Last Update: 2/23/2018

5 Unusual Stealth Camping Spots OTR

Sketchy van parked in abandoned building

Here's some crazy stealth boondock spots Vanholio's used travelin' on the road. He's always keepin' an eye out for 'em, especially when Walmart ain't nearby.

Some are legal. Most is legal or iffy. Unless overnight campin' is specifically allowed, I advise ya get in near dark and leave early, and stay alert. If it's a touristy area, maybe don't push it too much. Cops will check on their rounds.

1. Fishin' Access

Satellite photo of small Colorado reservoir
Tiny Colorado reservoir (more a pond) with fishin' access

Where there's water, people camp. That's a fact. If ya pass a body a water, however tiny, look for a spot. If ya see blue on the Google Map, swing by and check it out.

Lotsa states got legal fishin' access areas, even on small creeks and reservoir ponds. Rocky mountain states make a point of it. Those states also usually allow overnight campin' (if it's not a touristy area). They often got a vault toilet, too.

In places where it ain't exactly legal, it's usually tolerated. The local teenagers and hobos know where these spots is. Look for a dirt vehicle trail headin' inta brush. Dollars ta donuts that down by the water, you'll find a old campfire with broken glass and beer cans all around.

2. Bridges

Satellite photo of bridge with river access
Dirt road goes down under bridge and along the river

Bridges all kinds usually got someplace ya can camp overnight. And they space under and around a bridge is often a kinda no man's land. That and shelter's why hobos love 'em.

The problem with boondockin' by a bridge is traffic. Remote bridges where there ain't much night traffic is best.

In that photo above, the road down by the bridge is for fishin' access. But you'll find a way down under bridges that cross washes, canyons, gulches, train tracks, and roads, too.

3. Road Maintenance Cache Pulloffs

Satellite image of road cache pulloff
Found this almost-hidden pulloff in New Mexico's Black Range

Not sure what ta call these exactly. What I'm talkin' 'bout are little roadside pulloffs where state and county road crews keep piles a sand and salt. Also sometimes they park equipment there.

The pulloffs are all over. In the mountains, they usually got 'em just before the steep and snowline. As it's public land, it should be legal. Not sure. Only signs I ever seen were warnins not ta steal from the maintenance piles, if they got 'em.

4. Utility Substations

Satellite image of telecom substation
Parked right afront this substation one night, just like I belonged

Substations for electric, water, and telecom is all over the country. Often they're surrounded by chain link and on private land. But maybe 1 outta 3 times, ya can get in there without crossin' Farmer Brown's land.

Park behind them. Or if your rig looks like a work truck, just park it right out in the open. It'll look like utility workers just left it there overnight.

5. Vacant Buildings

Satellite image of adandoned hotel with hidden loading bay
No one'll see ya in that loading bay

Old buildings or buildings under construction are great places to boondock. Who the hell is gonna be there overnight!? Especially as zonin' separates most from residential areas.

Commercial buildings often have a loading bay, and it's usually in the back or otherwise hidden from the road. Perfect!

If there's construction vehicles and your rig looks like a work van or truck, just park by the construction equipment. Who's to say ya don't belong?

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  1. I keep having this dream where a business owner lets me park for weeks at a time in the quiet alley behind his store that's on the old, revitalized, totally walkable street that's the main entertainment drag in a college town.

    1. Does he also let you run an electric cable out to the van? And does he give loan you a key to the biz so you can use the toilet any time and get a cold Coke from the fridge?