Turns out J and T had an old air mattress hand pump lying around in their garage and they gave it to me!  Yay!  It works great and I can pump up my mattress in around 5 minutes.  Good exercise too, although I will probably leave it inflated all the time rather than pump it up everynite.  After I pumped up my mattress, I lay down on it and it’s super comfy!  MUCH more comfortable than the bench seat.  Yay again!

There’s a downside though.  I’m probably going to have to take out BOTH bench seats for the mattress to fit.  It’s a trade off.  The idea of having an air mattress is for comfort and so I can be down low when I’m sleeping.  I will feel more secure being down low when I’m sleeping.  BUT, during the day, if someone peeks in my van, they will see that I don’t have seats in the back and they may look further and see the mattress and figure out that I’m free sleeping.  I think I’m willing to take the risk though, for the comfort aspect (ooooo can’t wait!) and the increased stealthiness at night.  J also has a big piece of black felt that I can lay over me at night which will make it virtually impossible for anyone to see me in the dark.

Speaking of stealth, if you are a single person, in my opinion you are better off buying a van than a camper…at least if you live in Southern California.  Also, you shouldn’t stay in one place too long.  I have 20-30 sleepspots.  I have never slept in the same place even two nights in a row.  I don’t want any trouble from the law!  Here’s an article I came across quite by accident tonite, that illustrates my point.

Finally, J and T will be driving away from their home a week from tomorrow.  I plan to start sleeping in my van before that though.  I am not as excited about van living as I was the first time I did it, back in September.  I’m domesticated again…but most importantly, T and J have become like family to me and I’ve loved staying with them.  It’s going to be hard being by myself a lot again.  I feel like I need to ease into it….visiting with them in the evening but showering at the gym, sleeping in my van and doing morning hygiene in my old spots.  That way it won’t be as big of a blow when they are gone for good.  They will be driving out of state and I won’t see them for a long time.

As I mentioned, I am probably going to move up to a different county where I have a few friends, as soon as I can manage it.  Another best girlfriend is getting married and will be moving to Central Cal in just a few months.  I don’t feel there’s much keeping me here and if I moved south, near one of my daughters, I probably wouldn’t really see her that much.

I’m rambling a little but I need to get my thoughts “on paper”.

About Maureen, Living in a Van

I'm a free-sleeper living in a van in the prettiest part of the world. I do this partly due to financial circumstances and partly because I love a good adventure.
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5 Responses to Stealth

  1. Michelle Phillips says:

    Thanks for the tips for stealth. I haven’t got on the road yet but mentally I’m picking spots where I will stay for the night..including some 24 hour stores. Is your van a high top or low?
    About the air bed do yourself a favor and another one. If it should leak for any reason you’ll have a back up. When I bought them from a store I always bought the warranty then I traded when it almost ran out. I did that because I knew that day one it would start leaking. It was cheaper this way. The best ones I bought always had no flock. I don’t know why they lasted longer but they did.

  2. Ryu says:

    Interesting article. I like how the guy said he wanted to live in “good” neighborhoods without paying rent. Read into that what you will.

  3. Maureen says:

    I think my van is a low top. I can’t stand up in it…that would be great to be able to do that! that’s a good idea to have a backup mattress.

    Ryu…maybe it wasn’t the vehicle the neighbors didn’t like but rather the race of it’s owner. Hard to say.

    • Charles says:

      High-top is one with the additional roof height like a conversion/camper van has. Wish mine was one, trying to get the nerve up to cut mine, have some ideas.

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