camping is referred to by many terms including bush camping,
off power camping, dry camping and boondocking.
be a great way to enjoy your caravan, rv or camper trailer
or motorhome. Get away from it all, set up your camp chair,
and just relax by a river and enjoy the serenity. You've
got everything you need, plenty of drinking water, gas for
cooking and perhaps a generator to top up those batteries if
the weather turns bad. What would be better. There's no
fun in wanting to get away from it all and heading to a
campground only to find yourself all plugged in, but
listening to your
TV all night. You could have just stayed home for that.
need to remember however, that just because you are out of
the city and away from civilization that there aren't still
rules to follow ! Away from civilization you have only
yourself to rely on so steps need to be taken to make sure
you keep yourself safe.
the introduction of various free camp books available on the
market today, camping away from the general bustle of
crowded caravan parks has become extremely popular.
first question you should ask yourself is – is it legal? The
answer is yes or no, depending on where you decide to park
your caravan/rv. If you park where it's not okay, that's
called "trespassing" which is quite illegal.
familiar with the Area
Before you pull your awning out or even before you leave
home it is best to do some research via the numerous camp
books available. You can also find up-to-date listings and
general free camp updates online. Check that the roads are
suitable for your rig. The excitement of that free camp
spot can easily turn sour if you find yourself on a rough
road and perhaps having to turn around on a road that has
suddenly become too narrow for your rig. A chat with the
locals and a little research can prevent disappointment.
to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but your
rubbish when you leave. A lot of these free camp areas have
rubbish bins, but if they haven't been emptied for a while
an appear overflowing, don't just add yours to the top
creating even more of a risk for birds to come scattering or
a gust of wind to blow it all over the campsite – take it
with you ! A little thought and consideration makes it
easier for the next person to use the campsite and the local
authorities will certainly appreciate your efforts.
To be totally self sufficient when you free camp takes a
little planning. Make sure you've got plenty of water, good
gas supply and perhaps a generator should the need arise.
Needs (Solar, Inverter, Batteries, Generator)
issues when free camping can be very confusing for most
people. Most of your lighting should run from your
batteries drawing minimum power, however electrical items
such as heaters, air conditioners, microwaves, toasters and
electric jugs are best kept for powered sites.
Depending on the size and type of inverter you may have, the
number and type of batteries and whether or not you have
solar panels to replenish power, can allow some of these
items to run for a VERY short period of time. The draw from
some of the larger items such as heating / air conditioners
on the battery will kill even the largest bank of
Do your homework and know the power usage of all your
appliances you intend to use via the inverter. The
labels on each of the appliances will be
useful in telling you what draw they use.
There are also many sites available online for this research
by using the Google Search button at the bottom of this page.
Remember, whatever power you use from your stored battery
supply will need to be replaced.
Never discharge the batteries below 50% or 12.2 volts as
this may damage or shorten the life of the batteries. Your
choice of batteries is important if you intend free camping
on a regular basis, as deep cycle batteries can be
discharged many more times than regular starting batteries.
Consider your neighbours
like to get away from it all, but if you find yourself
sharing a peaceful free camp spot with a small group of
people – please, be considerate. They are also out to enjoy
the peace and quiet a good bush camp spot provides. Keep
radios and TV noise to an absolute minimum. A great idea
would be to switch them off early in the evening and sit outside and take in your surroundings. Enjoy the peace and
quiet, look up once in a while and enjoy the clear skies and
the numerous stars.
need to run your generator, place it as far away from your
neighbours as possible. Remember – it's your generator and
if the noise needs to be heard by anyone at all, it should
be you – not your neighbour. Take a walk towards your
neighbour to see if the generator engine can be heard by
them. If it is audible to them inform them how long you
intend to run it for and ask if they mind. A little
courtesy can ensure you all enjoy your bush camping spot.