By Clair Morton
Published: Monday, October 22, 2018
We asked RAA road rules expert Graeme O’Dea if it’s legal to camp in your vehicle. Here’s what he said.
The increasing popularity of #vanlife culture across Australia has brought with it a unique problem.
More people – mostly young travellers – are using their vehicles as temporary houses, and they’re all looking for a free place to park for the night.
While there aren’t any state laws against sleeping in your car, most SA councils have by-laws covering the use of public places, which prevent people from sleeping overnight in parks and carparks.
In some places, councils will erect signs stating sleeping in cars/camping is banned, but even if there aren’t any you could still be told to move on or possibly fined.
If you become too tired to drive while already on the road however, it’s a different case.
Fatigue is one of the most dangerous factors in relation to crash-related deaths, linked to up to 30% of fatalities across Australia.
RAA always recommends to stop somewhere safe, like a designated rest stop, and have a nap to recharge your batteries.
If you want to stop somewhere for the night though, the best bet is to find a caravan park.
Failing that, check with the local council before parking in a public place, and leave no trace of your visit when you go.
See the summer edition of samotor, out 7 November, for expert answers to more common questions.