First Trip to Europe (1 Viewer)

Sep 2, 2020
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Although we have had our Motorhome for 2 years we are about to embark on our first European adventure (France, Spain and Portugal). I'll be asking for suggestions and tips as we travel but just to kick off, I'm looking for advice on where to overnight stay around Tours and also Bordeaux? We are on an early Tunnel crossing so think driving to Tours is doable on the first day. I've driven frequently in France so that's not an issue. We have 7 weeks loosely planned with plenty scope to chop and change so the benefit of Funsters wisdom would be most welcome. Roughly heading to Santiago de Compostela then to the Algarve and back towards France via Barcelona. Heading up the East side of France to Lille area.
 
Jul 29, 2013
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Probably a good idea to get a couple of apps that give Aires something like Camper Contact which is good or park4night they will have coordinates etc? be aware that on the maps they often look close to main roads however in our experience you usually have a few km to drive on country roads to reach them😊
i would suggest taking your time to get down there Tours will be around a six hour drive from the tunnel might be a little more in your van.🤔
 
Jun 19, 2014
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Do you think you might prefer Aires or Campsites? Sadly the lovely Bordeaux is a bit short of aires, but there are loads of them in the near vicinity. Will you travel on Toll autoroutes, or take the local roads?

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Adam b

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Jul 3, 2013
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Although we have had our Motorhome for 2 years we are about to embark on our first European adventure (France, Spain and Portugal). I'll be asking for suggestions and tips as we travel but just to kick off, I'm looking for advice on where to overnight stay around Tours and also Bordeaux? We are on an early Tunnel crossing so think driving to Tours is doable on the first day. I've driven frequently in France so that's not an issue. We have 7 weeks loosely planned with plenty scope to chop and change so the benefit of Funsters wisdom would be most welcome. Roughly heading to Santiago de Compostela then to the Algarve and back towards France via Barcelona. Heading up the East side of France to Lille area.
Get search for sites & park4 night, both very good.
 
Jan 8, 2013
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Although we have had our Motorhome for 2 years we are about to embark on our first European adventure (France, Spain and Portugal). I'll be asking for suggestions and tips as we travel but just to kick off, I'm looking for advice on where to overnight stay around Tours and also Bordeaux? We are on an early Tunnel crossing so think driving to Tours is doable on the first day. I've driven frequently in France so that's not an issue. We have 7 weeks loosely planned with plenty scope to chop and change so the benefit of Funsters wisdom would be most welcome. Roughly heading to Santiago de Compostela then to the Algarve and back towards France via Barcelona. Heading up the East side of France to Lille area.
Simply drive as far as you want each day and search for an Aire or campsite. Park4Night or Camper Contact will soon find you the nearest one.
You no longer have to take a lot of cash. A charge free credit card and your nomalatm cash card will be all you'll need.
There is a top almost toll free route to Spain on here if you search for it

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Apr 24, 2012
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We usualy stop at St Denis Les Ponts after a first night at Aire de Baie de Somme following an evening tunnel. We like the space, the quiet and the river Loire next to it. Near the N10 north of Tours.
DBK has recently posted on his Two go for Cheese thread about Chateaudun which is next door to st Denis.
then we either stop at one of the Aires at Sanguinet south of Bordeaux or further down at Cap Breton if I’m hankering after the sea
 
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Leith Laddie
Sep 2, 2020
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Do you think you might prefer Aires or Campsites? Sadly the lovely Bordeaux is a bit short of aires, but there are loads of them in the near vicinity. Will you travel on Toll autoroutes, or take the local roads?
We will be using a mixture of aires and campsites and toll and non toll routes. I've looked at Calaia to Irun post and think that has a great mixture of common sense and frugality without being slavish to saving a cent.

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Sep 19, 2021
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camping and caravanning since a kid. New to motorhomes
A first trip to Europe in the motorhome always, I think, feels a bit daunting. After a couple of planned stops referenced to those mentioned sites it all starts to feel better and you’ll be more confident judging what sort of stop you’re comfortable with
So true. We are into our third week of our first trip and do t worry about where to stay now. Very nervous at first though.

Today pulled into a site and the reception was closed till 4 !!!! It was 12:30. So a quick look on the apps and straight to another site.
By a river, massive pitches. The boss is very happy bunny 🥳🥳🥳
 
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Leith Laddie
Sep 2, 2020
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I have Gaslow and have bought European adapters are they easy to use with LPG pumps in France and Spain?

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Jan 19, 2014
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I have Gaslow and have bought European adapters are they easy to use with LPG pumps in France and Spain?
With the Spanish one you screw the adapter into the filling point, hold the gun level, push it on and release the lever, it either pings off again or stays on, if it stays on your good to go 👌
 
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Leith Laddie
Sep 2, 2020
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Are there any pitfalls I should be aware of regarding hose attachments abroad?
 
Jul 9, 2018
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Are there any pitfalls I should be aware of regarding hose attachments abroad?
The only one I can think of is once came across an outlet on a site that needed a double male attachment. The outlet on the tap was female and the inlet on my hose was also female. Picked one up in a supermarket over there.See below seems screwfix do them.

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Leith Laddie
Sep 2, 2020
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The only one I can think of is once came across an outlet on a site that needed a double male attachment. The outlet on the tap was female and the inlet on my hose was also female. Picked one up in a supermarket over there.See below seems screwfix do them.
Thank you I've ordered one now. These are exactly the kind of tips this site is so good at providing.
 
Apr 17, 2016
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There are also a few different sizes of these attachments that I have found come in handy.


1663879302555.jpeg
1663879372377.jpeg
 
Jan 19, 2014
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The taps on the site in Spain we stayed are threaded ½" BSP so smaller than the UK ¾ BSP. Wilko sell brass kits with both sizes (actually it's a ¾ connector with a ½" reducer in it) handy to have but I just usually top up with a slimline watering can.

Screenshot_20220922_214612.jpg

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suavecarve

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I would be tempted not to stop in Tours unless it was just to go to sleep.

Not one of the better cities in France.

You ll be fine after actually seeing aires in action. Aim for an aire outside of Tours either before or after, preferably with 3 or more stars on search for sites (or equivalent for other sites), better off in a village with 2 3 or 4 others than the Tours aire. (IMV)
 

Northernraider

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Thank you I've ordered one now. These are exactly the kind of tips this site is so good at providing.
As soon as you hit Spain go to one of the Chinese bizarre shops and you can stock up on hose attachments for pennies , I think I have several now as losing them occasionally is inevitable. That said you may also find some , folk leave them on taps all the time
 
Jan 19, 2014
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What local pay as you go sim would Funsters recommend for use in Spain?

I've been told If you see Andy in Benidorm indoor market he'll sell you a local sim, good for large data users. I've always managed with my plusnet account, £10/month for 32GB on smartphone.
 

Tombola

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a little xpensive , but "holafly" now do an "e sim" no need for an actual sim. Easy to sign up and install.
you sign up online they send you a qr code instantly and your off, book for a few days or weeks, handy if you are stuck as I was till I manged to get an actual replacement sim.

I found the speed fast throughout netherlands, belgium, lux, switzerland and italy

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Leith Laddie
Sep 2, 2020
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I've been told If you see Andy in Benidorm indoor market he'll sell you a local sim, good for large data users. I've always managed with my plusnet account, £10/month for 32GB on smartphone.
Unfortunately or fortunately depending on your viewpoint we are not going to Benidorm. We are entering Spain at Irun and Portgal at Porto. Thanks for the tip.
 
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Leith Laddie
Sep 2, 2020
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a little xpensive , but "holafly" now do an "e sim" no need for an actual sim. Easy to sign up and install.
you sign up online they send you a qr code instantly and your off, book for a few days or weeks, handy if you are stuck as I was till I manged to get an actual replacement sim.

I found the speed fast throughout netherlands, belgium, lux, switzerland and italy
Thanks for the tip, being new to wifi in the MoHo I would prefer an actual sim card. However come the start of our trip into Spain you never know I may well be searching the web using the last of my data for this virtual sim.
 

Southdowners

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With regard to finding aires and wild camping spots, etc… park4night app is, in my opinion, the best. It covers all the countries you mentioned and is free.

Have a great trip!

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Leith Laddie
Sep 2, 2020
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We used the local orange shop for a SIM card earlier this year I’m sure it was €20 for 30 gb
Great suggestion, Obviously as a Leith Laddie I love your profile picture - missing a few games whilst away.
 

irnbru

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You can buy a 100gb Vodaphone sim for 15euro . You should be able to pick one up in San Sebastián.

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