Home » 2009 Southeast Coast Trip

Flying J - Latta, SC

Thursday, August 6, 2009 - 6:00pm by Lolo
641 miles and 12 hours from our last stop - 1 night stay


Lazy Daze Camping in Flying JLazy Daze Camping in Flying JI read once that smell triggers more memories than any other sense. We’ve all been transported back to our grandmas’ kitchens with the mere whiff of an apple pie baking in an oven or to days on the seashore as a kid with the first waft of salt air near the Jersey shore. Less common perhaps is my reaction to noxious fumes of diesel fuel. No matter how old I get, I am sure that a whiff of diesel and the rumble of an 18-wheeler’s generator will make me smile, because for at least a moment I will be transported back to my trusty little motorhome on its first night out on a road trip.

Our trips very often start out with a first night stay at a Flying J Travel Plaza. They’re perfect for long driving days where all you need is a safe place to sleep after a long day of driving—and they’re free. This particular Flying J in Latte, South Carolina, is one that we have often stayed at on our trips South during spring break when the kids were younger. It’s about 12 hours from our home in New Jersey, which is a long enough driving day for me, and it positions us near enough to the fabulous South Carolina coastline, so that we can arrive at our destination—in this case Hunting Island State Park—early enough to enjoy a full day.

One thing we didn’t consider in our planning, however, was that a steamy August night in a truck stop (without electrical hookup) is a lot less inviting than our previous experiences on April nights. We did manage to get through, but it did get me questioning again the wisdom of heading South in August.


Flying J's are Travel Plazas that cater to truckers and RV's. Their numerous services include gas, dump station, propane, fast food restaurant, limited groceries, and even showers and a barber shop. However, the best feature of all is the section for overnight RV parking.

They are conveniently located on most of the interstates (except for the northeast).

Nomad on May 10, 2011

Great Great Great!!!!!! Thanks for sharing you have inspired me to try this. Its a taste of actual freedom and adventure.

Herb on May 16, 2011

Thanks for the comment. I'm glad we are helping others experience some of the joys of RV travel.

jkp on April 29, 2012

I can so relate to our first truck stop!! Just found your page and am exploring it.

Herb on April 29, 2012

Hi jkp,
I'm glad you can relate to our travels, and hopefully be inspired to visit some new places.

Melisa on May 27, 2013

Hi Herb!
Once again it's trip planning time for the Amory's and as has become my habit the 1st place I go after a destination is determined is your website and I'm always thrilled to find that you've traveled in the areas I'm planning to visit! You guys are better than Fodor's for travel tips! We are heading to CO this summer and I've mined all your accounts of trips out there finding great campgrounds and activities! I def helps that we enjoy the same types activities!

I'm a teacher and next Dec we get a rare 2 week break and we are planning to head to Key West & Dry Tortugas NP! My parents are snowbirds and winter in Naples so it makes sense to head down there. We have had to jump ahead and plan that trip because of the need to make reservations and so of course, I paid a visit to your website!

My burning question for you today is...how did you happen upon a Flying J, right next to 95 in August, that wasn't crowded??? I'm amazed that you were able to get a picture of your Lazy Daze with no other rigs around! Every Flying J I've been to fills up well before dark! We've stopped for fuel late in the afternoon and seen RV parking areas full - RVs clearly planning to stay the night too - TV antennas up, slideouts out, etc...

I've attached a link to my blog if you are interested in checking out my travels. Last year I bought a Class B camper van and love it! I take a lot of weekend trips near Washington DC and a big summer trip every year!

Looking forward to this summer's installment of your travels!

Herb on June 6, 2013

Hi Melisa,

I'm not sure why the Flying J wasn't more crowded... Perhaps it was the high heat and humidity? The toughest times for east coast Flying J's, seems to be during the snowbird migrations. I've gotten stuck in a few coming back from Florida in April, and it seems you need to get there in the early evening.

Good luck with Key West and the Dry Tortugas NP. I was there this March and got to camp at the Everglades in Flamingo, (no problem with space), Boyds Key West, (crowded and $85 for a tiny tent site), Bahia Honda State Park, (lucky last minute cancellation and beautiful park). I did not get to the Dry Tortugas since I wanted to camp there and later learned that you needed reservations well in advance.

Not sure how big your van is, and whether you are comfortable with "vagabonds", but I met a 70+ year old guy living out of his truck/camper conversion in the Everglades who told me I got to stay 3 days free on the streets of Key West. Seems he met the leader of the "homeless?", who told him where to park and where to move during the day to stay out of trouble.. Something a little different I'd say.

I'll check out your blog and look forward to you filling in the state parks visited page.

This summer is going to be unusual, and unstructured. Both boys have graduated college and will be moving west to Washington and California. We plan to make one last family caravan to help the boys get settled out west. Then it's just a matter of time before Lolo and I follow as well.

Flying J - Latta location map in "high definition"

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