One of the most commonly talked about benefits of motorhome touring is that you can park up for the night wherever you want – completely self-sufficiently (if you have a fully-equipped motorhome).
That’s true – to an extent. As anyone who has ever tried will know, restrictions on so-called ‘wild camping’ (sleeping overnight in your vehicle in a public place) are extensive in the UK and vary throughout Europe – although the UK is pretty much the worst.
One of the reasons for this is that a minority of people abuse free overnight parking facilities. Here are a few examples I’ve seen personally:
- Leaving litter and rubbish behind
- Draining waste water (or worse) onto the ground
- Setting out awnings and chairs when not permitted to
- Occupying two parking spaces thanks to selfish/bad parking
- Staying for days at facilities only intended for overnight stops
This article about Freedom Campers, as they are known in New Zealand, highlights exactly the same issue – proving that wherever you go in the world, you get rude, selfish and inconsiderate people.
Don’t be one of them. If you fancy wild camping (and it can be great), then make sure you leave no trace behind and are as discreet and invisible when you are there as possible. Don’t outstay your welcome and try to spend some money in the local shops, restaurants or garages.
Here’s a link to an excellent guide to wild camping, with some tips on security, too.
Follow this advice and free overnight parking for motorhomes might even get more common, not less. Hopefully…