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Thread: Safe or not safe? Your experience appreciated!

  1. #21

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    Check the ground



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    We check the ground also for broken glass and condoms - signs of nocturnal activities that will disturb our sleep and not in a good way. Also for signs of cars tyres having done handbreak turns. In 20 months full timing, we've moved on 4 times - only two were security concerns, the others were gnats scooters. There are plenty we did not stop at as we did not like the look - have a plan B.

    We always park nose out, drivers seat facing forward, keys handy, gadgets away etc.

    The best places are the wild or rural ones though. Tend to use campsites for large / popular cities.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by barryd View Post
    I ...........if the mad axe man comes along, I wont be saving you.
    There is a word which says.......if you see people sitting together and having a meal you should join them. If you see people fighting you should run away.
    What about your weight?

    Bernd
    Last edited by rottiontour; 11-01-2017 at 03:48.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beemer View Post
    The first time we visited Rouen we ventured down to the riverside where we could see another motorhome parked and thought it would be a good place to overnight.
    Just before it got dark the French motorhome near us left the waterside and we could see it driving off into the distance.
    Having never parked there before, I felt uneasy and much to my wife's annoyance I made the decision to go elsewhere.
    The following year, we visited the same parking area and it was packed with vans overnighting. We have stayed overnight there many years after and even when there were not any other vans.
    Just goes to show that some places may look unsafe but could be a jolly good place to park overnight.
    it is a personal thing...
    We have used this one for years, there used to be boy bikers when the aire was was the other side but now we never see them,we will be there sometime next week.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
    Hello

    We're quite new to staying on (non-motorway) Aires in France and Spain. The other day we stayed on one which we felt was safe, but someone we met next day said he'd never stay on that one ("far too dangerous"). I know this is a personal thing and if you just don't feel right then move on - but what do others look for as signs an Aire is safe/not safe? We read a couple of reviews, look for at least one other van, we want some lighting and somewhere not too scruffy and not vandalised....

    All thoughts welcome! Many thanks....

    Mark
    Lots of great advice but we are all different so follow your instincts . You will find that experience will make you more confident . If you want to see a particular place go there . I , like many on here , stay at all types of places . Out in the wilds , city centres [major and minor] , villages and , yes occasionally , campsites .

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beemer View Post
    The first time we visited Rouen we ventured down to the riverside where we could see another motorhome parked and thought it would be a good place to overnight.
    Just before it got dark the French motorhome near us left the waterside and we could see it driving off into the distance.
    Having never parked there before, I felt uneasy and much to my wife's annoyance I made the decision to go elsewhere.
    The following year, we visited the same parking area and it was packed with vans overnighting. We have stayed overnight there many years after and even when there were not any other vans.
    Just goes to show that some places may look unsafe but could be a jolly good place to park overnight.
    it is a personal thing...
    I have also used this one at Quay Jean Moulin many times but ended up on the pavement there last year as the access is now blocked off and its pedestrianised ,but there is a proper aire a bit further south (it is signposted the other side of the bridge near the warehouses)if you are coming in with the river on your right its via a tight right turn at the lights .
    MYDC0077.jpg
    Google Maps

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
    Hello

    We're quite new to staying on (non-motorway) Aires in France and Spain. The other day we stayed on one which we felt was safe, but someone we met next day said he'd never stay on that one ("far too dangerous"). I know this is a personal thing and if you just don't feel right then move on - but what do others look for as signs an Aire is safe/not safe? We read a couple of reviews, look for at least one other van, we want some lighting and somewhere not too scruffy and not vandalised....

    All thoughts welcome! Many thanks....

    Mark
    It is, as many others have said, a personal thing. We have a rule that if one of us doesn't feel happy we move on. Things we tend to look for are graffiti, broken glass, vandalism of the services (if provided) and whether anybody else is there. Fortunately, we have had no trouble on aires over the years but we still feel the need to be careful without being paranoid.

  7. #27
    Roamingman 50 Guest
    Just goes to show how times have changed, 40/35 years ago used to drive artics all over Europe and parked up in laybys never never never had any problems, although in Italy just before Christmas used to get an escort to the Mont Blonk tunnel if you had electronics on, sometimes you would get a load of left-hand shoes and someone else the right-hand shoes.

  8. #28
    wakk44's Avatar
    wakk44 is offline Full member
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    I have never felt unsafe on an official French aire although I wouldn't overnight on a French motorway aire.Having said that I have overnighted several times on motorway services during the drive down to Portugal and Spain.I parked amongst the truckers and felt safe,just make sure you don't get next to a refrigerated lorry humming all night.

    When we got down to the campsite on the Algarve we were talking to a Scottish couple with an Autotrail who had been broken in to when parked overnight at a motorway services in Spain.They had parked up away from all the overnighting lorries in a quiet and remote corner of the service station which was probably all the encouragement the thieves needed.They only lost a small amount of cash in a handbag,the biggest inconvenience was getting the cab door lock replaced.
    From now on I'm going to treat people like they treat me,some should be glad,some should be scared.

  9. #29

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    I've only ever felt uneasy on one french aire and that was at Chateaudun.
    i couldn't put my finger on why though, it was tidy, clean, quiet and nothing negative hanging about. we even went for a walk with the dogs to see around the area and still went back to the motorhome and said I don't want to stop here...no reason to go, I just trust my gut instinct.

    on a previous trip to france, coming back we stayed at Gravelines and were talking to a couple who had had their motorhome robbed whilst in a supermarket (think it was spain), they didn't want to give up, so carried on with their holiday, taking a ferry to italy I think. and whilst in a supermarket there for a few minutes, they came out to find men trying to get in their motorhome. They were at Gravelines whilst trying to move their tunnel return forward.

  10. #30

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    Thanks for all the comments, everyone. Sadly on our way home now.... time to plan the next trip.

    Mark

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