how do I find somewhere to park?

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  • if you havent got a ladder to fix your stack, or you need to get acess to your roof for any reason, find a carpark without a hieght bar, e.g. a coach park, they often have a recyleling skip in there, if you park right next to them they make very good platforms for gettin to the roof...

    'I disapprove of what you say, but I will
    defend to the death your right to say it'
    Evelyn Beatrice Hall, The Friends Of Voltaire, 1906.

  • also google `wild camping`, can be helpful...

    'I disapprove of what you say, but I will
    defend to the death your right to say it'
    Evelyn Beatrice Hall, The Friends Of Voltaire, 1906.

  • I was under the impression as long as you wern't in the drivers seat and the keys wern't in the ignition you were fine.I:whistle: have spent the odd night in pub carparks (with the landlords permission),when I was out in Hertfordshire.:)


    I expect it might be different for camper type vehicles but with cars you can get done for it.
    My brother's mate was waiting for my brother to get home so he could kip there. He was pissed, it was raining, so he sat in his car, in the passenger seat with the keys in the glove box. Got banned for 6 months.


    The rules must be different or no one could ever get pissed when on camper van holidays! Dunno where you could find out though

  • also google `wild camping`, can be helpful...


    There is now a charge to join and use the more useful parts of the above place. Might be worth it for info, but it still is a bit white plastic and cardigans for me.
    Makes me appreciate this place even more.

  • I expect it might be different for camper type vehicles but with cars you can get done for it.
    My brother's mate was waiting for my brother to get home so he could kip there. He was pissed, it was raining, so he sat in his car, in the passenger seat with the keys in the glove box. Got banned for 6 months.


    The rules must be different or no one could ever get pissed when on camper van holidays! Dunno where you could find out though


    I guess keep well away from the driver's seat:


    Quote from Road Traffic Act 1988 s. 5

    If a person ... is in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place, after consuming [excess] alcohol [then] he is guilty of an offence [but] it is a defence for a person charged with [such] an offence to prove that at the time he is alleged to have committed the offence the circumstances were such that there was no likelihood of his driving the vehicle [with excess alcohol].

  • Therefore there may be a defence of 'no liklihood of driving' if you are naked and in bed, or even cooking your tea, but it depends how wasted you are I guess as there can be a chance you'll still be pissed in the morning when you drive away.
    Visibly parked up for the night should be enough but worth stating at the time if questioned. Saves being arrested' losing your licence then trying to get it back in court.
    Also hide the ignition key!

  • I think it also depends how the police feel at the time.My mate (a hgv driver in an artic with a sleeper cab),got told to move his truck ,even though he was obviously drunk :insane:,because there was a fire in the lorry park he was sleeping in.

    You've either had the glimpse of life from the rim of the gold fish bowl or you're still stuck in the gravel.Some,however, are out playing with the cat.

  • In town industrial areas may be the best bet, but even residential streets can be ok if you don't draw attention to yourself or be a nuisance by doing things like chopping kindling for the burner on your van floor- a common hippy trick which results in annoyed locals as it is much louder outside than you realise.


    just thought i'd highlight this one coz it's not only annoying in residential areas! it sets the dogs off as well!


    i think the rules are just general consideration really. and being tidy. the media does us no favours by always highlighting the mess left behind by travellers (normally pikeys) and we get tarred with that brush.


    i've stayed at several park ups where i wasn't wanted to begin with, and once they saw how much tidier the place was than when i arrived they are quite happy for me to stay.

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

  • or if there's one person who isn't drinking put the keys in their van. i don't think they can do anything about it if your keys aren't in the vehicle with you.

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

  • Hi Beky,

    Being a female vandweller is hard at first,but you do get used to it,it can be scary. I have lived in my van for 3years now, I've only been questioned by the police once and they were very kind and helpful. As time goes on you will suss out parking places. I work and nothing feels so great as knowing I don't have to pay rent and massive bills anymore. It's great having your home where ever you go, life is simple. I always make sure I have different places to park, I don't park in isolated places always near to houses and people, I put everything away at night so if I have trouble I can drive away - never needed to do that. When I first started out I was a wuss but now I'm strong, confident and know I can survive anything.

    Good luck to you and keep safe.

    Dolly:):waves:

  • excellent post :D


    about the driving away bit, another thing i always tend to do is reverse into spaces if i think i may need to leave in a hurry, and never pile stuff under your truck if you think you might need to move!


    i've never needed to get away from anywhere in a hurry, but i still never put anything behind my wheels. if i really need to store wood under my bus i only store it as far back as the last wheel i will need to be moving!


    you've got to remember that although you may feel vulnerable, most people looking at you believe all the media scare stories and think you are going to eat their children so tend to leave you alone. people looking at a truck don't know if there is one lone female or six great big blokes with rotweilers in there and are probably more scared of you and not in a desperate hurry to come and knock on your door,

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

  • Hi all, just wanted to let you know I'm doing much better.. Stopped worrying about nosy neighbours etc.. Most people I met whilst working on my van and parked at my freind's house were actually more impressed and curious than horrified, although most are surprised that I'm not going around Europe but staying in England. I did have a funny moment today though (whilst doing an extravgent pas de deux with a lorry that also needed to turn around) drove through a cone and pulled it along a bit and when I got out to put it back a whole host of workmen were cheering and lauging their heads off. They said they thought I'd be a big foreign guy driving a "thing like that" (meaning a semi-neglected, very dirty 20 year old merc) so that's good to know.. I also left a couple of high vis waistcoats from breaking down on my front seat cos I think they make it look like a dodgy builder's van! Also,feels much better to be in inhabited areas. The only annoying thing about my van is that I can't drive off suddenly as there's no way through from body to cab... In the future I might think about changing that but I think it would be very difficult/expensive.
    Love to everyone who's offered advice and support, what a great buch of people xxxx

  • Good to hear you're doing well, keep on truckin'.:D Maybe someone else knows about cutting a hole through between cab and body? It would make life easier. You could have a secret tunnel under the stairs...

  • well done beky :) there are some good people on the road who will make you smile, im into week 5 now and still loving it. the walk through cab deff needs some thinking about for your own peice of mind :D
    carry on enjoying it and adding to your list of park ups

  • glad you have sorted your head.. I only go off the public highway for gatherings, etc. or when meeting friends who dont van dwell.

    police only stopped and seen me twice and that was because first time I was standing up through the roof hatch lining up the sky dish and they wanted to check i was ok and not trying to escape a burner fire! and second time was in epping forest and they warned me to lock up tight as there had been a spate of car jackings!

    There a loads of deep laybys back from the main roads, and lots of laybys on small roads that have very little traffic. There are some towns to avoid.. but always a park up close to them.

    I have my bus set up so it doesnt look like I am in it. parking under the no campers signs,no overnight sleeping signs in bourenmouth or poole....or hastings.. is always satisfying!

    You have to think a bit more in the winter when you have a burner on.. but just park on the side of the road/layby where the verge is downwind.. and let your smoke dissappear quickly into a hedge or trees... not blowing across the road!

  • Becky.its a good life on the road,not had has much expetience as most people on here,only lived in vans for twenty four years,when you park up you get a feeling,yes or no,your gut instint tells you,as for the drinkiing. Post,hide your keys outside the vechile,you've got no intention to drive the home,your already home!parked in a castle car park once in cornwall once for eight weeks police came on a sat morn at one in the morning, told me I had to move,I said I. Would tmorrow cus I'd had a drink earlier, he left. Basically what it is people envy your freedom!I'm lucky I work around the country putting zinc and copper roofs on fancy grand designs buildings.one to five million pound houses, people on site say(you live in a van!) I've had people that live in thes houses say to ther other half,why don't we do that! Apoligese for the spelling but dropped. Glasses of scaffold today and broke em,and I'm on inyernet on the phone,spicky,if your near fleet in hampshire I could help ya with your chimmney if you aint fixed it

  • Yours in uik,graham? Met you at burnbake,wanted to catch up with youi on sunday but shit happens and had to leave,who made your burner?my profile pic is at sandbanks,parking 1.50 overnite, park past the roundabout around to the ferry and its free.don't tell those people in there 45000 pound vans lol .if it says no overnite sleeping and a policeman or anyone knocks on the door and you answer it. You not asleep. No problem !

  • Yours in uik,graham? Met you at burnbake,wanted to catch up with youi on sunday but shit happens and had to leave,who made your burner?my profile pic is at sandbanks,parking 1.50 overnite, park past the roundabout around to the ferry and its free.don't tell those people in there 45000 pound vans lol .if it says no overnite sleeping and a policeman or anyone knocks on the door and you answer it. You not asleep. No problem !



    was on the one way to the ferry 3 nights ago:D.. and the householder put their rubbish out so .. I added mine.. alice's restaurant,lol

  • hey, yea I agree it's good to suss places out early in the day as then you're fresh and rested and not stressed and going for anything. I've got a wicked park-up in cornwall just now, and had it for about five months. like stardust says, being polite and friendly is really important... when the garage water pipes froze, the park wardens gave us water, and they cleared out their sheds and gave us sackloads of spare wood for the burner. All through a bit of conversation here and there; and it's nice to know you have friendly neighbours too :)
    Also, anywhere urban; if you're against a wall or hedge and nobody is staring in your windows, you feel safer and are generally disturbing less folk. Urban parkland can have problems but it's less likely the cops'll be called by residents who value their childrens' flesh. mmm roasted kids...we all know how we like it ;)
    It's always nice to meet other folk on the road, too. Whereabouts are you? maybe I'll come knocking for a cuppa!
    good luck xx

  • Hi Beky, looks like you've had more than enough suggestions already. I just want to add sometyhing - and I may be a bit premature - but winter is VERY different and if you can, I would start as early as possible - now is not too soon in my book - to sort at least one winter park-up where you know you're unlikely to be moved on, like some private land or a farm like has been mentioned. When the daylight is run out by half past four and the nights are approaching zero temperature you will be mightily glad to not have to drive about looking for park-ups - and you'll want somewhere to store wood of course if you heat your Merc that way. Buying logs from garages etc is like burning money it's bleeding extortionate. Not trying to put you off - you'll have seen it all and feel ready for anything by November, but winter did shock the hell out of me at first.:eek:

  • I have a friend that parks up along the coast a lot, he keeps a fishing rod set up and if the police turn up he tells them he's not camping, he's waiting for the tide so he can go fishing.

  • So the police paid me my first visit on Sunday night! It was quite funny timing as I had my mum staying with me.. They pulled up and I could hear them talking on their walkie talkies about an abandoned truck.. then they tried the cab door (and found that I had left it unlocked like a dumbass!) They tried the shutter so I said hello and asked if it was okay that I was sleeping there (in a carpark at a common that you're not really supposed to park overnight or park vans :/) and they said they were sorry if they'd scared me and to be careful to lock my doors :) yay for nice police!