A squeeze on accommodation ahead of the 50th South West Conveyancing Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic has reignited calls for free camping in the south-west.
Retired Warragul couple Garry and Barbara Clarke travel around in their motorhome and always include the classic on their itinerary.
It's an event they love and brings them back to the city each year.
However, the couple said if it wasn't for the classic, they would probably bypass the city.
"We don't find Warrnambool a very friendly place for campers," Mr Clarke said.
"Everywhere else we go there is no problem finding free camping.
"In Warrnambool, there is no free camping and all accommodation is booked out and then they whinge about people wanting to camp here (at Premier Speedway)."
Mr Clarke said the city had a reputation as being "anti-camping".
His wife said people who travelled regularly were well set-up and very respectful in the way they left their sites.
"We don't leave a footprint," Mrs Clarke said.
A statement from Premier Speedway this week said Warrnambool City Council's regulations did not permit camping in the car parks at the stadium.
Despite the policy, Terang's Samantha Shubb said she and her family had stayed at the site for the classic for years.
"It's convenient, there's a good atmosphere and it means we can have a drink and not worry about getting home," she said.
"It's disappointing if we can't stay here, especially after the two motels were pulled down up the road.
"There's hardly anywhere to stay and we're harmless. We always clean up after ourselves."
Premier Speedway general manager Michael Parry said the policy was not new and a "no camping" sign had been erected at the entrance to the car parks years ago.
"Due to the large number of inquiries we were fielding in relation to camping at the site, we felt we had a duty of care to patrons to remind them of the policy," he said.
The Standard observed a handful of caravans at one of the car parks on Thursday about 1pm.
Mr Parry said they would be asked to be moved on to an allocated area for parking.
Long-time speedway volunteer Kevin Thwaites said if campers weren't in self-contained motorhomes, with their own toilet and shower, they shouldn't stay at the site.
Warrnambool's Peter Brown said he couldn't believe the city didn't offer free camping.
"Most other places have free camping and signs saying RVs welcome," he said.
"Places open up their showgrounds or racecourses for free."
Mr Brown said with motels knocked down this year to make way for two national retailers, and weather events in other parts of the nation, "you would think our local elected people or the local paid officials who run the show would welcome them with open arms".
Mr Brown said it was disappointing Panmure was the only place in the area where people could camp for free.
"If you go out there this weekend, it will be hard to find a spot to camp," he said.
Mr Brown said people who visited cities and camped for free brought money into the economy.
"You always go to the bakery, you always get fuel - you're bringing money into the town," he said.
"I just think Warrnambool is missing out on a golden opportunity to bring some money into the city."
The Standard contacted Warrnambool City Council for comment.