First Timers To France

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Noa, May 16, 2015.

  1. Noa

    Noa Read Only Funster

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    Hi all,

    We are heading to France this summer for a three week trip from the north of Scotland. We have done lots of van weekends at home but never in France...or anywhere else other than Scotland. The main point of the trip is a week long stay in Les arcs for mountain biking but we have a week either side of that to get there, general sight seeing and relaxing. Due to the lift opening for biking we are going at the end of July. I have so many questions having only once been to France before when I was 15, including routes, where to see etc but then main one is are we going to boil overnight in our van (vw beach)? How do folk cope with the heat?
     
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  2. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Hello & wellcome,

    Doesn't get that hot in France compared to Italy & Spain, unless it's an extreme year usually only into the low to mid 30's. As you are going to a mountain area if will be quite cool at night.
    If it is hot you soon acclimatise after a few days.
    Just go and enjoy, no easier place to take a Motorhome than France.
     
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  3. TerryL

    TerryL Funster

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    Checkout the Continental Touring/France section. Plenty of ideas and tips.
     
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  4. Noa

    Noa Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Lenny. I guess it was more the week before and after the Alps I was thinking about. 30 degrees sounds pretty hot to me I live in aberdeen!
     
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  5. wizzer59

    wizzer59 Funster

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    Hi and welcome guys(y) we to are heading to France and the Alpes in early June, Alpe d'huez for us(y) to visit wifes son who lives there, really looking foreward to it, we have a couple of these to help us sleep at night;) expensive but worth every penny:rolleyes:
     
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  6. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    30 deg, down south we still have the heating on.:LOL:

    The hottest I been in France was the year of the heat wave stopped near Remis same latitude as Paris it was 44 deg in the shade, it had only been 36 in Italy.
    Had a look where you are going, we have been around Annecy in mid August about 28 deg a nice pleasant temperature to us. July may be around 30 not really anything to worry about it will drop to the low to mid 20's at night, once you get up above a couple of thousand feet can get quite cool at night.
     
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  7. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    I don't know what a vw beach is but I guess some sort of vw campervan. When you are driving you should be OK with the windows open, assuming the vehicle doesn't have ac.

    The problems start when you stop! Window blinds will help enormously to keep the interior cool, you can get external ones for some MHs but I don't know about yours. A dark vehicle will also get hotter in the sun than a light coloured one - but I wouldn't suggest a respray!

    Traditional motorhomes should be well insulated and this really does keep the inside cool providing there are blinds to keep the sun out. Is your vehicle insulated and can it be improved?

    You might also consider rigging up some sort of awning using a reflective sheet. Have a search on eBay for "reflective tarpaulin" add a couple of bamboo poles and some guy ropes and you will have instant shade. If you can rig it over the vehicle as well that would be ideal.

    An extra cool box into which you can add ice packs so you can store salads and things will be useful if your 'fridge is a bit small. If you don't have a' fridge consider an electric coolbox. These can struggle in high temperatures unless you buy an expensive compressor one but cool is better than hot.

    Finally, get a jam jar and start collecting all your spare change every day until you have enough to buy an Endless Breeze fan. We have one (still paying the mortgage for it) and it is brilliant, quiet enough on the low setting to use when sleeping and perfect for the heat of the day, but you will need a reasonable solar panel and batteries or be on electric hook up to use one.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
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  8. Noa

    Noa Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for your replies. We have built in window blinds and an awning so hopefully that will keep the worst off when we are parked up I just want to get packed and go now!
     
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  9. iceni

    iceni Read Only Funster

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    It is fine unless you do down to the med when it does get hotter

    Just one thing -You do know the whole of france is on holiday in august don't you. It gets busy on campsites and aires. If using aires best to get to the aire mid afternoon sat 2-4pm and spend the rest of the afternoon and evening exploring the area.

    If you can park with the sun off the fridge vents as this will help it keep your stuff cool.
     
  10. Noa

    Noa Read Only Funster

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    Thanks iceni. Yes we knew it was going to be busy, ideally we would do the trip in the shoulder months but that will not work for us this time. Hopefully away from the coast it won't be too bad? We are heading from Calais down to Les Arcs....with some zig zagging in between :)
     
  11. Bertie Bassett

    Bertie Bassett Read Only Funster

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    Endless Breeze, Seconded!(y)
     
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  12. ojibway

    ojibway Funster

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    If you have lots of glass then reflective sheeting is really good but best on the outside, not inside. You can get reflective sheet to go behind radiators from a hardware store, which you can cut to size and attach to your van with magnets!
    Yes, neodymium magnets.
    Of course they only work on tin vans, not plastic vans and I guess yours is tin:sneaky:. I use them for attaching a 'skirt' to the van (Sprinter) and various other things like a removable venetian blind for the sliding door.
    But be careful - you can do some serious damage if you get 'pinched' between two magnets:D
    Good luck!
    Mike
     
  13. Buzzy-Beans

    Buzzy-Beans Read Only Funster

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    Having lived in France for 10 years up until my return to live in the UK again earlier last year............. The OP will love it!
    Make sure you get a good tour guide about the amazing French Aire system, namely the Government supported system of overnight stop-overs for campervans in most villages in Frogland. Some of these amazing locations are FOC and others charge somewhere between €2 and €5 per night.
    As a former caravan site owner, Aires used to well and truly peeeeee me off as they were taking money out of my pocket, but now that I am one of you, what a truly great system the Frogs have in place !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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