When someone mentions “urban survival,” what comes to mind? For many, that term evokes images of wandering alone through a barren, dystopian landscape like those seen in I Am Legend or The Walking Dead. But the reality of urban survival is much more practical — it’s about finding a way to live in a densely-populated, fully-functioning metropolis while avoiding confrontations with other residents or authorities. The so-called stealth camping movement is an interesting approach to this everyday form of urban survival. One YouTube content creator known as Stories from a Van filmed a 15-minute video showing how he lives comfortably under the radar in his innocuous-looking Nissan NV200 panel van.
Evan, the man behind Stories from a Van, says he built this Nissan NV200 with help from his father, a carpenter. Aside from a small vent and some low-profile solar panels on top, it appears to be a completely normal delivery or utility van from the outside. These small vans are common in cities, so no one will bat an eye at it, unlike a larger 10-passenger or Sprinter van.
The build began by insulating the interior and adding a layer of vinyl to cover the insulation. Custom wood cabinets were built across the full length of the van’s floor, offering storage space as well as some surprises like the shower pan and drain in the center compartment. A folded foam mattress serves as Evan’s bed, and a simple Igloo cooler acts as his refrigerator.
At the back of the van, there’s a sink concealed underneath the desk surface, along with a clever U-shaped drawer that makes use of the dead space around the sink. The lighting on the ceiling and power outlets are connected to a custom electrical system Evan built. It includes onboard batteries linked to the solar panels as well as a charge controller hooked up to the van’s engine for cloudy days.
The rear of the van also contains a custom plumbing system with two fresh water containers and a gray water tank underneath the body. There’s clearly a lot of thought put into this setup, and we appreciate how truly discreet this stealth camping van looks. Check out the full video walkthrough below:
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