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5 Spring 2023

Thinking about your overnight park

Keith Rowland


Queen’s Park, Hunterville, parked on the main gravel hard standing, facing outwards, the area directly in front is quite low and was quite boggy with standing water puddles, and the grass behind the trailer was a bit dicey too.


Timona Park, Feilding, wet weekend of localised area flooding; hard standing parking was fine, but its not much of a river rise and the park gets flooded, even with the kind of stop bank formed by the garden features on the right of this image.


Paekakariki Holiday Park, its was hot between the shelter belts of planting, parking had to be worked within the space given, of course, and being a powered site meant no issues with running out of power…




Bartletts Ford, Manawatu — Jan 2022


Bartletts Ford — Jan 2023 river approx 500mm from top of bank… and it was still raining hard up in the headwaters.


Bartletts Ford — January 2023 some of the low spots had standing water; others, the grass hid the water quite well (until stepped in).


Norsewood after a 2am wind storm that came through and destroyed 8 gazebos, damaged a further 6 and scared a couple of people who had never experienced wind under canvas before.


 

Do you park your camper facing outwards? (Quick evac if needed.) Or just how you feel?


Do you park close to the riverbank?


Do you park near the gate?


Do you consider any fire risk? Is there a 3m space between you and the neighbour in case of fire or emergency access? Or do you just crowd in?


Do you suss out the vibe before even getting out?


Do you think about emergency evac (or getting emergency help) if the gates are locked?


Do you love parking under trees? (Has pros and cons, pros: shade during hot days & degree of shelter during winter, somewhere to have a nice hammock set up… Cons: blocks solar panels, debris falling on van and solar panels, tree damage during storms or even snowfall if you’re winter camping.)


Do you have a look at the grounds and see if anywhere is abnormally lower than others with arisk of flooding?


Or do you chuck it all in the wind and leave it to fate?


For seasoned campers these may sound a little ridiculous but I can assure you, you do all these things naturally…


Oh, and crime risk doesn’t really come into this discussion; crime can happen everywhere and anywhere, just trust your gut instincts and leave if your gut-feel changes…


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Seasoned campers do all these things naturally...

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