Motorhome Facts Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

based on the last entries in Trond's introduction thread Hello from Norway I have now summarized all information about the status of what we call here "Wild Camping" in Norway in form of an FAQ list. I have already received "approval" :wink: from Trond, so the information should be quite accurate. But nevertheless feel free to add any questions/answers.

I could generate similar FAQ lists for some other European countries, so if this is of interest we should maybe put them all together in a special forum section. What do you think?

1. Wild Camping in General:

1.a) Q: Is wild camping in Norway illegal?
A: No, unlike many other European countries there is no general ban on wild camping in Norway. There is however a strict ban against driving with any kind of motor vehicle into the wilderness.

1.b) Q: By the way, what is "Wild Camping"?
A: In the English language the term "Wild Camping" usually means spending a night outside of official camp sites. However, in most European countries a clear distinction is made between "Wild Camping" and "Overnight Parking".

1.c) Q: And what is this difference?
A: As long as you simply pull up onto a car park where it is legal to park your van and spend one night there this is Overnight Parking. If you have a drink or dinner before bedtime and take a shower and have breakfast before leaving next morning this is still fully OK.
If you put anything outside of your van (like camping furniture), roll out an awning, run a generator, fire up a barbeque or do anything else like that then this is considered as Wild Camping. Usually it is also considered as Wild Camping if you stay on the same spot for more than 24 hours. As a rule of thumb one can say that as long as you could drive off at any time without leaving the vehicle or leaving anything behind, then you are Parking.

1.d) Q: What else should I consider?
You should always keep a low profile and avoid too large gatherings of motorhomes. The maximum number of motorhomes depends of course on the size of the car park, the proximity of inhabited houses (anyway, "Wild Camping" close to houses is a contradiction in terms, isn't it?) and the "sensitivity" of the surroundings. Especially if you are travelling in a group of motorhomes you should seriously consider to only pull up onto camp sites and official motorhome sites.

2. The "Allemannsrett":

2.a) Q: What is the "Allemannsrett" or "Everybody's right"?
A: The "Allemannsrett" allows you to pitch up your tent on non-cultivated ground under certain conditions. Some of these conditions are: Max. stay 48 hours, no garbage left behind, if closer than 150 metres to a house or cabin you have to ask the owner for permission. There are also other parts of the Allemansrett about collecting wild berries and mushrooms etc., but they are not discussed here.

2.b) Q: So what does this Allemansrett mean for me with a motorhome?
A: Basically nothing, as it only applies for non-motorized tourists with tents. However it is considered as polite to also ask the owner if you intend to stay within sight of an inhabited house.

3. Road Lay-bys and Motorway Service Stations:

3.a) Q: Am I allowed to spend a night on a road lay-by?
A: According to information from the Norwegian Road Traffic Authority: Yes! However overnight parking restrictions as mentioned in 4.b-c) could apply. In addition road lay-bys are not always the most pleasant places to stay, because of traffic noise, exhaust fumes etc. And especially some lay-bys along major tourist routes and close to urban areas seem to attract certain unpleasant, if not illegal, nocturnal activities.

3.b) Q: And what about Motorway service stations?
A: If you happen to find any in Norway, then the same as in 3.a) applies.

4. Car Parks and Signposts:

4.a) Q: I have found a nice picnic/swimming/sight-seeing place and parked my motorhome on it's car park. Am I allowed to spend the night there?
A: Yes, unless local signposts say otherwise. And even if there are signposts their legal status is in some cases questionable, so the decision is up to you whether you "take the risk" or not. In the following answers some of the more frequent "flavours" of these signs are discussed:

4.b) Q: The official "Stopping Restriction" sign with an additional motorhome symbol?
A: Motorhomes may not park here at all, other vehicles may. This is an official traffic sign and should be observed. Otherwise you may be fined.

4.c) Q: Like 4.b), but with an additional time definition (e.g: 22:00-06:00)?
A: Motorhomes may not park here during the specified time. Again this is official and should be observed.

4.d) Q: Crossed-out caravan symbol or "Ej bovagn"?
A: You may not place a caravan here. Has no meaning for motorhomes.

4.e) Q: Crossed-out tent?
A: You may not pitch a tent here. Has no meaning for motorhomes.

4.f) Q: "No Camping" or "Camping førbjudet"?
This is a difficult one. You find it usually in the vicinity of camp sites, which already gives you an indication who has placed it... Many of these signs are hand-painted and do not look very official. And as long as you are simply overnight parking, you are strictly speaking not camping! However many of these signs seem to deliberately aim at nightly motorhome stopovers. So it is again up to you to decide whether you stay nonetheless. Legally you are on the safe side, however there have been reports about raging camp site owners trying to chase away motorhomes in the middle of the night.

4.g) "Privat" (also in combination with any of the above):
This is private ground, so you should not park there even at daylight, unless you have the owner's permission.

5. In Towns and Cities:

5.a) Q: I want to spend a night in a town. Where can I do that?
A: Quite some Norwegian towns meanwhile provide dedicated motorhome stopover sites similar to the German "Stellplatz" or French "Aire". Examples are Oslo, Kristiansand, Bergen, Ålesund, Trondheim. While some of them charge a fee, they are usually very conveniently located and provide all services needed for motorhomes (with the unfortunate exception of Trondheim). Ask at the tourist office or look into this site's database.
If there is no official stopover site you could check at local sports grounds. Follow signs to "Idrettsplass". Usually they are located in a little distance to inhabited houses, provide large car parks and are quiet at night, except if there is an event taking place.

5.b) Q: What about car parks at churches or graveyards?
A: Strictly speaking it is not illegal to spend the night there, however it is considered as very rude to stay at such sacred places.

5.c) Q: And what about museums, restaurants, marinas etc?
A: No problem, as long as you have the owner's permission. Some places, especially marinas, meanwhile provide dedicated motorhome stopover sites, but then usually charge a fee.

5.d) Q: May I simply stay in a residential area?
A: It is not illegal, but may be considered as rude by your involuntary neneighbors

5.e) Q: And in an industrial area?
A: Again this is not illegal, but especially in Norway you will always find more pleasant surroundings for an overnight stopover.

6. Rubbish, Fresh and Waste Water:

6.a) Q: When I am not going on camp sites, where can I dump my waste water?
A: There are numerous sanitary stations for motorhomes all over Norway. They are marked in the official road atlas "Veiatlas Norge" and also locally signposted. Mostly located at petrol stations. Many of them are even free of charge.

6.b) Q: Where do I get fresh water?
A: Also at these service stations. Or at petrol stations. Look for "Vann".

6.c) Q: And where do I get rid of my garbage?
A: You will find dust bins on practically all car parks, pick-nick sites etc. Keep in mind that for bottles and drink cans a refund system is in place, so do not throw them in the dust bins but bring them back to the shops and collect the deposit.

Best Regards,
Gerhard
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,217 Posts
An extremely useful piece Gerhard.

It's a topic which crops up regularly for various parts of Europe and your suggestion to extend this one FAQ with others seems emminently sensible to me if you have the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,407 Posts
Congratulations Gerhard on a comprehensive post on the legal aspect of "Camping Savauge" It will assist my wife and me to not only too enjoy our forthcoming coming trip to Norway knowing we are abiding by the law. We do as concerned m/homers try at all times to be respectful campers in whatever country we visit and to respect the feelings of the local inhabitants. Thanks also to Trond for his input into compiling this information

Regards

Bob
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,414 Posts
Hi Gerhard;

Some excellent and useful infromation there and thanks for taking the time to compile it.
I'm sure similar reports on other european countries would be most appreciated (if you have the time!). I'd be particularly interested in one for Germany.

Maybe Nuke could incorporate them into the 'faq' or 'guides' options on the lefthand menu when he gets back.


pete.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Pete,

it is as you say only a matter of time. I could do Sweden and Denmark relatively quickly as this is mostly Copy&Paste. For Germany an almost finished "Mini Guide to Stellplatz Sites" is just waiting for the final touch.

Let's see what I can do.

Best Regards,
Gerhard
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,161 Posts
Gerhard, many thanks, this is very useful and has been printed off and filed away against the day we go to Norway. Similar ones for other European countries would be a very handy resource.

G
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,018 Posts
Thanks Boff and Trond, an excellent piece of work which would be shameful if it gets lost in the list. Nuke please do put it in the FAQ.

peedee

ps It is a pity all motorhome owners don't abide by the above then wild camping might become much more accepted.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi,

just before the peak travel season here comes an update. Unfortunately, in contrast to the Sweden FAQ this one has never made it into the FAQ section, so maybe one of the moderators could do something about that?

1. Wild Camping in General:

1.a) Q: Is wild camping in Norway illegal?
A: No, unlike many other European countries there is no general ban on wild camping in Norway. There is however a strict ban against driving with any kind of motor vehicle off-road.

1.b) Q: By the way, what is "Wild Camping"?
A: In the English language the term "Wild Camping" usually means spending a night outside of official camp sites. However, in most European countries a clear distinction is made between "Wild Camping" and "Overnight Parking".

1.c) Q: And what is this difference?
A: As long as you simply pull up onto a car park where it is legal to park your van and spend one night there this is Overnight Parking. If you have a drink or dinner before bedtime and take a shower and have breakfast before leaving next morning this is still fully OK.
If you put anything outside of your van (like camping furniture), roll out an awning, run a generator, fire up a barbeque or do anything else like that then this is considered as Wild Camping. Usually it is also considered as Wild Camping if you stay on the same spot for more than 24 hours. As a rule of thumb one can say that as long as you could drive off at any time without leaving the vehicle or leaving anything behind, then you are Parking.

1.d) Q: What else should I consider?
You should always keep a low profile and avoid too large gatherings of motorhomes. The maximum number of motorhomes depends of course on the size of the car park, the proximity of inhabited houses (anyway, "Wild Camping" close to houses is a contradiction in terms, isn't it?) and the "sensitivity" of the surroundings. Especially if you are travelling in a group of motorhomes you should seriously consider to only pull up onto camp sites and official motorhome sites.

2. The "Allemannsrett":

2.a) Q: What is the "Allemannsrett" or "Everybody's right"?
A: The "Allemannsrett", or "Right of Public Access", allows inhabitants and visitors of Norway to exercise certain outdoor activities on uncultivated land, even if it is privately owned. Land owners must respect this right and may not undertake any actions to prevent the public from access to land that falls under the Allemannsrett.
Such activities are for instance camping for up to 48 hours (if a minimum distance of 150 metres to the nearest dwelling is maintained), hiking or skiing, horse riding and cycling on public and private roads. Picking wild berries (with the exception of cloudberries), flowers and mushrooms for personal use is also allowed, as long as protected species are not touched. All this is allowed under certain conditions, of which the most important is: "Don't disturb - don't destroy!". In contrast to other Scandinavian countries the Allemannsrett in Norway has been defined in law, an English translation can be found here: Outdoor Recreation Act
Warning: Hunting and Fishing are not covered by the Allemannsrett!

2.b) Q: So what does this Allemansrett mean for me with a motorhome?
A: This is ambivalent: On one hand you are allowed to wild camp on uncultivated land under certain conditions, on the other hand you are not allowed to drive any motor vehicle there. So in essence: If you pull up your van to a place where you may legally park for the night, and this place is at least 150 metres away from the nearest inhabited house, you may spend the night in it. If you are closer than 150 metres, ask the inhabitants for permission.

2.c) Q: How do I find out whether a house or hut is inhabited or not?
A: Just knock on the door. Most Norwegians can speak English, so don't be shy. And in by far the most cases you will be very welcome to stay, or you will be shown an even nicer place.
It is also a quite common habit in Norway to leave an outside light on all day and night while a house is inhabited.

3. Road Lay-bys and Motorway Service Stations:

3.a) Q: Am I allowed to spend a night on a road lay-by?
A: According to information from the Norwegian Road Traffic Authority: Yes! However overnight parking restrictions as mentioned in 4.b-c) could apply. In addition road lay-bys are not always the most pleasant places to stay, because of traffic noise, exhaust fumes etc. And especially some lay-bys along major tourist routes and close to urban areas seem to attract certain unpleasant, if not illegal, nocturnal activities. Also keep in mind that freight drivers depend on these lay-bys for their legally required breaks, and do not have the choice to go to camp sites.
Especially along the E6 road between Oslo and Trondheim it is highly recommended to use official camp and motorhome sites for the night. Not only because quite a few motorhomers have overspent their welcome in the past, but also because a steady increase of criminal activities is observed here over the last years.

3.b) Q: And what about Motorway service stations?
A: If you happen to find any in Norway (which might proove difficult because Norway has no motorways), then the same as in 3.a) applies.

4. Car Parks and Signposts:

4.a) Q: I have found a nice picnic/swimming/sight-seeing place and parked my motorhome on it's car park. Am I allowed to spend the night there?
A: Yes, unless local signposts say otherwise. And even if there are such signposts their legal status is in some cases questionable, so the decision might be up to you whether you "take the risk" or not. More details see below:

4.b) Q: The official "Stopping Restriction" sign with an additional motorhome symbol?
A: Motorhomes may not park here at all, other vehicles may. This is an official traffic sign and should be observed. Otherwise you may be fined.

4.c) Q: Like 4.b), but with an additional time definition (e.g: 22:00-06:00)?
A: Motorhomes may not park here during the specified time. Again this is must be observed.
By the way: If there is more than one time definition, then the definition in black or white letters without brackets is valid on normal weekdays, a definition in brackets on Saturdays and weekdays before a public holiday, and a definition in red letters on Sundays and public holidays.

4.d) Q: Crossed-out caravan symbol or "Ej bovagn"?
A: You may not place a caravan here. Has no meaning for motorhomes.

4.e) Q: Crossed-out tent?
A: You may not pitch a tent here. Has no meaning for motorhomes.

4.f) Q: "No Camping" or "Camping førbjudet"?
This is a difficult one. You find it usually in the vicinity of camp sites, which already gives you an indication who has placed it... Many of these signs are hand-painted and do not look very official. On public roads and car parks such signs have no legal meaning, however on private roads they express the landlord's will and must be respected. Although there is a difference between overnight parking and camping!, one should not expect a private owner to respect this difference. And many of these signs seem to deliberately aim at nightly motorhome stopovers. So you need to find out whether you are on public or private ground, which is not always easy in Norway.
On a public road you are legally on the safe side, as here only official road signs apply. However there have been reports about raging camp site owners trying to chase away motorhomes from public car parks in the middle of the night.

4.g) "Privat" (also in combination with any of the above):
This is private ground, so you should not park there even at daylight, unless you have the owner's permission.

4.h) Q: Crossed-out motorhome symbol or "Ej Bobiler"?
A: This means "No Motorhomes" and should be obeyed.

4.i) Q: The letter "M" on blue or white background?
A: This is a passing place on a single-track road, not a car park! No parking at any time.

5. In Towns and Cities:

5.a) Q: I want to spend a night in a town. Where can I do that?
A: Quite some Norwegian towns meanwhile provide dedicated motorhome stopover sites similar to the German "Stellplatz" or French "Aire". Examples are Oslo, Bergen, Ålesund, Trondheim. While some of them charge a fee, they are usually very conveniently located and provide all services needed for motorhomes (with the unfortunate exception of Trondheim). Ask at the tourist office or look into this site's database.
If there is no official stopover site you could check at local sports grounds. Follow signs to "Idrettsplass". Usually they are located in a little distance to inhabited houses, provide large car parks and are quiet at night, except if there is an event taking place.

5.b) Q: What about car parks at churches or graveyards?
A: Strictly speaking it is not illegal to spend the night there, however it is sometimes considered as very rude behaviour to stay at such sacred places. Same goes for a habit of some motorhomers, refilling their fresh water from graveyard taps. Better go to petrol stations.

5.c) Q: And what about museums, restaurants, marinas etc?
A: No problem, as long as you have the owner's permission. Some places, especially marinas, meanwhile run dedicated motorhome stopover sites, but then usually charge a fee.

5.d) Q: May I simply stay in a residential area?
A: No, as you will not be able to keep the required 150 metres distance to the nearest house.

5.e) Q: And in an industrial area?
A: This is not illegal, but especially in Norway you will always find more pleasant surroundings for an overnight stopover.

6. Rubbish, Fresh and Waste Water:

6.a) Q: If I am not going on camp sites, where can I dump my waste water?
A: There are numerous sanitary stations for motorhomes all over Norway. They are marked in the official road atlas "Veiatlas Norge" and also locally signposted. Mostly located at petrol stations. Many of them are even free of charge.

6.b) Q: Where do I get fresh water?
A: Also at these service stations. Or at petrol stations. Look for "Vann". Practically all manned petrol stations offer water. There is normally a locker with glass doors where you find a bucket of water for washing the windscreen and the device for checking tyre pressure. And in this locker there is usually a water tap. Provided that you refuel you will get fresh water in most cases for free.

6.c) Q: And where do I get rid of my garbage?
A: You will find dust bins on practically all car parks, pick-nick sites etc.
Keep in mind that for bottles and drink cans (bought in Norway) a refund system is in place, so do not throw them in the dust bins but bring them back to the shops and collect the deposit. At supermarkets there are machines that accept bottles and cans and print out a receipt for you to get the refund from the cashier desk. A similar refund system exists in Sweden, however the two are not compatible.

Best Regards,
Gerhard
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,413 Posts
Excellent resource - thank you for taking the trouble to compile it all into one place.

Carol
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7 Posts
skiing , norway

Hi Gerhard, Your q & a's on norway were really interesting, thinking of going skiing to norway, is this possible? is there overnight parking at ski resorts better still near ski lifts, or even motorhome aires and which is the shortest journey from manchester, ferries etc. we have been twice before to switzerland and france on 2 week trips and enjoy it immensley. thanks any help would be appreciated Riky
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: skiing , norway

Hi!

riky said:
... thinking of going skiing to norway, is this possible?
It is certainly possible, there are many ski resorts in Norway. However, having never been there in winter (yet), I cannot help with any practicalities. So no idea whether these ski resorts provide MH aires or at least camp sites open in winter.

Sorry for that.

Best Regards,
Gerhard
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top