Sleeping in Roof top tent in random location = illegal?


I recently purchased a autohome maggiolina. I live in canada Vancouver and was wondering if we could get a fine for sleeping in our roof top tent on the side of the road or other random location.

would that be illegal? and if not, Is there any law documents online I could print out just in case a cop decides otherwise ?



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If a site is not open to camping then you might invite attention from the law. Its likely going to be local or county ordinances, for example here in Salt Lake County (Utah) its illegal to camp except in designated areas. Same with National Parks, Forests, etc, you would need to carry a phone book sized stack of paperwork to validate your camping. However on most BLM land here in the west, pull off the road and camp all you want...

The Adam Blaster

Expedition Leader
I was going to suggest Wally World as being safe as well, but I'm guessing he's not going to be anywhere near a store to crash for the night.
Alternatively, you might try a rest stop/gas station. Ask the manager if he'd mind if you parked with your tent open around back, or somewhere out of the way, or at least out of sight of his customers. Just buy something before you ask, make it harder for him to say no. :D

As for the side of the road, it probably depends on the province, type of road, and if the cops in the area are going to be jerks or not. I would imagine imagine most cops would just tell you to move along, it would be pretty rare to get a fine - especiaslly if you tell them the reason you pulled over was because you had driven all day and were very tired. Always play the "it was for safety" angle. ;)


I recently purchased a autohome maggiolina. I live in canada Vancouver and was wondering if we could get a fine for sleeping in our roof top tent on the side of the road or other random location.

would that be illegal? and if not, Is there any law documents online I could print out just in case a cop decides otherwise ?

Your question is too broad.

Where do you want to sleep ? Which highway, which road and which random location.

Are you talking about sleeping in the RTT within the city of Vancouver, kits, downtown, etc... ?

Can you be more specific as to where you want to sleep in it ?


^ thanks for the advises guys.

@ jfarsang: sorry I didn't have any particular site in mind, just a general question, hard to answer considering every site is different, my bad.


Well pretty much you can sleep in your vehicle anywhere you can park your vehicle providing it's relatively lowkey. a rooftop tent is not lowkey so you are then limited to sleeping in it in designated areas such as campgrounds, rv sites, wallmart, friend/family property, etc...

if you pop it up and sleep in it in kitsilano on the street you probably wouldn't have any problems. if you do the same in east hastings, you will definitely attract unwanted attention.

It's pretty simple common sense. Park/sleep where permitted because a maggiolina is eye candy on top of a vehicle and it attracts attention, otherwise you may end up with a stranger and/or police poking their head in. Not the most pleasant/safe experience.


park behind a hill and don't draw attention to yourself. We have camped in the parking lots of old faithful and grand Tetons, also along 191 south in Utah and in Cooke city Montana.


Stealth camping involves blending in - that means not raising the tent.

If you ask a business to let you camp - there's a big difference between asking them to "camp out" vs. asking them if you can "catch a few hours of sleep". They may not be too keen on the former and more agreeable to the latter.

If you are in a public forest, call the local rangers and ask where you can camp or go to their website and try to find the rules. You should be able to figure this out within about 20 minutes or less for just about anywhere in the USA and Canada.

I know everyone is for equality, but the reality is that if you boondock in a place you are not supposed to camp, and a ranger or cop comes along then your appearance and demeanor will matter. If you are sober, nicely dressed, act with respect, and are driving a decent vehicle you will get much less of a hassle than if you are drunk, dirty and driving an old beat up rig. Right or wrong, that's the way the world works.
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You can camp anywhere in a National Forest as long as it doesn't say you can't . There are times when there will be a sign that says ( no camping for next 10 miles ) or something like that ? You can camp anywhere on BLM land as long as it doesn't say you can't .
When I am traveling I try to find a National Forest or BLM land or any public land that is not posted ( NO CAMPING ) . Sometimes I have just stopped on a dirt road off of a HWY or even a gravel pit .:bike_rider:
I never camp in cities or some stores parking lot , I wait till I'm away from town then look for a quite place and have never had a problem . True in the last 20 years that has been mostly out west , were there is tons of open pubic land , but I have done it all over the states and Canada with out any trouble .:smiley_drive: If a cop does stop , most of the time if they don't want you there they will just ask you to leave ? Yes I have camped in some farmers field when I was young and had them come out to work the field and find me , but never have they been pissed because I didn't make a mess and was obvious I had just stopped to get some rest and wasn't squatting or really camping on there land ? :costumed-smiley-007

Last year I was on a trip with some friends on my Harley and after a week we split up and went our own ways home and I stopped at a little used stuff store along the road and was talking to the cute woman there and ask her if there was a place close by where I could camp and she said I could stay there behind the store where it was all grass and had a picnic table and was a few miles from any towns and was surrounded by fields so I said OK . Plus she was cute and we had a few drinks .:ylsmoke: Pic 1 of cute girl . Pic 2 A place where I camped on a creek , not a campground , in National Forest . Pic 3 Pic where you can't camp ? Hard to find a place on the Pacific Ocean where you can camp that's not posted . (NO CAMPING) Unless it's a campground ?

If your out in the middle of nowhere nobody cares where you camp , as long as it doesn't say (NO CAMPING) .



Spamicus Eliminatus
If it helps, I've slept in a RTT in rest stops, just off the side of the road and even a Wal-Mart parking lot all in BC. Never had a single issue. Just stay quiet and leave early.

And like others have mentioned just be smart about it. Don't park on Robson ;)


I've slept in the roof top tent In central park in Burnaby. Cop came and asked, I told him I was driving buy and wanted to catch few hrs of sleep. He didn't mind. I also camped on a truck rest stop in Hope, same no problems. Btw, where dis you buy your RTT? Anywhere local?

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