Not all travelers want to have a fun, quirky, or flamboyant trailer in tow. Some fancy a stealth camping style where they get to be wherever they please without disturbing anyone or without attracting any attention. Contrary to its low key style, so much goes into making your trailer stealthy. It is definitely more than just painting your trailer black or gray, and then driving off.
How do you make your camper trailer stealth? Keep your camper trailer exteriors discreet by choosing a theme that blends well into the city life for a great cover-up. Choose subtle colors like black, white, and nato green. Keep the accessories intentional and the decors minimal.
This article focuses on how to achieve a stealth camper trailer through great design and strategic planning. Understanding your purpose for stealth camping makes a great foundation to know the elements that make a camper trailer stealth. In this article, you will know the best colors, themes, and trailer types to use to pull off a seamless stealth design for your camping and parking convenience.
Stealth Camping: How’s and Why’s
Before we dive into the specifics on HOW to actually make your camper trailer stealth, let us first discuss the WHY. You probably have your personal reasons why you would prefer to go stealth camping. But you might also be wondering how it really started and how you can work your way around the regulations per state if there are any.
Also known as “wild camping” or “guerilla camping”, stealth camping is the act of sleeping inside your vehicle without drawing attention to yourself. So think of it as parking overnight in the streets, but instead of leaving the vehicle as it is, you are actually enjoying a sweet slumber inside. This is generally considered illegal to do since you are not sleeping in a designated campsite. Aside from that, campers usually do this without the landowner’s permission more often than not. For neighbors or the city as a whole, this creates “eyesore” when too many campers do it. The simple fix: blend in. This is when making your vehicle stealth and solid comes in handy.
Campers generally stealth camp or park for convenience. When you are out boondocking in your trailer, and you need to run errands but there are no campsites nearby, stealth camping or parking is the way to go. You can simply come and go unnoticed as if you were not even there. When it comes to camper trailers, your tow vehicle should obviously go hand in hand with your trailer, with everything planned out and designed to a tee for consistency.
Anatomy Of A Stealth Trailer
So now let us talk about what makes a stealth trailer, how it is supposed to look, and how you can customize your own camper trailer according to its design to make it stealth-ready. Off the bat, a stealth camper trailer is very lowkey on the outside, borderline boring. Something that does not merit a second look; sort of like when you blink, you miss it. That is the whole gist of it.
The main goal is to be as forgettable as possible or better yet, to not be noticed at all. Your stealth camper trailer should be so stealth that there is nothing to give away – no windows, no colorful decals, no sign that says “CAMPER TRAILER”, no anything.
Best Trailer Types and Themes
When it comes to trailer types, any type would do. There is no one-size-fits-all trailer that can be tagged as “The One” in the name of stealth camping. Anything can be turned stealth if you design it well enough, regardless if it is a van, an RV, or a towable trailer. At the end of the day, it is how you design your trailer that counts.
However, if you are looking for something solid and ready to go yet versatile enough for modifications, the ideal ones to drive around are box trucks or cargo trailers. Both of these have a plain structure and exteriors that you can design however you like. If you want to take it up a notch and you have the budget for it, you could even choose a specific model from the 2020 Stealth Trailers Nomad line-up.
When it comes to color, camouflaging is the key. You want your camper trailer to be challenging to spot. Or if ever it is noticed, could easily be shrugged off and forgotten. To achieve this, the best colors that make any camper trailer stealth are white, black, charcoal gray, nato green, and shiny silver.
Any neutral color like white, black, and charcoal gray deems inconspicuous even in the middle of the day. Whereas nato green goes great when you are out in the boonies. You can easily blend in with the trees and nature in general, so you can stay hidden while being in plain sight. This also works well in the city since this does not display a flashy choice of color.
On the other hand, a shiny silver finish can be tagged as a typical “new vehicle” around town. Outsiders or residents can easily assume that there is nothing special about it other than being brand new. This makes it easy to park in the city and not attract a lot of attention if at all. Silver is also a usual color to see in vehicles, whether it is an SUV or a company truck, unlike a bright yellow or a hot red trailer.
Best Trailer Themes
Now let us talk about themes. To be fair, it takes time to spruce up your camper trailer before it is ready for stealth camping and parking. Stealth campers usually have creative themes and ideas to make their vehicle unsuspecting.
The most common camper trailer themes are delivery trucks, company trucks, and tool trucks. They look very professional that you do not question their intention in the area. For your convenience and peace of mind, there are a lot of creative ways to disguise your stealth camper trailer without spending a fortune. You only need to do some tweaks here and there, and you are good to go! Other than this, you can simply do a paint job to cover everything up, and you are done.
This brings us to the exciting section of this article – how to design your stealth camper trailer.
Ins & Outs: Designing Your Stealth Trailer
Exteriors: Keeping it Lowkey
You may already have an idea of what color or theme you like, but there is still a lot of work to do! As mentioned earlier, you want to keep your stealth camper trailer as lowkey as possible. This means also protecting your trailer from the inside to not give away anything about your interiors. You can achieve this by putting black-out windows that completely block off any vision from the outside. You could also put up a privacy screen or any inconspicuous curtain to lessen attention towards your trailer.
Aside from adding elements like a paint job, making your camper trailer stealth also means avoiding adding anything to the exteriors. Do not leave any adventure gear hitched on the rear, or anything that gives away your camping intention. Also, put minimal stickers and decals that can be reduced only to your intended theme. For example, leave the business paint scheme on if there is any. Or print your own business design and display a fake and unreachable phone number if your trailer theme is a fake company truck.
You can only leave out a few exceptions when it comes to your exterior design and accessories. This includes solar panels, skylights, and a collapsible pop-top roof – all of which are hardly visible from the roadside. Whatever theme you decide on, keep it minimal and lowkey, so outsiders do not have a reason to ogle at your trailer and figure out you are stealth parking or camping.
Functional Decoratives: 2-in-1 Stealth Exterior
Speaking of accessories, you may add a few decors that would make your stealth theme more believable for any outsider. However, keep in mind to stick with your theme and avoid over-decorating.
Say your trailer is themed as a repair or service company, you can add a decorative ladder on the side, both for decor and for function. With the ladder, you can easily climb up to your roof to reach your solar panel. For something tiny, but both useful and decorative, eyelets add that professional touch to your stealth camper trailer. On the functional side, this allows something to brace your sun canopy on when you are staying outdoors in the boonies.
On the other hand, external hooks add to the aesthetics while giving you simple prongs for hanging your towels or clothes when you are outdoors. For extra measure, you could add an amber strobe light on the roof as a faux repair company truck. You could also place a costume by the driver’s seat to complete the theme of your camper trailer.
Interiors: Pack in Your Travel Personality
When designing your camper trailer to be stealth, remember that the exterior design or theme is the priority, and the interiors do not matter as much. You can make the exteriors as professional or as inconspicuous as you need to while keeping the interiors bursting with your colorful personality. So it could be very stiff and lackluster on the outside, but cool, spacious, and light-colored on the inside.
Since a trailer has a typical box or rectangular shape, it is fairly easy to make a floor plan without compromising space. This means you can design the interiors any way you want without giving out the design on the exteriors.
For an outsider, a stealth camper trailer gives off an appeal that they never know what to see inside unless the curtains are drawn. For any camper, a perfect stealth design presents both the challenge and the magic that comes with stealth camping or parking.
Any camper would benefit from a stealth camper trailer whether they are traveling part-time or full-time. While it is affordable and doable, transforming your camper trailer to be stealth definitely requires great planning and strategic designing to perfectly pull off. At the end of the day, stealth camping or parking could only be as successful as how seamless your stealth design is.