Stealth Camping 101: Gear, Tips, How to Build Stealth Van - Jackery

Stealth Camping 101: Gear, Tips, How to Build Stealth Van

Have you ever heard of stealth camping? Most RV owners take their vehicles on vacation or for a long weekend with a specific destination in mind. They make reservations at a favorite campground or state park and anticipate a week or two of fun, relaxation, and exploring nearby attractions.  

stealth camping 101

However, some campers prefer to be in the thick of activities, such as downtown or near the beach. Following these strategies for stealth camping can help reduce certain risks, whether visiting friends, stocking up on necessities, or working in a city.    

This page discusses stealth camping, its gear, how to build a stealth camper van, and its tips. We recommend Jackery Solar Generators as your power source for stealth camping, particularly the Solar Generator 2000 Pro, which has a 2160Wh capacity and can power most outdoor activities and home emergency appliances.      

Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro


Explorer 2000 Pro + 1xSolarSaga 200

- Explorer 2000 Pro + SolarSaga 200W Solar Panels

- 2160Wh capacity, 2200W AC, 4400W peak power

- 3*AC Output, 2*USB-A Output , 2*USB-C Output

- Pass-through charging

- 5-Year long warranty

What is Stealth Camping

Stealth camping is a form of camping in urban areas not intended for prolonged camping. While there are no "campsites" when stealth camping, there are numerous legal places to park your van overnight without attracting attention. Residential areas and city streets are common locations to camp inconspicuously.

There is no need to covertly camp in a tent in states with abundant public land, such as Colorado, though it may be more common in the East and Texas. West of the Atlantic, "stealth camping" refers to van camping outside designated RV campsites.

Instead of paying to park at an RV site, where you can enjoy amenities such as hookups, showers, and garbage, and there is no problem with setting up your double-burner stove for a cookout, stealth campers usually position their vans in open areas, such as a city's downtown or a residential neighborhood near the coast.

The Pros of Stealth Camping

There are several advantages of stealth camping. As previously stated, it is an enjoyable experience, but it may only be for some. For example, if you dislike solitude and want to meet new people, this camping style is not for you.

- Flexible

- Save money

- Unique adventures

On the other hand, it is ideal if you wish to be alone, leave a smaller environmental imprint, and connect with nature. It can also be a great way to locate free street parking near attractions.

The Cons of Stealth Camping

As the popularity of van life has skyrocketed, so has the desire to construct stealth camper vans. When planning the construction of your camper van, you should be intrigued by this secretive concept. After experiencing van life, however, you may conclude that better ideas exist than converting a complete stealth camper van.

- Sacrifice comfort

- Hot & muggy

- Stealth camper looks inferior quality

- Be disturbed by "knocks."

To have a genuine stealth camper van, you must forego the majority of exterior installations. With a ventilation fan, surviving in a van is easier. This is notably true in regions where temperatures exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius)—a van with no means to circulate fresh air effectively.

There is no requirement for stealth camping to slumber for free. You can still enjoy the luxuries of a noticeable camper van while parking overnight safely and avoiding paid campgrounds.     

Stealth Camping Gear: What to Pack

When planning a stealth camping excursion, it must be acknowledged that preparation is crucial.  

Stealth camping is setting up camp and spending the night in locations where permission may or may not be granted. The stealth camper has no intention of upsetting anyone or breaking the law. Campers desire anonymity while traversing a region or appreciating a local landmark.  

Jackery solar generator for stealth camping
  1. Jackery Solar Generator: It combines solar panels with a power station that can turn solar energy into electricity and use unlimited renewable energy.
  2. Sleeping Pad: Placed on the stealth camper van for comfortable resting.
  3. Sleeping Bag: The most crucial component of stealth camping.    
  4. Outdoor Grill: A grill or outdoor burner makes outdoor cooking possible.
  5. Light or Flashlight: A useful implement for nighttime use.
  6. Toiletries: These can be helpful when showering or toileting in the wild.
  7. Spare Clothing: Keep you warm and get changed.
  8. Emergency Kit: When stealth camping, carrying at least a rudimentary first aid kit is always recommended.    

Access to electricity is one of the most significant challenges of stealth camping. A 12v refrigerator, small appliances, and a roof vent will make van living more agreeable.   

However, an electrical installation in a camper or RV is a significant and costly component of any campervan conversion endeavor. However, a portable solar generator is the best alternative power source because it converts solar energy into electricity and emits no hazardous fumes, unlike gas generators.

Solar generators are superior to gas-powered generators due to their low operating costs and lack of emissions. In addition to charging your phone, these portable power stations can power appliances, such as electric cookers, refrigerators, and more. The most remarkable aspect is that they operate solely on solar energy.  

In fact, as the leading solar brand on the global market, Jackery is committed to producing high-quality solar products and putting the user experience first. Jackery Solar Generators consist of SolarSaga solar panels and Explorer power stations that convert sunlight into electricity and store it in the power station through solar charging cables. When operating, the solar generators at Jackery provide an environmentally favorable method of energy production.  

how solar generator works
Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro is a highly recommended stealth camping companion due to its high capacity, numerous ports, and quiet charging. It incorporates Explorer 2000 Pro with SolarSaga 200W solar panels. With a total of 2,160 Wh, AC power of 2,200W, and surge power of 4,400W, the Solar Generator 2000 Pro provides the quickest solar recharging. Powers the preponderance of camping appliances and tools, including mini cooler, outdoor shower, air conditioner, etc.

The power station can be entirely charged with six SolarSaga 200W solar panels in less than two and a half hours and an AC wall outlet in only two hours. Additionally, it can be charged via vehicle port. The superior lithium battery contains two chips for dual protection and four temperature core detectors to ensure an ideal equilibrium between safe and dependable charging. You have access to limitless power with a single button press.  



Recharging Time



Solar Generator 2000 Pro


6*SolarSaga 200W


3*AC Output

2*USB-A Output

2*USB-C Output

1*Car Port

1*AC Input

1*DC Input

Light(5W) 367H 

Cooler(21W) 87H

Phone(29W) 63Charges

Fan(700W) 2.6H

Coffee Maker(1000W) 1.8H

Outdoor Grill(1000W) 1.8H

Wall Charging 2H

Car Charging 24H

Watch the video to learn more about stealth camping skills from our users and the importance of our Jackery solar generator in your stealth camping trips.

How to Build Stealth Camper Van

Stealth campers and vans are vehicles designed to blend in when parked overnight on the street. Several factors must be considered when deciding whether or not a stealth van is suitable for you.

Such as, how frequently do you intend to park overnight in urban areas? How much interior volume do you require? In the stealth camper van, how do you occupy your time? And from what kind of van do you intend to construct your stealth camper van?

  1. Full-Sized Vans: Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, Ram Promaster
  2. Middle Vans: Nissan NV200, Ford Transit Connect, Ram Promaster City
  3. Minivans: Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Dodge Grand Caravan

Specific components of your van conversion are non-negotiable. Typically, lighting, ventilation, and a place to slumber top the list. For nomads intending to spend most of their time stealth camping, some items consume valuable space in stealth rigs, and others give away the fact that the rig is a mobile home.  

Solar Panels or Solar Generators

Choosing fordable solar panels instead of rigid ones can reduce the likelihood that someone will identify your vehicle as a mobile home. However, removing flexible solar panels is somewhat simpler than rigid ones.

Remember to charge phones, laptops, and portable power stations in coffee shops, libraries, and other public spaces! If your power requirements are minimal, such as lights and a device, and you plan to spend most of your time in your van at night, a portable solar generator is your best option.

Jackery solar generators range in size and power output (from 3024Wh to 240Wh), allowing you to choose one based on your needs. They are compatible with various charging methods, such as solar panels, electrical outlets, and carports. In addition, the pass-through charge function enables simultaneous charging of both the power station and the appliance. Additionally, its portability allows you to bring it anywhere.

Jackery solar panels for stealth camping

Vent & Shower

A large vent fan protruding from the roof is one of the easiest ways to identify a camper van, mainly if a bulky rain cover has been installed. Some ventilation fans have lower profiles and integrated rain covers that shield you from the elements while maintaining a low-key living environment.

A built-in shower in a smaller, more stealth-friendly vehicle will present the same issues. In particular, humidity can make stealth camping difficult; showering and venting the rig before settling in for the night can mitigate this issue.  

Stealth Camping Tips

Not all travel days go as planned, and campsites can be grabbed up rapidly, making it challenging to locate a parking spot to sleep in. In addition, overnight parking restrictions are tightening. This frequently forces nomads to try their luck in different locations for stealth camping.   

Where to Park for Stealth Camping

It is essential to frequently change your location when stealth camping, according to a standard piece of advice. The primary objective is to avoid attracting undue attention to yourself. Do not park in areas marked "no overnight parking." This is a rule for stealth camping. If you disregard these indicators, you invite the dreaded "knock" from the police. There are several parking options to consider:

  1. Neighborhood: Choose a middle-class neighborhood with many parked vehicles.
  2. Hotel Parking Lot: Stealth camping in hotel parking lots is simple to conceal.  
  3. Church Parking Lot: Some churches allow homeless individuals to spend the night in their parking lots.
  4. 24/7 Restaurants: If you have earplugs and don't mind the noise of vehicle doors opening and closing, the parking lot of a 24-hour restaurant is an excellent location for stealth camping.
  5. Hospital Parking Lot: A secure location for stealth camping.
  6. Truck Stops: Although noisy, truck stops are an excellent and secure place to stay.

One of the essential aspects of camping stealthily in a van is parking in an area where you will be safe. Selecting a prudent overnight parking location is one way to camp in a van while remaining undetected and secure.

Where to Bath in Stealth Camping

Every night before bed, you must locate a public lavatory to brush your teeth, bathe your face and relieve yourself. You could get a portable toilet or have a pee cup on hand, but you can also check out gyms, marinas, coffee shops, public libraries, truck stops, and campgrounds if you're stealth camping.

However, we recommend stopping at a vehicle shop if you require additional services (such as a shower). You must bring your shampoo, soap, and conditioner.

Just be considerate if you stop at truck stops, and remember that while stealth camping, truck drivers must stop multiple times during the night to stay awake!

Where to Cook in Stealth Camping

If you live in a vehicle in a metropolis for an extended period, you must learn how to cook or prepare food. Consider that you should only cook inside a van with ventilation. This situation could lead to carbon monoxide toxicity.

Stealth camping in an area with many parks or day-use areas, you can place your stove on a picnic table without drawing too much attention. You can even use a backpacking stove to prepare essential foods such as soup or salad. Keeping shelf-stable food in your stealth camper is also a good idea to avoid dealing with a hob every night.  

Safety Concerns in Stealth Camping

You should only encounter a few safety issues if you adhere to arriving late, leaving early, and frequently changing locations. Additionally, you can take a few additional safety measures to feel even more secure.  

  1. Notice Your Surroundings: Often, your instincts are the best indicator of a decent parking spot. If you feel unsafe in an area, do not park there. You are in a vehicle, so moving down a few exits is simple. Get accustomed to the concept of living in a van first. You can practice stealth camping by parking overnight in legal store areas.    
  1. In Case Someone Knocks: Verify who is tapping before opening the door or window. Verify that it is a law enforcement officer or security agent, not an intruder!  
  1. Install the Alarm System: Installing an alarm system will deter potential thieves and alert you and others nearby if someone attempts to enter your van. The mere appearance of an alarm system can sometimes dissuade criminals.

Dry Camping FAQs

The following shows the frequently asked questions about stealth camping:

1. Is stealth camping illegal?

Every city, village, and municipality has distinct parking regulations. Many popular destinations, such as beaches and resorts, may permit daytime parking in specific areas but expressly prohibit overnight parking.

The short answer to this query is that stealth camping is generally permissible in approved areas. Avoid camping in residential areas, even if "No Overnight Parking" signs are absent.

2. What size of solar generator do I need for my stealth camping?

A solar generator is essential for stealth camping, as it will power your appliances and enable you to communicate in an emergency. Jackery Solar Generators are renowned for superior quality, portability, and power output.  

First, determine the electrical needs of each appliance, then match them with the appropriate size solar generator. The Jackery solar generators have capacities ranging from 3024Wh to 167Wh. You don't need extreme power if you only camp stealthily for a night. Here is the formula for calculating how long the Jackery solar generator will take to charge your stealth camping devices:

Working time = solar generator capacity*0.85 / your device's operating wattage

For example, if you charge a 700W fan with a Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro (2160Wh capacity), the fan will operate for 2.6 hours (2160Wh*0.85/700W).

3. Is stealth camping worth it?

Although stealth camping may be challenging, it's a fantastic option when you're in a pinch and looking for a place to park. If law enforcement asks you to depart, you should leave promptly and respectfully.

Nevertheless, following our advice will give you a decent chance of remaining undetected. The more adept you become at stealth camping, the more you'll be able to identify safe locations to stay and have a more enjoyable experience.

Final Thoughts

Stealth camping in a camper van can feel like a game or an unbearable burden. It depends entirely on your personality. Living in a van allows you to avoid paying rent and spend more time exploring the city. Stay vigilant, and the experience can be rewarding.

Camper trailers are an excellent means of exploring the outdoors and escaping from it all. If you're considering buying or renting a camping caravan, make sure you know how to camp stealthily to remain out of trouble with the law. In addition, Jackery solar generators may be your best stealth camping companion because they are powerful, simple to install, and operate quietly.

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