Two years on, about to try first REAL trip!

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by canorman, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. canorman

    canorman Read Only Funster

    Oct 19, 2011
    World (from East Sussex)
    Any and all advice welcome.

    Nearly two years ago I bought a 2002 Auto-sleeper Lancaster with 16,000 miles on the clock -- since then I've only put 2000 extra miles on the clock.

    But finally having sorted my life out a bit, my second wife (Jackie) of just over a year and my 6 year old Hungarian Puli dog (Tushka) are about to set off down through France and Spain -- as a start.

    Jackie is doing a bit of the Camino Santiago starting on 28th September with some girlfriends. We're planning going Newhaven-Dieppe about 24th September -- meeting her friends in Billbao -- then she is off for about a week while Tushka and I do our own thing.

    I lost my first wife of 40 years (Finita) to cancer 5 years ago on 19 September 2008 -- she was Spanish from Galicia. Born in the birth place of Franco -- El Ferrol. So we're planning on visiting relations and friends who want to meet my new wife. (Finita told me to find someone new and 'get on with my life' when she knew she was dying). After that I want to go down through Oporto to visit a sister in law married to a Portugese that I haven't seen for over 5 years -- and end up down in Seville where a cousin is married to a Spanish women and runs an English language school. We're hoping to stay away for three months or so.

    We have been incredibly busy over last couple of years -- and are still busy finishing off rebuilding a flat for my step daughter. So we have done VERY little preparation for our trip. We are happy for it to take as long as it needs.

    So here are the questions:

    1. What should I do about gas -- is there a best gas supply/regulator to fit for a drive down through France and Spain?
    2. Tushka is pet passported but what else should I be considering for travelling with a dog?
    3. Are campsites easy to find down through France and Spain?
    4. What about stopping off site?
    5. Any other suggestions for 'virgin' motor-home travellers adrift?????? Should I be more worried than I am???
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  2. peter marshall

    peter marshall

    Mar 5, 2009
    Just you enjoy your trip the rest will fall into place, plenty of camp sites in France and Spain, can't help with the doggie but passport seems ok you will need to visit a vet for return( friends have dog's) just do it and enjoy. Pete :roflmto::roflmto::roflmto:
  3. simsy56

    simsy56 Funster

    Nov 6, 2008
    Ramsey, Isle of Man.
    We are on the Santander ferry on the 24th sep, across to Galicia, turn left, and see what happens then. No plans, no rush, nothing booked. This is our first real trip in three years. We will just 'suck it and see'.
    So if you come across a fifth wheel trailer pulled by a silver truck, call and have a brew.
    Happy travels!

  4. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

    Jun 30, 2013
    Cotes d'armor, France
    You sound like you're all going to have a great time. Nothing to worry about if you prepare properly.

    Can't answer first question about gas, we have a refillable tank and loads of fuel stops sell autogas. You could consider refillable bottles. Loads cheaper.
    Dog, take the usual fog food and plenty of it. A collapsable water bowl is a good investment, a brush for the dog, a brush for the van, old towels, it's going to rain at some point, wet dogs are not pleasant in a confined space! Dog chews, biscuits and toys. Poo bags. An extra lead and a retracting lead.
    Research vets for your return. Prices vary widely, sometimes at the same vets. We paid between €20(Rue)-€40 (Bellac) We will keep away from Bellac!
    Campsites are good if you need to use their facilities but I would recommend using Aires in France. Most have service points many have electricity, almost all are cheap. Inland, most charge between €3 to €5 the rest are free. Can't comment on Spain. Get the European Aires book from Vicarious Books, but there are other french and Spanish websites that list many more aires.
    A good map. Don't rely on a sat nav( I know to my cost they don't always send you the right way or down a road that you can actually fit down.
    Did I say have a good time?
  5. The Dude

    The Dude Funster

    Jan 10, 2013
    Near Uttoxeter and Crete
    Also take a supply of Advantix - enough to treat Tushka every month you are away. Advantix is better than Frontline in that it also guards against sand flies which cause Leishmania. Frontline is only for ticks and fleas.
    Would also suggest you buy a dog lead tethering stake.

    Have a great trip.
  6. Baldeagle7470

    Baldeagle7470 Funster

    Apr 28, 2013
    Charente,France and Alentejo,Portugal
    Hi and a belated welcome,I was cheered to read your lovely tale and am sure you will enjoy your trip and seeing your late wives family through your journey,think most of the previous posters have answered your questions,don't worry about gas but if you buy at least one refillable before you go you will be sure.I picked up an empty Repsol bottle left on a site in Spain and leave it in my garden in France just in case.
    Can't help with doggie stuff but am sure will be fine,enjoy your trip.
  7. Spenders

    Spenders Read Only Funster

    Jan 19, 2013
    Advice.... from me??

    Most folks have said all that I might be able to offer... one thing I can offer is advice about sites...... there's loads of them and they seem to signposted very well and often. So far I've not booked anywhere in advance and just turned up.. no problems yet! I'm confident that if you just turned up and they were full, there'd be another site nearby that would take you without any problem.

    In my experience so far, in France not sure about Spain/Portugal, the municipal sites are a good compromise between the very basic (and usually no electric hook-up) of an aire, which will have water refilling and waste disposal facilities, and a commercial site, which usually have all the bells and whistles. If you just want to be sure of hook-up, showers & toilet & possibly laundry facilities, then a municipal site is a good low cost alternative. Usually basic but cheap and cheerful.

    Enjoy your trip,


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