France essentials

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Dalek, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. Dalek

    Dalek Read Only Funster

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    We are off on our first trip abroad in Motorhome to France in a couple of weeks.

    Please can any of you tell me what essentials relating to their law we must have. I thought I read some where you have to have a flourescent jacket in case of breakdown so any other must haves please post.

    Many thanks

    Dale
     
  2. wasp

    wasp Funster

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    warning triangle spare bulbs loads of dosh and the ability to take it all in when you get off the boat. Have a great time cheers, Rob W:thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb:
     
  3. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Do a search on "high visibility" for starters. There is quite a long list of essentials.
     
  4. wp1234

    wp1234

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    Were just back from our first trip to France .
    Essentials apart from the really obvious.

    2 High viz vests
    Red triangle
    Some loose Euro coins for tolls/aires etc if you can get any before travel
    Map or GPS
    All the Aires book
    Apart from your credit card or pre paid card nothing else needed

    Have a great time it really is dead easy over the water
     
  5. Dalek

    Dalek Read Only Funster

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    Bought a high viz today, already got one but will buy also buy another. Lidl got them on offer at £1.99, they also had some European maps but they'd all gone. Got a sat nav so hope this works ok for us. Just bought a lock from Johns Cross off ebay so when that comes Graham can fit it.

    Dale
     
  6. Cam1

    Cam1 Funster

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    Hi,
    The AA site offers some great advise for driving in Europe and a complete list of kit to take.
    Enjoy the trip
    Cam:thumb:
     
  7. Dalek

    Dalek Read Only Funster

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    I have just taken a look at the AA site which I found useful because we would never of taken the vehicle registration document with us.
     
  8. Diabalo

    Diabalo Funster

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    Spare pair of glasses if you need them for driving:thumb:
     
  9. Manouche

    Manouche Read Only Funster

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    Photocopies of essential docs, just in case.
     
  10. Zepp

    Zepp Funster

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    You may also need speed stickers if over 3500


    Not law but I would take a mains tester and cross over cable


    Paul & Lynne
     
  11. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    Beam deflector thingies to stick on your headlights.

    I wouldnt worry about getting pulled up in France the Gendarmes are all too busy eating or lazing about to bother you.

    I would put your time and energy into useful stuff like researching where to go and stay. Get the All The Aires book France http://www.all-the-aires.com/index.htm (should be called "some of the aires" but its still good). Have a look on here before you go http://www.campingcar-infos.com/index1.htm this really is "All The Aires"

    Another good idea is to open up a Nationwide Flex account (Debit card) no charges for use abroad and a really good exchange rate.

    have fun!
     
  12. jaygee

    jaygee Funster

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    extra long hook up lead or extention as the points always seem to be miles away from where you park!!!!!!!
     
  13. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    converter from our standard hookup end to the Euro 2 pin one

    Buy a spare socket here and put a short length of wire on it.
    As soon as you get across the puddle find a hardware store and buy a two pin euro plug for the other end.. simples :BigGrin:

    I was under the impression you now need two red triangles as well as a high vis jacket for each occupant of the vehicle

    I was also led to believe that fotocopies may not be accepted.. Only originals ( but if you have a decent scanner and printer, I would scan the originals and print them myself.. trim off any excess edges and no one will know the difference ! )

    A full spare bulb kit

    But most important of all what you should NOT take with you...

    When you get to France, remove the watches from wrists ... Enjoy the scenery, enjoy the foods and the wines and just meander... Only put the watches back on when it is time to catch the ferry back to reality ! :cry:
     
  14. WynandJean

    WynandJean Funster

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    Yes, we found almost everything we needed and more in their kit (including a bonus free UK atlas :

    http://shop.theaa.com/store/car-kits/aa-emergency-car-kit

     
  15. the allens

    the allens Read Only Funster

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    we have only had our van for 9 months but have been over the water 3 times, we were stopped at customs in Dover on our return the last time ,and had the full works which took them about an hour and a quarter checking for secret compartments, the first thing they wanted was the vehicle documents,insurance papers, details of where we had stopped and reciepts, they also asked us where we had been on previous journeys, so I suggest you keep this in mind just in case you do get stopped. Whilst parked at the side of the road we were also offered some dodgy gear ( computer notebook and video camera) very cheap, thank goodness we were'nt tempted, the customs would have caught us out.We were also suprised that one of the ACSI sites we stayed at only took cash payment l didnt think to check. Also many of the aires in France charge for parking and you pay at a machine which only take coins, don't be tempted not to pay or delay paying if you have no change, several sites we were on were visited by the Police not long after we arrived and 2 french motorhomes next to us had a 30 euro fine each, instead of paying for a 10 euro ticket
     
  16. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    Why would they want to know where you have stopped and to see reciepts. That could be interesting if we get stopped as we have never had a receipt in months and months of travelling Europe.
     
  17. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Been across many many times and never been asked for receipts .. have been inspected a couple of times but it only took about 15 min, passports checked and lockers inspected , no big deal..

    Re aires,

    yes some have pay and display, on the aire at Mimizan if you had no change you simply waited until the Municipal Police came round and bought a ticket from them.. no problems, they were always polite and courteous..

    Some aires now have credit/debit card pre pay machines that don't take cash ..

    Other aires have no machine and you simply pay the Municipal Police when they call round.. some have a warden who comes round in the evening ..

    Some have a bourne that uses a Jeton, (token) you buy at a local shop , 1 Euro each which provides about 100lt of water or 15 min on the EHU

    Others are completely free .. so you never know what to expect at a strange aire
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  18. wp1234

    wp1234

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    Dalek , Send my your email address and I will forward you the list that I use - adjust as you see fit
    Cheers
     
  19. John & Joan

    John & Joan Funster

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    If you need coins try "La Poste" (Post Office marked with a yellow sign) they have machines that take 20, 10 or 5 Euro notes and dispense coins.

    We found we were always short of 2 and 1 Euro coins until we were sent there by a bank employee. Unlike the UK ones, French banks do not seem to deal in coins.

    Some Aires do have machines and barriers. The one in Tregastel in Brittany was continually failing during our 5 day stay. You drive up to the post in the road and press a button to get a ticket and the post retracts. You put the ticket in and your credit/debit card to get out. The problem was if it failed the posts retracted and people were able to drive in and out freely. We were issued with a ticket from a lady from the Marie (Town Hall) as we got in without getting a ticket but the machine had failed again on the morning we left so we were unable to pay (Shame!).

    The One at Boulogne (Sur Mer) had a pre pay machine that took cerdit/debit cards. It also counted vans in and out as well as controling the Borne. The problem here was the Aire was almost empty and the machine would not let anyone else in as it claimed it was full. People were tail-ending each other out through the barrier and the machine then counted that as one van out instead of two.

    At Arzon the machine claimed to be speaking to us in English but it came up with "Enter your matriculation number" this had us stumped until a French kid came and had a look then pointed to our registration plate. The penny then dropped. You could pay for up to 3 days and were charged for 100 litres of water per day, or just select water.

    The Borne at Arzon was also peculiar in that it is not on the Aire but in an adjacent road hidden by vegetation and not well signed. We saw people filling their water using watering cans from the taps on site. We searched all over and then Joan stumbled on the Borne while out for a walk. This was a key pad access. The instructions were to go to the Aire 100 metres away, that you couldn't see for the mature vegitiation and pay with your card and then put the number in the machine. We drove out of the Aire to dump our grey water and cassette and found that you had to do a 3 point turn in the narrow road to the beach to get to the Borne. We keyed in our number and found that there was no water available, so we had to go back in and find a way of connecting to the taps which were push types to get the water to flow.

    We saw police regularly driving around a number of Aires we used but they didn't stop to check anything.

    On quite a number of Aires we used, someone from the Marie called in the evening to collect the fee for the day. At Damgan we paid on the first night and were issued with a ticket and again on the second with another ticket. I checked the ticket numbers and there had been over 100 tickets issued in the 24 hours. The French Aires book states the site holds 76 vans and the All the Aites Book states 20. Crowding didn't seem to be a problem to the authorities or users. Many of the French users also seemed to stay longer than the stated limits on Aires without being moved on.

    All but two on the Bornes we used had no water available to rinse the cassette. We used our waste water. The Bornes had taps but they were only working while you were drawing drinking water or were turned off altogether. So a bottle of water for this is advisable.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  20. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    We had a look at the Aire at Arzon in May and even the French were confused so we just left it and moved on. The municiple by the sea is good and cost us about the same as the Aire would have.
     
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