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City vandwelling advices (Orlando)
#1
Hello! I've been married for almost 8 years and now I'm getting divorce. While I was married we used to travel in a travel trailer and I've learned and enjoy a lot this kind of life and trips. Now I'm thinking to do it to save money but overall because I want it and I like it. I live in Orlando and I have a fixed job so I can't go too far from the city, I still young, I'm not retired, also I have a strong Hispanic accent and I'm not totally fluent in English which I feel it may be pretty bad if I have a situation with cops (I'm very polite and respectful person).
I was thinking to get a van class B RV and move in the city among some friends houses and family members drive ways at least at the beginning. What I would like to get from you guys, people with experience living this life and knowing what my situation is... What do you think? should I go ahead and try it? too risky? I need any advice counting all the variables I gave, Orlando, hispanic young guy, not good English, RV class B Van.
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#2
I say go for it and try it out. If you keep your van and yourself in good shape and are polite and respectful with others you meet I doubt you will have much of a problem. I think the majority of run ins with police are when someone is parked where they really don't blend in and someone calls the police which forces them to come check you out.

I think every city is a little different but there are always places to blend in. I'm in Phoenix right now which before I started to stay in the van I thought might be more dificult to find places to stay like I always find in Southern California. When I go to San Diego or LA there is so much street side parking that I fit right in. In Phoenix everything is so spread out that most people can park in there own spot in an apartment or in their driveway at home. Street parking isn't that common.

But if I go into Tempe which is a big college town and much more compact and crowded there is plenty of overflow parking where I don't draw attention to myself.

You might as well try it if it is something you are interested in. Otherwise you might end up regretting that you ever tried. As to english not being a strong language for you. Your post seemed well thought out and very clear so maybe it is better then you give yourself credit for. And it can only get better as time goes by.
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GeorgiePorgie (12-29-2017), Kernel32 (10-10-2017)
#3
I have lived in TX most of my life, at least until I turned 40.  In many states there are some towns that have city ordinances about what a person can park on their own property.  One place in TX that I remember you couldn't even park a boat in your yard on the grass, gravel or concrete was OK.     In Farmers Branch TX some neighbors got a little excited when I parked a cabover KW in my front yard, well it did put the other trucks in the neighborhood to shame. 
 What can I say.......Shiney 2 tone blue with red pinstriping Smile                  Huh I don't like town living.  

You might drive around in your friends and family members neighborhoods.  What do you see parked there often and where is it parked?  Would your rig blend in there? 

I've not been to the area however there may be other places to park like state or federal parks and even a campground.  I've heard that Fl is expensive to RV in.  Hopefully someone that knows the area will speak up.  Also there are web sites for free camping....I can't think of them right now, sorry.  You may get lucky and have no problems at all, and then maybe not too.

Good Luck

Jewellann
 It's too bad that closed minds often are not equipped with closed mouths
               That's All I Have To Say About That.........Forrest Gump 
                           I'm Not Here Dodgy  You Didn't See Me     
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Kernel32 (10-10-2017)
#4
Camping in FL is GREAT!  I live in Central FL and there are a lot of great places to go.  I think to get started by staying in friends and relatives' driveways sounds like a great way to get the feel for it.   Hey, you're not far from Sanford.  I think there are some hunting lease clubs in Sanford.  I'm looking at joining a hunt club (I don't even hunt) that has camping.  Some of them even have stocked ponds or lakes if you like to fish.  I found one club that had full hookups!  And you just pay an annual fee (seems to range from 500-1500 a year) that allows you to hunt and/or fish on the acreage and camp on your designated site.

There are so many options in FL and year round good weather.  You'll find a lot of opportunities here.  

I also saw some dirt cheap land next to National Forest land in Paisley, FL, not too far from Orlando.  It was soooooo tempting.  I went out and looked at the property and it was really gorgeous there.

I talked to a guy who is stealth camping in Orlando, and he said NOT to insulate your van.  The reason is, you want the heat to go out of the van and in the evenings his van is actually cooler than the outdoor temp.  I'm not sure how that happens, but it's something to note.  I didn't insulate my rig either.

Welcome to the lifestyle!  I'm just getting into it myself.   Hope your trails and travels are awesome ones!
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Txjaybird (10-10-2017), Kernel32 (10-10-2017)
#5
(10-09-2017, 10:52 PM)deadwood Wrote: ...You might as well try it if it is something you are interested in. Otherwise you might end up regretting that you ever tried...

Yes, that's exactly what cross my mind all the time...

(10-10-2017, 12:42 AM)Txjaybird Wrote: ...You might drive around in your friends and family members neighborhoods.  What do you see parked there often and where is it parked?  Would your rig blend in there?...

I planning to get a class B van it's not gonna blend very well like a cargo/sprint van. Why Am I going to get a class B? mainly for 2 reasons, one is the weather in FL, it is too hot for me and I'm going to need a generator running probably for a few hr every day during summer. Second I guess I'm jumping too far too fast going from a  house directly to a stealth van and that way ruin it all. I don't want to make a big fail of this.

(10-10-2017, 02:52 AM)wasanah2 Wrote: Camping in FL is GREAT!  I live in Central FL and there are a lot of great places to go.  I think to get started by staying in friends and relatives' driveways sounds like a great way to get the feel for it.   Hey, you're not far from Sanford.  I think there are some hunting lease clubs in Sanford.  I'm looking at joining a hunt club (I don't even hunt) that has camping.  Some of them even have stocked ponds or lakes if you like to fish.  I found one club that had full hookups!  And you just pay an annual fee (seems to range from 500-1500 a year) that allows you to hunt and/or fish on the acreage and camp on your designated site.

There are so many options in FL and year round good weather.  You'll find a lot of opportunities here.  

I also saw some dirt cheap land next to National Forest land in Paisley, FL, not too far from Orlando.  It was soooooo tempting.  I went out and looked at the property and it was really gorgeous there.

I talked to a guy who is stealth camping in Orlando, and he said NOT to insulate your van.  The reason is, you want the heat to go out of the van and in the evenings his van is actually cooler than the outdoor temp.  I'm not sure how that happens, but it's something to note.  I didn't insulate my rig either.

Welcome to the lifestyle!  I'm just getting into it myself.   Hope your trails and travels are awesome ones!

Thanks! you gave me too many good ideas! Yes, Sanford is close to Orlando, and it's not too far from my job, I could try that hunting club.
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#6
Don't stay anyplace for too long. Your host should know if there is neighbor concern. Making the extra trip to camp on weekends can be very nice and a way to explore your options.

You might want to consider a stealthy vehicle. A piss jug and an ac system aren't that hard. For the AC a power cord or a generator are going to attract attention regardless. Keeping your costs low is good and a cargo van could also expand your work options depending on your field.

I am now housed but having a rig ready to go is a great asset and comfort.
-Douglas Tooley

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Kernel32 (10-11-2017)
#7
I have a warehouse in South Orlando were i run a small painting company. Within 1 mile of my shop there are 2 rv motorhomes parked, one on a side road where semi park ( been there 6 + months ) and 1 behind a warehouse for 3 + months

Might add this is a industrial area

even at my complex a few years ago a couple lived in Motorhome that was plugged into a warehouse here for 2 years ( with owner permission ) without leaving and never had a problem with the city. I think industrial area are more forgiving

Being i have i have 5 vehicles i don't have room but i am sure you could find a safe spot

As far as language here speaking spanish & english is a big plus  

you also have Seminole State Forest very close to Orlando that has boondocking camping at around $9 a night
Just understand it offers nothing as far as water / bathroom  but you have fishing, kayaking onsite and every time i have camped i was only one there
Jumper camp site is the 1 i use just beware i had a bear this weekend
https://floridastateforests.reserveamerica.com/
I am good with good .... Wonder how she feels about me ?
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Kernel32 (10-11-2017)
#8
(10-11-2017, 02:49 AM)DLTooley Wrote: Don't stay anyplace for too long. Your host should know if there is neighbor concern. Making the extra trip to camp on weekends can be very nice and a way to explore your options.

You might want to consider a stealthy vehicle. A piss jug and an ac system aren't that hard. For the AC a power cord or a generator are going to attract attention regardless. Keeping your costs low is good and a cargo van could also expand your work options depending on your field.

I am now housed but having a rig ready to go is a great asset and comfort.

I'm not going to stay too long at any public place, totally right. About the stealth vehicle... your points are hard to beat to be honest, it's just I don't feel comfortable at this first step going straight to a cargo van. The only thing that comes to my mind is that in a cargo van looks like I'm hiding something which I don't really like that feeling. But I'm not totally sure on this point yet. Thanks for your comment!

 
(10-11-2017, 06:01 AM)Florida boondocker Wrote: I have a warehouse in South Orlando were i run a small painting company. Within 1 mile of my shop there are 2 rv motorhomes parked, one on a side road where semi park ( been there 6 + months ) and 1 behind a warehouse for 3 + months

Might add this is a industrial area

even at my complex a few years ago a couple lived in Motorhome that was plugged into a warehouse here for 2 years ( with owner permission ) without leaving and never had a problem with the city. I think industrial area are more forgiving

Being i have i have 5 vehicles i don't have room but i am sure you could find a safe spot

As far as language here speaking spanish & english is a big plus  

you also have Seminole State Forest very close to Orlando that has boondocking camping at around $9 a night
Just understand it offers nothing as far as water / bathroom  but you have fishing, kayaking onsite and every time i have camped i was only one there
Jumper camp site is the 1 i use just beware i had a bear this weekend
https://floridastateforests.reserveamerica.com/

This kind of places is what I'm looking for. Where I can pay a very little just to stay overnight and this way I can avoid having to look for a spot every night on the streets. Send me a pm in case you get a empty spot, anyways I'm still in process, I'm not ready yet. I think I'm going to be on the road in a couple of months.
About english and spanish let say I have one and a half yet. States parks is a good option for my days off, I really love them. Thanks!!!
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#9
I just wanted to say thanks for the comments I keep every advice in mind. I'm still in process of selling my travel trailer and pick up truck, which gives me some time to correct errors and make a thoughtful plan. Thanks!
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Steve in Micco (11-13-2017)
#10
I work in the Melbourne (FL) area, what Orlando International Airport refers to as "Orlando beachside". I will second the notion of industrial parks, as I see  full-time boondocking (albeit mostly w/ larger M/Hs and Winnies) on a regular basis here. Most likely though, the dwellers have some connection to the building owners.

But also nestled amongst the warehouses are several privately owned auto/truck repair and paint shops. It is not uncommon for me to see many a vehicle of various stripes and flavors parked in the swale area in front awaiting servicing. Generally by sun-up it is time to move on so as not to scare off the natives.

Would make sense of the old adage of hiding a rock amongst other rocks.
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