Europe first time. Best books/cards (1 Viewer)

Jun 14, 2014
750
1,396
Coventry
Funster No
31,965
MH
Adria Coral 670 slt
Exp
Since2014
Hi all. After 20 years carananing next year will be the first time to Europe (France/Belgium) with a motorhome and as we no longer wish to book sites in advance and use more aires what books or cards are essential for moving around and still being able to find somewhere to sleep
We have Tom tom sat nav and just sorted motorhome wifi with help from Addie but as there are so many books I would like time to build a library. So just for starters what would be best?
 

Hollyberry

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 24, 2011
5,543
42,265
New Forest.
Funster No
16,134
MH
None.
Exp
4yrs
I'd also go with Aires book or download if that's possible.
ACSI book and card gives you some cheap sites if you maybe wanted to stay somewhere with a pool, or in a particular location.
 

Jaws

LIFE MEMBER
Sep 26, 2008
23,244
61,545
Thetford Norfolk
Funster No
4,189
MH
C class, Chieftain
Exp
since 2006 ( I think ! )
We use this one mainly nowadays..

https://www.vicarious-shop.com/Bord-Atlas-2014-German-Stellplatze-guide.html

It does all of Europe but mainly Germany.. and is in German ..

All the Aires for France but I have more or less given up with that.. I know it is all luck but every single time we have tried to use it we have found the aires either closed or more often just a tip or bit of a car park ( as I say, all luck of course and many folk get good use from it )
 
Aug 18, 2011
11,050
15,644
derbys
Funster No
17,808
MH
AUTOSLEEPER SYMBOL
Exp
since 2007.Tugger before since 1970
We use this one mainly nowadays..

https://www.vicarious-shop.com/Bord-Atlas-2014-German-Stellplatze-guide.html

It does all of Europe but mainly Germany.. and is in German ..

All the Aires for France but I have more or less given up with that.. I know it is all luck but every single time we have tried to use it we have found the aires either closed or more often just a tip or bit of a car park ( as I say, all luck of course and many folk get good use from it )

Never had a problem with French Aires...BUSBY

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

Dogeared

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 16, 2013
430
450
Blackburn
Funster No
24,310
MH
Eldiss autoquest 155
Exp
Since 2011
Last year was our first in France and used all the Aires, found it very good. First site, was a shock as we found it had closed, but that was the only one. We thought at first we had planned things wrong as tried to gently move through france and use the Aires just by sticking pin in map, decided after day two to target a start point (in our case the Atlantic coast) and work our way through that area, and then after listening to others gently work our way back.

When you look in the Aires book and see car parks in the centre of a town, don't be put off, not like UK parks, more like areas in a village that are normally quite decent and reasonably safe. As others will tell you, do not stop overnight on motorway Aires, not safe.
 

Jaws

LIFE MEMBER
Sep 26, 2008
23,244
61,545
Thetford Norfolk
Funster No
4,189
MH
C class, Chieftain
Exp
since 2006 ( I think ! )
Never had a problem with French Aires...BUSBY
As I said.. its luck... I also said many folks get get use from it.. should I lie or say nothing ??

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

Jaws

LIFE MEMBER
Sep 26, 2008
23,244
61,545
Thetford Norfolk
Funster No
4,189
MH
C class, Chieftain
Exp
since 2006 ( I think ! )
Oh, and nowadays we ONLY stop on motorway aires when travelling to a destination in with all the lorries.. been doing that for the past 5 years without a single issue.. Again quite possibly just luck .. who knows :)
 
Aug 18, 2011
11,050
15,644
derbys
Funster No
17,808
MH
AUTOSLEEPER SYMBOL
Exp
since 2007.Tugger before since 1970
Oh, and nowadays we ONLY stop on motorway aires when travelling to a destination in with all the lorries.. been doing that for the past 5 years without a single issue.. Again quite possibly just luck .. who knows :)

Only place we have had bother was Motorway Aire in Spain. Mind you that was car and caravan. They broke into the car whilst we slept in caravan. Do not worry in motorhome as doors are all bolted inside and i would hear them well before they gained access. BUSBY:)
 
OP
Fragle
Jun 14, 2014
750
1,396
Coventry
Funster No
31,965
MH
Adria Coral 670 slt
Exp
Since2014
Last year was our first in France and used all the Aires, found it very good. First site, was a shock as we found it had closed, but that was the only one. We thought at first we had planned things wrong as tried to gently move through france and use the Aires just by sticking pin in map, decided after day two to target a start point (in our case the Atlantic coast) and work our way through that area, and then after listening to others gently work our way back.

When you look in the Aires book and see car parks in the centre of a town, don't be put off, not like UK parks, more like areas in a village that are normally quite decent and reasonably safe. As others will tell you, do not stop overnight on motorway Aires, not safe.
Thanks. I've a few ideas of where to go having covered most of france with the caravan. But that was easy cause you had your holiday mostly in one place pre planned. This hopefully will be more freedom and fun

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Jul 29, 2012
2,972
5,257
Lost in La Mancha, Spain
Funster No
22,171
MH
VW T6 Campervan
Exp
Not long enough, but a little common sense helps..........
Only place we have had bother was Motorway Aire in Spain. Mind you that was car and caravan. They broke into the car whilst we slept in caravan. Do not worry in motorhome as doors are all bolted inside and i would hear them well before they gained access. BUSBY:)

Did the alarm not go off on the car?????
 
Aug 18, 2011
11,050
15,644
derbys
Funster No
17,808
MH
AUTOSLEEPER SYMBOL
Exp
since 2007.Tugger before since 1970
Did the alarm not go off on the car?????

What alarm? would not have done any good,,,i heard the noise when they broke in but by the time i jumped out of bed they were gone. Only pinched one of those C.D. players that plugged into a cassette player. The broken window was the inconvenience ...That was back in 2004.. BUSBY.
 

sedge

Funster
Jul 7, 2009
5,244
9,952
Nr Jct 3 M6
Funster No
7,396
MH
C class
Exp
Aug 09 to date 9,000 miles!
I dunno Jaws, you have no luck with anything camping-wise, do you?

You've fallen out with the CC because you found the site wardens to be 'little Hitlers' (we've been members since 1971 and never met one of same), you had your bikes stolen whilst on a campsite (we've been camping since 1969 and never had anything nicked whilst doing so) and you've had bad luck choosing aires - we've been using em since 2009 have visited 100s and only wouldn't stay on one we went to last year since it was a dump - all the others have been perfectly fine - some better than others, they are all different and that's part of the appeal. Oh two that we visited last year, the other one was full of gyppos and you couldn't even get to the borne.

There's always a Plan B wherever we go - or don't you enjoy Plan Bs? We do!

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
May 7, 2011
4,595
64,598
Cornwall Gorran Haven
Funster No
16,300
MH
T Line 785
Exp
Since 1979
Hi Fragle, I use camperstop for Belgium, Holland etc , but for France I use http://www.motorhomingfrance.co.uk/
Great site all in english covers about 1600 aires & a couple hundred campsites good personal reviews loads of photo's and good GPS, also they do a memory stick for £ 15 which you can use when away ( gives all of the site info) handy if dont have wifi / mifi.

I always check out gps on google earth ( little yellow man) when doing my reseach.

quick sample of info
Aires: GAVRES(3) (the 3 like a star system)

ADDRESS: RTE DU POLYGONE, D158

TEL:
call_skype_logo.png
02 97 82 46 55 FAX: 02 97 82 13 89

EMAIL:

TYPE OF AIRE: MUNICIPAL
FACILITIES: WATER /GREY DRAIN/BLACK DRAIN

LOCATION: SEMI-RURAL NO. OF SPACES: 20


PRICES/ RATES:

PARKING: FREE SERVICES: 2€ WATER

OPENING TIMES: ALL YEAR

GPS COORDS: N47.69605 W03.34769

DIRECTIONS: From PLOUHINEC take D158 WEST to GAVRES. As you enter village, AIRE is on LEFT just before BVD DE L'OCEAN on LEFT.

SITE DESCRIPTION The aire at Gavres is situated on the eastern edge, at the entrance to the village & next to the D158 from Plouhinec. The aire is in a medium size grass area, between the road & the beach, about 350m from the village centre, parking is on grass with little shade. AireServices borne with a drainage platform. The small village (pop 900) is almost an island being connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway & was a busy sardine fishing port in the 1950's.





779b.gif

GAVRES
space.gif
 

Clive

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 30, 2012
1,264
1,740
Canvey Island
Funster No
20,808
MH
A Class
Exp
2012
I also use Le Guide Officiel Camping Caravaning, Amazon always have it. It lists over 10,000 sites in France, more importantly it has the Municiple sites in it. Archies POI's are brilliant for TomTom because of the Municiple sites.

I would never sleep on a motorway aire again. Was broken into while we all slept in our caravan, they even took the watch off my wrist! Before anyway says anything no I don't know if we were gassed and we had parked on a busy aire under bright lights on the A1 back in 2003.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Feb 16, 2013
16,674
35,497
uttoxeter
Funster No
24,713
MH
ambulance conversion
Exp
50 years
If you have an android device , look in the play store for an aires app, and get the one with a green icon with a camping car on it , maybe a bit vague but it doesn't seem to have a name other than france aires, not sure if it's 99p or £1.99 but it is fantastic , you just clik k on the icon and it tells you all the aires around you , closest first , we found some marvelous aires with it last year that weren't in the books we have got.
 

Jaws

LIFE MEMBER
Sep 26, 2008
23,244
61,545
Thetford Norfolk
Funster No
4,189
MH
C class, Chieftain
Exp
since 2006 ( I think ! )
I dunno Jaws, you have no luck with anything camping-wise, do you?

You've fallen out with the CC because you found the site wardens to be 'little Hitlers' (we've been members since 1971 and never met one of same), you had your bikes stolen whilst on a campsite (we've been camping since 1969 and never had anything nicked whilst doing so) and you've had bad luck choosing aires - we've been using em since 2009 have visited 100s and only wouldn't stay on one we went to last year since it was a dump - all the others have been perfectly fine - some better than others, they are all different and that's part of the appeal. Oh two that we visited last year, the other one was full of gyppos and you couldn't even get to the borne.

There's always a Plan B wherever we go - or don't you enjoy Plan Bs? We do!

LOL !!
It was only the saddles that got nicked, the reason we fell out with CC was not the wardens but the constant ( up to 10 a day spam mails they sent and even THEY could not figure out what on earth was going on ! ), yes, we do not seem to have a lot of luck with aires but given the amount of folk who use them I really do appreciate it is US ( me ? ) who has bad luck and in general they are a great thing..

On the up side we have travelled all over Europe, had the best holidays, met the best people, and in general had a really wonderful time motor homing ..
And the traders we have met and dealt with.. I would say more than 90% of them over the years have given us great service.. and that includes all the suppliers of all the vans we have had.. Given the amount of issues we see on here that has got to be absolutely brilliant good luck !!

And for all the issues we have had with aires, we have had wonderful experiences with Stellpltz and what ever the Italian version is called :)

As for plan B's.. Given the amount of fails we getg with plan A's we now go straight to plan b to save mucking around !
 
OP
Fragle
Jun 14, 2014
750
1,396
Coventry
Funster No
31,965
MH
Adria Coral 670 slt
Exp
Since2014
I'm just wondering as you can't book the aires in advance. At what time of day do you start to think about parking up or is it just a case of if full nearby move on. Not sure how this works
 

Easyliving

Free Member
Dec 4, 2012
957
2,079
Norfolk
Funster No
23,899
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 2011
I'm just wondering as you can't book the aires in advance. At what time of day do you start to think about parking up or is it just a case of if full nearby move on. Not sure how this works

I suppose if you arrive at an aire located at a tourist hotspot at the height of the holiday season you could always have a problem whatever time you turn up.

We have stayed on quite a lot of French aires and always liked to get our travelling done first then relax / explore for the rest of the day. Arriving at the aire some time in the morning always worked for us and we got a space even when the place was chock a block full later on.

Always good idea to have a plan 'B' (and maybe a 'C') i.e. an alternative aire in mind in case it all goes pear shaped.

Paul
 

Clive

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 30, 2012
1,264
1,740
Canvey Island
Funster No
20,808
MH
A Class
Exp
2012
I find find most people leave between 1 & 2, after lunch so i tend to arrive between 3 & 4. You only tend to get problems in the hight of the summer.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

JeanLuc

Free Member
Nov 17, 2008
3,304
2,195
Warwickshire
Funster No
4,952
MH
Hymer B630 Star-Line
Exp
Since 2007
We generally start to look around 4 or 5 pm but have often left it until 7 or 8 pm. If it's a popular place in the holiday period, aim to get there a bit earlier. The beauty of aires is that there is often another one quite close by and you can always do as the French do if the aire is full, park nearby (just make sure you are up early if there are any parking restrictions). We have stayed in car parks in small towns and villages even when there is not a formal aire. Just don't take too many liberties.
 

Jaws

LIFE MEMBER
Sep 26, 2008
23,244
61,545
Thetford Norfolk
Funster No
4,189
MH
C class, Chieftain
Exp
since 2006 ( I think ! )
If you have an android device , look in the play store for an aires app, and get the one with a green icon with a camping car on it , maybe a bit vague but it doesn't seem to have a name other than france aires, not sure if it's 99p or £1.99 but it is fantastic , you just clik k on the icon and it tells you all the aires around you , closest first , we found some marvelous aires with it last year that weren't in the books we have got.

And ever the optimist, I have just bought that and it is now on the fone !!! ( It was £1.19 )
 
Mar 17, 2013
363
304
Devon
Funster No
25,130
MH
Carado T339
Exp
Since 2007
We use the ASCI card and book and a Tomtom which is brilliant at finding obscure sites by using grid references. Enjoy!

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
May 7, 2011
4,595
64,598
Cornwall Gorran Haven
Funster No
16,300
MH
T Line 785
Exp
Since 1979
I suppose if you arrive at an aire located at a tourist hotspot at the height of the holiday season you could always have a problem whatever time you turn up.

We have stayed on quite a lot of French aires and always liked to get our travelling done first then relax / explore for the rest of the day. Arriving at the aire some time in the morning always worked for us and we got a space even when the place was chock a block full later on.

Always good idea to have a plan 'B' (and maybe a 'C') i.e. an alternative aire in mind in case it all goes pear shaped.



Hi Fragle, as easyliving says it a bit like pot luck, but we usually try to get to our chosen aire by around lunchtime then explore the area on foot, I usually have a back up in reserve. bear in mind they are not campsites they park quite close more in the style of a car park, we once were asked to move up as we had left about 10 foot between us and the one's either side so we could put the awning out,on doing so (after much refusing on my part ) we just had room to open the habitation door, dont let it put you off, most of the time there's no problem. coastal aires get the busiest, in the inland villages we've never had a problem, in brittany last time in sept we tried 4 close to the beach aires all were chock a block as a lot of foreign m/h'rs stay several days as they dont seem to tour like we do and block the coastal aires.
best of luck & enjoy when you go.
Terry
 

Funsters who are viewing this thread

Top