Can You Sleep At Rest Stops In Pennsylvania? [Law & Rules]

Can You Sleep At Rest Stops In pennsylvania

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

If you have an RV or truck, Pennsylvania is going to be one of the toughest states to visit if you are looking to purely sleep at rest stops.

So, can you sleep at rest stops in Pennsylvania? Yes you are allowed to sleep at rest stops in Pennsylvania but only for no more than 2 hours.

This is because their rules are incredibly tough. Seriously tough. This is a state that does not want people sleeping at their rest stops in any situation.

Can You Sleep at Rest Stops in Pennsylvania?

You can, but only if you manage to do it within 2-hours.

The state of Pennsylvania prevents anybody from staying at their rest stops for longer than 2-hours. This means that they have one of the shortest time frames to rest out of all of the states

Now, don’t get us wrong. There are a few rest stops in Pennsylvania that you will be able to stay overnight at. These are ones with a longer time limit than 2-hours. However, they are few and far between.

The vast majority of them are only to be reserved for those that are driving trucks too. This means that you can’t really pull up there with an RV.

As always, you will want to check the signposts when you arrive at a new rest stop to know exactly how long you will be able to stay there. However, we doubt that it will allow you to stay for longer than 2-hours.

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

Are There Any Additional Rules for Rest Stops in California?

Yes. You must stay with your vehicle at all times if you are parked at a rest stop. Remember, they are designed for resting, not as a base for you to be able to explore the surrounding area.

👉 You must also not pitch a tent. However, we can’t imagine that there are that many people out there that would be pitching a tent for a couple of hours anyway.

If you have an awning on your RV, then you will not be able to set that up either. This is because it will be giving the impression that you are planning to stay a lot longer than you should be staying.

👉 You are only allowed to stay at a rest stop for just 2-hours in a 24-hour period. No exceptions. This means that you cannot drive away and return to the same rest stop.

You are allowed to cook outside of your vehicle. However, it cannot be an open fire. Anything that you cook with must run on gas.

Other than that, do not make any noise. Keep your pets on a leash, that sort of thing. 

Read also: Can You Sleep At Rest Stops In California? (The Truth)

Additional Rules

You are not allowed to spend time at a rest stop located away from the Interstate from Dawn until Dusk. The second that the sun rises, you have to leave the location.

You can use the rest stops located along the Interstate at any time of the day, though. 

What Happens if You Break the Rules of the Rest Stop?

The police tend to be pretty strict about the rules related to rest stops. This means that if you spend more than a few hours at the rest stop, you will almost certainly be removed. All of the Interstate rest stops will be regularly checked.

👉 If you break any of the other rules related to the use of rest stops in Pennsylvania, then you will also be removed from the area.

If you refuse to leave when you have been asked to leave, then you will be deemed a trespasser, and this is going to lead to criminal penalties.

So, we suggest that you don’t really try to put up a fight. Due to the 2-hour time limit for the rest stops, you would have been moved along eventually anyway.

If a vehicle is parked in a location for more than 24-hours, then it will be towed away. No. They won’t tow it away if you are in the vehicle.

However, they will ask you to leave the vehicle and they will tow it away. You will need to pay a fee for the vehicle to be released from the pound.

Read also: Can You Sleep In McDonald’s Parking Lot? (The Truth)

Are There Rest Stops in Pennsylvania Where You Can Sleep?

Most of the rest stops in Pennsylvania where you can sleep will be private rest stops. This means that you will need to pay to sleep there.

These will often be used by truckers and RV users. They don’t really allow cars to park there.

That being said, some people have had no issues parking and sleeping overnight at some of the rest stops that are located far away from the Interstate. This is because they are, in theory, only open during the sleeping hours of the day.

While the rules do technically mean that you are not allowed to park there for more than a couple of hours at a time, it is generally accepted that most people will park there to sleep overnight.

However, it is important that you do not take our word for it on the last point. This is because, at the end of the day, if you do stay more than 2-hours, then you will be breaking the law.

This means that the police do have the right to remove you if they want to. However, a lot of people have claimed that as long as they were not causing any issues, then they were fine.

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

How Do You Find Rest Stops in Pennsylvania?

There are plenty of guides online for rest stops in Pennsylvania. However, it would be amiss for us to not point out that if you do head to a rest stop in Pennsylvania, you should always check the rules.

This is because things can change rather rapidly i.e. there were stricter limitations in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, and if you do not keep abreast of these changes, then you could find yourself falling foul of the law.

Remember, when you are looking for a rest stop, you probably will want to pay attention to the services that each offers.

This is especially true if you have an RV, as there may be some rest stops that allow you to empty your black water, etc. at their facilities, although these do tend to be few and far between in this state.

Is It Safe to Stay at a Rest Stop in Pennsylvania?

It should be fine to stay at rest stops. Obviously, we cannot 100% say that you will be safe because rest stops are still areas frequented by people, and this can lead to crime.

However, if you do take precautions, and we are sure that you will, then you should be fine spending the night there.

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

Map Of Rest Areas Near Me

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

Pennsylvania Overnight Parking and Rest areas Rules

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


Generally speaking, you won’t really be allowed to sleep at rest stops. While the state doesn’t have a problem with people falling asleep in their vehicle at the designated rest stops, you will only ever be allowed to stay there for a maximum of 2-hours.

This means that if you do actually want to sleep in your vehicle, then you will likely need to find a paid rest stop that you can use.

That would be completely fine. The state-owned rest stops? You are going to be asked to leave after 2-hours.

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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