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      Barry & Maggie
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      Barry & Maggie
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      Posts: 1280
      This can be an emotive subject. This is not the forum to discuss the merits or otherwise of ‘wild camping’; it’s just to help those who want to try it or need to on one occasion.

      Some of us ‘wild camp’ all the time, some occasionally and some never.  But even those who never wild camp may actually need to at one time or another, if an emergency arises for example.  ‘Wild camping’, to us, includes car parks where overnight parking charges are a nominal amount (a couple of quid or thereabouts), etc.  So here are some hints and tips on ‘wild camping’ that we’ve picked up through experience.  Please share any ideas that you’ve come across, too.

      Ensure the spot you pick will upset no-one, e.g. don’t park directly outside someone’s front window, in a lorry turning area or other place that may cause some obstruction in the morning (it might have looked OK at 11pm!), etc.  Our rule of thumb is that if either one of us is not happy for whatever or no reason (just ‘gut feelings’!) then we don’t stop there.

      We have never ever experienced any problem when ‘wild camping’ but it’s sensible when parking to ensure that you can drive off easily should you need to – don’t back yourself into a difficult corner, for instance, nor use levelling blocks or external screens.

      If you want to be extremely discreet (parked in a residential street, for instance) just pull the interior across-cab curtains and not the windscreen/door blinds.  When all the other blinds are drawn it’s not clear (particularly in an Exsis) that you are anything other than just ‘parked’.

      Trading estates are generally very suitable for overnighting.  Just try never to get too close to an entrance for long, wide-sweeping articulated lorries, nor use obvious parking spaces for the local employees.  Some trading estates just dont lend themselves to overnighting, though.

      Reservoirs are another good source of free overnight parking (but some aren’t!) with the bonus of a beautiful view in the morning.

      We do not use water in our built-in tank for consumption, hence we’re free to take on water from wherever we can find it and then treat it with a suitable water treatment.  We buy bottled water to drink/cook with.  Garages are often more than happy to let you top up (except in Portugal, I found!) and even from basins in some public toilets (you’ll know whether to when you first walk in!).  We carry several 5 litre containers and a short hose discreetly in a holdall for this purpose.  Similarly, the toilet tank and small water container for rinsing are contained in a (different!) holdall, for discreet emptying in public conveniences.  Important to use “green” fluid or no fluid at all if a SOG is fitted.

      Alternatively, every three or four days, book onto a site in order to service the ‘van.

      Finally, ‘boy racers’ seem to be the biggest problem we’ve experienced, when they like to wheelie, skid, etc., late at night when they think no-one’s around.  You can either ignore them or move on (we’ve done both).  I’ve heard an incident of banging on the side of the ‘van but this has never happened to us.  My advice would be not to confront this behaviour.  Either ignore it, when they’ll probably carry on walking home or if it persists then leave.  Should you fear damage, take photos out of the window as you leave and go straight to the nearest Police.  Be aware, though, that anything you actively do could be provocative to yobs.

      But as I say, this sort of thing has never happened to us.

      Barry


      Barry & Maggie

      June 7, 2014 at 11:16 AM
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      chris&sally
      Member
      Posts: 69
      there was an article by “jim” the owner of motorhome fun [i am not a member, but perhaps i should join] on wild camping—along the same lines as barry and jean

      http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/magazine/articles/a-beginners-guide-to-wild-camping-in-your-motorhome/

      July 8, 2014 at 1:16 PM
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      Charlie Stratton
      Member
      Posts: 47
      A fellow motorhomer recommended Brit Stops to me see: http://britstops.com/welcome.html  I am going to buy a copy in March.

      I free* camped @ Porlock Weir on Friday night. *£6 for 24hr parking & Public Toilets were cleaned spotlessly @ 6am.  I highly recommend the private toll road (£4) for the views and a way of avoiding notorious Porlock (killer) Hill.

      I can recommend a couple of spots on Exmoor however to save them being spoilt I will only send details to fellow Exsis owners by PM.

      September 29, 2014 at 8:33 PM
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      Chris24
      Member
      Posts: 39
      I always think it strange that staying anywhere in a motorhome could be called ‘wild’ camping. We have used a Brit stops, and just parked up. Probably our most interesting night was in a Forrest clearing in North Wales when a car screamed up in the early hours, two young lads, and flames coming from under bonnet. It all turned out well though. They were genuine lads from Bethesda, and grateful for our fire extinguisher. We got snowed in by morning, but we’re lovely and cosy in Hymer 544. And that’s why we didn’t get to a good friends wedding the day after. Twelve years ago now, but a magic place. We have used that pull in since, uneventfully.

      June 5, 2015 at 12:52 PM
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      Katy McG
      Member
      Posts: 161
      Great tips, Barry. I’m glad we aren’t the only ones that don’t drink from the water tank but fill bottles instead!

      Brit Stops is great; we’ve used quite a few now and they’re perfect for our needs, usually in gorgeous places and often with a pub attached 😉

      We’ve done lots of ‘wild camping’ in Sweden, where they have something called ‘Every Man’s Law’ (I think), which means you can stop anywhere overnight. It really bugs me that the same thing isn’t allowed here. Or even that we don’t have any Aires like in most of the rest of Europe, which is a perfect idea. A few quid for an overnight – very happy to pay.

      We did have one bad experience in Folkestone, parked where there were a number of other campervans. In the middle of the night, someone kicked our wing mirror off. It was really scary, alhtough the damage was much less than it felt like at the time. It was cup final night… i can only imagine it was drunkenness. There was the shattered remains of a taxi’s top light close by too.

      We usually camp for a couple of nights on the seafront at Eastbourne for the Airshow – lots of others too – and this is probably my favourite wild camp of the year. It’s so funny waking up to lots of people walking about outside and no-one knows you’re in!

      One of thing I love about the Exsis is being tucked up in the top of the van and looking out through the window. it’s like being in a tree house!

      Happy camping times….

      June 10, 2015 at 12:19 PM
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      Barry & Maggie
      Administrator
      Posts: 1280
      One of the things that I love about staying in a motorhome is being in bed when it’s raining… cold, wet and windy outside with the rain very evident as it drums against the roof, but being all tucked up, warm and safe in bed!

      Or on bitterly cold, miserable days, sitting in the warm, cheerful interior, reading, listening to the radio, watching tv or just snoozing.

      Simple pleasures.

      Barry & Maggie

      June 24, 2015 at 7:47 AM
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      Chris24
      Member
      Posts: 39
      Agree completely. It can be as wild as wild outside, but inside the EXSIS it’s wonderfully civilised.

      June 24, 2015 at 1:33 PM

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