Trulyvintage

Trailer Friendly Motels To Stay At On The Road

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A constant challenge when you are traveling with a vehicle in a trailer is where to safely stay at a motel for the night - particularly in extremely cold weather.

 

I drive a diesel truck & use a block heater so it is essential I stop somewhere safe that has a 120 volt plug in a close distance from my truck.

 

In Peoria, Illinois .... 

 

Baymount Inn off I-74

 

70 feet parking space as you enter the property 
Electric outlet at end of your building or your room
$56 with coupon 

 

Can you recommend somewhere you have safely stayed ?

 

Jim

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I use my tablet on the road, go to the satellite view of the lot, and figure out if they have good parking at or near the hotel. Usually I have very expensive cars, so I like to be able to see the truck from my window, sometime I have to pay more.....most of the time I don't. Best tip is get up and on the road EARLY- 4 am is best, then I stop by 3 or 4 in the afternoon, beats the worst of the traffic, parking is easy, early dinner and off to bed. Many years of on the road teach you to find your sweet spot. I tend to stay at places I have in the past 80 percent of the time...........too may years and too many miles behind the wheel.......

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I plan all of my trips pulling the trailer in advance using Google Earth. First I figure how far I want to drive each day which is usually between 500-600 miles. I use a road atlas to see approximately where that will put me each night. Then I google hotels in that area, writing down the addresses of several. Then I "go" to those addresses via Google Earth. It allows me to look at each hotel from above as well as ground level on all sides. You also can see the restaurants, service stations, etc around the hotel. Usually I'm able to find hotels with great parking, and a restaurant that I can walk to within a block, so as not to have to move the rig from its choice parking spot. I then make hotel reservations for the whole trip. It's amazing how much easier this makes a trip. Exhausted, with darkness coming in strange country, I already know exactly where I'm going for the night, with no worries about trailer parking, and I have a room. If I were to break down, rooms further along in the trip could still be cancelled if need be. My last trip was Danville, Va to Boise, ID and back, returning via a different route and every hotel stop went without a hitch. ( no pun intended)  Not sure what to tell you about the block heater. I have an F-350 with the 7.3L diesel, but I try to avoid long trips in the winter unless I"m headed further south. Looking at the hotels using Google Earth would show you how close to the building you might expect to park your rig however.

 Two related points: I use Google Earth to check out ANY address I've never been to before. Besides showing me what it looks like ( a big help in the city), there is a safety aspect - I know what I'm getting into neighborhood - wise. Good idea when answering for sale ads. The second thing is that I have a 105 gallon fuel tank in the bed of my truck behind the cab. I originally installed it because I had a dozer and a large excavator, but it is really handy when pulling the enclosed trailer. Instead of worrying about finding a station that has diesel and whether or not I can get into said station with the rig, I simply zip into a rest area, fill up the truck, use the facilities ( a jug in the trailer} and I'm gone. BIG time saver and I can go 1300 miles without needing to find fuel. Of course , you may already have an aux tank that you can feed from while driving, but hey, I gotta stop to use the jug anyway, lol. 

The main point: Use Google Earth ( or similar) for planning your trip !

Edited by Penske PC-7 (see edit history)
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When planning a trip involving pulling my trailer I too use Google Earth to check out the area around prospective hotels, fueling stops and interstate rest areas.

One thing others here forgot to mention or do not realize is that one needs to be VERY CAREFUL when looking at the satellite views on Google Earth.  When using Google Earth to look at a location from say 500' above, that view will have a Date Stamp usually in the lower right corner as to when that view was last updated. When one switches to the "Street View" the Date Stamp on that view CAN AND USUALLY IS DIFFERENT( IE OLDER) in some/most cases. The older the date stamp on either view, the more likely the area has CHANGED and that can impact one's decision as to the suitability of using that location on a towing trip. Over the last few years of traveling to AACA Meets I have found that a few older Google Satellite views had given a VERY misleading view of things. In one case a BIG, Empty parking lot shown on Google Earth was now filled with a new addition to the hotel. Lucky for me I saw the older date (2 years old) and avoided that hotel. The same holds true for fueling stops. An older google Earth view showed a nice easy-in, easy-out fuel stop. unfortunately, new businesses had been built since the last Google Earth view was taken and the fuel stop was far from easy now. Bottom line, Google Earth is a GREAT Tool to use when planning a towing trip. Just be sure to CHECK THE DATE on the Google Earth view(s) you are using before making a decision.

 

I also use Google Earth and Turnpike/Interstate information web sites to check on the size of Turnpike and Interstate Highway rest stops and travel plazas. Over the years as these areas on the PA Turnpike and I-81 have been remodeled, the size of their trailer parking areas and access to fuel pumps in a few cases have changed (ie the number of spaces have been reduced, pumps moved, etc). I put together a list of this information when I travel to refer to. Depending on the time of day and the number of trailer parking spaces I may skip a stop because I know there is a high likelihood that there will not be any spaces available. I also check out what type of parking spaces a location has. Some locations have pull through spaces. Others require backing into spaces. Still others due to vehicles parking in some spaces require parallel parking to get one's rig into an empty space. I used to dread parallel parking because I travel alone until I installed a wireless camera on the back of my trailer. 

 

Back in 2012 before I started researching Hotels, etc when traveling with a trailer (like I do now) I got very lucky on one towing trip to Tennessee. On that trip I was going to stay at a hotel outside of Knoxville. When I arrived at the hotel I found the trailer parking was not very good the hotel was not very well lit and the neighborhood not so good. After seeing that I got back on the interstate and decided to look for another place to stop for the night. I found a small Days Inn right off I-40 (Harriman, TN) that had trailer parking visible from the rooms, a well lit lot, a McDonalds and another Restaurant within walking distance. The place could use updating but was clean, the staff friendly and the cost VERY reasonable. While this location does not have a lot of trailer parking spots I got there around 4-5 PM midweek and had my pick of spots. Two years later in 2014 I stayed at this hotel again and had the same trailer parking space with a room close by.

 

When planning trips these days I enter the name, address and phone number of prospective hotels in my Google Contacts. I use "0001" in front of the name of the hotel so all the hotels are at the top of my contact list. Doing this allows me to use Google Maps ton my smartphone or tablet to get directions to the hotel I have chosen for that night. I also use google contacts for the final destination hotel for AACA Meets, trailer parking for meets and other meet activities. This makes the entire trip MUCH MORE enjoyable.

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