Thursday, May 12, 2016

Living in a Truck Stop

We have been parked and living in the Winslow, AZ, Flying J since Sunday. Most of the other people who sleep here are only in the lot for 10 hours or so--their required rest period after driving for up to 11 hours. One night, we thought we were limited in space because we had to keep one of our slides pulled in. Look at one of the truck cabs were 18-wheel drivers sleep and sometimes eat and watch TV.

We see drivers sitting in the drivers' seat looking at their phones. They are there all day to drive and during part of the rest period, as well. The truck stop offers a restaurant, showers, laundry facilities, game room and TV room.

Most of the drivers are male, but I have been surprised at how often we see women drivers as well. At least one looked like she was my age or older! Glad that's not my life.

Navigating the parking lot can be difficult at some times of the day. In the morning about 7 to 8, during the lunch hour, and from about 5 pm until dark there is lots of traffic. These big trucks can make amazingly tight u-turns and most of them are skilled at backing into parking spots. We are parked on the back row so we encounter lots of trucks moving at certain times as we are out walking. The drivers don't wave as they are driving or parking, but they smile and even talk to us at times in the store or outside.

Our first night here, one trucker drove up and parked in the site we were planning to go into. When he got out, he asked if we needed help parking. Were we looking for a spot?  Yes, the one you are in. He apologized and said one tip was to put on your hazard lights when parking. Then other drivers know what you are doing. Another trucker, an extrovert, said hello as he walked by. John said, "It's cold." The driver started talking--"I forgot to turn on my bunk heater last night. It was 41 when I woke up this morning." He then talked to us for nearly half an hour.

We see all sorts of different loads on the trucks here. One was hauling bees from drought-stricken California to Colorado.

We have seen new Airstream trailers and vintage trailers being hauled.

Then there are standard 53 ft trailers containing who knows what. Many are refrigerated. Other trucks are carrying heavy equipment or automobiles.

The noise level at night is pretty high, with generators and compressors operating to keep refrigerated loads cool or the sleeping driver comfortable. Every time a truck is turned on or off, there is noise from the air brakes, I guess. Of course, our generators are noisy, too. As loud as the trucks. We are right next to I-40 and it doesn't have near the noise we have here in the parking lot. I'll never take seriously RV park reviews that complain of highway noise after this.

We are grateful for this safe, free place to park while we wait for repairs on our RV brake. And everyone here at Goodyear and Flying J have been friendly and helpful.

But we really hope we get to leave later today after our repairs are completed and working!


  1. I'm catching up on reading your blog and feel for you with staying in a truck stop. I am happy to say I've never done that. I would be hitting my head against the wall with all the engines running. Besides I'm really paranoid sleeping so close to
    Other rigs. I hope you get it all fixed up and can leave. Although between the bolts on your truck tire and on the trailer, I think I'd be having them pull all the wheels and check for problems. Ron says it sounds like somebody over torqued them. BTW, you certainly do sound knowledgeable. Good luck

    1. The other wheels have been checked and the bolts torqued. We will definitely listen for noise every time we begin travel in the future.