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If you sleep in a layby in a camper van, do you get done for vagrancy?

(31 Posts)
trefusis Wed 09-Nov-05 21:02:00

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zippitippitoes Wed 09-Nov-05 21:11:46

i think you may get woken up during the night if a cop car passes, bbut on the other hand you might not...they can be quite heavy handed, but soemone slept in the car outside our house a ouple of weeks ago and didn't "get up" until the afternoon and although we arein the middlemof town no thing happened..

frannyandzooey Wed 09-Nov-05 21:24:54

We have never had a problem, but that could be more down to luck than the law being on our side. I think as long as you are not hanging out of the van with huge spliffs in your hand, music blaring etc, you will probably be all right.

Have fun! We had to sell our van last year. If you feel like a few, small, passengers now...

Janh Wed 09-Nov-05 21:29:39

I thought the whole point of a campervan was that you could spend the night in a layby if you had to

Just found this:

<<Can I sleep in my camper when it's parked on the road or in a lay-by?
It's very difficult to give a straightforward answer, the problem is that many bits of legislation may apply, including the Caravan Sites & Control of Development Act, and recent legislation covering gypsies and travellers. As a motorhome or campervan is classed in law as a 'caravan', sleeping in it may constitute 'camping'.

Our interpretation of the law is that you cannot 'camp' on land in England & Wales (the law may be different in Scotland and N. Ireland) without the permission of the land owner. As far as the highway is concerned (this includes lay-bys) the land owner is normally the local authority.

However, whether you are moved on or not will depend on the attitude of the local authority or the local police. Our opinion (and it is only an opinion) is that you are unlikely to be moved on if: The vehicle is not causing an obstruction (but remember that there is no 'right' to park any vehicle on the road); there is no specific local by-law prohibiting overnight parking or sleeping in vehicles; you are not in the same place for more than a day or two.

For what it's worth, during our 28 years of ownership of campers and motorhomes we have never been moved on from any lay-by or roadside stopping place in the UK - but we only use them as an overnight stop on a long journey.>>

(From here - lots of useful-looking inf! Hope you have a great trip, trefusis )

trefusis Wed 09-Nov-05 21:31:06

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trefusis Wed 09-Nov-05 21:37:34

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bran Wed 09-Nov-05 22:04:03

If challenged by the police you could always say that you were trying to get to a campsite but the journey took longer than you thought it would and you felt you were too tired to drive safely anymore so you parked up for the night.

janeybops Wed 09-Nov-05 22:16:11

used to do it all the time in OZ where there are big signs saying not to do it.
we always chose a quiet and lonely spot (in hindsight perhaps not such a good idea for 2 young girls?)
never asked to move on or told off.

it was great fun...

moondog Wed 09-Nov-05 22:18:00

lol at thread title

trefusis Wed 09-Nov-05 22:19:46

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geekgrrl Wed 09-Nov-05 22:21:01

my parents-in-law have a campervan and only stay in lay-bys, they go off for weeks on end all over the country and have never mentioned having problems - they've been doing this for decades. Occasionally they'll stay in a Caravan Club CL (Certified Location) - this is usually a farmer's field.

You could try the lively forum at

trefusis Wed 09-Nov-05 22:22:16

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moondog Wed 09-Nov-05 22:23:13

Very much hoping that 'lively forum' is not coded speak for weird layby wife swapping scene.

Unless of course this is what Tref wants.....

geekgrrl Wed 09-Nov-05 22:25:56

nothing of that sort I hope! Though I haven't checked for a while - we sold our caravan (and good riddance to it, too).

trefusis Wed 09-Nov-05 22:29:36

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starandsnowshaker Wed 09-Nov-05 22:32:30

dont know if this helps but the police do say if ur driving and are tired pull over somewhere safe and have a sleep. tierdness kills more than drunk driving

Skribble Thu 10-Nov-05 01:10:22

In scotland there are certain roads by the sea where there are loads of caravans and camper vans that park up for the summer, round some lochs as well, they return year after year and have their own pitches. Many car parks have height bars on them though.

I would go for a caravan park just for the sake of toilets, water and electricity but then I am a woose.

HRHQoQ Thu 10-Nov-05 01:16:31

My parents frequently stop in laybys in their camper van - never been woken up yet

Skribble Thu 10-Nov-05 01:29:34

I know people who stop in laybys but that is for different reasons .

Seriously unless it is a quiet lane i would wake up everytime a lorry went by and shakes the van, tried sleeping in the car after a Bon Jovi concert in my wild younger days , never slept a wink and we were off the road a bit but we still shook everytime.

Janh Thu 10-Nov-05 10:56:51

Skribble, camper vans have their own water, toilets and leccy - limited but enough for an overnight in a layby. My brother bought a new one this year, it has the neatest tiny all-in-one shower and toilet you ever saw! (Hideous pale yellow velour upholstery though, god knows what that's about )

fennel Thu 10-Nov-05 11:03:42

we used to often spend the night not in campsites in our VW van. we never got moved on from a layby. but they are noisy places to sleep, not idea. we have been moved on from national beauty spots (i.e. in the Lake District) - especially if you are still there by about 9am. if you move on early it's not usually a problem.

it's quite hard to find nice places to camp rough near a road in England, most land is private or built up.

Scotland has more places to camp rough in, though these places tend to coincide with major midge gatherings.

Oz and NZ are far better for this but I guess that's not much help!

our van had water in a little sink, and electric lights and heating. no toilet though.

fennel Thu 10-Nov-05 11:05:07

frannyandzooey, we also sold our van last year. 2 adults and 3 under 5s proved too stressful in a small tin box.

tallulah Thu 10-Nov-05 17:09:15

You may find that every available layby is full of lorries... they are here.

sallyhollyberry Thu 10-Nov-05 17:51:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Skribble Thu 10-Nov-05 22:11:51

I know vans have their own facilities but you need access to water to fill up your tank, somewhere to empty the toilet and an electric hook up means you can keep the heater on all night and be toasty.

I hate staying in tiny vans anyway, I loved the Lee Evans caravan jokes. We always visit my PIL in their caravan and 1 day and 2 meals is more than I can stand .

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