The Motor home
The Motor home
First off the Road King is a truck stop specifically designed for truckers. It is not a campsite and it is not intended for camper vans or motor homes. Despite this, the Road King will permit motor homes and camper vans to use their site for 24 hours if there is space available. The Road King does not offer water, waste disposal, electric hook up or a service point. It is solely intended to give truckers a safe and secure place to stop, have something to eat/drink, sleep and somewhere to get cleaned up before carrying on their way.
I needed an overnight stop off point for a trip to Ireland in the motor home and when I stumbled across the Road King website offering 24 hour parking (and actually letting you sleep in the vehicle), a 24 hour café and showers all within 6 miles of Holyhead ferry port it seemed the ideal place to stop the night before catching the ferry to Dublin.
Being located off junction 2 of the A55 the Road King site is easily accessible and impossible to miss. Once on the site there is a barrier (operated by a security officer) you drive through before finding a vacant parking spot. Once you’ve found a spot you simply walk over to the Road King building and pay the fare (either by cash or card). Simples.
The Road King site is huge and can accommodate loads of vehicles. I did email Road King two months before we wanted to stay to enquire whether I needed to book (on 2 separate occasions) and never received a response. Now I have used the Road King, and understand how it works I now see why. Road King doesn’t take bookings and you just turn up, park and pay. To fill the site would take hundreds, if not thousands of trucks and, in reality, this will never happen as there aren’t enough ferries sailing between Holyhead and Ireland to carry that many trucks. You will not have a problem finding somewhere to park at the Road King.
The website stated a cost of £10 to park for 24 hours, but I was charged £15. I was in no position to argue the price (it was late and I had no other alternative) so paid it. Given all I got was a somewhere to park the motor home the Road King turned in to an expensive option, especially when you consider there are many specific campsites offering pitches with EHU for £15. On the way to Road King I did notice a campsite a few miles before it, and if we do another trip to Ireland I will check this out first to see how much it charges per night before committing to stay at the Road King.
The price did include a shower, and whilst the voucher I got when I paid for the night only permitted one shower the security office very kindly gave us another one (for free) so both me and the better half could have a shower. The toilets and showers were immaculate and exceptionally clean, but this should be expected.
The only gripe I had with the cleaning facilities was the lack of sink plug, making wet shaving impossible. Fortunately, I keep my shaving brush and razor in a small takeout container (for obvious reasons) so I used this to hold the water for a wet shave.
When we first arrived at the Road King I was a little concerned it was going to be noisy and sleep would be difficult. The refrigeration trucks sat there “whirring away” – these are confined to one area and we were told by the security officer to avoid this area for a “quiet night”. Some of the truckers were talking/laughing loudly, some of them were listening to loud music and others had their TVs on very loud so I wasn’t expecting much sleep. Given that I was effectively a guest at the Road King (although I paid a lot for the privilege) I couldn’t really complain about the noise and it was a case of put up and shut up. Despite the noise when we arrived it didn’t disturb my sleep at all, but then given the long day I had I was pretty cream crackered. My better half was a little concerned about there being road noise at the Road King, but this was not an issue – even with it being on the side of the A55.
As well as 24 hour toilets there is a 24 hour café at the Road King. I have no idea what time food is served to/from and I have no idea what it the food is like, but given the smell from the kitchen the morning we left and the amount of people (and not just truckers) tucking in to a cooked breakfast the food can’t be that bad. I did have a quick look at the menu, and the prices seemed pretty reasonable. Had I not been about to embark on a 6 hour trip (comprising driving and ferry) to County Rosscommon I would have indulged in a fry up.
The Road King also boasts a bar (selling alcoholic drinks), a communal TV, a pool table and 24 hour manned security cameras. Despite the rough and ready appearance of the Road King I felt safe. I didn’t feel at all welcome – the truckers didn’t speak (but why should they? I am not one of them and I am imposing on “their” stop over site) and the ladies in the café weren’t friendly, but I did feel safe.
So would I recommend the Road King? The Road King served its purpose, but then I did pay a lot for it. £15 to park a motorhome for the night and a shower is, in my opinion, very expensive but then I guess I did sleep, I did feel safe and I could use the toilet whenever I needed to. I suppose there is also access to food, drink and light entertainment (i.e. TV and pool table) although I did not take advantage of these.
On my next trip to Ireland I am definitely going to take a look at the campsite a few miles before the Road King (and a little further away from Holyhead port) and see how the price of this compares to the Road King. If the campsite is more expensive or doesn’t have the facilities I need then I would stay at the Road King again.
About the author
A total motor home newbie with a six year camping background in a folding camper. A keen blogger sharing my experience of researching, choosing, buying and owning a motor home. and every thing that goes with it.