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Admin
30-05-2015, 19:28
Hi,

I have had a request from one of our Full Members.




Hi Phil,
Been having a chat with several others and it seems that quite a few like the idea of wintering in Spain but are a bit nervous of going it alone!
Would it be possible to set up a separate section on the Meets Forum, called 'Spanish Snowbirds' or the like, so we can keep a running thread going for those interested and members can keep up to date on travel arrangements or wilding stops of those already out there?
Maybe set up some POI's on good stops?
Regards Mike



So here it is!

Tezza
30-05-2015, 19:39
Great idea...will look forward to it

vindiboy
30-05-2015, 20:22
We go to Spain and Portugal frequently for Winter so would be happy to give any advice I can, what are the general plans are you interested in using camp sites or pay Aires or wilding, all is very easy in Spain and Portugal and can be done on a low budget or a bigger spend as you wish.

MykCamper
30-05-2015, 21:39
Yeh, has to be wilding, (remember Sunset Beach?), thought it might be a good idea to share some of the remaining free camping with other Full members, might even get some meets going for Us like minded lot!
Might be able to compete with the Krauts!!!:lol-053::lol-053::lol-053::wave:

izwozral
31-05-2015, 00:02
We even have a resident weather forecaster.



:cry::cry::cry::cry:

vindiboy
31-05-2015, 10:51
I have reposted this as I thought it relevant to this thread , and some may be thinking of costs.

What does it cost ?
People often ask about the cost of wintering in Spain /Portugal in a Motorhome, Well on our last trip I was determined to get an answer to what the actual cost of our trip was.I left home with a full tank of Diesel and filled up with Diesel when I was at Calais homeward bound so those costs are included as is the round trip Ferry fare,we had 250 Euros in cash when we sailed and returned with the same amount of cash Euros Everything we spent was on our Post Office credit card including cash withdrawals from the ATMs whilst away and interest that incurred.so our credit card bill reflects the actual cost of the trip.We were away from home for 102 nights, we used Aires and Wild camped, paid a few Euros for some of the Aires ,bought items such as clothes , a Spanish Paella type Barbi cooker, food,drinks and ate out a lot, bought fuel and gas refills .our round trip mileage was 4263 miles 2.8 Turbo diesel Fiat ,we lived really well food and drink wise and had a great time went short of nothing.and brought home a stock of wine and spirits which we always buy at LIDL in Calais, Our TOTAL spend was £2200 and that works out at about £21 -57 per day, I had to have the van fridge repaired in Portugal and that 380 Euros is also included in our costs.
I have just received a refund from Southern Electricity of £103 as I have overpaid on my Electricity bill because we weren't using Electric at home whilst away, or water or gas so there will be some credit there too.So is it cheap to be in Spain for the Winter, you bet it is!

snowbirds
31-05-2015, 11:46
Hi Phil,

I must say it sounds a great idea,we travel for three months from September but time and place is not a problem we only returned last year because of our 90 day insurance cover but we were tempted to stay longer. It would be great to meet others to share ideas and places with.


Regards. Snowbirds.






Hi,

I have had a request from one of our Full Members.



So here it is!

vindiboy
31-05-2015, 12:07
Ever wondered what it is like on a cross channel ferry In the Van ??

306833068430685306863068730688 Easy Peazy.

MykCamper
31-05-2015, 12:47
:idea:I'm planning to head South in the first week of December, before the ferry prices go up for the Xmas rush but won't be crossing to Spain via the (free)Somport Tunnel till mid December, then it will be a straight drive,pp:drive: with rest periods at Aires,:sleep-027: to the mid East Mediterranean coast.:boat:
Hopefully finding a wildcamping place to spend Xmas / New year or longer depending on the weather.:cool:
So if anyone wants to join / accompany me, your welcome:welcome:

vindiboy
31-05-2015, 13:11
I can't think that far ahead but will probably be doing the same so will look out for you on our travels Mike, have fun.:cheers:

vwalan
31-05-2015, 13:15
I can't think that far ahead but will probably be doing the same so will look out for you on our travels Mike, have fun.:cheers:
do you have to think about it.
thought by now it was just habit.
look out for you all somewhere .
december is a bit late though . follow the birds , nature usually gets it right.

Byronic
31-05-2015, 13:49
There's a danger in overthinking, even over planning these decisions. The conflicting advice given on the internet is unlikely to help, probably make some even more nervous. There's only one thing to consider, and that is that many thousands of motorhomers have travelled for long periods overseas past and present, and nearly all have returned unscathed.
And I daresay you're not so much different to most of them.

vwalan
31-05-2015, 14:31
i say just follow the coast . keep the sea on your left /or right and have fun .
you do journeys inland every now and again to visit or see some thing but forget sat nav or planning just go slow .
we never know what we are doing today never mind next week.
after all next time you might go a different way .
takes years to see most of it .
a lifetime and you cant have seen it all.

John Thompson
14-06-2015, 07:39
We normally head off in September/October and return March to May. Only book singles so no fixed timetables. We use Aires and Camper stops or wild park. We have been doing this since 2009.

We don't change our lifestyle as we full time in the UK. However we find we can live cheaper in Spain. VWAlan will contradict this.

Our insurance allows 182 days in any country, so no actual trip limits. We have to return for MOT.

Good breakdown insurance is a must from our experience. This is included in our insurance cover. (Comfort Insurance)

We avoid the Motorhome hot spots and crowded campsites. If Motorhomes start to gather, we move on, as this attracts the authorities attention. We do meet up with Alan from time to time. You can park but not camp, in most parts of Spain, if you stay 500m inland of the concrete coastal marker bollards (Ley de Costa). Remember that if you want to use an awning, chairs, tables, even raise a roof mounted satellite dish, the police consider this camping and you can finish up with an on the spot fine of up to 400 euro. If there are marked parking bays set 90 degrees to the traffic flow they expect you to use them not park sideways over more than one. Some places do not allow motorhomes on the car parks on the first line of building or seaward even if they are totally empty of other vehicles. We avoid staying in one place for too long and try not to stay in the place we overnight during the day. Move little and often. You can often get water or dump toilet waste at Aires or camper stops without need to stay the night. Water is also available at Fuentes (springs). If the locals get water from them so do we.

Inland Spain is nice up to Christmas, but can get cold at night.

Have a look at the N332 Facebook Pages. (Just enter N332) They are produced by Guardia Officers based on Torrevieja, and have good information for Driving in Spain and Motorhome use.

John Thompson
14-06-2015, 08:23
We have 2 x 130w Solar and 330Ah of battery power. This we find sufficient apart from December to February in Southern Spain. Moving little and often does nothing for battery charging. We find running the engine with B2B for a while away from other or using our built in generator (12v @ 20Amps) tops us up during this period. Putting generators outside is considered camping, as is making any noise.

We use about 60 litres of auto gas every 3 to 4 weeks, more if using the generator.

99% of UK Satellite TV beyond south west France is a no, no, even on an 85cm dish. We use DVB on local stations. This also helps with the language. There are some English language programs (dubbed in Spanish) that can be reconverted to English by the use of the language button on the remote. On the Costas there are stations broadcasting in English on the radio. We take a stack of DVDs with us. Remember sunset is about 5pm down in southern Spain in winter and If you don't want to spend every night in a Bar (we don't) entertainment of some sort is essential.
Days are generally dry and sunny on the Costas. I was sea bathing up to Christmas last year.
Drink Driving limits abroad are the same as Scotland (less than half of the rest of the UK limit). If the police ask you to move on then arguing will only make things worse, as will being over the limit.

The change between Summer and Winter bring thunder storms and torrential rain. Avoid parking in what may seem to be dry river beds (ramblas), as heavy rain inland can cause flash floods, even if the weather where you are is brilliant. People are killed every year in Spain by the Gota Fria (Cold Drop). Some of these ramblas can be very wide. I know of a case where two 44 ton artic truck, were picked up and washed out to sea before the drivers, who were asleep in them, could get out. In another case a couple were drowned, while sitting outside a café enjoying a morning cup of coffee, by a flash flood. Never try to cross a rambla in flood. Spring can also be wet and cool. We had lots of wind this last spring. We were also sun bathing most days.

John Thompson
16-06-2015, 07:51
Motorhome Parking - Driving In Spain (http://n332.es/2015/02/23/motorhome-parking/)

Motorhomes: Parking or Camping? - Driving In Spain (http://n332.es/2015/05/28/motorhomes-parking-or-camping/)

This is also info on the Ley de Costa (Coastal Law)

Ley de costas (http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/legal/ley-de-costas-coastal-law/)

John Thompson
16-06-2015, 07:59
31282 This behaviour is considered Camping

31283 This is considered Parking.

kenspain
16-06-2015, 08:25
If there is going to be many of you that come over to hold a meet here you would be better off finding a campsite to hold it. There was many unhappy locals and campsite owners upset about the number of motorhomes taking over car parks and land near the beach. The Guardia have been told to enforce the 24 hour only law, I saw Sunday 2 motorhomes being moved from one of VW Alan's little hidey holes behind Alicante Airport.:wave:

Byronic
16-06-2015, 10:35
If there is going to be many of you that come over to hold a meet here you would be better off finding a campsite to hold it:

Come on out with it, I'm sure that what your hinting at, is, if they want to hold a meeting, that it might be a good idea to hold the meet on your property?:D Right or wrong?

kenspain
16-06-2015, 11:32
Come on out with it, I'm sure that what your hinting at, is, if they want to hold a meeting, that it might be a good idea to hold the meet on your property?:D Right or wrong?

Wrong we are not here this winter any way you would not pay our site prices :lol-049::wave:

Byronic
16-06-2015, 11:56
Wrong we are not here this winter any way you would not pay our site prices :lol-049::wave:

So lets get this right. You are away this winter, and quite a few members know your address. Tell us more......are your gates locked, and when is your son on hols.:D

lebesset
16-06-2015, 12:36
If there is going to be many of you that come over to hold a meet here you would be better off finding a campsite to hold it. There was many unhappy locals and campsite owners upset about the number of motorhomes taking over car parks and land near the beach. The Guardia have been told to enforce the 24 hour only law, I saw Sunday 2 motorhomes being moved from one of VW Alan's little hidey holes behind Alicante Airport.:wave:

what 24 hour law is this ; in what document do I find it , must have a copy

vwalan
16-06-2015, 15:27
i take it ken you will be draining the pool as well so theres no need for bob and me to come up for a swim.
never mind we shall always be around another winter , we hope .
shant tell where you are i,ll keep it secret if your not draining the swimming pool leave the hot water on please.

vwalan
16-06-2015, 15:32
what 24 hour law is this ; in what document do I find it , must have a copy
there is no document . quite alot of the regions have made a decision to do the 24hr rule . i first came upon it up in the north . about 3 years ago. now we move every night when up on the north coast. come back , move come back. etc . we had the police round at the cemetry at san vicente . we have stopped there for years . but had to go. one of the locals told us best not come back as there is a neighbourhood watch thing going on . we ened up two weeks just moving around but back to the beach every day. a guardia did ask us if we were thinking of staying the night we said no. and saw them almost every where we stayed but kept moving was ok. daft really.

carol
16-06-2015, 16:15
Doesn't sound like fun to me, it sounds stressful! Is it just a particular region?

kenspain
16-06-2015, 16:51
Doesn't sound like fun to me, it sounds stressful! Is it just a particular region?

Carol it,s mostly the beaches you will find this 24 hour thing being used the best thing you could do is move of find a village away from the beach and go back the next day. there are plenty villages were you can park up :wave:

kenspain
16-06-2015, 16:53
i take it ken you will be draining the pool as well so theres no need for bob and me to come up for a swim.
never mind we shall always be around another winter , we hope .
shant tell where you are i,ll keep it secret if your not draining the swimming pool leave the hot water on please.

I leave the pool full and let me know if you want it warm and I will set the timer at warm. :cheers:

John Thompson
16-06-2015, 17:16
Doesn't sound like fun to me, it sounds stressful! Is it just a particular region?

Not stressful at all Carol. Joan and I park late in a location and move the next morning. We may only move to another spot within walking distance for the day. The Guardia and Local Police patrol at night and spot where vans are parking. If they see you moving around and only parking, then they leave you alone (ie, playing the game). Where the same van is in the same spot for days and nights on end they will move you on and that could cost you up to 400 Euros. Where lots of vans gather they will keep a special eye on that location. We try not to overnight more than two consecutive nights in one place and day park in other spots. It is relatively easy to find locations well away from the hot spots in our experience. You are parking not camping at these locations.

We use Aires and camper stops to get water and dump our toilet. These are not expensive in fact some you only pay for the water used. Others it is cheaper to stay the night and use the dump facility twice that just call in to dump (ie. Calnegre Camper stop). We also use Fuentes for water inland.

As for Ken's idea of a meet. Camper stops such as Auto Caravanas Vera (ACVera on a paddle and tennis complex)) are very cheap if you stay for a few days. Also useful for a battery top up on EHU. New Year it is always very full there but otherwise there would be bags of space.
The Aire in Cartagena is right opposite EROSKI and there is also a laundrette in the Rembla complex. The Aire offers free parking and toilet dump with water at 2 Euro for 10mins (about 100 litres). An overnight stop here 11pm to 8 am is 10 Euro and you are in a locked compound and EHU. Space for about 10 vans on EHU plus others.
The Camper stop at Los Delores (also near Cartagena) is also very good and offers cheaper rates for more than a few days. Laundry available and very popular with users. Good bus services into Cartagena from both of these locations if you like cities.

We met up with Alan, Bob, Snail, Donna and Phil and others, one Christmas at a beach location, but that has now been fenced off.

Carol, Spain has 17 autonomous regions and each town hall has its own rules and has police to enforce them. Camping anywhere other than on an official caravan site is unlawful in most of Spain, but some regions are not a zealous as other in the enforcement.

Snail and ourselves parked at an empty car park at Torrenostra one evening, and had tickets on our windows in the morning, informing us it was against the local law for motorhomes to park there overnight. We pulled off the car park onto a roadside parking bay on the other side of the road, beside an un-built building plot and were OK. The car park remained empty the whole time we were there. There was boat launching facilities off this car park, but trailers could not be left there either. Local rules enforced by local police.

davegreg
25-06-2015, 10:42
I love little birds. I'm looking forward to it.:D

MF2002
12-07-2015, 20:26
Hi Folks,

We're leaving Aberdeen 4th October heading to Spain & Portugal for winter before venturing further East next Spring & Summer. Plan on returning to the UK about September 2016 subject to budgetary constraints (running out of money)

Appreciate all the info and advice. Hope to meet some of you on the road.

Thanks again for all the info.

M & F

snowbirds
10-09-2015, 05:27
Morning Campers,

We had our habitation man back to fix our grill and fit a new Gas connection pipe with a finger wheel,a lot better than the spanner and mole grips I will get less broken knuckles.
Starting the list with just a couple of jobs to do but some I may save for while I'm away,just need to find a reasonable ferry crossing for late afternoon at the beginning of October as we don't want to spend the night in Dover it's more peaceful in Calais.:scared:
Lets hope the weather will get better over there.

Regards Snowbirds.:wave::rolleyes2:

vindiboy
10-09-2015, 10:09
SDC10001_zpswa7ipkrk.jpg Photo by vindiboy1 | Photobucket (http://s358.photobucket.com/user/vindiboy1/media/Canterbury%20P%20n%20R/SDC10001_zpswa7ipkrk.jpg.html) Have you tried the Canterbury P n R Aire , it is now £3 for24 hours , free bus to Canterbury and only 20 minutes easy drive to the Ferry Port.

kenspain
10-09-2015, 14:24
And don,t forget if any of you have any problems in Alicante area and need help p.m me and i come and find you. :wave:

BrianG
10-09-2015, 17:19
:idea:I'm planning to head South in the first week of December, before the ferry prices go up for the Xmas rush but won't be crossing to Spain via the (free)Somport Tunnel till mid December, then it will be a straight drive,pp:drive: with rest periods at Aires,:sleep-027: to the mid East Mediterranean coast.:boat:
Hopefully finding a wildcamping place to spend Xmas / New year or longer depending on the weather.:cool:
So if anyone wants to join / accompany me, your welcome:welcome:

We are booking ferry mid October, just me, the good wife (necessary because she cooks), and 2 dogs. We would like some company over Xmas so if you like I will keep in touch and let you know where we are.

There have been a lot of slightly negative posts in this thread which is a shame for people who may be contemplating winter in Spain for the first time. We lived in Spain for ten years a lot of time with a motorhome, and we continue to visit every year.
YES we have been moved on. Just do as requested, be considerate of the police who are only doing their job. Respect Spain and the Spanish people who I have found to be the friendliest and most helpful in Europe.
Have fun, Brian

loulou
10-09-2015, 18:03
Thanks for the many good info on here. We're off on 15th October for the winter in Spain and Portugal, we may bump into some of you.

Anyway have fun and enjoy yourselves.

:cheers::cheers::cheers::camper::have fun:

BrianG
10-09-2015, 18:23
Thanks for the many good info on here. We're off on 15th October for the winter in Spain and Portugal, we may bump into some of you.

Anyway have fun and enjoy yourselves.

:cheers::cheers::cheers::camper::have fun:

We are seriously considering the ferry in that week. Unfortunately a close friend had a heart attack Wednesday night so need to find out how he is before deciding. We're in an Autosleeper Palermo Wsticker in windscreen. May see you.

BRIAN & MARINA.

MykCamper
10-09-2015, 19:42
I'm hoping to find a camper friendly town that Vindiboy posted earlier this year, if it's still good, it sounds ideal for a Meet up, what do you reckon , John ?

BrianG
10-09-2015, 19:59
I'm hoping to find a camper friendly town that Vindiboy posted earlier this year, if it's still good, it sounds ideal for a Meet up, what do you reckon , John ?

Hi John, Good idea. Let us know this town you are talking about. If not too far north or too high, too cold, I would like to meet some of you. Brian.

MykCamper
10-09-2015, 20:09
It's on the Beach, so it should be warm, hopefully.
Awaiting Vindiboys response!

horshamjack
11-09-2015, 04:43
We are hoping to get on the road early October, will be down South, Spain/Portugal hopefully by early November, then going back to Morocco in Jan for 3 months. Then slowly amble back as the weather gets better :)
Back in July 2016 to get MOT done:(
Will get in touch Mike nearer the time your down that way, will be nice to have mini meet of sorts, good luck to all the other snowbirds, hopefully bump into a few of you on the road :have fun:

arniegp
15-09-2015, 10:10
[QUOTE=horshamjack;567884]
Back in July 2016 to get MOT done:(



You would think by now that the DVLA or whoever, would allow a UK vehicle to be MOT'd] in any EU country it finds itself in. After all, a mechanic is a mechanic irrespective of language.

I have experienced the dreaded discovery of been MOT less whilst abroad and fortunately got home without incident, although unaware that my insurance was invalid.

Perhaps a case for Jeremy Corbin!

BrianG
15-09-2015, 13:37
I agree. When you think of all the stupid laws we are all expected to comply with yet when it comes to simple things to make life easier NO CHANCE!!
The europe we have now is not what I signed up for.
Sorry about off topic rant

horshamjack
15-09-2015, 14:26
I agree. When you think of all the stupid laws we are all expected to comply with yet when it comes to simple things to make life easier NO CHANCE!!
The europe we have now is not what I signed up for.
Sorry about off topic rant

I agree with the previous posts. You would think you could get your vehicle MOT done in Europe!! then we could fulltime over there;) can tax and insure online

Byronic
15-09-2015, 14:44
[QUOTE=horshamjack;567884]
Back in July 2016 to get MOT done:(



You would think by now that the DVLA or whoever, would allow a UK vehicle to be MOT'd] in any EU country it finds itself in. After all, a mechanic is a mechanic irrespective of language.

I have experienced the dreaded discovery of been MOT less whilst abroad and fortunately got home without incident, although unaware that my insurance was invalid.

Perhaps a case for Jeremy Corbin!

It's a few years off yet, even for the possibility of a 2nd Coming of JC. Meantime there's always the Osborne pleasing reasonable compromise option to fall back on...... buy a new vehicle every 3 years!

John Thompson
16-09-2015, 09:16
[QUOTE=arniegp;569089]

It's a few years off yet, even for the possibility of a 2nd Coming of JC. Meantime there's always the Osborne pleasing reasonable compromise option to fall back on...... buy a new vehicle every 3 years!

Remember however. That if you take a vehicle out of the UK for 12 or more months DVLA require that you de-register it, as exported and it is re-registered in the country you spend the most time in. Other countries such as Spain require that vehicles that are imported for longer than 6 months be re-registered there.

Europe is not joined up. The vehicle must comply with the laws of the country it is registered in at all times. So even a new vehicle that doesn't need a MOT for 3 years still needs to be in the UK for at least one day on the year.

Bob M
25-09-2015, 08:49
Hi,

We have driven abroad lots, so have no worries there. What we would like is a few general tips on motor homing in France, Spain etc. We intend on a wildcamping/Aires/campsite mix, staying a few days here and there before drifting off.

Do we need to take anything "extra" ? Should we take the two little calour gas bottles, and swop them as we go? Will headlight converter stickers last 90 days? Is it worth taking the awning? Is there anything anyone thinks essential?

It's all an adventure, even if Ralfe Finnes might rate it differently.

Bob m34013

John Thompson
25-09-2015, 11:58
Hi,

We have driven abroad lots, so have no worries there. What we would like is a few general tips on motor homing in France, Spain etc. We intend on a wildcamping/Aires/campsite mix, staying a few days here and there before drifting off.

Do we need to take anything "extra" ? Should we take the two little calour gas bottles, and swop them as we go? Will headlight converter stickers last 90 days? Is it worth taking the awning? Is there anything anyone thinks essential?

It's all an adventure, even if Ralfe Finnes might rate it differently.

Bob m34013

You will need all of your documentation with you. Driving licence, V5, Insurance certificate. Certified photocopies are acceptable in Spain. We make copies of all our documents and keep them safe just in case something happens to the originals (including Passports). You need to carry some ID at all times (photo driving licence or passport)
Triangles and Safety Jackets for all occupants. Flip Flops and backless shoes are not allowed for driving in Spain. Spare glasses (if used).
UK gas bottles are just that. Calor is not available to swap abroad so you will need to obtain bottles abroad if you use more than you can take with you.
We have beam benders fitted for most of the year with no problems (LHD in UK)
Awnings are only of use if you intend to use a campsite. They are not for Aires or Wild-camping. Remember putting anything out under or around your vehicle, as it is in running condition, is considered camping. Even raising a roof top satellite dish can be considered camping. Opening out windows can also be considered as camping.
Some Aires have time limits so check the information.
We carry water and spare full containers as some locations in winter, the water is turned off to prevent frost damage.
Remember. Waste water from your grey tank can be used to rinse your cassette.

Bob M
26-09-2015, 08:35
Just the job. In particular I hadn't realised the difference between parking ang camping.

Cheers;)

vindiboy
26-09-2015, 16:39
I'm hoping to find a camper friendly town that Vindiboy posted earlier this year, if it's still good, it sounds ideal for a Meet up, what do you reckon , John ? I guess you are talking about Mijas Costa, great Aire there, free with the Mayors blessing, water and toilet dump too,the site is used for the market one day a week but that is not a problem as one is not supposed to park on that area anyway. I believe you have to register with the council to stay there now, no big deal in that, they apparently just want to see your vehicle docs I'm told, Mijas Costa is a short drive from Fuengirola.

Google Maps (http://tinyurl.com/qbnapax) Tis Ere! The area has been altered since this Google view, it is now much better , the building you see at the entrance to the parking is a WOK, great chinese food buffet, 10 euros all you could eat when we were there, 2 other great chinese in the town,take aways too.Short walk to a lidl too.

vindiboy
26-09-2015, 17:00
34039340403404134042

Mijas Costa Aire.

Byronic
26-09-2015, 19:53
[QUOTE=Byronic;569148]

Remember however. That if you take a vehicle out of the UK for 12 or more months DVLA require that you de-register it, as exported and it is re-registered in the country you spend the most time in. Other countries such as Spain require that vehicles that are imported for longer than 6 months be re-registered there.

Europe is not joined up. The vehicle must comply with the laws of the country it is registered in at all times. So even a new vehicle that doesn't need a MOT for 3 years still needs to be in the UK for at least one day on the year.

I have friends that actually do as I have stated. They buy new, paying full VAT. They then fill and post off the V5/VSC4 Notification of Permanent Exporting etc. DVLA keep a Registration record. Insurance can be a bit problematical but they get an Export of Vehicle Specialist cover. Once they get overseas they let the current VED run out. Insurance Renewal is done online Certificate printout in an Internet café, times past it was Post Restante. If they were to get temporary insurance difficulties then I expect they'd do what I've done plenty of times..... Assurances Frontier, or visit a Gib. broker and get a policy underwritten by a Spanish Co. On return to the UK they go through Vehicle Import Formalities, not too difficult, as they've paid all dues and importantly retain the VAT Receipts, and apply for an updated V5 plus paying the VED.
They reckon this faffing around is preferable to a return trip from perhaps Greece, Morocco or southern Spain. They are well enough off to renew their m/home every three years, they are British and resident in the UK. If the Spanish authorities were to question them on whether they had been in the country over 6 months {they never have done) then they would have been in Portugal/France/Morocco recently wouldn't they!
BTW no legal MOTs obtainable for UK reg vehicles in "British" Gib in case any one is wondering!! And the Brit. hombre selling UK MOTs on the costas not so long ago is now holidaying at HM pleasure!

vwalan
26-09-2015, 20:28
last time i notified dvla i was going out of country for more than 12 months i sent part of v5 away. then when i came back all i did was get an mot and tax the vehicle . there was no import hassle just .
many are exempt mot,s you can tax on line or telephone . and with no tax disc in window its easier now than its ever been . glad mines disabled tax . even cheaper . ha ha .

Byronic
26-09-2015, 21:09
You can get hassles if your vehicle is worth a mint and near new. Collecting VAT on older vehicles?? Questionable, doubt if it's worth their while. Probably give me a refund!
Nobody at the DVLA seems to know the full legal position on payment of VED when the vehicle is actually exported and from the date stated but not yet registered in a new country, my friends have enquired several times, they would willingly pay but there doesn't seem to be provision. A gray area is the best response they've got.

vwalan
26-09-2015, 21:33
You can get hassles if your vehicle is worth a mint and near new. Collecting VAT on older vehicles?? Questionable, doubt if it's worth their while. Probably give me a refund!
Nobody at the DVLA seems to know the full legal position on payment of VED when the vehicle is actually exported and from the date stated but not yet registered in a new country, my friends have enquired several times, they would willingly pay but there doesn't seem to be provision. A gray area is the best response they've got.

you did say they payed full vat when they purchased . even if you fill in the export bits you never lose your original registration . you might be out longer than 12 mths but it doesnt matter . it just comes back pay your tax or get mot and tax . its so simple. you may have said you are exporting but when you bring it back its not going to have any duty. its uk reg so if you didnt claim anything back there is no duty or anything.

Byronic
27-09-2015, 12:09
you did say they payed full vat when they purchased . even if you fill in the export bits you never lose your original registration . you might be out longer than 12 mths but it doesnt matter . it just comes back pay your tax or get mot and tax . its so simple. you may have said you are exporting but when you bring it back its not going to have any duty. its uk reg so if you didnt claim anything back there is no duty or anything.

My post #51 "DVLA keep a Registration Record".
They declare re importation of the vehicle, and the IRD want proof that VAT was paid on purchase. If you export a vehicle within 2 months? you can elect to pay no VAT but you will if you come back, on a depreciating sliding scale.
Anyway the point is made that within certain parameters it is possible to not have to return to the UK for an MOT.

Most banks request that customers inform them if they're out of the country more than 3 months.
Household and Householders Insurers want know how long you're away etc.
If you're a pensioner you should inform the DWP if over 3 months away. I believe something similar if in receipt of Social Security Benefits.
I wonder how many people do all this, I know I don't.

vwalan
27-09-2015, 12:45
My post #51 "DVLA keep a Registration Record".
They declare re importation of the vehicle, and the IRD want proof that VAT was paid on purchase. If you export a vehicle within 2 months? you can elect to pay no VAT but you will if you come back, on a depreciating sliding scale.
Anyway the point is made that within certain parameters it is possible to not have to return to the UK for an MOT.

Most banks request that customers inform them if they're out of the country more than 3 months.
Household and Householders Insurers want know how long you're away etc.
If you're a pensioner you should inform the DWP if over 3 months away. I believe something similar if in receipt of Social Security Benefits.
I wonder how many people do all this, I know I don't.


no harm in telling them . sometimes they with hold payments till you get back. they ask what countries you have visited .
been like it all my life or adult life . i have had a war pension for most of it . have to tell them if leaving uk for more than 6 weeks. never lost anything .but have had payments held untill i return . even 40 yrs ago it was the same .some payments need you to tell them if out for more than 4 weeks . disability living allowance is one of them. mind makes a nice total when you come back.

Mertom
01-10-2015, 20:31
Hi,

We have driven abroad lots, so have no worries there. What we would like is a few general tips on motor homing in France, Spain etc. We intend on a wildcamping/Aires/campsite mix, staying a few days here and there before drifting off.

Do we need to take anything "extra" ? Should we take the two little calour gas bottles, and swop them as we go? Will headlight converter stickers last 90 days? Is it worth taking the awning? Is there anything anyone thinks essential?

It's all an adventure, even if Ralfe Finnes might rate it differently.

Bob m34013

Might be worth considering refillable bottles you can then fill up at fuel stations with auto gas.we have a Gasit system cost around £370 fitted myself.might sound expensive but if you are going to travel in Europe a lot well worth it.

jennyp19
01-10-2015, 22:33
I noticed more Motorhome service areas on AP 7 /E15 than previously. We had to reverse on to one the other day and the ramp to it was deceptively stunt, and scraped bottom of van - so approach and leave with care with care. I assume the motorway services are wanting to attract buses with there passengers so providing useful free dumping and water refilling services. For anyone interested it cost us around €25 to travel from Santa Susana to Vinaros via motorway - worth it for us to get away from the rain and find the sun again.

UKBiker
17-11-2015, 19:57
Hi Phil,

I must say it sounds a great idea,we travel for three months from September but time and place is not a problem we only returned last year because of our 90 day insurance cover but we were tempted to stay longer. It would be great to meet others to share ideas and places with.


Regards. Snowbirds.

Hi,
forgive if i am wrong about this but the 90 day insurance cover is what the insurance companies say they cover you to the same standard as when in the UK surely the rest of the time we are covered within the EU and a few more countries with third party cover.

Regards,

Jim

moonshadow
17-11-2015, 21:09
What do you do do when your road tax expires while you are away? I see from the DVLA website you can re tax up to 2 months before it runs out, but we will be away longer than that. It says road tax can be renewed online but if we dOn't have the reminder I don't understand how that can work, nor can I figure out how to put a direct debit in place. I am reluctant to phone cos if they ask for the reg they will know that we will be driving home without tax once we arrive in the UK. I think I must be missing something somewhere.

helen262
18-11-2015, 03:00
What do you do do when your road tax expires while you are away? I see from the DVLA website you can re tax up to 2 months before it runs out, but we will be away longer than that. It says road tax can be renewed online but if we dOn't have the reminder I don't understand how that can work, nor can I figure out how to put a direct debit in place. I am reluctant to phone cos if they ask for the reg they will know that we will be driving home without tax once we arrive in the UK. I think I must be missing something somewhere.

If you have the v5 with you then you can tax it on line using the numbers off the v5

mariesnowgoose
18-11-2015, 05:03
I have reposted this as I thought it relevant to this thread , and some may be thinking of costs.

What does it cost ?
People often ask about the cost of wintering in Spain /Portugal in a Motorhome, Well on our last trip I was determined to get an answer to what the actual cost of our trip was.I left home with a full tank of Diesel and filled up with Diesel when I was at Calais homeward bound so those costs are included as is the round trip Ferry fare,we had 250 Euros in cash when we sailed and returned with the same amount of cash Euros Everything we spent was on our Post Office credit card including cash withdrawals from the ATMs whilst away and interest that incurred.so our credit card bill reflects the actual cost of the trip.We were away from home for 102 nights, we used Aires and Wild camped, paid a few Euros for some of the Aires ,bought items such as clothes , a Spanish Paella type Barbi cooker, food,drinks and ate out a lot, bought fuel and gas refills .our round trip mileage was 4263 miles 2.8 Turbo diesel Fiat ,we lived really well food and drink wise and had a great time went short of nothing.and brought home a stock of wine and spirits which we always buy at LIDL in Calais, Our TOTAL spend was £2200 and that works out at about £21 -57 per day, I had to have the van fridge repaired in Portugal and that 380 Euros is also included in our costs.
I have just received a refund from Southern Electricity of £103 as I have overpaid on my Electricity bill because we weren't using Electric at home whilst away, or water or gas so there will be some credit there too.So is it cheap to be in Spain for the Winter, you bet it is!

That works out out around £160 per week, which is mega cheap!
I bet we still can't convince my other half that it's worth doing something like this!!!!! :p grrrrrrrr! ;)

John Thompson
18-11-2015, 06:53
What do you do do when your road tax expires while you are away? I see from the DVLA website you can re tax up to 2 months before it runs out, but we will be away longer than that. It says road tax can be renewed online but if we dOn't have the reminder I don't understand how that can work, nor can I figure out how to put a direct debit in place. I am reluctant to phone cos if they ask for the reg they will know that we will be driving home without tax once we arrive in the UK. I think I must be missing something somewhere.

You do not need the renewal notice to tax on line. Enter the vehicle Reg No. and it will tell you the VED status. (Police abroad are aware of this facility). No VED usually invalidates your insurance. It is possible to set up DD online but it is not as clear as it could be. You have to go through the whole VED process and then it allows you to set up a DD. You then have to opt for 6 month or monthly, the default is 12 months.

It is possible to get VED to cover your trip by cancelling it at the end of a month and taking out a new period to start at the beginning of the next month. It is also possible to move your MOT date by getting the vehicle tested before your trip.

moonshadow
18-11-2015, 08:00
Thank you for the suggestions, I just couldn't get my head around it. It will be our first extended trip abroad and there are so many other things to think about. Not keen on doing it online abroad as it will involve bank details on public wif, security risk in my book. We will SORN on 30 Nov and re tax 1st Dec, simples!

snowbirds
18-11-2015, 08:09
Hi Jim,

Sorry for late reply to your question,first of all we carry our 90 day travel insurance with all medicals declared it has gone up £31 pounds from last year to £191 95p and is the cheapest I could find(at 69) with L. V.and also carry our E U card but I have been told hospitals ask for Travel insurance as well so I don't want to sit there with a drip in my arm having a heart attack and some Receptionist wanting to argue the toss.
I also use ADAC Plus Recovery that covers wife and my self helicopters transport and repatriation,At 114 Euros per year.
It may sound a lot but with our three months here and the seven weeks we had travelling in Holland,Germany and Denmark.
So it's not to bad as it's 90 days per trip and covers like last year a trip to Portugal by air as well. Remember you only live twice.:lol-061:

Regards Snowbirds (some were in Spain for three months):ninja::dance::sleep-040:




Hi,
forgive if i am wrong about this but the 90 day insurance cover is what the insurance companies say they cover you to the same standard as when in the UK surely the rest of the time we are covered within the EU and a few more countries with third party cover.

Regards,

Jim

welshrarebit
18-11-2015, 09:07
Re. The ADAC travel/health/ breakdown, can this be started while already in Spain?

Steveboy
18-11-2015, 11:49
I've been doing 'Snowbirding' now for the last few years, usually via ferry to Santandar early in Jan and return via Cherbourg late May early June. I mainly wildcamp but use campsites or Aires occasionally for laundry etc. Don't bother with ACSI as I've found out of season you can barter an equal or better price. I mainly wander over to the East coast of Spain in Early Jan as I find it drier and brighter than further west this early in the year. Wandering continues down the Med and round to Portugal for late Feb-ish.

Wildcamping out of season in Europe is just a delight and I do not even think about where I am going to stop for the night until about 20minutes beforehand. Then it is usually a case of wander down a small road and there you are, a lovely spot, west facing is favourite to watch the sun go down, and no one bothering you.

A spade for digging the 'loo contents' hole, a watering can for water collection, LPG and a solar panel and everything cheaper and warmer. What is not to like.

I'll be on the Pompeye/Santandar ferry Jan 6. Perhaps see you then.

moonshadow
18-11-2015, 14:29
Hi Jim,

Sorry for late reply to your question,first of all we carry our 90 day travel insurance with all medicals declared it has gone up £31 pounds from last year to £191 95p and is the cheapest I could find(at 69) with L. V.and also carry our E U card but I have been told hospitals ask for Travel insurance as well so I don't want to sit there with a drip in my arm having a heart attack and some Receptionist wanting to argue the toss.
I also use ADAC Plus Recovery that covers wife and my self helicopters transport and repatriation,At 114 Euros per year.
It may sound a lot but with our three months here and the seven weeks we had travelling in Holland,Germany and Denmark.
So it's not to bad as it's 90 days per trip and covers like last year a trip to Portugal by air as well. Remember you only live twice.:lol-061:

Regards Snowbirds (some were in Spain for three months):ninja::dance::sleep-040:

Is EHIC not enough for health, or am I missing something, again? Our van insurance covers the van and contents.

moonshadow
18-11-2015, 14:31
I've been doing 'Snowbirding' now for the last few years, usually via ferry to Santandar early in Jan and return via Cherbourg late May early June. I mainly wildcamp but use campsites or Aires occasionally for laundry etc. Don't bother with ACSI as I've found out of season you can barter an equal or better price. I mainly wander over to the East coast of Spain in Early Jan as I find it drier and brighter than further west this early in the year. Wandering continues down the Med and round to Portugal for late Feb-ish.

Wildcamping out of season in Europe is just a delight and I do not even think about where I am going to stop for the night until about 20minutes beforehand. Then it is usually a case of wander down a small road and there you are, a lovely spot, west facing is favourite to watch the sun go down, and no one bothering you.

A spade for digging the 'loo contents' hole, a watering can for water collection, LPG and a solar panel and everything cheaper and warmer. What is not to like.

I'll be on the Pompeye/Santandar ferry Jan 6. Perhaps see you then.

we're on the economy on the 12th Jan, maybe see you down there. We are visiting my daughter in Sao Pedro de Moel for a few days, loads of places to wild camp, then over to just south of Alicante to visit friends, then heading south followed by west to look at the rest of Portugal.

snowbirds
18-11-2015, 16:58
Hi trishandtez,

I don't see why not it starts from the day you buy it.I use it in the UK on my car as well and the AA covers the work for ADAC I even renewed the cover while in Germany last July in one of the ADAC shops with no problem.They have a good web site for details that you can translate to english that I used to cancel the magazine they send and get it instead on line.

Snowbirds.


Re. The ADAC travel/health/ breakdown, can this be started while already in Spain?

UKBiker
18-11-2015, 19:41
Hi Jim,

Sorry for late reply to your question,first of all we carry our 90 day travel insurance with all medicals declared it has gone up £31 pounds from last year to £191 95p and is the cheapest I could find(at 69) with L. V.and also carry our E U card but I have been told hospitals ask for Travel insurance as well so I don't want to sit there with a drip in my arm having a heart attack and some Receptionist wanting to argue the toss.
I also use ADAC Plus Recovery that covers wife and my self helicopters transport and repatriation,At 114 Euros per year.
It may sound a lot but with our three months here and the seven weeks we had travelling in Holland,Germany and Denmark.
So it's not to bad as it's 90 days per trip and covers like last year a trip to Portugal by air as well. Remember you only live twice.:lol-061:

Regards Snowbirds (some were in Spain for three months):ninja::dance::sleep-040:

Thanks for the info most useful, only two months to before we are off, first trip abroad with the van, planning on taking a box trailer with our motorbikes in, will the trailer cause any problems wild camping ?

Regards,

Jim

snowbirds
19-11-2015, 09:14
Hi UKbiker,

I don't think you will have many problems with a trailer over here as may vans pull them and park on Aires with Quads small cars and motorbikes and lots of scooters.
I would just bring good chains to secure them to a tree or your van hitch for extra security.

Regards Snowbirds.:dance:





Thanks for the info most useful, only two months to before we are off, first trip abroad with the van, planning on taking a box trailer with our motorbikes in, will the trailer cause any problems wild camping ?

Regards,

Jim

wildman
19-11-2015, 10:02
the following link has it all laid out for you in English.
Motorhomes: Parking or Camping? | N332 - Driving In Spain (http://n332.es/2015/05/28/motorhomes-parking-or-camping/)

lebesset
19-11-2015, 10:13
Is EHIC not enough for health, or am I missing something, again? Our van insurance covers the van and contents.

the EHIC and before it the E111 have been enough for us for 30 years
in france you have to pay a small fee to go to the doctor and then claim 70% back ...but get taken to emergency at the hospital and treatment is free

I have been treated in hospital in both spain and portugal and both accepted the EHIC without demur ,[ had to pay for blood tests in portugal , cost €3 ], as do the state clinics for doctors visits ; DO NOT let them take you to a private hospital , they will want you to pay , just like in the UK

moonshadow
19-11-2015, 10:31
the EHIC and before it the E111 have been enough for us for 30 years
in france you have to pay a small fee to go to the doctor and then claim 70% back ...but get taken to emergency at the hospital and treatment is free

I have been treated in hospital in both spain and portugal and both accepted the EHIC without demur ,[ had to pay for blood tests in portugal , cost €3 ], as do the state clinics for doctors visits ; DO NOT let them take you to a private hospital , they will want you to pay , just like in the UK

Thank you, I thought that was the case. I was in hospital in France many years ago and I had to pay the 'hotel' costs but the treatment was free.

UKBiker
19-11-2015, 19:14
Thanks Snowbirds its put my mind at ease.

Jim

swiftnik
26-07-2016, 21:25
We go to Spain and Portugal frequently for Winter so would be happy to give any advice I can, what are the general plans are you interested in using camp sites or pay Aires or wilding, all is very easy in Spain and Portugal and can be done on a low budget or a bigger spend as you wish.
Hi Vindiboy
just read a few of your posts on aires etc we will give you a post later in November on best stop overs en route to Malaga upto Benidorm,like your posts:goodnight:

Polar Bear
27-07-2016, 09:46
Hi Vindiboy
just read a few of your posts on aires etc we will give you a post later in November on best stop overs en route to Malaga upto Benidorm,like your posts:goodnight:

Don't forget to post co-ordinates of any good stops, IE: 43.344760, -3.741886, please.

Joy zigzag
27-07-2016, 21:21
Hi,

I have had a request from one of our Full Members.



So here it is!

Great idea, hope to be able to join in any group going away for winter months...need sunshine !

Penny13
03-08-2016, 10:35
Just caught up with this party who said party we are in ;)

David & Ann
03-08-2016, 11:30
I have reposted this as I thought it relevant to this thread , and some may be thinking of costs.

What does it cost ?
People often ask about the cost of wintering in Spain /Portugal in a Motorhome, Well on our last trip I was determined to get an answer to what the actual cost of our trip was.I left home with a full tank of Diesel and filled up with Diesel when I was at Calais homeward bound so those costs are included as is the round trip Ferry fare,we had 250 Euros in cash when we sailed and returned with the same amount of cash Euros Everything we spent was on our Post Office credit card including cash withdrawals from the ATMs whilst away and interest that incurred.so our credit card bill reflects the actual cost of the trip.We were away from home for 102 nights, we used Aires and Wild camped, paid a few Euros for some of the Aires ,bought items such as clothes , a Spanish Paella type Barbi cooker, food,drinks and ate out a lot, bought fuel and gas refills .our round trip mileage was 4263 miles 2.8 Turbo diesel Fiat ,we lived really well food and drink wise and had a great time went short of nothing.and brought home a stock of wine and spirits which we always buy at LIDL in Calais, Our TOTAL spend was £2200 and that works out at about £21 -57 per day, I had to have the van fridge repaired in Portugal and that 380 Euros is also included in our costs.
I have just received a refund from Southern Electricity of £103 as I have overpaid on my Electricity bill because we weren't using Electric at home whilst away, or water or gas so there will be some credit there too.So is it cheap to be in Spain for the Winter, you bet it is!

Wholeheartedly agree with Vindi. My example is, we winter in Goa for 97 days. Our bill for the whole period was £2247. This included the return flights, parking the car at Heathrow. Also rented a scooter for 3 months and everything in. Life could'nt be better.

carol
03-08-2016, 11:53
Have often thought of that. Where do you look for accommodation and how do you check it out? Any links? Tia 😊

Asok
14-08-2016, 13:57
Hi
I would like to wild camp in Sitges. Is it safe and if so where's the best places?

taylor
27-04-2017, 17:18
Snowbirds are people who leave Britain about September spend the winter in Spain and start travelling back about April May. Many go to the same camp sites every year and join friends from the previous year.

redhand
08-06-2017, 07:35
Wholeheartedly agree with Vindi. My example is, we winter in Goa for 97 days. Our bill for the whole period was £2247. This included the return flights, parking the car at Heathrow. Also rented a scooter for 3 months and everything in. Life could'nt be better.

Sounds interesting can you expand a little

Garysan
19-07-2017, 16:25
We retire at the end of September and will be heading off to the Malaga region of Spain in early October. We intend to travel on toll free roads and wild camp when possible or on free Aires to keep costs down only booking on to sites to use the facilities maybe once or twice a month. In France we intend to use the Campercar designated areas which we found last year to be super and usually well positioned in villages and towns. When in Malaga we hope to stay till April 2018 then return to do campsite work in the UK to service/tax and MOT the van, so if this appeals to anyone at about the same time get in touch as we are still in the planning stage at the moment and are flexible.

Allan02393
22-08-2017, 20:13
Since 2003, I/We have travelled to Portugal for three months of Jan/Feb/Mar. Usually travel first week in Jan and go straight to Evora in Portugal using the French and Spanish Aires as we go.

But now Im single but would love to do that again in company. I have a great deal of experience doing this 3 months Snowbirding but the last time I went was a few years ago and things change. I wild camped everywhere except if I went into a campsite for to do washing. I prefer Portugal to Spain.

If anyone wants to try this in 2018, please say.

Garysan
23-08-2017, 11:15
Well if anyone is interested in travelling down through the Chunnel in to France then in to Spain and a slight detour in to Portugal setting off early October please get in touch with your plans and any advice you might like to give us.

iampatman
23-08-2017, 12:39
We're on the ferry from Hull to Zeebruge next Tuesday, leisurely drive down through France and Spain and then spending the winter in Bolnuevo. Next March/April we'll head off across Spain and France to Italy and then a ferry to Greece. Six to eight weeks in Greece and then back home when it gets too hot. Back in the UK sometime in June. Happy days.

Pat

carol
23-08-2017, 13:28
We're on the ferry from Hull to Zeebruge next Tuesday, leisurely drive down through France and Spain and then spending the winter in Bolnuevo. Next March/April we'll head off across Spain and France to Italy and then a ferry to Greece. Six to eight weeks in Greece and then back home when it gets too hot. Back in the UK sometime in June. Happy days.

Pat

Hi Pat, often thought about that route but not looked into it. How much is the ferry? Happy travels btw x

iampatman
23-08-2017, 13:33
Hi Pat, often thought about that route but not looked into it. How much is the ferry? Happy travels btw x

Hi Carol, it's not the cheapest option at £285 including cabin and breakfast but it avoids driving to either Dover or Portsmouth. We sail at 18.30 and arrive at 08.45 so it'll be lunch in Reims I reckon :)

Pat

10para
18-09-2017, 21:15
Hi everyone, I'm looking to travel south for the winter in Feb , either Portugal or Spain.
I'll be on my own so looking for a place where I can't chill out, get fit and detox.

Can anyone recommend anywhere....?

Also I've never driven that distance before, what can I expect the drive to be like....I was thinking of taking my time getting down there

peter palance
19-09-2017, 08:13
Yeh, has to be wilding, (remember Sunset Beach?), thought it might be a good idea to share some of the remaining free camping with other Full members, might even get some meets going for Us like minded lot!
Might be able to compete with the Krauts!!!:lol-053::lol-053::lol-053::wave:

sour eh pj

maja07
19-09-2017, 15:00
We're on the ferry from Hull to Zeebruge next Tuesday, leisurely drive down through France and Spain and then spending the winter in Bolnuevo. Next March/April we'll head off across Spain and France to Italy and then a ferry to Greece. Six to eight weeks in Greece and then back home when it gets too hot. Back in the UK sometime in June. Happy days.

Pat
Hi folks, sounds great apart from the Bolnuevo bit....we found the site a bit "sardine city" ... the nearby restaurant/bars a bit naff....prom walks ok spose but not much there ? However, all horses n all that...what do others think?
Maja

sololite
25-09-2017, 17:42
We are sailing to Bilbao then on to Salamanca, Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Sierra Nevada, Toledo, back to Bilbao and all points in between over the next three weeks with an eye to joining the Spanish Snowbirds later in our retirement and would love to meet some new friends along the way. Anyone planning to be in those parts of Spain over the next three weeks? regards, Chris & Sharon

Biggarmac
08-10-2017, 18:02
Anyone going to be on the Portsmouth - Bilbao ferry on 3rd December? Booked a pet friendly cabin. Hope its a good crossing as its the long one that takes 2 nights!

alcam
08-10-2017, 19:17
Anyone going to be on the Portsmouth - Bilbao ferry on 3rd December? Booked a pet friendly cabin. Hope its a good crossing as its the long one that takes 2 nights!

When did you book ? I've all but given up getting pet friendly cabin .

POI Admin
08-10-2017, 19:33
This is what I did last year.

I phoned around April to enquire about a December crossing. I was advised that the Winter sailings weren't yet confirmed, but the timetable would be released about 1st July (if I recall correctly).

I was offered the option to pre-book which I chose to do. All that Brittany wanted was my preferred route and date and they would book as close to my requirements as possible once the timetable was confirmed. In due course I received an email with the booking details and confirmation of the booking deposit having been paid.

It worked well ...

Biggarmac
09-10-2017, 07:40
When did you book ? I've all but given up getting pet friendly cabin .

Booked about six weeks ago? Not very long after the bookings opened. This is why I am on the two night crossing as all the one night crossings were fully booked.

Blackdogmama
12-10-2017, 12:15
What fab timing, today I logged in to get advice on travelling to Spain with two dogs. I am very interested in hearing about people's experiences of driving through France on toll free roads,
attitudes to dogs in France and Spain
Availability of drinking water
suggested itineraries for a three month trip starting in November
I have purchased a Spanish gas cyclinder and have been told I need to buy a pigtail, I don't know why or where to buy it, any ideas?
I'd love to hear your advice, thanks,Trishie

POI Admin
12-10-2017, 19:28
What fab timing, today I logged in to get advice on travelling to Spain with two dogs. I am very interested in hearing about people's experiences of driving through France on toll free roads,
attitudes to dogs in France and Spain
Availability of drinking water
suggested itineraries for a three month trip starting in November
I have purchased a Spanish gas cyclinder and have been told I need to buy a pigtail, I don't know why or where to buy it, any ideas?
I'd love to hear your advice, thanks,Trishie

I travel everywhere with my two Lurchers ...

There are no issues with dogs in either France or Spain. Some access to beaches is restricted but this is clearly signed.

I never use toll roads and navigate with the satnav set to avoid them. It takes a bit longer and there's a lot of slowing down and speeding up for the many small towns en route. But assuming that you're not in a hurry, and I never am, you see so much more and have many more options to stop for a break when driving.

Water is widely available at aires, though in France many taps are turned off in Winter. (I have been known to look for the stop cock and turn the water back on pro tem ...) Cemeteries are a good source for water, as they are here, but again taps are often isolated in Winter.

I'm uncertain what the situation is in Spain at altitude but by the coast the taps remain on all year.

I can't advise about the pigtail - I have a refillable system.

I'm sure some will suggest itineraries, but don't forget to use the POIs to find overnight stops. There are over 3,300 spots in France, and over 1,800 in Spain and Portugal.

neildenise
12-10-2017, 23:57
We go to Spain and Portugal frequently for Winter so would be happy to give any advice I can, what are the general plans are you interested in using camp sites or pay Aires or wilding, all is very easy in Spain and Portugal and can be done on a low budget or a bigger spend as you wish.

hi we are going to algarve for winter looking for campsites and aires any help would be very grateful

jacquigem
13-10-2017, 07:03
loads of places . One of our favourites

Parque da Gale (https://www.parquedagale.com/)

crumblygapper
05-11-2017, 15:18
We want to be snowbirds! We have used our moho all around England, Scotland and IOM for two years. We live in the north of Scotland and have promised ourselves we will spend three months seeking some sunshine in the New Year. I keep reading blogs and looking at weather maps and aire maps and maps and guides and I still can't make my mind where to go. Our van is quite old (1997 Fiat powered Hymer B564) and we do not like driving more than 200kms in a day and by that reckoing it will take a couple of weeks to get to better weather. My question is how far south do you reckon we need to go to get decent weather? We do not expect to swim or sunbathe but we want to avoid frosts and rain and strong winds - all of which are plentiful at home!!

I know January is a bad time to heard south from here but we need to be here for Christmas and we have to be back by April so that sets the limits. We also need to keep our costs down so now expensive toll motorways either and the cheapest possible ferry crossing too.

Any thoughts or experience of winter in Europe would be really useful.

POI Admin
05-11-2017, 18:40
I am about to embark on my fifth Winter escape.

Three previous trips were spent in the south of France, and the last one took me round most of the coastline of Spain and Portugal.

This Winter I am returning to France. Personally I prefer France and the weather along the Med is, in my experience, almost as good as the Costas.

It has the added benefit of being almost deserted as far as motorhomes go at this time of year. No Brits go there at all! By contrast it is very busy in Spain, but still perfectly viable to find places to park overnight.

John Thompson
06-11-2017, 07:50
We want to be snowbirds! We have used our moho all around England, Scotland and IOM for two years. We live in the north of Scotland and have promised ourselves we will spend three months seeking some sunshine in the New Year. I keep reading blogs and looking at weather maps and aire maps and maps and guides and I still can't make my mind where to go. Our van is quite old (1997 Fiat powered Hymer B564) and we do not like driving more than 200kms in a day and by that reckoing it will take a couple of weeks to get to better weather. My question is how far south do you reckon we need to go to get decent weather? We do not expect to swim or sunbathe but we want to avoid frosts and rain and strong winds - all of which are plentiful at home!!

I know January is a bad time to heard south from here but we need to be here for Christmas and we have to be back by April so that sets the limits. We also need to keep our costs down so now expensive toll motorways either and the cheapest possible ferry crossing too.

Any thoughts or experience of winter in Europe would be really useful.

We did six years of full timing in a Hymer S700 1992 (Merc based). We tried the med coast of France but had minus 11c temps. So bad the waste water tank froze and didn't thaw until we got back to Birmingham. We had gone to Bologna where we had knee deep snow and minus 15c temps. It was a freak year but you cannot say anywhere on the med coast will be frost free. Inland Spain gets heavy snow and low temperatures, however the Costas tend to be the warmest and driest. Portugal is influenced by the weather from the Atlantic so can get some very bad storms.

We tended to go south in October/November so avoided the snow on the high plains and Pyrenees. Its best to bite the bullet and use the toll roads over the Pyrenees less strain on your engine as the climbs are quite steep. We also tended to limit ourselves to about 200km a day in 2 hour driving spells with long breaks. We set of and park in daylight for easier driving/navigation. There are plenty of Aires in France but you may not always get water as they turn it off in the winter to avoid freezing. You can at a push get water an supermarkets in large bottles. We have seen snow on the mountain tops though even in November. This is to be expected as they have Ski Resorts in inland Spain not just on the Sierra Nevada. The Costa Calida lives up to its name as the warm coast but suffers from drought. It is also crowded out by northern European Motorhomes. Just a little inland from the coast or in urbanisations and you should have no problems. First line from the coast car parks, often ban motorhomes even in winter, you need to take notice of the signage. There are lots of Camper-stops and Aires appearing now but caravan sites tend to be heavily booked over winter. Authorities are clamping down on Wild Parking near beaches and existing sites. However it is lawful to park and occupy your motorhome in any place a car is allowed to park provided you park in similar manner and not sideways over numerous bays. Anything outside the vehicle changes its status from parked, to camping and camping off a registered site is not permitted. The high plains average 3000ft above sea level and rise steeply from the coast, so it is possible to stand in shorts and t-shirt on the beach and see snow on the mountains. It has in recent time been known for it to snow on the Costas and have snow lying in the beach. To guarantee snow and frost free you would need to go a lot further south.

The major roads are kept free of snow even on the high plains so you should have no problems even in January crossing them. Many are motorway standard and are toll free. Breakdown insurance is essential as it is against Spanish law to tow a broken down vehicle. We had insurance and RAC Continental breakdown cover through Comfort. ADAC no longer is available for non German based vehicles unless you already have it.

Vehicle wise you may experience breakdowns but the service is good at garages,

Ian Ruston
28-11-2017, 17:40
Hi,

I have had a request from one of our Full Members.



So here it is!

Not sure how to go about this. On the subject of Spanish Snowbirds. I very much fancy the idea. I have lived in the Almeria area of Spain a few years ago so have some knowledge of villages and beaches i the DEEP South which am happy to share.

Byronic
28-11-2017, 20:47
What fab timing, today I logged in to get advice on travelling to Spain with two dogs. I am very interested in hearing about people's experiences of driving through France on toll free roads,
attitudes to dogs in France and Spain


Don't discount the possibility of using tolled roads just to get round many of the French larger cities. Over the last decade or so they've had a programme of
putting in roundabouts at just about every junction, makes what was once
a reasonable drive into real tedium.

grath
28-11-2017, 21:07
Don't discount the possibility of using tolled roads just to get round many of the French larger cities. Over the last decade or so they've had a programme of
putting in roundabouts at just about every junction, makes what was once
a reasonable drive into real tedium.

I will second that! We never used to use tolls, but as above, sometimes the odd little part can be cost and time effective!
And those bl*8dy roundabouts, don't half get on your nerves!:idea-007:

billyhilly
28-12-2017, 00:17
We go to Spain and Portugal frequently for Winter so would be happy to give any advice I can, what are the general plans are you interested in using camp sites or pay Aires or wilding, all is very easy in Spain and Portugal and can be done on a low budget or a bigger spend as you wish.
HELLO TO YOU ALL i am thinking off heading off to france then into spain maybe in march in our van for 2 months. we have never done this before so are very nervous
and would be grateful for any advice you can give us for our trip through france and into spain via the shuttle. we have a large 30 foot long autotrail tag axle motorhome.
obviously i know i will have to upgrade my van insurance and get European breakdown cover, but what ells would i need please.

billyhilly
28-12-2017, 00:27
Hi,

I have had a request from one of our Full Members.



So here it is!
GREAT IDEA, there are a few off us that are thinking off heading off to spain in the coming months but would not know were to start , like knowing there
LAWS AND REGULATIONS for motorhome owners. for instance can you get free medical treatment in France and spain

Dogeared
28-12-2017, 07:15
Ditto, leaving mid Feb, taking our time in case of bad weather en route. If the weather's bad, tips about where to stop for a couple of days, e.g. near somewhere of interest would be helpful.

billyhilly
28-12-2017, 22:37
Ditto, leaving mid Feb, taking our time in case of bad weather en route. If the weather's bad, tips about where to stop for a couple of days, e.g. near somewhere of interest would be helpful.
hi there read your post Dogeared. would you be taking the shuttle (train) or the ferry over to Calais and then the toll-free route ( mostly) through west coast side off FRANCE
( OTHERS SAY its safer better roads avoiding steep mountain passes with winter weather over the Pyrenees by A16 TO ROUEN, NONANCOURT, POITIERS DOWN TO THE BOARDER CROSSING near Bayonne & Biarritz into spain ,good modern roads so faster route. have you been to spain before or is this your first trip. I MAY DECIDE TO GO in late February but not sure yet . was wondering if any one ells on here was planning a trip to spain in February or march



























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peter palance
29-12-2017, 08:44
I have reposted this as I thought it relevant to this thread , and some may be thinking of costs.

What does it cost ?
People often ask about the cost of wintering in Spain /Portugal in a Motorhome, Well on our last trip I was determined to get an answer to what the actual cost of our trip was.I left home with a full tank of Diesel and filled up with Diesel when I was at Calais homeward bound so those costs are included as is the round trip Ferry fare,we had 250 Euros in cash when we sailed and returned with the same amount of cash Euros Everything we spent was on our Post Office credit card including cash withdrawals from the ATMs whilst away and interest that incurred.so our credit card bill reflects the actual cost of the trip.We were away from home for 102 nights, we used Aires and Wild camped, paid a few Euros for some of the Aires ,bought items such as clothes , a Spanish Paella type Barbi cooker, food,drinks and ate out a lot, bought fuel and gas refills .our round trip mileage was 4263 miles 2.8 Turbo diesel Fiat ,we lived really well food and drink wise and had a great time went short of nothing.and brought home a stock of wine and spirits which we always buy at LIDL in Calais, Our TOTAL spend was £2200 and that works out at about £21 -57 per day, I had to have the van fridge repaired in Portugal and that 380 Euros is also included in our costs.
I have just received a refund from Southern Electricity of £103 as I have overpaid on my Electricity bill because we weren't using Electric at home whilst away, or water or gas so there will be some credit there too.So is it cheap to be in Spain for the Winter, you bet it is!
when did you go and come back only roughly please happy new year as i like to pull a cork pj

peter palance
29-12-2017, 09:26
Hi,

I have had a request from one of our Full Members.



So here it is!

please keep us, as in my wife and i, imformed as we as in the royal we would be please to maybe in cluded ? in one of the later trips bon voy arge pj

Compo
29-12-2017, 14:17
hi I went thru france into spain and then into Algarve oct /nov this year with my autotrail Comanche no problems getting it in at any acsi sites they just seem to accept large outfits as a norm
compo

billyhilly
30-12-2017, 17:45
hi I went thru france into spain and then into Algarve oct /nov this year with my autotrail Comanche no problems getting it in at any acsi sites they just seem to accept large outfits as a norm
compo hello compo, long time since our last chat. how are you keeping.
ditto, we also have the same model van the Comanche but have not been abroad in it yet. we are looking at, me and my good lady, coming over on the shuttle euro star
in late February or early march through France with stopovers for a bit then into spain and probably over to the east coast between Tarragonna, and Malaga. but might change and try a different part off spain. still a bit up in the air yet. how long are you in Portugal for, is it warm there now. are you likely to be in spain in march. hows the van performing over there any problems. keep in touch paul

billyhilly
30-12-2017, 18:51
hi I went thru france into spain and then into Algarve oct /nov this year with my autotrail Comanche no problems getting it in at any acsi sites they just seem to accept large outfits as a norm
compo
hi compo, was wondering did you use the train Eurostar. do you know what the cost is on the train for a 30 foot van
cheers paul

Compo
31-12-2017, 09:01
hi no back home in uk now I found cheapest rates were with the caravan /motorhome club I travel over Dartford crossing after 10pm its free then down to dover 0030 crossing gets to other side about 3am travel for about 40mins or so then moor up at a service/aire then when you wake you are on holiday.i like the ferry as you get a nice rest and coffee.i am now looking at prices to travel in mid march with 9mtrx3mtr m/h no dog £43 quid ish I'm going over for a citys break in march,hope this info is helpful p.s. prices in april seem to be around the 70quid mark maybe more popular time for the ferrys
kevin

Compo
31-12-2017, 09:40
everything was fine with m/h whilst I was abroad I set off a month before in sept but broke down on a1 .problem with throttle valve my Comanche is 2010 I would recommend a mod if yours is the same .all in all it probably cost about a grand to sort it but now fixed it has done 4300miles perfect.
kevin


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