Wildcamping In A Caravan: How To

Posted on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Wild Camping: How To

Wild camping means different things for different people, some might think of it as running off into the mountains alone to camp, some of you might think it’s more going hiking alone, but in this sense we use wildcamping to mean parking your caravan up at night anywhere other than a campsite. This could be by the side of the road (not so wild…), or on the beach (getting more and more wild!).

The freedom that you can discover if you know how to wild camp makes having a caravan even more worthwhile. If you know what equipment you’ll need and what preparation you need, you can park up in any beautiful spot in the world (check wild camping laws first mind you!)

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Before we get into how to wildcamp, let’s check out where it’s legal to wildcamp!


Largely not permitted and in some places, it’s explicitly not permitted. Don’t let this put you off though, there are many beautiful camping spots in Italy and it’s well worth paying a few euros for the evening.


Not legal, although, if you’re careful there are plenty of remote areas to stop in if you’re at a loose end.


Technically illegal although the rule is very much ignored.

Norway & Sweden

Not only legal, but encouraged in many areas.


Camping with no more than three tents for one night is allowed.






Tolerated but ask permission from the landowner, if you can find one, first.


Legal (and very much worth it!)

England and Wales

Generally not allowed without prior permission from the landowner. Finding a landowner might be the biggest issue, Dartmoor and the moors in general is an exception.

Generally, although it may strictly not be legal to wildcamp, if you are respectful of the environment, take your rubbish and no catches you… well, you’ll probably get away with it. You didn’t hear it from us though!

So, now you’re in the country of your choice… You’ve found the perfect little spot: sun shining, spectacular views – can you stay overnight? Of course you can, you just need to know how.

Wildcamping in your Caravan Tips:

  • Park so that can drive off in the dark should you need to be on the move in a hurry (if someone asks you to leave), try not to use levelling wedges for this reason.
  • Make sure you’re not in anyone’s way – this goes without saying.
  • Find your spot in sunlight – most of the time finding a suitable place in the dark is not easy.

Remember that you’ll have no fresh water, sewage disposable or electric hook up. You’ll need water enough or one or two nights, you are totally self-sufficient and will need to use your resources sparingly.

You’ll know from experience how long you’ll be able to last without hook up – and if you have solar panels this might be longer than the standard caravan, however, if you have tanks that need emptying, then you’ll be limited by how long you can stay self-sufficient.

The trick here is to arrive at your wild camping spot with your waste tanks empty and your fresh water full.

Fresh Water Wild Camping Tips

There are some genius ways to save on water, this will prolong how long you can wild camp for as you won’t have to get back for fresh water.

-          Don’t waste water getting your shower up to temperature, put a bucket under the shower to collect the water and reuse it – it’s still clean after all!

-          Clean crockery and cutlery with tissues before you wash them up, then just give them a quick rinse. You’ll be amazed how much water you save washing up.

-          Wet wipes add to dry waste, but use them to wash your face and hands when a shower isn’t essential – who said wild camping wasn’t glamourous?!

Grey Waste Disposal

Grey waste is the waste water from the shower and sinks, not black waste – which is more, human related!

It is obviously best to dump this at a designated area on a campsite, however this isn’t a luxury you’ll have when on your wild camping adventure. The waste will most likely be organic so throwing it out somewhere sensible is an option – make sure you’ve used eco-friendly washing up liquid and shower products.

Black Waste Disposal

There isn’t the option of getting rid of this waste somewhere responsible like you can with grey waste. This waste must end up in a sewer 0 it might be harmful to animals or the environment because of all kinds of nasty bugs. Most manholes don’t lead to sewers, so getting rid of your waste down one of them isn’t an option either.

Your best bet is to store it, and to empty it when you get back to a site.

Electricity Saving

It’s obviously easier to save on electricity during the summer, you’ll prolong how long you can live on just a battery on no hookup. The long nights mean less lights… you can take extra batteries, generators or even get a solar panel installed if you’re planning on making this a regular endeavour.

Try old fashioned entertainment rather than relying on power sources, this will save you electric and help you relax and connect with the nature around you – isn’t that kinda the point of getting away?!


Wildcamping can be the best part of having a caravan. If you’re lucky enough to own a vehicle you can survive in for a few nights away from the rat race of everyday life, then you should try and make the most of it. There are many incredible places than you can wild camp and you don’t have to splash out on expensive hotels or even camp fees –what could be better than that!

Dave Steer
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Dave Steer

Director at Ryedale Leisure
Dave is one of the directors of Ryedale leisure and has over 29 years experience in the caravan industry dealing with all aspects of the business.
Dave Steer
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