Arriving early at Chunnel

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by DavidG58, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    I cant find a definitive answer on the Tunnel web site

    If you wanted to arrive and sleep, can you get through the barriers say 7 hours before your crossing, or will they bar you from entering?

    We have arrived a couple of hours early on a few occasions you then get options to travel between then and your due crossing often at extra cost, so I might hope you can just pick your original crossing time and park up

    I have a fear of being turned away and directed back onto the M20 if much too early
     
  2. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    Short answer is no you can't.

    If you want to keep to your scheduled train time you can't check in (go through the barriers) more than 2 hours early. If you are earlier than that it will offer you alternatives one of which you have to accept. If you're very very early it may well charge you.

    There's a services at junction 11 where you could park up though. I'm sure I noticed last time we went a signpost directing "Tunnel Early Arrivals" into there. The tunnel junction is 11A, it's only about 5 minutes from the services to the barriers.
     
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  3. Pilote87

    Pilote87 Funster

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    Yes there is, BUT, as with most service areas, if you stay more than a limited period you will be subject to a charge. NO, I didn't say "a fine"
     
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  4. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    I am thinking mainly of the English side, I have been hours early on the French side and just sat and waited using their free wifi, which I don't think you get on this side
     
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  5. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    Probably yes. Never been there myself. The one time we've been massively early we paid Eurotunnel's extra charge and travelled early.
     
  6. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    Thanks, but I would rather pay to travel early than pay to park in a UK service area, principle mainly :)
     
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  7. Madwife

    Madwife Deleted User

    We stayed at the service area last year and my advice is don't! It was a waste of money and probably better to arrive early at the Eurotunnel and pay them the money if necessary to get an earlier train. We have arrived early, as in at least three hours before our booked train and never yet have been charged to get an earlier train.

    Kath
     
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  8. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    When we were charged extra we were about 14 hours early (don't ask!) so couldn't really complain.
     
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  9. Phill D

    Phill D

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    As Nic has stated 2 hours early max is allowed unless you coff up any charges for changes ( there may not be any ). you take an earlier train or drive away.
     
  10. frogijock

    frogijock Funster

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    Last December we arrived at the tunnel 5hrs early just accepted an earlier train 1 hour earlier than booked, ( 4 hour wait ) parked up till called, no problem
     
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  11. Soozywoozy

    Soozywoozy Funster

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    We have had a selection of experiences of turned up early
    • changed no extra charges
    • extra charges on some crossings to select, not on others (read the check in screen carefully)
    • changed and paid the difference
    • no other crossing available (to be fair this is often at the calais end in peak summer)
    You can change online (depending on booking) or by phone 24 hours in advance, which again we have done

    I would rather be on the other side, in france and option to get going a bit further than waiting in UK
    I wish they did flexi plus for motorhomes - we always travelled that way with the car, and I was happy to pay for the option
     
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  12. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    We have just booked the frequent traveller option, although we opted not to take the flexi option I did not see any restrictions if we had, although in fairness at the point of booking you are only prebooking a car, when you specify the time of crossing you then confirm vehicle / dog etc

    But the premium charge for flexi looked bonkers, nearly three times the price, might as well book another crossing on the frequent user and take that, losing the original booking if needs be :)
     
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  13. Soozywoozy

    Soozywoozy Funster

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    Agree - but until this year we have been school holidays, peak times and not had the luxury of a motorhome to stop off en route if early/late, but have had to bat it back from south of france, which can take anywhere between 6 and 14 hours depending on the traffic. We had to guarantee a crossing back to get the kids back to school the next day/in time for exam results etc. I am all for extending my holidays for as long as possible
     
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  14. Moodybrook

    Moodybrook Funster

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    David I have been researching for my trip. Come off at Tunnel slip then take the A20 back along the way you have come to a roundabout, take a right towards Etchinghill, ok. About 800 yds along there is a sleepy spot on your right, you'd back into a track leading to what looks like a farmers livestock loading pens, he is unlikely to be using it. Also if not happy, then about 200/300 yds further along on the same road there is an opening in the hedge with a cattle grid and a very lovely sleepy spot ! (y) access to a disused MOD radio place I think.

    Google street map it. Don't leave litter as I want to use it :whistle:
     
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  15. cakey

    cakey Funster

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    We were going to the park and ride in Canterbury last year and got there to late. Didn't know where to go but ended up on the B2068 Stone st, Look on Google earth and the road is dead straight for miles. There are quite a few lay bye's, bits of old rd. We stayed over night on one, ok pulled up after 10pm and left next morning 6.30am but served the purpose. Didn't have to pay and got to the tunnel for an early train.
     
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  16. denisejoe

    denisejoe Funster

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    didn't think you could go anywhere from the slip road but the tunnel

    joe
     
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  17. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    Unbelievable isn't it ? I'd like someone to explain to me how they work it out.
     
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  18. Moodybrook

    Moodybrook Funster

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    Sorry you are correct (y) It is the turn off for the A20 that I was looking at. Right next to the terminal so caught me out, funny enough google won't let me drive down that A20 exit, but it is there !

    The turn off for the Chunnel is the next exit. So easy for early morning departure which is what I have booked ! :)
     
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  19. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    But in fairness the frequent traveller option is possibly over generous, £54 each way for campervan if you travel between 16:00 and 06:00, at least £80 cheaper than I can book it direct with them as a one off trip

    but no real answer to the flexi pricing
     
  20. PORKSTER

    PORKSTER Funster

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    Canterbury park and ride £3 cant go wrong BUT a friend of mine has often arrived very early for crossing either gets on early train at no extra cost or they allow him to kip in waiting area. I assume by the services/shops my experience of showing up early is get options to travel early at extra cost but always a free option too, press this option and your be directed to shops bit but carry on and go round chances are you will be on next train this has happened to me twice.
     
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