While planning my future campervan I have kept the idea of stealth in mind from the get-go. Stealth vehicles are designed to not stand out in any city and – most importantly – to not alert passers-by that someone is camping or living inside.
If you’re like me and have never lived in a car, van or RV, you might wonder why stealth is important. The reasons are many and most are pretty straight-forward. A lot of vehicle dwellers who live or work in cities have horror stories about the police knocking on their windows in the middle of the night. In some cities it is illegal to camp in a vehicle, let alone live in one, so the midnight window tap could be a cop telling you to move on, or even to issue a citation. Blending in and looking like just another work vehicle parked for the night also means a lower likelihood of being robbed or bothered by criminals who would be interested in a traditional RV. Plus it makes parking for the night easier – just pull up next to a commercial building and leave early in the morning — if your vehicle is outfitted correctly everyone will assume it belongs to the business or is making a late delivery.
Ana and I primarily want a campervan for camping out in the wilderness on fishing trips. When someone comes across a van in a campground or next to a lake with no tent pitched nearby, they’ve got to figure the people are inside the vehicle so why should we be worried about stealth? We might occasionally pull over in a parking lot for a nap on our way to the next fishing hole, but that’s not really my concern. But I do worry about the times I’ll take the van out on my own for writing trips and research. I’ll be more likely to spend time in cities or towns then – as meeting people, getting a feel for a place, and generally wandering around downtown are all good ways to gather information and find inspiration. And since I’ll be alone (and a lone woman makes a nice target) blending in and keeping people from realizing I’m in the van will be important when it comes time to find a place to park for the night.