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I am planning a trip from San Diego, CA to Laredo, TX around December. The itinerary takes me from San Diego, CA to Tucson, AZ, then on to El Paso, TX on the first day; the next day it is straight from El Paso, TX to Laredo, TX. I will be traveling with my wife.

I have done this road trip several times before and I usually spend the night in a motel in El Paso, TX. I usually just sleep 8 hours, shower and check out right after. In my experience I do not get proper sleep because these motels are usually noisy at night because of their proximity to highways; loud tv-watching neighbors; or the casual group of noisy teenagers around.

Therefore I am not a huge fan of paying the $50 to $100 rate for the mediocre sleep that I usually get. So I was considering the possibility of sleeping inside my car (which does not bother me at all) and finding some place to shower the next morning.

Is it actually legal to park at some random place to sleep inside my car? Where would this be allowed? Are there any public places where one can take a shower (with or without paying a fee)?

Is my only choice to find a camping ground or RV park? Will this be cheaper (or worth it even)?

Noting that I usually cannot book anything more than 1 day in advance (I leave as soon as I get the chance), what would be my cheapest option?

marked as duplicate by choster, Newton, Giorgio, Jim MacKenzie, Community Sep 6 '18 at 23:24

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    I have no personal experience of this, but American roads are reputedly quite dangerous places to stop and sleep. I'd take the motel. – user79658 Sep 6 '18 at 3:44
  • ..or just use Earplugs – Paulie_D Sep 6 '18 at 12:04
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    Many Walmarts are OK with RVs spending the night in their parking lots (most are open 24 hours). So pick a quiet spot. Or find some BLM land near/not too far from the highway and snooze there. Do you really need the shower, or can it wait until Laredo? – Jon Custer Sep 6 '18 at 13:19
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    Welcome to TSE. I believe you will find useful answers in Traveling without paying lodging fees in America and Is it safe and legal to sleep in my car in California (L.A. area)? (although the latter is framed for Southern California, the accepted answer is broadly applicable to the US). – choster Sep 6 '18 at 15:21
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    @Paulie_D Earplugs are OK up to a certain extent, they do not do miracles in places where you find all kinds of noise disturbances... Also, I did not mention it but these motel rooms often smell of cigarette which really disturbs me. – jrojasqu Sep 6 '18 at 15:27