Guerrilla RVing & Sleeping on the Streets of New Orleans

Street Camping In Your Motorhome

We street camp often in cities around the U.S. because it saves money and gives us up close parking to the places we want to go, see, and experience. So, if you’ve ever wondered about street camping in your Motorhome… here’s a sneak peak.

Pros of Street Camping

The Pros of street camping are simple… it’s FREE and that goes a long way when you full-time RV. The average price of a nights stay at a campground for us has been around twenty bucks or more. So a few nights a week on the street really adds up in savings.

Another big pro of street camping is location. If you want to see a city there’s no better way than to experience her corners up close and personal. Cats, trash, and other inhabitants galore. Find a neighborhood and become a resident for a night or two or three. We’ve had great stays in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, and New Orleans!

The Makings of A Good Spot:

  • Streets Lights
  • Business or Warehouse Districts
  • Churches or Government Buildings
  • Level ground

The Cons of Street Camping

The cons of street camping is noise, and for Dennis the ability to fully relax and get a good nights rest. Unfamiliar sounds; walkers, talkers, trains, cat fights, garbage trucks, barking dogs, bumbling bums… you name it. I sleep like a baby while Dennis peeks out the window all night long, and finally getting rest about the time the sun comes up.

This Is Not The Spot You Want:

  • On a hill
  • High Traffic

It’s important to find the right balance. Being in a constant state of moving, sneaking, and high alert can be draining. Still the price is right and we’ve yet to have any issues; no knocks, no vandals, no tickets. After a few free nights, paying for a campground isn’t so bad. The park time provides us a bit of camp-relaxation and the option to get chores and work done.

Basically, don’t set up a homestead. We’ve found that being polite and as discreet as possible yields some pretty great free city camping options. We tread lightly so these spots are around the next time we pass through. 

So, the when your motorhome brings you to a great city, check in to your local street lamp and enjoy a cocktail or two at that over “Yelped” pub. Live it up because the bar is stumbling distance from your bed!

What do you think about Street Camping? Can you add to what makes a good or bad spot?






11 responses to “Guerrilla RVing & Sleeping on the Streets of New Orleans”

  1. Katerade Avatar

    I’m concerned about security/ safety in them little tin can things- looking to spend a month or two in one down in A neighborhood with bars on the Windows near a friends house or switch around between a few friends- hopefully can find a back yard to plop in and be concealed- but it seems impossible to be secure. Y’all have thoughts/experience?

    1. Steve Rose Avatar
      Steve Rose

      It all depends on the size of your vehicle. Most readers have homes 24′ or more and with one of those it looks like one needs to find area where they’re already kind of congregated. I bought a 20.5′ Pleasure Way Excel expressly for stealth camping In towns and cities. There are certain ones that are hospitable to RVs camped anywhere that they’re not expressly prohibited (LA, Portland, NYC) and others that can be touchy (San Diego) or hostile (Santa Barbara). Even tho it’s legal to park an RV anywhere a car can be parked, people can call the police if they’re suspicious and the police will ask you to leave. Best bet is to avoid parking in front of someone’s house, but certain kinds of neighborhoods with older buildings seem unbothered.

      1. Steve Rose Avatar
        Steve Rose

        Sorry, completely forgot I commented on this post a couple of years ago.

  2. Skip Kafka Avatar
    Skip Kafka

    DO NOT PARK IN FRONT OF SOMEONE’S HOUSE. Setting up your own B&B in a residential neighborhood is unwelcome. Residential neighborhoods are for residents, families with kids, elderly people. Find a place near public parking, a closed after dark commercial area, or in a large parking lot. New Orleans is inundated with converted school buses, converted vans and straight trucks full of party people and transients who urinate in public, trash the streets, snap off low hanging tree branches with their vehicles and take 2 or 3 (or more) needed parking spaces away from homeowners when they aren’t blocking driveways. There is a huge RV campground in New Orleans a block away from the French Quarter. Stay there.

    1. Steve Rose Avatar
      Steve Rose

      I park in front of houses all the time with my 20.5’er in Venice, CA, part of LA. Very dark streets with very cool residents. I also routinely drive up on the curb with at least one wheel to level the camper.

  3. Corey Avatar

    I was wondering if you had any street names or specific places you chose in New Orleans? We will be meeting with a few environmental organizations during our stay, and may have the need for a few spots, with back ups.
    Any advice would be great!

    1. Chris Avatar

      There’s a vacant lot near the north east corner of Rampart & Esplanade. I have spent the night parked along there a few times without any trouble. 5 minute walk from the Quarter.

  4. steve rose Avatar

    Ya, I’ve been out on the road street camping many nights this past year since buying my 20.5 ft. Pleasure-Way back at the end of May. I always thought the best idea would be to find the darkest street in the nicest kind of neighborhood but ran into a bit of inconvenience twice recently in Worcester, Mass. and Highland Park, NJ. Both times, once quite late at night, local residents called the police who, while assuring me I was doing nothing illegal, requested that I find another location. Not fun. When they do this they show up with multiple cruisers. Thankfully, I didn’t have outstanding tickets etc. ’cause they did look me up good. They were very nice but especially in Highland Park, annoyingly curious and even stopped me a second even more extensive time when I pulled over to look at maps leaving town. My actual story just struck them as odd! I asked them what would be the problem if, tho committing no crime, someone being questioned like this fudged the truth here or there. “Well, you could then be arrested for impeding an investigation.” !!! A lawyer friend of mine says I was “profiled” and may have actually violated civil rights. I had nothing to hide so cooperated fully, but in NJ they asked to open cabinets, checked out my explanations (I had an appointment at a local university) and explained that a poster I had up showing a man in a turban (an interfaith spiritual teacher) caused some suspicion.

    1. JJ Avatar

      We love the Pleasure Way vans.. every time we’ve been in the market for a newer RV, we look at those. Never could commit to it for the two of us, both working and all. The bathroom is kinda tight as well. Perfect for one. But what a great, small, urban-camping machine! Kudos on the travels Steve!!

  5. dvieira Avatar

    Apartment complexes are good! We try to never be in front of someone’s house unless invited. It’s weird, you feel like everybody notices you, when in reality, most people don’t…unless you linger too long. And yes, those streets that dip on one side..ugh…if it’s bad enough, our refridgerator will stop kicking out cold air. We’ve even put down the two side leveling jacks in the middle of the night….ssshhhhhhh… ; )

  6. Christy @ Technosyncratic Avatar

    We tried street camping a few times but we felt so conspicuous, lol. A great tip we heard from others was to park outside an apartment complex instead of on a neighborhood street right in front of someone’s house. We also found ourselves on hills a few times and those are annoying…. but even worse are the streets that dip down on the sides. Because of the layout of our RV, our heads were always lower than our feet when we slept! 😛

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