Bon Echo Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

How do we find great overnight locations in Europe?

A reader asked yesterday how we find our overnight locations here in Europe. 

With regards to the Netherlands in particular, we had been warned that it was tough to find decent free camping spots, and that paid camping is expensive. And while both of those things are true to a certain extent, we haven't found it that difficult. In fact, we've been here for over three weeks and have only spent €42 ($62 CAD, $50 USD) on four paid nights. The rest have all been free.

So, how do we do it?

Well bluntly, I do a lot of research! 

There are probably 15 different apps available now, and of course the problem is that there is not one single app that lists everything. I am using 4 of them. 

The most popular European and UK app (and website) is called park4night. I am also using iOverlander because it tends to list a lot of free places that are maybe only good for one or two vehicles and so because we typically like to stay away from the masses, there are some good options for us. And iOverlander tends to have a user base that thinks a little more like we do, whereas park4night is more geared towards campground type of people, although certainly there are a lot of free listings there as well.

The other two I'm using are camping-app.eu (paid), and Stellplatz (free).

When I find a spot that interests me, I look it up on google maps. I read the reviews, and try to look at the surroundings using both satellite view and streetview if possible.

I also search areas using satellite view that simply look like possibilities.

And finally, because we usually take the backroads, we are always on the lookout for a possible overnight spot. You will never find a great free overnight spot by driving on the freeway!

Yesterday was a wet day. We managed to get out for a 6.5 km (4 mile) walk before lunch and it spit with rain a couple of times while we were out. Just as we arrived back at Max it started to pour! Our timing was very lucky.

Lots of people out sailing, but nobody on the beach.


There is a big resort next door to us with a lot of static caravans.

We found a forest boardwalk path.

It started to rain, and this was our shelter!

Arriving back at Max, we could see from a distance that a vehicle had parked right in front of us. We can never figure out the need to park so close to someone else when there are so many empty spots. This type of thing happens in North America as well. It's just one of those things that we don't get.

There is a ton of empty space!

Looking back at all of the empty parking area.

The other day in Harlingen we were parked at a big free day use parking lot. There were a lot of empty spots, and yet another motorhome came and parked right beside us, angled in to take up two spots, and with his back end sticking out. Why right beside us? No idea.

And then when we were the only ones tucked in to a little 4 space parking lot the other night, a car with two women backed in right beside us... so close that we thought she was going to hit us! We were actually yelling through the window for her to stop. When she finally did, probably six inches away, I angrily motioned to her to move over. Max likes his space!

I remember a long time ago when a couple of guys in an RV parked right beside us and ran their generator in a huge empty Cabela's parking lot. You can read that story here... https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2008/10/elkhart-indiana.html#more

Anyhow, it's a no win game trying to figure these things out. 

The rest of the afternoon was forecast to be wet and windy, so we decided to just stay put and spent the rest of the day indoors. 

The rain has stopped for now, but it's still really windy. Fortunately, Max handles the wind far better than Sherman did! Today, we will drive into the fairly big city of Groningen (pop 200,000) and get a propane tank refilled.

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Great deal on a Rooftop Cargo Carrier

And in Canada...

8 comments:

  1. Have a cousin living in Groningen.

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    1. Your cousin lives in a beautiful and interesting city. We enjoyed our afternoon wandering around the historical center of it.

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  2. I've lost you. It's been about 2 weeks since I've received your blog via email. I've been going to your website to access it. I don't have any idea why, I re-signed up, but it told me that I was already signed up. The same thing is happening to my wife. I enjoy reading your blog so will continue doing what I'm doing to access it.

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    1. Kevin is going to try to contact someone at "Follow It" as he said he didn't receive his notification today but he did with two other blogs that he follows using them. So I guess for now you will just have to access through blog for the new posts, sorry for that. BTW, we are happy that you enjoy reading our blog. :-)

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  3. Very rude people! And you folks are very friendly! Take care, Rawn Stone

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    1. We don't think they are rude people, they just aren't thinking about where they are parking or that they just don't want to walk the few extra feet to the pathway!

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  4. Adam's pet peeve is people parking next to him when there's plenty of space: supermarkets, camps, nature strips, anywhere. Why is the question?
    Also - I don't always get the follow. It email either. I bookmark one and go to your site frequently enough that I don't need the email.
    Stay safe - Cheers from us two down under.

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    Replies
    1. Yep, that is our pet peeve too and I guess "why" is a question that we will never be able to answer, lol!

      It seems that follow.it has some issues as you aren't the only one not getting the notifications. Hopefully they will get the problem sorted out soon! Yep, we think bookmarking the page is definitely the next easiest way to get to the blog. Thanks for continuing to follow along on our journey. :-)

      I hope you two are doing well and not going too crazy with all the lockdowns that you have had to endure.

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