Rise of ‘shower stealer’ has park owners fuming

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Are grey nomads shower stealers?
Is shower stealing a 'victimless' crime?

The contentious issue of ‘shower stealers’ has reared its controversial head again across the Tasman.

The phenomenon of free-camping travellers sneaking into New Zealand’s caravan parks to avail themselves of amenities block facilities has got some blood pressures rising.

It seems that legislation introduced last year to curb so-called freedom camping has had little effect there. The Freedom Camping Act prohibits camping in areas clearly identified with relevant signage. Breaches can result in instant $200 fines, or up to $10,000 for more serious offending.

However, kiwi park owners say the problem is as bad as ever.

Jelena and Rodney Algie, who run Mawley Park Motor Camp in Masterton, say people still sneak in to use shower and laundry facilities.
“There was some who would pay for one night and they weren’t so bad because at least they would pay something,” Mr Algie told the Wairarapa Times-Age newspaper. “It’s hard. What usually happens is one person will book in and one will stay in the car. Then, when you’re walking around and you see a stranger, you wouldn’t be sure if they are legitimate or have snuck in. This year we have decided to lock our laundry.”

The shower stealing phenomenon is one which has also been reported by park owners in Australia. It seems that even the introduction of coded key pads and the handing of physical keys to legitimate van park visitors in some parks hasn’t been enough to keep the determined and patient shower stealer at bay.

Some park owners fear that the trend may increase as rising van park prices and surging fuel costs combine to make long-term trips around Australia even harder to afford.

Are you a shower stealer? Is shower stealing a cheeky and victimless act or blatant theft?
Comment below.


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11 Responses to Rise of ‘shower stealer’ has park owners fuming

  1. Sneaking into van parks to use their shower/laundry facilities is stealing and cheeky. How would these thieves like it if someone sneaked into their home and used their facilities? It’s no different!

    • I don’t have that problem as I will not go into a Caravan for any reason anymore

      • What if the park owners charged people to use their showers they do charge for washing machines!!!! may be a sign on the door so much for a shower at least they would receive some thing!!!!!!

        • Now that is a good idea Pay for the shower I would’nt mind that….Guess it’s to hard to enforce

        • I haven’t used this facility for a long time but I can remember back in the seventies when travelling it was quiet common to stop at a caravan park and pay a small fee to use their shower laundry and toilet facilities. Didn’t know they stopped doing this.

  2. Rise of Shower stealer: Agree Park owners should charge for showers and washing machines if this was advertised they would be surprised how much more income this would bring to their business. They need to be smarter and stop whinging. Maybe give tokens for the showers for paying guests.

  3. Stayed at the Kingaroy Showgrounds earlier this year and observed a family arrive every afternoon and all take a shower.Gets up your nose a bit when I and wife are paying $25.00 a night.

  4. Stayed at a lovely grassy C.P on the beach at Seaforth Qld for $95.00 / week unpowered. Showers were run by coin machines for a very minimal charge ( something like $2.00 for 3 min)


  6. We have a self contained van (shower & toilet) which is all we use in van parks, not theirs. Many vans are now made with same on board. Why can,t we get cheaper rates by not using facillities. The pay as you go system I think would be a great idea.

  7. In the early days when I paid $50+ per night for my family it used to get up my nose when the “beachys” would use the facilities for free. Now I am a grey nomad (in training) I would willingly pay $2 per shower so long as the facilities are Ok. The CP owners should install slots for tokens for the residents and have $2 slots for casual users.

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