Friday, April 25, 2003

Overnight Parking While Car Living
A stealth car and a good parking space are the essential ingredients to pleasant car living. I have already covered the essentials of stealth vehicles.

So where should you park at night? My first instinct was that a remote and/or concealed area would be best. During the Nissan Sentra experiment, I started by parking in an abandoned lot- concealed by trees. This worked for a few days and then the police found me. The Athens police have always been quite nice.... it was very obvious that I was living in my car (this was in my "pre-stealth days) but they didnt hassle me. They did tell me that I couldnt park on the lot. I was brash and asked them where I could park without them bothering me. They suggested any public parking space in the downtown area... especially if it didnt have a meter. I thanked them and found just such an area-- only 100 feet from the lot I had been in.

The best parking spaces are, in fact, in populated areas... where your car will be one of many. Ideally, this should be in a multi-use area... a place with several different types of establishments. For example, my favorite area (where I have NEVER been bothered) is near a nightclub, an apartment building, a convention center, and office buildings. As a result, cars come and go at all hours. I could conceivably be at any one of these places, so no one pays attention.

Other multi-use areas might include: a 24 hour grocery, apartments, a 24-hour gym, a motel, a late night restaurant, a bar, etc...
But these aren't always easy to find,... especially in the suburbs.

In the burbs, I usually park in large apartment complexes. I choose a spot that is caddy-corner to busy entrances or balconies. I arrive and leave at off-peak times. Also, I rotate between 5-6 complexes... going to a different one each night. I did this for the last four months in Georgia and have never been discovered. Busy motels, truck stops, state parks, campgrounds, and the like are decent for one-night, occaisonal stops... but not great for extended periods of time.

Of course, the ideal place is the driveway of a sympathetic friend. I had this option last summer and it was perfect.

A note about very bad places to park (other than empty lots): 1. Never park near a police station, as they are very observant of their immediate surroundings. 2. Never park in housing developments or upscale apartment buildings... again, these people tend to be paranoid and hyper-vigilant. 3. Never park where there are alot of children (in a school zone or daycare area, for example), as you may be mistaken for a stalker. 4. Don't park near banks or other high security areas, as again, these people are hyper-paranoid. 5. In general, don't tell friends or others about the locations you park in.

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