We ended up spending 16 days and covering in the region of 1200 miles through Romania in August 2011 and what an experience it has been. The intention of this trip was to provide us with a 'taster' of Eastern Europe as I think it's impossible to attempt to see everything on a single trip and indeed would leave nothing for future trips so in some cases we intentionally missed places which were too far from our planned route.
Romania has been everything we had hoped for and more besides - from the moment we crossed the border at Satu Mare from Hungary it was hard to believe we were in Europe at all, never mind still within the European Union. Horse and carts were everywhere, the villages were unlike anything we had seen in previous countries and in some places the roads were terrible!
If you are travelling in a motorhome of any value it is worth taking some time to carefully plan a route especially when the intention is to deviate too far from main roads. These can vary greatly in quality and in many cases do so irrespective of the grade of road which ranges from A, DX, DN, DJ and to DC. For us the worst strech was when travelling from the top of the Transfagarasan Highway towards the Virdu Dam - a video of which can be found on the bottom of our blog post here which is surprising given it's popularity with tourists.
Wild Camping is something which is practices by thousands of Romanian's who think nothing of pitching up a tent at the side of the roads or on a hairpin bend! Expect a few curious glances and walk pasts but usually friendly and we had many Romanian's coming up to us offering to share their food, home brewed whisky or asking to borrow a tow rope to pull their Dacia out of a ditch! We would recommend this for mixing with the locals and some of the spots we used are on our Wild Camping pages.
Our strategy for Romania and Bulgaria has been to plan a route to a campsite and then look for a free location en-route. This for us takes the stress out of ending up in an area with no free opportunities and in most cases camp sites were well under £10. Invariably a decent free camp will be a little way off the main roads and usually found next to water or more often a dam. This strategy always worked for us and we were always in company of other campers, usually Romanian's in tents but sometimes a small group of Spanish or German van's would roll up too.
The produce available at the roadside is fresh and a great way to interact with the locals, although we are yet to find out what the yellow liquid in recycled plastic bottles was - answers in the comment section please!
To read more about our trip, click here to see all our Romanian Posts.