Where Do I Park/Sleep?
In short, I park & sleep anywhere and everywhere. Because my van is so compact and relatively stealth (except for the obvious solar panels & fan on the roof), I can camouflage myself pretty easily into my surroundings.
Here is a list of places that I have slept thus far for free (I actually haven’t paid to park and sleep yet): state welcome centers, rest areas, trailhead parking lots, Cracker Barrel, Walmart, Home Depot, Krispy Kreme, parks, beaches, side streets, National Parks, BLM (Bureau of Land Management), skate parks, lakes, friend’s driveways, grocery store parking lots, and boat launches. The list goes on and on because honestly, I just park where I feel like parking and feel safe. Keep in mind that some places I slept may not be “legal” but I got away with it for at least a night. I will leave where you park up to your discretion 😊.
I did get in trouble once when I parked at a beach parking lot that I found on iOverlander (mentioned below) which was not fun, but ultimately the police officer just asked my friend and I to leave at four in the morning. We were lucky as I have heard of others getting expensive tickets.
My process for finding somewhere to sleep changes depending on a variety of factors including how tired I am, how long I have been driving for, whether I am in the city or the country, and who I know in the area.
I use a few different APPs/websites when needed:
iOverlander – this one is my favorite at the moment. It shows many different options of places to park/camp and you can filter the results based on what you are looking for. You can also find out other information on here including campgrounds, water, propane locations.
Park4night – this APP is similar to iOverlander where it shows you options based on other users’ comments. I usually check iOverlander then Park4night if I cannot find anything.
TheDyrt – I do not use this one too often as it usually just has paid campsites, but it is also an option.
Freecampsites.net – this is a website only and I use this one to look for free options specifically after I have checked the other applications.
Let me know if you try any of my suggestions and if they worked for you or any crazy stories that happened!