Trip to Europe - Any tips?

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by M&A, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. M&A

    M&A Read Only Funster

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    The Chunnel is booked, bought hi-viz vests, spare bulbs, warning triangle, dogs have passports, All The Aires is in the post... so we are off to Europe (mainly France and a bit of Spain) in the middle of May and would really appreciate some advice on a few bits if anyone is willing.

    We have 2 Gaslow refillable cylinders, will I need an adapter to be able to refill them from an LPG pump in France?

    Is there anything different about electric hookup points in France and Spain or will the standard cable fit?

    What (if any) spares should I take with us?

    We have a route very roughly planned, definitely going to Bordeaux to visit family but all other stopovers are very flexible. Does anyone have any recommendations of places or areas to visit? We are not bothered about towns and cities but love to walk with the dogs in stunning countryside areas...

    I'm sure there will be more questions as we start to load the van and try to figure out how stuff works. We only picked it up last weekend and it's been on my MIL's drive since then as we are having work done to the house and the builders need somewhere to cut wood and stuff - missing it already!
     
  2. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    Gaslow , yes you will need adapter but try the gasit website same thing but cheaper , hookup no problem, spares is up to you but if you have a breakdown insurance you you can manage with just a spare wheel, if you want real country stops , france passion is worth it , but can be expensive if you use the shops.
    We use Blaye for our stop near bordoux and also montendre.
    https://www.france-passion.com
     
  3. MikeD

    MikeD Funster

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    Electrical connections can be two pin out in Europe and you will almost certainly need a continental two pin adaptor lead

    I would also recommend a positive/negative reverse lead and a checker for earth/ reverse connections.
     
  4. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    I would head for Spain first and tour up through France on the return leg..As weather will be better in Spain to start with and better in France later on......
     
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  5. laser101uk

    laser101uk Funster

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    If its a new motorhome I would go to the weigh bridge and get it weighed and ensure you're not overloading.

    here is a link regarding reverse polarity, nothing to get stressed about but worth understanding...
    http://www.practicalcaravan.com/advice/28463-how-to-cope-with-reverse-polarity-on-tour

    You will need a 2 pin french connector as well as the eu standard one. you can buy these things in some French supermarkets and B&Q type stores etc, same as here.

    I have all our documents scanned and saved to google drive in case I lose originals.

    Ensure you have decent European breakdown cover like chaser said.

    All the Aires book france and spain for cheaper stopovers. also this website http://www.campercontact.com/en/

    Three sim for data, or buy a local sim. Unlocked phone or mifi.

    Caxton or similar for cheaper euro's, check the deal on your credit card as some of them are way expensive... http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money

    Also, when you plan your route and calculate the time you think it will take, double it. France is huge and everything seems to take twice as long. Google underestimates the time when planning with google maps. We also avoid the tolls as they get expensive. Takes a bit longer but you see lots more and the roads have so much less traffic.

    have fun, anything questions just ask
     
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  6. M&A

    M&A Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for all of your advice, loads there that I haven't even considered!

    Chaser - France Passion looks right up our street, must remember to keep Andrea out of the wineries though!
    MikeD - thanks for highlighting the potential reverse polarity issue
    Judgemental - We thought about the ferry to Spain and travelling back through France but we are taking the dogs with us and don't fancy putting them through a 24hour ferry journey on their first trip away. I also want to get to Le Mans for the MotoGP on the way down so France first it has to be!
    Laser101uk - Thanks for the links and for taking the time to offer so much advice, you could have just saved us from some embarrassing/costly/trip-spoiling mistakes!

    Much appreciated all... the MH comes back home tomorrow so I can start to try and figure out how stuff works. There's a huge manual for the van and a pack of instruction books for everything that's been fitted to it so hopefully I can figure out most things, if not.... I'll be back!
     
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  7. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    You don't need advice, you have a good plan. We will be at the next one in Mugello. Now you could turn a good plan into a mega plan and hot foot it to glorious Italy after Le Mans. Only 800 miles.

    We carry 3 Gaslow adaptors, you might as well get stocked up:
    http://www.gaslowdirect.com/epages/.../Categories/Gaslow_Products/Gaslow_Refillable
     
  8. M&A

    M&A Read Only Funster

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    If only.... unfortunately I still have to work (mainly to pay for the MH it seems!). I dream of following the MotoGP circus around Europe in a few years (y)
     
  9. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Brilliant Sir, you keep funding our pensions. I'll tell you all about Mugello later. Got the in circuit camping so I have great expectations of FUN and little of sleep.

    Another great campsite is Monza, but from a spectator's point of view not the best circuit.
     
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  10. bertiebasset

    bertiebasset Funster

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    Don't forget your breathalyzer for France. We are off there on 12th May and on to Twin Lakes for the weekend then onward with absolutely no plans. May see you on the way. (y)
     
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  11. M&A

    M&A Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the reminder, had forgotten that was now a legal requirement in France! Just ordered a couple off of eBay. Give us a wave if you pass an 08 Hymer with GBM stickers on the rear :D
     
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  12. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    The weigh bridge mention an important one! Had to do some serious snd frantic unloading last week before heading down to Spain :(
     
  13. Billy23

    Billy23 Funster

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    Although it is now the law to carry a breathalyzer in France they do not have a fine to pay, it was going to be 11 Euros but never came into force. So up to the you if you do carry one. That is how I understand it.
     
  14. Landyguy

    Landyguy Funster Life Member

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    Thought they had dropped the breathalyser thing in France as the French did not go for it??
    I may be wrong!!
     
  15. RowleyBirkinQC

    RowleyBirkinQC Funster

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    I don't think the breathalyser is a major concern, is it? I don't think you can get fined for not having one, but I guess it may give you some brownie points with the local Gendarme if you can produce upon request?

    http://www.drive-france.com/checklist/

    We've never taken them on motorcycle trips through France, where there was also talk of needing all manner of reflective stickers on helmets and hi-viz on jackets etc which we never really complied with in full either...
     
  16. bertiebasset

    bertiebasset Funster

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    The last I read breathalyzers were needed.
    I always try to comply with those gendarmes. I remember one trip to Tilburg, My mate was in front of my truck and as we pulled of for Pidou's to get the wine he failed to stop at the STOP sign. Cost him 80 euros on the spot. They were waiting just round the junction. :)
     
  17. Billy23

    Billy23 Funster

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    As I say, it is the law but no fine is imposed if you haven't got them. But if you feel better by having them then that is the way to go.
     
  18. Clive

    Clive Funster Life Member

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    I always carry the breathalyzers, not for the law but just because their limit is lower, if you've had a skin full the night before worth the money before you drive (y)
     
  19. ianhyslop

    ianhyslop Funster

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    Take a good sat nav , ( snooper ) ,and your European health card . Have a great time .
     
  20. GeriatricWanderer

    GeriatricWanderer Funster

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    Back in Sarfend for a while, then back to RSA.
    Halve your planned mileage, halve your planned "necessary" equipment, double your spending money and enjoy every moment - I'll not be far behind you.
     
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