First time Spain/Portugal winter campers - advice please

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Minxy Girl, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    I've booked our Eurotunnel crossings to go away mid-March to mid-April to travel down France, into Spain, possibly into Portugal and/or further down into Spain. We have 2 x leisure batteries and a solar panel and to date have never had a problem getting anywhere near low on power so we don't particularly want to be cooped-up on campsites and although we know how to get/do stuff in France and Germany we would appreciate advice on the following for Spain and Portugal as it is 'alien' to us:
    • What do you do for fresh water?

    • Similarly, what about grey and black waste?

    • Is it easy to get LPG to top up our Gaslow bottle?

    • Any other advice for first time winter campers abroad would be appreciated too!
     
  2. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    If you get All The Aires Spain & Portugal it's as good as The French edition there are quite a lot of them in Spain although not as many as France and in our experience not quite as well maintained.:cheers:
     
  3. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    As above get the aires book... Not as good as France where there are many free aires.
    In spain a lot are private owned and you pay. However there are more village type one's springing up..
    This will be useful as well.. In Spanish but sure you can get the Gist..

    http://www.lapaca.org/es/areas-de-servicio
     
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  4. Bertie Bassett

    Bertie Bassett Read Only Funster

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    Not seen that before tonka, many thanks.(y)
     
  5. Mikeco

    Mikeco Funster

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    Mid March to mid April is not really winter camping as many, including us are heading home at that time.
    Also you seem to be doing a lot of travelling in 4 weeks something like 3000 miles or so including through easter as well.
    We use a campsite through winter but many wildcamp so just do what you do elsewhere.
    Not too many lpg places though.

    Mike
     
  6. TerryL

    TerryL Funster

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    And you can download the data in an Excel file so you can make a POI file (will need a bit of editing though - lats/longs in 4 formats!)
     
  7. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    That looks like it will be really useful especially if you can use the google translator:cheers:
     
  8. TerryL

    TerryL Funster

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    Spain can be a bit hitty/missy but getting better slowly, you need to get a list. Portugal is generally ok. All The Aires Spain & Portugal has lists
     
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  9. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    And they are inspected by the Vicarious books team so it's usually fairly up to date
     
  10. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    Yes, the co-ords for LPG are in the Spain/Portugal book as well as the aires ones. Mind you in Albufeira we found one that wasn't in there, plus there was yet another a lot of the folk on the campsite (well we were on a C&CC rally) used, and which had we asked at reception, the staff there would have sent us to.

    A lot more aires in Portugal than in the book - visit the tourist info places if you're a bit stuck - they'll tell you - they WANT people to come and spend their money Minx. Some of em even say 'Park anywhere - just come!'
     
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  11. jumar

    jumar Funster

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    May I suggest you keep posting your questions, you have all winter to do your pre-planning.
    We are based in Spain and know that at Eastertime the Med areas get a bit frantic, a mass departure from Madrid is normal practice, heading for the coast for the first of many Public holidays, coastal campsites fill up again, traffic jams are common. However if you choose the right location it will seem like a normal weekend, aires will be less full as the Spanish motorhomers are mainly family units, so the kids need something to do, something most aires don't offer.
    LPG is more common again, Android apps and motorhome Aires books will help you to keep the tanks full, there are enough Aires in Spain and Portugal to allow the dumping of all the stuff we gather on our travels, Grey and Black, fresh water for showering etc, no problem, bottle water for drinking no problem.
    Fuel for van has not been as cheap in Spain and Portugal for years, I filled my Diesel car yesterday and paid 90 English pence a litre, some conversion rates would differ.
    You leave England in the winter but arrive in Spain in the Spring, you are planning a trip during a time when these countries become a pleasure to tour in, not too hot, not too crowded (except Easter) long days, plenty to see and do. Plan it right then you will have a great time. If you are passing this way please call in, we have water, grey and black dumping and LPG in the town, everything you asked about in one hit. Happy travels.
     
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  12. Dazzlin

    Dazzlin Funster Life Member

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    "so we don't particularly want to be cooped-up on campsites"
    • What do you do for fresh water?
    • Similarly, what about grey and black waste?
    • Is it easy to get LPG to top up our Gaslow bottle?


    • We have found the "Camperstop" book invaluable and it covers the whole of europe in one book.
    • Also available from vicarious it has more 'wild' (free) places than the aires book.
      You can also just follow the coast and look for vans parked up. Ask folks where to fill/empty when you pull up.
      Where you see vans they will have found a drain!
      Fill with fresh water when ever you can. Arrive full at places and fill when you leave, if they have it!
      Many Repsol garages are now doing lpg. Ask at one for the nearest with lpg. mylpg.eu is a good free app for europe.
    • Most of all - enjoy!
     
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  13. emmitdb

    emmitdb Funster

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    Currently in Spain, nearly ready to take the long haul home.

    A few days ago someone posted on here and I'm glad to pass this gem on.
    Www.areasac.es gives you a website, sorry it's in Spanish, obviously, but the site gives a map with all the Spanish Aires thereon. Have a play, hours of investigation.
     
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  14. HANCOCK

    HANCOCK Read Only Funster

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    RE AREASAC, GOOGLE CHROME, TRANSLATES TO ENGLISH(y)(y)(y)
     
  15. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    But winter sites in Spain are fine and cheap, fully serviced pitches from 10/15 a night. Lpg available but not as widely as elsewhere, so needs an elements of forward planning. All being well we will be down in benidorm around the same time.

    We have a differnt attitude to out of main season holidays where we tend to tour....as most places shut up and relatively quiet....happy to put up sticks somewhere relax, and just live and enjoy...

    A month just about bare minimum to make trip worthwhile...6 weeks + better, the longer you go for the more economical it works out. My wife fancies it for a week @ new year but flights alone over £900. That would last me ages including site cost, tunnel and fuel.....
     
  16. Parcverger

    Parcverger Funster - Campsite Owner

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    OK, I know we are not in Spain, but I could not understand this comment? The aires we have visited, and the photos often displayed on Fun show motorhomes so close - that's what we would have thought of as cooped up. Not only that, but on most campsites you have space to put out awnings, tables and chairs etc., and if you want to go off site you can leave them out, something you could not do on an aire. Here you can have ehu if you want it and not if you don't, even metered if you want, and you have decent pitches with space, showers, reasonable wifi (faster from the spring next year), unlimited water, and waste disposal, all included for a price that is often lower than ACSI (we're too small for their list). And you do not get that lot on an aire. So cooped up? Sorry, maybe we are misunderstanding your comment but we cannot see where you are coming from?
    Bob
    www.parcverger.com
     
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  17. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    But France not the best for out of season camping....weather and prices for a start compared to spain.

    Some people just dont like sites I find it odd as well but we are all different
     
  18. Parcverger

    Parcverger Funster - Campsite Owner

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    Looking at it again, I suspect Minx meant maybe limited to campsites rather than cooped up in them - at least I hope so! Agreed, the weather here is not the same as Spain, though maybe better in months when Spain to just too hot. Ah well, each to his or her own.
    Bob
    www.parcverger.com
     
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  19. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Thanks to everyone for their comments, advice, links etc, very informative.

    By 'cooped up on sites' I meant not having to stay in one spot for a fair amount of time which is what a lot of people appear to do when they go to Spain - siting themselves in a campsite for a few weeks to benefit from the reduced pitch fees for extended stays. For us being in the same place for 4 days or more would drive us nuts, although we may stay for a few more days if we really, really enjoy where we are, but a week absolute maximum - we are very much 'roamers' rather than 'loafers'! :D

    We like aires especially with the freedom they offer (yes, even the pay ones!) especially as we can up-sticks if we find it doesn't suit, and obviously prefer those that are not glorified car parks if we're going to be there for more than a night, but sometimes you have to accept what is available in the vicinity. We've stopped on some wonderful aires in France and Germany but have no knowledge of what they are like in Spain or Portugal, hence the request for info. With our camper we don't need to have awnings etc to enjoy the outside in 'comfort' (ie sheltered from the breeze/cold) as we can simply throw open the side and/or rear doors and enoy the fresh air and scenery that way although sometimes we do sit outside too, so having a 'pitch' where we can 'legally' use an awning etc is not a priority for us as it is for others.

    We wild camp extensively when away - in Ireland we did 5 weeks without one campsite (or aire seeing as there aren't any) and in the UK we do the same, and also in France, Germany etc too if the need arises, so being able to use aires is not a necessity but we DO need to know how/where to get water and dispose of toilet waste/waste water responsibliy in these countries, hence the questions.

    So, instead of pondering my 'reasons' which not everyone will understand, I would apprecite more specific advice on the 'chores' aspect .... pretty please! :X3:
     
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  20. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

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    " For us being in the same place for 4 days or more would drive us nuts"

    Do you not stay in your home for more than 4 days??:):)

    Bottled water is available at around €0.50 for 5 litres in most Lidl's etc in Spain & Portugal.
     
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