It’s time to hit the road on a permanent basis, so have you looked at all the possibilities when it comes to choosing your home with wheels? It sounds real cool to say you’re going to live in a van, whether down by the river or hidden in plain sight. But lets take a serious look at other options and see which fits your plan the best.
Granted for some the decision is a no brainer. If you already have a van or RV, and don’t have much money, you’re going to go with what you have. For those with financial options it’s best to do some serious planning before you make any rash decisions.
For some the word “Stealth” seems to be a key point in their decision. Being able to spend the night camping for free…Lets take a closer look at the word “Stealth”.
Being stealthy indicates you’re trying to appear as something other than what you are. That you are intentionally hiding the fact that you’re living in your vehicle. Be it a van, car, or retired bread truck, your hope is that it is accepted as part of the neighborhood without question.
If your only concern is to find a free spot to spend the night, being stealthy isn’t all that important. In fact, in some instances you will draw more attention to yourself by being in stealth mode than if you pulled in with a 40′ RV and broke out the lawn chairs and BBQ.
My point is a plain white unmarked van parked in an empty church parking lot, off in the corner of the local supermarket parking lot, or anywhere near a school is going to draw fire faster then you can say terrorist-bomber-abductor van.
On the other hand the same parking spots occupied by any of a number of RV types wouldn’t cause a passing patrol car to even slow down on their way to the donut shop.
It’s all about matching your parking spot to your vehicle. Clearly camping for free does not require being stealthy.
Vans do have their advantages that shouldn’t be ignored. Smaller and more cost effective than an RV, you can physically park almost anywhere. With care you can get well off the beaten path and find your quiet corner of the wilderness.
RVs on the other hand are often more accepted by locals as non-threatening and an indicator that the occupants are probably retired, traveling, and likely to spend some money locally. Especially in the Midwest and other tourist hot spots, they might overlook that slight infringement on some obscure ordinance preventing them from parking for the night with the hope they will have supper at the restaurant next door.
Make sure when you decide to hit the road you take a realistic look at your plans. Taking the time to match where you plan to spend the night to what your driving will help insure your sleep is blissful and most importantly uninterrupted.