db04f59d1dd7ef2bcf38d32c6d9a08e7xThis time of the year offers some amazing deals, but actually getting to those deals can be a real drag. Stores with the best deals will often open their doors in the wee hours from 4 to 6 a.m., and by that time a line around the block and down the street has already formed.

Savvy (or just really determined) shoppers sometimes pitch tents on the sidewalk the night before and wait it out that way. For many people, however, spending the night sleeping on concrete just to shave $100 off of a flatscreen TV purchase might be just a little too hardcore to justify the savings.

So let’s say there’s a killer Holiday deal you absolutely have to get in on, but you’re not willing to go the Hobo Jim route. An alternative to consider is camping out with a conversion van. If you’re not familiar with them, conversion vans are a sort of hybrid of a cargo van and a camper. They’re generally smaller than a regular camper, with the ability to easily tuck into a regular parking space, but still offer sleeping quarters, a kitchenette and other creature comforts for short camping trips.

Of course, this plan is contingent on a few things. One is actually owning or having access to a conversion van. If you don’t have access to a van but expect your Holiday purchases to save (or earn) you multiple hundreds of dollars, it might be worthwhile to rent a van for the night. This could be particularly economical if you want to visit multiple stores throughout the morning but don’t already have a vehicle!

Another factor is that someone will actually need to be physically present in the line at all times. Stores are generally not going to allow you to roll the van directly into the line! So this plan will require teamwork, with at least two people swapping positions in the line. One physically holds the place in the line while the others get to enjoy the comforts of indoor living. Given the fairly cramped quarters of conversion vans, however, it’s probably best to include no more than three people total in this scheme. Also, the less people involved, the more storage space is available in the van as you make your escape from the zombie shopping hordes.

If a conversion van is attainable and you can enlist the help of at least one partner, it can be a stylish way to weather a cold night in the parking lot.