City Tramping Tips Pt. 1 (1 Viewer)

Eager

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Apr 5, 2012
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So I thought I'd share some tips for those new tramps who plan to spend most of your time in cities, suburbs, and towns. Even on sites about "stealth camping"; I've noticed there is really limited information on living in an RV in the city, and the information that is available never explores any extra-legal methods for surviving on the road. Fuck that, rubbertramping ain't just for rich folks.

This is meant to be the first post of a multi-part series that will hopefully help new tramps (and even experienced ones) avoid some of the issues I encountered when I first started living in an RV in the city. Stay tuned for future installments.

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Problem:
On a hot summer day its nearing 100 degrees in Any Suburb, USA. Yuppies all across this town are running sprinklers all day to keep their lawns from dying, but ask them to come in and cool off so you don't die, they'll promptly slam the door and call the police (believe me, we've tried). The library is closed for maintenance, and most of those stores we haven't stolen from are closed for memorial day weekend. So what are a couple of broke punks with no money and no friends for miles to do...?!

Solution:
Hmm... look like your typical summer day at a suburban strip mall?
2h3yome.jpg


Maybe to the unsuspecting cop or suburbanite driving by (none of those fuckers walk anywhere, you know), but if you take a closer look and know what you're looking for...

25sg7.jpg


...youll see there is an RV two parking spots away, discreetly plugged into the electrical outlet on the lamp post by a camouflaged extension cord, providing unlimited air conditioning, laptop charging, and lighting for as long as you need.

While many lamp posts in suburbia have electrical outlets, I've found these remakes of "victorian" types, almost always do (some are on the top of the pole, rather than the bottom), to allow for the usage of Christmas lights on holidays/special occasions. You can often find this same style of lamp lining the sidewalks of downtown areas of larger cities and small town squares, which also have outlets, although you'll need to be more creative about discreetly plugging in. In midtown Atlanta, for example, we plugged into a similar lamp in a dead-end alley, it was like our own private driveway amongst condos with monthly rents higher than the cost of our rig.

Street lamps of course are just one of many possibilities, so be on the look out from anything from power supplies outside vacant office buildings to outdoor electrical outlets that exist for large annual city festivals to outlets outside vacation homes during off-season.

If you have a larger AMP plug-in, you might want to consider obtaining a 15-AMP converter, which is available from the RV section at most Walmarts for cheap.


---

Problem:
Your septic tank is overflowing, but if you keeping shelling out $8 for dumps you're going to go broke. The cafe down the street is getting really tired of you coming in and taking long dumps in their bathroom, and its only a matter of time before they ban you. And while dumping it into the police station down the street sounds fun, you're not quite ready to pull a Thelma & Louise outta town. Whats a broke punk kid have to do to get free dumps?

Solution:
Flying J. There are two thing you should know about them. First, any mainstream RV website will tell you that Flying Js across the country offer RVers free "RV discount cards" to save money on dumps, which reduces the cost from $8 to $5. What they won't tell a dishonest punk kid like you is that if you lie and say you're a professional driver and apply for the free professional driver card instead, you can dump for $3.

2je1swo.jpg


And the other thing they won't tell you... the 4-digit "code" each location gives you to access their dump spot is the same every time. This means that as long as you pay for a dump your first time and write the code down, you can return to dump your sewage for free at that Flying J location using that code for the rest of your life. This is just a solution if you're staying in one town for an extended period, but who knows... maybe if enough people start doing this, we can make a list of codes for every Flying J location across the country so this becomes an option while travelling, too.

2hp0pxg.jpg


And some folk tunes for the road:
(Stay tuned for part 2!)
 
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Deleted member 2626

I deleted myself
anymore installments? pretty cool stuff, i don't dump and don't fequent cities but did put a extension cord in my van for these poles
 

Matt Derrick

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those are both awesome tips! i especially like the victorian light pole idea though. im always looking for outlets in my travels. give us more tips!
 
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Pheonix

I deleted myself
So I CAN go traveling with my desktop, sweet. Now I need to get a wifi card for the PC.
 

soapybum

Rambler
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Messages
171
If you don't mind wiring a lil bit, most light poles you can unscrew part of the base and get to the wires that way. We did that at occupy Nola and had most of the camp with electricity, sadly the city caught on and shut off the lights around it...
 

DregeDE

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If you don't mind wiring a lil bit, most light poles you can unscrew part of the base and get to the wires that way. We did that at occupy Nola and had most of the camp with electricity, sadly the city caught on and shut off the lights around it...
I'd not do that unless you know single and 3 phase electrical delivery systems, lots of citys have whats called hubbell plugs
891076.jpg
for events (like hempfest, folklife, bumbershoot here in seattle) they are VERY high voltage/amperage (I install stuff up to 1000 Amps) and can kill you and cause entire grids to shut down, talk about blowing your cover when your trying to urban camp stealthy.I don't know jack shit yet about this stuff as I'm still really new at this company but when I know more I'll most likely post any related/useful knowledge. I like sharing industry not so secret knowledge where and when I can.
The model shown is a 100 Amp hubbell female socket and male plug and typically is fed to a switch or breaker via 4/0 (00 gauge like for your ears but 0000 [those wires are like 3/4 inch diameter!!!]) where the power is split up to click lock plugs like this
then we gun it to GFI's (also called Edison receptacles - the things you see in a house in uhmeriku at the baseboards to plug your toaster in) THAT is usable, anything behind that like the hubbell your asking for a shocking experience if you fuck around. I'm pretty sure that if you accessed a light pole electricians access panel you would be dealing with higher voltage than anything your vehicles breaker can handle, and equipment to convert is several 100's or even 1000's - not knocking the thread, just sharing what I know thus far doing event lighting . . . .
 

DregeDE

I'm a d-bag and got banned.
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Heres another one that you can find in cities
. they are usually under those mysterious galvanized steel plates in the sidewalks its called cam something orother, its 5 wires (two hots, one or two nutral and one or two grounds, this is what the wires look like that you need
97_1.jpg
Nifty huh . . .
 

Floater

Lurker
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Nov 18, 2011
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I don't know if I'd be bawlsy enough to mess with most electrical access points. Touche` to all you who have the knowledge to pirate electricity for your own needs! Seems like it would be a good idea to do a little research in that area.
 

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