Learn where RVers are welcome at America's roadside Travel Centers
Many offer free overnight stays, dump stations and even discounts on fuel.
In the old days, highway travel centers were called truck stops. That was back when they were used almost exclusively by truckers. But after a few economic downturns, truck stop owners saw their revenues plummet. Time to attract some new customers, they thought.
And it was pretty obvious where those customers might come from: One look out their front windows revealed a steady stream of RVers parading by on the highway.
And so, one by one, these huge roadside businesses began adding products and services to attract RVers. They changed their names from Truck Stops to Travel Centers or Travel Plazas.
One of the first things many did was welcome RVers to stay the night for free. Some travel centers designated a separate parking area a "quiet zone" away from the big rigs. A few even provided hookups, usually water or electric.
As the stream of RVs increased, the travel centers added dump stations and even provided fuel discounts, the best known program by Flying J. RVers began stopping for fuel or even to spend the night. While they were there, they shopped at the travel store or dined in the restaurant.
The RVer's Friend, 2005edition, lists every Travel Center in North America (Canada and the USA) about 6,700 all together and what services each provides to RVers. With this handy guide, a traveling RVer can determine if a travel center welcomes them for an overnight stay, if it has a dump station, if it sells propane, and if it provides utility hookups (not many do, but you can expect the numbers to increase each year). And, also very important, the book lists which RV mechanical services are provided.
Any RVer who spends a lot of time on the road should pack along this guide. Its exhaustive list of RV stops that allow overnight stays, alone, is worth the book's modest purchase price of $12.95.
Order now for $12.95
Free Campgrounds of the West
Big Rig Best Bets Campground Directory
The ABCs of RVing
The RV Buyers Survival Guide
Copyright 2004 by Out West Newspaper