Camping: Tired of campsite rules? Then off to the water!

opinion Alone in nature

Enough of the camping constraints? Then off to the water!

Freedom, nature and relaxation – that’s what many associate with camping. But that’s not the case in the high season on campsites. In addition, vacation is nowhere as strictly regulated as here. But there are solutions to escape the flood of rules.

responsible editor travel/style/motor

Camping on the lake: the waterworthy camper Camping on the lake: the waterworthy camper

Camping on the lake: the waterworthy camper “Sealander”


Campen itself is a cool thing if it weren’t for the rules-loving campground community thing. You dream of freedom, nature and relaxation on the way, instead you get regulations, parcels and restrictions. In the high season, you have to know that you don’t vacation with a view of the sea as you had hoped, but with a view of the drawbar hoods, caravan roofs and power cords.

There is also a lack of social distancing: the average distance to the nearest occupant, sorry, campers, is about three meters. That’s why experienced campers donate a pallet of cans of beer to preventive de-escalation upon arrival. Even the ushers are happy to be handed a beer for the end of the day, which is called camping diplomacy.

Because nowhere is a holiday so strictly regulated as on a crowded campsite, and that’s pretty much every place in summer. Some incredibly detailed regulations are as intimidating to read as building code administrative regulations.

Rule number one is: “A consistent alignment of all caravans, motorhomes and tents is required. The door points to the southeast” (“Weichselbrunn” campsite in the Upper Palatinate). Or also: “The orientation of the camping accommodations must be made with the drawbar facing the lake” (camping site “Am Hainer See” in Saxony).

Read more about camping:

Silence is also prescribed. During the rest periods, usually two hours in the afternoon and nine hours at night, the box is quiet. “Any avoidable noise such as loud conversations … is to be avoided.” Those who do not whisper will be disciplined. Negotiations are accepted everywhere, but not on a campsite: “Any resistance to our person who ensures order leads to immediate dismissal without consideration” (campsite “Buntspecht”, Brandenburg).

Where you still feel free when camping

But what are the alternatives for those who appreciate camping but don’t feel like regulated campsites? Wild camping is not an option because it is prohibited. In the meantime, however, it has become chic and also quite legal to rent parking spaces on private property, i.e. from private to private.

This new generation of providers can be found on platforms such as Roadsurfer, Landvergnuegen, Hinterland, Campspace or Homecamper, and they are now fiercely competing with normal campsites. In principle, this works like Airbnb, but explicitly for campers. Everyone will find their favorite spot here: there are spots in the garden, in the forest, on the farm, in the middle of the vineyard, on your own private lake. If you want, you can often take your boat, your fishing rod or even your pony with you.

If you want to camp like a king in the 17th century with friends, you can drive to Lévis Castle in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. In the castle courtyard you can stand as you like, party as long as you like and stroll through the garden.

If that’s not enough freedom for you, you can buy a floating caravan: The “Sealander”, manufactured in Kiel, is also a mini houseboat. Back into the water, fold down the outboard motor and hit the lake.

Alone in nature: Im "Sealander" do not disturb direct neighbors

Alone in nature: In the “Sealander” there are no direct neighbors to disturb you


This is where you will find third-party content

In order to display embedded content, your revocable consent to the transmission and processing of personal data is required, since the providers of the embedded content require this consent as third-party providers [In diesem Zusammenhang können auch Nutzungsprofile (u.a. auf Basis von Cookie-IDs) gebildet und angereichert werden, auch außerhalb des EWR]. By setting the switch to “on”, you agree to this (which can be revoked at any time). This also includes your consent to the transfer of certain personal data to third countries, including the USA, in accordance with Art. 49 (1) (a) GDPR. You can find more information about this. You can withdraw your consent at any time via the switch and via privacy at the bottom of the page.