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mumumum4
26-01-2012, 10:08
We go to France mostly every year, but this will be our first year with a campervan (self build LDV convoy minibus). We intend to travel to the south in July and use aires on the way. We have 2 daughters of 15 and shall be staying, once there, wherever we stop that night, at small municipal campsites, as we have no on board shower, and there isn't a lot of room in the upper bed, so we use a drive away awning with a wee tent inside, or even just the wee tent.

Anyway, we have never used an aire, though we have seen many on our travels staying in tents and gites. We intend to tow a small trailer (5'x3'3") behind the campervan to carry all the extra cycling stuff, cycles and chairs etc. Would a campervan with a trailer be allowed in an aire?

Thanks
Alison

snowbirds
26-01-2012, 11:31
Hi Alison

We have traveled in Europe and have used Aires for a few years , most Aires books explain the rules.In the" All the Aires France" book it says French law forbids caravan and tents from using these Aires,they are just for motorhomes to be parked responsibly and their users to cook and sleep in them. But French law does not allow for camping, ie winding out awnings,and putting out tables and chairs.I think you may get away with the trailer
depending on the time of year and the size of the Aires parking spaces as a lot of them only have marked parking bays , and you park close to the next van.We used both Aires and camp sites on our trips and some are better than others, hope this helps.:goodluck:

regards Snowbirds




We go to France mostly every year, but this will be our first year with a campervan (self build LDV convoy minibus). We intend to travel to the south in July and use aires on the way. We have 2 daughters of 15 and shall be staying, once there, wherever we stop that night, at small municipal campsites, as we have no on board shower, and there isn't a lot of room in the upper bed, so we use a drive away awning with a wee tent inside, or even just the wee tent.

Anyway, we have never used an aire, though we have seen many on our travels staying in tents and gites. We intend to tow a small trailer (5'x3'3") behind the campervan to carry all the extra cycling stuff, cycles and chairs etc. Would a campervan with a trailer be allowed in an aire?

Thanks
Alison

wolfie69
26-01-2012, 11:36
HI

We spent 3 weeks last August touring France staying on Aires, and saw several MH with Trailers. You may have to un hook it and have it by your side.

Some Aires, that have hard standing and dedicated parking bays may not accommodate.

For Example:

The Free Aires at the Youth Hostel in Riems

49.249947,4.021526

Would not fit a trailer at busy times as they only have 7 parking bays (that said the night we stayed there were 10 MH)

The Same at the Free Aires Charleville-Mézières

49.778961,4.719854

But at this one:

Géraudot
48.302277,4.335364

A couple of HM had Trailers

I can't remember the others we stayed at, off the top of my head, but definitively saw MH with trailers at several ones we stopped at.

Cheer
Matthew

mumumum4
26-01-2012, 11:40
Hi Snowbirds,

Thanks for that. I do intend to get that book. We weren't intending to use the awning or tent in the aires. Just the upper bunk for the girls for a quick overnight enroute to the south. It was just the trailer itself I wondered about. I will have a look at the rules involving the use of aires. Stupidly I never thought of doing that!

Thanks
Alison

mumumum4
26-01-2012, 11:43
Thanks Wolfie for that. It sounds very hopeful, and also thanks for the links.

Alison

MORGANTHEMOON
26-01-2012, 12:33
Are you allowed to sit on chairs outside your door?

defitzi
26-01-2012, 12:46
:cool1: nae borra I've been towing trailers, m'bikesw etc :scooter: ears on end all over europe...where the van goes the trailer/yacht also goes :boat:I have never had any problem in an aire - I take it we are talking about a wee- well wee-ish up to sayh 4/5 metres max and likely much less trailer: if so many of the vans will be very much longer than your outfit....
same goes for non aire parking and free car parks ( yes such things do exist!) largely outside of the UK- 'thing is geting a space but.....suggest couple of long chains so u can park side by side quite useful sometimes or block the trailer in with your van .... great at railway stations when u bag a space as the commuters go home and want to go on train somewhere .....!!!!!:fun:

Eve
26-01-2012, 13:38
The following things not allowed

1/ Erecting/using awning
2/ Erecting/sleeping in a tent
3/ Using table/chairs
4/ Hanging out washing
5/ BBQs
You will find that a lot of French campers do not adhere to these rules, and if you are parked in a secluded aire, no houses etc; you can usually get away with some of the above. Just use a bit of common sense and you will be fine. Trailers are allowed, just take care as to where you park so you are not taking or encroaching on another pitch or causing an obstruction :have fun:

Eve
26-01-2012, 13:41
Are you allowed to sit on chairs outside your door?

In a word NO but if you are in a country type aire (not in centre of village) then you will find that you will probably be ok

:have fun:

snowbirds
26-01-2012, 13:44
Hi Morgan

I did not mean to be over the top with Aires parking, it's only a quote reading from the book, We sit out with wine or beer with chairs and a table to the front or back of the van as the sun and parking suits, some Aires have seats and benches, you just play it by ear and see what the other van are up to. All the Motorhomers were a very friendly bunch.
You will find the Aires start to fill up from about three onwards in the afternoon depending on time of year.

Happy camping Snowbirds.:beer::beer:


Are you allowed to sit on chairs outside your door?

channa
26-01-2012, 14:03
it wont be a problem a lot of super markets let you park, in resect of the aires you will workit out a lot depens purely on the size and as already mentoned, ldv inc trailer is shorter than a lot of the motorhomes
channa

defitzi
26-01-2012, 14:49
:wave:
Are you allowed to sit on chairs outside your door?

do it all the time never a problem U must not camp no one says can't have a picnic b b q even
uually put up umberrells for sun sticks down middle of table no problems it's not the UK is
:bow:France

channa
26-01-2012, 15:35
:wave:

do it all the time never a problem U must not camp no one says can't have a picnic b b q even
uually put up umberrells for sun sticks down middle of table no problems it's not the UK is
:bow:France:yeahthat: and long may they never adopt our societies narrow minded and blinkered attitude,

channa

hobbyvanman and her
26-01-2012, 15:38
We go to France mostly every year, but this will be our first year with a campervan (self build LDV convoy minibus). We intend to travel to the south in July and use aires on the way. We have 2 daughters of 15 and shall be staying, once there, wherever we stop that night, at small municipal campsites, as we have no on board shower, and there isn't a lot of room in the upper bed, so we use a drive away awning with a wee tent inside, or even just the wee tent.

Anyway, we have never used an aire, though we have seen many on our travels staying in tents and gites. We intend to tow a small trailer (5'x3'3") behind the campervan to carry all the extra cycling stuff, cycles and chairs etc. Would a campervan with a trailer be allowed in an aire?

Thanks
Alison

Hi Alison, I regularly stay on Aires in France Spain etc., usually you will have no problem with a small trailer but definitely don't try and stay over in a tent, even an awning is usually a problem so I think your best option is a municipal camp site.

Regards,
Bob

mumumum4
27-01-2012, 06:35
Thanks everyone for your helpful advice. Thanks defitzi, for that. Yes the campervan is 5m and the trailer 5 feet, so smaller than many motorhomes. We have no intention of using the awning or tent in an aire. Just a quick night stopover. We might just use supermarkets as it will likely be pretty late before we stop, and might not get a space in an aire. We have seen motorhomes in Lidl car parks in France. I expect our most difficult place to find an overnight place will not be in France but in England on the way to Dover. It's over 600 miles for us just to get to Dover. We normally drive to Dover overnight and cross in the morning, but the LDV will never manage that, as it is too slow.

shortcircuit
27-01-2012, 07:39
Parked in an aire south of La Rochelle. French neighbour had awning out with legs on the ground, table and chairs out. Local police arrived and spoke to neighbour which resulted in the legs being lifted and fitted to the small brackets attached to the side of the MH, they were now off the ground at an angle to ground and not upright. Police were happy and went on there way although what was pleasing was that they regularly patrolled the area. In an aire near St Malo, which was at one time a camp site so plenty room, it was awning out, groundsheet down, table and chairs and in this instance the police showed no interest

I fitted an awning to my MH last year and ensured these brackets were fitted

steco1958
27-01-2012, 09:07
I take my boat down to Spain each year on the back of the MH, this is classed as a trailer, just be aware you may need to unhitch, and if that is the case, ensure you have some way of securing the trailer.

I always use a length of chain with a lock.

Romahomepete
28-01-2012, 17:36
You can sty overnight at the Park and Ride in Canterbury, you just pay for parking. You can also stay overnight on Marine Parade in Dover or the Dover Patrol Monument. You can also stay overnight at motorway services as long as you pay but I would not recommend that. There are also many CLs and CSs close to the motorway nertwork - we make use of these.

Peter

shortcircuit
28-01-2012, 18:37
You can sty overnight at the Park and Ride in Canterbury, you just pay for parking. You can also stay overnight on Marine Parade in Dover or the Dover Patrol Monument. You can also stay overnight at motorway services as long as you pay but I would not recommend that. There are also many CLs and CSs close to the motorway nertwork - we make use of these.

Peter

I got caught out at Canterbury, closed on Sunday, so ok if you are in on Saturday. We found a CC&C holiday site just out of Folkstone which did the job but may consider Marine Parade next time.

mumumum4
29-01-2012, 05:44
Thanks for all your help with ideas everyone. We are members of C&CC so will look at that too. I don't fancy motorway services, they are just too noisy, though we have stopped in them for short naps. I like the idea of Canterbury park and ride too, thanks for that.
I'm very impressed with the amount of help and advice you get on this site. It's very useful to learn about other people's experiences. It gives me a lot more confidence when making our own choices.
Thanks again
Alison

barryd
29-01-2012, 15:10
The site CAMPINGCAR-INFOS (http://www.campingcar-infos.com) is the best source of Aires. The Aires book from Vicarious Books is also good but doesnt have them all as the name suggests. They are also I think a bit over the top in the way they lay the law down about Aire usage. Its just common sense. If the Aire is a massive field with nobody on it no one is going to object to you putting a sunshade out and a couple of chairs. If its a packed tight car park in a town then thats a different story.

I always tend to have a plan b and maybe a c. If I arrive at an aire and its not suitable then I try and make sure there are a couple of other options nearby. There usually is.

You should be able to get a good idea of the size of an aire and suitablity for taking your trailer from the campingcar infos site, street view or google earth / maps but you can never be 100% sure until you arrive.

Techno100
29-01-2012, 18:36
The point of the rules is to stop people taking up more than 1 space. Imagine if you turned up late and the only space left had an awning out and table n chairs on it?
Many aires have clearly marked bays but do have grass areas where no one would complain about folk spreading out and having a social!
Some aires are huge and no marked bays at all.
St Valery en Caux is especially cramped and a trailer certainly would raise eyebrows if you can get in at all
http://techno.smugmug.com/Travel/Saint-Vallery-en-Caux/i-3FZGGhJ/0/L/DSC0656-L.jpg
But St Valery Sur Somme has oceans of space
http://techno.smugmug.com/Travel/St-Valery-sur-somme/i-D9MJhkp/0/L/DSC0296-L.jpg

t&s
06-02-2012, 16:50
good photos nice aires thank you


The point of the rules is to stop people taking up more than 1 space. Imagine if you turned up late and the only space left had an awning out and table n chairs on it?
Many aires have clearly marked bays but do have grass areas where no one would complain about folk spreading out and having a social!
Some aires are huge and no marked bays at all.
St Valery en Caux is especially cramped and a trailer certainly would raise eyebrows if you can get in at all
http://techno.smugmug.com/Travel/Saint-Vallery-en-Caux/i-3FZGGhJ/0/L/DSC0656-L.jpg
But St Valery Sur Somme has oceans of space
http://techno.smugmug.com/Travel/St-Valery-sur-somme/i-D9MJhkp/0/L/DSC0296-L.jpg

williammpark
17-08-2013, 06:27
this site is good for previewing aires it's in french but view in google chrome for a translation :)

Aire Service et Stationnement pour camping-car avec photos panoramique 360° en France (http://www.aire-service-camping-car-panoramique.fr)

Gee
15-06-2014, 13:59
this site is good for previewing aires it's in french but view in google chrome for a translation :)

Aire Service et Stationnement pour camping-car avec photos panoramique 360° en France (http://www.aire-service-camping-car-panoramique.fr)

That's a great site for viewing aires. Similar to Google street view but better 360 of the actual aire. The wee white van seems to be the company van as its parked in the photos.

TravlinWilburys
25-08-2015, 10:20
Hi all,
This info is great and really useful. Quick question, have any of you seen land rovers with roof tents in use in the aires?
Thanks, Lynne

WildThingsKev
25-08-2015, 10:27
Hi all,
This info is great and really useful. Quick question, have any of you seen land rovers with roof tents in use in the aires?
Thanks, Lynne

Nope, but I have seen this:

derathe
25-08-2015, 10:39
play it by aire....


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