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davecasafundada
24-01-2013, 18:38
Hi all

Although we have had tourers for a number of years and I have towed in France a couple of times we are not experienced with our motorhome and a little daunted on some aspects of using it abroad. We were going to leave it until the Autumn before crossing the channel but fed up with the weather and fancy getting away for a month towards end of February. We know later would perhaps be better, but it has to be sooner rather than later.

At 60, our being too adventurous days are behind us :o so I had thought something like this:

Dover to Dunkirk or Calais, then up to a week travelling down towards Spain where (don't swear at me) we have a couple of weeks on a commercial site, probably booked through C&CC, then a week making our way back. So using Aires on way down and back and there seems to be lots of good suggested locations on here. Sound like reasonable itinerary?

Now the last time I went we had a map and a continental guide book !!! Should I upgrade my Tom Tom? how easy is it to find WiFi? I was thinking about Ipad anyway, is now the time? In other words whats essential and whats just handy to have.


Any thoughts, tip, advice gratefully received, Dave and Ginny

phillybarbour
24-01-2013, 18:46
France is so easy, all the aires book, update the Tom Tom and McDonald's for your wi-fi and your away on a lost adventure. At that time of year almost every aire with have plenty of space even later in the day.

Hope you enjoy the ride.

P.s. 60 is no age at all.

dave and mary
24-01-2013, 19:06
Hi, First at 60 your adventurous days are just starting. We have been doing this sort of thing for years i will tell you what we do but every one is different. A book called camper stop ( to us the best thing since sliced bread ) down load the country's you intend to go to then whenever you have had enough of driving stop push the button on the sat nav and it tells you where the nearest site is look in the book see if its free or if there is a charge it lists all the site and the distance pick one and follow the sat nav. We set the sat nav for no toll roads, last year we spent 5 weeks in France and never spent a euro on tolls or site rents. Have a great trip. The other half says its great not to be looking at maps all the time and can enjoy the scenery :drive::drive:

Techno100
24-01-2013, 19:43
Don't bother with breathalysers, they've been scrapped indefinitely

silverweed
24-01-2013, 19:43
We went to France for the first time in 2011. I had never driven abroad before and I can tell you I was NOT LOOKING FORWARD to it. 60 is staring me in the face, truly don't worry. It was do easy once I actually took the wheel I surprised my self. We have not yet used a camp site, you will always find somewhere suitable to stop. Really!! Don't worry, just have a great time

Ironjaws
24-01-2013, 19:44
I can't believe you say that your adventurous days are over, go for it! We're older and the only difference is time goes quicker. Grow old disgracefully!!!

Seriously its very easy in France, most places welcome camping-caristes, most towns have some sort of facility, parking, water, disposal point, some you pay a little some are free. Look at the site CAMPINGCAR-INFOS (http://www.campingcar-infos.com) it has 4500 aires in France with grid references. All in French but once you've broken into finding the site it is really easy and its free!

Good luck, keep going south though, still a wet cold month in the north.

Ian

Ironjaws
24-01-2013, 19:48
Hi Techno10, breathalysers are not scrapped indefinitely and you must have two on 1st March. They MAY be scrapped, its under consideration but no change yet. Don't buy on ferry, a complete rip-off though. Try a supermarket, tabac or even a chemist.

Techno100
24-01-2013, 19:48
Nope your'e wrong

http://about-france.com/travel.htm#laws

alhod
24-01-2013, 19:50
There are lots of resources to locate aires in France either on line, in printed guides or via download to your satnav. However, do remember that France in February is not quite as mh friendly as later in the year and whilst many of the aires will probably be available as parking for the night many will also be shut down for the winter and you will not be able to pick up water, drop waste or hook up. So be careful that the one you choose to use does what you want it to at the end of February!
To kick it off, one good one close to Calais is the Aire de la Baie de Somme, on the A16 about 1 hour south from Calais. Open all year with full services, good dedicated parking, secure and everything including showers, restaurant etc. And its free! Not a place to stop for a holiday but ideal as a staging post en route to/from Calais ferry or tunnel for an early start either way. Another we have used is in the centre of Le Mans, beside the river. Quite good for a site in the city, relatively quiet and again with all services available all year.

Hope this helps
Alan



Any thoughts, tip, advice gratefully received, Dave and Ginny[/QUOTE]

Techno100
24-01-2013, 19:54
The aires I've visited so far. Most (not all) are the favourites for newbies crossing to Calais. Just for the flavour.
Techno's Photos : Travel | SmugMug (http://techno.smugmug.com/Travel)

BGT180
24-01-2013, 20:01
Hi all

Although we have had tourers for a number of years and I have towed in France a couple of times we are not experienced with our motorhome and a little daunted on some aspects of using it abroad. We were going to leave it until the Autumn before crossing the channel but fed up with the weather and fancy getting away for a month towards end of February. We know later would perhaps be better, but it has to be sooner rather than later.

At 60, our being too adventurous days are behind us :o so I had thought something like this:

Dover to Dunkirk or Calais, then up to a week travelling down towards Spain where (don't swear at me) we have a couple of weeks on a commercial site, probably booked through C&CC, then a week making our way back. So using Aires on way down and back and there seems to be lots of good suggested locations on here. Sound like reasonable itinerary?

Now the last time I went we had a map and a continental guide book !!! Should I upgrade my Tom Tom? how easy is it to find WiFi? I was thinking about Ipad anyway, is now the time? In other words whats essential and whats just handy to have.



Any thoughts, tip, advice gratefully received, Dave and Ginny

60!!! Turned 70 in December & adventure is the name of the game. I'm sitting on a site in Spain (Javea) having come down using aires in France and Spain. We use the tunnel courtesy of tesco vouchers and like others spend little on sites using aires . Get All the Aires from Vicarious Books; upgrade TomTom to include western Europe and head for the tunnel.

silverweed
24-01-2013, 20:34
Larger petrol stations I found had service points. Fresh water, token bought at the kiosk and grey water disposal, also toilet disposal

Ironjaws
24-01-2013, 20:54
Techno, Well pleased to be proven wrong, only been announced today it seems so I feel a bit redeemed. I don't expect even my fellow expats know yet, rather expected but good to know that a ridiculous piece of legislation has been postponed indefinitely. Thanks!

rugbyken
24-01-2013, 20:55
if you want the reassurance of full sites for your first trip then look at an acsi card you purchase a card and a couple of books for about 15 with hundreds of sites, basically they have pre negotiated a discount for you the dearest site is 16 euros and that would be a beachside site with pool etc you may have to go a long way down though to find many sites open all year,
as someone else said the baie de somme services on the motorway just after boulogne is a superb first stop if you cross in the evening its the first services on the peage/toll section so is quite safe, dont be old before your time i'm 63 next month and we will be spending it in portugal touring around for 5 1/2 weeks,
there are lots of rescources to find stops, lots of us use the french site CAMPINGCAR-INFOS (http://www.campingcar-infos.com/index1.htm) and vicarious books stock a load of motorhome specific books , get out there and enjoy yourself will be no stopping you once your up and running.

snowbirds
25-01-2013, 02:50
Hi davecasafundada,


Great idea, it's great driving in Europe traffic is light fuel is cheaper food good lots of Aires to use friendly campers,you won't want to come back.

Regards Snowbirds.:dance::dance:







Hi all

Although we have had tourers for a number of years and I have towed in France a couple of times we are not experienced with our motorhome and a little daunted on some aspects of using it abroad. We were going to leave it until the Autumn before crossing the channel but fed up with the weather and fancy getting away for a month towards end of February. We know later would perhaps be better, but it has to be sooner rather than later.

At 60, our being too adventurous days are behind us :o so I had thought something like this:

Dover to Dunkirk or Calais, then up to a week travelling down towards Spain where (don't swear at me) we have a couple of weeks on a commercial site, probably booked through C&CC, then a week making our way back. So using Aires on way down and back and there seems to be lots of good suggested locations on here. Sound like reasonable itinerary?

Now the last time I went we had a map and a continental guide book !!! Should I upgrade my Tom Tom? how easy is it to find WiFi? I was thinking about Ipad anyway, is now the time? In other words whats essential and whats just handy to have.


Any thoughts, tip, advice gratefully received, Dave and Ginny

davecasafundada
25-01-2013, 11:18
Many thanks indeed to everyone for such quick and very helpful replies, and for making us feel younger, encouraging and evoking our 'spirit of adventure!' :dance:

Have a copy of Camperstop Europe on it's way, have looked up a couple of Tom Tom bargains, and have found a couple of sites offering free POI downloads, Pocketworld being one of them with loads of files including LPG, MacDonalds, fuel, supermakets...the list is endless! I have also downloaded POI for Aires and Campsites for 2010 but I can't remember where I found it! (is there a later version to be found somewhere?).

As for channel crossing; cheepest Ferry was DFDS from Dover Dunkirk at 58 for cheepest and 88 for better sailing times, 4th March out 1st April back. (any known cunning ways to search for best crossings?)

Thanks all, Dave and Ginny, raring to goooooo :)

dave and mary
25-01-2013, 12:09
Hi dave,you could save a bit more with tesco points and use the tunnel just a thought :drive: :drive:


Another thing we never book a return as it does limit you a bit , people on here have said you always change them. Again we are different when we get to the port to return to the uk we go to the ticket office and book for a night crossing, then go of and sleep, or go into town, then when we get to dover the M25 is CLEAR and makes the last bit home, for us a lt better

davecasafundada
25-01-2013, 12:52
Hi dave,you could save a bit more with tesco points and use the tunnel just a thought :drive: :drive:


Another thing we never book a return as it does limit you a bit , people on here have said you always change them. Again we are different when we get to the port to return to the uk we go to the ticket office and book for a night crossing, then go of and sleep, or go into town, then when we get to dover the M25 is CLEAR and makes the last bit home, for us a lt better

Thanks Dave and Mary, we have 90 of rewards at the minute which gives us 19 to pay on P&O but the tunnel cheapest is still be another 80

Getting better all the time! :fun:

davecasafundada
25-01-2013, 13:07
Thanks Dave and Mary, we have 90 of rewards at the minute which gives us 19 to pay on P&O but the tunnel cheapest is still be another 80

Getting better all the time! :fun:

Oh no...just noticed thats to Ireland only with PO, darn:sad:


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