Trouble on the streets as RV parking issue divides opinion

The pandemic sparked a domestic travel surge that, for many, is having an unwanted side effect … RVs parked on suburban streets for weeks or months at a time.

While this isn’t a problem for full-time grey nomads, circumstantial evidence suggests it is going to become an ever bigger issue for part-timers … especially as average block sizes get ever smaller.

And it’s sharply dividing opinion.

As we reported last week, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, some residents are saying the issue is out of control in certain locations.

However, the Sunshine Coast Council told the GNT that registered vehicles – including caravans, boats and trailers – are allowed to park on a road and, unless otherwise signed, there’s no parking time limit.

Caravans parked on the street

For long-term travellers like Richard Thorley, that should be the end of the matter, and ‘vilification’ of some RV owners is unjustified.

RV parking spaces

Yvonne Pittam removed her pretty gardens and put in paved and gravel areas so ensure there were parking spaces for her, and her son’s, campers.

“I understand individuals being put out a little to see RVs parked up outside their home,” he said. “However, many people do not have the privilege of a block large enough to park; storage options are expensive and very limited in many places; so, provided the vehicle is safe road wise and legal, I don’t see a problem.”

However, other grey nomads say it’s more a matter of showing courtesy to neighbours. Yvonne Pittam, who travels in four-month stints, bought her current house back in 2015 and knew she was going to have to make changes.

“My grown-up son and I sacrificed our pretty landscaped front garden with lawns, trees and shrubs to put in gravelled and paved areas for our RVs,” she said. “This was better than parking outside on our cul-de-sac that badly needs every little bit of parking … I would not have purchased an RV unless I had my own parking on site.”

RV parking

Where there’s a will there’s a way! Some owners go the extra mile to make sure they can park their RV in their own property. PIC: Cizza

Of course, for RV owners who don’t have space on their property, the obvious alternative to street parking is paying for storage in a dedicated facility.

However, with the popularity of the RV lifestyle surging, some van owners say they have no choice but to park up on the side of the road and report not being able to find a storage vacancy within 100 kilometres.

And then there’s the cost. There is a big variation in price but the price for long-term van storage is not inconsiderable.

Nonetheless, pressure continues to build in some quarters to have councils tighten up RV parking regulations. Hopefully though not too many will follow the example of some overseas countries.

In Japan, for example, anyone wishing to buy an RV has get a ‘garage certificate’ from police to prove they have access to an off-street parking space. Oh, and overnight on-street parking is banned across the country!


With a great competition currently under way with a top prize to be picked up, and the list of discounts on offer growing quickly, there has never been a better time to become a Grey Nomad Member.

Prize on offer include a Cobb kitchen in a box (value: $399.95). Click here to see more details.

Click here to see the full range of benefits on offer to members and to find how to join.


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