Harsh new laws for motorhomes in Portugal in the works

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 21-07-2021 14:19:00 · 30 Comments

The Autocaravanista Association of Portugal has expressed its disappointment with the changes to the rules for motorhomes approved by parliament on Monday and has promised to appeal to the President of the Republic, the Constitutional Court and European bodies if the changes take place and are confirmed.

"Obviously, we are very disappointed with you deputies," Paulo Moz Barbosa, president of the Autocaravanista Association of Portugal (CPA), told Lusa, who noted that he only knows what was reported in relation to the decisions taken by the Parliamentary Committee on Economy and is waiting for the final draft of the law for a complete and definitive assessment.

On Monday, deputies approved amendments to the parking of motorhomes, deciding that outside protected areas, overnight stays are allowed "for a maximum period of 48 hours in the same municipality" and suggesting the creation of a registration platform, changes that still have to go to the final vote in the plenary of the Assembly of the Republic.

Confirming what he read in the press, Paulo Moz Barbosa considered that "the deputies treat the motorhome drivers practically as a group of criminals" and that proposing a digital platform to locate the motorhomes "is practically putting an electronic bracelet on each motorhome operator".

"This is absolutely unbelievable. Therefore, it is hard for us to believe that the content of the law, when it appears in the Diário da República, will have this gravity," he said.

"If this goes forward, we will go, to the end of our strength, together with all possible and imaginary entities. President of the Republic, first, because he is the one who promulgates, the Constitutional Court in second place, and then, we are going to Europe", promised Paulo Moz Barbosa, for whom such legislation cannot be legal in a country of "democratic Europe".

The president of the CPA also regretted that the law insists on the question of overnight stays, a concept that motorhome drivers have fought "from the first moment".

"It simply shouldn't even exist in the law," said Moz Barbosa, who recalled that anyone can sleep in a legally parked car, which has no room or bathroom like a motorhome.

"Why is the motorhome can only be two days [in a municipality]?", he asked.

The president of the CPA warned that "Portugal will lose a lot with this measure, it is already losing", because it is the only European country with these limitations regarding overnight stays.

According to Moz Barbosa, between 250,000 and 300,000 motorhomes enter Portugal annually, which translates into "millions of euros" for the country.

Another aspect that the association wants to clarify by reading the final version of the legislation is the rules for parking in some parks on the coast, located less than 500 meters from the waterline, used by bathers to leave their cars and go to the beach.

For Moz Barbosa, it is not understandable that a motorhome cannot park in one of these parks for its owners to go to the beach and that they can only use specific parks.

As for the ban on overnight parking in protected areas and parking, the president of the CPA said he was in agreement, stressing that "in Portuguese law" "parking or camping is practically the same thing".

"Of course, whoever wants to take a vacation by putting on the awning, putting on chairs, will go to a campsite. We are perfectly in agreement," he said.

These amendments, now approved, improve, however, the legislation in force since January, acknowledged Moz Barbosa, because, he said, “they will allow, at least, that people start to circulate”, even with the limitations imposed in the coastal areas.

The rules of the Highway Code contested by the representatives of the motorhome drivers, which came into force in January, establish the prohibition of parking and overnight stays for motorhomes outside of expressly authorized places.

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James, what are you doing in Europe after Brexit?

By Pablo from Algarve on 26-07-2021 11:08

As a owner of a land's in Portugal I found very disappointed that every one that owns cars motorhome vans bikes and same goes for those on Coaches, They all leave rubbish everywhere, don't just finger pointing just one class! The issue here's economic, greedy house owners that don't pay a good salary to anyone but for them self's! They see lots off motorhome taken there business a way les people now wants to pay less for a room or some people wants to go in to different places and sometimes to find a room it's difficult or two expensive! For those who said motorhomes should have trackers, yes they already have! But I think all car owners should also have tracking devices when they commit criminal acts like putting litter and rubbish on the streets and special on the villages and rural areas! But yes we do have a problem and every car park should have 24/7 CCTV for anyone who commits crimes should pay for it, don't blame your neighbors look at yourself first before you attack others! Motorhome should have more parking spaces everywhere but only for motorhomes and yes we should have more better facilities for motorhomes with better camping sites!
I do have a motorhome very expensive one super cool, but I can park in my land's witch it's my pleasure and I don't have any issue with, BC it's my lands however if I want to Go to the bitch site I find very difficult to find parking spots for motorhomes and sometimes just BC you pass by defy you don't want to park in a campaign site for just 4 to 5 hours! I found it ridiculous! Discrimination against Motorhome, but not everyone it's the same, the new law should be for every one not just Motorhomes! I do agree that there is a problem but every one should pay for it not just Motorhomes! Some people here blame motorhomes, get a live stop being jealous, life it's to short! And be worried about the urban places where the locals put litter every here and no body is talking about, like animals owners, there shit animals shit everywhere and they don't even clean after, u go to the park it's full of shit that ever dog owners left behind! If we have to speak, with need to start from the people who's complain about! I am Shure you yes you put shit everywhere when you go out on about!

By Ed from Other on 24-07-2021 11:33

There are some vile and ignorant comments on here. I live in portugal (in a normal house) , I pay tax in portugal, I spend all my money in portugal. I like to visit places in my motor home and am not a criminal, vagrant or parasite and I take advantage of no one.

I may well spend my money in another country if these laws don't change.

By Peter Roche from Other on 24-07-2021 09:48

Two years ago my wife and I toured Portugal for five months, visiting as many of the country's historic sights and attractions. We stopped over for 1-3 nights at each place. As we carried electric bikes on the back of our RV, we would find quiet out of town parking and then cycle to beach or relevant place of interest. Being self contained with our own toilet and wash facilities, we made no impression on the environment. We would drive to a campsite every three or four days to empty our waste and refill with water, paying a small service charge. We shopped locally and used local resteraunts.
We met many other people in a similar position, none of whom I recognise from these comments. I thought the country and people were fantastic, despite being broken into and robbed.
However I doubt whether we shall ever return, with or without the motorhome if this law is an indicator of how welcome we are.

By Roger from UK on 23-07-2021 01:26

We pay taxes and rates to live where we live.
The sense of entitlement by these bedroom on wheelers is extraordinary.
Go sit on top of each other in camp sites.
Stop destroying our lands.
You are most welcome to go to eastern europe.
Nobody will miss you

By James from Algarve on 23-07-2021 12:41

I have had a camper van for a month now and traveled around. It’s the same cheap crowd that use these as the crowd going to the over exploited Algarve, mostly cheap/poorpeople. I’m shocked to see how many fellow campers don’t even go out and support the restaurants where they stop. As a “van-lifer” I fully understand if they want to ban it.

By Toby from Alentejo on 23-07-2021 12:39

These people are like gypsies. They pay nothing, spend little and create a mess. I have personally watched them empty toilet cassette over walls next to where they are camped. Some think they can enter apartment complexes and use pools, showers etc paid for by owners, it really is unbelievable. Time to put a stop to it.

By Alan Harris from Algarve on 23-07-2021 08:52

Vanlife and Motorhoming is not for the "cheap and lazy" for sure. You have to love the "work" to plan your trip and getting known the place you want to explore for a day or some days. It's a lifestyle for the curious ones, which getting easy bored with staying to long at the same place, like a hotel, a resort or a bnb. It's a shame that since 2020, we have to carry our money for dining, petrol and so much more to Spain, most weekends. But there we can stay legally on very easy to find, dedicated places for motorhomes and vans. Just stop and enjoy, do your thing and *walk* to a nice restaurant. Like in Portugal back in the days.... Right now it is pain to find a legal place to stay, often even a free space on a (acceptable) camping area.... it's a shame for the português tourism. Dedicated, safe parking for motorhomes and vans with basic services is a way to control and manage this kind of tourism for the benefit of everyone.

By Christiano from Porto on 22-07-2021 11:13

Oh dear just listen to James from the Algarve what a sad little man you are
I bet your the life and soul of party

By Steven Smith from Other on 22-07-2021 09:01

i am one of the many uk pensioners that visit portugal for the winter last year i rented a 5 bed villa to celebrate my birthday and all my family flew out & visited i couldn’t wait to get back out & on the road in my motorhome & left the villa days early i travel with dogs and always poopscoop , l can of course in normal circumstances opt to travel to other countries but greece and portugal have the most welcoming native people and it is obvious from the names of the negative posters that they are themselves not local , my €110,000 hymer motorhome has two wc cassettes and a €2500 solar system that allows me to be self sufficient for a week at a time there are numerous areas to fill & empty waste & fresh water when i park on a beach carpark the ones disappearing to the sand dune with a loo roll are motorist day trippers not caravanistas , the motorhome fraternity will only be inconvenienced by this morocco & spain are still welcoming unfortunately it will take a good while for the lack of revenue to percolate through and buisiness will be gone

By ken from UK on 22-07-2021 08:24

God save the queen, brits expats are funny, want to bring cctv and mi5 to portugal.

By British from Algarve on 22-07-2021 06:20

What sweeping judgmental comments from some on here. You are aware that you can't judge everyone by the actions of a few.
We are motorhomers, and we live by a code," leave only your footprint"... Many many times we have removed rubbish left by others, from pedestrians, dog walkers, cyclists and car drivers too.
We are respectful of where we park, if we park for free anywhere, we always thank that area by purchasing a meal, food, drinks, fuel.
We pass inspections, pay taxes and insurance just as you do, why should we be discriminated against for what we drive?
We mix aires with campsites.
We invest in this amazing country, and yes we still have homes without wheels.
We have motorhome friends who no longer want to come to Portugal because of these new laws,they are spending their money in the rest of Europe.
The simple solution.
No overnight stay at a beach or a nature reserve for "anyone" .
No camping behaviour for " anyone "
That's fair right.
Maximum stay at any free Aire 72 hours.

By D d'esterre from Algarve on 22-07-2021 06:04

Of course, makes sense forbid this. But let the dogs run around and poo anywhere with no control (not to mention the barking). Fotball-fans scream, shout and pee anywhere. A lot of people throw plastic bottles and cigarette- butts all over the place. Disgusting! But again, it's a few making a whole group look bad. Regarding the campervan hysteria - if this comes through, just forget Portugal until they come to sense, there are plenty if other nice places to visit.

By John from Algarve on 22-07-2021 05:33

The ignorance expressed in some of these comments is huge.
Look at the big sporting events worldwide, the Grand Prix series for example, where the multimillionaire GP drivers live in beautifully equipped motorhomes for weeks on end.
James from Algarve on 21-07-2021 03:18 is an ignoramous.

By Andrew from Algarve on 22-07-2021 03:41

I for one am a Motorhome owner ,Our Motor is under 6m and is very fuel efficient and self contained , I used to visit Portugal a lot over the Past 15 years and respect the countryside, parking near the see ,and then leaving without a trace , This is what the majority of motorhome's do , Each day we would visit the restaurants and Bars ,and enjoy the Country , staying at camp sites when we can ,now unsure of where we can travel without problems ,so avoid the country and visit Spain ,France where they are more Friendly to our choice of travel Holidays, As to leaving Litter etc. , I have seen more local cars do this than motorhomes as they are trying to keep a low profile ,the Government are shooting themselves in the foot with this Law..

By RICHARD PATRICK REID from UK on 22-07-2021 02:56

So you left your country and want to set rules in this one. Tracking devices?
The arrogance.
And should you be robbed, it had better be by total strangers.

By Lewis from Lisbon on 22-07-2021 02:50

I haven't even addressed the filthy toxic diesel fumes these bedrooms on wheels monstrosities full of cheapskates, pump out into our air.

Go park in a motorhome sight.The arrogance of parking anywhere they please is infuriating.

As fir teh gent that says I don't know what I am talking about.I have had these monsters parking outside my home too many times to count.

Having to constantly check I am not about to get robbed by total strangers is most unpleasant.

They should be required to register upon entering the country and have tracking devices attached,so they can be identified very fast if necessary.

By James from Algarve on 22-07-2021 12:05

Surely there are a couple of easy solutions to resolve some of these issues, but firstly i would like to point out as with football supporters it is a few that give everyone a bad name.
Firstly why not insist that if you do not have the facilities to be self sufficient overnight, like not having a working toilet onboard, then you should have to park on a site that does provide this.
Second is that you are only allowed to park in areas allocated for these vehicles, in nearly every town there are correct parking areas, what is the problem. Many other countries restrict overnight parking in beach carparks.

By Kelvin Hillman from Beiras on 22-07-2021 11:36

No surprise here. Portuguese used to rule the oceans, sail the seas and be happy but because of bureaucrats you can't even rent a hobie cat and go for a sail on the beach, if you can find an open beach.

By Lewis from Lisbon on 22-07-2021 10:57

There is a similar problem happening in the US with lazy inconsiderate scum leaving their litter etc.
This is a predominantly worldwide problem resulting from ineffective police forces and lack of personal discipline.
As quoted Portugal has a vast numbers of tourists visiting in motorhomes/ RVs, they bring revenue into the country and to effectively cull this will be a great loss to Portugal.
The relavant authorities should get together and sort out the rules and regulations once and for all, issuing ultimatums does NO good whatsoever

By Eric from Lisbon on 22-07-2021 10:46

It's the Tiny House Movement...Can't afford a place to stay...Live in a Camper, Your Car and etc...Blame those Greedy Portuguese Owner's...Who need stranger's to support there lifestyles and the economy...One must take a look in the mirror to realize where the problem actually lies...Greetings from Monte Estoril, where there are no campers...

By Sakamoto Saurez from Lisbon on 22-07-2021 10:30

A difficult issue as both sides have fair points. However, there must be a middle line that can satisfy both. Right now, the intended rules seem quite harsh and inflexible, penalising everyone with a motorhome even if they behave responsibly. I would think the whole purpose of having such a home is to achieve liberty where one stays, and that is something that should not just be blocked for all.

By Rita from Lisbon on 22-07-2021 09:52

When I lived in Restelo, a community in Lisbon there was always the same old motorhome parked in front of my apartment. Its offensive bumper stickers were difficult to ignore. Besides being unsightly, It made crossing the road difficult for pedestrians and reduced visibility for other motorists pulling out of their parking spots.

Motorhome owners should park their rigs at designated campsites only and walk, bike or take public transportation like the rest of us.

By Judith Berns from Porto on 22-07-2021 08:54

Never had any issues on nor off-road with campers. Bicyclist are the road pest and should be regulated. People that are leaving rubbish behind are not necessarily linked to a motor home owners. Get real!

By Alex from Lisbon on 22-07-2021 08:29

Portugal has the most beautiful beaches in all of Europe. When I go to the beach I see campers taking up all the parking leaving no space for anyone else. They poo ???? everywhere, leave their garbage on the ground and have no respect or courtesy for anyone else. I hope the Portuguese government can enforce these new rules with regular beach checking, because I also don't see enforcement coming around much. Stop camper vacationers from being lazy and cheap...????????????????

By Andrew from Lisbon on 21-07-2021 11:50

This man obviously has no clue about motorhomes and their owners. Many are retired professionals who enjoy the lifestyle, and none are cheapskates. And it's people who 'live' in their cars at beaches who leave litter and excrement everywhere, not motorhomers. Finally, to say that motorhomers contribute nothing to the economy is just plain ignorance.

By Roger Morse from Algarve on 21-07-2021 10:16

Why is this even on the list of their priorities? Wouldn't be part of a greater agenda by chance? The freedom to travel and roaming around the lands will be "verboten" soon. Final solution is to corral the campers into camps. No pun.

By Paula from Algarve on 21-07-2021 07:15

Absolutely right James well said..

By Me from Lisbon on 21-07-2021 05:44

Motorhomers have brought this on themselves by selfish and thoughtless acts with rubbish and excrement littering the coast.
The coast between Carvoeiro and Armacao was filthy with the mess left by these people.
I agree with the other commenter James in that they bring very little economic benefit to the area.

By Michael from Algarve on 21-07-2021 04:46

These bedrooms on wheels are a blight wherever they go.
They park where they want
They leave litter and excrement everywhere
They cause excess traffic on many roads.
They are cheapskates that do very little for local economies.

When they bought their bedrooms on wheels they should have been aware of rules and regulations and the huge public
displeasure with these monstrosities.

Quite rightly they should only be allowed to park stacked up next to each other in authorised places,with other like minded individuals.

By James from Algarve on 21-07-2021 03:18
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