Liveing in a campervan within the uk

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    history. lived with mum, lived in house share, lived with mum, lived in room let, then homeless bed hoping for two years back with mum for year but she is selling up and moveing. Im unable to afford tradition houseing and do not want to go back to bed hoping. I have dept which are nearly clear and if I was to live rent free for a year I would be sble to pay off my depts but I am finding it hard to find out rules of liveing in a camper van. I have found out I cant in the town I work sleep in a off road area. But the naihbouring council seems to have no such regulations. I can sell my car to pay for purchase of van and hoping I wont have to travel 80 miles round trip to work. I looked at staying on private land but have been told owner requires planning permission For me to live there. So that buggered that idea. I have access to showers, water, eletric, rubish and toilet waste desposal covered and a german shepard for security.
    Any advice would be welcome on how to live rent free in a camper van and what laws I must be careful off please

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  1. Nick Mitchell June 20, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    London campervan-ers interested in being interviewed!
    Hello all,

    I work for a media agency and we’re looking to set up an interview with a young person (preferably 18-35) who currently lives in London in a campervan, probably to save costs in the capital. I know this is quite a niche request but would be really great if anyone could help out, would just be a few questions! Thanks a lot for your time & Let me know!


  2. Hi
    Hi peeps!
    I’ve been seriously thinking about living in a stealth camper van full time, so I’m happy I’m not the only nutter out there šŸ™‚
    I would need to sell my car and find a way of income as I’ve recently been made unemployed.

    Any suggestions as to what jobs fit best with the van life? I cannot stop thinking about living in a van for more than 5 minutes and I find myself watching related videos on YouTube a bit too often.

  3. Three years and still loving it…
    Hey guys,
    Ive been living in my VW T4 for three years so far on the South Coast UK.
    Never had an issue and only been moved on once by a park-keeper at a sports ground…(he ignored me for a week and then politely asked me to move on, which of course I did!)

    Loads of tips and advice if needed from my experience, I’m full time living and working, earning a fair living as a nomadic artist…


    1. Hi Rob
      Hi Rob

      Nice to hear from you.
      Be great if you could share your tips and experience.

    2. three years Rob
      hi Rob
      Im really thinking of doing this too. my youngest has just told me im no longer needed and ive been widowed 11 years, so now is my time!! my only occasional wobble is being a solo female traveller . My ambition, i suppose, is to find more like minded people and ultimately travel abroad (i did it pre-kids).
      i am also an artist and feel a great need to free my spirit from this mundane roundabout of so call “normal” life.
      i guess my question to you is…..will i be safe doing this alone?

      1. Sounds like a great time for
        Sounds like a great time for you to have an adventure.
        I have met many female travellers who have felt at all times.
        It’s worth camping close to others to gain more security.

  4. Going on the road at 63?
    I just purchased a 1999 Nissan camper van, I am planning on purchasing an inverter so I can run some electrical appliances, microwave, etc.. I do have a fridge and two burner stove, the fridge runs off a leasure battery which is charged when I am driving. I am wondering what size inverter I should get, I am thinking 1500 to 2000. I am from US and I am not familiar with inverters, can someone explain how they work as well as the size I will

    Any help would be appreciated.

  5. Van-living in Bristol
    Hello! Me and my partner are about to convert a Luton truck and want to live in it full time, but we’re unsure where would be best to park it up as with windows and potentially smoke coming out of the wood burner, we’ll probably not be the most stealthy looking van on the road! My partner works full time and I am a full time uni student, and we want to save money for a house deposit eventually. Does anyone know where in Bristol we could look for places to live more permanently?

    1. Hi,

      I don’t know of a permanent place at the moment, but I’m living in a van on the street and have been for 6 months.

      I’m also looking for a permanent place to stay, I’d like to join up with some people and get a yard…have you heard of anything or are you interested in trying to get a group together to get a yard?

      As a bit of a back story, me and my girlfriend did up an LDV Convoy and have been living in it, it’s all wood panelled and comfy! Now she’s moved to london though for work so it would be nice to have a bit of a van community going on!

      Let me know on 07952789499

      And good luck!


  6. camper adventures
    Just remember clean up after yourself be tolerant don’t over look other properties and dispose of your waste responsibly. Be polite to coppers and if you have drunk ask if you can move in in the morning or don’t answer the door your out lol

  7. camper adventures
    Just remember clean up after yourself be tolerant don’t over look other properties and dispose of your waste responsibly. Be polite to coppers and if you have drunk ask if you can move in in the morning or don’t answer the door your out lol

  8. camper adventures
    I park up any where and just relax taking my 2 German she pads with me. Last year I think there was a complaint from a snotty flat owner. The police came to a road opposite and stared at me for a while as I only had a narrow slit on that side of the blind open they realised I could not be over looking his second floor flat so they went off. I had the sea side curtains open fully. I stayed there for 2/3 weeks and was not asked to move. This was Clacton seafront last year I went back signs up to say no over night staying.

  9. The law, sell my home buy a camper
    I’m 70 own my property, don’t want to stay home and wait for God because there’s a big world out there. I’ve owned a camper before and aware of keeping myself safe. If I sell what I own and buy a camper Do I have to buy bricks and mortar with the residue of house sale or could I bank it thus using it for support now and future care. Wouldn’t want to do anything against the law.
    Look forward to your reply.

    1. Frances plans
      Good luck with your adventure…I hope you enjoy yourself and stay safe and well…Brian

  10. Hi Kate
    Hi Kate

    Great to hear of your adventures and alternative approach to camping.

  11. Boondocking
    Hello, I’m 62 and disabled, so my van is my getaway. I’ve spent weeks sleeping on the roads, (don’t like campsites) and have had no problem. I was parked on a green behind Colchester Castle Park, the police pulled up behind me about 1.30am; it appeared they checked my regno then just drove off. I’ve become a member of Nat Trust and have parked overnight in their carparks – brilliant to see the stately whatever at dawn. I’ve parked along Hadrians Wall and on Beachy Head – and talked with the local PCs at both places – just passing the time of day. I think it’s all about not taking the piss and cleaning up after yourself and I can’t see what sleeping on a relative has to do with ANYONE else. Hygiene is easy, just find a local leisure centre and, if necessary, pay for the cheapest activity and have your shower, you can wash out small bits of clothing at the same time. I’ve used campsites for a reduced rate just to shower and wash clothes, then bogged off for a bit of peace and quiet in some wood somewhere. Just go ahead and do it, then resolve things along the way. But I agree with EVERYBODY, a Rascal is too small. I’ve got a hi-top Sprinter ’97, and I’d recommend it everytime. Good luck.

  12. Living in a campervan
    At present I am living in a flat, but want more freedom to move around the country.
    I feel that making the move from the flat to campervan living will help me to acheive this,
    besides reducing my expenses. I am currently un-employed, but am actively seeking full
    time employment which I am confident I will acheive shortly. Are there any tips anyone
    could give me as a newby to this sort of life style?

  13. to, do it are not
    hi i am on my own with my dog, want to sell my house and live in camper van, family think i am mad,,,,please tell me a i ?? i am 50 next year

    1. Hi doddy 555
      Hi doddy 555

      This sounds like a great adventure. Perhaps you can rent out your house rather than sell it?
      Traveling in a campervan is a fantastic way to see the world, and a great alternative lifestyle.

      1. hi would love to do it, but i
        hi would love to do it, but i havent got the funds, to buy camper van,unless i sell my house :(,,, really do want to do it, is it do able, i have to work has well.

    2. I am 61, diabetic and
      I am 61, diabetic and thinking the same. šŸ™‚

      1. did you do it?
        hi guys
        i am so curious as to weather or not you folks did it? and if so what was it like and where are you now? im a 55 yr young solo trave mad
        lady and fully intend to do the same……would love to know, as these posts are 2 years old now x

    3. Living in a van
      Just go do it iam looking for a van at the moment not sure wot sort tho

  14. on the road
    hi guys, I am thinking of going on the road after selling my flat, i was just wondering what one dose about an address, i mean for DVIA, BANK and that kind of thing, thanks James

    1. Hi James
      The best thing to do

      Hi James

      The best thing to do is to use the address of a relative or friend.

  15. I wonder…
    Hi all
    I am in my final year at university and about to but a van ready to convert into a stealth camper .
    I have read so much info on how to do it and where to park Etc. I think I have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to do and where I’m going to go . I’m going to go this alone … None of my friends are ino the idea , they like their creature comforts too much ! I wonder do people normally just stick to going it alone or is there a place where you can meet like minded people … Maybe travel around with them? Is there a site you can find people like that ?
    Thanks šŸ™‚

    1. Hi
      This is a great year as


      This is a great year as you will save a good deal of money.
      I wouldn’t worry about what other people think about it. This is your adventure.
      I’m not sure of anywhere were you can meet similar people. Perhaps the thing to do is to look around your region to find places where people are wild camping and get to know them a bit.

      hI, there is a website called TRIBAL LIFE. iTS basically for people living in vans, tepees, yurts etc – ie alternative living styles. I would recommend it for anyone wanting to embrace the nomadic life. Good luck

    3. almost housless March 20, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      living in a Van
      HI all, interesting thread, I am lving in a van in Manchester, I’m not so sure of the rules and haven’t been doing it for long but if anyone wants to meet up and share stories, tips etc, lets arrange it somehow.

  16. hi Kieth, and everyone else
    hi Kieth, and everyone else thinking about living in your vans.
    criminal justice act of 1994? sec 74/5 etc states that its a offense to sleep in your vehicle over night on public high way but as long as you move around don’t park on anyone land garden drive etc without their permission and stay sober -if you need a drinking binge then give your keys to a sober friend who can move your van if asked. It’s a good life and wish I’d started 30+years ago but hey 5years into it now and stayed safe with common sense and polite attitude don’t leave mess dispose of your ‘toilet’ waste with consideration-you just might want to return to that nice spot so not much fun if it smells like a urinal there is a large van living community just pull up and ask and put the kettle on:)
    no-mad Mary

    1. van living
      Hi there

      are there other website in the uk about people living in there vans? I have been in mine now for the past 6 months in leeds


  17. Hi Paula
    I’m sorry to hear of

    Hi Paula

    I’m sorry to hear of your situation. Even worse that the neighbour is not being understanding. I assume you have explained the situation to them, in the hope they might be more understanding?

    I am no expert. But as I understand it. You are entitled to park the vehicle on the drive. You are also welcome to park the car on the road, assuming it is legally parked.

    The 28 day rule, as I understand it, is 28 days per year. Regardless of home many in a row you sleep in it. And I think it is sleeping in it that is counted. So 28 days per year, that you can sleep in it, overnight. When it is parked, it is like no other vehicle.

    I hope you neighbour is more understanding. I am sure when the vehicle has gone for a while the neighbour will find something else to occupy their time.

    I wish you all the best.

  18. You are Safe
    You are not on a public road or on a camp site. You are on a private drive. 28 days seems to be the norm in camp sites etc. Darren and Mgr will know better. But I would not worry, all it takes you have on night in the house and you broke the 28 day rule, or just go shopping in it and its moved. Its that simple in my view I cant see what powers the council will have if I am honest.

  19. Partners Campervan on Parents Drive
    Hi Darren
    My partner and I are living in Cornwall but we have been spending a lot of time with my elderly parents and I have decided to stay with them. Because we have had a lot of stuff to sort out we have been on my parents drive first for 2 and half weeks and then again now for 3 weeks and still here. I have slept in the van on and off. A neighbour (on the Parish council) is really giving us grief threatening to contact Planning. He is really annoyed that we have had to put a car in the road. And also says I can see you are living in it! One of us is always in the house and obviously we eat etc in the house. I am about to move into my parents home and my partner will be going back to Cornwall. He will come back every so often.

    I noted that on your site it says that as long as you are not living in a van for more than 28 days but does living mean sleeping over night (but not constantly) as well when you eat and use the house and you have your own home. Can you give me your advice – its tough enough taking care of elderly parents but having this neighbour (who is now getting other neighbours involved is more pressure I dont need) The van is my partners only vehicle and is a German Hymer 20 years old but presentable.

    Thanks a lot – look forward to hearing your view thanks Paula

    1. parents drive
      As long as you eat at least one meal a day at your parents home and are in a caravan you can stay in it for ever! It becomes part of the residence;)

      1. Part of residence?
        Is that true as well for static caravans? Being in the yard, half a mile away from the house?

  20. Glastonbury
    Seems the place for campers and there are a few around the City of Bath šŸ™‚ I should make them a brew now and then before I head North

    John šŸ™‚

  21. Suz Big Wagon............................................... April 9, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Living in a camper
    hi there,
    this is a really informative thread here. im thinking about living in my camper too since me and my housemates are being ejected. its nothing personal but the guy wants his house back. So, Lots of useful info and tips here thanks.

    Where i am the council have provided the gypsy and travelling community with a well equipped campsite but it filled up really quickly. i know there is another privately owned site. has anyone had experience of staying on one?
    And at an odd time when i’ve had to wait at Dover for the ferry ive had some peaceful, undisturbed nights at the big supermarket there and got up early to use the facilities too. i always ask first and so far never had a no.
    Also, i recall the story of a woman who made it onto the TV with her story of life in her camper. The programme makers ran a straw poll of local residents and the biggest objection was that she didnt have to pay council tax. I think the story came from Scarborough. Different councils have different tolerence levels im sure.
    i’ll find out more about the travellers sight, see what response i get and let you know.
    Good luck with the stealth camping keith

  22. twinwebber16001972 February 18, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    intention 2 drive
    re having no keys so “cannot” drive officer ! be aware that a keen cop will /can still charge u , keys or not ! happened 2 me ,i had 2 raise Ā£2000 4 legal defence ,be very carefull, particularly on any public road at all! inc. car parks

  23. spoke with local officier
    spoke with local officier there only power is to ask you to move if you fail to do so you can be detained. So just drive down the road a bit.

    1. That’s interesting. Thanks
      That’s interesting. Thanks for letting us know.

    2. Living in a camper van
      As I understand it, if I park my car on my drive and have the keys in the car I am guilty of drunk In Charge. Of course I wouldn’t be convicted and I think it’s the same with the camper. If your on private land then even if your arrested you like as not won’t be arrested. If you are you should be ok.
      On the road hide they keys …
      Hide the keys. If they tell u to move on say ok. First thing office we and make sure you have a permanent address.
      The poluce always know if your in the van btw as the windows steam up.

      Oh and if you have a posh looking one they think your a tourist and ignore you

      Failing that come onto them ….:-)

  24. Darren your a great help.

    Darren your a great help.

    I wouldnt expect them to move the van as the van would be legally parked. Just sleeping in it is considered offensive or something. I slept in my car loads of times and never thought anything off it. I have a box trailer perfect for double air bed I’ve slept in this many times too. There are way tomany silly rules in england. Would be nice if affordable houseing was affordable. I only want a roof to sleep under with my dog and cat.

  25. You only need that many
    You only need that many locations if someone (other than you) is actually monitoring the number of nights at each location. Otherwise, as long as you move around a bit, you could get away with just 2 or 3 places to stay.

    If you don’t have the keys on you, you’ll probably be OK. If the police want the vehicle moved, they will move it.
    If you have the keys on you, they consider than intent to drive, and you could be charged with drink driving.

  26. Thanks for your reply. It is
    Thanks for your reply. It is helpful as Have a few people drives I could park on. Thats 6 venues Id need a years as I spend 3 nights at freinds each week any how and add trips away. So
    mums drive
    dads drive
    freinds drive
    aunts drive
    private land
    so One more and Id be ok.
    Any idea what would happen if your unable to move the camper due to alcohole blood content, If asked to move on? I wouldnt have access to ignition or immobolisher keys till the next day. Would it be a comfortable cell for the night ? dont think that would happen but a posibility is there.

  27. Hi
    The law is not very clear


    The law is not very clear on living in a campervan. As I understand it, there is no direct law stopping you from living in a campervan.
    However the police happily move people on if they think they are living in the van, or simply sleeping for the night. They can do this as they can claim it is anti-social.
    I have spent long periods of time living in campervans. Mainly in Europe, where it is easier, but also at times in the UK.
    My van looked liked a regular van on the outside, i.e. no windows, but was a comfortable camper inside. This allowed me to park just about anywhere and sleep for the night. I just kept noise and visits outside to a minimum. And keep parking in different places. This is fine for short periods, but not good for long-term.

    The law states that you can only live in a campervan or caravan for 28 days in 1 year on private land. Any more than 28 days and you need planning permission.
    However we are able to park vehicles on our land without planning permission for as long as we like. So the difference is simply that someone is living in it.
    If the land is not surrounded by neighbours, and the vehicle moves from time to time you could probably get away with parking the camper on private land without planning permission, but obviously this carries a litte risk if the council become aware.

    Another option is a very cheap campsite. Most campsites charge Ā£10+ per day and offer lots of facilities. But there are some campsites that are literally a field. The owner might only charge a few pounds a day. If you chat with the owner they might do you a nice deal.