Crashing out on the 395

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Ched
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Crashing out on the 395

Post by Ched » Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:53 pm

I'm going to be hauling our RV up the 395 from LA to Reno late on Saturday afternoon. We have no need to get all the way to Reno in one hit so we were going to pull over somewhere along the way.

Being 'foreigners' we have no idea about vagrant rules, can we just pull over for the night or do we need to find a caravan park?

Can anyone suggest anywhere along the way to pull up a couple of hours up the road?

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Jackass
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Post by Jackass » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:06 pm

Better to find an rv park somewhere along the way, hanging on the side of the road will get you harassed by LEOs
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Ched
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Post by Ched » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:38 pm

Righto, when you say RV park, do you mean a wide open space or a caravan/trailer park??

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Eric
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Post by Eric » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:45 pm

you might check this site:

http://www.rvparkreviews.com/regions/California

or this google search:

http://www.google.com/search?q=%22RV+pa ... =firefox-a

Hopefully something there will help. You'll have a better idea about where you'll be when you want to sleep.
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bluesbob
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Post by bluesbob » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:50 pm

There are places where you probably won't be hassled. Scenic turnouts and historic sites. Try Fossil Falls, the Olancha Hills, the Alabama Hills, Goodale or Taboose Creek, etc. Lots of little roads you should be able to pull onto for a few hours, all of them before Mammoth.

Ched
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Post by Ched » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:54 pm

Thanks guys, great help

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Zhust
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Re: Crashing out on the 395

Post by Zhust » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:16 pm

Ched wrote:We have no need to get all the way to Reno in one hit so we were going to pull over somewhere along the way.
In general, you won't be hassled if you park overnight at a truck stop like a Flying J or a TA for free. I overnight at "rest stops" as well (state-funded pavilions, usually with toilets and sinks) when I travel 2,500 miles from Rochester, NY (although I'm always leery of being awakened in the night to move on, reassured that I'm a U.S. citizen. That hasn't happened yet.)
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Just_Joe
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Post by Just_Joe » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:34 pm

Google maps- look along the route for the large green areas. These are national forests. You are supposed to be able to camp for free in any available spot. See here:
http://camping.about.com/od/campingadvi ... amping.htm

You could also ask in a gas station, "Where can I crash for a few hours, I just need to park and sleep" There's a good chance that you'll be directed to park behind the station.

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Post by Playa Foot » Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:22 am

As a rule Americans like Aussies, if a cop tells you you can't sleep someplace use your thickest accent and plead ignorance of American laws. Make sure that you have pulled well off the road in a safe area and you will be OK. Usually the worst thing that will happen is that you will have to move yur rig.

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C187
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Re: Crashing out on the 395

Post by C187 » Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:28 am

jaycerochester wrote:...I overnight at "rest stops" as well (state-funded pavilions, usually with toilets and sinks) when I travel 2,500 miles from Rochester, NY...
When I drive out from the rust belt (great lakes), I only sleep at rest stops. Only once have I been woken by a state trooper and that was because he didn't see me in the back of the SUV. (A chunk of stuff toppled on top of me while I was sleeping.) The cops don't have an issue with people sleeping in rest stops for the night.
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moonrise
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Post by moonrise » Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:54 am

used to drive that a LOT...keough (not sure exact spelling) is a hot springs if you can find a spot, stop and do a free one (just off hwy NOT up to resort..they charge $ and no time, free is ok, locals do it) then move on further up (don't go looking far up for the other other mammoth? hot springs..too too far i think)

the cops appreciate it if you say "i am tired, needed a rest" it's the truth and prevents reckless driving in thier point of view.

mono lake, after mammoth sigange, is where they took the photos for a pink floyd album cover...strange salt piles and a womans legs..forgot the name of that album...can t miss it (stop maybe for a few minutes) pic nic and photos would be cool. used to see a lot more famous bumper stickers "save mono lake!" (maybe LA drank it dry by now? not sure)

it'll be slow in an rv...but best scenic route for sure...semi arid/greener coastal mtn ranges, then lil bit of mojave, then southern sierras, then mt whitney, keough hot springs, mono lake, owens valley, then i forget..usually turn off to tahoe! nah, it's similar northern sierras up to carson/reno/brc...best is to see it north to south..owens valley is killer view and yosemite..omg...can do a day/over nighter maybe trip but gas would cost a lot...so worth it though...go climb a small half dome and the tourons will be gone for skool! find the swimmin hole smack dab in mddle of valley floor...they gave the BEST view to the poor folks...lmao...has open kitchens...get drunk and watch half dome...modesto redencks love that swimiin hole (so do i) have fun

ps (thank god not hwy 99!) you get to skip "cow shit mountain" stinks for 50++++ miles...disgusting...rather smell a 100 cigs buring in my face than that! mc donalds cattle yard...ugh
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Post by viajera80 » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:10 am

The drive up through Mono and Inyo Counties on 395 is really stunning. If you have time to stop, do so at Mammoth, Convict Lake, Mono Lake, Lee Vining, and the hot springs around Mammoth and Bridgeport. There are campgrounds and rest areas all along the highway where you can stop.

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Re: Crashing out on the 395

Post by AntiM » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:45 am

jaycerochester wrote:
Ched wrote:We have no need to get all the way to Reno in one hit so we were going to pull over somewhere along the way.
In general, you won't be hassled if you park overnight at a truck stop like a Flying J or a TA for free. I overnight at "rest stops" as well (state-funded pavilions, usually with toilets and sinks) when I travel 2,500 miles from Rochester, NY (although I'm always leery of being awakened in the night to move on, reassured that I'm a U.S. citizen. That hasn't happened yet.)
If you do choose a truckstop, be courteous. The truckers need these places to rest when their hours of service are up, and if you've parked badly and taken up more than one space, you may be asked to move so a trucker can park. A parking space late at night is golden to a trucker. They fill up past capacity and there are many idling trucks. not ideal. I saw an RV who used tow spots, one for their awning and chairs. The truckers were ticked as hell at them and got the manager to roust them at three a.am..

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mthyer
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Post by mthyer » Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:00 pm

Ched,

There are places to boondock it and/or stealth camp along the way. I've done it along 395 and plenty of other places before, however, I don't know what your set-up looks like or what kind of experience you have with either of these.

Start by looking into the methods used by people who do this sort of thing all the time. May I suggest ...

http://www.cheaprvliving.com/

Both methods are always easier if the following conditions are met:

1) Make camp small and light. It’s pretty much impossible to hide a 54' diesel pusher, but a van or small car is surprisingly simple to conceal. If you have the option to choose a smaller vehicle you'll be happy for this reason. Be ready and able to move along should the need arise by simply changing your location in the vehicle and turning a key.

2) Know who owns the land you're parking on. In the west it’s very easy to find Federal land, if you know who manages the land you can usually find their rules for using it pretty easy. Where Federal lands aren't prevalent don't be afraid to ask. I've done this along the Gulf Coast extensively and sometimes that's all you need to do to get a nice place to stay for free.

3) Remain inconspicuous. Get in late, get up early, and get on your way. Practice light and noise discipline. Keep your vehicle buttoned up and ready to roll.

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Post by Lord Of Ruin » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:44 pm

Some tips:

I'll be doing the same run the same day pulling a travel trailer.

I've done it before and it takes me about 13 hours to get to the playa. About 10-11 to get to Reno.

You MIGHT want to consider leaving a bit earlier if you can and simply do it in one shot. You could then have a full day in Reno to top off things, get ice/food,e tc. Lots of cheap RV spots in Reno and things to do.

But if you want to dawdle along the way, as others have said, lots of fun things to see.

Be sure to check out Mount Whitney as you travel up the valley. It'll be on your left after you pass Olancha and going north.

Lots of good eats in Bishop, Lone Pine,etc. If you are meat eaters, some of the best bacon in the world is to be had at the Mahogany Smokehouse. Only food I've ever had shipped to me...we stop and pick some up each time we drive by either to the Burn or snowboarding. You'll find them in Bishop: http://www.smokedmeats.com/

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Post by shiznicks1 » Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:04 am

This link might be helpful for you. Looks like there are three rest stops along the way, however one may still be closed. It is my understanding that you can stay at one rest stop for a maximum of 8 hours. Check them out before you head up. Ill be at one of the three in the old school ambulance :)

http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/maint/ra/cencal.htm
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Psycho
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Post by Psycho » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:58 pm

If you are in a town, you can always try asking at truck stops and such. If it's already night, and you don't mind hanging around truckers 8) , look for a group of rigs parked somewhere. They usually know the safe spots. Sometimes the truck-friendly gas stations on the very edge of any town are good spots to try.

Also, Wal-Mart is well known for allowing overnight RV parking in it's parking lots. About 90% or so of the stores allow this. Not many Wal-Marts on 395 though- Looks like Ridgecrest about 150 north of LA, and then Carson City...

Designated Rest Areas are, of course, perfect options...

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Post by bburrito » Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:53 pm

Are there any decent hotels from Ridgecrest on north?

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Isotopia
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Post by Isotopia » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:15 pm

I thought I might have heard somewhere that WallMart allows free overnight parking in many of their car lots.

Anyone else heard of this?

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ygmir
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Post by ygmir » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:22 pm

yup.
I heard it for RV's.......not sure if it applies to everything.
Other big stores with big lots do, too.
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Psycho
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Post by Psycho » Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:02 pm

Isotopia wrote:I thought I might have heard somewhere that WallMart allows free overnight parking in many of their car lots.

Anyone else heard of this?
Heh, read four posts up! 8)

Most Wal-Marts allow it 'for RVs'. Some don't (very few though), so you should still check before setting up camp...

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Token
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Post by Token » Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:11 pm

bburrito wrote:Are there any decent hotels from Ridgecrest on north?
Bridgeport has a bunch but they are a bit pricey.

I like to stop at Topaz Lake, right after you cross into Nevada.

Nothing fancy, Super 8 & Best Western motel and the RV park.

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Kinetik V
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Post by Kinetik V » Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:17 pm

Per WalMart's website:

Can I park my RV at a Walmart store?

While we do not offer electrical service or accommodations typically necessary for RV customers, Walmart values RV travelers and considers them among our best customers. Consequently, we do permit RV parking on our store lots as we are able. Permission to park is extended by individual store managers, based on availability of parking space and local laws. Please contact management in each store to ensure accommodations before parking your RV.

Source: http://walmartstores.com/317.aspx#Park_RV
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Post by CapSmashy » Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:02 pm

When parking at a retail establishment in a large vehicle or large towed trailer, park in the outer rings of the lot.

Also, in many cases you can get away with parking in any big box store parking lot after they close.

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Post by Megaflow » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:45 am

Ive done the LA to Reno via 395 the past few years on my way to Burningman. I tow a 30 foot toy hauler trailer with a 22 feet truck and I havent found anywhere that I felt comfortable pulling over on the side of the road. What I do is I stop a the first camp ground in Mammoth on Saturday afternoon for the night. What I like about that is that it is safe, I am able to make the drive without full water tanks saving weight and gas. In the morning I fill up my water tanks, dump my grey and black water tanks after a nice long shower, fill up with gas and head up the 3 big hills on my way to reno. I end up stopping for dry ice in Reno and make it onto the playa by around 3:30

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