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Old 01-12-2020, 04:25 PM   #1
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Default stealth vans

i see many people doing what is called stealth vans and some are pretty innovative with idea's etc. and i see where some places in florida let people camp for free so i wonder if it wouldn't be better to get a regular class b campervan and if you want to personalize it have some custom work done inside . after all the van is already built , cabinets etc. maybe just add the roof mounted solar cells and double batteries and converters . i know the van wouldn't be stealth but if camper in some area's (staying overnight) can be done at truck stops, wal mart, etc. then it seems it would be easier .
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Old 01-12-2020, 05:10 PM   #2
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Some folks do this already. I'm set up to perpetually boondock with 150 watts of portable solar and running just one group 29 Walmart battery. I do have to come out every two weeks to freshen up the water tanks and every once in a while get propane.

If I had a marine fridge I would bump the solar up 50-100 watts and revisit the battery situation. If the current fridge goes, though it still performs well, I'll likely get one of the Danfoss compressor kits for it or a new fridge from truck fridge. I'll not replace with an LP unit.
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Old 01-12-2020, 05:18 PM   #3
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on cheaper living rv(if that's the correct name ), the guys tells how you can have one drivers licence from one state and boondock and stay in other states , is that what you do , without a physical address ? one guy told me he didn't want to invent the wheel just use something as is and remake it better . in another words it's easier when it's already built and just customize it . thanks for replying .
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Old 01-12-2020, 10:35 PM   #4
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You can boondock in any state, even if you live there.
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:28 AM   #5
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A true “stealth van” has no exterior windows, vents, or fittings to conceal its use as a camper. Pretty much any van that has been commercially fitted out as a camper will announce its presence. As long as you aren’t intending to circumvent overnight parking ordinances, the latter is a better starting point. You’ll get more features for less money than building from scratch. People that build from scratch usually do so because they want something that’s not available ready-made. So-called stealth vans are a subset of home built camper vans.

I don’t know about Florida, but bans on overnight RV parking on streets or parking lots are common in coastal California and other popular tourist destinations.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:26 PM   #6
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I wouldn’t want an “rv” for a few reasons, including black tank, exterior body treatment, typically anemic solar system, and way overpriced.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
A true “stealth van” has no exterior windows, vents, or fittings to conceal its use as a camper. Pretty much any van that has been commercially fitted out as a camper will announce its presence. As long as you aren’t intending to circumvent overnight parking ordinances, the latter is a better starting point. You’ll get more features for less money than building from scratch. People that build from scratch usually do so because they want something that’s not available ready-made. So-called stealth vans are a subset of home built camper vans.

I don’t know about Florida, but bans on overnight RV parking on streets or parking lots are common in coastal California and other popular tourist destinations.
When we visited my mother-in-law in Naples, FL, the security guard at her gated community would often remind us that campers were not allowed to park overnight in the community. My wife's mom suggested we just "forget" to move it. We never got busted!
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Old 01-15-2020, 06:18 AM   #8
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Default No windows, vents, etc.... would not appeal to me

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A true “stealth van” has no exterior windows, vents, or fittings to conceal its use as a camper. Pretty much any van that has been commercially fitted out as a camper will announce its presence. As long as you aren’t intending to circumvent overnight parking ordinances, the latter is a better starting point. You’ll get more features for less money than building from scratch. People that build from scratch usually do so because they want something that’s not available ready-made. So-called stealth vans are a subset of home built camper vans.

I don’t know about Florida, but bans on overnight RV parking on streets or parking lots are common in coastal California and other popular tourist destinations.
That's called a panel truck... and it's not going to be very comfortable... That means no HVAC, no air circulation in the back, etc....

Sure, I suppose you can do it?

I have to say that our van doesn't scream "camper" like many Class C's, but, we've taken it to places where they are supposed to charge more for RV'S and they just charged us for a regular parking spot.... apparently they didn't notice our awning.
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Old 01-19-2020, 05:51 PM   #9
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I wouldn’t want an “rv” for a few reasons, including black tank, exterior body treatment, typically anemic solar system, and way overpriced.
Because it's so much more convenient to go dig a hole in the middle of the night or during a rainstorm than empty a black tank now and then. Or even better to have your porta potty under your dinette table or a close with your food.
Plus not all RVs have black tanks. Some have cassette toilets
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:19 PM   #10
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Default No Excuse Not to Try Existing ClassB

Hi. I really think there’s just no good reason not to try an existing ClassB, rather than go the route of from-scratch building. If your reasoning is solely based on the “free camping” concern, I’ve had my 1997 Roadtrek for a year and I have only paid to stay 1 time on 10 trips out in 8 different states. Dumping and refilling tanks has been no issue at all and I LOVE having a place for everything and everything in its place. I shopped based on price, locale and amenities. I paid less than $30K (a good bit less than a from-scratch van priced-out), she has low miles and I’m having a blast with everything and more than I could possibly need. The stress and expense of building-out a van sounded kinda cool and exciting, but I just could not talk myself into the extra expense and hassle when that from-scratch van would have very few of the amenities of a ready-made.
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:41 PM   #11
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I think that basing a decision on if you can get away with camping where they don't want you to is probably not the best idea for many people. We spent a lot of time on highway one from San Francisco and north to near Portland two years ago. Stealth appears to be the norm along that route, but even the best of them were quite easy to spot for us, so you know that enforcement folks in the areas there also can spot them easily. As more and more small RVs ares showing up, I think there will be fewer and fewer free spots around. Of course I could be wrong, but with the way some abuse the method they seem to be getting tighter and tighter on it in a lot of places.
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:11 PM   #12
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Stealth is a myth. Roadtrek Adventurer has the tell-tale graphics, awning, etc., but even without, it would look like what it is. And that’s perfectly OK.

I chose to DIY on a 136” WB PM, and I’ve never regretted the decision. I’ve never seen a commercial unit that could give me anything close to this.



Plus, every component is of the quality I consider appropriate. The construction is sound. I have everything I want, like microwave, induction cooktop, toilet, indoor hot shower, chest fridge, 18 big drawers, maximum 360° windows, fixed bed, Marmoleum floor, and don’t have the things I don’t want, like upper cabinetry, tanks, plumbing, propane, or an aisle.
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:23 PM   #13
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another thing to consider is the fact that, with so many free camping spots now available - Harvest Hosts (LOVE!), Walmart, CrackerBarrel, Camping World, Cabella’s, BLM, etc., etc. - is there really a need to go “stealth”? I just haven’t found the need to even consider it.
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Old 01-20-2020, 06:17 AM   #14
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We travelled in a Pleasure-Way Lexor for 4 1/2 years and now travel in a Winnebago Travato. We have never had a problem finding free overnight camping, For longer stays, BLM and Army Corp Engineers are great. We ogten extended stay at ACO in KY for $4/night. Many state parks offer camping at under $20/night.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:00 PM   #15
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I would say the only problem we have ever had with the black water system on our 2000 RT190 V was getting over the anxiety about using it!
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:35 PM   #16
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Because it's so much more convenient to go dig a hole in the middle of the night or during a rainstorm than empty a black tank now and then. Or even better to have your porta potty under your dinette table or a close with your food.

Plus not all RVs have black tanks. Some have cassette toilets


We have a composting toilet. It’s no where near our food. It works perfectly!
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:38 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by MsNomer View Post
Stealth is a myth. Roadtrek Adventurer has the tell-tale graphics, awning, etc., but even without, it would look like what it is. And that’s perfectly OK.

I chose to DIY on a 136” WB PM, and I’ve never regretted the decision. I’ve never seen a commercial unit that could give me anything close to this.



Plus, every component is of the quality I consider appropriate. The construction is sound. I have everything I want, like microwave, induction cooktop, toilet, indoor hot shower, chest fridge, 18 big drawers, maximum 360° windows, fixed bed, Marmoleum floor, and don’t have the things I don’t want, like upper cabinetry, tanks, plumbing, propane, or an aisle.


GREAT build!!!
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Old 01-20-2020, 06:17 PM   #18
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I think that basing a decision on if you can get away with camping where they don't want you to is probably not the best idea for many people. …………………………..
Well stated. The first time I learned about a stealthy campervan attribute was on the Sprinter Forum where I shared my conversion progress and since I think it is an oxymoron, stealthy camping? how about stealthy camping near a kindergarten? how about a stealthy camping on Union Square in San Francisco.

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Stealth is a myth. …………………..
Short to the point!
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Old 01-22-2020, 12:55 AM   #19
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Stealth is definitely a myth. You can spot the "stealth vans" easily and law enforcement is very savvy to what people are trying to do. With the explosion of van life, it is out in the open.
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Old 01-22-2020, 01:01 AM   #20
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Stealth is definitely a myth. You can spot the "stealth vans" easily and law enforcement is very savvy to what people are trying to do. With the explosion of van life, it is out in the open.


Yeah, those evil people. Hopefully society will eventually reintroduce the idea of a class system so that the upper crust doesn’t need to have any unnecessary interactions with the lower classes.
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