uk road trip, sleeping in car

Discussion in 'UK All Regions' started by butterfly, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. butterfly

    butterfly Member

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    Ok folks, just wondering if anyone has any experience..

    I am pretty well broke and cannot afford hotels/B&B's. I have loads of holiday entitlement from work to take. I can afford to drive so long as I save by sleeping in the car (I can pretty much sleep anywhere so that is not a problem).

    I am thinking of taking a trip along the south coast of the UK for a week, with the aim of 'being in the right place at the right time' in terms of early morning and late evening light, so being able to park close to where I want to take photos is important. I shoot large format.

    As far as I know sleeping in the car in laybys is not permitted, but wonder if the boys in blue would actually move me on. Too dangerous?

    Am I crazy, is there a better option??

    Thoughts appreciated.

    Steve
     
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    As you point out, sleeping in a car on a public highway is not permitted (although lots of us have done it). Just park the car out the way somewhere rather than on a main road and it should be o.k.

    My brother is currently on a short motorcycle tour of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset with a friend. Their method of avoiding paying campsite charges is to set up a tent on a beach, set up some fishing rods on stands and pretend that they are out all night fishing.


    Steve.
     
  3. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    The worst that can happen is that you get woken up. Given the number of lorry drivers that clutter up out laybys it doesn't happen often. Go for it and enjoy the experience.
     
  4. dsullivan

    dsullivan Member

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    If you go to the pub of an evening you could be very unlucky and be breathalised and arrested for drink driving if the keys are available to you, even if you're just sleeping in the back.

    David.
     
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  5. butterfly

    butterfly Member

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    No problem there. I don't drink alcohol! Thanks everyone for the comments. Yeah, I'm just going to go for it !
     
  6. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    I have had the misfortune of having to sleep in a car...it's bloody freezing at 4am. I thought it was only if you are caught in the driving seat whilst drunk that you can be prosecuted?
     
  7. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    It's anywhere, if you have the car keys on you.:sad:

    And you are quite right, cars do get very cold; sleeping bag recomended, as is leaving a window open.
     
  8. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    The times I slept in cars actually make very funny stories...but not to be shared here though! I am considering buying a VW camper, but can't imagine them being warm enough. Fishing rods are a great idea for beach camping!
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Really? I thought they had to prove intent to drive which basically means keys in the ignition. I regularly get dropped off at home after a gig where I may have consumed alcohol and open up my car to put my amplifier in the back. If I was charged based on this I would definitely argue that there was no intent to drive.


    Steve.
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The law here in Canada is (most likely) different, but intent to drive isn't relevant. Even having the keys probably isn't determinative.

    The charge here revolves around care and control of the motor vehicle, and if you are even in reach of the parking/emergency brake, you can be convicted.

    The trunk (boot) is probably safe.

    Matt
     
  11. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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  12. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    From what I read in that...you need to be driving erratically for them to suspect that you may have been driving (and switched seats). Appearing drunk and having intention to get into the car to drive.

    Deciding that you are unfit to drive and sleeping in the back looks like a common sense thing to do!
     
  13. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Thanks for the link Bob. I think I would be o.k. just coming home and putting something in the back.

    The offence is:

    It is an offence for a person to be in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place with excess alcohol in his breath or in blood or urine as evidenced by a certificate of analysis or statement.

    I think this would help my case:

    There is no legal definition for the term "in charge".

    Anyway, I don't believe it will ever be an issue.



    Steve.
     
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  15. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Here in the Western USA, I have slept in my car many times -- and have been woken up many times by the police. Each time I have told them that I got too tired to drive. They have always left me be after that...they don't want tired people driving (I think that is the second most common cause of wrecks next to drink).

    But what I hate (and it has happen many times) is when I park and lean back in the driver's seat to catch a few winks -- I wake up thinking I have fallen asleep at the wheel. I grab the steering wheel, slam on the brakes and try to see out the window. I finally will realize that everything is dark and the car is not moving...but my heart is beating a mile a minute, so I get back on the road wide awake. Man I hate doing that...I have to lie down across the seat or something to keep it from happening (hard to do when I was traveling in a VW bug with the backseat full of stuff.)
     
  16. butterfly

    butterfly Member

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    Oh Lord, glad I don't drink, LOL

    Sleeping bag is a good idea.

    There are plenty of service stations that have washing/shaving facilities so should be ok on that score.

    I think I'll just try it and take the experience. Better than not having tried at all.

    If I get any decent photos I'll post a few!

    My post sparked a really interesting thread, so thanks everyone!

    Steve

    p.s. It's on the cards I will be made redundant next year. At that point I aim to buy a small RV and hit the road and disappear into the sunset!
     
  17. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    I worked for a company who banned us from having any loose items in the car...tools, drink cans whatever. The boss had witnessed the aftermath of an accident where every loose item became a very lethal projectile within the car!
     
  18. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    I too can vouch for the "no loose items in the car"

    I have unfortunately witnessed the result several times (once fataly)

    Don't put anything in the car you wouldn't be injured by if it hits at 60mph (100kph)

    Everything inside the car becomes a projectile and you are the softest squishiest thing in there

    Always put your stuff in the Boot (Trunk) of the car - hopefuly you will never have to find out how true this is

    This includes Camera Bags & most particularly Tripods

    However, you also need to think about loose coins, thermos flasks and even hardback road atlases - non of these are fatal but can lead to nasty cuts and bruises.

    Sorry for being so quite so cheerful

    Martin
     
  19. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    The problem isn't just about drunk driving it's about being in charge of a vehicle when drunk. If you have the keys, then you have charge.

    Martin's point about loose equipment was brought home to me many years ago whilst driving a company van through London in a somewhat lively fashion. An emergency stop caused equipment in the rear to try to leave the van via the front window. It was only the remains of the passenger seat that prevented it from doing so. Fortunately I was alone in the van otherwise I would have had a day or two in the coroners court to reflect on my poor driving. Since then I have always been very fussy about not having loose objects it the back of my car, I cannot claim that my driving has improved though.:sad:
     
  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    you are lucky you are in the uk ... 20 years ago my brother and i
    did a road trip ... maybe 2 hours
    away from home, we stopped at a rest area.

    there was a guy in his car next to us (resting?) ...
    a state policeman pounded his door, shone his maglight in his window and
    shouted " hey this is a rest area, no resting allowed " ...

    if you end up taking a wrong turn and instead of
    south england end up in CT/USA, get those glasses with open eyes on them
    they might help in situations like this :wink:

    john
     
  21. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I have seen the aftermath of a fairly moderate speed crash on a TV documentary showing tests recently carried out by the Road Research Laboratory, and was horrified to see that a metal tool box full of metal tools in the boot (trunk) of the test vehicle had gone through the rear bulkhead, and back seat, opened , and causing spanners and wrenches to be thrown all around the car, causing what would be horrific injury's to the occupants , who were fortunately test dummies, it certainly made me think
     
  22. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    A boot of a VW Bug can only hold so much. And there is the question of would make a difference in a Bug at 60 MPH as there may not be enough room inside left for things to fly around in. The only crash I had in it (girlfriend of the time was driving) was a roll down a hill at 25 -30 MPH. Ended up with a lot of rice all over the place. After getting it towed back up the hill, I pounded the roof back up with my hand, pulled the fenders back out away from the tires and continued on our way.

    Now, of course, it would be hard to fit my family of 5 in a Bug...but our Minivan has no boot. I take out one of the middle seats and use the seat's tie-downs to strap in then ice chest. Lots of stuff (including camp stove and fuel) go up in the carrier on the roof, but there is still lots of potential missles inside.

    Vaughn
     
  23. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    Minivans, SUVs and Estate cars are disadvantaged - you are in the same space as the luggage

    Its always a problem with kids - they always need plenty of toys & stuff to keep them entertained.

    Fortunately, most toys are not hard, sharp or heavy

    Retaining straps for large items and luggage nets for small stuff are worth considering for most of the stuff in the boot/trunk area.

    Martin
     
  24. Aurum

    Aurum Member

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    Father in Law knows all about that. He crashed his Ford Zephyr into something in the early 60's. Had a heavy toolbox in the boot which decided to keep going......
    Through the back seat, and was stopped by him sitting in the drivers seat. He still has problems now
     
  25. monophobia

    monophobia Member

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    I was taught that it is good practice to plug in the unoccupied rear seatbelts in such a way that they stretch across the back seat and lock in the event of a crash, reducing the chances of objects bursting through the back seats during a high-speed collision.

    In reality both of my back seats are down and my car is full of loose junk. I'm an idiot.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2011
  26. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Back in the '80s my father did call-out work for the police towing away cars at scenes of accidents (he was a mechanic). He used to come home with the most grisly stories often involving moving objects in cars like here or stationary objects outside of cars like trees. I suppose he had to tell somebody what he saw and his only audience was me and my sister aged 10 & 8 - at that age you don't forget horror stories.