New owners and not been abroad yet...until son decides to get wed near Florence! (1 Viewer)

Apr 18, 2018
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Hi,
We have had our motorhome Autoquest Elddis 140 a year now and had several weekends away, a week in North Wales and many short trips to near Eastleigh to see her grand-kids. Now my son has decided to get wed near a place called Certaldo just south-west of Florence. My wife hates ferries and in fact most methods of public transport (stress related illness) hence the motorhome!

Any tips on using the Eurotunnel and is it best to get as far away as possible from the terminal on arrival in France before stopping off for the night? I have some Tesco Clubcard points...do they really work when booking? How soon ahead can I book Eurotunnel....online it looks like about 48 weeks ahead?

Google Maps says about 18hrs so I guess 3 x 6hr days to do it in comfort? Little time for sight-seeing but that is not the purpose of the trip and it all has to fit into a school half-term break period!
Never used an aires, and may prefer campsites this first time.

Probably a load more questions yet to ask but ant ideas or tips for us newbies would be very much appreciated.
Regards
Spike and Nina
 
Sep 10, 2013
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Our Daughter married in Italy a few years back. Superb occasion and a party to remember by all who were there.
Pre motor home days, it was Ryanair and Hertz for us.
Enjoy the experience we certainly did.
 
Mar 3, 2013
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How exciting. Definitely stay at Cite D’Europe on getting off the train. A bit of shopping and off you go. Buy All the Aires from vicarious books to have a hard copy of aires but many other members will be along shortly with much more good advice about websites and apps to use. Happy travelling.
 

Puddleduck

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Jan 15, 2014
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Camping International near Florence gets a (y)(y)(y)(y) from me. Very helpful and nothing too much trouble. They speak lots of languages including English which is always a bonus.

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Puddleduck

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Camping International near Florence gets a (y)(y)(y)(y) from me. Very helpful and nothing too much trouble. They speak lots of languages including English which is always a bonus.

I just checked and it's about 35km so might be too far for you.
 
Mar 23, 2012
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When s the wedding? If theres time I would plan a week away through the tunnel first to get used to it and enjoy continental touring its so easy!!!. I suppose otherwise the option is to drive/hotel if your wife doesn't fancy flying/ferries.
 

hilldweller

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Glorious area and Fiorino is must see place. Enjoy.

Shame to rush it, time for some extra holiday time.
 
Jan 28, 2008
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where to stop depends on your plans pointless going over at 8 am and then stopping we tend to do late crossing .stop close and start fresh next morning

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Oct 29, 2016
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Use the Michelin Route Planer, it will tell you the distance, time, & toll costs if applicable.
Make sure you have your crit air stickers for France (maybe) but definitely Germany, costs 6 EU from their app site, delivered in a week, just got ours(y)
If you google the Berlin.De website for pollution stickers you should find it as we did.
You may need two IDP's also from the post office, and may need Green cards from you insurer (clear as mud at the moment)
But congrats on the wedding to all, we love Florence, love Italy, some are too scared to drive there though:eek: but just go with the flow.
PS: make sure your horn works, they use them more than indicators over there:D
Best wishes.
Les
 
Jan 10, 2013
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I have some Tesco Clubcard points...do they really work when booking?
Tesco Clubcard points system works very well with Eurotunnel. You have to sign into your Tesco Clubcard account first and 'spend' your points where they will be turned into 3X their value. Tesco will then send you an email with a voucher number and you then call Eurotunnel and book your crossing. Easy.
 

ceejayt

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Riverbankannie

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I would agree with @The Wino , if possible have a trip away using the tunnel before the one where you need to get to Florence and back during half term - Cheltenham in Gloucestershire still on one week half terms?
What day is the wedding on?
From Cheltenham you could get to the tunnel in the evening if you can make a quick getaway, and then go on a late train. After the tunnel aim to stay just outside the tunnel exit at Cite Europe. It’s quite safe and enables you to get a good start the next day through France. It would be easier to stay on Aires rather than campsites as it’s quicker to pull in late and just set up and quicker to leave and be on the road in the morning. Often campsite offices don’t open till 9 am to get paperwork sorted, have barriers opened etc.
It is a long way if you are not used to driving such distances on days in succession and it sounds as if you will have a quick turnaround to get back?
Google maps timings assume driving a car at more or less motorway speed and don’t allow for traffic delays and bad weather.
If at all possible, I would suggest you try and get a few extra days off arranged in advance, I know it’s difficult in education.
Good luck
 
OP
OP
Spike62
Apr 18, 2018
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Eurotunnel is dead easy and not need to drive miles afterward - we always stop at Cite Europe which is 5 minutes from Eurotunnel and you can fill up with groceries and other French goodies
Thanks ceejayt, seems the Cite Europe is a good idea with others too.
 
OP
OP
Spike62
Apr 18, 2018
49
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Cheltenham
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Autoquest Elddis 140
Exp
2 years
Our Daughter married in Italy a few years back. Superb occasion and a party to remember by all who were there.
Pre motor home days, it was Ryanair and Hertz for us.
Enjoy the experience we certainly did.
Thanks Zains Pops, We are looking forward to it and hopefully many more trips abroad in the future.
 
OP
OP
Spike62
Apr 18, 2018
49
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Autoquest Elddis 140
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How exciting. Definitely stay at Cite D’Europe on getting off the train. A bit of shopping and off you go. Buy All the Aires from vicarious books to have a hard copy of aires but many other members will be along shortly with much more good advice about websites and apps to use. Happy travelling.
Thanks Michelle, good suggestions and much appreciated.
 
OP
OP
Spike62
Apr 18, 2018
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Autoquest Elddis 140
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I just checked and it's about 35km so might be too far for you.
Thanks Puddleduck, I'll look it up. As the wife don't drink, but doesn't drive the motorhome either, it'll either need to be a taxi or somewhere closer!
 
OP
OP
Spike62
Apr 18, 2018
49
34
Cheltenham
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Autoquest Elddis 140
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Use the Michelin Route Planer, it will tell you the distance, time, & toll costs if applicable.
Make sure you have your crit air stickers for France (maybe) but definitely Germany, costs 6 EU from their app site, delivered in a week, just got ours(y)
If you google the Berlin.De website for pollution stickers you should find it as we did.
You may need two IDP's also from the post office, and may need Green cards from you insurer (clear as mud at the moment)
But congrats on the wedding to all, we love Florence, love Italy, some are too scared to drive there though:eek: but just go with the flow.
PS: make sure your horn works, they use them more than indicators over there:D
Best wishes.
Les
Thank you Tina, some stuff there I hadn't thought of or was unaware!!!

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OP
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Spike62
Apr 18, 2018
49
34
Cheltenham
Funster No
53,433
MH
Autoquest Elddis 140
Exp
2 years
I would agree with @The Wino , if possible have a trip away using the tunnel before the one where you need to get to Florence and back during half term - Cheltenham in Gloucestershire still on one week half terms?
What day is the wedding on?
From Cheltenham you could get to the tunnel in the evening if you can make a quick getaway, and then go on a late train. After the tunnel aim to stay just outside the tunnel exit at Cite Europe. It’s quite safe and enables you to get a good start the next day through France. It would be easier to stay on Aires rather than campsites as it’s quicker to pull in late and just set up and quicker to leave and be on the road in the morning. Often campsite offices don’t open till 9 am to get paperwork sorted, have barriers opened etc.
It is a long way if you are not used to driving such distances on days in succession and it sounds as if you will have a quick turnaround to get back?
Google maps timings assume driving a car at more or less motorway speed and don’t allow for traffic delays and bad weather.
If at all possible, I would suggest you try and get a few extra days off arranged in advance, I know it’s difficult in education.
Good luck
Riverbankannie, I was planning to do a recce run this easter but have smashed my wrist and can't drive at the moment!! Perhaps in October half-term instead. I think it is only one week the OH gets off for halfterm...it's in May so not 2 week easter break.
Great suggestion on late train, early start next day from Cite Europe. Understand about Aires etc but was meaning when we get in area to use a campsite for the facilities etc.
I am OK with a 6 hour day driving, interspersed with lunch and comfort breaks, is this too much even if on a tight schedule?
Appreciate the comments and suggestions, thanks.
 
Oct 29, 2016
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Its a hell of a long way there and back in a week, thats if I understand you correctly?
How about as you have slightly longer, you drive out ahead of your misses, she then flies out and joins up with you for the return journey, or the other way around. It just give you more time over there for your numb bum to recover.
Good luck.
Les
 
OP
OP
Spike62
Apr 18, 2018
49
34
Cheltenham
Funster No
53,433
MH
Autoquest Elddis 140
Exp
2 years
When s the wedding? If theres time I would plan a week away through the tunnel first to get used to it and enjoy continental touring its so easy!!!. I suppose otherwise the option is to drive/hotel if your wife doesn't fancy flying/ferries.
Wino, wedding is May 2020, a recce run was my plan at easter until I smashed my wrist into 21 extra pieces!! Still can't drive at moment so back to researching and seeking advice. May try again in October half-term time and see how far we can get in 2.5 days of travel before heading back again. Thanks.
 
OP
OP
Spike62
Apr 18, 2018
49
34
Cheltenham
Funster No
53,433
MH
Autoquest Elddis 140
Exp
2 years
Its a hell of a long way there and back in a week, thats if I understand you correctly?
How about as you have slightly longer, you drive out ahead of your misses, she then flies out and joins up with you for the return journey, or the other way around. It just give you more time over there for your numb bum to recover.
Good luck.
Les
Les, I understand but we are limited by wife working in education and being one who is never "ill"!!!! The option of her flying is a no-no as previously explained...if we didn't have the motorhome she would not be going at all! If it all gets too difficult time wise there is the option of me going alone, in which case time off can be worked out better to make it an easier trip. Will try a recce run when able to drive again and see how it goes! Thanks

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Oct 29, 2016
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Apologies I didn't remember the stress related bit in your intro.
You are in for a spectacular drive, seeing some of the moutain views and valleys in the world.
I hope to follow same route as soon as is practically possible, we love Italy, but never driven to it, only flown in.
Hope your wrist is well on the mend and ready for action nearer the time. I know all about broken wrists, my left one is now a little deformed but I get by with it.
Best wishes.
Les
 
Last edited:

Riverbankannie

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Sorry to hear about your wrist @Spike62. A lot of things can change between now and May 2020 so plenty of time to get ready.
Not knowing your day job it’s difficult to judge how you will find driving a 6 hour google map estimate (which will probably be longer on the road). Many on here are professional drivers, coach or truck and think nothing of it, but for us 3 to 4 hours is the most we could do, and not days in succession, but then we are older. Everyone is different.
Is it possible that your wife would take a Motorhome manoeuvring course and help share the driving?
Hopefully your wrist will improve and you will be able to take a test run in France later this year. Unfortunately Friday before half term not the greatest day to travel as you know but it’s worth a shot at you having the day off, ready the MH, and picking your wife up direct from school to go off.
 

Puddleduck

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If you go via Switzerland you'll need a vignette or an HGV pass depending on if you are rated at under or over 3500kg. The vignette (under 3500kg) can be bought in advance but the HGV pass is bought at the border. We paid CHF cash for ours but they do take euros (rubbish exchange rate), I don't know about cards. We had to have the HGV pass which is valid for 10 days within the 12 months from when you buy it. You have to mark down every day you are in Switzerland whether you are using the roads or not. It covers all Swiss roads and tunnels - no extra tolls to pay.

If you decide to have a night in Switzerland Area Camper Tamaro is very good, GPS n46,13926 e8,90675 You pay by the hour so arrive latish on :) I think the first two hours were 10 or 20 CHF and then it was 1 CHF per hour after that. Water, tank dumps, electric and wifi included and you pay at a kiosk just before you leave. There is a cafe (part of the fuel station just outside the security fence). There are lots of walks around and also an army base the other side of the road opposite the camper park entry. I'm not sure about loos or showers as we didn't use them. We actually stopped there both going to Italy and coming back :) The full service site in Switzerland wasn't nearly as good as the camperstop and far more expensive.

Private message me if you would like a summary of our route - or I will edit this post to link to our trip report as you might find something useful in there apart from my gibbering dross :)

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Dec 24, 2009
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Just Googled Certaldo, campsites near - this one sounds good on paper - http://www.campingchianti.it/?lang=en

OTOH nothing to stop you going in the car which presumably your wife CAN drive anyway and staying in reasonably priced hotels en route or hired accommodation on a campsite - many sites hire out gites, chambre d'hotes, cabins and/or static caravans. (Also 'tin towns' - ie static van/chalet sites where tourers can't go.) Weigh up extra ferry/Eurotunnel prices, fuel and accommodation costs. (more expensive in school holidays anyway)

When we used to go by motorbike we'd have a destination in mind but not booked, stayed in budget hotels when only passing through, but campsites en route for a couple of nights when our bums needed more of a rest - and that worked well.

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