Motorhome and campervan travel can give you freedom. You can go any place you want at any time of day and night. One of the perks of using a motorhome is the possibility to stay inside overnight, avoiding the cost of accommodation. However, is free motorhome camping allowed everywhere? Or is it necessary to look for dedicated parking spots? In a moment, we’ll explain more about motorhome and campervan overnight parking in the UK.
Can you park anywhere overnight in the UK?
Unfortunately, not, most pieces of land are owned by someone in the United Kingdom. This maybe a private landowner or a local authority. In England or Wales, you must obtain permission from the landowner, some places may state that overnight parking is allowed.
Scotland has a slightly different rule for motorhome parking, that allows camping in most public enclosed places. Although there are some rules on motorised activities, so it’s best to check whether permission is needed.
It is also worth knowing that some areas in the Lake District and Dartmoor allow wild camping.
Just remember wherever you pitch your motorhome for an overnight stay, keep safety in mind.
Finding free overnight motorhome parking.
Our mobile devices are the best way of finding overnight motorhome parking. Just search for motorhome parking in the App store and several apps are available. We recommend you read through them to see which would suit your needs best.
A couple of suggestions are:
Park4night.com – a free app that lists various places suitable for parking motorhomes, including campsites, fields, lay-bys, and supermarket car parks. For a small fee you can upgrade to using the app offline, perfect for when you’re travelling off the beaten track.
Campy – another free app that lists various free and chargeable camping sites. Just enter the area where you’re travelling and Campy will give you a list of nearby sites. This app also tells you about the cost per night and facilities available.
If you’re looking for inspiration for destinations to visit on your road trip with free overnight parking along the way, join a Facebook Group. There are many to choose from, a good one that is free to join is UK Pub Stopovers for Motorhomes & Caravans.
Facilities provided by free overnight parking.
At most sites that provide overnight parking for motorhomes there will be no facilities. If you choose to use a pub car park, toilets are available. You will probably need to be a customer to use them, and you won’t be able to empty your toilet cassette.
If you’re looking for overnight motorhome parking with electric facilities, some places will provide this for a small fee. These sites are usually provided by pubs and farmers and may also offer running water. You will find that no other facilities like showers are provided.
Is looking for free overnight parking worth it?
You may think free overnight parking will keep your road trip costs low, but this might not be the case. Many free spots are in pub carparks where you are expected you use the pub. If you don’t plan to spend on drinks or meals out of the motorhome this can end with higher costs.
Your motorhomes may have a fully charged leisure battery at the start of your road trip, but an electric supply is needed to recharge it. The battery will last around 3 days depending on usage. We recommend booking at least one night of your trip on a site with electric hook up. Alternatively, if you do plan a road trip using free overnight parking take along a generator. Again, depending on use the cost of petrol may bump up your road trip budget.
Our Rimor Evo 5, 6 berth motorhome is the perfect vehicle for hirers looking to use free overnight parking spaces. It has solar panels to keep the leisure battery charged and a large garage for storage of extra items needed.
The best way to enjoy a motorhome road trip is to have a plan in place. This can be where all your stops are booked or just a route you intend to take. We recommend having your first night booked even if you intend to go to a free overnight motorhome parking spot. This will avoid disappointment and let you have a great first night on your trip, hopefully without stress 😉.