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Demystifying the Urban Stealth Legend
#71
I think Lenny hit the nail right on the head, actually many nails on many heads :-)

In Manhattan, you could walk down the street in red sequined boxer shorts and not much else, and no one stops you. No one particularly cares. Everyone is busy rushing around, and, as Lenny pointed out, the cops have better things to do with their time. Or so we tell ourselves.
Mostly, though, with this level of population density, you can easily do your own thing without being hectored, as long as you're conscientious about not littering, etc. What this place lacks in Nature, it more than makes up for in affording you anonymity, perfect for introverts.

As long as you obey alternate-side-of-the-street parking rules here (which are posted) so the street sweepers can get through, no one will really care what you're doing. Good to know, if you plan on passing through here to take advantage of cultural events, shopping, enjoying global cuisines, etc....
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Ray (01-13-2018), theinfamousj (11-17-2017)
#72
The ultimate stealth is being a middle aged woman in a some boring color minivan with no visible-from-the-outside mods parked in a middle class suburb.  No bumper stickers or anything that identifies the vehicle as unique other than the license plate. Also nothing in the front seats besides books.  Favorite title to put on the top of the pile: Nonviolent Communication.

I would probably make an excellent operative. :-P

Actually, the aux battery would probably give me away if anyone looked at the floorboard of the passenger seat... hmm... how to disguise...
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#73
I've lived in my van for about 550 days now and have spend, I'd guess, at least 200 nights in towns and cities. I've never had any real problems. I've had the cops come knock I think 4 times. For 3 of those, I was being lazy/daring compared to what I normally did (and didn't really care if the cops came to talk to me). The other one was a bit of a surprise but was no problem and the cop told me a place to go where the police wouldn't bother me (in fact, they did that in 3 out of the 4 interactions). I've also had an old Indian lady knocking on my van for a few minutes one morning. And I had one hoodlum kid open my side door that I somehow forgot to lock while sleeping in a crappy neighborhood(!). He was even more surprised than me, and when I told him to close the door he did and ran away.

I have a white cargo van with windows that I cover with blackout curtains. It blends in fairly well, but does have solar panels and a vent fan on top.

For over 200 nights, that's quite little, and as I said, no real trouble ever. So, I guess I'm saying that urban stealth camping is not a myth or legend, and that if you have a plain cargo van or stealthier, it's really easy. There is some extra daily work of driving to different spots (if you just try to park and stay right in one spot multiple days, you're going to have trouble)

I recently wrote this blog post on how to van-dwell in cities.

Bob has already covered the basics in his book and blog posts. They are:
- Blend in
- Minimize the duration your van is parked in the spot you sleep (when you're ready for bed, drive to a spot and go to sleep immediately. Then when you wake up, move the van again immediately)
- Don't park in the few neighborhoods who's residents are most likely to call the police.
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Minivanmotoman (01-11-2018)
#74
Given this is a site about van life much of the advice about stealth parking assumes a cargo van.

But what about a box truck? I’ve scoped our some industrial areas around here and they tend to have a random assortment of box trucks parked in them.

I had figured a box truck in light industrial areas would be pretty stealthy... and assumed that some nights I’d just stay in an RV Park. But if RV parks don’t like skoolies I wonder how they will feel about me!

The truck will have no windows, a wall between cab and box (with door so should be super light tight) but will have solar panels on the roof.

I gave scoped our Lowe’s and Home Depot and they had several trucks like this in the lot in early AM. Not stealthers, just delivery people I believe.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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#75
(11-17-2017, 12:46 AM)FALCON Wrote: I guess I'm saying that urban stealth camping is not a myth or legend
No one is saying it isn't happening.

The myth is that it's worth going to heroic lengths, taking extreme measures that compromise the usability and comfort of your rig

with the idea that "magic formula" will make you immune from discovery in an area that really wants to prevent us overnighting there.

The actual reality being that we are being allowed to to so in locations where they don't care

your being discreet, flying under the radar, considerate of the locals' sensibilities

and your presentation as a responsible, respectable citizen

are what helps that tolerance to continue,

as opposed to the illusion that the "perfectly stealthiness" of your vehicle itself acts as any guarantee.

In really hot areas like downtown San Francisco or affluent streets of Beverly Hills, when the chief says make sure to roust all vehicle dwellers, all it takes is a cheap thermal scope and hefty fines.
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Minivanmotoman (01-11-2018)
#76
(11-08-2017, 05:43 PM)This world isn\t home Wrote: As far as the need to pee goes, I've had luck with eating a handful or two of lightly salted peanuts just before bed, the salt retains the water and gets me through the night. If I drink anything (water) after 6 pm and don't have anything salty to eat, I'm up between 2 and 4 am always.

Just keep a plastic gallon jug handy. For a man, the solution is easy.
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#77
(01-11-2018, 04:54 PM)GeorgiePorgie Wrote: Just keep a plastic gallon jug handy. For a man, the solution is easy.

Go go girl gadgets

https://www.amazon.com/GoGirl-Female-Uri...B003BEDUS6
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