Van Life

Icon Art by The Seedling Leaf
“The Split VW Splitty” by The Seedling Leaf Icon Art

This is the time of year when most people with an urge for movement get on the road, for the temporary summer travels.

I’ve got some stuff which I reckon is pretty useful for the more serious surfsk8 explorer, who is looking for a full time van lifestyle.

I have’nt come across a gypsy surfer yet but there must be a few amongst the estimated 10,000 gypsy travellers. Likewise of the estimated 3,000 “new travellers” I don’t know anyone who has said they travel with surfing in mind. Now I’m talking full time travellers here, which raises the usual spectre of parking up and its legalities.

If you are really serious, and you live in the UK, then this may help. Firstly IT IS perfectly legal to be a traveller in the UK. Secondly, and in my mind most important, is this qualification which WILL stand up to legal scrutiny:-
“Anyone who pursues a nomadic habit of life for economic purposes can argue that they are a ‘Gypsy’ in planning terms”. Furthermore Government Circular 18/94 regarding unauthorised camping “commended tolerance towards gypsies camping in an unauthorised manner, other things being equal”. A bit odd you might think, but in terms of surfsk8 exploration this allows resorting to the breakdown scam, through overheating or electrical failure, and permits reasonable time to resolve the problem, for example a couple of days. In genuine cases of van failure it allows for the inevitable delays in sourcing old parts and fitting. Most importantly it is an unreasonable action to move a traveller on who is clearly tired and needs rest, and is a gypsy’s legal defence against roadside harrassment.

If you are travelling as a family there can be numerous reasons for human need. Check out the chapter7 website, where all this info is coming from.

So, you want to be a van living explorer in the UK. Take up a nomadic life for economic purposes, start making, buying, selling– do it from your van, and its all perfectly legal. If seriously challenged argue that you are a Gypsy.

Gypsy life revolves around the seasons, so there is nothing stopping you being a gypsy for the ‘time being’. Give it a trial period and see!

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