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Is it legal to sleep in your car?

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
Dumb question, but the law seems ambiguous here. It will be in AZ, for about a month. I'm in a parking lot, let's assume the business is open 24 hours (maybe a Walmart or a Waffle House), because I was once harangued by an officer for being at an Applebee's parking lot after closing. I will try to utilize Couchsurfing as much as possible too. I have an Anytime Fitness key so I could probably shower there. Is this illegal?

Would renting a space at an RV park make more sense? I am in a cramped furriner car btw.

Also, any tips in general on being semi-homeless would be nice.
post #2 of 62
Your problem isn't sleeping in the car, it's finding a suitable location. It's hard to imagine there's any law against the idea on its face, but it would have to be someplace where to property owner has given you permission (or at least doesn't object). The fact that a place is open 24/7 isn't going to be enough to make it OK to stay there; you have to find a place that doesn't prohibit you from being there overnight. That will be hard to do. In fact, I've noticed that most places with enormous parking lots tend to have signs that say something along the lines of, "no overnight parking."
post #3 of 62
Abandoned lot? Just don't get buttraped.
post #4 of 62
if they are open 24 hours, there's other cars so it shouldn't be a problem. maybe don't stay in the same place every night. why would it be an issue to shower at your gym, isn't that what gyms are for? you might be able to get one of those big plastic tubs and go to a public restroom and fill it up with hot water. as long as you aren't there long i don't think anyone cares. just wear a bathing suit just in case to avoid additional charges. if you are out in the open you might want to cover your windows some, people will stare and peer in your windows. the campground thing is a good idea too but what does that cost?
post #5 of 62
I believe it is acceptable at most Wal-mart parking lots.

Signed,

Occasional dirtbag skier
post #6 of 62
I'd be most concerned about my safety.
post #7 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Pun View Post

Also, any tips in general on being semi-homeless would be nice.

 

I've had friends sleep in their cars in pretty public locations without any trouble. You could also drive around and find a deserted backroad where you're not likely to be found. 

 

As for being semi-homeless:

 

- Use couchsurfing.

- Take advantage of places that are open 24/7 to hang out/kill time/sleep.

- Go dumpster diving for supplies and even packaged food in some cases.

 

post #8 of 62
Thread Starter 
I'm not worried about hygiene, or entertainment (I will be looking for a job, harassing my gf, reading, exercising etc)

Safety I guess is a concern, I've never been to Phoenix/Tempe.

Main concern is food, obviously no refrigerated items. Not trying to eat out every meal either. Maybe I should buy one of those little propane camp stoves? Make rice and beans. This makes me think I should look into a camping spot versus a parking lot.
post #9 of 62
Wouldn't it be easier to find parking in residential areas and move in the day? I don't think too many people would even notice if you moved everyday.
post #10 of 62
It is actually illegal in some counties depending where you are located. Some police officers may cite you if they suspect you are sleeping in your vehicle. It is best to be discreet, and move from place to place. Their is a whole culture on this, research van dwelling, boon docking, and vagrancy laws. Wish you the best.
post #11 of 62
Thread Starter 
^^I trust your sage advice because you only make 0.7 posts a year.
post #12 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by huy View Post

Wouldn't it be easier to find parking in residential areas and move in the day? I don't think too many people would even notice if you moved everyday.

I wouldn't advise sleeping in residential neighborhoods. I once called the cops on a guy who was sleeping in a car in front of my house. Cops came, woke the guy up, and made him leave.

Also, I was talking to a friend who is driving cross country at the end of this week. He's planning to sleep for a few hours, as needed, in Walmart parking lots.
post #13 of 62
If you put a sleeping bag in the trunk, nobody will notice.
post #14 of 62
Is this a theoretical question? Or are you actually planning on going forward with this?
post #15 of 62
I've always wanted to drive cross N.A. and sleep in a vehicle for a year. If I had to do it, I'd park in a 24/7 parking lot or a residential area that has a mix of apartments/houses.
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