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Old 05-21-2015, 07:20 PM
 
26 posts, read 33,166 times
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I'm moving back from Houston to the Bay Area, California (~1925 miles) at the end of this month. Since I only own a Mazda Miata and have way too much stuff (and the Miata keeps breaking down), I'll be renting a Penske box truck and a trailer to tow the car home. I have done this drive 5 times before, but each time it was in my Miata. This time, I'm more nervous about driving back because 1) I've never towed a trailer before and 2) I'm scared that the truck and trailer will be a theft magnet at night.

I'm planning on take 3 days to drive back. I've always done it in 2 days, but since the truck will be slower I'm planning on taking an extra day. I was just looking for some advice on parking the truck at night, and if anyone had any suggestions as to where I could stay off of I-40 between Texas and California for two nights that would be relatively safe.

Alternatively, I have the crazy idea of leaving at night (say around midnight) the first day, driving 14 or so hours until the afternoon, and then sleeping during the day at a truck stop, waking up, and then driving the next night, etc. Would this be a horrible idea? I'm not scared of driving at night, but I'm more worried about breaking down in the middle of nowhere along I-40 in the middle of the night. On the plus side, I'd save some money on hotels, but honestly that'd be ~$150 or so, which isn't a whole lot considering how much I'll be paying for the truck + gas. It does seem kind of exciting, though, because I've never done a long trip at night...

Any ideas on where to stop or if my nighttime driving idea is feasible would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:34 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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I prefer night-time driving (and I have moved many people from PNW to SE USA / TX / CA / AZ)

I sleep in the truck (naps).

If I need an overnight break... I stay with friends or farmers (plenty of room for parking / turning around).

I use $10/ night hospitality homes, and it lists information as to parking / RV farm.
Hospitality exchange - Wikitravel
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
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I like driving at night as there is less traffic. I would not worry about breaking down along I-40 during the night. There will be plenty of people passing by. My only real concern is how hot it could get inside the truck during the day while you are trying to sleep.
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Old 05-22-2015, 02:22 PM
 
26 posts, read 33,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan Mutt View Post
I like driving at night as there is less traffic. I would not worry about breaking down along I-40 during the night. There will be plenty of people passing by. My only real concern is how hot it could get inside the truck during the day while you are trying to sleep.
Thanks, I guess I'll see what condition the truck is in when I pick it up... they know I'm driving a long distance so hopefully they'll give me something that actually works.

The heat is an issue that I hadn't thought of. I would feel much safer sleeping during the day when there's more activity at the truck stops than at night, but not if I'm going to cook in the cab.

Would it be a bad idea to nap with the windows cracked open in broad daylight?
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Old 05-22-2015, 03:01 PM
 
Location: SW France
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I've driven across West Texas to and from Houston a few times, including at night, and the concern is of staying alert. I guess the same thing has crossed your mind.
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Old 05-22-2015, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hexadecimal View Post
Thanks, I guess I'll see what condition the truck is in when I pick it up... they know I'm driving a long distance so hopefully they'll give me something that actually works.

The heat is an issue that I hadn't thought of. I would feel much safer sleeping during the day when there's more activity at the truck stops than at night, but not if I'm going to cook in the cab.

Would it be a bad idea to nap with the windows cracked open in broad daylight?
I could be wrong but I doubt if things slow down much at the truck stops along I-40 during the night. You might do a little research and see if there are any 24 hour welcome centers along I-40. When I was working out of Baltimore and had to drive to New Jersey I often stopped at the welcome centers and snoozed in the car for a few hours. There was always a steady stream of traffic coming and going.

As long as you are at a busy location I see no problem having the windows cracked open while you sleep. However I am guessing even with the windows open it will get hot inside during the day.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:19 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Sleep in the cool of the morning Day break to 9AM. and again at dusk.

Axe murderers and the like are not too active then.

You can tie a hammock to truck and then you should know if someone moves it.

I like the WIDE seats in Penske International trucks. I sleep / nap well there. I also nap under the truck in a shady grassy spot with a breeze. I use community centers / swimming pools for cooling of and cleaning up.

Few villains hang out there (usually a lot of police around eating donuts and cookies and watching the babes in swimwear. )
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:19 PM
 
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The only other suggest its getting late in May and sleeping during hot day may not get you good sleep. Perhaps look for a truck stop that allows rest as they are pretty active most times and a shower will be very welcome. I suggest those out a ways from any metro area .
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Old 05-29-2015, 04:32 AM
 
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Park on the side of the truck stop where the semis are...park between a couple of them. The drivers are in their trucks, sleeping, too, and your little box truck will be less noticeable and the parking spaces are pull-through, no backing out. That's what I've done.
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Old 05-29-2015, 06:20 AM
 
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Sleep in the truck at night in WalMart parking lots. Many folks with RVs do this, and WalMart usually doesn't have a problem with it. It's usually well lit and since they're open 24 hrs, there's always enough traffic to deter criminals.
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