Is Valencia banning vanlife?

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 Ciro 14 Feb 2021

Just saw this petition, anybody know anything about the proposed law and what stage it might be at?

https://www.change.org/p/furgoneteros-abolici%C3%B3n-de-la-ley-que-proh%C3%ADbe-pernoctar-en-la-comunidad-valenciana

From what I'm hearing, the traveling climbers aren't doing the climbing community any favours right now, with a lot moving around the country freely and generally acting as if the coronavirus restrictions don't apply to them, so I imagine local support for us might be wearing thin.

Which would be a real shame - I always found Valencia to be extremely welcoming and accomodating of the lifestyle ☹️

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 14 Feb 2021
In reply to Ciro:

I'm not sure what's changed or when but last year there were campers from all over Northern Europe parked on every headland a beach around Torrevieja, and this year there are zero - someone I mentioned to said the law had changed, and it wasn't allowed any more.

Out of interest there were six vans parked up at Sella yesterday, four Spanish, one Swiss, one UK.

Chris

Post edited at 13:25
 George_Surf 14 Feb 2021
In reply to Ciro:

I’d be surprised if this has anything to do with climbers. More likely people in those massive park ups you see along the coastline. You know the ones with like 30 monster motor homes complete with generators, satellite dish etc. I’ve no idea though 

 jezb1 14 Feb 2021
In reply to George_Surf:

Climbers in vans were getting moved on by the police left, right and centre in Chulilla this winter.

 George_Surf 14 Feb 2021
In reply to jezb1:

I didn’t realise that. Some friends were/are there and they didn’t get any hassle at all (that they mentioned at least) they just said the place was much quieter than normal and the little encampment field where a lot of people stay was empty? I’d have thought winter 20/21 would be a quiet season on the climber front for all countries/areas with all the current restrictions 

 jezb1 14 Feb 2021
In reply to George_Surf:

The owner of that field doesn’t want people on it any more. The police were moving people on from the terraces and cemetery spots.

People who found little spots out the way seemed just fine though

It was definitely quieter than usual but still quite a lot of people around.

Post edited at 18:59
 George_Surf 14 Feb 2021
In reply to jezb1:

I’m not surprised. It was like a township! I was always amazed the locals let people stay like that but had assumed they thought it was better to keep 90% of the vans in one spot? At least there was a toilet there...

Post edited at 19:04
 StefanB 14 Feb 2021
In reply to Ciro:

Basically, yes. There is a new law in place since January 22 (full text in Spanish here: https://camperruteros.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/2021_999.pdf) that introduced a paragraph banning the "installation of tents,  caravans, motorhomes and other mobile shelters with the intention of overnighting".

What exactly will still be tolerated remains to be seen, but the official rule is as above. 

 Ciro 15 Feb 2021
In reply to StefanB:

Cheers. I guess it won't affect the full timers too much, as people will find out of the way spots same as they do in other parts of Europe. 

Might make it harder for those that want to nip over for a couple of weeks though, if there's not handy campsites.

 George_Surf 17 Feb 2021
In reply to Ciro:

this article seems to interpret it as a ban on ‘camping’ eg long stays like the permanent park ups you see along the coast. I imagine climbers will be ok;

>>>> The Spanish police make a clear distinction between "camping" and "parking".

Comply with the guidance and I doubt there will be a problem. 

https://n332.es/motorhomes-parking-or-camping/

 Ciro 17 Feb 2021
In reply to George_Surf:

> this article seems to interpret it as a ban on ‘camping’ eg long stays like the permanent park ups you see along the coast. I imagine climbers will be ok;

> >>>> The Spanish police make a clear distinction between "camping" and "parking".

> Comply with the guidance and I doubt there will be a problem. 

Cheers, that link isn't working for me, but good to know they're making a distinction.

I guess places like the car park in chulilla would probably still fall foul, but if you're keeping a reasonably low profile, parking out of the way and not putting up awnings, tables outside, etc.  it might be fine.

In reply to Ciro:

The link does work for me, although it's pretty slow at the moment - N332 is a massively useful website for foreign drivers in Spain, and gets hit a lot.  Among other things it's well worth checking out its legal information on how to negotiate roundabouts, which may, or may not, change your view that every Spanish roundabout is a random opportunity for a messy death!

I'm not quite sure it's accurate to say that "The Spanish police make a clear distinction between "camping" and "parking"." - the *law* certainly does, and the info on N332 is accurate, but N332 is run by the Guardia Civil, who do know their stuff, and if you are knocked up by the police at night on the street in Chulilla or Calpe, it's not going to be by them, it will be the local municipal police.  Overnighting in vans was being clamped down a lot last winter in Calpe, and we know friends who were knocked up and moved on by the police, even though they were legally parked and fully complying with the law as stated in the N332 link .

At one stage last year the advice on one of the UK motorhome forums was that, if you were knocked up by the local police, phone the Guardia Civil, and get them to come round and explain the law to the local cops!  Not only do the GC know the law, but they've got bigger guns than the locals.   However, I'd say you would need to be a) pretty fluent in Spanish, and b) quite brave, to go for that option with two cops banging on your door and yelling at you!

Also, the law says you can sleep in your vehicle if it is legally parked, and that's not going to help if the municipality simply bans campervan/motorhome parking in a particular place, as happened in several bits of Calpe. I do have quite a lot of sympathy for the municipalities, when faced with things like motorhomes spending long periods of time parked up on the streets and taking the piss - a couple of years ago there was a German campervan in Calpe where the guy seemed particularly pleased that he'd managed to get hold of one of the special tools for opening the panel on the streetlight, so he could wire his van into it every night!

As you say, though, I think a lot will depend on how low profile and out of the way you are, but the days of parking on the street in Calpe after a few (?) beers, are probably over.

Cheers, Andy

Post edited at 14:37
 George_Surf 17 Feb 2021
In reply to Andy Cairns:

Yeah we were in costa blanca last year and as far as I was aware staying in your van there in calpe was a no go. I don’t know what the actual law was but there were signs everywhere and it was really obvious you’d get in to trouble if you got seen. I think we managed a sneaky night in a quite out of the way spot, but this isn’t the sort of thing they’re trying to clamp down on I don’t think, it’s like you say the “mega motor home park ups” of which calpe has plenty of activity 

Post edited at 14:46
 StefanB 17 Feb 2021
In reply to Andy Cairns:

All this is correct information regarding Spanish law. However, there is a distinction between the general law applicable and local additional restrictions. Whilst overnight "parking" a van is permitted in Spain in general, the autonomous Valencian region has a more specific law (linked in my earlier post).

I suspect local police forces will be pragmatic and enforce this strictly in the obvious hotspots but not care too much about low profile out of the van life. A bit like putting up a tent in a national park here. Most rangers will let you do it if you are respectful and out of sight (even recommend spots) and enforce the ban in the busy spots. 

 Ciro 17 Feb 2021
In reply to Ciro:

Seems they've rolled back on the implications of this for motorhomes 🙂

Update on the petition:

16 FEB 2021 — El apartado 5 del artículo 2 del Decreto 10/2021 del 22 de enero del consell del reglamento regulador del alojamiento turístico en la comunidad valenciana ha declarado que excluye en esta aplicación a las autocaravanas con o sin intención de pernocta.

Google translation:

16 FEB 2021 - Paragraph 5 of article 2 of Decree 10/2021 of January 22 of the council of the regulatory regulation of tourist accommodation in the Valencian community has declared that it excludes motorhomes with or without the intention of staying overnight.

 snoop6060 17 Feb 2021
In reply to Ciro:

I hope the whole world at least bans the word vanlife. It makes me embarrassed to own a van. 

 Ciro 17 Feb 2021
In reply to snoop6060:

> I hope the whole world at least bans the word vanlife. It makes me embarrassed to own a van. 

Odd thing to get embarrassed about.

 StefanB 17 Feb 2021
In reply to Ciro:

Thanks for this! 

I have just spoken to a friend that runs a van rental company here and he's told me that they have been lobbying successfully for the regulator to step in.

Seems that the law is being loosened up in favor of van life.  

 StefanB 17 Feb 2021
In reply to snoop6060:

Call van tourism then.

I admit to preferring different types of accommodation, but traveling in a van you sleep in is a concept and it's easier to talk about a concept if you have a word for it 

 snoop6060 17 Feb 2021
In reply to StefanB:

Nah 'vanlife' conjours up thoughts of hashtags, Instagram and bellends to me unfortunately. I do quite like my van tho. 

 Ciro 18 Feb 2021
In reply to snoop6060:

> Nah 'vanlife' conjours up thoughts of hashtags, Instagram and bellends to me unfortunately. I do quite like my van tho. 

Do you live in it?

 snoop6060 18 Feb 2021
In reply to Ciro:

Nah. About 4 weeks is my limit really. Don't take it personally. I'm sure you don't actually post staged shots of yourself on Instagram in the van looking out at the sunset with a million hashtags. 

 Ciro 18 Feb 2021
In reply to snoop6060:

> Nah. About 4 weeks is my limit really. Don't take it personally. I'm sure you don't actually post staged shots of yourself on Instagram in the van looking out at the sunset with a million hashtags. 

No worries, I didn't take it personally, just curious as to why you would find it embarrassing. 

I first came across the term on forums, used by (mostly US) people who were living in vans, stealth camping in cities to save rent and clear debts / reduce working hours, etc. I did it myself in London for a year, in order to speed up the process of becoming debt free.

I know it's been somewhat co-opted by "influencers" since, but it's actual meaning is still valid. It really grew after the 2008 financial crisis, and I expect the pandemic is going to increase it significantly again.

Post edited at 11:16
 George_Surf 18 Feb 2021
In reply to snoop6060:

why else would you want a van. bet you've got a secret Instagram :D

 snoop6060 18 Feb 2021
In reply to George_Surf:

It's funny really because whilst I was converting my van a few years back I spent time on Pinterest looking at ideas. Inadvertantly this was a proxy exposing me to social media / Instagram type nonsense in the 'vanlife' scene. Not going to lie the bellend part of my personality was defo hoping that converting my van nicely would get me a great surfboard (I can't even swim) and a beautiful  half naked model that just lay around the van looking hot. 

Post edited at 20:04

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