So where to stand with the camper? Freestanding, camping, pitch and other alternatives. I write here about my personal experiences and favorites. Since everyone has very different needs.
I travel with 2 dogs and 1 cat
Briefly about my starting position for a better understanding. I travel mostly alone with 2 large dogs and 1 cat. Currently live and work full-time in my motorhome - a Dethleffs Globetrotter XXLA - and sometimes my partner is with us.
Personally, I don't have a fixed plan, according to the motto: I only stand free, or I only stand on campsites. I am very flexible and act depending on the situation. I myself use different offers, very situation-dependent. So to say, which possibilities there are locally and what are my needs and those of the animals traveling with me. I make it dependent on these things.
Campsites only if there is no other way
That is, I go to campsites very very rarely, especially not in the classic areas like Italy, Spain, France. That is me simply in some months much too full, much too hectic with the families and permanent campers; and partly also much too expensive. Camping sites I use only when I want to stay where, look at what and the free standing is absolutely not possible.
I also like to take pitches. They are usually cheaper and close to cities.
Otherwise, I prefer to stand freely in nature. I like to have the solitude and tranquility. The advantage is you stand as I said in nature, is alone and has its peace. The disadvantage is that you can not always campingverhalten to the day, speak table and chairs out and extend awning. Depends on where you stand. Sometimes it fits, sometimes not.
I keep myself in nature always very restrained, of course, my garbage always cleared away. If I know that I will stand longer in one or different places free, then I also sometimes like to cook at a camping site, or with friends in advance, freeze it and then enjoy it in the silence of nature.
Of course, when possible, I also love to grill or cook in my outdoor kitchen.
This is how it was last year on my tour
Last year, for example, during the two-month tour of Poland I was mostly on camping sites. Simply because they were not heavily frequented, very clean and friendly and also very cheap. In the whole 2 months we were only 8 times free, either because there was no camping site for example at one of the lakes on the Moorish Lake District, or because we had a longer drive and it was late and we spontaneously stood at a river like the Vistula.
The month before on the Germany trip I mostly stood with friends I had visited. Or on one of the farms of Landvergnügen. More about this in another blog.
Sometimes I also stood at corporate clients on their premises during the appointment. Or when I lead a workshop, I ask the hotel if I can stand there at the parking lot.
As already described, I am very flexible and open, as generally in many or almost all my life situations. Camping sites yes, but not very often. Pitches like near cities for sightseeing or visiting customers, or when I visit friends who live in cities and have no place for my motorhome in front of the door.
Alternative places for one night
Otherwise just Landvergnügen in Germany, Bauernleben in Austria and other similar concepts in other countries.
My favorite - free standing in nature
And preferably just standing freely in nature. For this I also always use apps like Park4Night, or Wohnmobilland for the CH or others. Relating also about Google Maps or tips from friendly campers.
I often combine my overnight stays with visits to wildlife parks, which I always like to visit because I love birds of prey and wolves. That is, I call there in advance and ask if I may stand on their parking lot the night before or after, depending on the arrival, and that has always been possible until now. Or also gladly at spas or swimming pools that I visit, since I am also a paying customer.
As I said, everyone has different needs and expectations. These are my personal favorites.
No fear when standing free
I'm often asked if I'm not afraid to stand on my own. I can answer that quite clearly with no, because my personal experience is, in the wilderness, in nature it is much safer than in urban centers. Because who is going to look for you there. Apart from the fact that I have 2 large dogs with me.
I'm already very careful in urban centers like in Spain and France and avoid them as well, as well as highway rest areas or parking lots. Apart from the fact that it is too noisy for me there. There I do not even stop myself, like shopping, cafe etc.; not if I am alone on the road. In supermarket parking lots, the dogs stay in the WoMo when I'm shopping, which is rare, since I buy most groceries at farms and local suppliers (as described in the blog „Free standings on farms").
When traveling in pairs and without guard dogs, it makes perfect sense for one to stay behind in the camper while the other does the shopping, especially in Spain and France.
Since my motorhome is completely self-sufficient due to the sufficient dimensioning of the solar panels and the batteries, I can stand freely for a very long time - until I run out of water - without needing to plug in power on camping sites or I have to drive on again to charge the batteries with the alternator while driving.
In this sense, have fun traveling and discovering beautiful places.