Back from France!

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by eddievanbitz, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    Just back from three odd weeks in France. First time in many many years where it was just Lyn Me and the dogs in the RV No children! Haha!!!

    Travelled mainly on the Autoroutes to save time, preferring to tour around a bit in the areas we were interested in rather than use the National routes all the time.

    A worrying feature was the number of height barriers on the French Aire fuel stations. Our RV is dual fuel petrol and LPG and we hold about 200 Litres of both so we have a decent range, but our friends travelling with us in their Winnebago had to start looking for a Aire with fuel without a height barrier between 1/4 and 1/2 full just in case.

    A worrying development! if this trend increases. We could see 3m barriers across the forecourt yet the canopies tended to have height signs in the region of 4.2m! Daft!

    Out of 25 nights in France five of them spent on motorway Aires which offset some of the toll charges. I wish our services were a patch on the French Aires. Water, shops, often dump facilities, grass! excellent.

    I do wish that more British people would use them without the irrational fear that they are more at risk on an aire than anywhere else. It does make me chuckle when you see a couple asleep, in a convertible car, parked for the night on an Aire with a blanket over them, parked next to some grass with motorcyclists asleep on a picnic blanket and their jackets over them and we think that the Aires are unsafe!:Rofl1:

    Used the new Tom Tom Camper Live found it great, spot on for traffic hold ups and calculated arrival times to the minute. This, despite me not understanding how it could take 2 hours to do 100km! :Eeek:

    Once I actually got off the motorway to drive the last bit through the Ardeche to get to the site in a 32' RV it became clear though:Rofl1:

    KVH worked in the Ardeche, the Camarque and the Cote d'azur whcih was good, bad was that my Sky+ box packed up! so that was slightly annoying but not the end of the World.

    My friends had a blow out on the way to the ferry in England, and another on the way to the ferry about 30km from the Med at the end of the holiday.

    We had four Sevylor Colorado inflatable kayaks between us to use, which worked very very well, we used them a lot. We have a couple of portable compressors which inflated the kayaks in a few minutes so we really could get them out and on the water at a drop of a hat.

    I know that I could use a manual pump, but equally I could take a tent and not bother with a motorhome, and frankly I prefer toys to work!

    Refused autogas only once in the North of France by a knob head who refused to activate the pump as he believed that we would use it for cooking. What that had to do with the price of potatoes, I have no idea. No one, any where else gave a moments thought to which tank we or our friends were filling.

    Actually at one station, we managed to fill the petrol, the LPG for road use and the LPG tank for the RV without moving off the pump, while the attendant "chatted" about our dogs to Lyn.

    Found the site in the Ardeche very strange and a bit "Deliverancey" but kayaking and swimming in the river was superb the dogs loved it. Lots of people in square plastic tents who complained about everything.

    To be honest after a couple of days messing around with the kayaks we did what most folk did, and bought a couple of decent inflatable mattresses and laid on them in the river tide to a rock or a branch and snoozed. This way you were in/on the river and the current did all the work, but we were getting bored. The site was just too quiet, with just too many strange goings on! so it decided that better things and places awaited us!

    When we left the Ardeche we stayed here for a week http://www.campingespiguette.fr/ For a three star site it is pretty amazing but if you try it out make sure that before you find a pitch, that you check where the nearest water tap is as they are far and few.

    But, to be honest there are plenty of toilet blocks, so it isn't too bad, however, the whole point of a motorhome is to have "home from home" comforts and after a few days with no water and the hassle of moving everything to drive off the pitch to get water made us restless for a move.

    Actually the lack of water and the fact that there is a fantastic water feature, but no swimming pool and the beach is about 1km wide (not long) so a major route march across the sand when you fancied a swim left us restless again.

    Then we got lucky! a site that I have tried loads of time to get into, had one space, a medium pitch. A medium pitch that they suggested would be big enough for our 32' Gulf Stream our friends 30' Winnebago both with city water and waste, our mates 2 man tent, four inflated kayaks, and six bikes!

    The staff were very helpful, even arranging towards the end of our stay for the local vet to come to us for their jabs as "between the two families you have four dogs, it is in the vets interest to come to you"

    The details of that particular site though I will keep for another day:Wink:

    So back at work now, and it seems we were never away already!

    Eddie:Wink:
     
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  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Don't you just hate it when that happens - every time. Worse for you workers ( keep it up we need your contributions ) you have to wade through all the business glitches.
     
  3. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Glad you had a good time Eddie. It's been wall to wall sunshine here since the day you left:thumb:
     
  4. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    I'd noticed a few 3M barriers at filling stations. I imagine it is to stop the lorries coming into the car part of the station. Large vehicles should not have a problem as there is always provision for lorries, however the only large vehicles that don't run on diesel are some RVs and there is usually no petrol pump in the lorry section. I can see this is a problem for petrol (and probably LPG) RVs.
    Most Euro vans are around 3M but if you have a roof box or whatever you can always use the lorry pump if you squeeze carefully :Smile:
     
  5. buttons

    buttons Funster

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  6. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    At French supermarkets there are sometimes height barriers on one or two entrances and none on another. It's very often worth looking around for an alternative entrance.
     
  7. MrJinks

    MrJinks Read Only Funster

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    Sounds like you had a great time in France Eddie.

    With regard to the height barriers, I have found this also. In particular last year coming across the border into Spain I was nearly empty as had hung on to get cheaper petrol in Spain. All the filling stations in La Jonquera had height barriers. Eventually I found one that i could drive onto the HGV filling and reverse round the back of the shop into the petrol/motorists filling area....much to the cashiers alarm.:BigGrin:
    He was also surprised to see us filling with petrol but then realised why we could not enter normally or exit as we had to drive back round the shop to the HGV area again to exit. :Doh:
     
  8. BobProperty

    BobProperty Read Only Funster

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    I'm sorry to read this. For some reason I was thinking only recently about him and his restaurant and what happened to it. I saw most of the TV series and loved "Nippi" Singh's dry sense of humour: "Are you saying the estate agent's details didn't say 'not suitable for Sikhs'?" (that wasn't racist by the way, it was to do with the room needed to fold a turban)
     
  9. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Perhaps RVers could use a modified waste dolly to fill up with petrol and trundle it over to the RV to fill up :Laughing:
     
  10. Popeye

    Popeye Funster

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    Eddie, Ive seen your dogs, they're without doubt "smart dogs",

    .......that said, I do not believe they go kayaking..........no way, no sir..........:Laughing: :Rofl1: :Laughing:

    ...shoot.......not even the dogs from Deliverance could do that!
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
  11. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Not wearing the boat out then Eddie, fantastic weather in Poole last few days !

    I am back on a berth right opposite the quay now:thumb:

    Peter
     
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