Crossing to France (1 Viewer)

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bri

Oct 2, 2020
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Hiya good people,are there any groups or clubs of motorhomes using the tunnel or ferry either on short Xing or to Santander.We are in our mid 70s and have never taken the plunge. , We're looking at next Feb or march and going into Spain for a month
 

DBK

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Hiya good people,are there any groups or clubs of motorhomes using the tunnel or ferry either on short Xing or to Santander.We are in our mid 70s and have never taken the plunge. , We're looking at next Feb or march and going into Spain for a month
If you want to travel in a group at that time of year I suspect you may struggle to find anything. Clubs like the CMC do organised tours but generally only when it is warmer.

However, it really isn't difficult doing it on your own - that's how almost everyone on here does it. :)

If you've only got a month I suggest the ferry to Santander or Bilbao. You could drive through France but it takes time unless you are prepared to drive for many hours each day (which I'm not) and the weather will probably be damp.
 
Feb 5, 2020
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Look up "long stay" on the C&MC site as they do "hosted" stays of various length in Portugal and Spain.

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Jul 12, 2013
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Honestly no need to pluck up courage, people are no different wherever you are. If you should have any problems, just ask anyone for assistance, personally or here. online. As for crossing to the "Continent" The ferries are cheapest, the tunnel is easiest but if going to Spain, the ferry is dearest but can save days of time. The systems are all geared for smooth passage but, the customs process can be modified at any time. You can take certain foods or you cannot (mostly meat and milk products). Remember all of Europe want tourists, they need our money.
 

Lenny HB

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Once you have gone over the channel you will wonder what you were worrying about. It is just so much easier to Motorhome over the water the only thing that will happen is you won't want to use your Motorhome in the UK again.
We really don't like using ours in the UK it's just too much hassle trying to find somewhere to stop for the night and driving on UK roads is horrible so much easier in France and Spain.

For a first trip I would take a short crossing and travel down through France, France is Motorhome heaven.
If going in Feb make sure you travel with a full tank of water as most of the Aires will have the water turned off for the winter until you get towards the south.
If you are thinking of staying on sites in Spain they will still be very busy in Feb.

There are links to a lot of my trips in my signature.
 
Jul 18, 2009
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First place we headed for when we bought our first motorhome, Spain. Just a few weeks after we bought it in December.

We cheated as I had booked a sea view villa in Spain. It it was a great way to get to know motorhoming.

We are not really Anglophiles, so we always headed across the water to France, Spain and Beneluxe. I hate driving in most parts of the UK. The continent is so much easier for us. Hence why I prefer left hand drive.

We have toured Europe in all seasons. Including Norway, the Pyrenees, the Austrian and Swiss alps down to -27c.

Just go for it
 
Oct 12, 2009
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Bri(OP)

When I first took our MH to the Continent I never gave a thought as to any problems.

I had driven a car there on several occasions so the driving did not worry me but all the motorhome side was new but proved easy.
 

TerryL

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If you are a first-timer abroad really the only thing to be even remotely concerned about is driving on the right. But as long as you pay attention it is really very easy, you just do as everyone else is doing and from most ports you are straight onto a motorway anyway.
Just a tip, have a big piece of card to place on the steering wheel overnight reading "DRIVE ON THE RIGHT" as until you get fully used to it that's the time you are likely to make a mistake. But you'll only do it once.....................!

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Oct 12, 2009
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If you are a first-timer abroad really the only thing to be even remotely concerned about is driving on the right. But as long as you pay attention it is really very easy, you just do as everyone else is doing and from most ports you are straight onto a motorway anyway.
Just a tip, have a big piece of card to place on the steering wheel overnight reading "DRIVE ON THE RIGHT" as until you get fully used to it that's the time you are likely to make a mistake. But you'll only do it once.....................!

Further to that, always be careful when exiting from a parking area or filling station onto an empty road with no traffic to indicate which side you should be on, particularly if onto a dual carriageway.
 
Oct 18, 2022
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Great plan you”ll love it and wonder why you didn’t do it years ago! I tend to be an anxious bloke and the things that concerned me the most were what happens in the event of a breakdown or losing credit cards, van keys or whatever. If you think you might be similarly concerned my advice is prepare thoroughly for such an eventuality. Once you’ve done that you can ask yourself the question” ”what’s the worse that can happen” and sit back in the knowledge that you’ve got it covered.
 
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May 26, 2016
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Hiya good people,are there any groups or clubs of motorhomes using the tunnel or ferry either on short Xing or to Santander.We are in our mid 70s and have never taken the plunge. , We're looking at next Feb or march and going into Spain for a month
Whichever route you decide, please remember to take frequent breaks during your drive. I find I need to stop every 2 hrs or so to stretch my legs etc for at least a few minutes before continuing, and I'm only in my (late) 60's.
 

Suenliam

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Oct 14, 2013
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I think if I were in the same situation, I would bit the bullet and get the ferry to Spain. Expensive - yes, but cuts out a long drive in cooler (wetter) weather in France. I love France and never go anywhere else, but we travel in Spring/Autumn. Get your first night location identified and then enjoy the whole experience.
Good luck
Sue
 
Oct 18, 2022
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Further to that, always be careful when exiting from a parking area or filling station onto an empty road with no traffic to indicate which side you should be on, particularly if onto a dual carriageway.

I’m also inclined to do that in the UK in the few days after returning home, particularly if abroad for several weeks.

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Jul 13, 2008
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Remember the longer you stay the cheaper it is, also you would be best heading as far South as you can in February/ March to get the best weather. Do you have refilable gas bottles?
 
Oct 6, 2021
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Hiya good people,are there any groups or clubs of motorhomes using the tunnel or ferry either on short Xing or to Santander.We are in our mid 70s and have never taken the plunge. , We're looking at next Feb or march and going into Spain for a month
In the year I've had my Benivan its been abroad twice now (SPain and Slovenia). I'm in my mid 70s and a solo traveller. Its dead easy. The sat nav does an excellent job, and ferry crossings are simplicity itself. You may find Santander fully booked now. Take your time, go via the tunnel and enjoy the trip down through France staying at aires. Make sure you have the continental gas adaptors for refilling the gas.
 
Oct 18, 2022
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In the year I've had my Benivan its been abroad twice now (SPain and Slovenia). I'm in my mid 70s and a solo traveller. Its dead easy. The sat nav does an excellent job, and ferry crossings are simplicity itself. You may find Santander fully booked now. Take your time, go via the tunnel and enjoy the trip down through France staying at aires. Make sure you have the continental gas adaptors for refilling the gas.
Slovenia reminds me…. make sure your satnav covers all the places you’ll be travelling. I just assumed ‘Western Europe’ meant all of Europe (doh!), but as soon as we drove into Slovenia (and Croatia beyond) it stopped working - no data for that area! Had to buy a map and upgrade TomTom for future visits.
 
Apr 28, 2022
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Slovenia reminds me…. make sure your satnav covers all the places you’ll be travelling. I just assumed ‘Western Europe’ meant all of Europe (doh!), but as soon as we drove into Slovenia (and Croatia beyond) it stopped working - no data for that area! Had to buy a map and upgrade TomTom for future visits.
Me too. I looked at the box when our Garmin arrived and thought "Europe is a funny shape" and then realised that Portugal wasn't included. Later on found that the UK wasn't either! I added Portugal but haven't bothered with the UK.

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Jun 12, 2017
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You’ll only have a problem if time or money or both can’t solve it. Go and enjoy 😊

Sorry I just noticed your from Yorkshire so yes maybe money solving the problem may cause you issues 😂😂😂
 
Oct 6, 2021
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Slovenia reminds me…. make sure your satnav covers all the places you’ll be travelling. I just assumed ‘Western Europe’ meant all of Europe (doh!), but as soon as we drove into Slovenia (and Croatia beyond) it stopped working - no data for that area! Had to buy a map and upgrade TomTom for future visits.
The OP has exactly the same sat nav as me, and it covers all of Europe, even Russia, though I'm not in the least inclined to visit there.
 
Feb 14, 2021
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19 month year 18000 miles UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Italy. Campsites and off Grid.
Irish Ferries on the Dover - Calais crossing are generally the cheapest and a perfectly good company.
 
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bri

Oct 2, 2020
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Remember the longer you stay the cheaper it is, also you would be best heading as far South as you can in February/ March to get the best weather. Do you have refilable gas bottles?
We have a gas tank on board not sure how easy to refill abroad

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Feb 19, 2018
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Hiya good people,are there any groups or clubs of motorhomes using the tunnel or ferry either on short Xing or to Santander.We are in our mid 70s and have never taken the plunge. , We're looking at next Feb or march and going into Spain for a month

Both the Camping & Caravan Club and the Caravan & Motorhome Club do long term winter holidays
(or used to before the 90day restriction came in)

I have been on both and found the C&CC slightly cheaper despite, often, sharing the same sites/facilities etc.
In my limited experience, (I only went once with both before going it alone,) both offer good support and care.

PS. Other clubs also give similar holiday breaks. :unsure:
 
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Feb 14, 2021
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bri

Oct 2, 2020
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BENIMAR BENIVAN 122
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bri

Oct 2, 2020
185
169
South Yorkshire
Funster No
76,490
MH
BENIMAR BENIVAN 122
Both the Camping & Caravan Club and the Caravan & Motorhome Club do long term winter holidays
(or used to before the 90day restriction came in)

I have been on both and found the C&CC slightly cheaper despite, often, sharing the same sites/facilities etc.
In my limited experience, (I only went once with both before going it alone,) both offer good support and care.

PS. Other clubs also give similar holiday breaks. :unsure:
Thank you for the info,we may just tour the war graves areas for first time, always been on our wish list and it'll be a good start maybe.ive loads of experience in driving abroad so never a prob but it's just the prep and stops etc with a camper.👍👍
 
Feb 19, 2018
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Thank you for the info,we may just tour the war graves areas for first time, always been on our wish list and it'll be a good start maybe.ive loads of experience in driving abroad so never a prob but it's just the prep and stops etc with a camper.👍👍

Good idea but if you do book through the club's office, they can, usually, arrange sites along the way.
Small steps are better than a headlong dive at our age! :LOL:

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