The enjoyment of stopping in RV laybys and lesser-known campgrounds is the experienced RVer's best-kept secret! Read-on on and we will tell you why!
Calling all RV enthusiasts not to miss out on the simple enjoyment of a select group of RVers who spend their holiday time living in secret out of the way places.
Many of the most experienced RV enthusiasts spend their mobile lives on laybys and staying in lesser campgrounds savouring the simple joys of truly quiet, and often hidden, neighbourhoods.
These are neighbourhoods where time seems to have stood still for decades.
These are places where almost everyone is friendly, will stop to say hello and chat, and where traditional values are cherished. Places where time itself seems to pass more slowly, and each moment becomes that much more enjoyable because of it.
For One Time in Your Life – Take the Road Less Travelled!
Dear RVers it is so important that we all take the road less travelled! Please try it, even if only for one time in your life!
Too many people drive without taking a moment to stop on laybys and to:
- explore small local towns,
- visit local historic and religious sites,
- visit natural features of interest, and
- listen to the sounds of nature.
Instead, they plan their whole lives to a schedule. They rush from one “must-see” major tourist attraction to the next. They never stop!
Don't Live a Life of “Never Stopping”!
Too many people who travel in an RV live their lives without ever discovering any of the quiet and secluded laybys.
We mean laybys far away from the hoards of people. Charming places which revel in the simple joys of living.
These are the places where on-arrival you must resolve to make yourself slow down and truly relax.
Find a secluded spot to park up. Stock up with provisions, and resolve not to move the car or motorhome for days on end.
Read, walk directly from the RV, don't drive. Just rest while drinking in the natural beauty of your surroundings.
That way the cares of your normal life will evaporate. You will re-discover the simple joy of living in the moment.
Vast rural areas are available to RVers and their recreational vehicles. There are inexhaustible quiet places to stop and do this.
These are places so quiet that neither you nor the locals, will normally ever see a tourist. So, walk the local by-ways, chat with the locals, dine and drink in their hostelries.
As the locals in these places rarely see strangers, many of them will want to know who you are, and why you are there.
Take an interest in their lives and you will be amazed at their warmth and hospitality.
What are Laybys?
Well, a layby is a place where the road ends and the open land begins. A good layby has little or no traffic and is off the beaten path.
These are laybys that aren't busy, don't provide any facilities, and don't have a lot of people surrounding them.
Freedom to Stop and Stay
One of the advantages of choosing a layby is that you don't have to get permission from anyone to go there. Although, you may of course prefer to ask about local bylaws to check that this is correct at each location.
A layby can be a forest, beach, plain, parking area, or national park area that is isolated from any other place of interest.
while staying in a layby you are free to use your time as you want. You can relax and enjoy nature's sounds, or you can indulge your appetite for something new and different.
It is a decision that you have to make as to whether you want to travel in an RV around the country, to a timetable. Or do you want to enjoy the outdoors as you find it? Do you want to make the most of it when you discover amazing new places and stay there for longer?
Or, do you want to always stay in the safe confines of a large hotel or resort?
Nowadays, when people go to a layby, they don't just stop at a layby. They may plan a whole trip around a layby.
Quiet Places to Stop as an Ultimate Destination
A layby need not just a way-station on the route to your ultimate destination. Once you hit the layby, you actually may not want want to continue on the route to your ultimate destination.
The point is to enjoy the freedom of the road. Some laybys may tick all the boxes, but you may not take to the location. If so, you can be up and away in a moment!
That's the point of freedom, but some just don't like it. They like to know when they get up, what they will be doing that day, and for days ahead. That's OK, but at least do try to “get” the joy of freedom!
How do we Choose Great RV Laybys?
If there was a rule for that, we would save a lot of time and trouble. By all means, look at maps, and read local guides. But, in the end, you have to just try the ones which look good, and stay or leave on your impulse at the time.
We now know our favourite laybys in our best RVing counties, to which we return. How we did choose those great laybys in the first place? It was pure trial and error. The answer is, we didn't know where the laybys were until we tried stopping. We have always found that the disappointments are overwhelmed by the delight of finding a really good one!
Main Types of Laybys Best for RVers to Stop At
There are three main types of laybys that RV enthusiasts like best and would rather you did not know about, as follows:
1. Old Industrial Areas (Often Depopulated) Where Nature Has Returned
The first is one that is largely off the beaten path. Many of these exist in the vastness of rural America, and in most other nations in regions where times have been hard. These can be like a cross between a museum and a rusting ghost town. There may be almost no people, no shops. Even at first no signs of civilization!
These can be the most fascinating and rewarding to explore.
Believe it or not, there will be places you can buy things, and obtain the services you seek. You just must rise to the challenge of finding them, in these places.
2. Wild Places Where Nature is Unspoilt and Abundant
The second is also completely off the beaten path. This is quiet and pristine nature. It is not necessarily, or even usually part of a national park, and they are easy to miss. In fact, main roads pass right past them very often, if you only knew as you rush past!
If you choose to go to a layby that is completely off the beaten path, you will be exploring a place that is the epitome of nature. At these places, you must resolve to enjoy watching nature. Sadly, many people will soon become bored in these places. They will say there is “nothing to do”. If so, and that's you, just up and go! That's freedom…
3. Rural Agricultural Areas with Vibrant Communities Local Traditions and Beautiful Landscapes
The third type of layby is one that is only partially off the beaten path. But, these are a winning favourite for many RVers.
In this case, there are people, shops, and often a good road that serves as an easy route to the layby.
These roads are carefully maintained, and there are signs pointing you to them.
You still have to be careful, though. Because if you go past the layby without looking carefully, you will miss these little gems. Most people just keep driving straight through!
A Case History – Laybys and Lesser Camping Grounds in South Africa
The first type of layby is something you will see in the South African Transvaal. However, in South Africa always check first with the authorities that any area is safe to stay overnight.
There are two main roads, one that connects the Transvaal to the Orange Free State, and the other that links the Free State with the KZN Metropolitan Area.
Both are excellent, and they offer a unique view of South Africa. But, it is even more rewarding to seek out the local laybys and lesser camping grounds off these roads.
The second type of layby is found around the Drakensburg Mountain range completely off the beaten path where nature is unspoilt and largely untouched by man.
These roads are scenic, beautiful, and offer a scenic view of the Drakensberg region.
The laybys are a delight to visit. Some roads are well maintained and signed. But, some laybys are simply flat areas.
Some of these laybys also provide some of the best views of the oldest mountains in the world.
There are also other scenic drives and the third type of laybys in the Western Cape of South Africa. An example of one of these drives follows a route into Maraponson and Kalk Bay. These scenic drives are well signed, and you can see the Kalk Bay Sands and the Table Mountain Range.
Laybys on these scenic drives offer a breathtaking view of the countryside in the mountains.