Thursday, September 8, 2011

Boondock Saints

When we first started looking into visiting Savannah, we thought about what it would cost to drive there versus flying. Of course we wanted to drive, but with gas prices being the jerks they are, you just never know if that’s going to be the most economical choice. When we found out the cheapest flight would be around $600 per person – and that’s not even accounting for accommodations – we knew we were doing the right thing.

However, you’re never going to appreciate the value of a gas-efficient car until you’ve driven an SUV towing a trailer. There’s just no comparison to that, because if we were able to get seven miles to the gallon we were lucky. It seemed like every time we turned around (pretty much every hour and a half or so), we were either filling up or looking for a place to fill up. 

Still, all things considered, it WAS cheaper to drive. It also helped that we found such a reasonably priced state park to stay at. Of course, I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll start at the beginning!

Free parking's where it's at

Originally, we planned to leave Tuesday after work, drive a few hours and then spend the night at a Wal-Mart along the way. We were making fairly good time and around 10:30 that night, Steve asked me to start calling Wal-Marts in the Richmond area. Apparently, though, either nobody who works there knows about overnight RV parking or it’s not a question that gets asked often, because I couldn’t get a straight yes-or-no answer from three stores I called. 

I did, however, luck out when I researched online and found out most travel centers have dedicated overnight parking for RVs and trucks. When I called the Flying J in Carmel Church, VA, I was greeted with a warm southern accent saying, “We sure do offer overnight parking.” Which was as good as a reservation as far as we were concerned!
Boondocking in style
I'm a big fan of you Flying J
I was a little worried about sleeping soundly after we pulled up next to a truck that apparently was going to leave its engine running all night. But I managed to convince myself the sound was like a white-noise machine designed to lull me into a deep sleep. Wouldn’t you know it? That mind game worked. And I actually appreciated the hustle and bustle of the travel center. It made me feel safe -- much better than the time we were the lone RVers in an empty Wal-Mart parking lot.

A little close for comfort, but we made it work
The next morning my alarm went off at 6 a.m. and we were out the door about 15 minutes later. There was a long day of driving ahead, but thankfully we were past all the congested metropolitan areas of the East Coast.

'Let's get this show on the road!'


  1. get the show on the road!!..I agree!!! travels to you three!!!

  2. We found much of the East coast either didn't support Walmart overnighting or it really depended on the manager on duty that night. We called got permission at one place in Florida, showed up a day later then planned and were told no we couldn't stay. We certainly are thankful for the ones we can stay at when having long travelling days. Rest stops generally are good as are National Forests. Truck stops are good in most states but not all and usual when they say no over night camping it doesn't mean RV's but the truckers who leave their trucks running drive me crazy! Safe travels :)

  3. It's so odd that so many Walmarts don't allow overnight camping! We were under the impression that most, if not all, Walmarts did. Kind of a rude awakening but it's nice that other places are more welcoming. I didn't know national forests allowed boondocking, that's a great tip! Thanks Brooke!

  4. I've found it's not always the WalMart that won't allow it, but the town/city that has rules against it. Do you have rest areas there? I've found they are nice for free overnights, but you do sometimes have the truck engines running all night.