Staying Overnight In A Parking Spot In Norway: What Is Legal?

Norway is a popular destination for people who travel with RVs due to the high cost of accommodation in Norway. With an RV, you can sleep in your vehicle in most places without paying a single krone, but there are some rules and regulations that you should be aware of before coming to Norway in your RV.

In this article we are going to take a closer look at the rules for parking and staying the night in a recreational vehicle in Norway, and what you need to be aware of.

If you are legally allowed to park somewhere, you are also legally allowed to sleep in your RV at the parking spot. This means that you can park and spend the night at most parking spots, alongside the road if the speed limit is under 50 kph, and at any of the designated RV parking spots.

That said, there are plenty of exceptions and smaller things to keep in mind. Let’s get into the details of sleeping at a parking spot in Norway.

An RV at Steigen
An RV at Steigen. Photo published with permission.

Parking at designated RV parking spots

Norway has plenty of areas that are designated for RVs, caravans and bigger cars to camp for the night. These are often found just a few meters away from the main roads close to tourism attractions, and are very popular for RV tourists.

The great thing about these is that they have parking spots designated for bigger vehicles, and the amenities you expect, like toilets, a place to get rid of waste, a place to get fresh water, some benches to use, and even perhaps a shower area.

Most of these designated RV parking spots are free of charge, and has a max limit to either 24 or 48 hours per stay.

Many people park and spend the night at resting areas for semi-trucks, which is also completely legal. These often have a pretty short time period, and are not usually as cozy and relaxing as the spots intended for RVs, but they will do if you just need a place to stay the night for free.

A third option for designated RV parking spots is to go to a camping site. These will have plenty of spots for RVs, and will give you access to plenty of amenities like internet, electricity, play areas for the children, showers, and maybe even a great place to go swimming. The downside is that you need to pay for a spot at these places, and that they can often be crowded during the joint holiday in the summer.

Bøflaten Camping
RVs parked at a Norwegian camp site. Photo published with permission.

Parking and staying the night at public parking spaces in Norway

There are many parking spots all over Norway, and most parking spots are shown by white lines and a sign. You must follow the signs of the parking spot if you want to park there. If there are no signs, you are technically allowed to stay there for as long as you want to.

If there are no signs forbidding it, you can stay overnight and even sleep in your RV at any parking spot. Just make sure you don’t stay longer than the signs tell you to, or stay outside of the time period where the signs tell you.

The parking signs can unfortunately get a little bit confusing and difficult to understand in certain areas, and I would recommend parking someplace else if you are unsure. Not following the parking signs is grounds for a fine. Parking hours written with white letters are for regular days, while red letters are for Sundays and public holidays.

Make sure you stay inside the white lines when parking

Most parking spaces in Norway will have white lines that show you where to keep your vehicle inside, and you will get fined if you car takes up more than the allotted space. So make sure that your car or RV will fit inside the white line if you want to park there, or risk a 600 NOK fine!

Most parking spots will have a few spots that are suited for bigger vehicles, while most are suited for regular-sized cars. However, a good tip is that it’s legal to park in a manner where the front or back of the car pokes out on the back of the parking spot if it’s a green area.

An RV parked by the ocean in Holmestrand
An RV parked by the ocean in Holmestrand. Photo published with permission.

Parking alongside the road in Norway

You are allowed to park alongside any road with a speed limit of less than 50 kph. This goes for both private and public roads, so just drive off the main road and park your car. And since you can legally park, you can also legally spend the night.

The general rule is to park your car or RV so far into the side that you are of no hindrance to passing cars. This including parking in a manner that will reduce the visibility of drivers. You should not park in a manner that makes the parking annoying to people who live close by, so be respectful of the people who live in the area.

Most people opt to go for the same rules as with wild camping when parking to spend the night next to a road. In other words, stay 150 meters away from houses and buildings.

You must also park at least 5 meters away from any crossings, and follow any signs along the road. Many roads have a no parking sign along them, and you will get fined if you break these.

Many people find a gravel road close to a forest, then drive their car just outside the road to park it for the night. This allows you to legally stay the night and sleep there, as long as the road is open to the public (no signs saying no driving or “privat vei” / private road).

You should be careful about bringing huge RVs to smaller gravel roads though, since these are made for forestry vehicles that are much better at off-road driving than modern RVs are. It’s also important to be aware that you need to park in such a way that your vehicles does not damage the nature.

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