MOTORHOME owners across the country have defended their lifestyle in the face of criticism from camping site owners who accused them of littering the countryside.
The Phoenix Motorhome Club emphasised that its constitution stated that all “black and grey wastewater and rubbish must be disposed of in a sanitary and approved manner”.
The club warned it would take action, up to termination of membership, for anyone found breaking this rule. “We fully agree that action must be taken against anyone who dumps the contents of chemical toilets and rubbish in hedgerows.
“This is an abhorrent practice and must be condemned. We distribute the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Guide to our members showing all the caravan parks throughout the whole of Ireland and our aim is to use these parks whenever possible,” said spokesman Kieran Donovan.
“However, it should be noted that caravan sites are not in all areas of the country and also many sites close between October and Easter.
“Safe Nights Ireland also provide locations for motorhome owners, ranging from the most rural site to those close to cities, and these are open throughout the year.
“Motorhome stopovers exist across Europe as a way of attracting tourism to places and I feel this is to be encouraged.”
The club has written to all the town councils in the country looking for dedicated campervan overnight parking spaces due to sharp increases in “height barriers” across the countryside.
The Phoenix Motorhome Club said that “camper van drivers are very badly catered for in this country”.
In France, for example, many councils offer free parking with facilities to fill up water tanks.
The campervan owners also said that some camping site owners make campsite parking tooexpensive.
They charge “prohibitive add-on” fees, such as €30 for an overnight stay followed by €1 per shower, €4 for electricity, €3 for each extra child and €3 for an accompanying car.
They also denied they avoid spending money in local economies saying families regularly eat out, buy diesel and shop locally.
It can cost up to €1,200 per week to rent a campervan.
Earlier this month, campsite owners called for action against camper van owners who dump the contents of chemical toilets and rubbish in hedgerows while “wild camping”.
The campsite owners complained “nobody is taking any action” against offending motorhome owners.
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