My sister and I have joined the vast number of Grey Army travellers, and recently completed a tour around Australia in our van.
Literally hundreds of these travellers, many of them in their modern vans, which are their homes for months on end, are chasing the sun up north, but also decide to make it a longer round trip.
Wherever they go they do need provisions and shop in towns on their way.
We were pleased to encounter many outback towns with a welcome sign.
They read as follows: “Welcome to ……, we are an RV friendly town”. This showed a map and also a sign for the dump point and where it was located.
Many of these were located in the recreation ground, or near service stations and road houses.
Many long-haul truck drivers also use these.
Travellers whose motor homes, caravans and campervans are self-contained, therefore equipped with shower and toilet, do not stay in one spot; they pass through the towns, spend their money, fill up with fuel and food, have a meal at the local pub or cafe and shop in boutique shops, visit medical clinics, dentists, chemists and the local sporting facilities, etc. It means that these people can “free camp” and empty their toilet cassettes at the dump point.
Free camping does not mean stopping for a length of time in the one spot.
On our trip there were many free camping sites along the way, which provided water, toilets and dump points.
Travellers simply pull up for one night. They have their own facilities and pull out the next day.
When in Geraldton there was even a 24 hour free camping spot along the foreshore, because this town realises that travellers will do the tourist thing and spend their money.
We were very disappointed when we arrived back in the Bass Coast Shire that there were no dump points and had to empty the cassette in our home toilet.
Upon contacting the shire I was told in no uncertain terms that there was to be ‘NO free camping’ and dump points could be used in the caravan parks for a fee. Was I aware of how much it would cost?
A town like Inverloch is supposed to be a tourist town.
We should welcome travellers who might even decide to stay a little longer if this town could offer hospitality.
There are a number of sites which could provide the dump point, such as toilet blocks near the fishermen’s shed along the foreshore, the recreation ground, the Anderson Bus Transfer Station and more.
Can you imagine that travellers who pass through our town of Inverloch have to visit a local caravan park and pay for the use of the dump point even though they don’t wish to stay overnight?
What do you think might happen when their cassettes are full and need to be emptied?
This is worthy of consideration and might generate some much need discussion by the local shires.
If this was to be considered it would then be added to the valuable ‘Wikicamp’ app that many campers have on their smart phones and tablets.
Anna and Rita de Bondt, Inverloch.