Going to France and Spain (1 Viewer)

Mar 6, 2019
64
66
Funster No
58,911
MH
Van conversion
Exp
2014
Help and advise appreciated. I’m sure all this has been on before and you are all sick of it, apologies up front. Last minute decision to go to France and Spain, after finding out this morning that their is no change to our EU status, probably until October. Not been to France for about 35 years and that was a 2 week beach holiday. Looking at 2 months.

1-Best place to get a deal for ferry crossing(no Tesco vouchers).

2-No time for Crit air badge, want to leave early next week. Can you get away without one, by avoiding places?

2-Have an Aldi Europe travel pack. Has assortment of bulbs. Is this good enough or do I need actual bulbs that are for my van(I would not have the means or a clue how to replace them anyway)

4-I have read that people put their hi vis jackets on their chairs visible. I have also seen gendarmes attacking people in yellow vests, is this a good idea( to have yellow vests on display).

6-Are translation apps worth taking?

7- Any tips or advise on routes, what to take to France and Spain, this is all new to me and the wife as you can probably guess. If this is all covered anywhere else please point me in the right direction. Thank you.
 

Allanm

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Jun 30, 2013
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I can answer a few. No need for a Crit’air sticker if you aren’t going to Paris or a few more of the bigger cities
You need a yellow vest for each occupant, no need for it to be on display
Spare bulbs must be the correct type. If you are stopped because you have a faulty bulb, you may be expected to replace it.
You need a warning triangle or two.
If your going to Spain, take earplugs. Almost all of Spain allows ( or encourages) dogs to bark all night.
 

tonka

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If any help.
https://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/resources/tonkas-western-route-to-spain.99/

I just book P&O dover calais on their website, usually an evening crossing as its cheaper.
At least 48 hours in front, dont leave till day before.
Stay at Cite Europe as it's only 10 mins from the ferry port. Then your up and ready for the off next day.

Crit badge, dont worry as i guess you dont plan to be going in many city centres.

In 20 years no one have every wanted to be my bulbs ;) but having some spares is wise as well as a handful of various fuses.

Yellow vest, we saw just 2 places where they were on the whole trip to Benidorm and back a few weeks ago. You need them as a legal requirement but just handy in the cab.

Safe trip and enjoy it..., KEEP TO THE SPEED LIMITS and watch out for cameras (y)
 

Riverbankannie

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Mar 11, 2016
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Take tea bags, marmite and possibly cereals if you like a special kind as the supermarket ones can be a bit children oriented.
You can easily get everything else.
Take original vehicle documents etc.

Find out how to change your satnav to display distances and speed in kph, when you cross borders, remember to change country on the satnav.

Google translate app useful but definitely get park4night or searchforsites.
Get a temporary upgrade on your phone data.
Get the ASCI discount card if you intend to use some campsites.

Tell your bank and credit card providers that you are going away.

Have a great time
 

MisterB

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Feb 25, 2018
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enough to know i shouldnt touch things i know nothing about ....
Re crit air - its actually really simple and as its done on line, you get an electronic receipt witbin a day or so and the sticker arrives in a few days, so if you have time then get one so you can go where you want !! Re the high vis jackets - one reason people suggest having them over their seats is that the 'thought' is that if the gendarmes see that youve taken the time to ensure you have high vis then the chances are that you have everything else aswell so are less likely to be randomly stopped.

I also take that view with my crit air sticker.

You didnt mention headlight deflectors ... i just use sticky tape (insulation/gaffer tape) over the approximate area - as its easily visible i think it also adds to the 'compliance' theory ....

Weve been visiting france for 15 years and have only been stopped once for a breathyliser test late at night. The gendarmes had a quick look at the car, saw the vests over the seats, the visible tape over the headlights (no crit air reqd at the time) and didnt bother checking anything else and waved us on (after passing the test of course). Whether anything we did helped or not we dont know, but we like to think it didnt hurt !

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Busman

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Check out price on website then if your over 60 and book over the phone you get 20% off
 

tuscancouple

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Oct 8, 2007
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4-I have read that people put their hi vis jackets on their chairs visible. I have also seen gendarmes attacking people in yellow vests, is this a good idea( to have yellow vests on display).

You need a vest for each vehicle occupant, two people = two vests, four people = four vests. If you stop on the road put on before you exit the vehcile, we've only ever used once in anger. They don't need to be on display as they look really naff and usually do not match of the inteirior of the vehicle :)

Mick
 

Khizzie

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Jul 26, 2014
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As every else has said. Plus depending on where you live which ferry port is most convenient. I always go from Portsmouth to either Le Havre, Caen or St Malo. As my English home is only and hour from pompey..
 
OP
OP
J
Mar 6, 2019
64
66
Funster No
58,911
MH
Van conversion
Exp
2014
I can answer a few. No need for a Crit’air sticker if you aren’t going to Paris or a few more of the bigger cities
You need a yellow vest for each occupant, no need for it to be on display
Spare bulbs must be the correct type. If you are stopped because you have a faulty bulb, you may be expected to replace it.
You need a warning triangle or two.
If your going to Spain, take earplugs. Almost all of Spain allows ( or encourages) dogs to bark all night.
I can answer a few. No need for a Crit’air sticker if you aren’t going to Paris or a few more of the bigger cities
You need a yellow vest for each occupant, no need for it to be on display
Spare bulbs must be the correct type. If you are stopped because you have a faulty bulb, you may be expected to replace it.
You need a warning triangle or two.
If your going to Spain, take earplugs. Almost all of Spain allows ( or encourages) dogs to bark all night.
Thanks for that. Just googled how to change light bulbs for my fiat Ducato, a bit awkward to do on the roadside at night and requires more than a Phillips. Hope I can use my roadside recovery instead

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OP
OP
J
Mar 6, 2019
64
66
Funster No
58,911
MH
Van conversion
Exp
2014
If any help.
https://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/resources/tonkas-western-route-to-spain.99/

I just book P&O dover calais on their website, usually an evening crossing as its cheaper.
At least 48 hours in front, dont leave till day before.
Stay at Cite Europe as it's only 10 mins from the ferry port. Then your up and ready for the off next day.

Crit badge, dont worry as i guess you dont plan to be going in many city centres.

In 20 years no one have every wanted to be my bulbs ;) but having some spares is wise as well as a handful of various fuses.

Yellow vest, we saw just 2 places where they were on the whole trip to Benidorm and back a few weeks ago. You need them as a legal requirement but just handy in the cab.

Safe trip and enjoy it..., KEEP TO THE SPEED LIMITS and watch out for cameras (y)
 
OP
OP
J
Mar 6, 2019
64
66
Funster No
58,911
MH
Van conversion
Exp
2014
Re crit air - its actually really simple and as its done on line, you get an electronic receipt witbin a day or so and the sticker arrives in a few days, so if you have time then get one so you can go where you want !! Re the high vis jackets - one reason people suggest having them over their seats is that the 'thought' is that if the gendarmes see that youve taken the time to ensure you have high vis then the chances are that you have everything else aswell so are less likely to be randomly stopped.

I also take that view with my crit air sticker.

You didnt mention headlight deflectors ... i just use sticky tape (insulation/gaffer tape) over the approximate area - as its easily visible i think it also adds to the 'compliance' theory ....

Weve been visiting france for 15 years and have only been stopped once for a breathyliser test late at night. The gendarmes had a quick look at the car, saw the vests over the seats, the visible tape over the headlights (no crit air reqd at the time) and didnt bother checking anything else and waved us on (after passing the test of course). Whether anything we did helped or not we dont know, but we like to think it didnt hurt !
 
OP
OP
J
Mar 6, 2019
64
66
Funster No
58,911
MH
Van conversion
Exp
2014
Thank you, the hi vis jacket thing was a bit tongue in cheek, I hope they realise we aren’t protesting, not in France anyway

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Feb 18, 2018
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We’re taking the hi viz out of their packets and putting them in door pockets. Agree best to apply for crit air online today. Are you using sat nav or a paper map too?
Food wise, agree with tea bags and cereal. Possibly 1 UHT milk ... we always seem to turn up when shops are shut!
Otherwise enjoy, meander and explore. I’m not a great fan of the French coast (although north and west are better than south) but I do love the countryside. Some of our best spots have been next to rivers.
 
OP
OP
J
Mar 6, 2019
64
66
Funster No
58,911
MH
Van conversion
Exp
2014
Was thinking the same about hi vis. Have tried the Crit air, got to the end but would not except the photo got to reduce the size, will see the son in law, more tech savvy then me. Also I cannot find anything about emissions on my registration docs to complete.
 
OP
OP
J
Mar 6, 2019
64
66
Funster No
58,911
MH
Van conversion
Exp
2014
Another thing, charging cable for campsites, do I need an adapter?
 

Lot lover

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May 13, 2016
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New boy
Only if you don't have one.

Yes you do, something to convert the French/Spanish 2 pin sockets to the big blue job, available in all French bricos and some supermarkets.

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bigtwin

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Oct 29, 2009
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Concorde
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For No 4. Best to be able to demonstrate that your high-viz is available to put on and not in a packet behind the seat

What’s the difference?

Ours is in an easily accessible overhead locker, much like being in a packet behind the seat.

Ian
 
Sep 6, 2016
101
122
Bristol
Funster No
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Low-profile Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 2010
On the question of routes it depends completely on where you want to go. However we recently got the ferry to Roscoffe and then travelled down the west coast into Spain via Bordeaux this took us 17 days and really enjoyed it. Since we only had limited time we caught the ferry back from Santander. If you had more time you could continue round Northern Spain or carry on down South. One thing I would say is that allow plenty of time we learnt the hard way, when we first started, and found we planned too long a route and were rushing from stop to stop with hardly any time to relax or have a good look around. The joy of a motorhome especially in France and Spain is to be able to stop when you want (Aires etc).

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