Aires v Municipal Camping v other options

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by zen navigator, May 6, 2010.

  1. zen navigator

    zen navigator Read Only Funster

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    I am travelling to France in July, and had some valuable info from users re: travelling and MH'ing in France.

    Its hard to find any one who does not sing the praise of Aires. Also heard of Municipal Camping as a good option.

    For my first trip to France, I am torn between having a fixed spot and just visit an area and maybe move a couple of times in the 2 1/2 week visit or bob all over the place and make it a real 'mystery tour'

    My co-pilot likes her creature comforts...so leccy is a must, although if we opt for the mystery tour she is happy to do without it for a day :Angry:. So if Aires do not offer leccy or its fairly limited than that could put a show-stopper :Doh:

    My questions are:

    Are there varying grades of Aires based on there offerings i.e leccy, showers etc or they pretty much standard.

    What is the attraction of Aires and are there any downsides?

    Do Muncipal Camping offer a better experience? Any downsides?

    What other options are there? France equivalent of Camping & Caravan sites etc?

    Is it wise to pre-book Aires and Muncipal Camping sites. Thinking they must get quite busy in July?

    Dave and Sylvia
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2010
  2. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Aires are usually close too or in the town some have electric a coin in the slot for a few hours and in July you will be often be parked up with only a couple of feet to the next van. Very few have showers (what's wrong with the one in your van?). Often a time limit of how long you can stay 24/48 hours, please note Germans can't read these signs..

    Municipals again close to the town usually much cheaper than commercial sites facilities vary from basic to very good, all generally have electric.

    You can not book Aires & a lot of municipals will not take bookings. I never book sites & certainly wouldn't worry in France if ones full there's nearly always room on the next one down the road.

    Sounds like you are going to need to stay on sites I personally think having to hook up to electric defeats the point of wandering about in a Motorhome but everyone to there own.

    Pick up a copy of FFCC campsite guide it covers every campsite in France (over 11000) you can buy it from the clubs or pick up a copy at the first French Hypermarket you pass.
     
  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    best advice is just to go and have a great time..you will soon pick up the ropes.. nowhere beats France for facilities and motorhome friendliness
     
  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Pointless having a MH if you park it for 2 weeks. IMHO.

    2 or 3 days yes, then move on.

    Our limited experience of muncipal campsites has been great. Cheap. Good quality. Usually a family lives on site and runs it so it's like a privately owned campsite that they take great pride in.

    Having said that, this time we are booked into one site for ten days ( of a month's holiday ) to stop me doing too many miles and rushing round like a headless chicken. You have to find the right compromise.
     
  5. zen navigator

    zen navigator Read Only Funster

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    You get us wrong....I not looking for the cushy option, but just looking at the options :Cool:

    I have solar panels, good leisure battery and a genny(although it is a cheap and cheerful adli type!). So very self sufficient. I am not going to chase sites with leccy at the expense of missing out on a must see?do town, view, experience.

    But if the site has leccy, showers etc then all well and good. If not, she'll survived, but I dont want to push my luck :Eeek:

    But I am sure there will a time on the trip, where the missus will want to 'put her feet' up for a day or so and take it easy.



    Thanks for the advice.

    Dave

     
  6. eirebus

    eirebus Read Only Funster

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    book nothing and just go for it france is a big place so theres lots of room if you have young children ignore this advice and still enjoy whatever type of site you land on:thumb::thumb:
     
  7. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    these are similar to our cl/cs sites
    For those of you that holiday in or travel through france, here is a link for sites that are on farms, they offer from 5 to 25 pitches with and without electric and usually have toilet, shower facilities, and their charges are very resonable.


    http://www.bienvenue-a-la-ferme.com/en/recherche
     
  8. zen navigator

    zen navigator Read Only Funster

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    Personnally, I am ready to go after 3 or 4 days. The plan(if I had one) would be to stay 2 - 3 days and move on. Clearly from what people are saying you cant really do this on Aires. So more mileage or visit Muncipals as Grath suggested.

    Just us two, so we can go with the flow.

    Thanks for all the tips and will certainly look at the suggest books.

    Question:

    Wheres the best place to find all the Garmin POIs for the Aires and Municipal Camping?


     
  9. zen navigator

    zen navigator Read Only Funster

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    Thanks again Jim for your top tips.

    Now to pull a cunning plan together.

    1. Build raft and drift across the channel.
    2. Study tides.
    3. Buy Beer

    :Cool:

     
  10. evans88

    evans88 Read Only Funster

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    You should not use a genny on an Aire if the vans are closely parked as this would be anti social and not appreciated by others parked close by. In the unlikely event an Aire is empty then a genny is fine.
     
  11. zen navigator

    zen navigator Read Only Funster

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    I have had the genny 2 years and not used it at all. Couple of occasions where I could have done with it. But it was either too late i.e late evening or too close to other campers.

    Genny is a nice to have\ emergency(beer getting warm etc) :RollEyes:.

     
  12. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Agreed, but you can get around this if you have a long lead ( I have two 25 mt ) and hide the genny behind a hedge or wall where it's out of sight, out of mind , outside hearing distance.
     
  13. Parcverger

    Parcverger Funster - Campsite Owner

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    Dare I say do not ignore sites - there are a lot of reasonably priced sites, OK not as cheap as aires or municipals, but you pay for what you get. You will see from our website (www.parcverger.com) that we provide 16A electricity if you want it, with hot showers etc, a pool for those hot summer evenings, and you will have a decent pitch, not be squashed in a couple of feet from the next vehicle. And all MHFunsters enjoy a discount on our prices, as is the case with the two who are on site now.

    So enjoy your visit to France, which is a beautiful country, and try all of the options, then the two of you can make up your minds on how you want to spend your non-travelling time on your future visits.

    Bob and Di
     
  14. lesleyjean

    lesleyjean Funster

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    Hi Bob and Di

    We agree, this is a great site, with free internet connection. Very welcoming.

    We will be back, we highly recommend this site to any Funsters travelling through France.

    Cheers

    Lesley
     
  15. Big Momma

    Big Momma Read Only Funster

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    Try this site www.france-voyager.com (click on the UK version), it will plan an itinerary for you on a route that you select, places of interests etc(you can select what interests you) and it will give you a list of campsites in the area. Very god and useful site.
     
  16. smudge

    smudge Read Only Funster

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    The link doesn't work for me ..... :-(
     
  17. Big Momma

    Big Momma Read Only Funster

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    Sorry, try it without the 'r' ie; www.france-voyage.com/en/

    You may have to type this in to your address bar manually.
     
  18. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    Hi Dave

    Do you have kids if so have to consider what they might like our daughter is 12 and like to stop at sites with pools and slides for her for a few nights. Sophie actually likes the france passion and aires better now we have stopped at aires next to a lake where she could play and swim. We have used municpal sites some of them ok others great we stopped at one in Bourges one of the cleanest sites we have stayed on it was about 15euro in July and even got discounted entry to local outdoor swimming pools feww hundred yards away.

    One of the aires we have used was Autun which is on a lake and next to an outdoor swimming pool with loads of slides so cheap camping as it was free and everything for the kids had a Macdonalds across the road and a bowling alley.

    Our first trip in the MH to France was 3 years ago (had been with caravan few times) we didnt book a single site and every one we stopped it had spaces that was last 3 weeks of July.

    Gerry
     
  19. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    we use both. Aires are fine but basically just car parks so no camping allowed tables chairs etc....don't seem to stop some though. We tend to use aires while travelling but if a municipal on route we use that, normally much more comfortable, spacious and green! Plus cost difference is normally minimal.

    There are decent aires and campsites, and rubbish versions of both as well.
     
  20. The Wallace

    The Wallace Read Only Funster

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    We prefer to use municipals - aires can be too close packed for comfort, safety and a good nights sleep. ( some people hog the hook up, some park on the dump point, some reserve places for their mates) Aires are great if you can't afford a bit of space or are caught short, as it were. There are of course great aires and crap municipals - we have just been lucky with municipals (eg 160 pitches and just us and one other on site).

    Having spent so much on our home on wheels the last thing we want is to find some beer swilling, pitt bull owning, genny running campers 2 feet away on an aire. (ok so we were unlucky with a couple of aires).

    Enjoy France - no Tories there.
     
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