Saturday, February 21, 2009

Diesel lullaby

We are at Barney's Truck Stop,
in Yuma, Arizona (map).

Yuma, it turns out, has banned overnight RV parking anywhere within city limits except in developed campgrounds, making our visit here something of a challenge. Normally, we simply do not stop in such places, but our friends Jim and Pat of RV Safety Systems are staying in town, and we wanted to stop and have dinner with them.

We needed to stop here at Barney's anyway -- it is a Flying-J dealer, and currently has the lowest diesel price in the region, at $1.799. I think that may be the least we've paid for diesel since we re-launched Odyssey nearly five years ago, and I topped up the tank with 120 gallons. As long as we were stopping anyway, and dropping a couple hundred bucks, we checked our handy RVers Friend truck stop directory, which indicated "RVs Welcome" and "Overnight Parking." In addition to the house restaurant here, there are a couple of options across the freeway as well, including an Applebees.

We did have two backup options as well -- the Elks Lodge, at $7 for dry camping, and the Paradise Casino, which allows up to three nights in the parking lot. Both of those, however, were further away from where our friends are staying, in the foothills area, and had fewer dining options. So we parked here among the trucks after fueling up, and had our dinner get-together at Applebees across the freeway (Louise rode in their truck, which has only three seats, and I hoofed it across the bridge).

We've stayed in plenty of truck stops, and this one was comfortable enough. With all our windows closed -- and it was cool enough last night to close them up before we turned in -- the idling diesels merely lull us to sleep. But, sheesh, with daytime highs in the 70s and nightime lows in the 60s, why in the world would you need to idle all night? The drivers who don't pay for their own fuel are just plain wasteful in this regard, and we see this constantly throughout the country. Some idiot also idled all night at the Wild Horse Pass in this same weather, prompting us to move out of the truck parking area last week. Frankly, we are looking forward to more aggressive enforcement of anti-idling laws (and enactment of such laws where they don't currently exist).

Our stay at the Ak-Chin was also quite comfortable -- much darker and quieter than here, since we parked again in the dirt lot off the main parking area. We were a bit disappointed that their nice Agave restaurant with patio seating is no longer open for dinner. We weren't in the mood for the pricey steak house, so we just had the buffet ($11 with players' club card), which was perfectly acceptable. Casino buffets are often the best deal in the house, but we tend to shy away from them due to, umm, lack of self-control. I think we were pretty good, though, other than having dessert.

We've been on the Interstate since Gila Bend -- no other options through here. Today we will cross into California and the Pacific time zone, stopping somewhere shy of San Diego county. At least we'll be able to get off the Interstate through the Imperial Valley.

Photo by clatiek


  1. I sure enjoy following your travels around the US. I found that the Cocopah casino just on the south side of Yuma also has a great spot for visiting Rv'ers. It costs $5.00 for 3 nights but is pretty quiet and the spots although hookupless are spacious.

  2. We're jealous, we fueled up in Yuma 2 weeks ago for $1.89. Lucky you!

    Yeah, that overnight ban sucks. We had to drive all the way to Benson, and still ended up sleeping in a truck stop.

    We have some friends, the Truckersons, who have told us that it isn't necessary for truckers to idle for hours on end the way they do. Why do they do it? Laziness, according to our friends.

  3. I thought the same thing on why they idled all night. I asked a trucker at a rest stop and he said he had a fridge and a tv and wanted to run the inverter and only had what we call his start batteries and did not want to take a chance on not starting. I have seen alot more trucks with little diesel gensets now too.


Share your comments on this post! We currently allow anyone to comment without registering. If you choose to use the "anonymous" option, please add your name or nickname to the bottom of your comment, within the main comment box. Getting feedback signed simply "anonymous" is kind of like having strangers shout things at us on the street: a bit disconcerting. Thanks!