1st trip to France

Discussion in 'France' started by neilydun, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. neilydun

    neilydun Read Only Funster

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    So, were off to France in about two weeks time. Were in an Rv + toad, so 40 odd foot long, traveling with our two boys, 14 and 15. Our 18 year old has decided to stay at home, so hopefully we will still have a house to come back too.
    We landing in Dieppe, then have two days to travel across to Quimper, where we stay for a week, then were down to Guerande for a week.
    We then have 4-5 days free to do what we like, and make our way back to Dieppe.
    My plan, is to use Aires, and France Passion for the days where we have nothing booked.
    Being the size we are, is that going to work ?
    We have used loads of Brit Stops, and have always been fine.
    As this is our first trip abroad, any suggestions, on route, what to take, or places to see en-route, would be welcome.
     
  2. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    This time of year, Aires near the coast are going to be pretty full, unless you turn up at a large Aire ( 50+ places) I think you are going to find it a bit tight with your RV.
    Have you got the All the Aires book? This lists all aires that will take larger vehicles and is invaluable for planning trips.
    France Passion will also tell you if they have room for your van.
    In busy periods ( like now and later in August) we always find it best to travel early in the day and try and arrive at aires around midday, most people who stayed overnight are going and the new ones haven't turned up yet.
    Have a great first trip
    Allan
     
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  3. neilydun

    neilydun Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the reply Allan. Yes I have both the Aires, and France passion books.
    I`m off Tuesday, so let`s see what happens !
     
  4. sb8263

    sb8263 Funster

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    we go on tuesday too from dover to calaise then turning right down the coast,,booked on a site first night then see how lucky we are on the aires.....
     
  5. Munchie

    Munchie Funster Life Member

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    August? Aires with 40 footer???

    I wish you luck!!!
     
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  6. neilydun

    neilydun Read Only Funster

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    Well, thats why I asked a couple of weeks ago. As I said, its my first time in France, so don`t know the plot really.
    Too late now, lets see what happens. Hope to find a place somewhere with France Passion
     
  7. Munchie

    Munchie Funster Life Member

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    August is the main French holidays, every second vehicle we pass at the moment is a motorhome! Then there are the Dutch, germans, Belgians and last but not least the Brits!
    To say the least with that rig it is my belief you would struggle!

    I know nothing of France Passion so cannot say, sorry!

    I hope you do OK and have a great trip but was only fair to warn you.
     
  8. sb8263

    sb8263 Funster

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    we only have a 23ft van and we booked before i asked fellow funsters,,and we got the same advice,,,wrong time to go really, but we had booked the ferry so guess its go and try it, and if we dont like it we can come back as not got a set date for return,,we didnt know the main holiday dates for the french but our fellow funsters do,,,so all we can do is take the advice learn from it and fingers crossed we should get through it.....and we will know for this time next year.....(y)
     
  9. neilydun

    neilydun Read Only Funster

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    All advice appreciated !
    With three children, I dont have a lot of option, but to travel in the holidays. One, is old enough to stay at home now, and when the other two are, I will be going out of holiday season.
    Until then, i`m stuck with the rush, but want to try and make the best of it.
     
  10. Munchie

    Munchie Funster Life Member

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    Look for BIG aires try to arrive between 12 and 2 the French that are leaving have gone and they tend to arrive from 4 onwards!
     
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  11. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    You would be better off leaving the car unless you really need it. We just arrived in France, just parked in an aire in Watten. Our 24ft van is the biggest one here!
    As others have said, look for the big aires. You don't want to drive into a smaller one and have to reverse out!
    Have a look at google earth too. I know quite a few people plan their routes with RV's this way. At least you will know what to expect before you get there.
    Good luck. Now, where's the vin rouge?
    Allan
     
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  12. Cobweb

    Cobweb

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    I have only seen large RV with toad twice in a large Aire and then they were on their way to winter in Spain. We have seen a few in Campsites but even then they had to call ahead to make sure the pitch was big enough .
    We bought a smart car when we bought our MH thinking we would tow it but after our first trip to France And Italy (without toad ) we realised that we did not need it and in fact it would have prevented us from using most aires and been more a hindrance than help .
     
  13. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Look for larger aires and aim to arrive mid-late morning when most people are getting on their way. Larger aires have more creative parking options for longer vehicles, whereas small aires tend to be a few marked bays for medium-sized MHs. For every aire you plan to visit have a nearby back up in mind too.

    We've never had any major problems finding spaces in August wherever we've gone in France, but we're not 40ft.

    The closest we've stayed to Guerande is Le Croisic, where there's 5 small compact aires dotted around the town, plus overnight parking permitted at the supermarket at the edge of town. I'm not sure I'd recommend Le Croisic for a bigger vehicle. We've also been up to Arzon, where there's a big modern aire but we didn't find the place especially interesting. OK if you like sunning yourself on a quiet beach or watching yachts in the modern marina, but not much else about it. You might want to consider supermarket car parks as a Plan B if you're really stuck for a place to go.

    On the way back to Dieppe, try a stopover at Honfleur - you'd fit in there if you didn't arrive too late, and the town's worth a look round.

    Further back (about half way between Guerande and Honfleur) I've seen campers overnighting in the bigger of the two car parks at Fougeres (Google Maps 48.356295, -1.202597) which has an interesting chateau and some quaint bits. The aire by the chateau (48.355381, -1.210922) may be a bit too compact or full for your vehicle but it might be worth a try if you chose to stop there.

    Have a good trip anyway.
     
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