Is it OK to park overnight in car parks? (1 Viewer)

Avery

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Hi folks,
I appreciate that this might be a bit of a touchy subject... but please bare with me as I am new to both the forum, and to motorhomes. In fact I haven't even bought one just yet.

I am thinking about living in a motorhome to save money for a year or two.

--> Is it OK to park in random public car parks overnight?

I would be doing this in south west Devon, like the west side of Dartmoor etc.
I would leave the spot first thing each morning, to get to work.

I would be very grateful if you could share your thoughts about this... especially if you have done this sort of thing before!

Thanks for reading, and Merry Christmas to all of you.
 

Chris

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Where precisely were you thinking of stopping?
 
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pappajohn

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The big difference is parking versus camping.

You would obviously be camping and while some carpark owners may overlook you staying and sleeping overnight they would technically need a change of use from the town council from carpark to campsite.
 
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AXO66

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Seems you can sleep overnight in car parks and on the road. It’s a subject which has many views on.
( not camping i.e chairs and tables )

But check if any signs explicitly banning this at the car park or on the road.
Some councils have a policy of charging for.overnight parking, r.g Powys.

Then figure out your risks. What happens if someone knocks on your door?

Best to park up late, leave early.
Don’t overstay your welcome

BUT, do not leave any waste or mess at all. Just your tyre prints. This promotes responsible motorhoming.

Join the carvan and motorhome club to get access to their certified location cost £5 upwards for a night. This gives access to fresh water and emptying your wastes.
Camping and caravan club have similar sites. You can stay on these sites for up to 28 days officially.

Many others will be along with their views.

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Avery

Avery

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It depends. Some say no overnight parking, camping etc.
Might be worth looking at Brit Stops.

Thanks. I have looked at BritStops website, but it look like you need to buy their book, and they're sold out at the mo. I will keep my eyes peeled.
 
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Avery

Avery

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The big difference is parking versus camping.

You would obviously be camping and while some carpark owners may overlook you staying and sleeping overnight they would technically need a change of use from the town council from carpark to campsite.

I would always be staying overnight. Though I am happy to stay in 4 or 5 different places, and stay in a different place each night.
 
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Eggs

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I realise this doesn't answer the original question, but is it really worth the hassle, (if you get any) trying to find somewhere to park everyday after a days work?

I'd find a couple or three Cs or CL's in commutable distance and flit between them.
 
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Avery

Avery

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Thank you for replying...

Seems you can sleep overnight in car parks and on the road. It’s a subject which has many views on.
( not camping i.e chairs and tables ) ...
That is good to hear. I won't be getting out any outdoor tables a chairs, just staying in the vehicle - low profile.

But check if any signs explicitly banning this at the car park or on the road.
Some councils have a policy of charging for.overnight parking, r.g Powys....
I will keep my eyes peeled.

Then figure out your risks. What happens if someone knocks on your door?

1. Who would knock on my door?
2. and what authority do they have?
3. and what can they do etc?

Best to park up late, leave early.
Don’t overstay your welcome
That's the plan.

BUT, do not leave any waste or mess at all. Just your tyre prints. This promotes responsible motorhoming.
Understood.

Join the carvan and motorhome club to get access to their certified location cost £5 upwards for a night. This gives access to fresh water and emptying your wastes.
Camping and caravan club have similar sites. You can stay on these sites for up to 28 days officially.
The £5 per night sounds handy. I could do that once a week to get clean water and empty waste.

I would be parked in the city during the day - and at work, using work facilities.

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Avery

Avery

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I realise this doesn't answer the original question, but is it really worth the hassle, (if you get any) trying to find somewhere to park everyday after a days work?

I'd find a couple or three Cs or CL's in commutable distance and flit between them.

What is a C, and CL ?
 
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Eggs

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Certified sites, Certified locations. The CS I'm on at the moment is a working farm that is "passed" to allow 6 (I think) caravans or Mo/Ho, and technically I can stay 28 days before I need to move. I've been here since the 4/10/18 and have no intention of going anywhere until March. £70/week with toilets and showers, ehu, water within about 20'.
 
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GJH

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Seems you can sleep overnight in car parks and on the road. It’s a subject which has many views on.
( not camping i.e chairs and tables )

But check if any signs explicitly banning this at the car park or on the road.
Some councils have a policy of charging for.overnight parking, r.g Powys.

Then figure out your risks. What happens if someone knocks on your door?

Best to park up late, leave early.
Don’t overstay your welcome

BUT, do not leave any waste or mess at all. Just your tyre prints. This promotes responsible motorhoming.

Join the carvan and motorhome club to get access to their certified location cost £5 upwards for a night. This gives access to fresh water and emptying your wastes.
Camping and caravan club have similar sites. You can stay on these sites for up to 28 days officially.

Many others will be along with their views.
The initial sentence of that post describes the difference between parking and camping in other countries but not the UK where one doesn't have to use tables & chairs outside (for instance) to be camping. That difference (which @pappajohn mentions) arises from the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960. See this article for an explanation or do a search for explanations in many threads which you obviously won't have had chance to find yet (welcome by the way).
 
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Imho occasional overnight stops in carparks etc are fine but I don't condone it as a way to live. Locals quickly become annoyed with vehicles parking for long periods and Issues quickly arise such as laundry and disposal of wastes.

Some of us will remember the woman in the merc pvc that allmost killed canterbury aire a few years ago.

Jon
 
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scotjimland

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living in a motorhome

have you looked into insurance.. ?

a normal motorhome policy doesn't cover living in your van full time, even if it has 365 day cover
Comfort and ABI can provide, but it is costly.. circa £900 - £1200

search the full-timers forum for more information about your proposed lifestyle
https://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/forums/full-timers.17/

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I think some Councils limit parking to “Cars and Motorcycles Only” which might mean that anything over 3500kg is treated differently.
 
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GJH

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I think some Councils limit parking to “Cars and Motorcycles Only” which might mean that anything over 3500kg is treated differently.
Rules in car parks vary between different councils so the only definitive source is the specific parking order (not, necessarily, signage (which can't hope to contain all the details)).
However, most restrict activity to parking only and as the OP has already said he would be camping he is limited in his options to the few councils which allowing camping in their car parks.
 
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funflair

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Thank you for replying...


That is good to hear. I won't be getting out any outdoor tables a chairs, just staying in the vehicle - low profile.


I will keep my eyes peeled.



1. Who would knock on my door?
2. and what authority do they have?
3. and what can they do etc?


That's the plan.


Understood.


The £5 per night sounds handy. I could do that once a week to get clean water and empty waste.

I would be parked in the city during the day - and at work, using work facilities.

The knock on the door that you ask about could be to ascertain wether anybody is living in the vehicle in which case you are camping not parking and the ball game changes as the owner of the car park is then allowing the area to be used as a "camp site" and the appropriate licence is required. OK if it's just one night you might manage to stay under the radar BUT.

It's all in this act, and looks very long winded but I think the pertinent bits are in the first couple of paragraphs, for motorhome read "caravan" as in motor"caravan"
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Eliz2/8-9/62

Martin
 
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I think you’d struggle to find many CLs at £5 a night these days - there may be a few still, but I think £10 is a more realistic baseline. And increasingly the C&MC ones seem to be £15 or more. (Almost wonder if the club staff who vet them encourage this sort of pricing so they don’t make club sites look too dear!)
 
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jollyrodger

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Knowing the area well in the places you mention. Having stopped in a few around there have never been a problem .
Though I was told by an jobsworth ranger that there was a campsite nearby, told him i wasn't camping ,but parked. Have met him a few times since and get a wave occasionnally
Over the years a there are a few hideaway's off the main drags .
Jennycliffe on a bit of a slope and a dogging spot ,used to be called the lookout in the old CB days don't recommend using the loos though.
The old aerodrome at yelverton ,on the Tavi side is quiet enough.
The chew and choke layby out of tavi on the A386 has road noise and a burger van that opens early week days. Lorries park there.
Just below me off the embankment there has been a frequent/occasional dweller on street for a month or so and has had no bother ,I've seen it coming out of Riverside caravan park occasionally ,so probably emptying out.
Insurance aside, if you blend in and don't cause an obstruction.natives can be friendly
Good luck

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GJH

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Check out the Dartmoor park site there are places you can park overnight.
If by "Dartmoor park" you mean the national park then there are restrictions mentioned Here - "You cannot park your motorhome or campervan overnight in laybys, at the roadside, or in car parks under National Park Byelaws."
 
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pappajohn

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If you're still reading..... You will still need a postal address for official mail and items such as insurance, vehicle registration, driving licence, bank account etc.
It's not possible to simply disappear if you own a vehicle or have a bank account.

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Very droll.

More seriously, if that is what is written and that is the entirety of restrictions, there would be a defence if parked on a piece of grass.

It could be that it was written by somebody in the department responsible for 'paved' areas and no reference to other departments was made. That would not surprise me.

Drafting of legislation from Parliamentary Acts, Orders in Council, through delegated Ministerial Orders, down to Local Council By-laws has gone swiftly downhill in the last 40 years.

Geoff
 
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GJH

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More seriously, if that is what is written and that is the entirety of restrictions, there would be a defence if parked on a piece of grass.

It could be that it was written by somebody in the department responsible for 'paved' areas and no reference to other departments was made. That would not surprise me.

Drafting of legislation from Parliamentary Acts, Orders in Council, through delegated Ministerial Orders, down to Local Council By-laws has gone swiftly downhill in the last 40 years.

Geoff
More seriously still, reading of the Byelaws (link was provided) rather than just the indicative statement would have shown it to be perfectly clear that camping is not allowed anywhere in the national park except where expressly committed - and that it is a breach of the byelaws even to take a vehicle where there is no right of way.
 
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GJH

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It may be my imagination or perhaps just bad luck but it seems that more and more car parks have height barriers. :(
Whether there are actually more places that motorhomes can be parked than there were 12 and a half years ago is difficult to establish but there are certainly more places publicised than there were then. Height barriers are not (indeed, hardly ever) just there to stop parking of motorhomes. More often it is to stop parking of commercial vehicles.
 
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