Free Camping Forum?

I have done a deal of caravanning but have always stayed in caravan parks. I wish to commence a 'round Australia' trip during which I wish to use mostly free camping - sometimes in remote places, but mostly close to or within towns. Can someone kindly direct me to a forum where various issues associated with free camping are discussed, e.g., security of caravan and camping site when staying for some time [2 days to a couple of weeks or more] in the one location, and leaving caravan, etc.. to see local sights.
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Reply By: BarryR1 - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 00:09

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 00:09
Errr Lynton, you're on it. At the risk of sounding flippant you've been a member here since 2006. Make a plan and ask a question! If you can't get an answer here, you simply won't get one. (Oh and pick up freecamps Volume whatever).

Good Luck. Baz.
AnswerID: 478665

Follow Up By: Member - Lynton B (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 11:56

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 11:56
Thanks BarryR1
Err Barry: Yes it was a flippant response! Thanks for your useful info. I believe this might be only one of appropriate forums. I have a copy of the latest version of Camps Australia Wide [Vol 6]. It however does not address issues like site and caravan security at free camping sites.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 00:26

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 00:26
Hi Lynton

The caravaners forum has a high number of regular free campers, including those on the road full time.

Security - do you lock and leave you car and caravan in town to go sightseeing or shopping? Do you leave your caravan in a caravan park to do similar? This is where there are likely to be security issues, if any. Leaving it in a free camp is no different to a caravan park. What is more, people in free camps are often more friendly and outgoing that those you meet in CPs, and in popular free camps where people stay for a while, there is usually someone around. Then when you are out of town, the risk diminishes - the further way all the more so. Enjoy getting away from it all - nothing is better.

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: Member - Lynton B (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 17:28

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 17:28
Thank you Motherhen: This is exactly the sort of info I was after. I have also checked your referral and it seems like an excellent site. It seems I should seek popular free camping sites [I need to somehow identify them] since there is usually someone around during the day when I might be out shopping or sightseeing. I am looking forward to getting away from it all!
Thanks again. Lynton
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Reply By: Crackles - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 10:20

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 10:20
You'll find the best forum for discussing free camps will be talking to others when on the road. The Free camp guide books will give you a start point otherwise just get out & do it.
The more I look at towing a van around Oz the more box's a trayback camper ticks to avoid all the hassels.
Cheers Craig.............
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Follow Up By: rooster350 - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 10:33

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 10:33
A tray back camper would be fine...but you have just found this great little out of the way spot that will suit you perfectly for a few days, oops..you have forgotten some desperately needed supplies that you cannot go without...no worries , quick trip into the nearest town...when you get back lo and behold someone else has decided to nick it....with a van sitting on the site that probably would not happen...so they have THEIR advantages...cheers
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Follow Up By: Crackles - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 12:04

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 12:04
"someone else has decided to nick it....with a van sitting on the site"
You'd be asuming Rooster that the van could get into that "great little out of the way spot" in 1st place & your senario still doesn't address Lyntons worry of the van being ransacked while away in town. Of course you wouldn't tow the van into town anyway as there's no-where to park the dam thing anywhere near the supermarket ;-)
(You are right though each has it's advantages :-)
Cheers Craig...........
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Follow Up By: BigPixie - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 12:17

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 12:17
"...but you have just found this great little out of the way spot that will suit you perfectly for a few days, oops..."

Perhaps I'm wrong but I thought alot of the free camping was intended for 1 or 2 nights only. For travellers rather than campers. Not sure I'd want to stay too long in some of these places anyway. The ones I've checked out have been fine for over-night only but I've been happy to move on the next morning.

My experience has been that if you're in a tent or something close to the ground (camper-trailer, swag) then it's not very comfortable with all the dust (such as new arrivals doing circuits of the camp in their vehicles in the evening). Travellers in vans seem to enjoy themselves better. So much so that they've usually set up their tarps, generators, satellite TVs, porta-loos etc. and they've settled in to take advantage of cheap accomodation.
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Follow Up By: Member - Lynton B (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 17:41

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 17:41
Thanks People: I have a caravan and so that is a given. My main concern at the moment is security while leaving the van for the day while I see the sights. I certainly will be staying at many of the sites just overnight; but I envisage there will be occasions and places where I would want to linger longer - and that would be when I would be concerned about leaving the van for the day. I know that when I get into our trip we will meet other free campers who will be able to suggest appropriate sites. Thanks again. Lynton
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Feb 27, 2012 at 07:55

Monday, Feb 27, 2012 at 07:55
I tend to think that trayback or camping from vehicle is the way to go.

We are able to sleep in ours however to cover the point about leaving a site - well we would always carry a small simple dome tent anyway as spare accomodation in case the was a problem with main accomodation wether that be the car or even a bigger tent as anything can get broken or damaged.

Normally of course it isn't deployed , but has been when the need to save a spot is there.

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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Feb 27, 2012 at 10:58

Monday, Feb 27, 2012 at 10:58
There really doesn't appear to be an overall "best" camping set-up - there is always some compromise. Having said that we have found the sleep-in-the-vehicle option to have given us tremendous flexibility with reasonable comfort for a long time. Though as we get a bit older our needs may change...time will tell.

When we want to reserve a site we put out our tables and chairs and that is usually enough. In all our hundreds(?) of camps we have never had anything taken and only once have had a site "nicked" (and the new-to-camping culprits wont do that again!) and a couple of times others have set up so close that we have chosen to move away.

As far as overall security is concerned, I'm with Craig, in that experience and talking to others is the best guide. Free camps vary so widely that there could be no rule of thumb, but since everyone else using a free camp has the same issue about protecting their stuff, there is a level of awareness that in itself gives a degree of protection. I doubt that any publication could sensibly address any security issue either.

In our experience the best free camps are not found in any book - they are the ones you find through experience, and the only way to get experience is to go and start the great campsite search, one night at a time. When you start you may be a bit apprehensive, that is normal and as you gain more experience that will pass. But always take sensible precautions eg always lock the vehicle/van if it is unattended etc.

Also be aware of the debates about free camps, and if there are no suitable free camps to be had then be prepared to put into a caravan park here and there, even if just for a night or two.

Cheers,

Val.
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Follow Up By: Member - Lynton B (QLD) - Monday, Feb 27, 2012 at 13:11

Monday, Feb 27, 2012 at 13:11
Hi Val: Thank you for your excellent comment. I guess after we get into our free camping a bit we shall gain confidence with this mode of accommodation; and learn from fellow travellers. Thank you again for taking the time to compile such a reassuring response. We will be heading off in May - to Darwin [or at least the north of the Northern Territory] initially. Really looking forward to it! Regards. Lynton
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Reply By: didiaust - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 11:50

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 11:50
Try this site -

AustralianCampsites.com.au

I just stumbled over it a couple of days ago - not finished yet but i found some interesting info for our trip through Vic

Di
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Follow Up By: Member - Lynton B (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 17:50

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 17:50
Thanks Di: As you indicate this site lacks info for Queensland, the Northern Territory, etc. - my immediate interests - and they don't seem in a great hurry to complete the site for these locations. However I shall add this to my favourites for when we visit Victoria and SA. Regards. Lynton
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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 14:52

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 14:52
Aside from the free camps listed here on EO, for anyone wanting an on line directory of free camps OzCamps free campsite website is one of the best - and contributed to by the campers themselves so as much details as contributors choose to add. It does not address security - but i cannot see this being an issue as previously stated. If the free campsite is in a town, security risks will be the same as at the caravan park in that town, and if out of town, safer than sitting in your suburban home.

We prefer to camp on our own, and usually find something suitable ourselves, only resorting to CAW if we can't find anything. In most cases, choosing a site from CAW you will have like minded company, but we have been on our own in some.

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Follow Up By: Member - Lynton B (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 17:55

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 17:55
Thanks again Motherhen. I have added Ozcamps to my favourites under free camping.
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Reply By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 16:45

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 16:45
Lynton,

2238 Free camps listed in the ExplorOz Camps Free Search system linked at the top of this thread also accessed via Places - Find Camps & Caravan Parks. Not exactly the response to your question but there are more free camps sites listed in here than any other resource in Australia.

I would also suggest you simply ask your question in the forum about free camps - I use hundreds of them and I know most of the users of ExplorOz use Free camps all the time. I am sure we can answer the questions. As for security at free camps I usually find that I am significantly better off for security, because I do not camp with others so my free camps are normally very safe. But having said this it all depends on what free camps you are looking to use. If you use well published free camps that have a weatlh of visitors then I guess the security issues will present themselves but I would not have thought it to be much worse than secuirty in a commercial facility. I guess it depends on the people who are at the camps site. I do not think there could be a clear cut rule of thumb becuase it just all depends on where you are.

I have heard of so many cases of people have more seucirty issue with there vans when parks on their own properties in the suburbs. Maybe if you could tell us where you intend to go some poeple who frequent these areas may be able to give you more of an insite.
Enjoy.
David
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Follow Up By: Member - Lynton B (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 18:08

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 18:08
Thanks very much David & Michelle. I take good note of all you say. I certainly will be using various forums for advice about free camping sites - especially specific sites. I will be making use of ExplorOz a great deal as I find it one of the most - if not the most - comprehensive forums I have encountered. I shall be looking into the ExplorOz Camps Free Camps System today. Regards. Lynton
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 18:32

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 18:32
Great and I understand the Free Camps system is not the easiest to use so please feel free to provide any feedback you have in terms of making accessing the information easier. I am working on the navigational systems in the mapping system and am hoping to make the camps look more like the treks lookup + I want to add text lists by state and state by state full downloads. These things however take time to do and et right but if you see anything I could and should do better in this system please feel free to let me know.

There is no such thing as a dumb suggestion, I am happy to receive anything.
David
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Reply By: dave the brickie - Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 22:23

Sunday, Feb 26, 2012 at 22:23
Hi Lynton.A good security device to fit is a Fiamma door lock that swings accross the door and locks.If someone gets in thru a window they usually can open the door from inside and may not seem suspicious coming out with your gear.I know they could pass stuff thru the window but it allows more time for thieves to be seen,which is what they don't like.



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Follow Up By: Member - Lynton B (QLD) - Monday, Feb 27, 2012 at 09:45

Monday, Feb 27, 2012 at 09:45
Thanks Dave
Sounds like the Fiamma door lock would be a good investment no matter where the van is situated. I shall follow up your suggestion. Regards. Lynton
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Follow Up By: Member - Lynton B (QLD) - Monday, Feb 27, 2012 at 09:47

Monday, Feb 27, 2012 at 09:47
Thanks Dave
Sounds like the Fiamma door lock would be a good investment no matter where the van is situated. I shall follow up your suggestion. Regards. Lynton
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