New Stealth Magnets – A Reward for Weight Loss Goal #2

Magnetic signs such as these can help you blend in.

I just ordered a couple of signs as a reward for reaching the 25 pound milestone.  It’s been a lot of fun.  Some of the weight loss so far has been fluids but a person’s ankles are happy to lose any weight put on them!  It’s been relatively easy and a good momentum has been started – reason to celebrate.

The #2 milestone reward was meant to be a “want” rather than a “need.”  One of the tools I really wished to have on board the van was something to act as a decoy for street or parking lot camping, particularly during the day.  My psychologist once told me of a man who lived in his van and used magnetic signs as a “cloaking device.”   With his vehicle marked as a handyman’s truck nobody bothered him, thus the Star Trek reference “cloaked” to refer to a sort of man made invisibility.

Above you see a sign that was customized from a template – one of thousands available from different online companies.  The actual signs I ordered are much different from the example.  The layout chosen was professional looking but used very reserved colors (blues and greys) with nothing too unusual or flashy (such as a cartoon or cute picture) that might draw extra attention.  For this application, I wanted a sign so unremarkable that the van would likely be dismissed as just another work vehicle.  Some people might even not consciously read the new sign – all the better!   For privacy reasons, I have elected not to show what was ordered.

The cost for the two signs (45 mil, heavy duty material) was $41 including shipping).  That’s not a bad deal.  The decoy magnets can pay for themselves in just one night if it saves you the cost of a motel room.

Now on to the fifty pound milestone!  After reaching it, I intend to take a three day trout fishing trip with at least one of those days stealth camping.  It will be some time in May.


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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

12 Responses to New Stealth Magnets – A Reward for Weight Loss Goal #2

  1. Wanderoke says:

    Great Idea with the magnetic signs! You are an inspiration with the weight loss, way to go!

  2. Michelle says:

    I always wondered….how do you handle the telephone number? Do you put a real one up or do you fake it. If you put a real one do you just let it go to voice mail and never return the call? Please tell me this one.
    Congrads on your weight ain’t easy and Im still trying.

  3. Bradford says:

    Hi Michelle. I did use a telephone number but did not include the area code. I felt that it gave a little more authenticity to the sign. The only thing is that if you do that, you can open yourself up to someone doing a reverse lookup and finding out who you are if you post anything with your phone number in it… I removed references to my cell phone from the blog for that reason.

    For the little amount that the signs will really be used, I felt that the risk is acceptable. Low key signs will probably not generate much interest – few people will even see it and when they do they are unlikely to call. When the signs are in use, I’ll just go back to the generic phone recording. If they were on the van a lot, I’d use a bogus number or just a city, state combination such as…

    Sell It All Auctioneers
    Humboldt, Iowa

    In that case, it wouldn’t really hurt not to have a phone number. *smile* Humboldt, by the way, is over three hours from where I live… LOL.

    Thanks for commenting.

  4. Bradford says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Michelle says:

    Very cool I like that I may do just that. Clever hats off to you sir. LOL

  6. Bradford says:

    Thanks Wanderoke.

    I’m trying to convince friends that it’s not been that difficult to lose weight. To gain weight it took a lot of money and self abuse to pack on the pounds. I just have to eat a little less, have better quality food, and be more active.

    It is true what they say… An camping type living arrangement really can help promote a healthy and more fulfilling life.

    I’ve tried a bunch of times to drop pounds but failed each time. It was due to being miserable in life and the food was a crutch. The ups and downs of a stressful existence would help derail the effort each time. The new lifestyle has helped with the stress and depression. That makes it a lot easier to avoid the emotional eating. It also helps keep a person aligned and “on track.”

    Have a super day!

  7. Michelle says:

    Ok I do have one more comment …. commercial license. Don’t you need one in order to have a logo like that? Sorry it just stuck on my mind that most vans and trucks have commercial licenses have those logos.

  8. Bradford says:

    I wasn’t sure if you meant like a federal tax permit or a commercial license plate and registration?

    I did some checking and there is no need for a commercial license plate to put advertising on your car, at least not in Iowa. Case in point – many realtors in the area have magnetic signs on their vehicles. So do people who proclaim they lost weight on some herbal stuff or made money at home (legally)… LOL

    Also, there isn’t any real logo to speak of so I don’t think there’s any kind of copyright issues, etc. I checked for duplicate names and after a lot of work, made up a name that nobody appeared to be using.

    Another idea would be to just create a political magnetic sign that says something like “Elect [insert bogus name] for Supervisor so our voices will be heard!” There are all kinds of possibilities.

  9. Ash says:

    Excellent idea, when I have a larger vehicle this will be my first purchase:)

  10. D0N says:

    Great idea. Anything you can do to make it look more “utility” is a good thing. I’ve heard of fols in big cities adding fake numbers and letters on their vehicles to make them look more like a utility company. Some even go as far as adding a yellow strobe light on the roof. This usually will allow them to park almost anywhere and not get a ticket. The meter maids think the vehicle belongs to a utility company worker so they look the other way.

    I’ve just found your blog and now have to rea back and check out your van.

    I like star trek too. I’m not a trekkie per say but I’ll watch star trek whenever it’s on. Maybe I am a trekkie?! LOL.

  11. Bradford says:

    Hello, Don. That’s a great idea about the yellow utility light. It’s perfectly legal as far as I know.

    I’m in the process of making a PVC telescopic mast for the TV antenna. It will be used in conjunction with a long, painted 2×4 or 2×6. That stuff attached to the roof rack will also add some stealth value by looking like some handyman’s supplies. 🙂

    Thanks for checking out the blog and for commenting.

  12. Pat says:

    I’d put a sign on my van that says ‘advertise on this van’. Then a legimate company can pay you for the privilege.