Just purchased auto/sleeper cotswold .
looking for help regarding route, sites to stop at on route, and site to stay on whilst in Spain ( Jan - March ) we are travelling with two small spaniel dogs
Gordon & Greta
Can't fault what MikeD says about all the Aires book and ACSI discount I would also add that the Campercontact app is quite good as well and cheap as chips. We travelled down last year mid February and used aires at Marboue and Nersac and then at Saint Jean de luz before crossing into Spain by which time you will start to find campsites open and even some will be very busy as it a good time of the year for them.
Decide how much you want to spend on tolls on the way down and this will give you a hint as to the route to take.
Spain is a big country.. what area you planning on.. or are you open to suggestions ?
Most head for the Mediterranean , Benidorm area .. or South coast..
our preference is Almeria, SE corner .. it has the best chance of decent winter weather.. although anywhere in Spain can be wet and cold Jan - Mar.
Good long term site at Roquetas de mar.. Roquetas Camping .. but book it up.. as it gets pretty full by the end of Dec... like many Spanish sites they offer long term rates.. the longer you book for.. the cheaper the rate.. also watch out for the 'extras' .. like electricity, now charged per kw on some sites.
Google also good for finding winter sites
Traveling in Spain in winter you won't find many sites open.. We use 'truck stop cafe's', normally just off the Autoroutes.. just buy a snack and ask if it's ok to park overnight.. never been refused yet.. but keep away from refrigerated trucks that can keep you awake with the noise from the compressor.. Some look a bit seedy.. but don't be put off... they are quiet safe and some have a night watchman.. offer him a cuppa and if you smoke a fag.. no drink.. don't want him sleeping on the job.
Once you have decided on a route .. either using via Michelin or Google maps.. make a note of ones that may come in useful... mark them in either a paper map or sat nav.
Things to take with you..
because you probably won't have grass.. just sand or dirt which gets everywhere.. a decent groundsheet for the area outside your van.. .. and a dozen or so 6 inch nails + lump hammer .. (pegs no good as the ground can be brick hard) .. this can be just a cheap piece of plastic which can be discarded at the end of your stay.. can also be bought local from a garden center or builders merchant.
Some long termers will cover the whole pitch in plastic..
watering can for filling up.. useful when you are too far from the tap and don't want to move the van
a second EHU lead .. many sites the EHU point is more than 25 mts.. also, they do get damaged on Spanish sites due to being run over.. so a spare can be useful.
last of all.. enjoy it.. your first trip will be a huge learning curve.. thousands do it every winter.. so plenty of Brits to ask for help or advice ..
Get a continental adaptor for your electric hook up cable. Also, if you have a built-in gas tank or gaslow bottles get a euro adaptor.
A useful Spanish govt website for fuel prices filling stations. Click on Welcome at top for some English. Diesel is "gasoleo A Habitual" and lpg is "gases licuados del petroleo". http://geoportalgasolineras.es/?l=sl
If going round Madrid, use the M50 which is further out and quieter (relatively) than the roads the sat nav will take you. There's a decent site at Riaza, just north of Madrid and south at Aranjuez. Both open all year.
Get a Halifax Clarity credit card for best value, and maybe a prepaid cash card.
Research Spanish vets for getting your dogs wormed before returning to UK.
If your going January then a lot of sites are closed and as it will be cold (even colder than UK in some parts) I find it best to just keep going, drive in daylight, park up and rest once dark using free aires..
You need to be Valencia area and southwards for decent weather AND dont be fooled it does get cold at night even in Spain.. !!
As MikeD said, we are open all year, and this year we have just put an advertisement on Fun offering all Funsters a special rate of 12.50€ (under £10 at present) per night, this including 2 people and ehu (16A). As ever, pets are free as is wifi (was weak, but has improved a lot). So if you are in France do call - we would be delighted to see our Funster friends.