check out the new remote control Jockey Wheel SmartBar Solid GPS Caravan Tracking System Powertec Lake Grace, WA Caframo fans
Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Safety on free camping


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 145
Date:
Safety on free camping


We have been caravanning for around 17 years but never free camped before, but having been fully retired for around 4 years and on pension now things are different.  We love this life and wish to keep doing this for sometime but I am looking for your feedback on the safety of free camping.  We have 21 ft van and fully self contained. Maybe you have some advice to pass on please.

I love this site and up to date have had great fun watching all the feed back come in on most topics.

I look forward to your replies and thanks again for your help.

P.S.  Hope that I have done this right!! 



__________________


Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 3683
Date:

Yes, you have done this right and you have your first post! Welcome chicken.
Sounds like you are no 'chicken' when it comes to enjoying the life on the road.
I was hesitant about free-camping until we started to do it. I said I wouldn't stop anywhere unless someone else was already there. Well, that doesn't always work.
One day it was getting late and we needed to stop. We had missed the spot we were going to stop at so stopped at the next rest area. No-one else stayed - even though some thought about it. I think God had answered my prayers and everyone else saw a heap of other vans there with us! Anyway, about 5.30am there was this almighty thump on the caravan and it rocked about. I jumped up, looked out the window and told my husband (in his bed) 'There's someone out there!' No. There was no-one out there,he had been having a dream and banged and shouted at a kangaroo he thought was attacking him! I could have attacked him! Finally my heart settled down and I went back to sleep and we laughed about it for ages after.
The next stop was at a much bigger area, well off the road and others were there. We ended up having a ball. Stayed three nights and loved the campfire chats etc etc. Haven't been worried about it since. Have done many more.
But for the first time - just make sure someone else is already there and you should be right. We met a couple who freecamped on the pension when their petrol money ran out thenwhen the pension went in again, they had a night at a park to wash and shower then off they went again.
Have fun. Hope you enjoy this forum now you are a member.

__________________

NeilnRuth



Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 6997
Date:

The only thing we would not do when free-camping is leave the van there while we go away sight-seeing/shopping etc. Others do it I know.
We have had a few nights on our own and have enjoyed the peace, but never near a town or close to the road.

__________________

Cheers,  Gerty. ... at home

"Leaning forward to see whats coming"
                                                                   



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 145
Date:

  • thanks NeilnRuth for your reply and helpful hints.  Yes, we will be travelling with another couple but they have not free camped either, so it will be the blind leading the blind - so to speak. Boy, boy boy, I would have nearly died with that noise outside the van. Glad it was only your hubby!! So many things to learn about on this topic.  Thanks again for your help.


__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 145
Date:

Thanks Gerty, another good tip to put in the diary.no.gif



__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 120
Date:

We have done a fair bit of free camping and have not had any trouble. As long you are careful you should have no trouble. For us it is the only way to enjoy caravanning as we cannot afford to stay in caravan parks all the time. Rastas

__________________


The Master

Status: Offline
Posts: 12473
Date:

I only ever freecamedp and I am travelling solo. I always find the spot by 4pm or earlier, and make sure there are others there too. If no one turns up I have time to move on to another one if need be, but so far it has not been necessary.

__________________




Happy Wanderer    

Don't worry, Be Happy! 

Live! Like someone left the gate open

 

 

 



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 145
Date:

Thanks for the ecouragement Rastas.  Yes, I agree, caravan parks are getting so expensive



__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 145
Date:

Good tip Happy Wanderer.  I will put that in my book as well.  Thanks.



__________________


Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 6513
Date:

I'm a solo nomad, although I often have company on my trips, and I mosty free camp. I have only stayed where there are others.

I couldn't afford to travel if I had to stay in CP's all the time. I have my solar panel, I 'duck bath', I have my portaloo, and if I really want a 'proper' shower, I can set up my shower tent and use my submersible pump to have a shower.

My last trip was with my sister and b-i-l and when we wanted to go off and see the sights, we went in their car, leaving their van with my car and van. Hopefully people thought there was someone in my van, keeping an eye on theirs. Nothing went missing anyway.

And welcome to the site chicken.

 



__________________

Beth, now living on the Redcliffe Peninsula, SEQ.

 

 





Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 4436
Date:

You have received some good advice here. Just go out there and do it. I'm a free camper also and will stop anywhere. In a busy street, shopping center car parks, new land subdivisions, you name it, I've been there. Of course sometimes you maybe taking a risk with the authorities, but it is easier in a Motorhome than in a caravan !! My only close shave was in a beach carpark in Adelaide. About 9 pm., a big knock on the door. It was a Council Inspector telling me to move on !! After the usual bull.....t of telling him I was too tired to drive, obeying the road safety signs telling you not to drive if you are tired, he countered by saying well you stay there and I'll just leave this $220.00 ticket on your windscreen. After a lot more small talk, it worked out well. He told me he was acting on a Complaint from residences across the road,and he was not coming back that night. If I drove away, came back in 15 minutes and parked so I couldn't be seen from the road, no one would know any different. That's exactly what I did. So it can be fun but it can be heavy on your pocket if you are unlucky. Safety of course is all important, but so is common sense... Good luck with your travels..

__________________

Retired Airline Pilot and Electrician..

I'm not old, I've just been young a long time....Ken

Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

 



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 145
Date:

Thanks Beth for your reply.  I congratulate you on being a sol nomad and free parking.  It sounds as though you are doing it well and enjoying your time on the road.

Your tips will go in my book as well.  Also thanks for the welcome.

 



__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 145
Date:

Also a thank you to you Big Gorilla for your reply.  So glad for you that you did not finish up with the $220.00 fine, but it just shows if you have the "gift of the gab" you can do/get almost anything!!  Good luck to you.



__________________


Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 4207
Date:

Been free camping for many years & never had a problem, I had one attempted breakin to the tug & that was in a caravan park.

FREE----- the way to go!

JC.



__________________

 

 

Be your self; there's no body better qualified !                    "I came into this world with nothing , I still have most of it"

 

JC.

 


 

                                             

                

    

                          



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 145
Date:

Thanks justcruisin0l, you have given us a lot of encouragement with your reply.  Can't wait to hit the road, just have to celebrate a few birthdays coming up.



__________________


Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 3683
Date:

I would agree with Gerty Dancer - the only time I left the caravan while freecamping was with the wife of one of the other freecampers (we didn't previously know them) and we left the husbands behind. We have a freecamp near us on the coast and we have seen caravans all set up and left alone. Not sure I'd do it though.

__________________

NeilnRuth



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 193
Date:

As we are just starting out, I have found this post to be great.  Up until a few years ago, my free camping was swag anywhere near the car.  Whether it was fishing or just travelling or, that taboo subject, shooting.  When shooting, there was always an equaliser called a 12 Gauge.  Never had to use it.

I am going to investigate a discussion I had with a close friend on a station north of Wilcannia.  We were discussing people camping on his station.  He said he had no problems with it as long as he knew where they were, how long they were staying and he would even direct them to a tank or similar camping area.  So I think I will stop and ask if no where near a free camp, can I stay on your property, if you want a hand cleaning water troughs or with sheep in the yard I will do it!



__________________

Never growing old, just getting dusty around the edges.



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 145
Date:

I agree with you NeilnRuth, I don't think that I am ready to leave the van alone while free camping.  Thanks for the tip. 

from Chicken



__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 145
Date:

Good for you Boothie!  We need more people like you around us.

from Chicken.



__________________


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 9
Date:

I had my first trip away with my van last week and had 4 nights in a CP. On the way home I thought I might just go and check out Firth Park, a free camping area in the Wombat State Forest in Vic. Originally I was only going to check it out for future reference but once I got there I decided to stay. It was a great area, well kept with nice clean loos. There were a couple of other families there but I really only talked to the kids from one family who obviously thought I was OK because they hung around me chatting all afternoon. I still haven't discovered all the ins and outs of my van as far as running on battery etc but all went swimmingly for one night. I felt very adventurous and liberated. I also discovered that it only takes 6 cups of water to wash your hair!



__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 193
Date:

Ozannie, Wombat State forest was one of my stamping grounds years ago, I would like to know where Firth Park is for future reference.  Did yu find it in Camps Australia?

The other thing, and I am not being rude, but I have read in some survival type manuals for military types, your hair becomes self cleaning in 6 weeks.  The question I would have is why would you wait if you had six cups of water. And also, if I was desperate, I would use 2 cups and shave it.

And good on you Ozannie, our first outing ends tomorrow, and if your like us, we are hanging out for the next one.  The only problem is I have been advised that everything you use, mark with texta so that when you get home you can take out everything without a texta mark and leave it at home.  To date, I don't think the Missus has a texta mark!



__________________

Never growing old, just getting dusty around the edges.



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 145
Date:

Hi Ozannie,  Thanks for the tips on Firth Park.  Sounds great and will put this also in my book for future trips.



__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 145
Date:

Boothie, I also wanted to know where Firth Park is and could not find it in our camps book, so googled it and all the info came up on screen.  Looks great and now can't wait to get our van behind us and watch Melbourne disappear into the background.



__________________


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 9
Date:

I'll have to go to Firth Park more often to meet up with you all (if there's any space left...lol) One tip though, if you are using GPS don't turn into the road signposted as Beaties Rd, it's a no through road, turn into Greebes Rd (or something like that) instead. I found reference to Firth park in the On The Road Magazine, Guide to Free Campsites 2013-14. For $20 it's an invaluable asset.

Boothie, I don't think I could have waited six weeks. It's bad enough waiting that long for a hair CUT let alone a hair WASH!

__________________


The Happy Helper

Status: Offline
Posts: 12023
Date:

ozannie - why don't you head up to Greens Lake - between Shepparton and Bendigo - it is in Camps Book - heaps of room, dog friendly, toilets, water - good enough to wash your hair with - swimming, fishing - quite a few Grey Nomads there at the moment - a great way to meet fellow GN's - and once you have been to Greens you will return! It's a great spot.

__________________

jules
"Love is good for the human being!!"
(Ben, aged 10)



Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 3683
Date:

Firth Park looks great. Thanks.

__________________

NeilnRuth



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 199
Date:

We haven't done any free camping as yet. The CPs are getting so expensive and cutting into our budget. I think that once we go free camping and find it's ok we will do more, but Rod is very protective and would find it hard to sleep waiting for that bump in the night etc... I hope to convince him to give it a try soon. Thanks everyone for the great advice :)

__________________

C.R.A.F.T.Y OL' BUGGAS



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 340
Date:

Agree with you boothie,

My Miroku, Marlin & .45 are always with us, & to be on the right side of the law, my wife is also licenced just in case she has to carry on the trip without me ?

 

Cheers

Miroku12g



__________________

Dave, Maz, Zac, & now Buster



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 145
Date:

Far out - is there a need for these items!!

from Chicken



__________________


Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 3683
Date:

I hope they're only for the snakes!

__________________

NeilnRuth

1 2  >  Last»  | Page of 2  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us
Purchase Grey Nomad bumper stickers Read our daily column, the Nomad News The Grey Nomad's Guidebook