Updated at: 15-10-2022 - By: Lucas

Driving under the influence of alcohol or tiredness can be just as dangerous. Do not drive if your eyes are heavy since a fatigued motorist is dangerous to everyone else on the road. Because of exhaustion or a lack of motels, you might consider sleeping in your vehicle.

Even while sleeping in a car is not against the law, only a limited number of locations allow it. There are rest stops and truck stops where you can sleep in your vehicle. Many truck stops and rest areas are open throughout the clock.

To help you decide whether or not to stay the night in your car at a rest stop, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions and provided some helpful answers.

Can You Sleep In Your Car At a Rest Stop or Truck Stop?

Can You Sleep At Rest Stops-2

Truck stops aren’t just for big rigs, despite popular belief; they can also be used by cars. Many truck and rest stop facilities offer petrol stations and plenty of parking. Showers and toilets are common in truck stops since they are designed with working truckers in mind.

Despite the name, truck stop facilities can be used by vehicle drivers and they can park overnight if necessary. Truck stops and rest areas frequently provide free parking, but you should double-check to see if there are any overnight fees at the location you intend to utilize.

Truck and rest stations are great places to stop if you need a quick power nap or are planning to spend the night in your car.

Is It Illegal To Sleep In Your Car At Truck Stops?

In the vast majority of US states, rest and truck stops are not prohibited from allowing overnight parking. Some states, on the other hand, have imposed time limits on how long cars can be left parked.

For instance, business vehicles in South Dakota can stop for up to 10 hours, whereas cars can only stay for 3 hours in South Dakota, where parking is limited to 8 hours.

Ensure that you are aware of the laws in each location where you plan to stop (a complete list of state laws concerning truck stops may be obtained on the Boondocker’s Bible website).

You may not have to worry about the police telling you to leave when you try to sleep in your car at a truck stop if you live in the right state. You should take some basic safety precautions while sleeping in your car no matter where you are in the country.

Safety Tips – How To Sleep Safely In Your Car At A Truck Stop

Can You Sleep At Rest Stops-3

It’s unsafe to drive if you’re weary, and the risk is not worth it. A motel room is the greatest solution for tired travelers, but there are occasions when that isn’t an option. The following safety guidelines should be followed if you must sleep in your vehicle at a truck stop or rest stop:

Tell a friend where you are

If you’re planning on spending the night in your car, you’re putting yourself at risk, and that’s not something anyone wants to do. The more people who know where you’re spending the night means more people who can aid you if something occurs to you or your vehicle.

Park in a safe spot

No one can argue that sleeping in your car is a risky endeavor. Park your vehicle near surveillance cameras if you want to be as safe as possible.

The presence of visible video cameras should deter thieves from attempting to harm you or damage your vehicle while you are parked. Aside from the fact that there is likely to be video evidence to prosecute the perpetrators of a crime if the worst happens,

Keep the engine off

Anywhere you sleep in your car is safe, not only at truck stops. The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases if you keep your car’s engine running while you sleep.

If there are any engine leaks that go undetected, hazardous exhaust gases could be emitted into the air. Inhaling carbon monoxide, which has no smell, will cause immediate death. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be lethal since you may not be aware of what is happening until it is too late to do anything.

Lock your doors

While you sleep, keep yourself and your things safe by locking yourself in your automobile.

Conceal your belongings

Try to keep your valuables hidden from possible robbers. Remove your phone, wallet, and any other valuables from plain sight. While you’re sleeping in your car, keep your credit cards and other minor valuables like your phone nearby so you’ll always know where they are.

Keep a safety defense device on you

The better prepared you are when confronted with a potential attacker, the more likely it is that you will survive. Prepare for the possibility of spending the night alone in a truck stop throughout your trip by packing as many safety devices as feasible.

Amazon Product Advertising API prices on.

Prices and availability of products are correct as of the time/date mentioned and may be changed without notice. The purchase of this item is subject to the price and availability information published on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase.

Both a pepper spray and a stun gun can be effective deterrents against would-be assailants. In the event of an assault, a rape alarm is a compact device that can scare away assailants and inform other people at the rest stop that you are in danger and need rapid help.

Be vigilant

Spend some time exploring the truck stop before deciding to spend the night there. To be safe, it’s a good idea to keep a watchful eye out for any suspicious individuals among the truckers with whom you’ll be sharing space.

Drive away from any other drivers or truckers who are making you feel unsafe, and find a new rest site. You don’t have to be on edge all the time, but you should be mindful of the other vehicles and people around you.

Cover the windows

If you want a restful night’s sleep, you’ll need to be alone. The windows should be covered with clothes or automobile blinds that can be affixed with suction pads before you settle in for a good night’s sleep.

If you’re trying to take a sleep during the day, you’ll have more privacy if you cover the windows of the rest stop you’re at.

Park in a well-lit area

Sleeping in the bright lights isn’t always easy, but remaining in your car overnight in the dark is a risky proposition. Keep in mind that if the light is bothering you, you can close your windows or wear an eye mask. It’s not worth the risk to sleep in the parking lot’s shadows.

Cars parked out of sight in poorly lit places are more attractive targets for thieves and assailants. Those at the rest stop will be able to notice anyone approaching your vehicle if you park near a streetlight or the gas station’s lights.

Thieves are typically put off by well-lit places since the chance of being detected is considerably greater.

Even if you’re traveling on your own, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that some regions are safer than others. You’re better off taking a snooze at a truck stop than than driving and risking falling asleep at the wheel.

Using the precautions we’ve provided above, you can keep yourself as safe as possible while sleeping in truck stops, and many truckers do so without issue.


How long can you park at a truck stop?

Depending on the state, you may be able to stay at a truck stop for a varied amount of time. Truck stop hours vary from state to state, although in general they are open 24 hours a day.

While commercial vehicles are permitted to stay for 10 hours, all other vehicles are only permitted to stay three, in the state of Florida. You should always verify ahead of time if your state has a time limit before you arrive.

Can RVs stay overnight at truck stops?

A truck stop is a safe place to park an RV overnight, unless there are signs advising otherwise. In the event that you run out of campgrounds, a truck stop might be your only alternative. Rest and truck stops prohibit camping, however overnight parking is permitted.

You don’t want to be in trouble for camping if you leave out your deck chairs, barbecues, or any other camping gear. Keeping in mind that truck stops are mostly used by truckers, you should avoid taking up any valuable space there.


The good news is that if you need to sleep in your car, you can do so at a truck stop or rest stop. Check your state’s rules to see how long you can lawfully stay at a truck stop before sleeping there.

Make sure you follow all of the safety tips in this article before going to sleep in your automobile. The other drivers on the road will appreciate your efforts to keep them safe by stopping at a truck stop so that you may rest.