advise on wild camping please.

T

tetleys

Deleted User
hi all,
i am very new to motorcaravanning and would appreciate some advise please.

Having really wanting to do this for quite a long time.......iam in the process of finding and purchasing my first motorhome, idealy looking for a older type mercedes based autotrail.

i can imagine that the beauty of owning a motorhome to me would be that you have the freedom to go where ever and when ever you like with out the need to book and stay at proper sites if you didnt want to.

my plan is to have weekends/over nights away without the need of stopping at a site, and plan to park up some where discreet to park up and sleep.

Iam aware that other european countries are quite tolerant to this but ive been told that the uk is not, what i need to know is, .............for example......." i parked up next to a lake/woods in the day time and spent a relaxing day in and out the motorhome,and then left at night fall because it was too remote /isolated to sleep there, and then parked up somewhere that was a little bit more populated " what would be the consequences ? would the police knock on the van door and ask why am i parked up on a street instead of a campsite?Even though iam not making noise etc? and if so would it be a case of them telling me to move off? or would i be fined etc?Also, what if i just fancied pulling up and parking at the side of a road and having a nap in the day time or just stop and enjoy the view, would i also be moved on etc?

Or is it a case of trying to be descreet as possible, do not distrurb others, and do not park where there are notices stating no motor caravans, and do not sleep over night in the same place twice?????????

Your advise would be much appreciated as i really want to buy a motorhome, but i do not always want to stay at a camp site either, and i dont want to do something that could lead me getting fined are getting in trouble with the law.

thanks and happy christmas.
 

Jim

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Jul 19, 2007
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Its not against the law for you to sleep in a public place in your motorhome. However some local laws can prohibit this, and signs will be placed informing you, so look out for them. There are plenty of plebs among the motorhoming community and they break simple rules, like staying for too long and producing noise and mess. This is why more and more of these "camping prohibited" signs are appearing. The key to successful wild camping is to keep as low a profile as possible, if the Police swing by and see your "camp" with deck chairs and awning outside complete with a black sack off rubbish then they are probably going to bang on your door and ask you to move on.

Security is a concern of many who wild camp and it should certainly be high on your priorities when looking for somewhere to spend the night. a few security tips to use when wildcamping are..

1. Look at the area, does it feel right? Is the place littered with rubbish, used condoms, skid marks, this might indicate that idiots use the place at night.

2. Dont be a Nosey Parker!! always park in such a way that you can drive away, nose out, without having to do a 7 point turn!

3. Don't put screens (sliver screens insulation) on the outside of windows, these will impede your ability to drive away. Driving away is the very best defence for many security situations.

4. Try to be as inconspicuous as possible, difficult in a 25 foot long bright white motorhome, I agree. But do not put awnings and deckchairs out and light a camp fire, unless you are certain your actions are not going to attract attention from undesirables.

5. Make sure when you turn in that everything is stowed, doors are locked and you are not too drunk so as you won't wake and be able to drive away if an incident occurs.

Wild camping is fun, and is nothing to be scared of, some caravan sites are less secure that some wild-camping places especially those with a bar on site!. Just apply a little common sense, be aware of your surroundings and have fun.
 

Jim

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Why would Jim mind?, Wildcamping is a great site:thumb:
 
Aug 16, 2007
479
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Touchy

I know that some forums are a little touchy about other forums mentioned on their own site.
Thanks:thumb:
 

Jim

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Blatant spamming is of course not on, but pointing a member to a source of good info as you did is of course OK.

But that said, we are pretty relaxed here, most people have a tabbed browser and can have many sites open at once. There are plenty of other motorhome forums and hiding them from your membership is pretty cynical. a google search for motorhome forum will lead you tall all of them in a second.:Smile:
 
Jul 29, 2007
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Wild camping is fun, and is nothing to be scared of, some caravan sites are less secure that some wild-camping places especially those with a bar on site!. Just apply a little common sense, be aware of your surroundings and have fun.
Stayed in a Haven site a few years ago in our Euro m/h, after the bar closed their was a big fight a couple of m/h's down, window smashed and a tent flattened. We peeked out of the curtains watching it, entertaining for me, scary for the wife.

Olley
 

artona

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Jul 31, 2007
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HI

One of my favourite blogs is by an american called George. If you google Miss Tioga it will come up. Miss Tioga is the name of his RV.

George wildcamps all over the states. I envy the freedom he has. One thing that I noticed in your opening post that he would disagree with is "setting off at nighfall to find a night camp". George likes to find his night camp during the day time so he can see how safe it is.

He has also blogged that if there are nearby houses he will introduce himself and ask permission. Maybe he does not need to be but what a nice thing to do. He is yet to blog that permission has been turned down.

I have "wildcamped" often.


stew
 
Aug 16, 2007
479
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Wild or wild

HI all,
There is wild camping and wild camping:winky: if you know what I mean.
Wild by a lake/ river/ up a mountain, in the middle of no where or semi wild in a car park, aire, or just along the road from civilization.
My personal hates are lay by's and industrial estates, both only for emergencies!:Eeek:
It all is a question of degree!
Just make sure that you feel safe and not causing a nuisance to anyone else.
Just enjoy and leave the location just as you found it:thumb:
 

scotjimland

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HI all,
There is wild camping and wild camping:winky: if you know what I mean.
I know exactly where you're coming from , IMO .. The term wild camping should only be used when the location is truly wild, 'camping' in a car park, promenade, lay-by etc is simply 'free camping' ( some say 'free loading' )

Wild camping spots are few and far between in the UK and no matter where it is someone owns it and that 'someone' may come along and move you on. :Sad:
 
Aug 16, 2007
479
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Not free loading

I know exactly where you're coming from , IMO .. The term wild camping should only be used when the location is truly wild, 'camping' in a car park, promenade, lay-by etc is simply 'free camping' ( some say 'free loading' )

Wild camping spots are few and far between in the UK and no matter where it is someone owns it and that 'someone' may come along and move you on. :Sad:
Hi, I don't think it is free loading if you stay on a car park or even a promenade as long as you pay your way and do not try to avoid paying..:thumb:
I for one would rather pay a little more than a little less, particularly if I am enjoying the parking facility!.
I do not condone the sort that turn up late and go early, just to avoid any payment:Eeek:
 

scotjimland

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Hi Graham

I did say "some" call it free loading .. but it has become a huge problem on the Spanish costa resorts with vans parked up for weeks at a time.. these are the real freeloaders who get us all a bad name.. the same problem exists on the Moroccan Atlantic coast where traditionally free camping was tolerated, now the authorities have clamped down and move vans on..
Motorhomes are becoming more and more popular and with site prices rising steeply combined with a lack of official stopovers .. it's a recipe for confrontation.
 
Last edited:

artona

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Hi

I think that is a different story Jim. Wildcamping for me is about moving on, discovering things/areas new to you, stopping overnight and then moving on again. parking up for long periods is taking residence and those people are spoiling it for the rest of us.

I saw that in France on the Aires where you had people who looked as though they had been there for ages.


stew
 

scotjimland

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Hi

I think that is a different story Jim. Wildcamping for me is about moving on, discovering things/areas new to you, stopping overnight and then moving on again. parking up for long periods is taking residence and those people are spoiling it for the rest of us.

I saw that in France on the Aires where you had people who looked as though they had been there for ages.


stew
Indeed it is Stew, free camping with due consideration to others does no harm, I'm not against this, but too many are outstaying their welcome and antagonising the locals and the authorities.

Re Aires, there is no time limit, we have stayed up to two weeks or longer on deserted aires during low season, however, if an aire is packed out it's only fair to others to move on.
 
OP
T

tetleys

Deleted User
Its not against the law for you to sleep in a public place in your motorhome. However some local laws can prohibit this, and signs will be placed informing you, so look out for them. There are plenty of plebs among the motorhoming community and they break simple rules, like staying for too long and producing noise and mess. This is why more and more of these "camping prohibited" signs are appearing. The key to successful wild camping is to keep as low a profile as possible, if the Police swing by and see your "camp" with deck chairs and awning outside complete with a black sack off rubbish then they are probably going to bang on your door and ask you to move on.

Security is a concern of many who wild camp and it should certainly be high on your priorities when looking for somewhere to spend the night. a few security tips to use when wildcamping are..

1. Look at the area, does it feel right? Is the place littered with rubbish, used condoms, skid marks, this might indicate that idiots use the place at night.

2. Dont be a Nosey Parker!! always park in such a way that you can drive away, nose out, without having to do a 7 point turn!

3. Don't put screens (sliver screens insulation) on the outside of windows, these will impede your ability to drive away. Driving away is the very best defence for many security situations.

4. Try to be as inconspicuous as possible, difficult in a 25 foot long bright white motorhome, I agree. But do not put awnings and deckchairs out and light a camp fire, unless you are certain your actions are not going to attract attention from undesirables.

5. Make sure when you turn in that everything is stowed, doors are locked and you are not too drunk so as you won't wake and be able to drive away if an incident occurs.

Wild camping is fun, and is nothing to be scared of, some caravan sites are less secure that some wild-camping places especially those with a bar on site!. Just apply a little common sense, be aware of your surroundings and have fun.
thank you so very much for your advice, so to get this perfectly right...........other than the safety issues, the worst the police could do would be to ask me to move on? and i wouldnt get fined etc? what if i moved on a mile or so down the road and they came knocking on the door again?
 

artona

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Unless you were proving a hazard or if maybe you had parked up in an area that had been recently plagued with motorhomes I do not think you would get the police moving you on.

If they did call I would ask their advice on where you could park. I would expect their answer to be something along the lines of stay here tonight but be off as early as you can.

It really is just a case of common sense rules. When you are looking at a potential place look at the nearby houses and imagine you lived there and would the motorhome bother you.

On saying that the caravan club and camping and caravan club have many campsites that are still very wild and only charge £3 a night so if you are unsure you might be better off looking in their books and going for one of those. They will not have hardstanding or electric or toilet/shower block and they are hardly used because of that.
 
OP
T

tetleys

Deleted User
Unless you were proving a hazard or if maybe you had parked up in an area that had been recently plagued with motorhomes I do not think you would get the police moving you on.

If they did call I would ask their advice on where you could park. I would expect their answer to be something along the lines of stay here tonight but be off as early as you can.

It really is just a case of common sense rules. When you are looking at a potential place look at the nearby houses and imagine you lived there and would the motorhome bother you.

On saying that the caravan club and camping and caravan club have many campsites that are still very wild and only charge £3 a night so if you are unsure you might be better off looking in their books and going for one of those. They will not have hardstanding or electric or toilet/shower block and they are hardly used because of that.
thank you all so vey much for your advise, it has cheered me up no end, i had got it in my head that i could not park anywhere, and had to park at a camp site only and was having second thourghts about getting a motorhome because of this .
 

myshell

Free Member
Aug 25, 2007
23
7
Funster No
169
hi all,
i am very new to motorcaravanning and would appreciate some advise please.

Having really wanting to do this for quite a long time.......iam in the process of finding and purchasing my first motorhome, idealy looking for a older type mercedes based autotrail.

i can imagine that the beauty of owning a motorhome to me would be that you have the freedom to go where ever and when ever you like with out the need to book and stay at proper sites if you didnt want to.

my plan is to have weekends/over nights away without the need of stopping at a site, and plan to park up some where discreet to park up and sleep.

Iam aware that other european countries are quite tolerant to this but ive been told that the uk is not, what i need to know is, .............for example......." i parked up next to a lake/woods in the day time and spent a relaxing day in and out the motorhome,and then left at night fall because it was too remote /isolated to sleep there, and then parked up somewhere that was a little bit more populated " what would be the consequences ? would the police knock on the van door and ask why am i parked up on a street instead of a campsite?Even though iam not making noise etc? and if so would it be a case of them telling me to move off? or would i be fined etc?Also, what if i just fancied pulling up and parking at the side of a road and having a nap in the day time or just stop and enjoy the view, would i also be moved on etc?

Or is it a case of trying to be descreet as possible, do not distrurb others, and do not park where there are notices stating no motor caravans, and do not sleep over night in the same place twice?????????

Your advise would be much appreciated as i really want to buy a motorhome, but i do not always want to stay at a camp site either, and i dont want to do something that could lead me getting fined are getting in trouble with the law.

thanks and happy christmas.
If the law do come knocking on you door, be polite with them, possibly even offer them a cup of tea ( Tetleys of course) explain you have been driving for a long time and felt too tired to continue driving safely so you have just stopped for a couple of hours rest, and then if they insist, just move quietly along. This has always worked for me, I have even had a young police woman knocking on the door late at night asking if she could use the toilet as her male colleagues were taking the Micky out of her because she was bursting for a pee.
 

Marrwyck

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Jan 29, 2008
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Hi everyone,

Reading through this post & getting the general jist of what people have said, this is my view:

We have just purchased our 1st motorhome with the intentions of touring the UK, including the whole of Ireland & clearing off to Spain when the weather gets a bit damp here.

As an HGV Class 1 driver I have seen most of the UK, but my missus hasn't.
So by the end of March - mid April we should be all set & ready to clear off for a trip that could last anything from 1 year to 2 years.

We intend to just go where we fancy & if we like the look of the place we'll stay there for however long we wish then simply move on.

We intend do do as much "wildcamping" as possible.
We have a Kippor 3000w digital generator & are just deciding on what gas system to have fitted. So while were away we can be as self sufficient as possible.

Now to the point of the post:

As a lorry driver I have spent many nights sleeping in my cab either at truckstops, industrial estates, layby's etc etc.
Now I have never ever had any problems & believe that you attract what you send out. That means if your a nuisance, you'll get aggro. If your thoughtful & considerate, you'll get on.
Now as for parking overnight somewhere, many truckstops are well known for having loads robbed, curtains slashed etc. So can be said for some remote locations, fortunately nothing has ever happened to me.
So with my knowledge of looking after yourself (always make sure you can drive off if anything did happen, large metal baseball bat to hand along with piece of scaffolding tube, lol) & with parking where you fancy look at it this way.

If we see somewhere to park up I'll asses the area, then I'll see if I need permission, I'll always ask & be as polite & responsible as possible. I'll always clean up after myself & I'll always be grateful.
When I have been in awkward situations I have even knocked on peoples homes & asked for my flask to be filled with boiling hot water so I could make a drink or if I could use their loo, I have never been refused & have even been invited in to join their family for dinner.

As for being moved on, I have only once been asked by the Police to move my lorry & that was because they thought where I was parked I would be troubled.
I didn't move & I had a peaceful night.

Even though some councils, government authority, private person etc may have the rights to the land there is always an arguable & polite way of not being moved on at that time. Hope you understand the point here.

If you are feeling unwell or unfit to operate a motor vehicle it would be inadvisable for anyone to request you to move. Even a Police officer would be very wary of this as they have to sign a statement or even move the vehicle themselves to a different location, not worth the aggro.

So if you were parked & being wonderfully good etc I feel it would be quite rare to be asked to move on. If you were a nuisance then move on you should & park up overnight in Moss Side (not that I have anything against Moss Side as I have had some great nights out there). Hopefully your following all this, lol, :ROFLMAO:

So in a nutshell I believe that as a person you attract what you send out in the Universe of Life.
As for Parking where you fancy, if you don't do it you'll never know, if you don't ask you'll never get.

Next time your on the road look at all the HGV vehicles, vans etc & see where they park not only to rest, but to get a good nights sleep.
Then consider would you feel safe if you were parked with them.

Anyway I hope you understood the point I made about Parking & I hope I haven't offended anyone in any way.

Best Wishes to you all,::bigsmile: :thumb:
 
OP
M

mushroom-eater

Deleted User
Thanks for the advice at least I wont ask any more questions. I'm kind of new here and I'm learning a lot. May this summer is a good to try.
 

oldun

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I am very interested in being able to camp without unecessary restrictions and without paying but why do we refer to camping in a residential street outside someones house as "wild camping"?

To me wild camping is somewhere in the wild.
 

iceni

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I am very interested in being able to camp without unecessary restrictions and without paying but why do we refer to camping in a residential street outside someones house as "wild camping"?

To me wild camping is somewhere in the wild.
Hi
Its just a term thats used to describe camping that involves just parking up in a place (anywhere) where you dont have to pay (although it includes say some car parks that allow 24hrs parking and sleeping overnight) ie not a proper camp site.

Most Mhers will aviod parking ouside someones house if possible (except for some reason in blackpool) as this only causes the locals to oppoose all MH parkin g everywhere as is the case at grannies bay Lytham st annes (see blackpool again).

The general rule is as mentioned in previous posts. I dont park in laybys if theres a no overnight parking sign or anywhere wheres theres signs restricting my MH as i dont want any jobsworth issuing a ticket or clamping me and being able to say "there were signs adequately diplayed" There are numerous places all over the country where you can park up for the night without problems and even stay 2-3 days as long as you bugger off during the day and comer back each evening. Even the police dont bother you as long as theres just your vans 4 (or 6) wheels on the floor and nothing else. You will get your own little favourites in time.
just take the security precautions stated and if possible have a phone signal and..most importantly..KNOW EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE. ie road number name distance from nearest village and which side of it etc. In case you need to call the police or an amulance

Hope this helps
Phill:roflmto:
 

Sunty

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Camping or parking?

We came across a situation in Italy near Lake Bracciano when the sign on the car park clearly stated 'reserved for motorhomes only'. Toilets and emptying point at the end of the reserved area. Clearly no problems here except the giant sign which said 'no camping'. The response from the local tourist office was also clear. You can park your motorhome there and stay as long as you wish but don't camp- ie put out chairs and tables etc. - merely use your vehicle within the margins of the parking bay. So there! park but don't camp! It seemed OK by us.
 

pappajohn

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'no camping'. The response from the local tourist office was also clear. You can park your motorhome there and stay as long as you wish but don't camp- ie put out chairs and tables etc. - merely use your vehicle within the margins of the parking bay.
sounds perfectly acceptable to me too,:thumb:
why anyone would want to set up camp on a carpark is beyond me.:Eeek:

we laugh at motorists who set up their picnic tables and chairs in roadside layby's then proceed to eat and drink oblivious to the passing traffic and all that goes with it.

can they not find a picnic area or even a quite lane off the main road with a wide grass verge. :Sad:
 
OP
B

BuzzLand

Deleted User
HI all,
There is wild camping and wild camping:winky: if you know what I mean.
Wild by a lake/ river/ up a mountain, in the middle of no where or semi wild in a car park, aire, or just along the road from civilization.
My personal hates are lay by's and industrial estates, both only for emergencies!:Eeek:
It all is a question of degree!
Just make sure that you feel safe and not causing a nuisance to anyone else.
Just enjoy and leave the location just as you found it:thumb:
Yeah it's interesting. I wild camped all over Germany and Czech Rep. mostly in cities for 2 years at weekends usually.
I NEVER got moved on once by the police, nor pulled over or rapped by locals. I used to sleep in a car though, not a big motorhome which I think is a large target.
My next vehicle is going to be landrover, slightly bigger than a car but still fairly low-key. Outside of the armed forces and landrover enthusiasts few people realise you can sleep in them very comfortably ;)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Elvis

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oh no!

.........
I do not condone the sort that turn up late and go early, just to avoid any payment:Eeek:
OH NO! Hope my tight fisted hubby doesnt read this , he will be waking me up at 6am so we don't have to pay! :ROFLMAO:

Wild camping, free parking ... whatever! Just do it!

Funniest thing that happened to us was when we parked up at the Ace biker cafe in North London, on the Sat night, ready for the big sports bike meet, early the next day (with permission of course) . However,late at night and to those who don't know, the area just looks like a very quite industrial area, that will remain the same on Sun morning.... 8.30am and all the noisy bikes start pouring in ... I look behind us and there was another MH! must have been there all night! On talikng to them, we discoverd, they stopped behind us, after many hours drive from up norf, thinking they would have a nice lie in, in this quiet area, safty in numbers, parking behind us. They were not expecting a 1000 sports bikes alarm call !!:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: They were not bike fans either!

However, they decided to stay to watch the spectical and were very good sports ..... you never know what you will wake up to when you 'wild camp' it's great aint it :roflmto:
 
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Elvis

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thats true

Indeed it is Stew, free camping with due consideration to others does no harm, I'm not against this, but too many are outstaying their welcome and antagonising the locals and the authorities.

Re Aires, there is no time limit, we have stayed up to two weeks or longer on deserted aires during low season, however, if an aire is packed out it's only fair to others to move on.
That's true ...We only wild camp over nght, no awnings out and stuff and if we can ask permission we do and never leave a mess around, no noise and so on ..... anything else would be inconsiderate :Blush:
 

Chani

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Mar 26, 2009
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On a related but slightly different note, if you wildcamp all the time, where do you fill up with fresh water and empty your waste water?
 
OP
I

itsmyvan

Deleted User
loo emptying

just thinking the same thing, "what about the loo emptying"

I have been out in my new (old) van for the first time this summer, once on my own, and I loved it. I stayed at sites, some so quiet they were almost wild, no loos, no showers, no elec, but they had water and loo emptying. I am ok with the water thing as I have managed on water containers quite happily, but a full loo? Horrors. Why didn't my friend believe me when I said - use public loos until I empty ours in the morning. :RollEyes: :Eeek: :helptitanic:

So, can they be emptied down public loos? Wild camping is my next adventure and I will look up the site mentioned earlier, thanks.

ta ta
 
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