Where to go with a motorhome for the first time?

Where to go with a motorhome for the first time? – main image

Where to go for the first time with a camper? We get a lot of questions like this from our readers just before the season, and I have to disappoint you. Unfortunately, there is no single answer to this question. Before I answer, I ask: how many days of vacation do you have, who do you travel with, do you prefer to relax, sightsee or spend time actively doing sports while on vacation, do you travel with a dog and do you prefer to spend time away from people, or maybe just the opposite, do you like meeting new people? and you prefer places where "something" is happening.

If you are not yet sure what you expect from your campervan holiday, I always recommend going to a few different places to assess what you like more. Go to a large campsite with many amenities somewhere by the sea, to a small, intimate one in the mountains, park in a camper park in the center of the city you want to visit, etc. This way, it will be easier for you to plan your next and subsequent holidays in a camper.

Campsites, camper parks or maybe sleeping in the wild?

Alex's camping

The independence that comes with traveling in a camper is great. You are free from everything, so you can spend the night almost anywhere. However, we have always encouraged and will encourage you to choose paid, and therefore safe, places to sleep. We choose such places ourselves, especially if we are traveling with children.


Camping Polari

Children love camping! And if children feel good there, parents will certainly be happy too. Why do children love camping? Because it's basically one big playground, lots of attractions from morning to evening and, most importantly, a lot of peers who are just outside the fence. But I will describe from the beginning what the campsite has that you won't find anywhere else.

Campsites are places to stay where you will find the most amenities. They are smaller and larger, depending on the number of stars, they have more or less comfort, but you can feel safe in all of them. What distinguishes camping from other types of accommodation? That's safety. Such facilities are usually monitored, have a fence and the entrance is guarded by security. At large campsites, security and monitoring are available 24 hours a day. What also distinguishes camping sites from, for example, camper parks or wild camping, is mainly the presence of sanitary facilities. But apart from the fact that every campsite has toilets, almost every campsite abroad also has a shop (it can be a small shop or a really large supermarket), or at least the possibility of ordering fresh bread at the reception, as well as a bar or restaurant. Another advantage of camping is the already mentioned presence of other children. I will write about other amenities later. If you are looking for the perfect campsite for yourself, go to our campsite search engine and find a facility that suits your requirements.

“When choosing a campsite, you need to know a few things. My most important advice is to check if there are any pitches at a given campsite!

More and more campsites are being built where you cannot stay with a camper, trailer or tent. Campsite owners do not create plots or other facilities for caravanners, because it is often not profitable for them. Currently, in most campsites abroad, the number of pitches is only a handful compared to mobile homes, which constitute up to 80% of the camping area. There are also those that do not have these plots at all. What else can you consider when choosing a campsite? In addition to its location, be sure to pay attention to the available amenities, e.g.:

  • position,
  • size (there is a big difference whether the campsite is 80 ha or 2 ha),
  • does the campsite have separate plots,
  • Is there a minimum stay period?
  • Are dogs allowed?
  • maybe you're going out of season and looking for heated swimming pools,
  • maybe you're looking for a place to launch your boat,
  • or facilities for people with disabilities or facilities for babies.

Camper parks - a parking lot with facilities for campers

Camper Park in Denmark on the island of Romo

If you are traveling in a camper, you can also stop in camper parks (CP), i.e. in specially designated parking lots only for campers, where, for a small fee, you can connect to the electricity, empty the toilet cassette, empty the gray water tanks and refill them. fresh water tanks. Often, such camper parks are located close to cities (or even in their centers) or next to aqua parks. These may be several spaces separated from the normal parking lot for passenger cars. CP is most often a fenced parking lot, the entrance to which is through a barrier, similar to a paid parking lot for passenger cars. Typically, CP is unattended, but we also found some where the reception was open during the day and that's where you had to pay for parking. Most CPs have a public transport stop or a bicycle path that will conveniently take you to the city center. Accommodation at CP can be free (you only pay for electricity and water), or you can pay between €2-10 per night. You won't usually find toilets in the CP, but there will be a place to empty the chemical toilet and the dirty water tank.

On most CPs, camping is prohibited, i.e. unfolding awnings, taking out tables and chairs - these places are only for a short stay. Attention! In many camper parks you cannot stay overnight with a caravan. This is due to limited space for maneuvering, but this prohibition does not apply everywhere.

Marinas - a fantastic place for a safe overnight stay in a camper at a good price

Camper park in the marina

More and more often we see that marinas provide places for campers for short overnight stays . They have all the amenities needed for campers, because they offer almost the same ones to sailors. If there are no campsites or camper parks in your area, you can always stop by the marina and ask if you can safely spend the night there for a fee. As a rule, marina owners have no objection to this. The cost of accommodation in marinas ranges from 0 to 15 € per night. Remember that not every marina will have a parking space. It is often the case that parking spaces are occupied by boat owners or reserved for them.

Vineyards - a wine camper

Camper in the vineyard

In addition to marinas, a vineyard may be an interesting place to spend the night. Vineyard owners often have special places for campers, where you can sleep for one night free of charge in exchange for purchasing wines or other products from the offer. In Poland, over 50 vineyards offer this opportunity, and you can find all of them on our website in the article: "Polish vineyards friendly to campers".

In France, there is an entire organization that brings together vineyards throughout the country. It's called France Passion . By purchasing a year-round pass, you can stay for free for one night in each of the organization's vineyards. Of course, owners always hope that you will buy from them, but this is not required.

However, you must remember that in such places it will probably be impossible to fill up the tank with fresh water, empty the gray water tank or empty the chemical toilet. There will probably be no access to electricity among the vines, and therefore you will not be able to turn on, for example, the air conditioning in the camper. But even without this, your stay in the vineyard will definitely be an amazing experience! The situation is similar with agritourism. There are more and more places where you can stay cheaply in unusual places. Owners of agritourism farms and even small hotels are increasingly willing to provide parking spaces for campers.

One of our favorite vineyards in Poland, where we like to stop, is Winnica Sandomierska .

Camper in the wild

camper in the wild

There are many places that beg you to stay there for the night and wake up with a beautiful view. First of all, you must be aware that in many places pitching a tent or parking a camper outside designated points is against the law. This may result in a high fine, preceded by a violent wake-up in the middle of the night by the police. To be able to sleep peacefully, you must first check whether you are allowed to stop in a given place. How to do it? The easiest way is to ask the local police, because residents are not always knowledgeable about this.

Wildspot regulations

Free parking spaces for camping vehicles (wildspots) have their own unwritten laws and impose certain obligations on tourists that must be respected. Below is a short guide on how to behave when using such a place.

  • Check if there is a parking ban at night in the place you choose.
  • Park in such a way that others can easily drive through or park in designated spaces.
  • Don't make noise - if you want to listen to music, do it in such a way that only you can hear it.
  • If you must run the engine to charge the parking batteries, do so only during the day and not at night or first thing in the morning when others are sleeping or eating breakfast.
  • Never use a generator - if you need constant access to electricity, use paid campsites where you can connect to the power supply.
  • Do not drain gray water or empty the toilet cassette in places not intended for this purpose.
  • Always leave things tidy.
  • Alcohol - remember that when using a wildspot there is a risk that the police may come in the middle of the night and tell you to change your place - there is no point in paying for towing.

A practical guide

Some of the information in this article comes from our guide "Your first camper trip" available in PDF format in our online store www.GdzieKamperem.pl. In addition to information on what to ask at the rental company before your first camper trip, the e-book contains advice on how to plan a camper trip, where to sleep, what to do in the camper after arriving at the campsite or other parking place, as well as checklists to help you pack into the camper. You will also learn to plan your journey using a route example. If you are looking for proven solutions, you can always add e-books with ready-made camper routes to your cart.

We have prepared a discount code especially for you, thanks to which you can buy the guide PLN 20 cheaper (enter PORADNIK20 in the basket). Try adding other e-books to your cart and see how the price of the entire cart goes down!

Where to go with a motorhome for the first time? – image 1
Kampery w porcie w Hiszpanii
Where to go with a motorhome for the first time? – image 3
Where to go with a motorhome for the first time? – image 4
Katarzyna Kozłowska
Katarzyna Kozłowska

An engineer with a passion for traveling. My dream is to drive a motorhome through the USA from coast to coast. I would also like to do a few longer bike trips around Europe, but I have to convince my husband to do that;)

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