Campsite ‘staker outers’ can be a peak season pain

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campsite claim
How much space is too much for one camping group to 'claim'?

As summer approaches and many campsites get busier and busier, the issues around the controversial practice of ‘staking out’ territory are set to re-emerge.

Many grey nomads will have seen the mysterious sites which show all the signs of being occupied but no one ever actually appears to be there. Sometimes this is just people ‘claiming’ a spot in advance of a particularly busy weekend or school holiday.

This, of course, is very different to the need for motorhomers or campervanners to leave a campchair or two in a site to let new arrivals know that the spot is taken and they will be returning after their day trips.

Another habit which can get blood pressures rising is that of some campers ‘spreading out’ excessively in an effort to prevent other campers from setting up too close to them. While campchairs, tarps, picnic blankets thrown liberally around a five metre ‘perimeter’ might be okay some of the time, it is very annoying when space becomes a premium at popular spots.

The practice can be even more annoying when a major event is happening.

Down in Victoria, the Southcombe Caravan Park has just been forced to announce it is banning the practice of ‘tarping down’ which has become a real issue ahead of the popular Port Fairy Folk Festival.

In the council-run camping ground’s unpowered section, visitors have previously ‘staked out’ a site up to a week before the festival by pegging down a tarp or setting up an unmanned tent. The fee for a ‘vacant day’ was $21, compared to the usual unpowered site nightly rate of $45.

Moyne Shire’s corporate business and tourism manager, Adam Boyle, said the decision to end the practice of ‘tarping down’ and ‘vacant days’ was a result of negative feedback from visitors.

“The council previously allowed an uncommon practice in the tourist park industry of allowing early site access for campers to pre-tarp their campsite for the Folkie at Southcombe Caravan Park,” Mr Boyle said. “This process resulted in ongoing customer complaints, with some campers tarping excessive areas, claiming camp sites in non-camping areas, and also into others’ pre-booked sites … this created inequity and conflict.”

  • Have you ever been annoyed by ‘staker outers’? Do you sometimes ‘spread out’ to keep other campers at arm’s length? Comment below

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4 Responses to Campsite ‘staker outers’ can be a peak season pain

  1. Yes we are also annoyed by the practice of “staking a claim” even if they do pay a fee for that practice. What is more annoying (and very ugly), that we have seen in Tas. on each of our 3 visits to the island), is the construction of hessian walls along the boundaries of their sites that are 1.8 to 2.0 mfrs high. They are often erected and left there for weeks during the year to be used as their “weekenders or holiday homes” and therefore vacant for much of the time.

  2. Perhaps the council could have just increased the ‘vacant day’ fee to $200 or so. lol
    ‘staker outers’ are quite prevalent here in Tassie’s popular beach free camps leading up to summer holiday/long weekend periods.

  3. Bedourie camel races early this year a bloke from the south of the country placed his solar panels in a van spot so he could keep it for his mate coming from the big red bash. He tried to keep the site for 3 days. We arrived and this was the only spot left. Asked to move his panels his answer was no. Ok I will back the van in and did. Old mate came out screaming, but did move his panels and we all had a good weekend.

    • LOL Well done!!

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