Question about Aires in France

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Nethernut, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Nethernut

    Nethernut Read Only Funster

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    We are hoping to travel round France in May/June this year, have just received our All the Aires book. We have used Stellplatz in Germany and assumed Aires are run on the same principle but one thing is puzzling me - what do you do on a warm evening when it would be pleasant to sit outside, because of the ruling no chairs etc does this mean that you have to stay inside your Motorhome? Part of the pleasure for us in warmer weather is being able to breakfast outside and eat our meal in the evening sitting outside.
    So - what does everyone do?
     
  2. Mel

    Mel Funster

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    I think you have to see the situation on each Aire.

    You mightbe on a busy Aire with no space tosit outside.

    Or like us in July found some Aires with loads of space and grass.
    Sat up with other motorhomers outside.


    There are all diferent.


    Mel
     
  3. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    It depends entirely on the location and how busy the aire is. The rule against setting up external equipment is to prevent people turning the aire into a mini campsite or taking up room required by others. In practice, it is often possible to sit outside, sometimes behind the van. Some aires are little more than large spaces on car parks and so it is not so easy, whereas others may be next to a green area and even have fixed tables and benches nearby.
    If in doubt, take your cue from the local camping caristes who will often be seen with barbecues, tables and chairs. But also be prepared to have little space between you and the next van. In a busy aire it is not possible to roll out the awning and if you do, be ready for some thunderous gallic looks as Monsieur makes a point of trying to reverse in next to you. In this regard it can be advantageous to have a continental van with the habitation door on the 'correct' UK off-side since this will prevent you opening straight onto your neighbour's. Sod's law dictates that the nicest view will be selected by the locals and you may have to park facing the other way in a Brit van.
     
  4. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    As others have said, each Aire is different. The one in my village isn't elegant BUT it is 2 minutes walk to the river with its own "beach" , or a couple of minutes walk to the village bars and bistros.

    Some are really car parks in a town, others have lots of space and everyone has their chairs outside. The French are very relaxed about Motorhomes and Motorhomers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
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  5. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    We used Aries last year for first time in and around Dordogne and we could not believe our luck we never found a problem sitting out on evening never found a dirty one and 2 that where better than some camp site we have been on even 1 with free electric
    And never came across mister angry nowhere everybody seemed very helpfull and friendly
    Go for it and enjoy
     
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  6. gillnphil

    gillnphil Funster

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    We have been on many aires and always sit outside on our chairs drinking wine and chatting with people. No problem at all. We pull out the sunblind if its needed as well.
    Its to stop awnings and setting up camp long term, but thats not what it about anyway.
    Just once on a bank holiday we refrained from putting out the sunblind but when the French did it, so did we.
     
  7. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    There's nothing more packed than the aire a La Palmyre in August, BUT with the 4 ft in between the vans we and our Italian neighbours were able to share one awning pulled out virtually touching the other van, both get our tables and chairs out and eat our meals in peace. Then we cleared the plates, put the tables away and moved the chairs to the front of the vans to watch the world go by!

    Everyone does it. Don't worry !
     
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  8. Roryboys Dad

    Roryboys Dad Read Only Funster

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    This French guy went a little too far with his 'spreading out' - he got thrown off the site!

    Note the tent, dinghy, bbq, bicycles, water bottles, table, chairs - and more round the other side.

    Just use common sense.
     

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  9. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Agreed - so we used to carry our camping chairs up the bank at the back of the aire overlooking the pine forest and eat our meal in the evening sun up there - lovely.

    I have yet to see an aire where anyone has been challenged about sitting out in an evening, regardless of the regulations. The classic case is the forest aire at Biscarrosse-Plage, where on arrival you're greeted by a board full of regulations about what you can't do, and everywhere you look they're being roundly ignored, especially by the New Age Traveller colony in the corner.

    The main trick is to to try and stay off the tarmac and avoid spreading out into the neighbouring parking bay and leaving out loads of kit like you're on a campsite. If you've ever seen a camper van go up in flames on an aire (we have, just the once) you'll understand why it's a good idea to stow all your kit when it's not in use anyway, in case a quick exit is called for.

    The more time you spend on aires the better you get at picking your parking spot - most folks will go for a place with a bit of grass close by, and maybe even a view.
     
  10. darklord

    darklord Read Only Funster

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    We used them for the first time last year, and were also concerned,....no problem, just use your common sense, if there is loads of room, nobody will mind you using it, if space is tight.......have brekkie at a local place al fresco.
    many of the nicer rural places, we found had benches out on the grass anyway,.....enjoy:thumb:
     
  11. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Hi what Meor is saying is correct .....it depends on the Aire...and the amount motorhomes there at the same time as you...... most of the aires are in a nice location next to the sea beach,woods, rivers, canals. etc: , many have tables, seats , picnic tables...there may an area you can sit in your chairs....A lot of the ruling is to stop people camping,caravans or similar, they are mainly for stop overs as most motorhomers move daily or every two days....many aires have a time limit.....
     
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  12. Jez and Lin

    Jez and Lin Funster Life Member

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    I agree with all that's been said although I do have to chuckle when I see folk sat outside their £70 000 Motorhome on what amounts to a Car Park with next doors Van as their view.:Eek!:
     
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  13. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    It's a fair comment, and I sometimes wonder why it bothers me so little - I suppose it's because I've probably been out all day exploring the area and by the time I'm sitting back on the Aire I've probably got no energy left and a half empty bottle of wine next to me, so next door's van might just as well be on the Moon, whatever its price label.

    Strangely enough I prefer it to sitting on certain types of campsite that resemble rather noisy British suburban estates, with privet hedges and all.
     
  14. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    I would say they have paid £70,000 to do just that, not to pay ridiculous campsite fees that you could get bed and breakfast for and a cheap ryanair flight.
    I am not a wild camper by any means, but why anyone would pay 20 or 30 euros a night for just parking up in france escapes me when its free all over.
     
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  15. Jez and Lin

    Jez and Lin Funster Life Member

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    Each to their own, & some Aires are fantastic. Personally I prefer to treat them as stopovers, park up for the night & continue to where I am aiming for & then predominantly use Sites. I don't know where or why you are choosing to stay at 20 - 30 Euro Sites when there are many lovely sites in the ACSI book in the 12 - 14 Euro band but I can happily lounge out in a chair with the wife, dog & BBQ having picked a pitch overlooking an attractive pastoral scene rather than 20 odd foot of white GRP on baking Tarmac.Each to their own :Cool:
     
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  16. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    Each to their own no probs, but have you seen www.france-passion.com you can do all you say for nowt. Admited it does cost 24 euros upfront but for 2 nights cost with asci you get 365 nights free at the most brilliant places. And if you were really mean once you get the book no need to pay the next year cause no one checks up on you
     
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  17. adriacoral

    adriacoral Read Only Funster

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    sit outside with chairs and table, thats what the french do!!! just perhaps put them away at night!we've never had a problem in 5 years of touring france!! have fun:BigGrin:
     
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  18. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

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    Aires

    All good advice and each aire is a judgement call. However, generally people put their awnings and chairs etc away for the night. You MUST NOT leave your awning and bits out encroaching on a possible motorhome space on a busy aire and go off for a walk. To do so would be very bad manners. Also during the day, if another motorhomer is looking for a space be prepared move your things to allow them to park. Remember, an aire is not a campsite and should not be treated as one.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
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  19. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    surely thats MUST NOT:Smile:
     
  20. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

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    Yup, thanks!
     
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