Guide to Stealth Camping in Southern California


Let’s be honest; the most anxiety-filled problem about being a van or RV nomad is figuring out where you’re going to sleep at night.

Most people traveling in their van or RV will not have to stealth camp because they will be staying in campgrounds, boondocking, or RV resorts. The short-time nomad will not have to worry as much about finding a place to stay.

But there are times when those options are not available due to cost, crowds, or other constraints, and stealth camping becomes the last option. That is when we must start mastering the art of stealth camping.

The full-time nomad rarely stays at an established campground or RV park because it’s cost-prohibitive. A few days of staying at an RV resort can drain anyone’s budget. That means stealth camping is the only real option for full-time nomads.

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Definition: The act of secretly sleeping in your van or RV in public places.
Stealth camping in Southern California can be a nerve-racking experience. Not knowing where you are going to sleep makes most of us uneasy and uncomfortable. In most situations, stealth camping is the number one reason most people choose not to experience van and RV life. Being nervous about stealth camping is an understandable reaction. If you watch the news and hear crazy stories, stealth camping seems like a scary and anxiety-ridden thing to do. But like most things in life, the reality is much different. If you plan accordingly and follow a few basic common-sense rules, you should not have a problem. I have found stealth camping throughout Southern California to be a pleasant experience if you are prepared.

References and Other Adventures: 


Borrego Springs

Any van or RV trip to the Anza Borrego State Park isn’t complete without a stopover in Borrego Springs. The town has multiple resorts, hotels, spas, RV parks and is home to the Borrego Palms Campground. Borrego Springs is a great location to base yourself in a while exploring all the attractions of the park and surrounding areas.

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2 thoughts on “Guide to Stealth Camping in Southern California”

  1. I’ve been doing it in my minivan for a week now, and yes, the sleeping aspect is the most anxiety producing aspect. I learned that staying in the same spot is not a good idea. One night I parked on a street in a nice neighborhood that was not in front of any homes. This was the 2nd time in 3 nights I stayed there. The closest home was about 50 yards away. But in the evening someone walked by after 10 pm and I heard them say, “It could be the same one.” I think people in nicer neighborhoods are more likely to get spooked.

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