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Dining, Drinking and Stealth Urban Overnighting?
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ysquared
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:53 pm    Post subject: Dining, Drinking and Stealth Urban Overnighting? Reply with quote

(I did search the forum on this subject, but wanted some input on this specific scenario)

Last year, when finally convincing myself to embrace my rampant Westy Fever and move ahead with a purchase, I processed the many advantages of owning a vehicle you can sleep/camp in. One of those advantages being ... Driving to a neighboring town on a Fri./Sat. evening, having dinner at a nice restaurant with friends, drinking some great California wine, then curling up in the back of the Westy and sleeping it off until the next day.

I happen to live on the Central Coast of CA (Pismo Beach). An incredibly beautiful and advantageous area to own the "Swiss Army Knife of Vehicles." Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending on your outlook) my county is a "no tolerance" drinking and driving area. It provides an incredible income to the county coffers during tourist season, and local police are notorious for their strict DUI tactics.

Here are my questions for fellow Sambaites on this subject ...

- Has anyone ever been rousted when in this situation? i.e., stealth overnighting while on streets.

- Have you ever gotten arrested - ticketed for such?

- Do you have advice on how to limit your exposure when you want to do this?

- Obviously you wouldn't want to pop-the-top when overnighting on a street, but what about it all curtained-up?

To be specific, I'm not talking about getting a campsite, parking the van, walking somewhere for dinner, and coming back to sleep. I'm concerned more about stealth overnighting more in a suburban-urban environment.

Any input or opinions would be appreciated.
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wasserbox
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Dining, Drinking, and Stealth Overnighting? Reply with quote

City lots are great places to park.

Residential streets are OK - but you run the risk of nosy neighbors calling the police for "suspicious vehicles"

Poptop = bad
Curtains = OK
Limo Tint = Best.

Use the front doors for entry / exit to limit the LOUD sliding door.

Make sure you have some handy bushes nearby for that early morning post-drinking call of nature.
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stl_stadtroller
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Dining, Drinking, and Stealth Overnighting? Reply with quote

wasserbox wrote:
City lots are great places to park.

Residential streets are OK - but you run the risk of nosy neighbors calling the police for "suspicious vehicles".


+1
A vanagon stands out pretty good these days. I'd be cautious of residential neighborhoods.

Personally, I've never had any trouble. In days gone by my typical Friday or Sat evening was spent at my favorite bar, and if I wound up having too much libation I'd simply crash in the parking lot for the night.

Never had any trouble, and eventually the owner caught on and one day came to wake me up... to offer some breakfast and talk about VW's!

Good times...
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buildyourown
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only have 1 stealth night in my Westy so far, but there were no issues.

I have many, many in my truck however.


My tips. Large, chain hotel parking lots are a great place to sleep. Large decently secure lots and no one will question a vacationing vehicle.

Any place that has surfing has camper vans. Find where they park.

Marinas also have lots of vans and often have pay showers and bathrooms. They also don't question vans and trucks being parked overnight.
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While on the road alone I often pull into hotel parking lots as mentioned previously for a quick nights rest. Nobody has ever bothered me or known I was there. I always pull the rear curtains but not the front curtain. Looks pretty normal for a van. No problems yet.
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whafalia
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I arrange the front curtain to cross behind the front seats to look less RVish, yet still get some privacy and light reduction.
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kevinbassplayer
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

whafalia wrote:
I arrange the front curtain to cross behind the front seats to look less RVish, yet still get some privacy and light reduction.


Same here
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RCB
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hotel parking lots are the bees knees.....dont forget to remove your key from the ignition!!
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a914622
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RCB wrote:
Hotel parking lots are the bees knees.....dont forget to remove your key from the ignition!!


Have to second that.
With out the key in the ignition your not driving and there is a little sticker on the side of my van that says its an RV so you legally CAN sleep in the vehicle.
I mean after all is sed and done isnt sleeping it off the right thing to do??

jcl
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reluctantartist
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget the Walmart...they allow RV's to stay overnight in the parking lots.
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're drunk and in the Central Coast, I'm not sure it matters where the keys are. I have a friend that got a DUI in SLO just because he was drunk and headed towards his car with his keys in his hand. The engine was never even started. I'm not sure he even got his door open. I just don't see how that's justified.
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a914622
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
If you're drunk and in the Central Coast, I'm not sure it matters where the keys are. I have a friend that got a DUI in SLO just because he was drunk and headed towards his car with his keys in his hand. The engine never even started. I'm not sure he even got his door open. I just don't see how that's justified.


Typical Speed Nazi's on a power trip.Got to make that quota!!!!!

Maybe public intox but not DWI!!!!

jcl
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RCB
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
If you're drunk and in the Central Coast, I'm not sure it matters where the keys are. I have a friend that got a DUI in SLO just because he was drunk and headed towards his car with his keys in his hand. The engine was never even started. I'm not sure he even got his door open. I just don't see how that's justified.


There ya go "keys in hand" what else would a cop think...your walking down the street drunk and you got your car keys in your hand.
Keys in pocket would be a different story but as they say "a bird in the hand, is worth two in the bush" or two in the pokey.

If you have had to much to drink and want to take a nap, remove the keys from the ignition and place them as far away from your body as you can .......in other words way outa reach.
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emu
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When they flood the light through the curtains and ask if anyone is sleeping in the car, just don't poke your head up. I dealt with this a few times while living on the rough in the Rockies.

If that fails, DITTO above: keep the keys out of the ignition; take the ticket instead.

Good luck.


Last edited by emu on Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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photogdave
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried the marina trick in Santa Cruz but we got booted out because we didn't have our own toilet! (Hadn't started drinking yet BTW) So we were forced into an RV park.
My most successful stealth camping so far has been at highway rest stops. Bathrooms and free coffee!
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ysquared
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great suggestions. I didn't think about hanging the windshield curtain behind the front seats. I'll be using that one.

I wouldn't have thought that City Parking lots would be a good overnight spot with all the video cameras you hear about these days. I guess the trick is to ask a lot attendant if overnight parking is allowed.

Didn't think of a Motel/Hotel parking lot either. I could see slipping a motel clerk $10-20 for a sanctioned overnight park.

PDXWesty wrote:
If you're drunk and in the Central Coast, I'm not sure it matters where the keys are. I have a friend that got a DUI in SLO just because he was drunk and headed towards his car with his keys in his hand. The engine was never even started. I'm not sure he even got his door open. I just don't see how that's justified.


Yes ... That's not uncommon in our area and I've heard the stories first hand. It amazes me how schizoid some policies are in a given area. A vacation haven says on one hand ... come ... dine, drink in our restaurants, visit our wineries, spend money here. Then, arrest you for trying not to drive.

Fri./Sat. nights are big money nights for the local badges along the coast. Pismo has a residential population of about 7500, blossoming to 15-20000 on the weekends. Living here during the Summer, you're thrown in with the rest of the Ya-Hoos when the police are buckling down on party nights.

I'm taking the Westy on a maiden voyage of sorts next week. Headed up to Walnut Creek, S.F., and Inverness. It'll be the first time I've considered overnighting inside in (sub)urban areas, and not getting a motel while on the road. So, I'm just trying to figure my travel plans for dining and NOT driving. I'd much rather spend the money on good food - drink, than motels. After all, that's one of the reasons I jumped into this thing.

The responses so far don't mention any ticketing, and-or rousting. Anyone ever get a ticket for illegal camping on the street?
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Gauche1968
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
If you're drunk and in the Central Coast, I'm not sure it matters where the keys are. I have a friend that got a DUI in SLO just because he was drunk and headed towards his car with his keys in his hand. The engine was never even started. I'm not sure he even got his door open. I just don't see how that's justified.


It's called "attempted DUI." Mad
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flagstaff, AZ recently passed a law that it is illegal to sleep in your vehicle anywhere within city limits even ON YOUR OWN PROPERTY!!?? Laughing

I'd MUCH RATHER have someone who has had too much to drink sleep it off rather than try to drive home to avoid a ticket....
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
If you're drunk and in the Central Coast, I'm not sure it matters where the keys are. I have a friend that got a DUI in SLO just because he was drunk and headed towards his car with his keys in his hand. The engine was never even started. I'm not sure he even got his door open. I just don't see how that's justified.

Its not.
Your friend should have hired a lawyer.

Methinks he is stretching truth.. or holding back some.



For the rest of the stealth campers out there.
Personally, I have nothing against it, but once you've seen one or twenty more stepping out in the evening chill to take a leak on your street.. Well?
That gets old.
Go stealth? Get a portapottie and use it.

It only takes one jerk to ruin it for a hundred others.
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not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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buckturgidson
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thinking about stealth camping on San Fran trips to keep costs down . If you're paying $45 a day or thereabouts to park it seems like you ought to be able to sleep in the Vanagon . I'll post when it happens . I'm guessing expensive cities like Frisco and NYC make it hard to pull off , but if you're in some obscure spot on the 3rd floor of a garage who the hell will know ?
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