Can You Sleep At Rest Stops In Illinois? (Law & Rules)

Can You Sleep At Rest Stops In illinois

Have you ever wondered if you can sleep at rest stops in Illinois? Look no more. We´ve got you covered.

The rules behind who is and isn’t allowed to sleep at these rest stops can be somewhat confusing.

So, can you sleep at rest stops in Illinois? Yes, you are allowed to sleep at rest stops in Illinois. In theory, the maximum amount of time that you can stay at a rest stop is 3-hours. That is the law. However, some people have been allowed to stay there a little bit longer.

As long as you are within the quoted maximum time limit for a particular rest stop, then you will have no issues being allowed to sleep there.

There seem to be two limits on how long you are allowed to stay at a rest stop.

I will talk about that throughout this page, though.

Can You Sleep at Rest Stops in Illinois?

In fact, the rest stops have literally been built for people to take a break from driving and, more often than not, this means that these drivers are going to be sleeping for a while.

How Long Can You Stay at Rest Stops in Illinois?

This is where things can be a little bit confusing.

👉 If you look at the signs for a rest stop, you will often notice that they say that you must take a ten-hour break for every 11-hours that you drive.

This means that the signs are literally encouraging you to take a decently long break every so often. now, this most likely applies to truckers and the like, but we do not see why RV users wouldn’t be allowed to benefit from these rules too.

👉 Obviously, if you are going to go over that 3-hours, then you at least need to give the perception that you are tired.

If a police officer arrives and determines that you are probably capable of driving, then they have every right to move you on.

This means that you should be staying inside of your RV at all times, etc.

Read also: Where Can You Legally Live in an RV? (Incl. 10 Examples)

Are There Rules for Staying at Rest Stops in Illinois?

Yes. You are not allowed to camp at the rest stop. This means that if you are going to be sleeping at the rest stop, then you need to stay within your vehicle at all times.

👉 Do not leave it. As we said before, you need to give the perception that you are actually resting. This means that you shouldn’t be pulling out a tent or pulling down the awning of your RV. 

You are also not allowed to make any noise while you are staying at the rest stop. There does seem to be an indication that you can cook while at the rest stop.

However, we are going to assume that Illinois functions like many other states insofar as the fact that you are only allowed to cook using a gas burner and not an open fire.

👉 Finally, you cannot leave your vehicle unattended at the rest stop. This means that you cannot leave your vehicle and go exploring the local area.

If you do that, then we promise you that your vehicle is going to end up being towed by the authorities. If they see that your vehicle is empty for long periods of time, then they will tow it without warning.

This means that you probably shouldn’t be surprised if you leave your vehicle unattended and then return to find that it is gone.

Do note that there may be a few additional rules for staying at rest stops in Illinois. Whenever you arrive at a new rest stop, it is worth checking out the rules to see whether.

Read also: Average RV Park Rates: Nationwide Campgrounds Prices per Night

What Happens if You Break the Rules for Staying at a Rest Stop in Illinois?

It depends on how seriously you have broken the rules.

👉 If you have spent more than 3-hours there but you still appear to be tired, then you likely won’t be moved on all that quickly.

The police do not want to send somebody onto the Interstate that is tired. It is likely that they will cause an accident. Well, at least the chances of an accident will go up.

👉 If you break other rules e.g. disturbing people, and trying to camp, then you will almost certainly be asked to move on. This is because you clearly are not too tired to be on the road.

That being said, even if you break serious rules, we still think that the police would weigh up the risk of sending you back out onto the road. They do not want to send somebody out that is liable to cause an accident, after all.

👉 If somebody does make the decision that you need to leave, though, then it is important that you do leave. Once you no longer have permission to stay at a rest stop, you are a trespasser.

This means that you will be ‘enjoying’ criminal penalties. This could lead to fines, a criminal record, and even a court date.

Read also: Can I Park an RV at Walmart? [Recent Law & Rules]

How Do You Find Rest Stops in Illinois?

There is plenty of information online related to rest stops. The majority of them are going to be located close to major trucking routes.

This is because they are, mostly, designed for people driving commercially or over long distances. While you may find some that are a little bit off the beaten track, these are rarer. 

Rest stops in Illinois always seem to be signposted well in advance. As we said, you can also look them up online

In our experience, rest stops in iIlinois tend to be rather basic, so do not expect the fully-serviced rest stops that you would normally find in other states.

These places are to do nothing more than rest. You may find the odd vending machine at some of them, and some will have small amounts of food.

However, for the most part, the rest stops are for you to spend a few hours and then just leave.

Check out the rest stops areas in Illinois here >>

Map Of Rest Areas Near Me

Just follow the link where you can find the map of rest areas in Illinois >>

Illinois Overnight Parking and Rest areas Rules

If you are interested in the overnight parking and rest areas rules in Illinois then just follow the link to the Interstate Rest Areas Webpage where you can see the current status.

Is It Safe to Stay at Rest Stops in Illinois?

Most rest stops are in areas that have heavy traffic. This does help to keep issues to the minimum when it comes to crime. There are always people coming and going.

However, we can never 100% guarantee that there is going to be no crime. This means that you will always have to use your own diligence to ensure that you are protected.

The police will still patrol around the rest stop areas on occasion but, remember, unless they actually see an issue then they are not going to stop.

Where possible, you should be in a group of at least 2 to help reduce the risk of there being any issues.

Read also: Tips For NON-Truckers: Are Truck Stops Safe for RV’s to Park Overnight?


Rest stops in Illinois have a maximum of 3-hours to stay at them.

However, depending on how tired you are, there may be a small amount of rule bending that will allow you to stay up to 10-hours. However, do not rely on that too much.

Generally speaking, you should only stay in the same location for 3-hours maximum before you move on.

Anything longer than that, then you best have a genuine reason to be staying at that rest stop, because the police won’t be happy you have broken the rules.

Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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