Recommendations first time abroad please

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by WynandJean, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. WynandJean

    WynandJean Funster

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    Booked ferry crossing for M/H in a few weeks. Been on a few jaunts in UK and feel ready to try across the chanel. We cross to Dunkerque and would like to hop over into Belgium, and see some of the North of France. Any suggestions for aires, sites etc.

    Also have an unlocked dongle. What recomendations are there for suitable sim cards?

    Any general advice also appreciated.

    Wyn & Jean
     
  2. Dalek

    Dalek Read Only Funster

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    Cant give you any recommendations as we are also doing that journey on the 1st August and as yet havent booked a site. Heading down South I've been told by hubby. Happy travelling

    Dale
     
  3. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Have you purchased the book called "All the Aires in France" this will be a big help to you in fact you will use it most of the time.....if not you can purchase one form Vicarious books in Folkstone.. http://www.vicariousbooks.co.uk/ ..online if needed and you should get it before you go...have you a sat nav.with European maps..another good item to have and use sat coordination's instead of roads and towns/villages.
    try not to use peage motorways and just enjoy France

    Warning Triangle
    High visible Vest
    beam benders for your lights
    first aid kit
    Fire extinguisher
    GB sign
    Spare bulb kit


    Mel
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  4. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    If you are looking just for a place to stop and look around get water and drop your grey water and toilet cassette with some that have electric chill out sunbathe and you make your own enjoyment then Aires are fine and what you are looking for and there are some great and beautiful Aires in fact most of them....but if you need items like swimming pool, bar, large parking area, table tennis or as they say over here ping pong, showers, etc, you will be better on campsites at more expense, so you better purchase camping cheques or ACSI,...for reduced site fees ( but check when they are active they are mainly for use out of peak season)... or you could get the "France Passion" to go on sites like farms, vineyards, Honey Farms, etc .

    Mel:thumb:

    Have a great holiday over here.
     
  5. lebesset

    lebesset Read Only Funster

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    and don't forget
    driving licence
    vehicle documents
    mot
    insurance

    if they stop you and you haven't got those , you are going nowhere
     
  6. warwick

    warwick Read Only Funster

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    What date do you mean by a few weeks if August you may find sites not so easy.
    If you hav`nt driven on the right before it will take a little getting used to, my advice is to keep out of larger towns just till you feel confident.
    Try the Belgium Coast Ostend through De Hann to Knokke Heist is pleasant enough, only trouble with inland Belguim is a lot of roads are those dreadful concrete slabs shakes the van to bits. Or head back to Boulogne down to the Somme Bay plenty of sites around there.
    Look up Camping Cheques/Caravan Club/ACSI etc on the net will give pointers for sites you might fancy.
     
  7. liverpool

    liverpool Read Only Funster

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    we use camperstop from vicarious books when we go to europe. nice council run site in Ypres inexpensive but lots of camperstops in France . Brugge is nice but site expensive .there is a lovely site in Turnhout in Belgium you can cycle along the canal into town.:Smile:
     
  8. WynandJean

    WynandJean Funster

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    It's mid-July we'll be going. I have driven on the right but not in anything the size of the M/H. We'll take a look at the places you mention. Thank you very much for taking the trouble

    Wyn & Jean

     
  9. WynandJean

    WynandJean Funster

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    OK - now ordered the book. It does seem highly recommended so look forward to recieving that. Also expect the emergency eqpt to arrive any time. Already have satnav so can't wait to get started. Thanks for your help

    Wyn

     
  10. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Respect.
     
  11. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Unless it's dramatically improved since we bought one it should be titled "Some of the aires in France".

    It is useful.

    I read that there is a French book that can more genuinely can make that bold claim.
     
  12. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Sorry that was very naughty of me - but could not resist, the Belgium border is about 10 miles away.

    What I should have said was use the search engine, look up the screen "search +" and search for Bruges. We've never been but it keeps getting good reviews and I think some tips on where to stop. We'll do it one day.

    Our first MH trial into mainland EU was Paris, all of 3 years ago. Easy one hop from the ports and the campsite by the Bois de Bologne is excellent. Bit more of a baptism of fire for you. A bus by the gate takes you to the nearest Metro and Paris is at your disposal. That trip proved that going across channel in a MH is just as easy as with a car. So our second EU trip was Venice.
     
  13. madbluemad

    madbluemad

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    Dont forget the Speed Stickers
     
  14. WynandJean

    WynandJean Funster

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    Speed stickers?
    Wyn
     
  15. lebesset

    lebesset Read Only Funster

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    if your vehicle looks like it is over 3.5 tonnes you had better fit them , it's flavour of the month with the gendarmerie

    and stick to the low speed limits

    if you look like you are under 3.5 you will probably get away with it ....don't get yourself stopped though

    and I don't know what the GB sticker is for , don't you have one on the back number plate?

    and HOP to belgium ? you can walk to belgium
     
  16. madbluemad

    madbluemad

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    Click on Search + located at the top of the page. Type in Speed Sticker and click go. There are two threads there that will tell you all about them. Read both threads, there is info in one thats not in the first one.

    Jim
    :Smile:
     
  17. jaygee

    jaygee Funster

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    We did our first trip abroad last August and went Dover to Dunquirk. From there we went to Ypres - highly reccomend. There is a campsite within walking distance of the town and not expensive. We had a month so from there we went to Annecy then up the Loire Valley to Normandy. Normandy is excellent for first timing , so much to see and there are plenty of cheap campsites, municipal campsites are good - pretty basic but very cheap compared to the all singing & dancing ones - but also plenty of free Aires - mostly car parks on the cliff tops with lovely views. Just drive and you will tend to see "gatherings" of camper vans so just go and park alongside them. Plenty of places to dump waste & refill - lots of supermarkets have points. We had a tomtom and downloaded Aires as POI into it so it told us any that were in the vicinty.
    Another good place was Bayeux - municipal campsite very central to the town.
    Dont know what time you are travellig back but there is a nice campsite near to Calais with pool etc... near to the "Bloc House" which is also worth a visit - it's not cheap but we treated ourselves to it before our ferry home.
     
  18. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    BRIAN......Got them both "Le Guide National Des Aires de Services camping-cars" (the white book) and "All the Aires in France" .the English book..and "Aires de services camping -car" and many other French camping car Aires books and German books Reise Mobil Bord Atlas that cover France and all the CDs and web sites on Aires......
    I still say All the Aires in France is a good Aires book to have......... I have been to hundreds of French Aires and stopped the night and 10 times more I have been just to have look at the aires........
    We use them all (the different Aires books), as there is always something different in each one, e.g information that is in one, is not in the other, one may have roads, the other has cords...one may give more information on the aire, the other maybe Basic,
    Yes there maybe Aires missing......... as with all the other books and CDs that we have,
    We have just done 4 week Brittany tour, and 4 of the Aires in the English book and the French white book have been cancelled.....do not exist anymore..mainly removed by the village, overloading, too many vans spilling out of the aire, misuse, or just unsightly motorhomes in the village...so they stop them and put up a notice No Camping cars ...but it is unfair to blame the book that was printed 2, 3, 4, or 5 years ago.

    Mel
     
  19. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Then I rest my case, the title being "All The Aires France".

    But I will add to this....

    Opens book, bought in 2008, first section Atlantic.
    88 aires listed.
    The first 52 are nicely documented with a picture.
    53 to 88 each have 3 lines.
    Town
    Directions
    Costs.

    With 78 standing out : Exact location unknown.

    Our only aire this year was Metz.
    METZ
    Parking at the swimming pool
    All year.

    That is *really* useful.

    I did email them tell them how to improve this by putting page numbers on regional maps to locate adjoining regions without going back to the master map, did they take this up ? They were quite rude that I'd dared to say it could be improved, gave me quite a grilling on the phone.

    Hopefully, like the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy it has improved and Metz is "Parking at swimming pool in the centre". Though it is so good it deserves better.
     
  20. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Brian ...............each there own opinion....................Mel
     
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