San Diego and the Nomad (Van Diego)

Over 100 days on the road, and I have found the mecca for the van dweller auto dweller that wants to be near a large city.

I may be making this proclamation a bit prematurely since I have only been in SoCal for two weeks. Still, if the current court ruling sticks, San Diego may need to change its name to Van Diego.

In February 2019, the San Diego City cancel unanimously voted to repeal a 1983 ordinance prohibiting residents from living in a vehicle on any street with the city limits.

Before you pack up your apartment and head west, remember that this ruling is only a couple of months old. Kevin Faulconer, San Diego’s mayor, has proposed an ordinance to make vehicle habitation illegal. He claims his propsal is in response to “hundreds of complaints” from residents on the “cleanliness and illegal activity related to people living out of vehicles.”

The two tidbits of advice I can offer if your are considering living in your vehicle in San Diego… read the street signs and chat with other auto dwellers that you encounter.

Mission Beach (where I have spent the past week) does a top-notch job of letting you know where you can and cannot park, so read all street and parking signs. Most streets are swept at least one day each week, usually in the early to mid-morning.

Public parking is usually free, but it is important to note when you can and cannot park. Most lots require you to move at least a couple of hours each night.

My routine is to spend my day in public parking, move to the street late at night, then return to the public lot before the traffic picks up.

By talking with other nomads, I have learned of spots where I do not need to move each day. Another wanderer told me of a free dump station near Mission Beach, while a third RVer introduced me to a technique for getting fresh water.

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