What is Reading Festival Campervan Field Like?
Reading Campervan Field is basic but reasonably organised. Not perhaps, to the same level as say Download Festival or Glastonbury. It has all the facilities you would expect, like toilets, water and chemical toilet disposal. It is relatively secure for a big festival.
It’s quieter than most other areas at Reading Festival, because it’s the most remote of the campsites. The downside of this is that it’s a long way from the arena and involves a lot of walking, which can be heavy going in the mud.
What tickets do I need to stay in the Reading Campervan Field?
You will need to purchase a weekend ticket for each occupant of the campervan or caravan. The Campervan Permit is a supplementary pass and you just need one per campervan/caravan. It comes as a windscreen sticker which needs to be clearly displayed in the windscreen of your van on arrival at the site. Tickets for the campervan fields cost £75 in advance (2020 price)
Does Reading Campervan Field sell out?
Reading Campervan Field doesn’t always sell out, but it appears to be getting more popular every year to take campervans and caravans. It is cheaper to buy your ticket in advance so it would seem to make sense to buy in advance rather than leaving it to chance.
Will the van be searched when entering the festival?
Your vehicle may be searched on entry to the campervan field. The security staff will check for any items not permitted on site, as specified in the Terms and Conditions and will confiscate any banned items and may refuse entry to the site. The Security Team’s decision is final.
How big are the pitches?
Reading campervan field does not have marked pitches. Vans are arranged in double rows with a fire lane between each double row. Festival staff are on hand to help you park up and they will try and get you close to the next van.
The staff are often young volunteers and not experienced campervanners or caravanners so make sure they leave enough space for your awning, gazebo or tent if you have one. It’s a good idea to send one of your party out to explain to them how much space you’ll need before they move you forward into your pitch.
What about Car Parking if you have a caravan?
The towing vehicle must stay on the pitch with you. It’s easiest to leave the car in front of the caravan and just unhitch so you can level the van.
It’s against the rules for caravans to be dropped off by a towing vehicle that is not staying with the caravan. People do sometime get away with doing this but theoretically they could ask you to leave at your own cost.
What is allowed on the pitch?
The festival organisers are tightening up on this a lot of late so read carefully and make sure you can comply with the rules.
Only the following camping vehicles will be allowed in the Campervan Field: campervan; motorhome; caravan; trailer tent; purpose-built vehicle with camping facilities within.
The following vehicles are not allowed: van with a mattress or bunk bed only. Or, crucially, any other vehicle deemed to be inappropriate by the festival organisers (See the section below which details the official definition of campervans/caravans).
Where are you allowed to sleep?
You can’t sleep in cars, people carriers or ordinary, unconverted vans. You are only permitted to sleep in your campervan, caravan, awning or a tent.
What counts as a campervan/caravan?
If you are in a ‘normal’ campervan, motorhome, caravan or trailer tent, you’ll be fine. For van conversions and more unusual vehicles, it would be a good idea to read the following official definition of a campervan/caravan which is taken from the official Reading regulations:
- There must be a door that provides access to the living accommodation.
- A bed, which is an integral part of the living quarters which has a minimum length of 1800mm or 6 feet. This can be converted at night from seats used for other purposes during the day but must be permanently fixed within the body of the vehicle.
- There must be a water storage tank or container on or in the vehicle.
- A seating and dining area, permanently attached to the vehicle. The table may be detachable but must have some permanent means of attachment to the vehicle. It’s not good enough to have a loose table.
- There must be a permanently fixed means of storage, a cupboard, locker or wardrobe.
- There must be a permanently fixed cooking facility within the vehicle powered by gas or.
- There must be at least one window on the side of the accommodation
Can I pitch a tent?
You are allowed one gazebo, awning or tent at the side of your van. Several times we have had a van plus awning and a small tent, and the stewards have been fine with it, as it didn’t really take up any extra space beyond our footprint but the official rule is that you are allowed just the one.
You do see people pushing the limits with this, but if you push it too far you risk the wrath of the stewards.
What about gas cylinders?
Large gas cylinders are not allowed anywhere on site unless they are professionally installed within the camping vehicle. So, your integrated gas supply in your campervan/caravan is ok. Stand-alone gas bottles/cartridges are not permitted, so leave them at home.
There is a history of pretty insane behaviour with gas canisters at festivals, so the stewards take this one very seriously.
Can I take petrol generators?
Nope! Petrol is very dangerous, and generators are annoying. If you are found with any petrol you will be launched from the Reading festival site without the aid of a safety net.
Are fires allowed?
Fires are not allowed in the Campervan field, but BBQs are ok as long as they are 3m away from any vehicle. If the BBQ is flaming a bit and it’s more of a fire than a BBQ, its basically down to the discretion of the stewards as to whether you need to put it out.
Is glass allowed?
You can’t have glass anywhere in the festival. If you bring beer, make sure it’s in cans. Put wine and spirits into plastic bottles. Use plastic glasses, if you’re posh. You do see glass bottles being confiscated all the time at the entrance. There is no flexibility about this.
Are flags allowed?
Flags are allowed in the Campervan Field not in the arena. It’s not Glastonbury. If you take a flag into the arena, prepare to be escorted out of the arena on the end of it.
Can I take alcohol into the arena?
No alcohol can be taken into the arena. Security staff will pat you down as you enter the arena so you would need to be pretty crafty to get much past them. If they find any alcohol on you, they will just confiscate it.
When do you need to vacate the Campervan Site?
You and all your kit need to be off the Campervan Field by 12:00pm on the Monday after the festival. The festival staff will come around and encourage you to get a move on. In our experience, most people in the campervan field don’t hang around and it clears pretty quickly.
Are the pitches flat?
Yes, the pitches are mostly very flat, but you do come across the odd pot-hole that can make things difficult. We’ve always had great pitches.
Are there toilets, showers, elsan points and water?
There are a small number of toilets in White Camp which are usually well maintained. There is a drinking water tap and sometimes (not always) a small block or sinks which get used for everything from brushing teeth to washing dishes to cleaning wellies and can get a bit grim. There is also a chemical toilet disposal tank.
There aren’t normally showers in the campervan field. There are showers on site if you can be bothered to walk. Either use the shower in your van, if you have one, or do like we do and just go natural for a few days.
What the Security like?
It’s the furthest out and quietest camping area so this probably makes it one of the more secure camping areas. Security and festival staff do patrol occasionally. There are security lights around the perimeter, but it is a large field so mostly quite dark at night.
The campervan field is not the worst campsite for thieving at Reading Festival but with as many as 100,000 people there, there’s bound to be one or two light fingered types about so take sensible precautions. Lock your van up when you’re not there and don’t leave valuables lying around in your awning or tent. Put them in your van and you should be fine.
How far is it to the stages from the Campervan Field?
From the Campervan Field, rough estimates for walking time to the main arena is 25 – 30 minutes depending on mud and blood alcohol levels.
If particular band’s set is bringing a lot of people into the arena, it could easily take an extra 10-15 mins to get through security. Set off early if you don’t want to miss anything.
Is it muddy?
Reading Festival is lovely if its sunny. If it rains, it’s a mud bath. You will need wellies. Just take the usual precautions and try not to get upset when you get a bit mucky. See here for tips Top Tips to Help You Survive Festival Rain and Mud https://festivalvanlife.com/top-tips-survive-festival-rain-mud/
Where can I get more information?
Hopefully this article will answer most questions for first-timers in the Reading Campervan Field. If you have other questions or useful information to share, please feel free to add them to the comments below or message us via The Festival Vanlife Facebook Page and we will do our best to answer them.
Alternatively, best place to get more information about the Reading Campervan Field is:
The Reading Festival website https://www.Readingfestival.com/