|Example of a Stealth Van- Source|
The stealth van was smart because the entire RV is compact within a Mercedes van. This couple had a solar panel on top and a vent fan but it didn't look like an RV. Their solar panel powered the whole rig (small fridge, lights, computer charger, vent fan, water pump). They had a lofted bed with storage underneath, a couch, sink, even a porta potty. They are truly self sufficient and their van looks like maybe a work van but I would never have suspected it to be an RV if I saw it parked somewhere.
The reason I think this type of RV is so smart is because you really are able to be stealthy and camp more places than we can in the Airstream for free. The Airstream plus the truck is 50' long so we can camp in campgrounds, Cabela's parking lots (and other RV friendly parking lots) and some rest stops. The stealth camper van couple told us they camped at Golden Gate park one night and are able to blend in on the street in big cities all for free!
The longer we've traveled the more I see that a small rig would be easier to camp in places that are free. However since we live in the Airstream full-time I like having as much space as we have. We also have a full size fridge and a shower which the stealth camper didn't have.
Now that I know about the stealth camper van I'm constantly trying to spot them. I think I've seen one pulled over on the side of the road camping and a few in parking lots.
There are so many smart ways to camp out there!