When You’re Stealth Camping and Stopped By the Cops!

Last updated on September 18th, 2021 at 07:48 pm. Originally published on May 17th, 2015

Typically avoided by the camper, urban areas are defined by concrete landscapes and scarce vegetation. But camping isn’t always what you see in the pretty brochures with babbling brooks and pretty sunsets.

Stealth Camping is the art of finding a quiet spot to camp at night, and then slipping away at daybreak before anyone is the wiser. To the police, this it also known as trespassing, and is often frowned upon.

In order to stealth camp properly, you will need to remain out of sight for the period that you are there, and vacate before anyone knows, leaving no trace of your existence. Primitivists, adventurers, and backpackers have given this practice legitimacy.

If you decide to risk stealth camping with your RV, keep in mind that you could be evicted at a moment’s notice. It’s one thing to leave an area at sunrise, but being rudely woken up at 3am by a police officer for trespassing on private property is a great way to give up any freedom you think you may have gained when you first hit the road in your RV.

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Asking for permission may open the door to a Bingo game with new friends, or a hot shower and meal, as well as staying on the right side of the law. Asking doesn’t necessarily mean you will be given permission, so be prepared to pack up and leave if the owner of the property doesn’t lay out the welcome mat. You may be surprised that simply stating your need for a place to park and that you will be on your way as soon you’re rested, often yields positive results.

Check out the video below from veteran camper, Dan Travis on how to act and what to say if you get caught stealth camping. The perfect blend of apologies and feigned ignorance may get you out of any issues you will encounter.


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