Los Angeles Van Life – Where Do You Sleep???? Living In Your Car

The City of Angels is full of dreamers and people just waiting for their shot at the big time.

And while they are waiting, they are living in their car.

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It’s estimated over 7,000 people live in their car in downtown LA (population 4 million).

Due to local outrage over this number, Southern California felt they had to do something.

So they outlawed parking overnight. Ugh!

It’s still legal to sleep in your car… But good luck finding a place to do it.

Challenge accepted!

Over the last two weeks, everywhere this car has dwelled has been marked no parking overnight.

How did I do it??

  • Talk to security ahead of time – they’ll tell you where or if it’s even possible. (They are easy to spot and in every parking lot. Every one!) Just tell them you’re traveling thru and too tired to drive.
  • Park in the Walmart lot until about half hour after it closes, then jump over to an empty Costco or Best Buy. Usually no problems.
  • 24 hour grocery stores with their own parking lot are easy to blend in (Ralphs and Vons are big here)
  • CVS pharmacy has several locations with 24 hour stores, and their own parking lot.
  • 24 Hour Fitness is also a great resource, park a little away from the building so you look like an employee.

This is not a city that will allow you to sleep in hospitals, apartment complexes, hotels, etc.

Security is tight. Every parking lot in the city is patrolled, from stores to apartments.

Be set up to be very stealthy. If you are a car/SUV, you can blend. If you are a van or small motor home you will have to plan on staying outside the city or buying a parking permit.

Permits are sold by the city and allow you to park in a designated area overnight. They are $15 each and there are about 200 spots city wide, usually near factories or railroad tracks. These permits are good for one night only.

The only rest areas near downtown LA are about an hour and a half drive, and there are two. One on each side.

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