What are wildspots?
Travelling with a camper for a deserved rest you surely don’t have to worry whether you find a nice hotel or not. You can honestly say that you’re already there, from the very moment you pack up what’s necessary to your camper or caravan.
During the trip you have two options for accommodation – paid and free.
When it comes to campsites, they’re pretty expensive (vehicle + 4 people on the campsite in western Europe costs about 50 Euro). To other possibilities are paid parking zones along the route, where you can make a basic service of your camper or caravan, such as emptying the graywater container, fill the container with clean water, empty the faeces. Here you can, of course, stay for the night, but you have to pay for it.
The second possibility, which is definitely more economical is free accommodation. These are the so-called "wildspots". Wildspots are usually quiet places with great views. They do not provide us with any facilities such as sanitary service, shower, toilet, or restaurant, nonetheless we find all these facilities in our camper.
What about smaller vans?
The problem arrives when we travel with a smaller vehicle, such as camper-van, which doesn’t have the facilities like shower or toilet.
Numerous areas can be treated as wildspots, nonetheless you need to make sure if you can accommodate there for free. You should also check if there isn’t any sign telling that you cannot park there with a camper. If you don’t see it, just ask local people if they don’t have any unwritten law prohibiting to park campers. If you don’t get the information, you should be aware that police can wake you up in the middle of the night asking to park somewhere else, or worse give you a parking ticket.
This is of course the worst scenario, in most places we can park as long as we want, moreover, we can meet many interesting people and save a lot of money.
Free parking places for camping vehicles have their own unwritten laws that have to be obeyed. Below we provide a short guide about how to behave in such places.
- Check if in the place you chose it’s allowed to stay for the night.
- Park in such way that others can easily drive or park
- Don’t be noisy, if you want to listen to music do it in a way you won’t disturb others
- If you need to leave the engine on to charge the accumulator, do it only in a day. You don’t want to disturb people when they eat breakfast in the morning, or sleep.
- Never use the current generator, if you need a permanent access to electricity, just go to a paid camping, where you will have the connection to power supply
- Never flush the greywater tank, or empty the toilet in places unadapted to that
- Always clean after yourself
- The alcohol – remember that there’s always the possibility that the police will come in the middle of the night and will ask you to change your place.
Types of wildspots
In the area of lakes, mountains, fjords there are creeks where we can spend the night safely and in the morning eat breakfast in beautiful surroundings
Parkings by the beaches
Parkings located by the beaches are the best place for free accomodation, they are especially loved by water sports enthusiasts. Staying in this kind of place gives the possibility to observe weather conditions and do the watersports like kite-surfing or surfing. Sometimes this kind of parkings are banned for motorhomes, so look for special signs and park legally.
Parkings by the shopping centers
Many big supermarkets allows motorhomes drivers to stay on their parking zones, but only on the condition of parking aside in order not to block place for other cars. It’s worth to ask the service if you can park your car in this area.
Motorway parking places for trucks, so called TRUCK-STOPS
Truck-stops are located by international roads, there’s always a gas station there, and other facilities for truck drivers. Such places also have services where you can change grey water, and fill tanks with clean water.
You have to be aware that trucks need a lot of space to manoeuvre, you cannot block the way for trucks – it surely won’t be nice if a loud horn wake you up in the middle of the night.
We usually take a lot of valuable stuff, such laptops, cameras or cash when we go on a longer trip with a caravan. It may be tempting for any kinds of thieves. We should be more cautious when we spend the night in places such wildspots.
Below we provided some advices, things that are worth to know when parking in non-guided areas. Trust your intuition – if a place seem suspicious, better find something else.
- Never leave valuables on a view.
- If there are other vehicles, park near them. It’s always safer.
- Talk with other people who know the parking, ask if the place is safe
- Leave your car near big cities on guided parking zones
- Turn on the alarm if you leave the vehicle
- Always lock the car when you go somewhere, or when you go to sleep
- Never leave the door open on crowded parkings
- Documents, credit cards, cash – always carry it with yourself. If you have to leave it in the car, hide it good.
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