Understanding where you can and can’t park your caravan is important for avoiding fines and ensuring you don’t upset your neighbours. 

Caravans provide the freedom to take the comforts of home with you and explore, but with that freedom comes the responsibility of parking regulations both during and in between trips. These rules can vary across Australian states and territories, making it tricky to be well-informed about the specific requirements in your area. 

There are general rules that will apply to most states and territories across Australia for both public and private spaces. But for the most accurate and up-to-date information, visit your state’s relevant site or local council websites under ‘city parking’.

Can You Park Caravans on the Street?

As a general rule of thumb, caravans can be parked on residential streets as long as they are parked safely and legally. If leaving your caravan on a street for longer periods of time, the caravan must:

  • Not obstruct traffic or pedestrian pathways. 
  • Be registered
  • Be roadworthy and able to be towed at any time
  • Be vacant (you can’t use your caravan while parked in a public space)
  • Not be left for excessive periods of time (Parts of Victoria share a time limit of 48 hours, but other states, like New South Wales and Queensland, are more relaxed).

Each state and territory (even local council) can have different specific laws about parking your caravan on residential or main streets. For example, vehicles parked on residential streets must be under 7.5m and 4.5 tonnes to park on residential streets in Queensland. Once a caravan exceeds this, they fall under heavy vehicle parking laws which are more strict and specific.

As well as council parking regulations, you should consider the area itself where you’re planning to park your caravan. Like, would it be a nuisance to residents, or would it be at risk of being damaged or stolen?

Understanding and following these guidelines, you can park your caravan on residential streets without worrying about fines or your caravan being towed away.

Potential Fines and Penalties for Non-Compliance

Failure to adhere to local parking regulations can result in fines, penalties, and your caravan being towed. These fines can pinch a bit, especially if the caravan has been deemed an obstruction or safety hazard.

Tips for Ensuring Compliance with Local Regulations

For parking on residential streets or main roads, the general rules caravan users should be aware of include:

  • Ensure your caravan is registered and up-to-date with road requirements.
  • Always check with your local council for specific rules regarding caravan parking.
  • Be mindful of any time limits imposed on parking and move your caravan accordingly.
  • Ensure your caravan is not blocking driveways, footpaths, or creating a hazard for other road users.
  • Avoid parking your caravan on streets that don’t have street lights as they can become a hazard.
  • Whenever possible, use designated caravan parking areas to avoid potential issues.

Can You Park Caravans Outside Your House?

Front Garden/Lawn

Local councils typically have specific rules about parking caravans on front gardens or lawns. These rules can include limitations on the size and duration of the parked caravan, and some councils may prohibit it altogether. If your residence is part of a shared area (like duplex or part of a complex), you may have additional restrictions too.

Typically you’re allowed to park your caravan in front of your house as long as it’s still within your property lines (not on the council nature strip) and not obstructing entry points or pedestrian footpaths. 

Parking Caravans on Private Driveways

Parking a caravan in your driveway is generally more straightforward than parking on public property, but there are still a few guidelines you’ll need to note before leaving it there in the long term. When parked on a driveway, caravans must:

  • not obstruct pedestrian pathways
  • not create a hazard for vehicles entering or leaving the property
  • be within property lines

Similarly to parking in front of your property in some residential spaces or properties (such as within complexes), there may be a few additional guidelines like avoiding visitor spaces or blocking shared drives or roads too.

Can You Park Caravans in Public Carparks?

Parking caravans in carparks like beaches or shopping centres, is often regulated to ensure safety and availability of spaces for all users. Because of this, across most of Australia, it isn’t recommended you leave your caravan unattended for longer periods of time in carparks or similar spaces.

Shopping Centres

Parking in unregulated parking areas, such as shopping centre carparks or in private carparks for entertainment or hospitality businesses, is controlled by the owner or managers of the parking area.

That means that the manager can enforce parking conditions at their own discretion (within reason). These rules can dictate duration of parking, size of vehicles permitted, and purpose of parking (for example if you’re using the carpark for shopping or not).

So, you can park your caravan in carparks like these with your towing vehicle as long as you fit within designated parking spaces without obstructing traffic or pedestrian pathways. But, typically, you can’t leave your vehicle unattended for extended periods of time. 

Misuse of private carparks can lead to towing of unauthorised vehicles.

Parks and Beaches

Parking a caravan in public parks and at beaches shares similar guidelines to parking on residential streets. As long as your caravan fits within parking spaces safely without obstructing traffic of both vehicles or pedestrians, you can park it and leave it unattended within the allowed time restrictions. 

Some public parks and beaches may also have additional parking laws guided by signs (for example, paid parking between 9am-5pm). 

Where to Park a Caravan

The best and safest places to park your caravan between trips are either on your own property or in a purpose-built caravan storage facility. 

Purpose-built caravan storage facilities provide a highly secure and protective environment for your caravan when not in use. These spaces often offer various storage options, including indoor, outdoor, and covered storage, catering to different needs and budgets.

When leaving your caravan for longer periods of time, you’re going to want to make sure that:

  • It is parked properly and stabilised with wheel chocks or locks 
  • It is closed up and sealed (particularly if parked outside)
  • Appliances are unplugged and electrically secure
  • It is with appropriate caravan coverings to prevent dust build-up
  • You visit regularly to check tyres, for leaks, and for signs of pests. 

For More Information or to Check With the Caravan Community

For more camping tips and information about travelling with caravans or storing your caravan in between each one of your trips, feel free to check in with the SWAG Community where members share their experiences and recommendations for caravanning in Australia.