2:54 PM
Vater's avatar I slept at rest stops from DC to Dallas and back this past August/September without a problem.

Take a ride...

Thursday, January 30, 2003 2:58 PM
I understand that you want to save money but you would be a lot safer and comfortable in like say a $40 hotel. (Some Super 8's, Motel 6's)

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Thursday, January 30, 2003 3:43 PM

Saving money is all well and good, and there are places where it might be safe (rest stops are probably your best bet). But, speaking from experience, sleeping in a car can be hard. They get very stuffy, very quicly, and they're not that comfortable. So here's some advice from my wacko family... If you're going to sleep in the car, do it on the road. Now, this is assumimg you won't be alone ('cause that woudl be pretty bad, anyway). As long as you have two or more drivers, there are times when you can just drive straight through the night. Those who are not driving will still have the comforts of climate-control, and the hum of the engine is actually quite soothing (once you're used to it). If you keep to reasonable shifts, it won't be much of a problem for the driver to stay awake, and you'd be amazed at just how much sleep you can get, even if you are one of the drivers.

Now, most of the time, this is no substitute for a real place to stay the night. No matter what you do, this "power driving" can really only be kept up for about 24 hours at most before you will need out of that car. But driving through the night can save you a hotel bill here and there, so I figured I'd mention it.
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Thursday, January 30, 2003 4:24 PM
On areway to SFKK from SFA we slept in the car at a restarea in West Virgina. Then we l at like 5am and we slept in Walmart parking lot fr a while. but there was 5 of us. We also slept on the side of the road in ohio.
*** This post was edited by Sfgamfreak1169 1/30/2003 9:27:04 PM ***
Thursday, January 30, 2003 4:34 PM
We have done the sleep while the other drives thing, on several occassions. It works pretty good. As (SF)GA pointed out, you have the comfort of climate control. A lot of people can sleep pretty good while riding in a car. I can sleep better if the car is moving, than if it is not.

One moring we got up at six to make it to SFoG on time, stayed at the park all day. Dropped our friend off at his apartment two hours from SF, that was at midnight. Then drove from SC back to Ohio (7 hours normally, ended up being 8 because of a car fire.) We did that almost for the sole reason of not missing another day of work! But it was great, because we missed only three days of work and got in PC and SFoG!

A one that is not cold, is hardly a one at all.
*** This post was edited by eric.walton 1/30/2003 9:35:07 PM ***

Thursday, January 30, 2003 4:55 PM
I really doubt 24 hour stores like Walmart or Kroger check their parking lots for cars owned by people not shopping there.
Seems I remember hearing of several rest stop kidnappings and murders. I wouldn't do it.
If I slept anywhere in my car, I'd definately have something to defend myself. ;)
Thursday, January 30, 2003 5:52 PM
Everybody I have met that is a coaster nut has told me that they sleep in there car occasionally. It's part of the addiction. You will do anything to get the next fix.

I do it the first night of every big coaster trip I take. When I get off work I hit the road and drive up to 10 hours to get near my first park and then I sleep in the car. When I wake up on the first day of my trip, I am already a couple of states from home and ready to hit a park when it opens.

I sleep in rest stops and truck stops and have never had a problem(knock on woodie). I probably will use a couple of the suggestions from this thread to find better spots though.

I do it just to cut costs and save time. Ya gotta do it, its part of game

I can't be bargained with, I can't be reasoned with, I don't feel pity or remorse or fear and I will not stop EVER until I have ridden them all.

Thursday, January 30, 2003 6:19 PM
State parks dude! Bout 7-8 bucks a night for a campsite. Take ya a extension cord, A fan and a radio, And a cooler with some lunchmeat and bread and your set for at least a few days.

Chuck, who thinks Punderson up near SFWOA is very reasonable and only a couple hours from both CP and Kennywood.

Charles Nungester.
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