Motorhomes, large vehicles can park indefinitely on residential streets, if size requirements are met

The battle between motorhomes and residents has been going on for decades – vacationers seek places to park their vehicles while locals seek to defend their precious views and streets.

But it turns out that many large vehicles, including campervans, caravans, buses and other trailers, can be parked indefinitely on residential streets in Queensland.

Provided they meet certain height and length requirements, owners can park them for as long as they want.

Vehicles must be less than 7.5 meters long and weigh less than 4.5 tons, and therefore not be considered heavy vehicles.

The restriction excludes large motorhomes, caravans and trucks, but a number of small motorhomes, caravans and small buses still make a difference.

A Queensland councilor said while it may frustrate residents who have lost parks for weeks, those motorists are fully legal.

A motorhome parked on a street in Mermaid Beach for weeks.(ABC Gold Coast: Tara Cassidy)

Hermann Vorster of Gold Coast City Council says the coast is a place where residents frequently complain about motorhomes and other large vehicles blocking residential streets.

But the board is often unable to act.

“Gold Coast roads are no different to Queensland roads and under Queensland traffic rules, as long as the vehicle is registered and not parked in a restricted area with timed parking, it can remain there indefinitely,” said he declared.

The rules do not apply to illegal campers

Mr Vorster said vehicles that exceeded specified tonnage and meters did not belong in residential areas and owners would face fines if parked illegally.

Three vans parked in front of a lake.
While motorhomes can be parked on suburban streets indefinitely, they cannot sleep.(Provided: JR Switchgrass)

“Finding a place to park indefinitely would be difficult in most areas,” he said.

He said camping in vehicles and timed areas have different restrictions and therefore the rules do not mean tourists can sleep in the vehicles.

“The rules of the road are quite separate from our local laws, which deal with illegal camping, so if people have a sleeping bag and are sleeping in the back of their vehicle, that’s a pretty clear indicator that they’re camping. and it’s not just a parking pass,” he said.

“So there are rules around camping, but if the vehicle is stored on a site – say with friends and family – then, yes, that’s fine.

“Under Queensland State Government traffic rules, you are treated no differently than any other passenger vehicle.

Two boys standing in front of a parked motorhome.
RVs are often parked for long stays as owners enjoy stopovers when touring the country.(ABC GippslandRachael Lucas)

According to Mr Vorster, the Gold Coast Council has been investigating whether the local government could implement its own set of regulations to better respond to constant complaints from residents.

“What we have found is that it would be illegal for councils to introduce regulations beyond what the Highway Code provides, because the Queensland Highway Code has precedent on everything what the board could do,” he said.

“So we are aware of the complaints, and we have tried to regulate in the space.

“But the state government had the final say and they wanted to preserve a set of rules across Queensland, so if people were traveling from Cairns to Coolangatta they weren’t caught up in a change they weren’t aware.”

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