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Fyre Faery
02-11-2009, 15:50
Hello - we have just moved into our van and are heading off to France - Spain - Morocco.
I'm a kiwi and have never been to France (well except 3 days in Paris) - so have no idea what I'm doing....
Can anyone explain Aires - are they the same as camping sites?
And does anyone have a few free parking sites they can suggest traveling from Dieppe down to the Pyrenees?
Oh - and will we need chains going over the Pyrenees in November?

We are going to be away for 6 months... do we still need to pay for UK road Tax?

the article on gas bottles was fascinating.

Much Thanks
Flame**)

grath
02-11-2009, 15:54
Hello - we have just moved into our van and are heading off to France - Spain - Morocco.
I'm a kiwi and have never been to France (well except 3 days in Paris) - so have no idea what I'm doing....
Can anyone explain Aires - are they the same as camping sites?
And does anyone have a few free parking sites they can suggest traveling from Dieppe down to the Pyrenees?
Oh - and will we need chains going over the Pyrenees in November?

We are going to be away for 6 months... do we still need to pay for UK road Tax?

the article on gas bottles was fascinating.

Much Thanks
Flame**)



Check this thread out.
http://www.wildcamping.co.uk/forums/france/6948-few-french-aires.html

I doubt that you will need the chains, just park up if it snows:)

shortcircuit
02-11-2009, 16:24
"We are going to be away for 6 months... do we still need to pay for UK road Tax?"

Your vehicle needs to be street legal so road tax is required.

I understand that the DVLA computers are now linked to the continent so big brother is watching wherever you are.

On a different view point, if your road tax is £180, you are talking £90. What's the problem?

guerdeval
02-11-2009, 17:14
France is the best Country in Europe for free parking (aires), most villages/towns have them and any charges rarely exceed 5 euros, one point though, if you're just taking it easy you are missing the best bit, Brittany is the nicest part of France (and no tolls by law) so if it were me I would turn right off the ferry and follow the best coastline in France, rejoin around Bordeaux and follow the Loire valley inland. Some of the small municipal campsites stay 'unlocked' despite stating otherwise and I have been lucky many times to find the electricity still on, Anyway, have a great trip, you still need UK tax and m.o.t or your insurance is invalid.

AndyC
02-11-2009, 17:21
Oh - and will we need chains going over the Pyrenees in November?

I think its obligatory to carry snow chains when there is laying snow on routes marked with the roadside 'snow chains' sign. Depending on which routes you plan on taking over the Pyrenees and in Spain I would think it a very good idea to have them, just in case.


We are going to be away for 6 months... do we still need to pay for UK road Tax?
Yes, the French and Spanish are starting to check on untaxed UK registered vehicles.

AndyC

---------------------------
Sig gone...

Byronic
02-11-2009, 19:25
The approach road to the pass ahead is signposted if snow present and hence chains (studded tyres) are mandatory. Customs (douane) dont see many travellers on pass routes particularly in the winter, so have a fair bit of time to "devote to you", dont load up with duty frees from Andorra or on your return from Gibraltar especially cigarettes. If tempted to overnight on rest areas more likely in Spain try to keep a bit of distance between you and trucks but not too far (security)refrigerant units can be a nightmare...literally. France at this time of year can be very cold inland and whilst touring may well be the intent, it can be very tempting to race on south I must admit to having low cold tolerance.
However, because of high elevation much of central Spain can be colder than UK! But once you are over the Sierra Nevadas and on the Costa it will be very noticeably warmer.
Some insurance policies contain a clause that negates the effectiveness of the policy if the vehicle does not have current road tax.

Jacqueslemac
02-11-2009, 19:28
...you still need UK tax and m.o.t or your insurance is invalid.

Not true. There is no connection (I suffered 20 long years working in motor insurance, including handling claims for UK motorists abroad).

However, if you don't have road tax you are breaking the law.

Byronic
02-11-2009, 21:19
It was most certainly stated on a policy issued by MCIA.

vindiboy
02-11-2009, 22:00
French law requires you to have snow chains in your vehicle if you are in the snow line, I know because I was told by a Gendarmme at St Lary Soulan in the Pyrneneese

Belgian
03-11-2009, 09:21
Hi Fyre Faery,
Welcome to this site.
You certainly don't have to use snow chains in the Pyrenees when you stick to the main roads. (ans certainly not yet in November)
The French aires vary in quality from ordinary parkings to fully equipet ones with services (from 0 € up to 6€ ) You may easily copy the lists from: camping-car: stationnements, aires de services, bons coins, BTS, annuaire étapes ACCL (http://a.ccl.free.fr/annuaire/accueil.htm) (c'est en français, mais ça se comprend :confused:)
May I suggest a detour to Bretagne; very MH-friendly !

Fyre Faery
03-11-2009, 10:25
Wow! Thank You. This is the first time I've used this site and it's amazing how many people have replied.

I have a few more questions -but let me just explain myself a little bit. My husband and I are going to drive from Brighton UK to New Zealand (of course we'll be needing the boat in some places). We are performers and will be doing our best to subsist by street theatre shows and voluntering on charity projects and organic farms. We reckon it's going to take us 5 - 7 years.

We have only got £10,000 so any amount of money we can save is important hence my questions on the Tax disk, insurance and the cost of Aires. In NZ where I'm from insurance is not compulsary (tax is of course) and I still find the whole thing a bit frustrating! Sorry if I've appeared dodgy in asking about this, not trying to do anything illegal, just save money!

This is the first leg of our trip... we will be dashing off to Morocco (i've been really ill with the cold so we will dashing!) but yes - we will be checking out beautiful Brittany on our way back North in May.

A few more questions:
If we intend to sell the van while away do we need to get some sort of export certificate for it?
Our insurance over covers us for Europe - but outside of Europe is it still a legal requirement? In Turkey for example?
Is there a cheaper country to get road tax in rather than the UK? Can we register the van somewhere else?

Hmmmm. Thank you for your help... maybe I'll post this again outside the French section!
xXxxX

Byronic
04-11-2009, 15:44
Not true. There is no connection (I suffered 20 long years working in motor insurance, including handling claims for UK motorists abroad).

However, if you don't have road tax you are breaking the law.

The policy document actually stated that the policy holder would not be covered in the event of the vehicle not posessing a current road fund license,this particularly applied to legal representation whilst driving overseas! So in effect invalidating an important constituent of comp. insurance, have you ever come across this as a professional in the Godforsaken world of insurance? At the time I (and many others) only taxed whilst in uk and if going overseas for lengthy stay would only renew on return, parking up dockside (non public road) and heading for nearest Post Office.
Re: snow chains in France the AA (who could argue with them) state that in mountainous areas chains SHOULD be carried. Is it the law, you tell me, all I know is I found as vindiboy that the Gendarm told me to carry chains and as far as I am concerned he is the law and that makes it mandatory.

vwalan
04-11-2009, 16:07
hi, its best to have it as it stops hassle .it is possible for some vehicles to be mot excempt .some may be tax excempt. mine is mot n plating excempt it was damaged in portugal a copuple of years ago and saga paid up . i do carry an excemption certificate with my vehicle specially for police stops. you can be found out from abroad ,i was issued with a denunciation in denia afew years ago for parking on the beach. fine 40,000 pstas about 160 quid posted to my address in uk so i can only think they have some computer link even back then. cheers alan.

hogan
05-11-2009, 16:18
This site may help you when you are in Spain.
Mapa de lugares furgoperfectos - Wild & not wild camping spots (Spain - Europe) - furgovw.org (http://www.furgovw.org/mapa_furgoperfecto.php)

Fyre Faery
06-11-2009, 08:38
Someone on another thread was telling me you don't have to pay (road tax I think he meant?) if your vehicle is registered in France? Or if in Belgium only pay during the months you spend in Belgium.

Is there the low way over the Pyrenees? We thought, facing South from the UK, if we bear down towards the left of France it looks like a lower shorter pass and perhaps we won't need chains? Does it snow in Nov? It seems people are saying you need them to cross the snow line.... is that all year or do they mean just when it's snowing?:confused:

Proff
06-11-2009, 09:01
When going into Morocco you are "required" to buy Morroccan insurance [we do on the trips with the BMW GS moBikes..]
You will also be approached by "fixers" who will present your paperwork to the Moroccan border conmen and get you through quicker for a smallish fee..
Backsheesh is a way of life in these countries..
If you don't use the fixers you could take up to a day to clear customs....
If you see a load of Brit bikers on the ferry from Algecerias ask if you can tag along through customs with them...
as they wangle a "discount" from the fixers.............

Also choose your make of M/H as spares for FWD pugs will be non existent in most African states..
Anything with a Merc 2.4 or 3 liter diesel has a good chance tho'

Be prepared for paying "fixer" fees going across every border in North, Central and South Africa..
Also as soon as you enter Gambia or Mauritania buy an AK47 and ammo for around £100...
Make sure that when you park up at night in the wilds that it is in easy reach and can be seen by anyone lurking round your van..
If your van is a Coachbuilt, make sure you CHAIN the front doors together at night, across the seats..
It's essential to take a small electric tyre pump with you and puncture kit. favourite trick is to loose your tyres down while your asleep, you get a lift back to nearest habitation for help, you get back to a shell :(

Look at the Expedition M/H's that are posted on other sites, no windows unless they have retractable roof etc..
It's for a reason, human life is worth less than a goat in lots of African states :(

Fyre Faery
06-11-2009, 09:08
Oh - one more question - where can you pick up unsecured wifi in France? At McDonalds, like in the UK? Anywhere else???

Proff
06-11-2009, 09:15
Micky D's is the WiFi preferred by all Motorhomers like me !! cos I is TIGHT !!!!

Good aires book is >
All the Aires in France, in English..
Vicarious books.
Very useful because post codes in France cover up to 10 sq kms and the aires book uses Co-Ordinates in over 90% of site locations :) which we have found to be absolutely spot on :)

lebesset
06-11-2009, 09:23
easy to get into spain without going high up ; N9 south from perpignan just goes up a bit of a hill and through the town [ no trucks allowed ] even if it should snow it is never closed because of the constant traffic [ french going to spain for cheap booze, tobacco and fuel ]

if it is late in the day you can spend the night in tha aire at le boulou before you cross , after the roundabout with leclerc/intermarche carry on for a short distance and you will see a sign down a turning to your left , along with the dead centre of the town [ play on words :) ] think there is a dump and water but can't really remember...too close to home for me

personally I don't bother much with aires in france , plenty of nice safe places to stop anyway , which you can by law [ code napoleon ] ; anywhere people live where you are not inconveniencing them will do

btw... Quick and KFC usually as well for wifi

Belgian
06-11-2009, 09:32
Someone on another thread was telling me you don't have to pay (road tax I think he meant?) if your vehicle is registered in France? Or if in Belgium only pay during the months you spend in Belgium.

Is there the low way over the Pyrenees? We thought, facing South from the UK, if we bear down towards the left of France it looks like a lower shorter pass and perhaps we won't need chains? Does it snow in Nov? It seems people are saying you need them to cross the snow line.... is that all year or do they mean just when it's snowing?:confused:

Road tax: exemption for road tax in Belgium only aplies for Belgium registered
MH's (if you drive not more than 30 days in Belgium)

Snow chains: not neccessary on all highways and major roads crossing the Pyrennees towards Spain. 'If' there should be snow (unlikely before january) the roads are cleared within hours.

AndyC
06-11-2009, 10:50
Micky D's is the WiFi preferred by all Motorhomers like me !! cos I is TIGHT !!!!

Good aires book is >
All the Aires in France, in English..
Vicarious books.
Very useful because post codes in France cover up to 10 sq kms and the aires book uses Co-Ordinates in over 90% of site locations :) which we have found to be absolutely spot on :)
Vicarious Books have also just published a guide to campsites in Morocco: Camping Morocco (http://www.vicariousbooks.co.uk/camping-morocco.htm)

I'd better not say who did the inspections.... :)

AndyC

AndyC
06-11-2009, 11:02
When going into Morocco you are "required" to buy Morroccan insurance
Unless you have Morocco included on your Green Card


[we do on the trips with the BMW GS moBikes..]
You will also be approached by "fixers" who will present your paperwork to the Moroccan border conmen and get you through quicker for a smallish fee..
Backsheesh is a way of life in these countries..
If you don't use the fixers you could take up to a day to clear customs....Unlikely to take as long as a day! The entry at Tangier is slightly easier as the Police paperwork is usually done on the ferry, so you only have to clear customs at the port. It took us less than a hour last winter.

If you see a load of Brit bikers on the ferry from Algecerias ask if you can tag along through customs with them...
as they wangle a "discount" from the fixers.............

Also choose your make of M/H as spares for FWD pugs will be non existent in most African states..
Anything with a Merc 2.4 or 3 liter diesel has a good chance tho'Yes, plenty of old Mercs around, and local mechanics are pretty good at repairing things.


Be prepared for paying "fixer" fees going across every border in North, Central and South Africa..
Also as soon as you enter Gambia or Mauritania buy an AK47 and ammo for around £100...
Make sure that when you park up at night in the wilds that it is in easy reach and can be seen by anyone lurking round your van..I hope that was a joke :eek:

If your van is a Coachbuilt, make sure you CHAIN the front doors together at night, across the seats..
It's essential to take a small electric tyre pump with you and puncture kit. favourite trick is to loose your tyres down while your asleep, you get a lift back to nearest habitation for help, you get back to a shell :(

Look at the Expedition M/H's that are posted on other sites, no windows unless they have retractable roof etc..
It's for a reason, human life is worth less than a goat in lots of African states :(AndyC
_____________________________
www.ukmotorhomes.net (http://www.ukmotorhomes.net)

lebesset
06-11-2009, 11:46
btw, no road tax for private vehicles in france
HOWEVER , it will cost you about 3 years uk road tax to get your vehicle registered in france , mot/drire/taxes , depends on the fiscal hp
my hymer 584 cost €450 just to change ownership with mot/drire already paid for:(

vwalan
06-11-2009, 12:28
if you are thinking of morocco make sure you get it added to your policy here. i normally visit every year. use safeguard or comfort or norwich union car club.or saga all cover morocco .also national farmers union . i do use a truck with small windows . never pay backsheech .tell them to f .off usually park wild camping. if you are on a bike could be worth using campsites .most are like building sites . dont let them rush you.i think you will now find there is no insurance to be had on the border .when ever there is alot of bikes trucks running together the guides on the border rubb their hands .why do clubs here think you must pay. its free .,now best use ceuta ,go to the vehicle office get your vehiclebooked in then go to passport office fill in the form get your pasport let customs check you then you are in . every thing is free no charge. be carefull speeding they have alot of cameras now every town is surrounded by hand held stroppycops glad i have a tacho fitted. be firm they pick up on fear and use it to frighten you . like spanish police they wont shoot you but will tap their guns to frighten you. have fun ido .cheers alan.

Byronic
06-11-2009, 18:38
If your passport shows previous Maroc entry stamps, then at Tanger and Ceuta you are less likely to be hassled,conversely if no stamps or even a fresh passport then you are more of a likely target, invariably if you dont pay the hassler (some) customs officers will use delaying tactics to encourage you to do so. The customs officers are on a percentage raked in by the hasslers. So a nervous 1st tmer might find it better to pay up, at least the paperwork will be done fior you.
If you are Maroc bound cheapest ferry tickets obtained at Palmones shopping complex on N340 East side of Algeciras, from STC Travel (next to Carrefour) manned by the inimitable Juan Carlos Guttierrez. Overniting OK outside STC office or Lidls nearby.
And no I m not on a retainer!

channa
07-11-2009, 07:23
In order to use a vehicle in the EU. your vehicle should comply with the regulations it originates from.

I.e It should be taxed MOT'd and insured.

In terms of the insurance, It is also worth checking how long you allowed to spend outside the UK. This varies from insurer to insurer.

For example if you choose a policy with 90 days cover and you are on the mainland longer, Should you have an accident you really dont want to consider the implications !!.

Outside Europe as others have stated, you pretty much buy your insurance at the border to cover you during your stay there.

The best advice I can offer re your initial insurance is make sure you declare anything that needs declaring, and read the policy summary carefully to ensure the policy covers you adequately.It will also express the implications re valid road tax etc.

Insurance is a contract of 'utmost good faith' In other words anything and everything needs to be declared that could influence premium or an insurers acceptance of taking 'risk' in the first place.

In the event of an accident if you havent declared all material facts and you are partly to blame, The insurers can and do payout the third parties then excercise their 'subrogation' rights to recover their losses from you.

Perhaps this is worthy of consideration when arranging your insurance for the European part of your trip
Channa

lebesset
07-11-2009, 10:26
not completely true
by EU law the insurance in any EU country must cover your legal liability in all other EU countries during the term of the insurance
but uk insurers tend to stop the insurance on the vehicle itself:confused:

of course if your insurance is completely invalid because you have been telling porky pies , that is another matter !

channa
07-11-2009, 10:33
not completely true
by EU law the insurance in any EU country must cover your legal liability in all other EU countries during the term of the insurance
but uk insurers tend to stop the insurance on the vehicle itself:confused:

of course if your insurance is completely invalid because you have been telling porky pies , that is another matter !

I am slightly confused by what is not ' completely true' .... please expand

Channa

vwalan
07-11-2009, 10:58
(article 7 (2)of the eec directive on insuranceof civil liabilities arising fromthe use of motor vehicles (no 72/166/cee))and somenon eu states (eg switzerland)
insurance issued in a member state must give minimum limited legal cover for use in member states.
uk insurers try to forget that bit and say its not true. it is very limited though, becarefull.

channa
07-11-2009, 12:26
Well firstly, I think it is a pretty fair assumption,that insurers are well aware of their obligations in respect of meeting their potential public liability claims when an 'insured' is abroad furthermore the limit of their liabilities.Has you correctly state EU directives are reasonably straightforward in setting out minimum obligations.

( Their inclination or otherwise to have a selective interpretation is a thread worthy initself)

An insurers option to provide the minimum cover in any given EU state is why I suggested that the policy summary needs to be read very carefully.

In terms of the principles of 'utmost good faith' and 'subrogation' rights these are cornerstones of any insurance policy, Motor based or otherwise.

Channa

Byronic
07-11-2009, 16:03
If you have a comprehensive policy which restricts you to eg 90 days EU cover for any single trip, then, should you go over the 90 days period cover reverts to EU minimum, ie Third Party standard? I am never 100% sure if this is the case, and never get a convincing reply from the insurers. Effectively it means that if going over the 90 days you would be paying comp. premium for Third Party cover. Does anybody on the thread have the definitive answer?

vwalan
07-11-2009, 16:12
yes thats what you do. best search out a company that gives 365 days euro cover or 6 mnths what ever you need .i always get one that will give a green card and put maroc on it . saga is a good one but wont cover 5ers.

channa
07-11-2009, 16:35
it means that if going over the 90 days you would be paying comp. premium for Third Party cover.

They have factored into their premium a 90 day potential risk.

Bearing that in mind

You are not paying comp for a third party risk at all ...the terms are clearly stated ..the fact you choose to extend a stay is beyond the original assessment of potential risk and understandably the insurers revert to third party liability only.

If you intend to spend longer than 90 days abroad to use your example, this is a material fact which can and will effect an insurers premium or willingness to insure.

sorry but your assertion is totally unfounded and has no merit.

vwalan makes a valid comment find an insurer that accomodates your requirements in terms of stay

Channa

lebesset
07-11-2009, 17:08
having talked to people from a variety of countries I don't know of any other EU country where this is done ...the EU is the home country for the sake of the insurance

of course the british insurance industry resisted frantically when they were forced to extend the liability insurance to the rest of the EU , getting a concession not to give full cover

no wonder most europeans think we don't wish to belong ; perhaps we will withdraw , and need visa's , exchange controls , vehicle examinations again :o

my french insurance gives a 12 month green card [ n. africa etc included , the only recognised insurance document ] , breakdown cover anywhere , repatriation , free glass breakage etc
ok , it costs me £300/annum for a 30k vehicle with a €300 euro excess , but it is one stop shopping , no other insurance required , covers fittings , possessions etc , so not a bad deal in my book

channa
07-11-2009, 17:49
.the EU is the home country for the sake of the insurance.
of course the british insurance industry resisted frantically when they were forced to extend the liability insurance to the rest of the EU , getting a concession not to give full cover

no wonder most europeans think we don't wish to belong ; perhaps we will withdraw , and need visa's , exchange controls , vehicle examinations again :o


Firstly forgive me, I cant multi quote so bear with me.

The Eu is far from being the home country in terms of insurance. UK insurers assess the risks here simply because the majority of potential perils will occur here.(traffic law legislation here differs significanty to the rest of Europe as things stand)

Continental exposure is something that needs to be factored in to the equation hence 90 day 120 day continental terms etc. FWIW I dont have a problem with this each insurer is only responding to their perceived exposure.

Slightly OT but your observations re Europeans attitude towards the British I find interesting. (having spent the last 10 months out of 18 in France and Belgium )

I would agree that they cant quite work out why Britain has such an allegiance to the USA for example.

Equally the French and Belgians particularly have legislation/rules that makes an attempt to settle and work a big hurdle despite the fact I am a European citizen.

There is a disguised attempt IMHO to protect their own economies via red tape and bureacracy.

IMO our continental cousins are equally as suspicious of the European market
It isnt just the British far from it.

Perhaps worthy of a seperate thread, How |Europe perceives us and the reality ?

Channa

Byronic
07-11-2009, 17:52
They have factored into their premium a 90 day potential risk.

Bearing that in mind

You are not paying comp for a third party risk at all ...the terms are clearly stated ..the fact you choose to extend a stay is beyond the original assessment of potential risk and understandably the insurers revert to third party liability only.

If you intend to spend longer than 90 days abroad to use your example, this is a material fact which can and will effect an insurers premium or willingness to insure.

sorry but your assertion is totally unfounded and has no merit.

vwalan makes a valid comment find an insurer that accomodates your requirements in terms of stay

Channa

Of course one should purchase insurance cover for the length of ones stay, it goes without saying; I am hypothesising, the situation could arise quite easily where you are inadvertly delayed and it would be of some advantage to know where your liabilities lie.
Sure the insurance premium would factor in the 90 risk, and charge accordingly. My policy actually covers EU comprehensively for 180 days. However it does not state that I am restricted to 180 days,only that that is the period for comprehensive cover then it would provide the EU minimum.
I think I didnt make it clear on my point re. being charged by the insurer comp. premium for 3rd party risk, I am agreeing, that you would be negating the contractual terms and might as well taken out EU minimum, what a boring topic I ve lost the will to live!

channa
07-11-2009, 18:04
, what a boring topic I ve lost the will to live!

Indeed, but a potentially costly one if the less experienced than yourself dont fully understand the implications.

To make it more interesting howsabout the perfect Paella recipe ??;):D:cool:
Channa

vwalan
07-11-2009, 18:10
hi, i was once insured by axa here in uk .when asked if they would cover morocco they said no. i then called at a friends in france ,he was uk but moved. he as green card for all med countries and alot more eastern than us in uk. what company does he use axa.
once again uk holds us back. ..same as ADAC the german breakdown version of our aa/rac the cover they give is incredible ,they have an office in agadir specially to help if you break down in maroc. they fly parts in so you dont need recovery. we have to get our companies to wake up, cheers alan.

Byronic
07-11-2009, 19:12
Indeed, but a potentially costly one if the less experienced than yourself dont fully understand the implications.

To make it more interesting howsabout the perfect Paella recipe ??;):D:cool:
Channa

My recipe for a perfect Paella are unfortunately (or fortunately) secretly held by my Spanish mother. However,manana (I dont have a Spanish keyboard)we will be on the Calais ferry heading for Espana.....I know..... I m just trying to illicit a cheap bit of envy!! and if I find the perfect Paella I will bribe the chef for the recipe and post on this site. Meanwhile try bacalao y patata frita.

channa
07-11-2009, 19:42
My recipe for a perfect Paella are unfortunately (or fortunately) secretly held by my Spanish mother. However,manana (I dont have a Spanish keyboard)we will be on the Calais ferry heading for Espana.....I know..... I m just trying to illicit a cheap bit of envy!! and if I find the perfect Paella I will bribe the chef for the recipe and post on this site. Meanwhile try bacalao y patata frita.

Salted fish and fried potatoes ? ...sounds nice.

Illicit envy ? you have succeeded I had tears in my eyes leaving Calais on Thursday.

Have a good one !

regards

Channa

rach-chavette
07-11-2009, 19:48
Dont know If this is any help but I came across this a while ago ..might be worth taking a looky :p

Quote Guardian: Raise a glass and camp it up for free network of farms and vineyards across France is offering campervans a free site for the night and the chance to sample the produce, writes Beverley Fearis
Along with about 1,300 other wine-growers and farmers across the country, they have joined an initiative called France Passion, under which holidaymakers with campervans or motor homes can stay on their land, free for a maximum of 24 hours.

Visitors are invited to sample their wine, cider, cheese, honey, gingerbread, or whatever they produce. It's not compulsory to make a purchase, but trust me, it's difficult not to. Everything we tasted was delicious, and €4 for a bottle of decent rosé or €3 for a pot of honey seems like nothing when it comes complete with a good night's sleep tucked away in the corner of a quiet field or among pristine vineyards

CLICKY CLICKY :p
Free camping at farms and vineyards across France | Travel | The Observer (http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2009/apr/12/vineyards-france-campervans-brittany-wine)

channa
07-11-2009, 19:54
France Passion has a yearly subscription that runs from Easter to Easter.

I have friends who own a vineyard in Monbazilliac who are part of it ( i'm not I am not that organised)...The idea is a great one and wouldnt it be great if we could get a similar thing going here in the UK ?

The formula would be a fantastic way of enjoying our hobby, falls outside the scope of a lot of our planning laws and provides a little incremental income for the hosts.

Where do I sign ?

Channa

rach-chavette
07-11-2009, 20:07
I agree Channa ;)
If more farms over here let the likes of us happy campers stay for free Im sure they could/would sell more of their produce .. The farms near me rely on the local farmers markets which are once a fortnight ..

Maybe a few of us should contact our local farms asking permision.. If they allow camping as long as we purchase their cider/eggs/veg/milk :D
Maybe if it takes off we can have a section on here especially :D

channa
07-11-2009, 20:31
I agree Channa ;)
If more farms over here let the likes of us happy campers stay for free Im sure they could/would sell more of their produce .. The farms near me rely on the local farmers markets which are once a fortnight ..

Maybe a few of us should contact our local farms asking permision.. If they allow camping as long as we purchase their cider/eggs/veg/milk :D
Maybe if it takes off we can have a section on here especially :D

Picky I know, But the France passion scheme doesn't insist you purchase anything I think that is an importnat point.

That said, I always buy a bottle of wine from Jean if only for the fact I would the following day from a supermarket.

Furthermore it is great to eat and drink produce where you can see its origin (not to mention carbon footprints etc ).

Ironically at the end of September when I stopped there last, all the vans were British and my hosts decided on the basis I was a frequent visitor and had cut the grapes I was the unofficial/official intepreter.:eek:

Anyway after a few questions,from visitors which taxed me everyone seemed happy and we all had a few drinks.

How the conversation turned to whisky I am not quite sure but I had to explain the difference between a malt and a blend.

Springtime will cost me a bottle of talisker to illustrate the point!

The beauty is of course to me at least you cant book this type of experience in any travel agents.

We are slightly OT..but it would be really good if we could mirror France Passion here in the UK.

Channa

AndyC
07-11-2009, 22:00
France Passion has a yearly subscription that runs from Easter to Easter.

I have friends who own a vineyard in Monbazilliac who are part of it ( i'm not I am not that organised)...The idea is a great one and wouldnt it be great if we could get a similar thing going here in the UK ?

The formula would be a fantastic way of enjoying our hobby, falls outside the scope of a lot of our planning laws and provides a little incremental income for the hosts.

Where do I sign ?

Channa

The idea was tried over here a few years ago but never got off the ground.

The reasons, as I understand it, were that many of the places approached were not interested in letting motorhomes stay for free, and people were dubious about paying to join the scheme when there was no guarantee of a reasonable number of places to stay.

At the end of the day I think it came down to funding, the scheme's originator couldn't afford the setup costs without a guaranteed number of prospective members.

There is also the planning issue, the sites would have to be certificated as CLs by an Exempted Organisation.

AndyC

channa
07-11-2009, 22:10
The idea was tried over here a few years ago but never got off the ground.

The reasons, as I understand it, were that many of the places approached were not interested in letting motorhomes stay for free, and people were dubious about paying to join the scheme when there was no guarantee of a reasonable number of places to stay.

At the end of the day I think it came down to funding, the scheme's originator couldn't afford the setup costs without a guaranteed number of prospective members.

There is also the planning issue, the sites would have to be certificated as CLs by an Exempted Organisation.

AndyC

I guess to a certain extent we have an equivalent in the CL's provided by the CC and C&C clubs.

If we need to lobby and pressure, the targets should be local authorities to provide aires along the lines of the French set up.

Forgetting for a moment the motorhome theme, I really struggle to see how LA's fail to see that there is economic benefit to theor constituents indeed the same people whom elected them.

Channa

Belgian
08-11-2009, 08:47
More info about France Passion (and others in Italy and Spain) overhere at:
http://www.wildcamping.co.uk/forums/european/3009-france-passion.html

AndyC
08-11-2009, 09:37
I guess to a certain extent we have an equivalent in the CL's provided by the CC and C&C clubs.

If we need to lobby and pressure, the targets should be local authorities to provide aires along the lines of the French set up.

Forgetting for a moment the motorhome theme, I really struggle to see how LA's fail to see that there is economic benefit to theor constituents indeed the same people whom elected them.

Channa

The CL/CS system here is similar to France Passion but it does seem to me that farmers here don't take advantage of it as much as they might.

The main difference is that, with the exception of the Motor Caravanners' Club CLs, you have to join a major club in order to use a CL/CS site.

An interesting idea would be to have just one organisation running the Exemption Scheme for 5 van sites, they could charge a small membership fee and have the whole network available for all their members to use.

The LAs that I've discussed the issue with think that it's not their job to provide what they, in the main, still think of as a campsite with all the associated infrastructure and running costs. There are a few more enlightened ones, such as Teignmouth, Canterbury, Powys, etc and I'm pleased to see the numbers growing slowly.

AndyC

Belgian
08-11-2009, 14:12
An interesting idea would be to have just one organisation running the Exemption Scheme for 5 van sites, they could charge a small membership fee and have the whole network available for all their members to use.
AndyC

That is exactly the way FP operates: limiting it up to 5 sites; then they don't have to bother about camping regulations at all: you are invited with them as a guest, a friend.(everybody may invite friends on his property; no law against it). If they don't charge for overnighting they do not fall under any camping regulation. Everybody is free to buy their products or not. I presume French legistation isn't that different from UK. (of course there are not that many vineyards in England :rolleyes: but you have farmers, handicrafters , marina's, yachting harbours, pubs ....).
Post your pub stop overs - Wild Camping for Motorhomes (http://www.wildcamping.co.uk/forums/post-your-pub-stop-overs/)is about the same idea.
One of our members started this:
Welcome to The Motorhome Stopover (http://www.motorhomestopover.co.uk/index.asp)
Cheers,
Leo

AndyC
08-11-2009, 17:03
That is exactly the way FP operates: limiting it up to 5 sites; then they don't have to bother about camping regulations at all: you are invited with them as a guest, a friend.(everybody may invite friends on his property; no law against it). If they don't charge for overnighting they do not fall under any camping regulation. Everybody is free to buy their products or not. I presume French legistation isn't that different from UK. (of course there are not that many vineyards in England :rolleyes: but you have farmers, handicrafters , marina's, yachting harbours, pubs ....).
Post your pub stop overs - Wild Camping for Motorhomes (http://www.wildcamping.co.uk/forums/post-your-pub-stop-overs/)is about the same idea.
One of our members started this:
Welcome to The Motorhome Stopover (http://www.motorhomestopover.co.uk/index.asp)
Cheers,
Leo

Sadly UK legislation IS different, in this respect, to French legislation.

I have a resume of the UK legislation on my site here: UKMotorhomes.net - UK Motorhome Stopover News (http://www.ukmotorhomes.net/stopovers_news.shtml#legislation)

AndyC

Fyre Faery
11-11-2009, 10:13
Hello Everyone,

Thank You!!! I have been scribbling down loads of notes this is all fascinating stuff. Am going to give Saga a call re the green card.

Anyway - I rand the DVLA re Road tax. It seems you can only keep getting UK road tax if you return to the UK every year to get a UK MOT, they will not accept one from elsewhere. So at some point I will have to reg the van somewhere else. I see France is expensive, but the insurance is good.

Has anyone ever registered in Belgium? How much is that?
Can you get European insurance with the UK registered vehicle? I am guessing not as it sounds so much better I guess then everyone would do it.

Re: The French Passion scheme - is the deal that you need to buy the book or pay a yearly subscription? Does anyone know where to pick up Vicarious books in France? I no longer have a postal address!!

Re: Craziness and Hustlers in Africa... err the machine gun and chains for the front doors - was that advice for Morocco or onlu the rest of Africa ?

Much Much Thanks
Flame**)

Belgian
11-11-2009, 13:44
Hello Everyone,

Has anyone ever registered in Belgium? How much is that?
Can you get European insurance with the UK registered vehicle? I am guessing not as it sounds so much better I guess then everyone would do it.

Re: The French Passion scheme - is the deal that you need to buy the book or pay a yearly subscription? Does anyone know where to pick up Vicarious books in France? I no longer have a postal address!!

Much Much Thanks
Flame**)

Hi,
maybe you'll find some answers here.
Transit licence plates in Belgium:
English (http://www.auto-transit.com/documents/23.html)
About France Passion:
You have to subscibe to FP to get the book with the adresses the membership card and the sticker (however I've never met a winegrower verifiyng this !)
FRANCE PASSION la France en camping-car (http://www.france-passion.com)
France Passion French motorhome vineyard and farm stopover guide. (http://www.france-passion.co.uk/?gclid=CM3hy4GXg54CFYeB3god7yOkqg)
Dutch MH'ers did put some adresses together:
France Passion (http://fonseveraard.blogspot.com)
Greetings,
Leo

Proff
11-11-2009, 14:02
Re Chaining the front doors..
If you are going down the Med coast in Spain. N11 C15 C35 etc
The area twixt Perpignan and Barcelona and onto Valencia is known as Bandit country..That's where you start chaining doors on coachbuilts or van conversions when overnighting
Even on well lit toll road sites we have seen the Albanian, Romanian, Turks even the occasional rogue Englishman trying door locks [ with a screwdriver ] on every parked Camper and Caravan, even witnessing first hand, break ins of a caravan whose owners [German] had decided to use the motel for the night .and a UK 3 week old van whose occupants included a 8 year old Rottweiler, all he did was bark which set off the vans alarm scaring the robbing ******* out of the driver seat [yes he was already in there before dog barked ] which stopped the others and they raced off, taking a load of stuff from the German van..
Report to the Police with Reg number of the cars racing away with the ratbags in.
Report done in perfect [almost] Spanish, they didn't want to know, wouldn't notify the toll exits or nothing :( Even going so far as mooching around the Germans caravan and pocketing a bottle of Schnapps.
When you confront these bastids they wave a gun at you..
That's the main reason I don't "DO" Spain anymore :(
Unless we use a gated site,,,, nice one in Agilis...

Morocco, you know what to expect, stop anywhere and you will soon be approached by someone offering Mint Tea or Hashish...
Even in the middle of nowhere you see kids as young as 10 herding goats 60 kms or so away from their main camp :eek:
TIC TACS seem to be the accepted currency...
Also if you have any of the old screw type commercial jacks [ not scissor ] you will be made most welcome :)
Keep off the pistes unless you have 4WD...

We used to leave the 4WDs at a Garage when we go out on the bikes into the mountains, very cheap and they do look after them..

Regarding arming oneself, I do and I'm not afraid to say so...
I do have UK Firearms and shotgun tickets so I don't see myself as gung ho..
I always resell the AK at the border post before coming back into Morocco..
Just think of it as Insurance....
BUT I have to say I've not been back to Mauritania, Senegal or the Gambia for 9 years, maybe its changed :rolleyes:

vwalan
11-11-2009, 14:12
hi, if you need abook of aires go to a book shop in france or even leclerc or carrefoure they normally have them.
are you going to morocco?
get insurance now ideally before you leave . forget the machine gun etc . talk to as many travellers on the way down .specially near gibralter . someone will help you through the borders. lots will be on there way .about 25,ooo campers hit morocco each winter you will not be alone.
best place for tickets is voyages normandie. at polmones near lidl and carrefoure every body knows juan carlos gutier and his cracking daughters.he does shout alot though be warned.
dont pay the fixers .its quite straight forward . it may take time you are in a camper so put kettle on dont be rushed,stay in charge yourself.
once in get the hell away from tangiers or ceuta .head to asila or larache (free parking and camping in visitor centre.
leave nothing around in cab. be wary ,park near others till in the country . have fun if you need more info pm me. cheers alan.

Proff
11-11-2009, 14:35
Best place for tickets is voyages normandie. at polmones near lidl and carrefoure every body knows juan carlos gutier and his cracking daughters.he does shout alot though be warned.
dont pay the fixers .its quite straight forward . it may take time you are in a camper so put kettle on dont be rushed,stay in charge yourself.
once in get the hell away from tangiers or ceuta .head to asila or larache (free parking and camping in visitor centre.
leave nothing around in cab. be wary ,park near others till in the country . have fun if you need more info pm me. cheers alan.

Juan Carlos Gutier, how he get the tickets for the prices he does :eek: no one knows :confused: Top man.....
Overnighting in Tangiers was a nightmare, peddlers up @ sparowfart knocking doors and windows thinking you want buy camel saddle !!:mad::mad:

vwalan
11-11-2009, 15:00
like i said best head to larache go to the town itself ,on the way out on the kenitra rd or back to m,way look on left side big centre de loisers .camping free. there are other crossings .sometimes its nearly as cheap to go via gibralter. get your ticketsin turners travel in irish town ,gib, can be difficult for larger campers to load unload sometimes. from now to middle of january nearly every ferry willhave atleast 10-15 campers on it. look for one withpaintings of camels on they will have gone before and know the ropes. german /dutch/french always ask .most are very helpfull. morocco is better in a camper .tents are not good they do cut them at night andtake every thing you have even under your pillow. dont be put off i normally go every year. its a lovelly country and great people once you get over the culture shock. it is getting better . i year change there is like 5yr change here. i love it .in shalah. bsslemah

AndyC
11-11-2009, 15:33
Does anyone know where to pick up Vicarious books in France? I no longer have a postal address!!

They have a shop in Folkestone: 62 Tontine Street, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 1JP - pick a the guides you want your way to Dover, unless you've already left of course.... They will post guides to a campsite address.


Re: Craziness and Hustlers in Africa... err the machine gun and chains for the front doors - was that advice for Morocco or onlu the rest of Africa ?I wouldn't advise carrying a gun anywhere...

AndyC

maingate
11-11-2009, 17:57
Don`t bother p*ssing about with chain between door handles. Too easy to get round.

It took me 2 minutes to fit deadlocks on my van.

As for the sdvice of carrying a weapon take no notice of that either. You will get into more trouble by doing so. I managed to work in Angola for a long time during the civil war without one. Mind you, I had a very nasty knife tucked away in my boot, out of sight. I was on the Diamond mines and we were prime targets for Unita.

If they know you are armed then they will use suitable tactics to get round that. Africans have knowledge in the use of firearms and you do not.
You have not declared the intention of going further than North Africa. Are you?

Fyre Faery
11-11-2009, 18:36
We are going to New Zealand via Siberia, Morocco is a bit of a detour, so not popping through the rest of Morocco.

For give my confusion but what is a dealock?

We have got some central locking thing (makes a loud noise when turn the key) - the van used to belong to Chubb Security. But I reckon the system was built in when it was made. Does that not sound good enough??? I have never tried breaking in with a screwdriver... but I reckon that would be hard work!!! More worried about some ******* stealing my solar panel... just put locktight inside the screwtops....

vwalan
11-11-2009, 18:51
solar panels in morocco cost about 120quid for an 80watt .they are all over the place .they have them in banks as big as an house to give lecy in way out villages. just about every tin shed as solar panels and satalite tv they have been into solar way before us. you can be miles from anywhere come across a mud hut with them. its normal over there. the bigger towns and cities are so western its like going to birmingham. ha ha. the last 10yrs as brought mind blowing changes over there. even the chinese truck companies are opening big manufacturing plants there. mitsubishi .volvo, renault have enormous plants there. most of marks and spencer clothes are made there. teenagers are paying cash for chinese cars and motorbikes. its not quite so 3rd world anymore. just about anything you want is available . somethings cheap some still expensive. its great. cheers alan.

Fyre Faery
11-11-2009, 19:19
Oh cool. They won,t want one of those then.

Errrrr.... does anyone know where to get a leisure battery near Dieppe??? We had to re-do the electrics when installing our solatr panel and our clever friend has discovered ours has only been putting out 6volts. No wonder the lights are so dim. We are leaving on the 4am Ferry with no leccy.

Toiny
11-11-2009, 19:58
U absolutely must be taxed or yr insurance is INVALID! Be wary of snow chains. They r nt easy 2 use! contact French tourist board in London 4 advice re laws & weather.

vwalan
11-11-2009, 20:17
some panels can give 6volt but if youlook at the connection block on the back you should be able to work outthe terminal for 12volt. it wont be giving much out as the sun is so poor.

Belgian
11-11-2009, 20:34
Oh cool. They won,t want one of those then.

Errrrr.... does anyone know where to get a leisure battery near Dieppe??? We had to re-do the electrics when installing our solatr panel and our clever friend has discovered ours has only been putting out 6volts. No wonder the lights are so dim. We are leaving on the 4am Ferry with no leccy.

Hi, consider this
If your leisure battery as the same dimensions as a starter battery; go for an ordinary starter battery (much cheaper)
I have this first hand from a battery manufacturer:
Leisures have thicker led plates and can stand a lower discharge. However thicker plates have a greater volume. They use to put a sticker "leisure" on a starter battery and sell it dearer :eek:
If you have solarcells a good battery will barely not discharge below 12 V; so a starter batt will be as good for the purpose. (my leisure is a starter and still goes along for 5 years !)
Have a good trip :)

vwalan
11-11-2009, 20:47
hi. i have 3x80wt panels on roof and 700amp hr of normal truck batteries for leisure use. i also have a 24v to 12 v charger running when engine working. its a durite charger with float facility. get a normal battery it will work fine. i would wire the two together with thick cable. if you arent that way minded again i,m sure you will meet someone that is .either have aswitch or relay in line as well. talk to people as you travel there are alot of good ones out there. i would say go to one of the truck conversions you are bound to see on your travels .they normally know how to fix most things. most have built their own truck. cheers alan.

maingate
11-11-2009, 20:59
We are going to New Zealand via Siberia, Morocco is a bit of a detour, so not popping through the rest of Morocco.

For give my confusion but what is a dealock?

We have got some central locking thing (makes a loud noise when turn the key) - the van used to belong to Chubb Security. But I reckon the system was built in when it was made. Does that not sound good enough??? I have never tried breaking in with a screwdriver... but I reckon that would be hard work!!! More worried about some ******* stealing my solar panel... just put locktight inside the screwtops....
Hi Fyre Faery,

If your van is ex Chubb then it probably has extra security fitted. If not, a deadlock works the same as one on a domestic door. On a vehicle, it locks on the inside edge of the door pillar. They are on a steel backing plate which is pre drilled to match a couple of holes in the door (usually the door armrest). You take out the fixings, put some loctite on and refit through the deadlock plate which slips behind the armrest.

Hope that helps.

Best of luck on your trip.

lebesset
12-11-2009, 18:57
who says you absolutely must be taxed or your insurance is invalid ?
if your vehicle is not in good order the insurance company will refuse to pay out whether or not your vehicle has a valid MOT , so that is no guarantee ! nevertheless I would certainly have a valid test certificate from somewhere eg plenty of people get their uk vehicles tested at the ITV in spain [ just like spanish vehisles
and there of plenty of adverts in the free english papers in spain offering insurance on uk registered vehicles

vwalan
12-11-2009, 19:14
hi. you definately dont need an mot to have valid insurance. there are many vehicles excempt plating and testing. . i drive one. i can definately say it caused me no problems when my truck was hit by a drunk driver in portugal a few years ago. some vehicles are tax excempt . to say you must be mot,ed is just not true. look at a v112 or v112g form and see if your vehicle needs to be tested . i havent tested some of mine for over 10 yrs. cheers alan.
i do tax them .disabled.

lebesset
12-11-2009, 21:25
you may have a MOT exempt vehicle alan , but most don't
personally I take the view that evidence that you have have the vehicle officially examined to ensure that it is safe for purpose would be a big plus in any court of law

but how having road tax comes into it I don't know , unless a particular insurance company decided to put it in their conditions
they might just as well put in that I can only use a particular brand of fuel !

vwalan
12-11-2009, 21:43
I was really making a point that mot,s are not always required . some do stipulate it in the small print. others say must be roadworty. an mot is not a certificate of road worthyness. it tells you that on the certificate. many vehicles can be excempt there are 36 groups just for goods vehicles or should i say vehicles over 3,500 kg. i had no problem with saga . i would recomend them to anyone over 50yr old they do a very good m,home policy and cover alot of the african coast countries. unlike alot of uk policies. have fun cheers alan.

defitzi
13-11-2009, 16:08
:p now who do ye think creates the myths?
SEEMS ONE OBVIOUS ANSWER. iTS IN THEIR INTEREST TO ADD BULL DROPPINGS . Euro countruies could'nt care less about tax on uk vehicles 9 ditto irl) but nthe DE care about their own so mcia is bull**** qUOTE=Byronic;72670]It was most certainly stated on a policy issued by MCIA.[/QUOTE]

scubydoo
27-04-2012, 14:00
Hello - we have just moved into our van and are heading off to France - Spain - Morocco.
I'm a kiwi and have never been to France (well except 3 days in Paris) - so have no idea what I'm doing....
Can anyone explain Aires - are they the same as camping sites?
And does anyone have a few free parking sites they can suggest traveling from Dieppe down to the Pyrenees?
Oh - and will we need chains going over the Pyrenees in November?

We are going to be away for 6 months... do we still need to pay for UK road Tax?

the article on gas bottles was fascinating.

Much Thanks
Flame**)

Hi you will need a green card for Morocco for the insurance cover etc. and expect at least 2 hours to get over the boarder! You have to Import your vehicle into Morocco and need extra paperwork. There are "helpers" but they will want money - Euros or Denars. Camp sites are very basic but extreamly cheap. 2 euros a night! Road blocks everywhere!


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