What have I forgot? France and Spain trip

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Dave and Ginny, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    Hi all

    We've made a few touring trips to France over the years and I know that I was always a bit anxious beforehand, but then seem to remember it was a piece of cake in the end and driving in France, even with a van on the back was a joy. But this will be our first trip over the channel in the motorhome though, and we have no experience using Aires and Camperstops, which we intend to make the most of whilst driving leisurely down to Spain, and get a little better weather! So, can you experienced fellow members cast your eye over our plans below and point out anything I may have got completely wrong, forgotten or sounds plain daft :Rofl1:

    Our pride and joy that we have had for almost a year is a LHD 2002 Hymer B544.

    OK, intend heading off last week of Feb or early March, using Tesco rewards for outward journey in the tunnel and not booking any return date for flexibility. Van's been serviced and all ok, have adaptors for France for LPG and getting the Spanish one I believe I need. Have got a nice new Garmin and downloaded LPG POI's along with Camperstop Europe POI's to go with book, (do I also need/desire/get for the hell of it an Aires Guide or will all or most be in the Camperstop Europe?). Have got a 7" Tab that should enable us to use any free WiFi...is it straightforward connecting in Europe with McDonalds as it is in the UK and do supermarkets etc have wifi like Tesco over here etc? It works brilliantly here with google maps and streetview etc at where your going before you get there!

    Not going to have a strict itinerary but roughly intend heading south avoiding tolls and kinda Rouen, Orleans, Limoges, Toulouse, Andorra, Barcelona and along the Spanish coast. Will a Pyrenees route be ok in March?

    I had then thought about having a week or a bit more on a site, perhaps through the Camping and Caravan Club, and maybe even join a Rally for afew days to get a taste! (good idea or not?).:party2:
    We're looking at up to about a month but can modify that as we're nicely retired! :BigGrin:

    How busy will Aires and Stops be? We don't expect to see them crowded but some company would be welcome rather than be all on our own!

    Can't think of anything else; any thoughts, tip's views and idea's welcome please.

    Dave and Ginny
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  2. jaygee

    jaygee Funster

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    Sounds good and envious as we don't leave for our 3 month summer trip until May. :thumb:
    We went over the Pyranees a couple of years ago but it was in June. I asked my husband what the red poles were at the side of the road and he told me that they were markers for the edge of the road as when snowed you didn't know where the edge was - now these poles were pretty high so they must have deep snow at times, the drops were pretty steep & roads narrow in places. We are in Spain at the moment and the weather forcast is showing snow in that area and also in Zaragosa and people are still heading for that area to go skiing.
    The Pyrenees route was pretty spectacular but as I say that was June, may be different if it's all covered with snow!
    We've also done the other route and come into Spain on the coastal side. There were more places to park up on this route - seem to remember not many parking places on the other route and once you get over the Pyranees the routes are pretty boring. We headed 4 hrs across the 'Plains' to Zaragosa and then wished we hadn't bothered, stayed one night & headed back towards the east coast.
    We are at our house in La Marina at the moment and there are hundreds of campers around this area. We have a good campervan park here, just off the N332 just past La Marina. 9E a night all in I think.
    Anyway, enjoy your trip.:Smile:
     
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  3. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    Hi, one thing I found out last year when booking our travel insurance was that if we did not have a return crossing booked the return was invalid.
    This after many years of only booking one way, I then checked with other insurers and got the same reply, though only one had taken the time to let me know this.
    We got around it by booking a crossing that could be altered at any time without a penalty.
    Could be worth checking.

    Sounds like you are in for a good trip enjoy.
     
  4. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    Hi, thanks for the tips; maybe best to take a more easterly route and head along coast from Narbonne and get some of the 'Med' a little earlier. Notice your an ex firefighter...good man, me also! Dave
     
  5. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Fray Bentos Pies...

    JJ:Cool:
     
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  6. Rigormortis

    Rigormortis Read Only Funster

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    Campingcard

    Not sure whether you are actually allowed to stay overnight in Aires and some of the dedicated Camper-stops are sometimes no more than a fenced-in parking plot. Would be a real shame to go all that way and not take advantage of the now-a-days fantastic camp sites available.

    Have a look at this www.campingcard.com

    With the ASCI card we got some real bargains whilst touring in Europe. You can't use it during the high season (mostly only July/August) but at other times we never paid more than 16 Euros a night for two including the Camper, hot showers, water, electricity and in a lot of places WiFi.
     
  7. jaygee

    jaygee Funster

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    sorry but don't quite understand this - do you mean that you are not covered for the moment you start your home journey whilst travelling or just the return ferry crossing?

    Assume you are tslking about seperate travel insurance i.e. medical etc.. and not motorhome insurance.
     
  8. Parcverger

    Parcverger Funster - Campsite Owner

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    If you want a site that is open near Limoges on your way south or north, you could always come and see us at Parc Verger. Overnight including 16A electricity & 2 people 14,40€ net of your Funster discount.:thumb: Not as cheap as aires, perhaps, but you get a decent pitch, clean toilets, hot showers etc.
    Bob
    www.parcverger.com
     
  9. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    Yes travel insurance medical etc, when we went last year France / Spain etc we planned to be away 4 months and were told the policy would be invalid if we did not book a return crossing. In fact the young lady said I am telling you this because I have had to deal with a customer who was not paid out because he had no return ferry booked.

    So we took all the relevent insurance made sure everything was covered, then had to come home after a month for something not covered (Kids):RollEyes:
     
  10. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    I do not understand why this has been said? That's exactly what Aires are for?
     
  11. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    I do intend to get a Campingcard which I think I can do through the Caravan Club, as for the Aires and other Camperstops; it was something we were being encouraged to do when chatting to fellow campers last summer. The book gives detail of open all year and permitted length of stay. Having had the Camperstop Europe a few weeks now, I'm really impressed with the high standard of many of the Aires and stops, in some lovely locations. We most likely will use commercial sites also for 'extended chilling' but for travelling through France and just being able to 'stop off' when had enough driving the Camperstops seem to be ideal and some seem to be as well appointed as many camp sites
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  12. Roryboys Dad

    Roryboys Dad Read Only Funster

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    Some of the Campsites may not be open at that time of year, it may be best to check, and the weather may still be very cold or inclement throughout much of France.

    Although it's great to avoid the Toll roads and see the real France - if it's hammering it down with rain and you want to get to Spain asap then the toll roads are well worth the extra expense.

    You can cover 100's of miles very quickly and the Aires on the motorways are far superior to the cr*ppy food outlets in the UK.

    Aires and campsites will not be overcrowded, but most will not be empty, and you should have no problem staying on either of them overnight.

    Staying at Aires will be much cheaper, many are free and rarely above €10, but campsites will have more facilities although the price, even out of season, can dent your bank balance quite a lot.

    If you are going to meander, as we do, take the Rough Guide – it's a great source of help to find out places of interest when you arrive in an unfamiliar town or village and saves having to trawl on the Web for local information.

    Just enjoy what France and Spain have to offer and you'll want to go back again and again.

    :france::france::france:
     
  13. Rob and Val

    Rob and Val Funster

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    Great website here: -
    http://www.motorhomingfrance.co.uk/public/10.cfm
    Tells you all you need to know about travelling in France. We paid them £12 for a year's subscription and consider it well worth it. Also got "All the Aires France" from Vicarious Books - very useful.

    Hope you have a wonderful time.
     
  14. Gunner29

    Gunner29 Read Only Funster

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    Campsite at Javea

    If you are coming down the east coast of Spain a must is the site at Javea:thumb: south of Valencia. I stopped for 1 night on 22 Dec and have been here ever since.:Eeek: Its in the ACSI book
     
  15. steveclecy

    steveclecy Read Only Funster

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    I think the poster was confusing Aires d'Autoroutes Relais with the Aires de Camping-Car the OP was discussing.

    Steve
     
  16. Rigormortis

    Rigormortis Read Only Funster

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    That is so ; sorry for the confusion. Just think for a first trip a good guide will be invaluable as you can plan your daily routes without the pressure of having to search for places to stay. They usually give good details of facilities and price.
     
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