Campervan and Motorhome Parking

Q. Can I park a Camper van on the public road and sleep overnight in it?

Does the same apply to laybys and car parks?

Cath Sumner


A. Providing there are no specific restrictions or local bye laws prohibiting overnight parking and or sleeping in vehicles you can.

Joe Murphy, Manchester


A. In U.K. Romany law states and I quote if it doesn't say you can then you can't...In Europe governed by Napolionc law and I quote if it doesn't say you can't then you can. And yes we are governed by these laws,if it went to court,then who knows. Look after the areas that you park in keep legal take photos show you care,then what's the problem your honour!!!!!!!!

Paul Doughty, Manchester


A. Anyone wanting to no [sic] the in's and out's of parking a Motorhome/camper etc by law restrictions & illegal council signage, sleeping in a vehicle PCN (penalty charge notice) 23 & 91 the difference between a type of vehicle or, and a class of vehicle blah blah... See Andy Strangway and his run in's with authority. Plus Mr D Bukhari on "what do they know" and the FOI act. Freedom of information act. You have right, learn how to use them!

Biffo Bear, Palamos


A. Can a very large campervan park in a narrow residential avenue

Rosemary Rankin, Giffnock East Renfrewshire


A. Hi,just came across this thread as I was looking for something similar (an app that shows you nearest public water,loos etc-anyone know it?) And just wanted to say two things. I've been living on the road-public roads,quièt laybys,carparks-for ten years now.in a wee self-converted panel van with my dog,and now in a horsebox lorry with my two kids+partner.Occasionally had cops move us on but not as much as you might think. Secondly,in Scotland (where I grew up), it.'s illegal to ban overnight parking in public places. You may see a sign saying it but it carries no clout+the police rarely bother to even chap on the door for a chat. It's purely to discourage. Get on the road!

Hannah , On The Road


A. And why shouldn't we be able to park anywhere on the road and sleep, as long as you responsible people. My camper stays in the road all the time and no questions asked if no-ones in it, so, what's the difference. We get charge road tax by the government for using and parking anywhere in the UK anyway. However, I do respect areas of none parking and sleeping zones in some public places. We all have cameras on our mobile phones and we should take pictures of offending parties who abuse the system and send them in to the local councils with their number plates etc if we were allowed to that is? I get fed up of all these bylaws and can do's and can't do's, these are only there for their own benefit. When we get billed for road tax, WE can't do's and can't don'ts about anything, we pay it or else!!!!!!! OB

Owen Baldwin, Tadcaster


A. I find your answer wildly amusing! Houses also get robbed does this mean we shouldn't live in houses? It was very unfair of you to use fear tactics to discourage use of camper vans in England. The reason for this is because the council couldn't bear it if you slept somewhere comfortable and inexpensive. It wouldn't line their greedy little pockets! Love to all and keep travelling I say! Do what you love and love what you do and never let anything stand in your way! viva la lovalution x

Trixie De La Rouge, Everywhere


A. It may be legal to park in lay by's, but, is it morally right? Residents on the Isle of Skye get very upset with folk who do this - partly because it spoils the look of a beautiful place & partly because the folk who run campsites lose a lot of income. Last year there were no less that six motorhomes parked on the car park at a slipway so customers for boat trips from there had nowhere to park & the boat trips were discontinued. It's difficult enough for folk to make a living up here without tourists freeloading off us! There have even been motorhomes driving into a campsite, topping up, emptying their waste then leaving so they had to put a locking system on the gate!!! i have also seen folk emptying toilet waste over the rocks into the sea.

Nikheta Mcgregor, Portree


A. Re the incident where the two people from Scotland being attacked and robbed in N.Ireland, This was an ongoing affair between them and their attackers who had followed them from Scotland. I have safely parked all over Ireland at night but not on the side of the road but find car parks are much more quieter.

Movita Barklie, Newtownabbey N.i.


A. Hello,this is a message for A.fox of eastbourne. Re camping in campervan/motorhome,im doing exactly that soon,but needed more input etc re this subject please,i have a lovely motorhome small but fully equipped,i understand that you mr fox,have done this roadside camping etc for 2 years,is it good,and can you actually stay in a majority of places?also is there any free camping sites in cornwall or around that are actually legally free to stay at from time to time?? Much appreciated richard.

Richard Higson, East Sussex


A. I've lived roadside now since being made redundant for 2 years with only the occasional drunk banging on the side of the van, spoke [to] local police and they say its not illegal only affected by byelaw but have had no problems there as long as you keep low profile and road legal and move vehicle from time to time.

A Fox, Eastbourne


A. [In] 2009 [on a] road trip to Scotland, I slept in a lay by on the Isle of Skye, a few miles from entry point. [I] toured around Skye, had a shower for £2 and a famous £3 breakfast (but you have to buy a £3.99 drink first to get the breakfast lol).

Loved the trip, and the fact I didn't pay to sleep on the road trip.

I had no problems arise, during the trip or sleeping in a laybys.

I had a base ball bat and another form of protection always available, [should] the need arouse. Just make sure you also carry a ball. The law states a ball included = ball game - no ball = weapon.

Del Stuart, Leeds, Kent


A. Don't try to overnight in a lay by, you'll be in for a sleepless night, unless the road is real quiet. We tried it last night, every time a wagon came past the van moved on it's suspension and the noise was terrible, you can hear them coming and I was waiting for one to hit us. After an hour and a half a vehicle came headlight on full and music playing really loud. That did it. Back to the M5 and grabbed a couple of hours in a service station. HGV drivers don't get moved on so it must be legal.

Ady , Ramsbottom


A. Local bylaws, notices (over night parking/sleeping restrictions) apply. According to the Caravan and Camping Club a Motor Home can park in one place for up to 21 days (including private land with the owners permission) their after you have to vacate the area and not return for 24 hours. I must add you are limited to how many times you may return.

Peter Brown, Meopham


A. Not sure about the legality Cath, but I've been living on the street in mine all about uk for the last 6 months. Got moved off some MOD woodland parking once, and have been questioned by the police a couple of times, but no one has said it's illegal, unless their are local byelaws specific to a town or district. Cheapest way to live in central London, if your out before congestion charge comes into force.

Phil


A. Where there are no specific restrictions or local bye laws prohibiting overnight parking and or sleeping in vehicles you can.

However you should be sensible i.e. several weeks ago a couple in Northern Ireland who had just arrived from Scotland were sleeping in a remote layby and were attacked, robbed and had their van stolen.

The van was later found ablaze. Two men were arrested.

I know this is a pretty isolated occurrence but it is worth considering. Personally I have only ever stayed at ports waiting for a very early ferry and would prefer an organised site anytime.

Niall Murphy, Manchester


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