What is stealth camping?
Stealth camping means camping or living in a van, in a particular place that may or may not be meant for camping. However, you can park your minivan in an open place, woods, parking, or any place wherein you are not trespassing.
Is it legal?
Stealth parking is completely legal if you are parking your minivan in an area that is not disturbing the routine life of people living in that place. Also, your stealth parking should not obstruct traffic or create any trouble for the people in that area.
While living in a van, remember every city and countryside has some rules and regulations connected to stealth camping, and you should go through those before making your decisions about camping in a particular place.
Parking lots are generally legalized for stealth camping but make sure they are open 24 hours. However, stealth camping can turn into an expensive affair if you trespass or camp in a restricted or covered area.
Stealth Camping Tips For Van Life
#1 Keep Your Van Clean and Tidy
The more tidy and up-to-date you keep your van, the less you will fall in trouble. Plus, living in a tidy van is always a good habit. The van should be within the limits of the prescribed vehicle dimensions, and you should not have extra hangings or decorations popping out of your van.
Nonetheless, your van should portray that you are a law-abiding and responsible citizen. Your van should blend in with the environment and not stand out or be too noticeable. This tip helps you more if you plan to do stealth camping in your van.
#2 Do Not Disturb people/neighborhood
If you are living in your van, you will tend to use the fan or AC. So, assure the minimum possible noise, or park your van away from residential areas. When you access your van while living in it, frequent shutting and opening of doors, windows, or roofs should also be avoided.
Moreover, when you are stealth camping and living or sleeping in the van, make sure to keep the lights dim, curtains down, car windows tinted, and noise minimal.
#3 Park Or Stay Overnight In A Safe Place
When you choose stealth camping, you have to be extra careful about your safety. Spend overnights, continue living in the van or park your van only where you feel safe.
This safety measure has to be particularly kept in mind when you are living in a city. If you have the slightest intuition that the neighborhood is looking a bit tricky, move away instantly.
#4 Make provisions for Toilets
When living in a van, you need to be well prepared for nature’s call in the middle of the trip or during the odd hours. You should know about this if you have been a camper before. Try to build a toilet in the van or use a pee jug.
However, the new vans come with an inbuilt washroom. So, try getting one if you are planning to live in a van. But, if it is out of your budget, make sure to devise a plan for emergencies.
#5 Don’t stay in the same place for long
Staying in the same place and living in the van for long can get monotonous for you and annoying for the residents. It might send wrong indications that you are capturing the place. You might not be doing so, but living at a place for a very long time may attract trouble.
#6 Ask & Obey
Be polite to the people in your surroundings, while living in a van. If you violate any rules unknowingly, be apologetic. Try to follow rules and obey them under every circumstance.
Also, abide by the laws and if you do not understand anything when living there or stealth camping, or are confused about certain things, do not refrain from asking. Neighbors can be supportive about stealth camping if you appear to be jolly and friendly.
#7 Work the cost
Living in a van can be expensive so you need to work out the costs properly to avoid surprises. Stealth camping starts from the cost of the van or minivan, its maintenance, permits, visas (if you are traveling to different countries by road), food, shopping, rentals of place (if camping grounds charge), and unplanned expenditures.
You need to be well prepared in advance by planning your expenditure if you are deciding on stealth camping or living in a minivan.