Police warnings when parking in towns

In two cities in the last month, I’ve stayed with a friend and thus have parked my van on the street. At each place I’ve gotten official police warnings that I need to move my car within “x” amount of time. I feel like Trusty Rusty’s getting profiled as a live-in van, even though I’m following all the parking rules.

Has anyone else had a similar experience?

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Maybe just a sign on the front dash saying “Visiting friends?”

A lot of towns and municipalities have 24 to 72 hour limits on parking curbside, even if it isn’t a van. I’m guessing it depends on how strong the enforcement is in that town and/or whether there’s an HOA that enforces it in the neighborhood. If at all possible, I’d recommend parking in the friend’s driveway, rather than on the street. Then it’s clear that you’re visiting someone, and not taking up residence on the street.


We lived in a wretched HOA community. If we brought our little 16ft trailer in front of our house to get ready for a trip, we would get threatening letters within 12 hours. Even in our driveway, the letters persisted.

We moved as a result of the HOA’s tactics. Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t matter where you park, the police (in any form) harass you.

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Not that I spent a lifetime in law enforcement, but every municipality has a set of codified ordinances which include parking restrictions. As mentioned by another post, depending on the level of enforcement in that city, it can either be ”self enforced” by officers or (and more likely) called in by neighboring residents. History dictates response too…if a city has an ongoing or past problem with this activity, LEO’s are more proactive as requested by residents and city government.

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Right now we are in the process of gathering and planning for some camping road trips with our van this spring thru fall, I often wonder where the best place to park is without getting hassled, I am guessing best to use rest stops truck stops cracker barrel walmart parking areas? Nice part is we are just a minivan so it doesn’t stand out but following for more ideas…

Might be proactive and call the local sheriff / law enforcement and just ask about their protocol? I do like the idea of a friendly note and I’d add their address “Visiting friend @ 5510 Main St.” I’m sensing a growing movement in vanlife and have started wondering what changes it might bring… Summer 2021 could see a huge wave of vans across the country?