Boondocking2 003

A Lug_Nut pet peeve.  When travelling with many RV’s, 5th wheels, large class A’s and towing combinations, finding a place to stop can be challenging on many roadways.  In that regard interstate highways offer the best places, the rest stop.  These pull offs provide ample maneuvering space and large parking spaces for both trucks and RV’s.  Additionally you can always find a little grass, designated the “Pet Walking Area” for Fido to stretch and take a potty break.



CrackerWant to stop for lunch at a restaurant?  Cracker Barrel offers RV parking at their many locations throughout the country and they are usually located within sight of the interstate highways.  RV parking can be found at the rear of the restaurant.  For large class A coaches towing, some of these may not be long enough.  So you may have to take a look first.  On some routes this chain is very abundant, for example my wife and I counter 49 Cracker Barrel locations off I75 from the Ohio/Michigan border to Fort Myers Florida.



At both rest stops and Cracker Barrels, over night parking may be allowed depending on the location.  Check for signage, ask the manager or inquire with the security staff if you are considering staying over night.  This, of course, is the same courtesy you would use to stay in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

Boondocking2 001Most rest stops have separate parking for autos and trucks/RV’s.  Some have three sections, autos, trucks and RV’s.  The later offers the RV owner a truck free area.  This creates a somewhat safer environment for children, adults and pets to exit and enter their vehicle as it is far less busy.

So, whether you need a comfort break or a lunch stop, we have these great places to safely stop with your oversizedvehicle or vehicle combination.  Well, we do providing there is space left.  Many times these over lengthparking spots are filled with autos and small vehicles that are thoughtlessly parked because they may be perceived to be closer to the restrooms.  I have seen motor homes and travel trailers forced to move on or park on the grass shoulder towards the exit.  This is due to these cars filling the only parking spots capable of holding such a vehicle.  In every instance I have witnessed this, the car parking has numerous spaces available.

Likewise, the RV parking spaces at many Cracker Barrels also seem to attract these same jug heads that insist on parking their little car in these spots.  About a year ago I arrived at the visitor center in the Everglades.  They have several rows of auto spaces and one large RV row that would accommodate about nine rigs.  I pulled in with my 45’ coach towing an extended SUV.  The RV section was pretty well full, including a small car blocking the last two available spaces.  The auto area was not even half filled yet this person decided to take up at least one RV space.  With my vehicle combination hanging out onto the main drive-in area I approached the owner. 

Could you move your car so that I can pull in” I asked.       

When I finish eating” the slightly over weight woman that was dressed and looked like an over zealous boy scout, said in a curt manner.

By now there were cars backing up in the driveway that my tow was partially blocking.  I would have to circle around the parking area and exit if I could not pull in within the next minute or so.

I’ve kind of got the traffic stopped now, could you please move forward so I can clear the driveway?  I asked, still very courteously while motioning to my towed SUV that was straddling the main inbound drive.

“Well, you shouldn’t have such a big vehicle, and it’s bad for the environment.” She exclaimed, as if it was my fault.

Finally, the woman slowly made her way back to her car.  What seemed like ten minutes passed as she settled into the driver seat and stalled around adjusting the mirror, placing her lunch bag within the car and buckling her seat belt.  Then she moved the car and parked in an appropriate vehicle space “Hmmmm………..For that you need to adjust the mirror and fasten your seat belt” I thought to myself.  I guess I just came face to face with a Red-Neck tree hugger.

Why are these people so un-thoughtful for others or for their circumstances?  Why do people not understand where they should park or not park?  This isn’t rocket science here we are dealing with.  Also, what’s with the attitude?  Fortunately this poor attitude is not reflected on the roadway.

Well, that’s one of my pet peeves of finding a parking place with an RV while travelling.  What about you?  What’s your pet peeve while on the road?

Just Some Quiet Venting    –    Lug_Nut    –     Peter Mercer

Leave a Reply


  1. dwayne

    being a former otr driver, i can share the “other side of the coin” perspective as well. like the time i was getting rest in a rest area, some man sent his wife out to ask me to turn off my trailers refrigerated cooling unit cause “my husband cant sleep”. the rv’ers who only drive a motorhome or drag a trailer a few times a year and then forget they are driving a huge vehicle or have a trailer behind them.
    yes, i am now one of those “few times a year dragging a trailer behind me” people, but the lessons learned driving a tractor trailer have stayed with me. there will always be someone with their heads up their rear, but thats no reason to get upset with them. for one, they dont know they are stupid, and number two, you will soon be out of the area they live in heading for the next town and a whole new set of dummies.

  2. Jan

    I too get really annoyed at the lack of courtesy of many other drivers. However I would like to mention one thing about using turn signals. When I trained to drive a school bus they instilled in us the only thing a turn signal in another car tells you is….”it works” It does not tell you what the driver is going to do. I will not pull out in front of a car that has a turn signal on until they are into their turn. I have seen to many idiots who have their signals on and don’t make the turn.

    My other huge pet peeve is drivers who do not stop at stop signs! Slowing down and looking both ways doesn’t count people!

  3. Sucie

    Pet Peeve hmmm…Seems like the motor companies are building cars with non-working turn signals these days. And the kids are driving down the highway at 75mph with their knees on the steering wheel while texting on their phones. The ghetto cars are playing their music soooo loud that you can hear it 6 cars away and the bass is hurting your heart. Not to mention all the other stuff mentioned above.

  4. Gene0

    And as for Cracker Barrel–most of the CB’s I’ve seen do have the spots clearly labeled BUS/RV, but a) they are generally small, even for a 45′ without a toad, and b) are, as mentioned, occupied by one or more inconsiderate four-wheelers.

    On the Sunday morning of my maiden voyage, I counted on parking my new Titan/19′ Terry combination behind CB–Hah! Had a great breakfast at the Perkins down the street (adjacent to the mostly vacant strip mall).

  5. Gene0

    Just getting back into the RV lifestyle, but have been driving a 45’ motorcoach part-time for over 8 years. If space allows, and timing looks right, I will definitely scoot left to allow a truck or RV merge onto the Interstate. I have however, stopped moving left for four-wheelers, unless there is a whole string of them. I cannot count the times I have scooted left to let someone merge—before I can resume the right lane, they have pulled up alongside me, and sit there. Our coaches are governed at 70 mph—no more, no less. I can’t “goose it” to get ahead and pull in, and by the time I realize I’m stuck in the left lane, there are several more cars stacked up behind me, some of them getting ticked, and reverting to the right lane to overtake me on the right! I may kick cruise control off to let a car in, but I’m done with moving left, just to get stuck there for mile after mile.

  6. John

    Hi Lug_Nut,
    When I came across these brain cell challenged people, if we were running in a convoy or just a couple of trucks….get this……….
    we would just box them in and shutt’er down.
    after an hour or two we would go out of the truck stop and excuse ourselves for parking in the car area. Talk about effective.


  7. G Finley

    Maybe everyone should merge to the left well in advance to the entrance ramp on the X-Way. That sure frees up the ramp traffic to enter. That is what I was taught in drivers ed. I found out that neither my husband or 3 sons were taught this in drivers’. And the truckers and rvers love it when that right lane is open and they can enter easy. Back me up here current truckers and rvers.
    Also, the left and right lane info for the X-Way on the city street would be SO GRAND !!!!!.
    Not a truck driver.

  8. stanley shotz

    Maybe Glen should use a spell checker on his computer or else use only words that he can handle.

  9. Glen Schultz

    To all that wrote on pet peve about parking and public lack courties. All I can do is shake my head and feel sorry for the teachers that are trying to teach reading, writting and the most important math. There hand are tied because of class size and Bush”s no child left behind. That was a big mistake any child or person wants to get a head in this world must earn that right not given to them. Etiquet is one of the things I learned in school and at home and there doesn’t seem to be any of that taught in school of at home..??

  10. Hi Guys & Gals:
    I feel there are two types of persons – givers and takers.

    We will never change a TAKER – they have no clue as to their actions affecting others.

    Happy Camping,
    Fred b.

  11. Whew…I feel so much better letting you all vent for me:-) I was laughing out loud from reading Duffer’s response and then reading further was really on a roll with the rest of the comments. I wonder if it would help if Cracker Barrel could paint, in white letters, “RV Parking Only”. Of course, I’m going on the assumption that people would actually read it. Great article and super comments!

  12. Larry Ray

    Pet peeves….lets see, I have a few. Which one….Okay, here is my main one: People who won’t turn on their turn signal soon enough. I’m waiting at a stop sign to either make a left turn or go across. There is a string of cars coming from my right. Each and sometimes all are intending to turn right into the street where I’m sitting. Each one flips on their turn signal an instant before they turn. I’m kept sitting there needlessly because had I known they were going to turn, I could have gone ahead and went on across or turned left and been quite a ways on down the road. You see them at night ahead of you. Their turn signals come on with the brake light as they brake and make their turn. It occurs to me: why bother signaling? I was taught that one was supposed to use ones turn signal early enough so that everybody concerned, including people in front, behind and people sitting at stopsigns where I’m going to turn knew exactly what I’m doing so they could be prepared to do what they needed to do. Another peeve is cars making left turns from a left turn lane. They won’t go out to the center of the intersection and THEN turn so that they are going in a straight line when they hit the crosswalk where I’m sitting waiting for a green light in order to go across. Instead, they gun the motor and cut straight across at an angle. I’ve had to hastily back up a couple of feet to keep them from taking off the corner of my left front fender and bumper.
    While we’re at it on these pet peeves, before I retired after 31 years as a truck driver, I hated to drive at night, mainly because there always seemed to be a car drafting me with the driver holding just enough to the left in order to see down the road ahead with his high beams on and his left headlight shining brightly in my LARGE outside mirror right in my eyes. People don’t realize that trucker’s outside mirrors are NOT equipped with that nifty little device that darkens bright lights. I have heard other truckers on the CB talk about dropping a cupful of BBs or marbles out their window in order to rid themselves of that highly irritating bright light in their mirror. My trick was to turn my mirror out just a bit in order for their own bright light to be reflected back in their eyes. I have actually had to just take an exit and stop for a coffee in order to rid myself of a drafter with high beam headlights. I hate high beam headlights, especially on a two-lane highway at night. People won’t use their dimmer switch until either they’re fifty feet away or only after several reminders via blipping/flashing my high beams at them, and some only after repeated reminders, and some never do. Others have one out of adjustment so that a bright light is in your eyes no matter which way they use their dimmer switch. After a certain age, everybody’s eyes suffer from glare, which only gets worse the older you get. Mine got so bad that I couldn’t see where the road was when blinded by high beam headlights. I finally got anti-glare coating with my next pair of glasses which at least made it possible to see where I was going when blinded. After 31 years of commercial driving, I have stories to tell, a few of which unfortunately fall into the catagory of “pet Peeves”.

  13. Drew, Thank you for your kind comments.

  14. rswelborn, My refference to Red-necks is not a put down. Likewise, no foul on tree huggers either. My surprise was finding both in one person, a great contrast in a personality. No insult intended. Thank you for understanding and for your input on this topic.

  15. Drew


    These people had parents who didn’t care enough to pass on good traits, common sense and respect. You can’t really blame them- it’s not their fault, it’s just how things are these days. Still- it surprises me how some people communicate and act out.

    Good post Lug Nut,


  16. Ron

    OK… How about when you try to buy Diesel fuel ! Seems like an Easter egg hunt. The stations never put a sign on top the pump showing us where to go. Then when you find it, after blocking other customers, it is in the worst place possible for a big rig.
    Anyway a touch off subject… maybe another post later. Thanks. R

  17. mercercab

    Another pet peeve is when we pull into the Flying J’s and someone decides to eat their lunch at the gas pumps instead of pulling off to the side.

  18. Johnm

    I agree with Dave about how people enter the interstate, except for the age of the vehicle. It doesn’t matter the age, I drive a 1994 GMC Yukon and I always watch to see if I need to speed up or slow down to merge into traffic.
    It is the idiots that think you have to let them in matter what or if you can that make me mad. Also the ones that come on and then go around you just to cut back in front to take the next exit. Or the ones that cross from the inside lane in front of you to the outside lane then take the exit. Stupid people. Enough for now as I could go on and on.

  19. Geoffrey Pruett

    Can only speak for the North West but in Oregon in particular, my home state, the direction signs seem to be cookies cutter designs while the entry roads only follow the landscape. The newest or recently reworked rest stops are best but there are 2 on I5 that take some getting used too. The graphics could use a rethink, splitting the road at single or towing instead of sometimes confusing line drawings of a pick up camper on the automobile sign makes more sense. We can and do use the auto side with our 25 ft class A unless we are towing but some parking areas have impossible sight lines for backing out.

  20. rswelborn

    As a proud red-neck(a person from the south with a simple, “solve it yourself” approach to life), I take exception to your using the term to mean a low-life person.

  21. Gandalf42

    My biggest peeve is driving up a nice scenic hill and seeing all of the containers of urine throw alongside the road. Anyone caught doing that should be sentenced to a few months of picking those up and emptying them.

  22. Jim

    Here is another among the rest, people that do not stop at the white line at a red light, either in front of so you nannot make the turn or one to two car lengths behind and wonder why the light does not change

  23. Dave

    I agree with Paul regarding the lane signs with the arrow versus having the Right or Left words would be a great help in choosing the appropriate lane before you have to merge in a hurry.

    Also agree with the complaint about the on-ramp merging people driving 15 year old cars who don’t yeild to the right lane freeway traffic…..Wasn’t this a basic lesson in drivers tests or in this New Age don’t they teach that anymore? Have more than one occasion has to use hard braking to keep from running over the offening car and driver. These are true idiots !!!!!!

    How about the driver that just had to pass you only to slow down to turn off right in front of you ?????……This is also another major per peave of mine.

  24. Jim, G., Your point is well taken. I was not “stereotyping” but rather describing the person as I saw them. I total agree on your point, and believe me, I was not trying to frame a certain type by weight or dress. Thanks for pointing out your feelings. Your thoughts and input are great appreciated.

  25. Art Armstrong

    RV parking at a Cracker Barrel IS one of my pet peeves. I drive a 40 footer and pull a 24 ft trailer and there is no way that I can even cruise the CB parking lot to see if there is a open spot.
    Since our rig is so long, we often overnight at truck stops and one of my big pet peeves is a trucker that runs his engine all night, even in nice weather. What are they thinking! I’m not talking about refers, I understand that they have to keep their load cold, so I avoid parking near them. It is nice in NY as they have a, I think it is a 5 or 10 minuet, idle law.

  26. Bill

    I do enjoy the manuevering space in most interstate highway rest areas. We don’t often use the interstate, so I always look for big lots to pull off the road. I can usually find them near gas stations or restaurants and I don’t worry about them being paved, as long as they’re not muddy. It’s nice to walk around, walk the dog, enjoy the fresh air and quiet and maybe have a snack before getting back behind the wheel.

  27. Jim G

    My only gripe about the article related to the Cracker Barrel parking lot situation is the fact that the author felt compelled to describe the womans weight and Boy Scout appearance; what difference does that make? Nothing I assume so why include the stereotype description, spoiling the overall point in my opinion

  28. Gary Worrell

    My pet peeve is people who drive loud diesels and run them a long time before leaving. I am really not talking about diesel motor homes, but diesel pick ups. Last October, in the quiet of the morning, at a beautiful state park on the coast, a loud pickup ran his engine for about 30 minutes before heading out.

  29. TravelingLight2

    OK here’s one for you:

    I have heard this comment about RV’s not being environmentally friendly and I am thinking of printing up a simple fact card, probably about 4 X 7 pointing out the unknown facts of why full timing in lieu of sticks and bricks is so much better than what the average person presumes.

    My wife and I shucked the stick built home because we work trade shows and festivals for various companies within 70 miles of the Charlotte, NC area. We were tired of driving an hour or more one way to our setup, working for 10 to 12 hours and then driving home the hour or more, often for two or three daysin a row at the same location. That left our geriatric dogs and cat home alone a lot longer than we cared for and made us pretty tired (and unsafe?) to boot. Burned a lot of gas and left very little time for anything else.

    Since moving into the Motor Home we have actually more than cut our gas use in half. We have reduced our carbon footprint to almost non-existent. RV’s aren’t generally used as primary mobility vehicles, and we RVer’s as a tribe don’t usually choke the highways at rush hour.

    There are lots of environmentally favorable reasons to live in an RV and I think I will start collecting them so that I can hand them out as needed, but I hope to do it in an ambassadorial manner and I hope to keep my 61 year old attitude from getting the best of me.

    I hope to be someday as pleasuable to deal with as our friend Lug-Nut.

  30. duffer

    C’mon Pat, play the game. This is to get folks to write about their pet peeves, not to solve or forgive them. You can read, girl!!

  31. Pat

    Not sure about the ‘red-neck, tree hugger’ bit, but you sure did come in contact with yet another selfish and thoughtless person in a world where their numbers are increasing…I still consider my self a rookie RVer, but what I find is that most RVers are community-minded people by nature and who respect the other guy’s space and watch out for his or her needs…a much needed lesson in a world fast filling with self-centeredness!

  32. Maybe an organization will get donations to give to CrackerBarrel to have signs installed , otherwise it will not happen…

  33. Mikestock

    Having to share parking in rest areas with truckers has one drawback that absolutely turns my stomach. There is that everpresent urine smell and I have seen the source more than once. Many, or maybe most truckers don’t have the desency to go into the restroom and empty their containers. Just pour it right out on the asphalt.

    Sorry if the subject is offensive. It has become one of my pet peeves.

  34. duffer

    Man, don’t get me started…Left Lane Pigs who just sit out there and block while they never look left, right, backwards, or maybe not even forwards or are aware of what day it is , drivers of Cheapo-Mobiles who cut in front without signaling while they’re busy jamming on their crappy radios, small-car simpletons who brake hard in front of an obviously heavy vehicle, No-brains who pull out from side streets at the last minute in front of an obviously heavy vehicle that could send them to oblivion in a fraction of a minute, Indecisive Idiots who can’t figure out that you’re supposed to accellerate on the accelleration ramp, Tail-gate Timmy, who thinks he’s going to draft behind you like he saw on the last TV Nascar race…but he’s driving a ’78 rust-mobile with 178,000 miles as the fifth owner. And on and on. Don’t we have standards to get a driver’s license anymore?

  35. Charlie Romine

    With more & more states closing their rest areas due to lack of funds, it is going to be harder to find sufficent space to park a big rig. Most rest areas have signs posted stating trucks only in the larger lots. Maybe Cracker Barrel could do the same. My pet peeve is cars pulling onto the interstate & ignoring the yield sign they have. They believe they can force you to stop & let them in the flow of traffic. I drive a class A 40ft. with tow car. My air horns get a work out with my wife fussing at me for using them. I loose either way!

  36. Paul Bostwick

    My pet peeve is the signage for interstate hiways from the surface streets.
    They will say Interstate 5 North with an up arrow and then South with another arrow.
    But you never know which lane to be in to access the direction you want to go.
    All they need to do is put Left Lane or Right Lane under the North or South so you can make the appropriate lane change and not get everyone mad at you for trying to change lanes quickly.

  37. Alpenliter

    Lug, you have a lot more patience than I would have had.

  38. Shaine

    I’ve started just blocking in those kind of people. You know the kind; 2-4 spots with a small car in a parking lot, parking so crocked that you can’t fit in the spots on either side, parked in the fire lane because the extra 20 feet might kill them… I’ve have a ‘Thank you for parking like an idiot” card that I will leave under their wiper.

    But, in defence of the little cars, I recently saw a big Dodge crew dually with a triple axle toy hauler parked across about 20 spaces in a Sobeys lot; taking up both sides… not at the back of the lot with the rest of the RVs but with its nose in the Handi-cap spots. Out came a 40ish driver and his pet dog… which he didn’t clean up after… He got an “idiot” card and a call to the bylaw officer…