Newby to France

Discussion in 'France' started by ian4apenny, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. ian4apenny

    ian4apenny Funster

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    Hi,
    Thinking of going to France for a month in June with our MH for the first time. Thing is, although I've driven many thousands of miles in France, Germany, Italy etc. in a car when the kids were young, I'm a bit apprehensive about driving the MH over there. Added to this, there seems to be so many different ways to tour France and use the sites over there i.e. Aires, ACSI, Camping Cheques etc. that I'm getting a bit confused.
    Is there anyone going to France in June who we could meet up with for a day or so to get a few pointers, (and maybe beforehand would be useful). Our plan at the moment is to travel at beginning of June and eventually get down to the midi-Pyrenees region.
    Cheers.
     
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  2. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    Its as easy driving a motorhome in France as it s a car. Honestly, you won't find an easier country.
    Get the Aires book and/or an ACSI card and you're made.
    I lived in the Midi Pyrenees, an hour south of Toulouse for a year, such a beautiful area.
    Go and enjoy!
     
  3. Clewsy

    Clewsy Funster Life Member

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    We came across to France in the MH for the first time on Saturday 23rd and are heading to Spain. Have now reached Biaritz and it has been great so far. Roads much better than UK, less traffic and have enjoyed the driving (not to mention the food and wine). We have not used a toll road so far and it has been a doddle. A bit foggy in the North of France but sunny and a balmy 19 C today.
     
  4. Clarky

    Clarky Funster

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    After the crowded roads in the UK driving in France is a joy.
    Just take it easy at first and within a few Km you will be feeling quite comfortable.
    France is the roundabout capital of the world, they just love em and put them on every junction they can, so you will need to take a little extra care until you get used to the direction that other vehicles are coming from. Oh, the French rarely indicate when negotiating their beloved roundabouts so you need to be on the ball. (n)
    Unless you're in a tearing hurry just keep the distances low for the first few days so you don't feel stressed and enjoy your trip.

    Richard.
     
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  5. kelv

    kelv Funster Life Member

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    We are going over on June the 10th which part of France are you thinking of visiting and what crossing I only take the aires books and the acsi books never book always seem to be plenty of pitches in JuneJune
     
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  6. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    France is just too easy. So many campsites and so many aires. Just as kelv said, with the ACSI book and All The Aires from Vicarious books you are made.

    Try and avoid toll roads, rip off price and definitely do not buy fuel on motorways even more rip off, buy in a supermarket.

    Simples.
     
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  7. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Only one fact you need to know about France, it's MOTORHOME HEAVEN(y)

    Seriously, you won't need any help it is just so easy. Aires are a great way of discovering France, two of the best apps for Aires are Promobil & Camper Contact
     
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  8. ian4apenny

    ian4apenny Funster

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    Thank you one and all for all your comments. Confidence boosted no end and booking the ferry/tunnel tomorrow!
    Thank you Kelv, but we are going over around 1st June. Thanks also Lenny HB, tell me do you just "roll up" to these Aires for the night? Do they have loos, hookups and what is the approx. cost?
     
  9. Easyliving

    Easyliving Funster

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    You can't book a place on an aire, you just turn up and if you see a space you fancy you park in it, simple as that. If you get the All The Aires book or similar you will see what sort of facilities each aire has. Some have fresh water, waste disposal and electricity, some nothing at all.

    We usually get our travelling done in the morning and arrive at our chosen aire by about lunchtime, always found a space whereas later in the day they can get crowded - should be okay in June though. Always have a backup plan in case your first choice is not to your liking.

    Driving in France is dead easy. As has been said on here before, within half an hour of driving off the train / ferry you will wonder what you were worrying about.

    Paul
     
  10. Manic

    Manic Funster

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    When using Aires, if it has free water, fill-up as the next one may charge for water. I also carry a 2 litre milk bottle of water in the toilet compartment for flushing cassette out because some Aires you can empty cassette free but may not give water for it ( you can also use your grey waste to swill out your cassette)
    Just go an have fun.
     
  11. Aminthule

    Aminthule Funster

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    Great to read all these positive, encouraging responses. I've never driven abroad and am taking motorhome to France in July/August (school holidays) - I particularly liked "Unless you're in a tearing hurry just keep the distances low for the first few days so you don't feel stressed and enjoy your trip."! Have a great trip ian4apenny.
     
  12. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    One thing you might like to consider is using the peage motorways or not. They are great If travelling long distances or whilst getting round the larger cities but France is also famous for their good, smaller roads. If you are not in a hurry, use the smaller roads, you will see and enjoy much more of France that way and of course, save on toll fees..
     
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  13. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    They generally don't have toilets and showers, I guess the people that provide Aires assume as you have a motorhome, you will just use your own.
    Some have hookups, but mostly a time limited hookup at the service point just to give your batteries a boost for a half hour and will cost you a couple of euros.
    Aires costs vary from free up to around €10. Generally half that, but we like to stay on the free ones, water will be either free or cost you a couple of euros to fill up.
    As others have said, France is very motorhome friendly. Just relax and enjoy yourself, there are thousands of Aires and most if not all of them will have spaces in June. If you travel in peak season, you need to be getting to an aire around 3 pm at the latest, though many people turn up late at the larger sites and manage to park. Coastal Aires will be busy all year round.
    As to toll roads, there are no toll roads in Brittany......yet
     
  14. ian4apenny

    ian4apenny Funster

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    Thanks Easyliving, Manic, Aminthule, Old Soldier and Allanm. Great advice.
     
  15. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    @ian4apenny Except with Camping car park
    A good aires company! You can buy a golden card online which allows you to BOOK! it's 24 euros/*year (4 euros for the card, and 20 euros for the booking facilities all year long)
    There's an English version of the site, but they seem to have some technical prob at the moment. Have a go and see if you can see that English version. top left there's a little French flag, click on the arrow just below it, then click on English flag!
    If any question, ask me, I can phone them to give you an answer.

    Amicalement

    Frankie:)
     
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  16. snowdrops

    snowdrops Funster Life Member

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    It's really much easier than you think it will be. The roads are fab, they even have to slow down in the rain, unlike this country !! We use little roads a lot, but also, when heading straight down south to Provence/Cote d'azure, we use the big toll toads. We have a Sanef tag, well worth you buying to be honest, then when you come to tolls you won't stress, you drive straight thro them and your UK bank account will have the money taken out. We have the aires book for emergencies, but usually love french campsites, great atmosphere, well spaced, pretty and loads have wonderful pools too. For the camping we use our ACSI card and phone app, never failed to find a wonderful site with no booking. If necessary we will also use a muncipal camp site.

    Overall the french just love camping so it's an amazing way to spend time. Just lunch in the hot part of the day with the specials and snack in the evenings.

    We're leaving on 9th June for 3 weeks, heading down to Provence/Cote d'azure, so may pass you nearby at some point. :) :france::wine:
     
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  17. FIDGET

    FIDGET Funster

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    Hi Ian, fellow 484
    We are hoping to go over in June at this stage not sure of dates as son & family have said they may come over to the island end of may /early june .
    You will have no problems over there as long as you have a good satnav ( supports GPS co.ords & size of moho) . I always take my tablet & mifi so that I can look up either campercontact or municipal sites in france, I also do a bit of research on aires in the area we plan to visit before I go .
    Any other help or suggestions just ask
    Terry
     
  18. The Wino

    The Wino Funster

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    If you want to get an idea of whats available look at search for sites.co.uk if you google it create a log in (I'm pretty sure its free) and drag the centre circle to an area in france it shows the aires and sites with costs and often pictures. If you don't like motorhoming in france you won't like it anywhere its great.
     
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  19. ian4apenny

    ian4apenny Funster

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    Thanks Terry (alias Fidget). I'm still in the planning stage......
     
  20. FIDGET

    FIDGET Funster

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    Hi Ian @ian4apenny
    We are likewise, things may alter since we've had death in the family ( one of my elderly aunts whose in her mid 80's) unfortunately that leaves me (as the only kin locally here on the island) with the other aunt slightly older & disabled to look after etc.
    Dates look more like 2nd week june if we get to go.
     
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