Sad that stealth has to be the operating mode, but it does. I like to think I do stealth well, but then I find out something gives me away — like inadvertenly letting my parking lights stay on for the night! or blinds that I thought were blocking light not being that effective. I bought a cheap roll of the mylar stuff and cut it to fit windows. It is 100% effective and reflects sunlight, for what good that does.
You’re correct about the need for discrete behavior to not give yourself away. Your suggestions about places to park and not park are spot on. Hanging around your vehicle or, worse, partying and trashing your spot will ruin it for all of us stealth-ers. Several Camp WalMarts have revoked parking privileges because of that behavior.
The knock in the middle of the night — I’ve had it happen to me a few times and it’s disconcerting. I’ve got resources (too frugal for my own good sometimes) so I can find somewhere, but being awakened from deep sleep and having to stow stuff and drive around looking for alternatives is not fun. My newer looking van doesn’t shout “a poor person living in it!” as loudly as some vehicles, but it’s obvious that someone is living in it.
Reading the book Nomadland was disturbing because it brings to light the dire circumstances too many people find themselves in — living in RVs of all sizes and vintages, even after a lifetime of working and living “right.” I have seen plenty of RV nomads parking on streets of all kinds of cities, towns and rural areas. More of us than people know.
What’s wrong with this conversation is the reality that too many people cannot afford a place to live and have to resort to stealth sleeping in public places, or worse, abject homelessness with nowhere to go.
But as Matthew Desmond’s stellar work chronicling evictions confirms, losing housing is easy. Finding a place to live, or even park a van, not so much. And it will only get worse.
Anyhow, thanks for your posts!