Can You Stay with an RV in a Rest Area?


If you’re an RV owner and have ever gone on vacation, you might have found yourself in a situation where you need to spend the night in a rest area.

Rest areas are great for overnight stays because they’re easy to find and generally offer more amenities such as bathrooms than other parking lots do. But can you stay there with your RV?

Can You Stay with an RV in a Rest Area?

You can stay with an RV in a rest area for up to 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, 60 days, or 90 days depending on the state you are travelling through.

State law usually determines the maximum amount of time you can stay at rest areas and travel plazas. When it comes to parking overnight at rest areas, some states only allow it if there is no other place near your destination that offers camping facilities like public camping sites or campgrounds.

Even though it may be allowed by law to park overnight at rest stops and travel plazas in these states without fear of being ticketed or towed away by police and possibly even arrested, we do not recommend parking overnight at these locations because they’re not designed for long-term stays.

And they often lack proper sanitation facilities such as restrooms/showers/toilets which are necessary for human health & safety reasons due to sanitary concerns associated with living conditions inside RVs.

How Long Can You Stay At A Rest Area?

You can stay at a rest area for up to 24 hours. If you’re planning to sleep overnight, make sure to check the state-specific regulations and restrictions that apply to your location.

For example, some states allow camping in designated areas but not overnight parking of RVs and other large vehicles.

What Happens If You Break The Rules of Rest Area?

If you are caught breaking the rules of rest areas, there is a possibility that you will be fined. Fines vary depending on the severity of your offence but can range anywhere from $500 to $1,500. In addition to fines, if you are caught in an area where it is not allowed, then you may also be banned from using rest areas for up to three months.

Whichever state or country you’re visiting and however long your trip lasts—if at all possible—it’s wise not to break any rules while travelling in an RV. If caught doing so by authorities or security personnel on duty at the time, then they may ask you to leave immediately with no chance of returning until after their ban period has ended (in most cases).

Are RV Rest Area Staffed?

If you see a sign at a rest area that says it’s staffed, that means the facility is open 24/7 and has all of the amenities of an RV park, including:

  • A bathroom facility.
  • A vending machine.
  • A pay phone (or one that can be used with a calling card).
  • Parking for RVs, trucks and cars.
  • Dump stations for disposing of grey water and black water waste (if applicable). These are usually situated near bathrooms or picnic areas so you can use them before hitting the road once again in your truck camper or motorhome.

Can You Stay Overnight In VA Rest Areas?

If you want to stay in Virginia’s rest areas overnight, you’ll need a permit. To obtain one, contact the State Highway Department at (800) 828-1120 or visit their website here. The cost of the permit is $20 per night and can be purchased up to one year in advance after which time it expires.

You are allowed to stay for up to six months at each rest area location (with an exception for those located on interstate highways). The same rules apply for parking as they do for overnight campgrounds: You cannot park more than 24 hours; vehicles must be parked completely off pavement surfaces.

Also, no cooking fires are allowed; no pets are permitted except service animals and farm animals travelling with their owner; trash must be packed out when leaving; no camping equipment may be stored outside of vehicles during periods between stops by travellers who have not registered campers at these locations.

Do Virginia Rest Areas Have Family Restrooms?

While most rest areas in Virginia do have family restrooms, they’re not staffed and there’s no security. The facilities are not as clean as they would be at a campground, so you’ll want to bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitiser with you.

The good news is that the state of Virginia does not allow people to stay in their rest areas overnight (except for special circumstances).

Can You Sleep In Rest Areas In Florida?

If you’re travelling in an RV and need to rest, it’s possible to sleep in rest areas in Florida. However, there are restrictions on how long you can stay and what type of vehicle you have.

If you’re driving a car or truck, here are the rules:

  • You can stay at a rest area for up to 8 hours total spread out over any number of days. This means that even if it takes you 12 hours to drive from one side of the state to another (and your kids get tired) and then back again, this still counts as two separate stops at rest areas. So if it seems like an inconvenience when thinking about how many breaks there will be on long road trips, remember that once all is said and done there won’t actually be very many!
  • You cannot leave your car/truck unattended during this time period unless otherwise stated by signs posted at each individual rest area. This means no going for a walk with friends or family members who aren’t also sleeping overnight; anyone who isn’t in their vehicle may be asked by police officers or security guards why they aren’t driving away immediately after waking up so they don’t count towards those 8 total hours spent in one place at any given time during any given day, even though most people won’t even notice unless someone really wants them too.

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We hope this article has helped answer your question about whether or not you can stay in an RV at a rest area. We know it’s been a long one, but we wanted to give you all the facts.

We hope you found it helpful and now feel like you have a better understanding of the rules behind this practice so that next time someone asks if they can sleep in their car (or other vehicles), you’ll be able to answer confidently.

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Written by Jane Miller

I'm Nomadic Jane, a digital nomad and travel blogger. Since 2009, I've been traveling the world and exploring cultures through my travel blog.