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Old 04-01-2014, 02:34 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,555 times
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Hello!

I will be driving From NYC to Seattle WA in mid-May. Taking I-80 to Chicago and then heading up the northern route on I-94 through Fargo. Not really doing it for the sightseeing, just trying to get to point B. I will be sleeping in my car/ camping hopefully the whole way. (wagon with tinted windows)

The only part I am worried about sleeping in the car is the leg from NYC to Chicago- are there any decent places to stop east of Chicago (Ohio or Indiana) for a safe nights rest?

I'm thinking:
first choice- campground
second- truck stop
third- a large chain store parking lot, like a Walmart.

-Whats the best time to get through the Chicago area?

-Minnesota, N. Dakota, and Wyoming: should weather be much of an issue in mid to late May? would I-80 be a better route?

and lastly, does anyone have experience sleeping in their vehicle while traveling? tips? precautions?

Thanks!
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Ramsey, NJ
39 posts, read 84,582 times
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I've crossed the country numerous times and stayed at Truck Stops every night. Granted, I was in a tractor-trailer for every one of these trips. They're pretty safe, as long as you can find a spot, although the rural ones tend to be better than the ones located in cities. Not to mention they have bathrooms, food services, and showers.

Weather should not be a problem at all in May, it should be very nice. And if you do stop at a to sleep at a truck stop, I'd recommend parking between two trucks if possible, half way down the parking spot. This way you're offset from the main lot and somewhat sheltered by the two trucks on either side.
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Old 04-05-2014, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
2,533 posts, read 3,952,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrg_ View Post
-Minnesota, N. Dakota, and Wyoming: should weather be much of an issue in mid to late May? would I-80 be a better route?

and lastly, does anyone have experience sleeping in their vehicle while traveling? tips? precautions?

Thanks!
I drove to Seattle from the east coast in late May 2011. There were no weather issues.

I picked up I-90 in Sioux Falls, SD and took it all the way here through SD, WY, MT and ID. I did see a lot of snow entering ID at around 4,000 ft elevation but it was 45 degrees and roads were bare.

It's a beautiful drive.

One question though... Why would you sleep in your car? I was staying in the Motel 6 for $40 a night.
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Old 04-05-2014, 01:42 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 53,956,958 times
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There are several rest stops along I-80 (and elsewhere) that truckers frequent that will be fine. Many Walmarts let you stay overnight in their parking lots as well. Any state park will have camping spots for very little money that you can sleep in your car at--especially if you pick a rustic spot but even an electrified spot is only going to be $20/night give or take--plus you have access to bathroom and shower facilities in that cost. Any truck stop (gas stations, etc.) will have overnight parking for free and paid showers, etc.

Traveling in May I would take I-80 or I-90 and stay farther south through MN, SD, etc. Weather in ND, etc. can be iffy (cold) into May but along I-80 or I-90 should be fine. There is a HUGE truck stop on the IA/IL border on I-80 that if the timing works will be a good place to spend the night.
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:12 AM
 
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Thanks everyone for your input and tips this definitely helps!

Kees, it's not so much about the money as it is the time and as cheesy as it is, the adventure. Also I think I would prefer my car over a motel 6, probably less...DNA...
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