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Words of Wisdom: “Don't do anything that attracts attention to either yourself or your vehicle. People cannot object to your presence if they do not notice that you are there.” – lennyflank1)

Stealth Camping

Stealth camping (sometimes called “urban camping”) means finding a place to park your camper and sleep in it with no one knowing. The goals are two-fold:

  1. get through the night without a “knock” from police
  2. do it for free


Common approaches to stealthiness include:

  • arriving late to the spot and leaving early
  • using the spot only for sleeping, not cooking or anything else
  • staying inside, and keeping all belongings inside
  • rotating spots so you are never at the same place two nights in a row
  • tinting or blacking out windows to minimize light exposure
  • blackout curtain between van cab and living space

beware local laws

Some cities or counties forbid sleeping in vehicles, parking RVs, etc. Famously, the Los Angeles law against living in a car was struck down by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals as being “unconstitutionally vague”.2)

Since the 9th Circuit covers much of the west coast this may have special value for snowbirds.3)

A similar shift occurred in 1972 when SCOTUS struck down Jacksonville, Florida's vagrancy law.4)

finding industrial areas

Some cities have for local zoning maps online5)

parked DUI

It is possible to get a DUI in a parked vehicle.6)


Normal activities like using the toilet or bathing could be considered indecent exposure if witness by the public.7) Be discreet!

Further reading and viewing


camping/stealth_camping.txt · Last modified: 2019/09/08 17:21 by frater_secessus