buying advice

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by covkarl, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. covkarl

    covkarl Read Only Funster

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    Hi
    I have not made the jump from caravan to MH... Yet!
    The dream is 3 or 4 weeks in France (beach for a week), Italy (lakes for a week) in the summer and a few short UK breaks at other times with wife and 13year old.
    But I am not sure about the following
    1. Is a 1.9 td engine big enough in a standard 4/5 birth MH?
    2. Is touring France in the summer too expensive and busy?

    I have been looking in an AA Campsite book and ist looks like the average cost per night for the 3 of us in France will be 40 to 50 euros making 3/4 weeks very expensive!
    Any advice appreciated
    Thanks
    Karl
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    hi Karl and welcome.

    france !

    not as expensive as first appears.

    avoid toll motorways (autoroute), tolls can be very expensive and the 'N' roads usually run parallel but at a more leisurely pace.

    use community campsites (aires) as much as possible, most towns and villages have one or more.
    some are free, some you pay a few euro's, some have leccy, some dont.
    the majority will have a toilet dump and water (normally a small fee)

    if you do use tolls then pull off the motorway for fuel....usually only a mile or two to a fuel station and much cheaper.

    july is the main french holiday period and the aires can fill up quickly.

    avoid motorway aires...they can be high crime spots.

    you'll be suprised how quite french roads are, you can go a long way and not see another car depending on time of day and where you are.

    in my opinion, a 1.9ltr diesel is too small for anything but the smallest motorhomes.
    a 2.3 or 2.5 is far better and may be more economical.
    engine not working as hard to keep speed etc so cheaper to run.

    hope this helps a bit.

    john.
     
  3. wivvy's dad

    wivvy's dad Read Only Funster

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    I agree with everything said here.......:thumb:
     
  4. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Ledlightsliving,,,,,,,,,,,,, I find your postings very rude, :Angry:

    And not an appropriate answer to the thread you have answered in. :Angry:

    In so much as all three of your postings have stuck up what I can only assume is a link to your bussiness.. :Blush:

    If you want to advertise properly why not do the gentleman`ly thing and join the club (Not the forum) properly and go through the right channels (ie: Jim )

    If I`m wrong I appologies.
     
  5. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Karl
    What John has said is all correct and sound advice and is spot on:thumb:........we would just say AUGUST is the month to avoid at all costs , this seems to be when the whole of France have a Holiday ???....we have lived over here now for 7 years and July does not seem as bad as what people think, we motorhome from March through to October / November we are out in the motorhome all over France for 6 to 7 months every year and even in August is still not that bad, it is just the roads that are more busier than normal.....Do what John has said Aires and Municipale sites (these are council sites that are cheaper than private campsites) and normally it is first come first served or should I say best pitch,(if you want entertainment, swimming pools, bars, Wifi, electric shops on site) , then you must pay for that facility, in the busy periods (or in fact any month) if you are not sure about driving over here in France then travel from 12.00 mid day to 2.00pm this is when all the roads are empty as they the French man woman and children are eating. (so do not look for a restaurant at that time in August )
    Buy the book "all The aires in France" from Vicarious books in Folkstone, new addition is out in 2011...NOW a lot of people on this forum will try to put you off it and say it is NOT all the aires in France "BUT" all the Brits we meet (and that is many over here maybe not all on motorhome funsters in fact not many that we meet over here have been funsters( so I tell them about this great forum) use the book "all the Aires in France " like a bible they all have one !!!! the French seem to leave the site / pitch early ...........BUT do not go / arrive on the new site / pitch till late afternoon evening :Wink: .......So the best time to find a new site / Aire / pitch is in the morning up to just after dinner......We also use the internet "Campingcar info" and "Le guide National des AIRES DE SERVICES camping cars" as with many other books and internet sites.... BUT the book "all the aires in France" is a good starter (so it is up to you if you buy one) and most of the others you can get free on the internet.

    Supermarkets are the cheapest for Diesel so that will cut your costs down,

    And yes 1.9 is a under powered for a 4 to 5 berth......:Sad:

    The book "all the Aires in France " will not have all the Aires in France in it.... (as it says on the book heading)...this book,(not the 2011 edition) the second edition was printed in 2007 some Aires have been removed and do not exist any more (We have only found two Aires that was wrong...1, wrong cordinations, address......and....1, did not exist any more), many Aires new or old Aires are not in the book...but is a good starter.

    Food is more expensive over here.
    Diesel is cheaper.
    Wine is cheaper.
    Looking at your thread it says 3 to 4 weeks a year....I may be reading it wrong, but I think it is saying 1 week in France "Beach for a week" I take it you mean northern,west, to mid France...because if you mean south of France and only having 1 week, and not using the motorway tolls, or driving for long periods 12 to 14 hours most of your holiday will be travelling there and back in fact all of your week

    Mel:thumb:
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010
  6. covkarl

    covkarl Read Only Funster

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    Thank you for some great feedback.
    I was thinking of taking 2 to 3 days of 1 night stopovers to reach southwest France, does that sound reasonable? What route would you suggest to get to the South West?
    Unfortunately we have to travel between July 25th & August. I will definately travel when the French are eating!
    Thanks again
    Karl :Smile:
     
  7. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    You are a borderline case for a MH as I see it.

    The beauty of MH is you park and put the kettle on. Have a night, move on.

    But once you park up for a week at a time a caravan has the big advantage of giving you transport to view the area instead of making everything safe and moving you home and worse finding parking space for your home.

    Lots of MHers tow a vehicle. Well look at that, it's as near as makes no difference to a caravan but much more expensive and maybe inferior accommodation.

    Our 2l works fine.
     
  8. motorhomer

    motorhomer Read Only Funster

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    I agree with Hilldweller

    Much as I love our motorhome, if my main purpose was a beach week in france and a week in the italian lakes, with the odd weekend in UK, I think I'd stick to a caravan. Motorhomes are great in Scotland, but in much of England and Wales parking is difficult when travelling around. For a static week the extra space of a caravan is a benefit as is the fact that you have your tow vehicle. - and of course a caravan is cheaper.

    A motorhome comes into its own for touring, multiple stops, wild camping (or aires / stellplatz) and i think it is a wonderful life, especially in Europe rather than UK.

    But it is "horses for courses".:Smile::Smile:
     
  9. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    3 days yes........France is a lot bigger than you think

    Mel:Wink::Smile::thumb:........all the best for the new year and welcome to MHfun
     
  10. david price

    david price Read Only Funster

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    Hi,a couple of posts say stick with your caravan for what you want but i also travel and stay in one place for weeks and also have times when we keep moving.What i can say is doing alot of miles with children on board is alot easier in a motorhome.The journey as always been a pleasure whereas when i towed a caravan the journey was a nightmare with the are we there yet and bickering so not always a good start and holiday did not really start till we got there.
    In a motorhome the holiday starts the moment you get inside.Yes the starting costs are alot more than a car/caravan set up but for me worth every penny.Each to there own,you have to do what works for you.Some when going on a long trip such as portugal for instance,will plan every step of the way including stopovers etc.We go as far as booking the ferry.We have been caught out a couple of times with having to travel a bit longer due to an aire being full and been down roads that we should have avoided but i just think it adds to the adventure.
    Whichever way you go just enjoy.
    dave
     
  11. covkarl

    covkarl Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Dave
    I think I might book the ferry and 1 week at a beach campsite in the south of France and do what you said and "wing it" for the journey down and back. Half the fun should be the journey and suprises!
    As for MH or caravan there is only one way to find out and that is to jump in.
    Thanks again

    Karl

    PS; what a great forum!!
     
  12. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    we would just say AUGUST is the month to avoid at all costs , this seems to be when the whole of France have a Holiday

    thanks mel, i stand corrected.:thumb:

    always thought it was july :Doh:
     
  13. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    we,ve only been to the south of France once and took 4 days using the N roads and the free section of the A75 from Clermont-Ferrand, around 200 miles per day....no real rush but on a deadline to Barcelona.

    you'll be amazed at the changing scenery as you head south.

    passing through farmlands in the north, through the mountains of the massif central and then the semi-barren landscape of southern France.

    nothing quite like it here. :Sad:
     
  14. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    John you was correct to a point some do have July but not many....BUT AUGUST IT SEEMS IS TOTAL SHUT DOWN.........WHY.......you can go to the coast, January, February,March,April, May, June, July,:Doh:...................September, October, November, December:Doh:,....and all the sea front properties and seaside towns all have shutters down like a Ghost town......BUT AUGUST WAMM:Eeek::Rofl1::Rofl1:.............it is like somebody has turned a switch on!!!!

    But it is the same at dinner time.......somebody turns a switch at 12.00 mid day everything stops restaurants FULL.... roads empty...at 2.00pm turn the switch back to normal ???????

    Mel:thumb:
     
  15. Swiftroy1

    Swiftroy1 Read Only Funster

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    Hi Karl,

    Are you set on having a beach holiday in the south or to save money and time, have you thought of having a holiday on a site with a beach on one of the major rivers. The Loire or Dordogne have plenty of sites with their own beaches where you can swim and canoe. The temperatures in the middle of France will be more bearable and the prices will be more bearable too.

    Roy
     
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