Updated: Nov 26, 2020
Van Life Is a Serious Move!
Moving into a van seems simple but there’s a lot to learn when adjusting to the lifestyle. Today we’re going to discuss our daily parking situation and safety measures.
Stealth Camping is sleeping in your vehicle without drawing attention to yourself.
Scenario: It’s your first night of van life and you’re not sure where to park safely.
The first question you should be asking yourself is, how often do you want to be there? 90% of our camping up until the pandemic was stealth camping in van life friendly destinations. We aim for a parking spot with a scenic view first and we don’t park overnight in the same spot for more than 1-3 days. This has never been an issue for us because we’re always home in our 17ft camper van which makes things easy to pick up and go. Our van is self contained and does not require electricity to use anything inside so we stealth camp 6 days a week and stay at a campground on the 7th to refresh our van for the upcoming week.
If you’re stealth camping most of the time like us, you can use the google maps app to find an ideal spot with the satellite view feature in Google maps to avoid parking spot hunting. Look around the area and trust your gut. Ask employees at gas stations if the area is rough or not and regardless, If you don’t feel safe...Don’t park there. Ideally you want to park somewhere with minimal traffic and on the side of a fence or wall for the privacy of others as well as yours. We look for security cameras on the sides of commercial buildings and park in front of them or park where we are out of the way but still somewhat in the public’s view in case of an emergency.
If you park in neighborhoods and are concerned about break-ins, park under a street light or in front of an apartment complex where people come in and out of a main door. Park after 10PM and leave by 6:30am. Why? It’s important to be respectful of the neighborhood's homeowners. Do not inconvenience them by parking on an already busy street or by parking too early. If you allow homeowners to get home, park and make it to bed before you park in the neighborhood, you’re less likely to be noticed. Look for and read the street signs carefully to avoid hefty parking fines. I.e Street cleaning or metered parking.
Other Places We Have Stealth Camped Overnight Countless Times
In front of Neighborhood Parks
In The Mountains
24 hr Denny’s
24 hr Mc Donalds
Church Parking Lots
In friend‘s and family driveways