Friday, April 4, 2008

Freedom Camping

The Cassette Toilet

Slides Out

In RV in NZ: How to Spend Your Winters South in New Zealand, I spent a chapter on freedom and low cost camping. I also covered Park Over Properties (POPs) which can be anything from a farm on the beach to a parking spot in someone's back yard. While RVing in New Zealand, we often stayed in or near the top tourist spots free or almost free. But, we had a self-contained movan. It's very unlikely anyone will invite you to stay if they think you'll be using their potato patch for a sewer.

In the South Island, which is often less strict than the North Island, local governments have voted for a system that will require motorcaravans to have a sticker registration to freedom camp:

1) Green stickers for movans with both toilet and kitchen/shower waste water in holding tanks...self-contained movans. These campervans can stay overnight anywhere freedom parking is allowed.

2) Orange stickers for movans with only kitchen/shower waste holding tanks. These campervans can stay overnight only in areas with toilet facilities.

3) Red stickers for "sleeping vans" with no waste facilities. These vehicles will be required to stay in campgrounds with full cooking, shower and toilet facilities.

If you're planning to rent an RV and freedom camp, be sure you read the vehicle specs and understand what you're paying for. The first year we rented a motorcaravan, I was afraid to ask, "Why the bucket?" It wasn't as bad as I thought. The toilets are cassette type. It's the grey water that can be a problem. Shower and sink water drains into a bucket that you haul to the nearest drain. Most rentals are self-contained now, but there are still "bucket vans" around.

If you're tall, check the bed specs, too. Rentals are pricey and we wanted to save money on a smaller vehicle, but the bed was 5' 10". Dave is 6' 1". There was no way two of us would fit in that bed.

Freedom camping saves money. Just plan ahead. You don't want to get nicked and end up in the nick.

Lyn Harris

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Anonymous said...

How do you dump a cassette toilet? They look pretty heavy.

Lyn said...

Unscrew the cap. (It's the white thing near the top in the photo) The spout swivels and you pop a small vent. Fresh water is available at dump sites. Dump sites are available almost anywhere...BP stations, motorcamps, public municipalities. They're clean and maintained.
Tanks have different capacities, most last two people 3-4 days.