Check Out Our Map Of Legal Stopovers and Aire de Services in Ireland
All You Need To Know
Travelling by RV motorhome or Campervan is a fantastic way to discover Ireland and Northern Ireland. A chance to take the roads less travelled, along roads with some of the best views in the world, getting closer to nature, all with the comforts of home with you.
Who needs to be constrained in five-star hotels, when you can experience five million stars in the (light) pollution-free sky above your van. Check out our map of where you can spend a starry night in Ireland.
Below we also look at types of legal stopovers there are for motorhomes and campervans. We will look into some general rules for camping with a motorhome on the Island of Ireland, both North and South, giving you some useful tips to get the most out of your trip around Ireland.
If you dont own a motorhome of Campervan but love the idea of hitting the open road and using the network of stop over spots in Ireland, fear not, you can Hire Campervans and Motorhomes in all parts of the Island.
So just what is a legal stopover? Well, Legal Stop Overs, often know as Aires De Service on the continent, are a network of stopping places campervans and motorhomes. In some instances, they are purpose-built and run by the local authorities. However, here in Ireland, they tend to be on private land that the owner has allowed (within reason) or part of campsites or even a hotel.
In places such as France and Spain, they can be significant purpose-built parks, catering for over 150 vans, with all facilities. Here they tend to be much smaller, only accepting 2 or 3 vans at a time. We find it a great way to meet and get to know our fellow campers and motor homes.
Many seasoned motorhomers prefer to use legal stopovers, as they prefer the peace and quiet as well as only being with those with similar past times (talking about what went wrong with your van this week).
Once you get the bug you will wonder why you bothered with campsites previously; you will need your van to be fully equipped with showers etc. as they are rarely provided, using your van for what it’s been designed to do.
If you don’t have full facilities onboard, don’t worry, there is a way around this, book into a campsite now and then to use the shower and laundry facilities between times.
The law in both Ireland and Northern Ireland (two separate legal jurisdictions) state that you cannot wild camp in a motorhome or caravan anywhere without permission.
Unfortunatly, we often see people do trying to flout the law it in remote areas but this can only give a bad reputation to motorhome enthusiasts as it is considered trespassing….so please dont do it!
On the bright side, we are known for our hospitality here in Ireland, meaning there are many options when it comes to parking up for the night, the easiest is if you find a spot ask the landowner if you can stay for a night they are genrally happy for a night or two.
For those who are travelling to an area for the first time you can check out our map above, where we have compiled lots of stopovers for you.
Most of these are not formal campsites, they range from simple car parks and truck stops that have no regulations specifically prohibiting overnight stays. Many of these stops are hosted by local pubs, where you are able to spend the night in return for sampling their food and beverages that evening. These stops are usually just for one night.
Where can I find the best stopovers to park up my motorhome near where I am or am going? Well, aside from our handy Map above which you can view on mobiles, there are several helpful resources which make it easy for us to find the perfect place to park up. Therefore we have compiled a list of the most useful apps and websites for finding stops here in Ireland and further afield.
TMI started as a Facebook group to share stopovers in a time when only Total Camping Ireland was looking at this. They have grown into a large group with over 8000 members. It is free to join, and when you enter the Facebook group, you get access to a host of knowledge from an active group along with Map like the one above.
Safe Nights Ireland (SNI) is a club for those looking for secure overnight parking for campervans and RV Motorhomes’.
They now have over 350 site locations throughout Ireland, ranging from the most rural sites to the big smoke of Dublin.
They aim to provide a safe overnight parking place for RV/Motorhome users on a nightly basis around Ireland. It costs $15 to join for the year.
The CamperContact app is probably our favourite tool for finding beautiful places to stop in a motorhome. They currently have 238 stops here in Ireland, with over 1200 more in the UK. Check out their website for more details.
The PitchUp website includes a wide range of motorhome stops. From small farms to luxurious campsites. By setting the filters on motorhome or campervan pitch, you will find an overview of motorhome campsites. Not only do you find motorhome stops on PitchUp, but they also provide information about local bike and walking routes, pubs and events. To start searching for motorhome stops, you can visit the PitchUp website.
If you are looking for a website which only includes stopovers for motorhomes, the “Extensive list of motorhomes stopovers” selected by UK Motorhomes is the place to be. This list comprises officially recognised overnight campervan parking in the UK and Ireland.
Although mainly for the UK it is growing, Nearly Wild works with landowners to help them open their land for motorhomers to park for the night. About 40% of all their campsites also welcome campervans, and for an annual fee of 20 pounds, you will be granted access to the list of all the “Nearly Wild Camping” campsites. For an overview of all their campsites, you can visit the Nearly Wild Camping website.