Guide for American Truck Simulator – Heavy Hauling: Rest Areas
Taming the Rest Area
This guide is an effort to maintain ATS immersion; if immersion isn’t important to you, you can skip it. Or read it anyway out of curiosity.
We’ve all been there, out on the road, and getting sleepy, badly in need of a place to park for the night so we can quit yawning and almost crashing. So you pull into a rest area, and you either don’t fit in a parking spot or can’t get the dinger to pop up to let you get some much-needed rest. Or, even worse, you can’t get into the rest area at all!
To make this necessity easier, I will show you 4 ways below to ease this pain.
One thing I want you to remember before attacking any rest area, plan; before you even get to the rest area, look at it on your map; what kind of rest area is it? Pop into third-person and see if you can see the parking spaces. Does the rest area have enough open spaces for you to fit? Plan your entrance, plan your exit, plan everything. These trailers are notoriously difficult to back up, so plan as much as possible to avoid having to back one up later.
Number One, the Standard Highway Rest Area
So you’ve pulled into a rest area, managed to get into a parking slot but, you’re either sticking out the front and blocking traffic or sticking out the back and blocking traffic. Now you have drivers honking at you, making dirty faces, shaking their fists, cursing your unborn grandchild’s children, etc.
Have no fear; you can take up more than one slot, the other truckers will understand!
I’m taking up two parking slots in the image below to fit an articulating trailer that does NOT have a stinger/spreader, whatever you want to call it.
In this next image, I DO have a stinger, so I won’t be able to fit in two spaces (or even three since my tractor itself is so long). I think I’ll take up four parking spaces.
Now the traffic is happy and can flow, I can rest, so I’m happy, and immersion is saved!
Just be sure and plan, so when you pull out of the parking spot, you’re not hitting things like other trucks, fences, flower planters, been there done that. Remember, even if you can get by with two or three spaces, if you think you may need the extra maneuvering room when pulling out, take up as many spaces as you need!
Number Two, the No Trailer Parking Rest Area
Oh, I wouldn’t say I like this rest area type the most. There’s no space for trailers, and to top it off, the parking lot it does have is in a turn-off of the pass-through. And, AND, there’s always a truck camping the one spot a truck can fit, it never fails, sometimes I want to push them out of the way but, alas, yeah…
That’s fine; we can deal with this; we’re *coughs* professionals!
Did you know you can detach your trailer in the middle of a job and pick it up later? Yep, you sure can, and that’s what makes this rest area doable. You can park your trailer on the side of the pass-through! I’ll show you where I park my trailer for the night for this rest area in the following image.
Traffic can still flow, and I can catch some z’s or zed’s if that’s your thing.
And again, remember to plan; if you miss the side and you end up blocking traffic, guess what? You now get to either back up and correct and try again or carry on to the next rest area. Major bummer for you, brah, I feel your pain *fist bumps the air*.
Number Three, the Rest area With Fueling
These rest areas aren’t so tough. Sure, they’re designed for a standard load, but they’re not so bad and can be tackled easily enough once you know what you’re up against. There are two types of this rest area. While you can park your trailer at both types, neither allow resting outside the dedicated parking spots.
Once again, we’re going to unhitch our trailers for this rest area type; it’s pretty straight forward from there.
Pull in and stop next to the station sign, not blocking traffic, of course, and making sure to leave enough room in front of you between you and the truck, which is almost always there, so you can get out to rest and back in to hook back up after your rest. I say the truck, which is almost always there because when I was making these images and needed a truck to be there when I pulled into this rest area, there was no truck; go figure…
This one is a little more difficult. Pull past the cars on the left and try and get your trailer as close to the curb as possible. It’s a tight fit, and you may have to hop the curb to unhitch and hitch your trailer.
The nice thing about this rest area is you can also get fuel while you’re here, and you probably should, even if you don’t think you need to. Hey, one less stop.
Oh yeah! This isn’t just for resting with this one; you can also do this if all you need is fuel and want to play with the scale for a few minutes with your tractor. Try it out, weigh your tractor before you get fuel, then again after! If you planned this one right, you could weigh both tractor and trailer on your way out.
And as always, PLAN! Even with a rest area that appears to be as easy as this one!
Number Four, the Fueling Station with a Rest Area
You don’t see this type much as an on-highway rest area, but Canadreams has many of them, and I spend a lot of time driving in Canada; I love the hills going north out of Vancouver! The main three states in American Truck Simulator do have these on the side streets, which can help with those. Especially if you pull out of a yard and then realize you forgot to fuel up, all of a sudden need to rest, whatever.
Alrighty then! For this one, we’re going to do a lot like the last one, Number Three, but we’re parking on the street. Try and get as close to the curb if there is one but not on it if there is no curb, awesome sausage! Ok, Plan this stop so you can drop your trailer in a way that when you come back out, you’re lined up to rehitch your trailer; sometimes this may mean leaving this area through the entrance, no one will care, immersion is fine, heavy haulers are allowed certain concessions at times.
In the following image, I’ve dropped my trailer between the entrance and exit. I can leave through the exit and be lined up to back straight up to my trailer. I’ll be pulling out into oncoming traffic, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. If you’re feeling up to it, you can pull in this area and drop your trailer right after the LPG tank, but the trucks in the parking spots will hate you for this. Maybe I should do a video for this one showing the different possibilities. Anyway, the image!
I did a little more exploring with this rest area type and found that you can park the trailer on the street depending on where the propane tank is.
And as always, plan ahead, really; I know I say that a lot, but that’s because it’s important a lot!
Number Five, The Motel Parking Lot Rest Area.
If you’re feeling gutsy and like a million male deer, you can try for the Motel parking lot. This one will test your patience and your will to survive and might question your faith in humanity while backing into it.
A Very Special Authors Note: Where my truck is parked in this section will not bring up the rest dialog. This section is included as fun. Before you start bowing to me as a god for backing into this spot, I didn’t; I used the dev camera to place my truck there. :p
Number Six, Map Mod Rest Areas
Installing and using map mods is done at your own risk.
I or SCS are unable to provide support for these mods.
Please ask support questions about these mods in their respective linked forum topic.
The famous, if not infamous, Iowa 80 truck stop.
This is a HUGE rest area! Props to Mantrid for including it.
It’s big, and by big, I mean, you’ll be here a while exploring it. It’s so big it’s even considered its own city on this map! It has lots of parking and the best part, you won’t have to detach your trailer! Although I would, it makes exploring this famous in real life rest area much easier. It has a couple of fueling islands, a repair shop, and even one location where you can pick up a job (I’ll leave that one for you to find :p ).
Be wary; if you take up more than one parking space, you may find another truck has decided to use the space your trailer is occupying when you return. This will cause your truck to do Olympic quality acrobatics and may result in a damaged and lost load!
This screenshot does not show the entire rest area; it’s so big that it derezed when I tried to back my camera up far enough to see it all…
More to come as I find them.
Yep, this gets its own section.
Planning ahead is important; before I pull out of the yard after picking up a load, I open my map, plan routes, stop, fuel, rest, and everything. These heavy haul trailers aren’t forgiving and won’t hesitate to punish you when you mess something up. The more you plan, the less your chances of being punished, which even applies to rest areas.
So that’s my little guide on rest areas while heavy hauling; hope it helps, hope it saves you some pain and frustration, let me know what you think. If I missed any rest area types you’re having issues with, give me a poke, and I’ll see about adding it.
Oooooh yeah, that reminds me, there is one more type…
The open lot could be dirt, could be paved, pretty simple. They’re mostly on back roads. Pull in and park. I like to unhitch and then try to do donuts with my tractor in these. If there’s enough room, why not? Just don’t roll yourself; that would be not good…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeAYRWOAlYsIf you have a rest area that gives you trouble, let me know in the comments below, and I’ll attack it and see about adding that rest area. Let me know the closest city, the highway it’s on, the direction of travel, and approximately how far it is from the closest city if you can. You can let me know your load if you want, but I work all these out with either the transformer or the lift truck, so the stinger is involved.
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