hi all we have just returned from the first trip in our own van in France. We had a great time but suffered lots of problems. Just call me "Black Cloud", On arrival at the tunnel credit card at the ready and booking reference number in hand, the terminal greeted me by name, said I was 4 hours early and gave me the option of paying extra to go on the next available train or take the one after for free. well having booked the cheapest rate at 1.30am being able to travel at 10.30pm was a big bonus, my credit card was not required and the gremlins managed to hide it on the floor whilst I gleefully pressed numerous buttons on the terminal. Strange experience the tunnel, so quiet, no clackitty clack from the rails and so smooth we failed to notice when we moved. So arrival in France no problem at all, even remembered to drive on the correct side of the road. Straight down the road toward St Martin stop for fuel, ah yes automated 24hr service. Great just what the weary traveller ordered. Open wallet, no credit card, damn I thought must have left it in Barnstaple when I filled up before leaving, ah well get it when I get home. I have a spare card that I use for online transactions. Oops no pin number can't use it I never bother to set one as didn't need it online. so there we were early hours of the morning dark, and fuel Gauge reading empty, no idea what that means on this van so stay the night on the forecourt. In the morning I am directed to another station that takes real money (of which we have precious little) so fill up and go find a bank. Try to phone and cancel my credit card, phone will not work, it is a PAYGO, so maybe not allowed. right set up the satnav to the next aire, "please find the nearest road" but I am on a road, sugar, the French maps are corrupt, no satnav. Aires book relies on satnav, our map crap and sue know where we are going but not where we are so when a junction presents itself there is a problem. I get out the laptop for which I have a plug in GPS, it refused to boot, the hard drive is knackered. by this time I am ready to turn around and go home. Four days later when I had calmed down a little my mind remembered I must have had the credit card with me so I go to the front and search, there it is The gremlin had hidden it under my guitar. We had to backtrack a few times because of low bridges and didn't know the height of the van. We only found one cyber café, tried to log into fun only to be told i am not a member and have to pay, yeah right, never in a million years must be a virus and someone trying to con me so I just switched off. It was only when I got to Frankie's, that I was told the truth of it. We had a fantastic time Frankie treated us like Royalty and truly made it the best holiday of our lives, THANK YOU. However I now have to sort out the silly things. 1) So what satnav and I will be looking secondhand will allow POI input, lat and long input as well as postcode. Must of course have street level Europe maps. Anyone updating to the latest all singing all dancing jobbies? 2) I don't use a mobile phone so pay monthly or contract is out of the question how do I get around roaming? 3) The laptop is a dell Latitude what is the largest hard drive I can squeeze into it. 4) where can I get a new memory chip for my brain????????? 5) nearly forgot, the satdish failed to tune anything but Hotbird. And the inverter constantly overheated (no built in fan) 6) also forgot the windscreen, massive stonechip on the first day there and spent the rest of the holiday waiting for the screen to shatter.