The French Aires

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by lufcdave7, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. lufcdave7

    lufcdave7 Read Only Funster

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    Hi folks,
    Kath and myself are off to France on the 20th July for four weeks. We have bought a copy of the France Passion and French Aires, we hope to use both. We have been to France several times, but this will be the first time in a m/h. Could you give us advice on the Aires? The questions that ocur to us are...

    If you have to pay for water, pay for electric, pay to stay...isn't it just as good to stay at a cheaper site all inclusive?

    What is the general procedure on arriving at an Aire?

    What do you look for in the book, in terms of picking a good one...what would you avoid?

    Any other general comments on Aires or the Passion system would be appreciated.

    Many thanks

    Kath and Dave
     
  2. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi

    Many aires are totally free, some you pay for leccy , some you pay for water but all are great value for money .. we used them almost exclusively on our last trip to France for eight months.. the most you will pay is 5 - 6 euro

    Cheap sites are available but expect to pay 10 - 15euro .. Municipal sites are good value for money .. about the same price.

    When you arrive just look for a space then read the visitors board for any other info .. on the pay aires sometimes they have pay meters, others the money is collected by the local police ..
    If it's a popular aire I would arrive before 3pm .. after 6 they get pretty full

    Don't be tempted to use Auto Route Aires due to the high risk of theft.

    Look for free ones .. most villages have an aire , there are plenty .. enjoy touring France the French way :thumb:

    If you give me some idea of your route I may be able to recommend a few ..

    Jim
     
  3. lufcdave7

    lufcdave7 Read Only Funster

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    Hi Jim,
    Thanks for your quick response.
    Start from Dunkirk...South to Valenciennes...Laon...Troyes...and eventually Annecy our favourite place in France. After that anywhere that takes our fancy or comes highly recommended by others as not to be missed. Is it possible to do the Verdon Gorge in a large m/h? Homeward bound journey not even thought about yet!!
    thanks
    Kath and Dave
     
  4. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi

    typical.. :Doh: :Laughing: a route I'm not very familiar with .. but others will be along with suggestions ..
    The only aire I know on that general direction is at Stenay .. cracking aire on the canal bank 6 euro with 6amp ehu , showers and toilets.. old French town with a great beer museum .. highly recommended .. :thumb:

    Have a look at the Google map in my signature, all the sites and aires we have used and would recommend .. mostly on the Atlantic coast and Brittany

    As far as I know the Verdon Gorge is fine for large motorhomes, tour coaches go around it .. but others will advise better about sites .. I've heard it's best to go in a clockwise direction as you get the best views being on the right hand side of the road and it's easier to get parked..
    maybe someone will confirm..

    Jim

    Aire at Stenay

    [​IMG]

    Pics of some other aires we have used

    http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/members/scotjimland-albums-french-aires.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2009
  5. vindiboy

    vindiboy Funster

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    Ditto to what Jim has posted, If you get the book { all the Aires in France } from Vicarious books you will see that most Aires featured in it have photos of them and a write up from the poster who submitted them. You may also like to look at some photos I posted on here in the members photo gallery, go to page 18 and you will find them under Our trip to France and on the same page A few Aires, you will love the Aires and have a great time in Motorhome Friendly France. :thumb::thumb:
     
  6. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    Hi here's a couple of aires we used last year in the rough direction your heading there is one at Autun edge of town next to lake and swimming pool about 1/2 mile from town centre has a lovely big square with loads of resturants. The aire is just across from a mcdonalds and ten pin bowling it has a skate park next to it but the kids were all well behaved if a bit crazy on skate boards.

    Another one is on the lake oppisite malbussion think its called saint lac point (not sure on spelling) it will be in your book it is 4euro right on the lake front there is a small takeaway snackbar and pizza van comes couple of nights a week and bakers van comes about 8.30 with hot fresh bread. It is right next to a municipal campsite which i used to have a shower.

    We are heading to Annecy for the first time on friday.

    Gerry
     
  7. Mr Colpot

    Mr Colpot Funster

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    We have recently returned from 9 days in France using both France Passion and Aires and a couple of municipal campsites. My advice on France Passion is to find where they are early if you can. Dont leave it till late afternoon as some can be difficult/nigh on impossible to find! On one day the France Passion book was thrown in the back of the Motorhome with Mrs Colpot saying she is never going to use them again. (We will test her resolve at the end of August whe we go back again)
    We stayed at some great Aires, including Chaumont,Lac du Der and Le Crotoy which we found were good. Chaumont we paid 6.20 euro including electric, Lac du Der was free as we didnt need electricity ( 2 euro for an hour plus water), and Le Crotoy we paid 5 euro to park for 24 hours (although someone said if you leave before 0900hrs you can get away without paying!) and 2 euro for 55mins electric and 5mins water. This actually took a 2 euro coin, so no need to look for shop selling tokens.
     
  8. wiljoy

    wiljoy Funster

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    Just returned from tour of Southern France and did 32 days on Aires. Some in the book are now closed but all were very busy with French motorhomes.
    Why dont we all get together and start a campaign to introduce them to the UK? I know we have the two big clubs who would try to stop it happening but we cannot even get on there sites without booking months in advance, call this touring?
    The UK is now so far behind that we are a good laugh to European motorhome owners. We stayed on Aires in France that offered FREE electric, some Free WiFi, FREE mini bus shuttles to town, Free bread etc. Can you see the two clubs giving anything away they even rip us off with internet access at £7 a day.
    The time has come for us to stand up for our rights and Aires are a must for our Island.
    Does anyone know of any active campaigns to create Aires in the UK??
    Wiljoy:thumb:
     
  9. Lincolnshire Rover

    Lincolnshire Rover Read Only Funster

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    We mostly always use the Aires which are well documented in the Vicarious Aires Guide if you cannot get tokens or just want to dump your black waste we usually take water from the grey waste tank in a bucket to wash out the toilet tank and wash around the dump area , another good tip if you are running short of fresh water look for the local cemetery there is always a water tap inside the gates so you can top up with a bucket or watering can.
    Most Aires are free if you are lucky free electric as well some of the Bournes take tokens mostly purchased from some of the local shops or usually 2 euro's for fresh water ect.
    As stated earlier if an Aire is popular it will more than likeley be full by 4pm just read the signs leave the place tidy and enjoy France at its best motorhoming in France beats the UK anytime leave rip off Britain for the people with more money than sense .
    Since 1st May we have had 3 x 2 weeks in France done just under 4500 miles for less than £1000.00 try doing that here in the UK:thumb::thumb:
     
  10. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    We live in France (northern) and we use the French Aires a lot, marvelous ...all what has been said before me is correct.......don't always look for the LARGE sites as there are plenty of beutiful small ones in villages, well kept, most of the time free water...toilet emptying...and grey water....a lot even have free electric...and even free sites ...some are just 3 to 5 euros even the large are not expensive but are more popular.....also as you go along the roads you will see signs for motorhomes with disposal points (and there are many)these could be just for replacing water or to drop your grey water or to emty your toilet cassette....but a lot of these signs we have found are beutiful little sites in vllages not far from the main road........the french frown on people who drop there grey water in lanes/laybys or run along the road with it dripping from the rear....I think that is why there is all these places for you to drop off at a official site.........you will also see many French just drive in any Aire and empty...or just fill but not stop straight out again as they have found a free site maybe on the beach or in the forrest and just use the Aires to pick up and drop.
    I think you will love over here in your Motorhome, enjoy your holiday and I know you will be back.

    DON'T do what many French and Germans do that is fill from the tap at the side of the toilet drop point as that is for washing your cassette and many people have pushed there cassette right up to it even touching the tap to swill out the cassette ...that is a NO NO
    they do it to save paying at the other side of the bourne...
    Have a good holiday Mel
    a french pleasant peasnant born Yorkshireman now living in France
     
  11. lufcdave7

    lufcdave7 Read Only Funster

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    Thanks to all for your replies. The advice, suggested Aires and the do's and dont's have ALL been noted! Bit upset about the France Passion experience having just spent over 20 quid on it (tight Yorkshireman) hope we have better luck finding then!
     
  12. weejohnw

    weejohnw Funster

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    Aires for the first time

    Hi there,
    I am very suspicious, synical - comes with age- and travelled to France for the first time. Used Aires almost every night and only paid for one- Mont St Michael where they charge you 8 euroes just to park- no water - no toilet dumping, but ehhh- great view.We did have to use jetons (tokens) a couple of times for water. All the Aires book is useful, but we also discovered many other Aires that were not in the book. just by notincing signs in villages we were driving through. Never parked anywhere that we did not feel safe, and there was only one night that we were the only MH present.
    Go, enjoy and don't worry. If I can manage it, anyone can.
    Regards, Weejohn
     
  13. ronald4874

    ronald4874 Read Only Funster

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    Aires

    Over the last 10 years or so visited many Aires down the Med side (very good positions near the sea), over the Pyrennes and many market place where Aires have many places, 50 or more. Coming back in May we stayed at the best of all, a place called Uzerch, just below Brive. Here, there are approx 30 places, in a ex railway yard, overlooking a fantastic village Etape and low and behold free electric for all plus excellent toilets etc.
    Yes village Aires are normally very safe even so make sure your doors are all strapped inside overnight, in our case we put out, near the door, a large SS dog bowl with water in.
    One of the major dangers in France is when you visit a supermarket. Many vans in the carparks get broken into and in a number of cases get driven away when the owners leave their spare keys hidden away inside the van. Ensure you draw all curtains to darken the inside before leaving, it takes a while to get accustom to the darkness inside for both you and the expert bandits, this is how they make their living.
     
  14. The Wallace

    The Wallace Read Only Funster

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    We used France Passion sites twice on our last trip - they are free - one was a bit hard to find but the other was off a village main street - BUT- they cost us over 400Euro!
    On the other hand we had a few months supply of Sancerre and Champagne thrown in!!
    It is so easy after the generous tasting session to decide you like them all - you will then be fed even more - great - so you decide you need a case of each!!
    This is not meant as a warning but as an encouragement to use them - we drank wine we could not buy in the UK and brought enough home to use for weeks. Then again - we were only there for the wine and the food and the nice people and the countryside and - oh hell, just go and enjoy it - wish we were there now!

    PS - Municipal sites are great value and some aires are a bit crowded - we could only just open our door on one we were so close together!
    So first choice is France Passion, next Municipal sites, next Aires and finally if all else fails a commercial site.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
  15. mondo

    mondo Read Only Funster

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    PS - Municipal sites are great value and some aires are a bit crowded - we could only just open our door on one we were so close together!.[/QUOTE]

    On our way back from Spain earlier this year, (April) we stopped on the Aire at Forge le Eaux, about 45kms East of Rouen, lovely Aire room for at least 40 MHs and you could stay for 2nights which we did anyway as it was a nice town.
    One thing that puzzled me was, when I parked up there were only maybe 6/7 other vans, so bags of room and as you do I left about 10 meters between me and the nearest van first night no probs, a couple from Ulster parked next to us and left a good 5/6 meters so loads of room we had a chat with em ..where you going...where you been etc etc ..natter natter as you do..Then another Brit van turned up still bags of room ..but he wedged himself so close when I opened me habitation door I nearly had his mirror off....I thought he was doing that so if he's in the middle no one can break in his van .
    I know Aires can get busy but there was bags of room.....just wonder if he reads this forum,cos if I could swear on hear I would say OY YOU YA P*****K:shout::shout:
    I know I went slightly off thread but:Angry::Angry:
     
  16. RichardnGill

    RichardnGill Read Only Funster

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    Just been picking up some great advise about Aires on this tread and as we are going to France in August to use them for the first time.

    One thing that worries me is will we be ok on most Aires at 8.7 meters long?


    Richard...
     
  17. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    High Richard ..

    I would say yes on most but there may be a few that are tight ..some are tight even with a small van :Laughing:

    When you arrive at an aire and it's not easy to see into it, don't drive in blind, park up and walk in checking for space and if it's easy to turn and get out again..

    Have a look at my map of RV suitable Aires, these have all been used by me with a 13mt RV .. (link in signature )

    Good luck

    Jim
     
  18. ian81

    ian81 Read Only Funster

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    Just noted that you are proposing July August for your travels. The aires will be busy with vans parked liked sardines especially the more popular ones. Stenay when we stayed there last two years ago was full up by 14:00 in early July.

    Dont worry about the length -there are many French with longer vans!!

    We are based in France and tend to use the aires for filling up and dumping and find other car parks wild spots as especially at weekends and holidays the aires do fill up.
     
  19. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    almost any village will have a church usuallywith a big carpark .toilets n water. another good place is outside a gendarmarie . think france not uk. its another world. go try it you wont want to come back. supermarkets sports grounds all good places
     
  20. wasp

    wasp Funster

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    Wherever we go in France we use aires they are without doubt brilliant .Cheap as well.
    We only ever paid 2 euros for water in the bournes they are a really good thing .
    the French are all geared up for this type of traveller, cos they all got camper vans .
    It spoils you though , cos when you come back to blighty you just can`t park anywhere flipping height barriers every where:thumb::thumb::thumb:
     
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