If you are new to Camper Vans, or have just bought your first Camper Van and you are dying to take it out on the road, you are probably asking yourself if you can park a Camper Van on the street or not.
Well, the good news is, you can almost certainly park your camper van outside of your house, on the street, providing there are no regulations stating that you can’t park it there clearly on show.
For anyone visiting this from outside of the UK, I apologise, because this post is written with the UK Camper Van and Motorhome market and it’s regulations in mind.
The UK is where I live once again, at least for now, and I don’t currently know the regulations for anywhere else other than for the UK and Spain.
Spain is where we lived until recently, and it is where I was when I owned my first Camper Van. I spent hours and hours researching where I could and could not take and park my Camper Van legally.
Spain is a country that is extremely well known for it’s red tape in every part of life. The ownership of Camper Vans and the Traffic Regulations relating to them are certainly no different.
There appears to be two main questions that come up regularly during my research, they are namely:
- Where can you park an empty Camper Van?
- Where can you park a Camper Van and actually stay in it overnight?
They are both obviously very closely related, but they also have their differences. So let’s have a look at them both, as well as a few other things related to Camper Van regulations and and where you can and can’t park them, hopefully we’ll be able to clear at least a few things up.
- 1 Where Are You Permitted To Park An Empty Camper Van?
- 2 Can I Park A Camper Van Outside My House?
- 3 Do I Have The Legal Right To Wild-Camp (Boondock) In The UK In A Camper Van?
- 4 Can I Sleep In A Camper Van Outside My House?
- 5 Can I Park My Camper Van In A Public Carpark?
- 6 Should I Put My Camper Van In Storage Instead?
Where Are You Permitted To Park An Empty Camper Van?
When it comes to our initial question of “Can You Park A Camper Van On The Street”? If it is an empty Camper Van, one without people staying in it that we are talking about, then the answer is yes, almost always…
There is no current traffic regulation that I am aware of, or that I have been able to find preventing you from parking your Camper Van on the public street, provided there are no clearly visible signs stating otherwise.
That is to say, visible signs such as parking restrictions that are applicable to all vehicles. Things like double yellow or single yellow lines, or the fact that the street or road you plan to park on being an Urban Clearway, amongst others restricted stopping areas. If there is not a Parking Restriction showing, then you are permitted to park your Camper Van there.
If the land is privately owned, you have no right to park there unless you have permission from the landowner. A word of warning here, the majority of land in the UK is owned by someone, even if it owned by the Local Authority or another government agency, so be aware.
Large Supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys in the UK, Walmart in the USA, and numerous Stores in and across Spain and a host of other countries actively advertise that they are happy to allow Camper Van parking, including overnight stays in their carparks. This is probably due to the fact that their carparks are empty overnight, and the owners of the Camper Vans will probably go to the nearest supermarket, theirs, in the morning for their provisions.
As a word of warning, if you are planning on parking your Camper Van in a Supermarket Carpark, it is always worth doing some research beforehand to prevent a possible unwanted Parking Charge.
Can I Park A Camper Van Outside My House?
Provided that your Camper Van is legal, so in the UK meaning that it has Road Tax, a valid MOT Certificate and Insurance, you can park your Camper Van on any road that does not state otherwise.
However you may not:
- Block Access or cause an obstruction to the movement of other vehicles on the public highway
- Prevent access for emergency vehicles to your, or the surrounding properties
- Park on a grass verge just off the tarmac road, unless you own the land
- Block the driveway of another property
- Park in a loading bay or in a turning circle
Everything I have pointed out above should be common sense to anyone that has ever owned a car before, as the regulations are exactly the same.
Other points to consider if you are thinking about parking your Camper Van on the street in front of your house are:
- Is it going to upset your neighbours?
- Is it going to be safe from vandals and thieves?
- Is there enough head room for it, from trees and overhanging bushes?
- Is your street on an incline, leaving your Camper Van out of balance on an unwanted slope?
- Will it be close enough to your house so that you can hook up the leisure batteries to recharge them?
- Will any recharging cables between your Camper Van and the Power supply cause a hazard to pedestrians?
Again, these are more common sense points, but they are all things that you will need to consider.
Do I Have The Legal Right To Wild-Camp (Boondock) In The UK In A Camper Van?
Surprisingly to me, the answer to this one is No! You don’t have any legal right to Wild Camp in a Camper Van in the UK. However, there is also no legal objection as to why you can’t Boondock anywhere in the UK either. Confused? Me too.
There are in fact very few laws or traffic regulations regarding where you can and can’t park up and sleep in a Camper Van, or indeed any vehicle overnight.
You have probably seen dozens of lorries pulled over in laybys on your travels, and the drivers grabbing some sleep. This will either be because they are too tired to continue, or because they have reached their legal quota of driving hours and need to take a rest by law.
You and your Camper Van come under very much the same regulations as those tired truck drivers, although thankfully not the commercial side of it, with tachographs and driving hours quotas.
That means that providing you don’t get out the awning, the barbeque and a few deckchairs, you should be fine to pull over and have some sleep pretty much anywhere for one night at least.
Can I Sleep In A Camper Van Outside My House?
As far as I have been able to find out, there is no law or regulation preventing you from sleeping in a Camper Van, on your driveway or in your street. Providing that it is not written into a covenant or similar legal document associated with the property or estate that you live on, which is unlikely, but they do exist.
Sleeping in a Camper Van and the act of Camping appear in law to be two completely different things and they come under different sets of regulations.
As far as I have been able to ascertain from searching the websites of the majority of the UK’s motorhome and campervan experts and influencers, there is currently no actual legislation or law to prevent you from sleeping in any vehicle at the roadside.
However, the law varies when it comes to talking about camping versus sleeping in your campervan. But, it is also extremely difficult to find a useable definition of Camping as compared to Sleeping in a Camper Van either.
It was far easier when we lived in Spain. The definition (in Layman’s terms) was that if your vehicle was being used as a vehicle, it was classed as a vehicle. As soon as you put out an awning, levelled off the vehicle with jacks and ramps and got out deckchairs, you and your vehicle were classed as camping.
Due to the fact that I can’t find anything pertinent here in the UK, I am going to stick with the Spanish version here too, unless someone informs me otherwise, then I’ll update this post.
Can I Park My Camper Van In A Public Carpark?
Most Public Carparks are owned by a Local Authority. Each Local Authority will undoubtedly have it’s own rules too. So it is worth checking with them before just parking there.
Many public and private carparks have height restrictions, limited stay policies, no overnight stay signs and there are even bans on Camper Vans and Motorhomes in some.
The consensus is IMHO, if you can’t see any signage stating otherwise, and your vehicle meets the height, weight and classification requirements, you should be able to park there overnight without a problem.
Should I Put My Camper Van In Storage Instead?
If your Camper Van is causing a nuisance to your neighbours, making street access difficult for others, blocking someone else’s driveway or being tampered with or even broken into, you might want to consider placing your beloved Camper Van in storage.
Putting your pride and joy into a Secure Camper Van Storage Facility is surprisingly affordable and will also give you piece of mind and probably improve your standing with the neighbours if they have been complaining.
Camper Van Storage Facilities are generally fenced in, secure areas, with Cameras, as well as having a Physical Human Presence on the lot overnight.
In my opinion, if you don’t have a large piece of land of your own, I would opt for the Storage option over parking it in the street. This should keep everyone, especially neighbours with an opinion, happy and keep your Camper Van and your private possessions inside of it safe and secure.