Living in your van always puts you at risk of having someone interrupting your sleep. The big question is who is it, and what do they want. Most of the time you can avoid getting your sleep disturbed by being selective about where you park for the night. No matter how careful you are in picking your spot, sooner or later someone is going to knock on your door to see if anyone’s inside.
If Johnny Law is the person on the outside it’s likely he will leave no doubt in your mind as to who it is. Be assured he has already run your plates, and checked to see if you have a record that could concern him. With his noticeably authoritative knock, you will likely see a flood of light and possibly a Whoop, Whoop or two out of his siren. It’s in his best interest to make it very clear to you that indeed it’s the Police trying to check you out.
Feeling confident that it is the law rousting you out, don’t do anything stupid. If possible, without a bunch of commotion, turn on interior lights to make yourself as visible as possible. Acknowledge their knock, a clear “I’m Coming Out” will be sufficient. Open the door slowly and for God’s sake keep your hands where he can see them. Sudden or evasive movement is a great way to get yourself shot.
Be polite, odds are he just wants to make sure you’re not up to anything illegal. It’s best if indeed you aren’t. It doesn’t hurt a bit to throw in a few Yes Sirs, or No Sirs, respect the authority of the badge and he will probably send you on your way. You might even ask him if he knows where you can get a few hours sleep, don’t be shocked if he leads you to the Police parking lot. There are worse places to spend the night.
Other then the Police, anyone that would be knocking on your door probably isn’t someone you want to deal with. If possible remain silent and don’t move around and hopefully, they’ll give up and leave.
If things look dire, slip behind the wheel and make your exit without confronting the intruder. This isn’t the time to be a hero, it’s time to get out of Dodge.
Beyond pulling a curtain aside and giving away the fact that you’re indeed home, how is one to determine who’s out there. One of the best ideas is to install front door peepholes, the optical kind like are on many house doors. One on each side of your mobile dwelling will give you good coverage. Without giving away the fact that someone is inside your vehicle you can check out who’s knocking. Then make an educated decision as to how you want to handle the intrusion.
There is one sure way to avoid trouble in the long run. That’s to not go where trouble hangs out. If door knockers are a problem for you, it’s time to rethink your strategy when it comes to picking your sleeping location.