About the Camperstop Europe motorhome guide book
Camperstop Europe was one of the first motorhome stopovers guides to be published in English and it now comes in a solely English version. The guide is published annually by Dutch publisher Facile Media. Camperstop Europe features motorhome stopovers in Albania, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. Not all countries have motorhome stopovers, therefore farms, restaurants and campsites where motorhomes can park overnight are also included in the guide book. GPS coordinates for your satellite navigation machine are included for all listings.
Camperstop is a great backup guide for those times when you find yourself somewhere you didn't expect to be, or for travellers who would rather see where the road takes them than make a hard and fast motorhome itinerary. We wouldn't recommend Camperstop as a replacement for country-specific guidebooks like All the Aires France or All the Aires Spain and Portugal, both of which are much more comprehensive guides to motorhoming in France and motor caravan stops in Spain and Portugal. However, with overnight motorhome parking areas in 27 countries across Europe, Camperstop is ideal if you plan on visiting several countries, and especially valuable for motorhoming in Eastern Europe or the Baltic countries.
What are Camperstops, Aires, Camperplaats, Aires de Services, Stellplatze, Aree did Sosta, Bobils and Area de Servico para Autocaravanas?
Camperstops are special places for motorhomes and campervans to park overnight. British motorhomers call camperstops motorhome stopovers or motorhome Aires, but every country has its own name. Camperstops are called Aires de Service in France and Belgium, Camperplaats in the Netherlands, Stellplatze in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Aree di Sosta in Italy, Bobils in Norway, and Area de Servico para Autocaravanas in Spain and Portugal, but are also known as camper stops across Europe. Camperstops range from town car parks to very remote spots, beachside locations and vineyards, but all provide overnight parking exclusively for motorhomes and campervans. Camperstops (motorhome Aires) are places exclusively for motorhomes and campervans, normally caravans and fifth wheel caravans are excluded. Aires provide overnight parking and servicing, often for free. Motorhome Aires can be in idyllic locations, nestled in quaint hamlets or in the suburbs of capital cities. Many motorhome Aires supply drinking water, waste (grey) water disposal and motorhome toilet cassette emptying points, some stopovers even have free electric.
Using motorhome stopovers is the essence of motorhoming. Aires offer convenience and freedom from campsites. Park your motorhome with a riverside view of the Rhine at a vineyard complete with free tour and tasting or enjoy motorhome parking alongside the Canal di Midi towpath. Perhaps you want stay right next to the Mediterranean and a whole host of places where there are simply no camping or caravan sites. Many of the Aires in France, Germany and Italy are municipally provided and are located near the local town and amenities, so additional transport is not needed. Aires are generally exceedingly cheap or free, the idea is that motorhomers will shop locally in the town or village and also visit the local tourist attractions and restaurants. Using Aires is a luxury not a right, so park your campervan sympathetically to your neighbours and use the service point and facilities responsibly and always abide by the respected rules.
- Respect the environment
- Elect to use un-crowded Aires
- Shop locally
- Park responsibly
- Exercise courteous behaviour
- Communicate with others
- Totally abide by these rules
The rules applied to motorhome camper stops vary slightly from country to country. A few stopovers allow caravans, but most sites are exclusively for self-contained camper vans and motorhomes. Across all of Europe the local laws only permit 'Self Contained' motor caravans or campers to be parked responsibly and their users are permitted to cook and sleep inside. A self contained motorhome or camper needs to have a toilet, onboard water containers for both fresh and waste water, and you must be able to cook and sleep inside the vehicle. Camping at aires is forbidden throughout Europe. Motorhome camping includes: winding out awnings, putting out tables and chairs, erecting a tent, hanging out washing or starting a generator. Don't abuse stopovers; if you want to camp, use a motorhome campsite.
Off site parking, often called wild camping, free camping or free parking, refers to mobile homes overnight parking away from official stopping places such as a campsite or a council provided motorhome stopover. Wild free camping in a motorhome is legal in some countries in Europe, although in others it is forbidden. In some countries overnight motorhome parking is neither legal nor illegal. There is a misconception that because motor caravans are getting away with wild camping in an area it is 'Tolerated'; just because the police haven't knocked on your door does not mean they won't. Large numbers of wild camping motorhomes do upset local people, leading to police moving campers on and local authorities putting up 'No Motorhoming' restrictions. If you do choose to wild park, do not join a large group of wild camping motorhomes and only free camp overnight, moving on in the morning. Campsites are designed for long stay camping, camper stops are there for touring motorhomers and normally 48-hour restrictions apply.