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Archive | December, 2012

Camping in RV and Car in Russia

Camping and travel by car, Recreational Vehicle and trailer in Russia

There are challenges and rewards to travel by car or RV in Russia. Russia is the biggest country in the world and has many less-traveled roads and sites to explore. The usual entrance for an RV (of car) to Russia is from teh European side, through the borders with Latvia, Estonia or Finland

There are few campgrounds, and in addition to travel visas, registration is required if you stay more than 3 days in one place. Secure parking is a must, it is

Car tours in Soviet Union

Vintage Soviet Russia Tours

dangerous to leave your RV, trailer or car alone. They make an attractive nuisance, especially because RVs are rarely seen on Russian highways.

In the countryside finding people who speak good English gets more difficult. Locals often k

now some, but have to chance to practice. Be patient and you will communicate and make a friend too. If you break down you might find a good mechanic, but getting parts may take a long time.

 

Available camping sites for RVs usually are aimed at Russian truck drivers and are necessarily primitive to be affordable. You may find parking, a toilet and shower. Never leave your RV alone without some security.  In the cities pay for secured parking.

If you stick to the main roads you will find some camping sites and affordable hotels. Don’t leave anything in your car when you stay at a hotel. try to travel light and keep your beliongings with you. Russian people do not leave anything in their car seats, it will be gone and your car damages when you return.

Camping at Red Square

A rare camping tour at Red Square, Moscow, Russia

 

It is good advice to get gasoline when you can and don’t assume the next village will have it available.

Although facilities are far and few between for campers in Russia, with an open mind and heart it can be done.  If you speak Russian you can negotiate for your needs along the way and find people try to be helpful and are very curious about you.

Once you on the open roads outside the main cities, things can get a little rough. Winter snow, ice and freezing make for a rough surface often with potholes and frost heaves.

 

Russian roads in the country can be rough

Rough Russian Roads

RoughRussian Roads can be rough

That is why heavy built vehicles like Mercedes are popular in Russia. The constant banging and road vibration is hard on vehicles.

Just take it a little slower and your RV or truck will be fine. You won’t make any speed records on Russian roads unless you want to leave your vehicle at the junkyard.

 

 

 

Watch this video to see what the roads look and feel like outside the main cities.

 

 

Camping amongst bears in Russia

Never feed  bears. They  lose their  fear of people and  invade your camp,  picnic table or even tear open a car  if they smell anything interesting. Even the smell of toothpaste! The only cure for a nuisance bear in Russia is to accept it or shoot it.

In the USA, bears are a problem in established parks.  In Yosemite bears broke into 908 vehicles between 2001 and 2007. Minivans topped the field at 26 percent, followed by SUVs at 22.5 percent, small cars at 17.1 percent and sedans at 13.7 percent.

Lucky that in Russia there are not too many minivans. Minivans  smell good.  Minivans are more likely to carry children, who are more likely to spill food and drink. Passengers are more likely to leave food in the vehicle parked overnight.Minivans are easily accessible.  The bears most often break  in by popping open a rear side window.

Bears and camping

Bears and camping don’t mis in Russia or anywhere.

The break-ins might also be the work of a few individuals that have learned to target minivans. Humans have been know to imitate bears and break into cars.

Never leave anything visible or smellable in your car.  A bear can see a cooler or smell a soda can.

Place your food in a bear-proof container away from your camp and your car. Toss a rope over a tall limb and suspend it high in the air.

It is impossible to find campgrounds with  bear-proof  containers in Russia. That is why you see the bears in areas where people like to camp in numbers.

 

Camping near Kaliningrad, Russia

Camping Baltika, Kaliningrad, Russia

Camp in meadow behind Baltica Hotel with a simple stream.
Not a camping site in the European or American standards, but it works. Dogs are permited. Restaurant at the hotel, toilet and so on.
Registration is available through the hotel if the stay is over 3 days. Primitive, but possible place.

Camping Baltika Hotel,  Kaliningrad, Russia

Camping Baltika Hotel, Kaliningrad, Russia

* Kaliningrad-moscow highway
* 236001 Калинингра́д – Kaliningrad
* Northwestern Federal District
* Russia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anywhere can be a campground, but it can be trashy

Camping trash

Beautiful Lake Arey, spoiled in this spot by thoughtless campers.

There are millions of beautiful lakes and places in Russia and the farther you get from people, the more pristine it will be.

There are very few places with trash cans and few understand the concept of “leave only footsteps and take only pictures.”

 

 

Camping trash can be a problem in Russia
Unfortunately there is no centralized system for trash collection or removal.
It has only been about ten years that many people have had cars and this is a new challenge in Russia.
No on wants to clean up after others and the regional governments have not stepped into put trash recepacles.

This video shows a typical nice spot by a lake to camp, fish or picnic.

 

Set a good example and carry out all your trash. Just because locals often litter the area, it is not allowed. Let’s hope it will get better!

In Soviet times there was almost no trash in the countryside. It is a phenomenon resulting from cars and modern packaging.

 

Beware of illegal camps in urban areas.

Illegal camp in Moscow

Illegal camp in Moscow

Illegal camping in downtown Moscow.

In the warm months many will

seek refuge in nature and often a person can camp in remote areas without worry of repercussions. Sometimes it is a shelter near a vegetable plot or a fisherman’s hut.

But it is not a good idea to try it in the city.

 

Between highways, along creeks and rivers, a camp may appear

Here is a group shelter downtown in a fill-in spot by some locals who seem to want to feel the outdoors. But it looks more like a homeless shelter and person here may expect repercussions from city officials or police. It is much better to make a deal with a hotel and make a legal camp in their parking lot than risk life and property without permission.

 

Looking pretty messy in an urban camp

 

 

RV Camping Hotels in St. Petersburg

 

RV Camping at the Elizar Hotel in St. Petersburg, Russia

Elizar Hotel camper parking

Elizar Hotel camper parking

 

Elizar Hotel in St. Petersburg offers a new service for campers and travelers with motorhomes, campers, caravans – with special parking for caravans.

Parking is located in a protected area at the Elizar Hotel, near the center of St. Petersburg.
Each parking place has electricity and garbage removal is provided.

Guest services:

* Sanitary and household unit of general use:
a shower, dressing with clean water, drain dirty;
* Recreation;
* Pets allowed.

For an additional fee you can use the services of a cafe, sauna, laundry service, book a sightseeing program.

Contact Information

 

 

Elizar picnic and recreation areas

Elizar picnic and recreation areas

192029,
Russia,
St. Petersburg,
pr Obukhovskoy Defence
e. 89, lit. A

Phone / fax
(812) 336-93-38
336-93-39

Email info@elizar-hotel.ru

 

Elizar Hotel Spa

Elizar Hotel Bath and Sauna

 

 

 

Контактная информация
192029, Россия, Санкт-Петербург, пр. Обуховской обороны,
д. 89, лит. А
Телефон/факс (812) 336-93-38
336-93-39
Электронная почта info@elizar-hotel.ru
565-960-792 Юлия
580-834-689 Мария

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