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TRUCKERS SPEAK: RV at truck stops- the do’s and don’ts | Tour the World’s Largest Truck Stop

Have you ever wondered about the unwritten rules of RVing at truck stops? As full-time RVers, we’ve had our fair share of experiences parking at these bustling hubs of highway life. But we wanted to dig deeper and get the inside scoop from those who know the world of truck stops best – professional truckers. Join us as we explore the do’s and don’ts of RV parking at truck stops, gleaned from the insights of our nephew JBO and his wife Anna, a seasoned husband and wife trucking team.

RV Parking at Truck Stops: Etiquette and Tips from Professional Truckers

When it comes to RVing, truck stops can be a convenient place to park overnight or take a break during long travel days. However, it’s essential to understand the unwritten rules and etiquette of sharing these spaces with professional truckers. We reached out to our nephew, Jerry Wilson Jr. (aka J-BO), and his wife Anna, both seasoned semi-drivers, to get their insights on how RVers can respectfully utilize truck stops.

According to J-BO and Anna, the most important thing for RVers to keep in mind is that truckers have a work clock in their vehicles, which means they may need to remain parked for a specific amount of time to comply with government-mandated breaks. If you see a trucker sitting at a gas pump or in a rest area, be patient and understanding. Additionally, when parking overnight at rest areas, they recommend that RVers:

  • When overnighting, park on the car side of the rest area whenever possible, even if it means taking up multiple spaces
  • Avoid parking in truck spots when you can, especially east of the Mississippi River where truck parking is limited
  • If the truck side is nearly full, try another stop or consider parking elsewhere to leave spots for truckers needing to stop in the wee hours
  • Be respectful of the space and avoid blocking lanes or extending slides unnecessarily

 

Life on the Road: Insights from a Husband and Wife Trucking Team

 

As full-time RVers, we were curious to learn more about the lifestyle of professional truckers and how it compares to our own experiences on the road. JBO and Anna graciously gave us a tour of their 2022 Freightliner Cascadia and shared some insights into their daily routine and life as a married couple working together in close quarters.

Some key takeaways from our conversation:

  • J-BO and Anna typically work in 12-hour shifts, with J-BO driving from 5 pm to 5 am and Anna taking over from 5 am to 5 pm
  • They stay on the road for 3-6 weeks at a time, earning one day off for each week spent working
  • Being from Southern Illinois allows them to swing by their house and visit family more frequently than most truckers
  • Their truck is equipped with many of the same amenities as an RV, including a refrigerator, microwave, hot plate, air fryer, and a comfortable bed
  • Communication and personal space are crucial for maintaining a strong relationship while working and living together in a small space

     

J-BO and Anna also encouraged RVers to be more outgoing and engage with truckers when their paths cross. They emphasized that trucking can be a lonely job, and a friendly conversation or show of interest can go a long way in brightening someone’s day.

Iowa 80 truck stopIowa 80 Truck Stop: A Must-See Destination for RVers

During our travels, we had the opportunity to visit the world-famous Iowa 80 Truck Stop, located along Interstate 80 in Walcott, Iowa. As the largest truck stop in the world, this iconic destination offers an array of amenities and attractions that cater to both truckers and RVers alike.

Some of the highlights of our visit included:

  • 20 dedicated RV parking spots, making it easy to park and explore the facility
  • A spacious laundromat, which allowed us to take care of chores while enjoying the truck stop’s other offerings
  • A movie theater, perfect for unwinding and escaping the summer heat
  • A chiropractic office and dental clinic, catering to the unique health needs of those who spend long hours on the road
  • A barbershop, ensuring that travelers can look and feel their best
  • A well-stocked convenience store and gift shop, offering everything from essentials to quirky souvenirs
  • The Iowa 80 Trucking Museum, showcasing the rich history of the trucking industry through vintage vehicles and interactive exhibits

 

While the Iowa 80 Truck Stop may not be a typical destination for RVers, it’s definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in the area. Not only does it provide a fascinating glimpse into the world of trucking, but it also offers a range of services and amenities that can make life on the road more comfortable and convenient.

Our journey into the world of truck stops and the life of professional truckers has been an eye-opening experience. From learning the unwritten rules of RV parking etiquette to gaining a deeper appreciation for the challenges and joys of life on the road, we’ve come away with a wealth of knowledge and a newfound respect for the hardworking men and women who keep America moving.

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