For freedom-loving modern nomads, living the campervan lifestyle is a liberating experience and the only way to pursue dreams and live life. That’s evident in many parts of the world, and especially in Australia, where cross-country driving has always been a popular travel activity for locals and foreigners.
Still, some aspiring campervan travellers who are itching to buy a van might be wondering, “Is it legal to live in your campervan in Australia?” That’s a fair question to ask, considering how some countries and cities around the world have strict do’s and don’ts about this form of travel.
The short answer is yes, it is perfectly legal to live in a campervan in Australia. Of course, there are some written and unwritten rules that you’ll want to follow when doing so to ensure that everyone has a good time and no one gets into trouble.
We’re going to explore those things in the following few sections, so keep reading!
Firstly, we’ll look a little bit closer into the legality of living in your campervan. Then, we’ll check out some of the dos and don’ts.
Lastly, while living in a campervan or motorhome is perfectly legal, some people might still be unable to do it because of the costs involved. We’ll look at that, too.
Let’s get started!
Is It Legal to Live in a Van in Australia?
Yes, it is perfectly legal for you to live in a campervan, motorhome, RV, or similar type of vehicle in Australia.
The concept is very popular with many foreign travellers who buy a van as a tourist in Australia, with all their travel plans revolving around that idea.
Besides using it as their mobile accommodation, it also allows them to drive to and explore pretty much all corners of the country. That way, they won't have to rely on public transportation, allowing them to move around at their leisure.
While there might be plenty of campervans along your travel route, all of them are expected to play by specific written and unwritten rules.
Follow Basic Parking Rules
Firstly, always pay attention to parking rules wherever you go.
Suppose you buy a used van and drive cross-country all over Australia. You can pretty much park wherever there's parking for regular vehicles. However, if there are clear signs stating that you can't park or camp overnight, you need to heed those warnings.
Failing to do so could land you in trouble with a hefty fine that would certainly eat into your campervan travel budget.
If you decide to park on private property, you’ll need to follow that property’s rules. The best place to park would be a designated campground for campervans, motorhomes, and the like. Take note that a private parking lot might not be so welcoming.
Whatever the rules are for your parking spot, be it private or public, you need to abide by them!
Remember: A Campervan Is Still a Vehicle
It’s also important to remember that your mobile home is a vehicle first and a home second. That means you’ll be subject to the same rules that apply to motor vehicles.
For example, consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle might not be such a good idea, especially if you're in the driver's seat, perhaps even with the key in the ignition.
Simply put, you’re technically operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
So, be mindful of whatever you’re doing in the RV while it’s parked. And always remember, a campervan is a vehicle before anything else.
Don’t Forget the Unwritten Rules
Some rules are just a matter of common courtesy and commonsense, so much so that nobody's going to put up a sign to remind you. Respect your environment wherever you may be parked. Please dispose of your trash responsibly, don't make excessive noise, and be a good neighbour.
As long as you’re not breaking any rules or causing trouble, you can expect to have a peaceful night’s rest in your campervan.
Can You Sleep Anywhere in a Campervan in Australia?
Yes, for the most part, you can sleep anywhere in a campervan in Australia. The best places to do that would be in a designated campervan park, where other motorhomes and RVs also go.
These locations are purpose-built, which means you can expect to have a clean water supply and electrical points catering specifically to campervan travellers just like you.
However, be mindful of parking in places where overnight parking or camping is not allowed. Before you decide to park somewhere and camp for the night, scout the area and make sure that you’re not breaking any rules.
One good idea would be to check online and identify known campervan parking spots for the area you're in. That way, you can learn from the experiences of other campervan owners and find a safe place for the night.
However, if you decide to search for an overnight parking spot yourself, try and find a place where other campervans are also parked. That’s a good sign that the location is welcoming to campervans.
How Much Does It Cost to Live in a Van in Australia?
Generally, an excellent budget to set would be $1,000 per person each month. That’s a very conservative estimate that should give you enough to cover all your needs.
Those needs include:
- A campervan: Campervans can be as simple as the VW Caddy Beach or something higher-end like the Mercedes-Benz MB100/MB140. Whatever your budget, there’s a campervan just for you.
- Vehicle costs: Includes fuel, maintenance, insurance, parking, and the like.
- Utilities: Electricity and water are the two primary utilities you’ll always need.
- Food: This one is self-explanatory. Campervan nomads still have to eat!
- Rent: Campsites charge a rental fee based on the facilities you want to use. A parking spot with a power supply and other amenities could cost you about $60 a night.
To Learn More, Visit Us at Carpart.com.au!
To learn more about campervans, motorhomes, and RVs, check out the blog at Carpart.com.au. It’s the best place to learn and prepare before you embark on something as challenging and exciting as campervan nomading. You’ll see plenty of informative articles about all sorts of vehicles in Australia, troubleshooting minor problems, sourcing car parts, and more!
Visit us here!
By Ray Hasbollah