Leave No Trace®
The Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia Limited (CMCA), the largest recreational vehicle Club in Australia, has established the Self Containment Code of Conduct for the Leave No Trace® Scheme. CMCA has long been at the forefront of promoting environmentally responsible camping and overnighting. The Leave No Trace® Scheme is a major milestone in the Club’s efforts of demonstrating to councils and other authorities that self contained vehicles need not have a negative impact on the environment, even if a campsite has no facilities.
Members who participate in the Leave No Trace® Scheme must have a vehicle that meets the requirements for the holding capacity for fresh, grey and black water, as well as storage capacity for garbage waste. To qualify, a self-contained vehicle must retain ALL waste within the confines of the vehicle, and leave no trace whatsoever of its visit to a site. Vehicle owners must sign a declaration that they will comply with the Code of Conduct for the Leave No Trace® Scheme at all times. Vehicles that have qualified for the Scheme will display an accreditation card when overnighting. In addition, the vehicle owner carries proof of their participation in this Scheme and this documentation can be produced upon request.
CMCA acknowledges that it is a privilege for mobile travellers to be allowed access to controlled areas, and will strive to develop and maintain the credibility and integrity of the Leave No Trace® Scheme. This will ensure that mobile travellers comply with its environmental and ethical standards of the Self Containment Code of Conduct. The efforts of CMCA in promoting responsible travelling will not only benefit its Members, but will bring considerable benefits to local councils and communities.
Self Containment Code Of Conduct
1. To stay in any rest area for a maximum of 4 nights, unless otherwise posted, or for the period that the accommodation vehicle can be self contained.
If the vehicle capabilities are 2 days this will become the limit. If the vehicle’s capability is for longer than 4 days, 4 days shall be the limit, unless otherwise posted.
It is obvious that every user of an RV has differing demands of their RV and will use the facilities on board in a manner that suits their needs and travelling habits. For example, some users will require more in the way of water per day than others. The use of public facilities will also need to be taken into account in determining the capacity of an RV. It is therefore difficult to determine an exact amount of water that is required for any RV for a given period of time. If your RV has limited facilities, these limitations must be taken into account when staying in one location. It is incumbent on all users of the Leave No Trace® Scheme to honour their declaration and adhere to their RV’s limitations according to the spirit of the Code of Conduct. Remember to use water wisely and respect any local water restrictions.
2. To obtain permission to stay from the relevant authority where applicable, and to obey any posted regulations.
It may be necessary to obtain a permit from the controlling authority. In some instances a fee may be payable. Where authorities have posted signs, these will override any other considerations. Respect any location that may not be signposted or listed in any publication. Many locations throughout the country, especially in more remote regions, offer the opportunity to stay overnight. Please remember that these locations will only be available if you uphold the spirit of the Code of Conduct. Respect any person of authority that may request you to move on.
3. To not use awnings, chairs or barbeques unless in a designated camping area.
To be aware of surroundings and only camp in appropriate areas. For example, it may not be acceptable to set up overnight camp in a roadside rest area.
Not all locations are suitable for camping. Many locations may be suitable for just one night’s rest. Please use good judgment when you decide to set up camp. Members of the public are sympathetic to an overnight rest, but are not so sympathetic to those who set up camp in an inappropriate location. Campfires and laundry hanging from trees are certain to attract unwanted attention. Please only camp in locations that are obviously camping locations.
4. To not drive in any area or use hydraulic jacks or other levelling devices such as wooden blocks when damage may occur to soft surfaces.
Heavy vehicles may damage soft surfaces through inappropriate use of levelling blocks or jacks. Driving any vehicles on soft surfaces may cause damage.
Many locations are hard based but some are grassed. These areas can easily be damaged. Authorities will be reluctant to allow the use of these locations if users cause damage to surfaces that would require continual maintenance. Users of large, heavy vehicles should be especially cautious where they park.
5. To always leave an area cleaner than I find it.
This responsible behaviour illustrates your commitment to the Leave No Trace® Scheme.
Please use a pair of gloves and put any rubbish into a plastic bag and place into any bins at the location.
6. To always take care of the natural environment.
If they are permitted, keep campfires small, and do not collect firewood from inappropriate areas. Do not cut living foliage, pick wildflowers or disturb wildlife.
7. To park my vehicle so as not to obstruct reasonable passage, exit or access to other vehicles or property.
Please be courteous and do not park in a manner that impedes the movement of other vehicles. Many rest areas also serve as access points for local properties. Be aware of any tracks or gates. Do not park in rest areas that are used by heavy transports in a manner that impedes their movements. Always try to park to one side so that they can see you as they enter the area. Trucks are an important part of our economy, and the misuse of rest areas by RVs may jeopardise the use of the site.
8. To not park overnight or camp within line of sight of a caravan park unless in an approved overnight rest area.
Caravan parks are an important part of the RVing way of life. It is essential that we support caravan parks whenever possible. However, we need to realise that not all caravan parks support stopping in locations other than in a commercial park. Please do not provoke any adverse response by parking where this may happen.
9. To dispose of all rubbish, and grey and black water in an appropriate manner.
All grey and black water MUST be retained in holding tanks at all times, unless permitted to drain grey water onto the ground by a controlling authority. Grey and black water taps must be closed at all times whilst travelling.
This is the key to the Leave No Trace® Scheme. When you leave a site, ensure that you only leave tyre marks. Wherever practically possible, use public dump points and rubbish bins. Before setting out to remote areas, ensure that grey and black water holding tanks are empty. Where there is absolutely no alternative, please refer to the CMCA Bush Camping Code.
10. To display the Leave No Trace® accreditation card on the front passenger side of my vehicle windscreen, or for towed units, on the window closest to the entrance door, and to remove it prior to my disposing of the vehicle.
The expiry date on the accreditation card reflects the Club Membership renewal date.
11. To purchase fuel, food or supplies as a form of thanks, whenever feasible.
As you travel this country, be aware that the various authorities have made many locations available to you, to encourage you to stay in their area. A simple way of showing your appreciation to these authorities is to patronise business in the area. Authorities will support your visits, especially if their constituents are happy and supportive of the facilities that the authorities have supplied.
The Regulating Authority of the Leave No Trace® Self Containment Code of Conduct Scheme is the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia Ltd. 49 The Avenue, Wickham NSW.