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HelenandJan
04-12-2015, 20:18
We become full timers on Monday!

Planning to come over to Spain/Portugal early January. Possibly for up to three months.

Any tips appreciated as its our first trip abroad and we are unsure whether to book sites or look for Aires/Wild camp?

iampatman
04-12-2015, 20:32
We become full timers on Monday!

Planning to come over to Spain/Portugal early January. Possibly for up to three months.

Any tips appreciated as its our first trip abroad and we are unsure whether to book sites or look for Aires/Wild camp?

Congratulations!

If you look up the threads here regarding Spain and Portugal there is a wealth of information on places to stay (and avoid). Maybe get a copy of All The Aires Spain & Portugal and/or the Camperstop guide. Fill your Sat Nav/tablet/laptop up with locations and plan a route and take it from there. Have a great time.

Pat

HelenandJan
04-12-2015, 20:36
Congratulations!

If you look up the threads here regarding Spain and Portugal there is a wealth of information on places to stay (and avoid). Maybe get a copy of All The Aires Spain & Portugal and/or the Camperstop guide. Fill your Sat Nav/tablet/laptop up with locations and plan a route and take it from there. Have a great time.

Pat

Thanks. Seems we have the Camperstop guide so that is a start. The weather here is bloody awful. Not sure how we will get through the next month in the Uk. Family commitments mean we need to be here till January.

iampatman
04-12-2015, 20:40
Thanks. Seems we have the Camperstop guide so that is a start. The weather here is bloody awful. Not sure how we will get through the next month in the Uk. Family commitments mean we need to be here till January.

Have a look here -
http://www.wildcamping.co.uk/forums/spain/

There's loads of info for you to trawl through between now and January.

Sorry to hear about your weather, it's glorious here in Bolnuevo :)

Pat

Pauljenny
04-12-2015, 20:50
Well posted !

There are many members on here who have done just that. They will be only too pleased to pass on their experience .

We packed up in 1999 and did exactly what you are planning. In those days, the internet was not really an option, so we had to find out most things by just being there and asking other motorhomers that we met en route. We had to change currency at each frontier and motorhoming was not as plentiful or organised as it is today.

My first advice to you would be to arrange a mobile network that works throughout Europe. Look at 3 and it's "at Home " scheme. You can access websites like .. campingcar-infos-france , ************* and many others . Banking and the ability to get on this website is vital.

Get a Credit card that offers free exchange for purchases in Euros . We use the Halifax and Nationwide Flextronic credit cards. Unlike 1999, these are now widely accepted .For cash you could use pre-pay FX cards.

In your travels, feel confident that wild camping is no problem ,if you pick and choose where you will overnight. You will need a pitstop every few days to dump wastes and take on water. There are plenty of these nowadays.

If you can say some basic foreign sentences in the local lingo, that will help. If you have problems , public libraries can often find an English speaker.

Remember that France will be cold damp and closed , during the winter months . It might be worth considering the long ferry to Santander, to miss it out on you way down.

Get out there and enjoy the adventure !

There are some people who have never had an adventure in their lives.

Good luck !

HelenandJan
04-12-2015, 20:56
Well posted !

There are many members on here who have done just that. They will be only too pleased to pass on their experience .

We packed up in 1999 and did exactly what you are planning. In those days, the internet was not really an option, so we had to find out most things by just being there and asking other motorhomers that we met en route. We had to change currency at each frontier and motorhoming was not as plentiful or organised as it is today.

My first advice to you would be to arrange a mobile network that works throughout Europe. Look at 3 and it's "at Home " scheme. You can access websites like .. campingcar-infos-france , ************* and many others . Banking and the ability to get on this website is vital.

Get a Credit card that offers free exchange for purchases in Euros . We use the Halifax and Nationwide Flextronic credit cards. Unlike 1999, these are now widely accepted .For cash you could use pre-pay FX cards.

In your travels, feel confident that wild camping is no problem ,if you pick and choose where you will overnight. You will need a pitstop every few days to dump wastes and take on water. There are plenty of these nowadays.

If you can say some basic foreign sentences in the local lingo, that will help. If you have problems , public libraries can often find an English speaker.

Remember that France will be cold damp and closed , during the winter months . It might be worth considering the long ferry to Santander, to miss it out on you way down.

Get out there and enjoy the adventure !

There are some people who have never had an adventure in their lives.

Good luck !

Really great points here, thanks so much.

Will have refillable gas fitted before we leave. What do you reckon to solar panel? Best way to get electric?

Pauljenny
04-12-2015, 21:04
Really great points here, thanks so much.

Will have refillable gas fitted before we leave. What do you reckon to solar panel? Best way to get electric?

These days I take it for granted that all full timers will have Gaslow or Gasit kits ... You get a discount on Gasit from this website.

Solar, depends how much time you expect off grid and whether you spend hours watching the telly.

We have no TV, Led lights throughout and rarely use a hookup . 2 x 20 watt free standing panels see us OK. but we normally move 2- 3 times a week during our 5 month summer touring.

John H
04-12-2015, 21:14
Hi

We live most of the time in our motorhome and have been spending most of each year out of the UK for several years now and show no signs of getting fed up with it! I agree with Pauljenny's excellent advice - and would just add that our Halifax Credit Card enables us to get cash from ATM machines without incurring any costs (if you pay it off within 48 hours). We spend a lot of time in Almeria Province (the far south-east of Spain) because it is quiet and warm and dry in winter (frost is rare, daytime temperatures pushing or exceeding 20 Celcius and it is the driest part of Europe - can be windy though!).

As far as practicalities go, you might consider fitting a system such as Gaslow, which will pay for itself inside two years if you are full-timing. Also solar panels and an extra leisure battery. But one thing I can almost guarantee is that you will end up taking too much "stuff" with you - we are still finding things we haven't used for years! If you have any specific queries, I am sure you will get plenty of advice - but enjoy your new life.

HelenandJan
04-12-2015, 21:18
These days I take it for granted that all full timers will have Gaslow or Gasit kits ... You get a discount on Gasit from this website.

Solar, depends how much time you expect off grid and whether you spend hours watching the telly.

We have no TV, Led lights throughout and rarely use a hookup . 2 x 20 watt free standing panels see us OK. but we normally move 2- 3 times a week during our 5 month summer touring.

No Tv? We have one for watching in UK when on mains only. No plans to watch it abroad. Have loads of films on hard drive which we intend to connect to laptop but obviously reliant on electric to keep the laptop powered.

What do you do for the other 7 months?

HelenandJan
04-12-2015, 21:25
Hi

We live most of the time in our motorhome and have been spending most of each year out of the UK for several years now and show no signs of getting fed up with it! I agree with Pauljenny's excellent advice - and would just add that our Halifax Credit Card enables us to get cash from ATM machines without incurring any costs (if you pay it off within 48 hours). We spend a lot of time in Almeria Province (the far south-east of Spain) because it is quiet and warm and dry in winter (frost is rare, daytime temperatures pushing or exceeding 20 Celcius and it is the driest part of Europe - can be windy though!).

As far as practicalities go, you might consider fitting a system such as Gaslow, which will pay for itself inside two years if you are full-timing. Also solar panels and an extra leisure battery. But one thing I can almost guarantee is that you will end up taking too much "stuff" with you - we are still finding things we haven't used for years! If you have any specific queries, I am sure you will get plenty of advice - but enjoy your new life.

Thanks John. We are fluctuating between extreme terror and excitement at the moment. I can't imagine finding things we haven't used for years as there seems limited space to fit things but that is probably cause we want to bring too much in the first place.

We are having the autogas system fitted in a fortnight. It sounds fab where you are at will research it.

It is reassuring to hear from you fulltimers and I am sure it will be the best decision we have made once we get on and 'do it'.

Tezza33
04-12-2015, 21:27
N

What do you do for the other 7 months?They come on here and tell jokes :dance:

If Spain is too hot for you in the summer than France or Germany are full of lovely places to stay for little or no expense, I can stay 6 months in France without spending one euro on campsites, I love Germany but sometimes have to pay a small amount

John H
04-12-2015, 21:34
up to you but do not be too quick to think that a refillable gas system such as gas it or gas low is always cheaper or easier.
Gas in cylinders in Spain and Portugal is not like the UK ,nearly every house uses bottled gas it is readily available and cheap, also available everywhere unlike lpg

It all depends on where you intend to travel. Each country has different cylinders so if you travel through France, Portugal and Spain, for example, you could need to take three different systems. LPG is much more widely available than it used to be and there is information on the internet about where to find it. We have never had a problem - even before it was widespread in Spain.

wineciccio
04-12-2015, 21:35
France does not really close for the winter months, we have only recently returned from Benidorm and there plenty of aires where you can stop overnight, the only suggestion I would make is whenever you can, fill up with water as they turn it off, protection from frost or ice . If travelling on motorways free ones or not you can stop at any service areas overnight, we have been doing it for years and never had any problems, also for 2 euros you can go and have a shower, all they ask for is your keys and the money. Solar panels are essential if you intend to spend more than say 3 to 5 days in one spot, I would go for the best you can afford and double up on the leisure batteries, regardless if you watch tv or not, I rather have more power at my disposal that I can use than not enough, back in 2007 we spent 10 days in Albufeira, few days in Lagos by the fish market and on the port in Portmau, I bet my bottom dollar that now you just can't do it anymore. Good luck and enjoy it as much as I/we did.:camper::camper::camper::camper::camper::campe r::camper:

Tezza33
04-12-2015, 21:39
It all depends on where you intend to travel. Each country has different cylinders so if you travel through France, Portugal and Spain, for example, you could need to take three different systems. LPG is much more widely available than it used to be and there is information on the internet about where to find it. We have never had a problem - even before it was widespread in Spain.It is the same old argument, swiftcamper is 100% right but it is only relevant if you only go to Spain or only to France, if I knew the Country I was going to when I board the ferry I could probably get a gas bottle there, I don't know which Country I will be in next week once I set off

John H
05-12-2015, 07:10
For a full timer a refillable gas system will probably well cover the cost but for the average users it is really a luxury for those that prefer not to change cylinders.

I absolutely agree - my advice was based on the fact that the OP said he was full-timing.

pamjon
05-12-2015, 11:04
We are setting off to Spain about 7th Jan to Valencia. Its very warm there at that time of the year. There are loads of places where you can wild camp if you want. As for gas bottle, don't know if the Sunday market is still on at Benidorm (JH will know this) you can normally pick an empty gas bottle up for about 10 euros. When we were there in September a refill cost 14 euros. The only problem in January and February its cold at night. The days are great.

PJ

Pauljenny
05-12-2015, 16:42
You asked what we do for the other 7 months when not living in the van ?

In theory, we should spend six of them in the Algarve cottage that we bought in 2004, after 5 years of full-timing in a 6 metre van. We'd had a good explore , plenty of adventures, and The Boss hinted that she wanted a base .

Over the next 9 years, we were doing up the cottage and it's garden, improving the 400 metre lane to connect with the main road and making a life out here, that was enough to keep us occupied . Oh, and we joined an African Djembe drumming group out here.

The last 2 years has given a chance to rest up in the cottage,without having to work on it. This means we can jump in the van , on a whim and take off for a few days when the weather is good and we don't have visitors. We full-time for a whole 5 months and part-time when we can.

Gas ?

We have no trouble finding LPG, have 2 tanks and fill when the first one is empty. Even in the foulest County Donegal weather, this summer, we never spent more than 5 per week on refills. It's even cheaper abroad.

Just in from watching the sun go down, while sipping a malt whisky ,7 from the local Lidl.

Live the dream !

HelenandJan
05-12-2015, 18:12
You asked what we do for the other 7 months when not living in the van ?

In theory, we should spend six of them in the Algarve cottage that we bought in 2004, after 5 years of full-timing in a 6 metre van. We'd had a good explore , plenty of adventures, and The Boss hinted that she wanted a base .

Over the next 9 years, we were doing up the cottage and it's garden, improving the 400 metre lane to connect with the main road and making a life out here, that was enough to keep us occupied . Oh, and we joined an African Djembe drumming group out here.

The last 2 years has given a chance to rest up in the cottage,without having to work on it. This means we can jump in the van , on a whim and take off for a few days when the weather is good and we don't have visitors8. We full-time for a whole 5 months and part-time when we can.

Gas ?

We have no trouble finding LPG, have 2 tanks and fill when the first one is empty. Even in the foulest County Donegal weather, this summer, we never spent more than 5 per week on refills. It's even cheaper abroad.

Just in from watching the sun go down, while sipping a malt whisky ,7 from the local Lidl.

Live the dream !


Sounds awesome. It is awful weather here in Cumbria, severe flooding. I just want to get away now.

Pauljenny
05-12-2015, 18:55
Use the bad weather to read all you can on these forums, ( fora? ). There's one that gives a vast number of tips.. How to wildcamp. I think its entitled.Just click on the Forum button.
Get. All your financial stuff, internet,etc sorted.
The time will fly when you're busy.

Be aware that your adventures may not always be of the pleasant kind.. We call it Dragon Slaying..It's great when you can look back and tell the tale,which gets better each time you embroider it.
You're never bored when you have a motorhome.

rockape
05-12-2015, 19:22
:
No Tv? We have one for watching in UK when on mains only. No plans to watch it abroad. Have loads of films on hard drive which we intend to connect to laptop but obviously reliant on electric to keep the laptop powered.

What do you do for the other 7 months?:shag:

Pauljenny
05-12-2015, 21:02
::shag:

When all else fails.... There's always that!

jennyp19
05-12-2015, 22:31
Filled up with gas 2 days ago near Benidorm - 59 cents a litre most Repsol garages have it in Spain

HelenandJan
06-12-2015, 22:20
Use the bad weather to read all you can on these forums, ( fora? ). There's one that gives a vast number of tips.. How to wildcamp. I think its entitled.Just click on the Forum button.
Get. All your financial stuff, internet,etc sorted.
The time will fly when you're busy.

Be aware that your adventures may not always be of the pleasant kind.. We call it Dragon Slaying..It's great when you can look back and tell the tale,which gets better each time you embroider it.
You're never bored when you have a motorhome.

Will do. Thanks. Priority finding somewhere to stay for next three nights in flood ravaged Cumbria before we take a booked holiday on friday.

MykCamper
03-01-2016, 12:21
Sounds awesome. It is awful weather here in Cumbria, severe flooding. I just want to get away now.

Found a great place to stop, in NE Spain, at Cullera, 75K south of Valencia, big area on the south side of the town right by the beach, toilet dump, water supply, bars, supermarkets, and McDonald's close by no hassle from the police who patrol regularly, Gas bottle exchange service twice weekly, But no LPG within 35K. So fill up on the way down!:wave:
Will post coordinates, if required!:cool:

spigot
04-01-2016, 10:17
Found a great place to stop, in NE Spain, at Cullera, 75K south of Valencia, big area on the south side of the town right by the beach, toilet dump, water supply, bars, supermarkets, and McDonald's close by no hassle from the police who patrol regularly, Gas bottle exchange service twice weekly, But no LPG within 35K. So fill up on the way down!:wave:
Will post coordinates, if required!:cool:

Mike,
Where are you at the mo & what's the weather like?
M & M

MykCamper
04-01-2016, 17:52
Mike,
Where are you at the mo & what's the weather like?
M & M

I'm parked up at Cullera, as above, the weather is warm dry but windy, hasn't dropped below 20 for two days and nights, got up to 22.4 today,
Although going cold on Wednesday, (15), then warming up again for the week end!:cool1:
Oh ,sod, forgot to put the coordinates in my bag!:mad1::cry:
WiFi - ing at McDonald's!:sad:

oldish hippy
04-01-2016, 18:31
Google Maps (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Mcdonald's/@39.179198,-0.2621161,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x2475f91b5712191d) is this the one mike

MykCamper
05-01-2016, 12:23
:rolleyes2:At last, I've remembered to bring the Cullera wildcamping closes, N 39 9' 12.3' W 00 14' 32.3' :drive:
Don't all rush at once, the town will be Grid Locked!!:welcome::lol-053::lol-053:

spigot
06-01-2016, 10:03
:rolleyes2:At last, I've remembered to bring the Cullera wildcamping closes, N 39 9' 12.3' W 00 14' 32.3' :drive:
Don't all rush at once, the town will be Grid Locked!!:welcome::lol-053::lol-053:

Mike,
Just checked out those co-ords, it looks suspiciously like a CAMPSITE???

jennyp19
06-01-2016, 14:24
Did you find the font where you could top up your water tanks. Just don't do like we did and top up derv with water. 😀

kampaman
01-02-2016, 16:37
Thanks John. We are fluctuating between extreme terror and excitement at the moment. I can't imagine finding things we haven't used for years as there seems limited space to fit things but that is probably cause we want to bring too much in the first place.

We are having the autogas system fitted in a fortnight. It sounds fab where you are at will research it.

It is reassuring to hear from you fulltimers and I am sure it will be the best decision we have made once we get on and 'do it'.

sorry to hijack, just want to ask how much is it to fit a gaslow system?

John H
01-02-2016, 16:49
sorry to hijack, just want to ask how much is it to fit a gaslow system?

This may help http://www.gaslowdirect.com/Refillable-Shop/What-Do-I-Need/Twin-Cylinder-System . Ours was fitted about five years ago for around 400.

Teutone
01-02-2016, 17:01
sorry to hijack, just want to ask how much is it to fit a gaslow system?

Many on here, me inlcuded, have fitted gas-it instead of Gaslow. Gas-it support and advise is second to none. Use the Search function for more details.

Pauljenny
06-02-2016, 08:42
Have Helen and Jan left The UK yet? How's it going?

HelenandJan
07-02-2016, 09:12
Have Helen and Jan left The UK yet? How's it going?

Hi.

Yes we left the UK on 15th January crossed to Calais and had miserably cold week temp as low as -5!

Now enjoying South of France though today it is torrential rain.

The solar panel has kept us off site. Our French is totally inadequate. Need to find a way to learn.

No desire to return to UK.

Low point when white van man on straight but narrow road ran into us at speed taking off our passenger mirror. As the passenger I was terrified. He drove up the road, stopped and looked back then drove off leaving us stranded.

alcam
07-02-2016, 10:06
Hi.

Yes we left the UK on 15th January crossed to Calais and had miserably cold week temp as low as -5!

Now enjoying South of France though today it is torrential rain.

The solar panel has kept us off site. Our French is totally inadequate. Need to find a way to learn.

No desire to return to UK.

Low point when white van man on straight but narrow road ran into us at speed taking off our passenger mirror. As the passenger I was terrified. He drove up the road, stopped and looked back then drove off leaving us stranded.

Happened to me in rural France . Maybe its a French thing

Pauljenny
07-02-2016, 11:38
It's all part of the adventure.. Some good bits, some not so good.

Keep an eye out for a scrapyard.

Good luck!

welshrarebit
07-02-2016, 12:18
Same happened to us in france too.currently in Spain enjoying the winter warmth.
They're just as mad the drivers here too.

POI Admin
07-02-2016, 13:45
Now enjoying South of France though today it is torrential rain.



I am enduring that same rain between Cannes and Frejus.

Whereabouts are you?

HelenandJan
11-02-2016, 14:39
I am enduring that same rain between Cannes and Frejus.

Whereabouts are you?
Hi.

Currently at Saint Mandrier Sur Mer.

iampatman
11-02-2016, 14:44
26deg here in Bolnuevo :)

Just been for an 11k walk through the hills near Pastrana followed by a delicious 10 menu del dia.

Having difficulty typing there's so much sun on the screen :cool:

Pat

Byronic
11-02-2016, 17:46
26deg here in Bolnuevo :)

Just been for an 11k walk through the hills near Pastrana followed by a delicious 10 menu del dia.

Having difficulty typing there's so much sun on the screen :cool:

Pat

Certainly warm near Almeria but very gusty and humid for the last 3 days especially overnight. You can't have missed that?

HelenandJan
11-02-2016, 17:52
I am enduring that same rain between Cannes and Frejus.

Whereabouts are you?

Just outside Toulon

iampatman
11-02-2016, 18:14
Certainly warm near Almeria but very gusty and humid for the last 3 days especially overnight. You can't have missed that?

I'm not sure whether you're asking if I missed it or am I missing it now?

So, no I didn't miss it ( it has been gusty and humid )

And no, I'm not missing it 'cos it's much the same now - 52% humidity at the moment, 63% forecast for midnight.

Friday forecast - very warm and windy, 20% chance of thunderstorm Friday night.

Pat

POI Admin
11-02-2016, 19:31
Hi.

Currently at Saint Mandrier Sur Mer.

I was there a few weeks ago. There's a great spot to overnight on the Corniche Varoise. You'll find it in the POIs.

I am now at Menton on the Italian border.

Byronic
11-02-2016, 20:10
I'm not sure whether you're asking if I missed it or am I missing it now?

So, no I didn't miss it ( it has been gusty and humid )

And no, I'm not missing it 'cos it's much the same now - 52% humidity at the moment, 63% forecast for midnight.

Friday forecast - very warm and windy, 20% chance of thunderstorm Friday night.

Pat

An excellent and comprehensive weather report looks like you've missed nowt!

iampatman
11-02-2016, 20:23
An excellent and comprehensive weather report looks like you've missed nowt!

Lovely clear sky now and salt in the air from the wind coming off the sea. It'll be a little easier to sleep tonight, as you said it's been a bit too humid these last few nights.
How long are you in Almeria for?

Pat

Byronic
11-02-2016, 20:52
Off to Gib within a couple of days, take a week or 2 to get there, visit the rellies. The weather in the Gib area is not usually as good as up the costas so I contrive to get there as temps rise and hopefully the dreaded east wind, the Levanter isn't as likely to make an appearance!

John H
12-02-2016, 06:58
Been quite breezy for a few days here in Almeria and forecast to continue to be so for some time yet. Still, I suppose it was due - it has been unusually calm here all winter so far.


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