APUs, Hotels and More

Drivers have many options for heating and cooling, electricity, and other services while taking rest breaks while on the road. These options include parking the truck and staying in a hotel, staying in the truck and running the engine, or staying in the truck and using a range of options for both on-board and off-board idling alternatives. IdleAir offers an off-board idling solution, and is one of several companies that offers this type of Truck Stop Electrification (TSE) service. IdleAir creates value for professional drivers by saving them money compared to the cost of each of these idling alternatives.


Idling the truck’s engine burns about 1 gallon of imported diesel fuel every hour. At $3.50/gallon, a 34 hour reset would cost $119 in diesel fuel alone, not to mention the cost of wear and tear on the engine due to idling.


IdleAir offers drivers an off-board alternative to idling their engines. Drivers shut off their engines and connect to IdleAir’s heating, cooling, electricity, Satellite TV, and Internet services. IdleAir Premium Services costs $2.19/hour. At IdleAir, a 34 hour reset costs $74.46 (plus tax) and less than half the cost of idling. Plus, drivers get to enjoy unlimited electricity inside and outside the cab, 45+ channels of DIRECTV, and basic Internet service. Finally, drivers get clean, filtered, UV-treated air, and a better sleep without the noise and vibration of idling or APUs.


For taking a 10 hour break, a hotel can be a very expensive option. For taking a 34 hour reset, 2 nights at a hotel can cost $100, and include a shower and other amenities of home. Even drivers who can afford a hotel often dislike leaving their trucks and loads unattended overnight.

On-Board Idling Alternatives:

There are many on-board idling alternatives available, ranging in technology, cost, and quality. These alternatives also range widely in their fuel savings, impact on driver health, and time until financial payback. Some of these alternatives include:
• auxiliary power unit (APU)
• Tri-Pac
• Gen-Set
• Bunk Heater
• Electric inverter

Auxiliary Power Units (APUs)

APUs can easily cost $10,000 to buy and install, and may include financing fees. APUs can be too expensive for some individual owner-operators, and even for some fleets. APUs still burn about ¼ gallon of imported diesel fuel every hour, and can have significant maintenance and repair costs. APUs have a finite life, and need to be replaced. Drivers who replace their truck every 5-6 years many not transfer the APU to their new truck. APUs can add several hundred pounds of weight to the truck, and some states may not provide overweight exemptions for APUs.

As an on-board alternative, APUs go wherever drivers go. IdleAir is working with APUs so that APUs and IdleAir can both be part of the solution for drivers looking for an alternative to idling. Most importantly, IdleAir can extend the life of the APU, and help drivers protect their APU investments.

IdleAir offers ConvoyTV+Power™, which includes 120V electricity, 45+ channels of DIRECTV, and basic Internet on the touchscreen. It’s great for APU-owners, who can still enjoy all the comforts of home, but without the wear and tear on their APU.

Bunk Heaters:

Bunk heaters burn diesel fuel for heat, and can be very economical ways to keep drivers warm. However, bunk heaters do little to keep engine blocks warm or to keep batteries charged. Bunk heaters do not provide any cooling capability or electricity service for cell phones, laptops, or small refrigerators.