The six commandments that govern the way that grey nomads travel

Caravanner Phil Crockart says the Big Lap is governed by several important unwritten rules

I believe we take certain responsibilities and obligations with us every time we hitch up the van to travel. Here are what I believe are the unwritten rules that govern grey nomad behaviour:

  • The wave: My dear bride insists we wave at every caravan that passes. Some wave first, others after us, then some just ignore our wave. So what’s in it? The wave, I believe is a sign that we acknowledge our fellow road users and caravanners, whether they be nomads or not. It’s a G’day from the driver’s seat, a hello over the steering wheel, perhaps even an invite to the next Happy Hour. It’s an extended hand of friendship and recognition.
washing line in caravan park
  • Set-up etiquette: I was pulling into a caravan park bay (rather badly as I recall) when a chap approached me to ask questions. I eventually asked him to come back well after we had settled. It’s hard enough trying to get the caravan in the right slot without people hanging about and chatting. Don’t mess about with a grey nomad setting up or pulling down.


  • Entertainment: Same caravan park as above, there was a lovely couple watching this little adventure unfold, sitting in their deck chairs and sipping a cold beverage. Later, once we got to know them, they told us of the entertainment value of my antics. I grumbled a bit and told them it was rude to laugh at another person’s expense. However, after watching other folks setting up or departing, I soon learned the huge comedic value of their antics. The question remains do we (as experienced campers) offer assistance? Could this be misunderstood as interference?


  • Happy Hour: The question arises, how ‘drunk’ do we let ourselves get at Happy Hour? In my opinion, nothing is more damaging and unfriendly as a mouthy drunk.


  • Clothes Line: There is nothing worse than driving through a caravan park looking at the undies flapping about in the breeze in front of the attendant caravan. In some parks this is forbidden, in others not. We now string three lines under the awning. With privacy screens etc, we show appropriate modesty for others not to see our ballooning unmentionables. The risk of using caravan park lines and having said unmentionables borrowed is too great for this nomad.


  • Noise: Ah, this old chestnut. Most of the caravan parks we have stayed at have a rule on noise. 10pm sees the place go quiet as Happy Hours wind down and folks go to bed. However, at free camps ‘some’ folk would prefer to tick along to the wee small hours. I wonder if one of Grey Nomad unwritten rules should be similar to caravan park rules.

* What other ‘unwritten rules’ do you think there are? Email us here to share.

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