By Chuck Woodbury
Rest areas on Ohio’s Turnpikes, or Service Plazas as they are formally called, could serve as a good model for rest areas in other states.
An area is set aside for overnight RV parking at eight Service Plazas. I visited two locations: one had a dozen spaces, the other more (maybe 20). In one area a sign said RVs up to 40 feet were allowed. One location had only back in spaces, but another had pull-throughs, as you can see in one of the photos.
There’s nothing fancy about this type of “camping,” but for a quick stop to sleep and then move on, they’re perfect. You simply pull into a designated site, which looks like a long parking space. What is really nice is that 30- and 50-amp service is provided. The areas are lit, and I assume the state police keep an eye out throughout the night.
The cost is $20 and only one night is allowed. You pay at a self-service machine. It could hardly be easier.
A restaurant, restrooms, gift shop with basic groceries, and gas and diesel fuel are on the premises.
I imagine on a hot, muggy night, a stay in one of these places, with electricity provided, is a hugely welcomed perk for RVers on the move, who simply need to rest for a night and move on. Sure, Walmart is free, but with electricity provided at the Service Plazas, and the fact that they are sanctioned, I would think many RVers would opt for staying at a place like this rather than a store parking lot.
A quick look at Google Earth or Google Maps would show the layout for RVers who needed a pull-through site.