Walmart or 24 hour fitness parking lots are always safe bets in a pinch.
Is that how you are doing it when you are here?
You can park in my driveway if you are ever in O'side.
Mahalo for the offer but my van adventure is over, back home now and when I come back it'll be with the family for a short burst...
I never did the parking lot thing, I slept in very nice neighborhoods and had a very specific game plan with some rules, so here's a Mr. Doof style list:
1. Never park in the same place two night in a row. I had 5-7 good spots, close to work or close to spots I like to surf. Rotate them. Five nights minimum between stays.
2. Never get out of the van. Arrive late, after 9pm, having already done all my bedtime stuff at a park or at work. Jump into the back, pull the shades, set the alarm for 5:30, crash. Then up before the sun and head out before anyone even knows I'm there.
3. Never park within sight of someone's window or front door. This can be tough in a city, hence the importance of picking your spots and knowing them well.
Follow these rules and you are being respectful to homeowners and neighborhoods and minimizing getting "the knock." I never had the knock, not once, and a few times I woke up with parking tickets, meaning the cops ticketed my van with me crashed inside and never even knew I was there.
It's easy and safe if you're respectful. I met a few local residents of neighborhoods I crashed in at coffee shops who recognized my van, and was always honest about my trip. They were cool and some even offered to let me post up in their driveways. Never took them up on it, that seemed really weird to me, actually.