Friday, April 29, 2016

Boondocking on the Strip

So, let’s say you’re a van dweller and a fan of Las Vegas. You want to catch a show, do some gambling, stuff yourself at an all-you-can-eat buffet. (Or you're passing through and just need a place to crash.) But you don’t want to pop for a hotel room or campground. 

If you’re half way stealthy and don’t mind a little noise (though probably less than your typical Walmart parking lot), you can take advantage of some of the hotel parking lots. Most are free, or are free most of the time.

Lots of overhead clearance on the ground level

I’ve used the parking decks behind the Luxor and New York New York. The ground levels have plenty of overhead clearance for even high-top vans with racks. I don’t know about the other parking decks, but I’m guessing they’re similar. 

Some of the uncovered parking behind Excalibur, for example

I’ve also used the uncovered lot behind Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas without any problems. There are similar uncovered lots behind places like the Flamingo, Harrah’s and Excalibur. 

The uncovered lots are good for solar users, of course, unless it's hot. If you want the shade and enclosed feeling of a parking deck, you can go somewhere else during daylight hours to charge your batteries.

Of course, the standard stealth camping guidelines apply. Keep a low profile. However, the Strip is pretty much a 24-hour place, so going to and from your vehicle in the middle of the night (maybe to use a casino restroom) doesn’t look out of place. Security guys might roll by with flashing lights, but they’re looking for thieves, not people sleeping in vehicles. 

And remember, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Or ends up on a blog.