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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi, i have a white one on order but I'm thinking now of doing the amazon prime color for stealth purposes.

the white probably would be much cooler in the sun but it seems like the amazon prime color just blends right in on the streets these days.

does anybody here have any first hand experience on how hot the amazom gray color is vs white?
 

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No idea about the color VS heat number-wise but obviously the white is better. I just don't think that stealth is really possible unless you have no extra windows, fans, solar panels and so on. People know what a camper looks like, thieves most of all. Now, if you take a stock van, put some kind of business logo/wrap on it you might stand a chance. Otherwise I think it is pretty hard to fool people.
 

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A lot depends on where you plan to camp and what you see as "stealth."

Urban parking? Blending in in the forest? Or?

I love the Abyss Gray color. But.... I probably wouldn't get it due to heat. That said, there are people here who just love the dark colors and so they live with it (but they do say it takes more AC etc. to keep cool, which is pretty obvious if you've ever owned a dark car).

Others who ordered dark colors ended up painting the roof white to get some relief. That works pretty well by all reports but IMO it's hard to figure out how to make a nice transition in the front, especially on a high roof. Member @GROOVY2 (I think I have the right person) had a red van but painted the whole thing white because it got hot for camping.

Then again, maybe you will spend all your time in the northern shady forest. That's totally different than being out in the sun (but see below about city life).

As far as stealth..... I don't see it. As @Boondox mentioned unless you have no windows, no vents, no solar panels everyone knows about hashtagvanlife these days, especially anyone who would be giving you "the knock."

Back to location: I get hints that you are planning to city dwell mostly? (Because obviously people don't park Amazon delivery vans in the woods, so that would be no help out boondocking.) I still think a white van would have the advantage in the city (presuming no windows/vents/solar). Even better to my mind would be a box truck. Or maybe an older Econoline with all windows and a church logo.

One last note is that Abyss Grey is not quite Amazon Grey (tho maybe close enough) (credit @Surfmobile):

Automotive parking light Tire Car Wheel Sky
 

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I chose Abyss Gray in part to blend in when out in the wild. Kind of has a rock tone and offends less than stark white. For heat white is the best but I wanted to blend in. I won’t be in the van on a hot day I’ll be out and about or under an awning or something.
As far as stealth you’d have to have the van look like airport passenger van or the like which is my plan if I ever decide to do it.
 

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You just can't get much more ignored than a white van with no windows. I've had people come up thinking I am a contractor and ask if I could do jobs for them in their house. If I want to blend in I just park where contractors would. A friend has a RAM van and we're both retired Feds so he had a magnetic sticker made for his. When he wants to truly stealth camp he heads to an airport or the street near a delivery center.
 

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white. Or paint the roof of the grey truck white.
Also, there is no such thing as "stealth camping", everyone knows someone's sleeping in that van.
 
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I don't know, I might go with this sticker, followed by the second one, if I had a white van.
(Might be controversial, or might be effective. Who knows these days.)

Rectangle Font Material property Electric blue Symbol

Rectangle Font Symbol Signage Logo
 
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I could mention this here, guess I will. On last weekend's trip driving in East Washington state, on hwy 2, , I slowly passed a midroof extended white AWD Transit that was interestingly decked out. I am fairly sure it is/was some sort of emergency management vehicle. It was white with a roof rack/ladder on the left rear door, filled with coolers, water containers, electric generator, and probably larger tents/camping gear. Plus quite an antenna array mounted all around the racks. The 2 rows of seats had passengers, but the rear windows were blacked out. Driver was uniformed in all black and I could tell he was wearing a protective vest. (Standard police gear one sees on policemen) Back doors had the yellow emergency stripes on the bottom and the right rear door had about a one foot circular emblem that had a partial US flag on it with EMD printed in the middle, and Washington printed below it, and below that, DOT and some numbers. (Registration I presume.) It really needed a bath.

I don't think I would approach that van if I saw it parked somewhere. Stealth no, but I would leave this van alone if I saw it parked somewhere.
 
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I'd go white. White is easy to sell some day and cooler. Looks like every other van on the road. I'd avoid signs that look like there's tools or maybe packages inside. "Millers Septic Tank Pumping" would be my choice in signage. Nobody would come near you.
 

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I've parked my white, completely stock on the outside, van amongst trucks in commercial areas with no one suspecting. Just plan on leaving early before they go to work.
 

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Hi Tijoe, I am going with a white van. It is far safer and cooler. Here is a study I did. I think you and many others will find that this helps you a lot.

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Car Paint Color Temperatures Test
  1. Test conducted November 22nd, 2019 at 2:30 pm
  2. 76 degrees Fahrenheit, direct sun, no clouds
  3. Jacksonville, Florida at a Ford dealership
  4. New/clean cars, not driven, sitting on dealer lot in the sun
  5. A hand-held thermometer "laser gun" was used to scan several areas on each car hood that were in direct sunlight. The gun was held 2" away from each hood and the highest temperature was recorded.
  6. Each vehicle was scanned three times with the temperature gun and each reading was exactly the same as the previous one for that car.
  7. Test was completed within a 20 minute window

    =======================================
    86F or 30C White
    88F or 31C Bare Aluminum (a new bare piece that I laid out in the sun next to one of the cars)
    98F or 37C White (Pearl)
    102F or 39C Champagne
    110F or 43C Champagne (Darker)
    114F or 45C Blue (Bright)
    121F or 49C Silver
    124F or 51C Silver (Darker)
    126F or 52C Red
    127F or 53C Black Line-X coating in a truck bed
    128F or 53C Metallic Red
    128F or 53C Green (Bright)
    130F or 54C Silver Spruce Metallic - Ford colour/ER LTi
    139F or 59C Metallic Grey (Dark)
    144F or 62C Black (Plain)


    The test was performed to obtain metrics and quantitative data, a week before Thanksgiving in Northern Florida. Consider the impact in a desert environment such as the Southwestern US or Western Australia.

A proper data recollection is the basis of a proper reference template.
I have seen other tests, but non as detailed as this one.
 

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Here in the oil field they haul radioactive isotopes around every day, Sometimes you see white ford transit's with bright yellow radioactive placards on them. I am told they use the isotopes to find leaks in pipes., So that crude oil was already radioactive and now it is even hotter by the time it gets to the refinery.
 

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I found a pair of white federally outfitted quad cab 4X4 type 1 ambulance style trucks in the HD parking lot a few years back. Was visually touring the truck, admiring how well our taxes can outfit a rig. Big dude with black uniform (no side arms) stepped out to inquire on my snooping. Claimed FEMA investigators due to a few minor tornadoes that had visited the area. These trucks had every dream of top shelf hardware the feds could get. Makes one proud.
 

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I wanted abyss grey but was concerned about the temp. Ended up with avalanche grey. Did some testing after. Wish I would have stuck with abyss.
I posted my findings here:

Cheers!!
 

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On stealth, there's no such true thing. But you can get close with careful vehicle selection, where you park, and what you do there.

I think most people overlook tall white Vans if they aren't obviously decked out like campers. Even my low profile solar gets a pass from the majority of uninformed people.

In 3-1/2 years of full time van living, mostly parking on street overnight I've never had a ticket or knock in a city.

Your choice of location will have a huge impact on your own success.
 

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Regarding sleeping/living in yer van in a city, no one enforces or even notices anymore cuz all the homeless living in rvs and vans and cars (if they're rich and have one). You can pretty much park anywhere except in purely residential areas and no one is going to bother you. Except maybe people stealing your catalytic converter or wheels.
 

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White was too common, I wanted a nice custom color for the custom order, but I have to admit White is the most practical color. If I were living full time in one, I'd probably have gone white.
 
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White vans are the closest thing to an invisible van.
 
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