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France trip!

BIGBALL
24-01-09, 06:55
Hiya! just converted my t4 panel van for a france trip, its pretty basic just rock and roll bed camping stoves ect. Going on the 1st march for two weeks - Just wondering if anyone knows what the weather is like that time of year? Planning mainly to travel down the west coast and along the south? - Anyone tried using sat nav to find their way aroung france? what happens if you press 'avoid toll roads' ? does it send you on a wild goose chase? or is it worth paying tolls to save on fuel in the long run? cheers! john

Rhosneigr Gaz
24-01-09, 07:21
We travelled up the West coast from Spain to England through France. We forgot the Sat Nav, didn't have a map and just used a compass and a Stormrider with maps of surfy spots!!!

To be honest the Tolls didn't cost much, our biggest mistake was not to notice the big river half way up at Rouen (Spelling???) which is a 50Euro crossing, but was fun!!!

Go for it, you'll have a top time!!!

T4 VIRGIN,
24-01-09, 07:38
sometimes the best trips are the unplanned ones-just go for it regardless of the weather,its what you make it,:)

BIGBALL
25-01-09, 17:56
What are the french like with us lot parking in beach carparks overnight? I know how hard it is to do it in cornwall! Worried i'll wake up in the morning with an angry frenchman banging on my van ' OY you english git get aoutta moi carpark!!' .................................Also made a wicked rock and roll bed using vauxhall vectra gas strut bonnet hinges!! i'll put some pics on if anyones interested x x T: heres the ebay item number so you get an idea 190278519209

T4YLOR
25-01-09, 18:14
id be interested in seeing the pics T:

thedenofslack
25-01-09, 19:13
We did a trip to Lacanau Ocean last Sept. We only had my mates TomTom and it saw us right all the way there and back. Didn't try out the toll road feature though. I might be wrong but I think there were about 3 tolls to get there between 16-29euro each. Can't really remember cos there were 4 of us in the car and we just took it in turns to **** them on the credit card. (Note: some of the toll booths we came across were automatic ones & some of them didn't like Maestro/Mastercard. Visa seemed to work everywhere)

project 2006
25-01-09, 19:36
What are the french like with us lot parking in beach carparks overnight? I know how hard it is to do it in cornwall! Worried i'll wake up in the morning with an angry frenchman banging on my van ' OY you english git get aoutta moi carpark!!' .................................Also made a wicked rock and roll bed using vauxhall vectra gas strut bonnet hinges!! i'll put some pics on if anyones interested x x T: heres the ebay item number so you get an idea 190278519209

France is very camper van friendly with most of the larger towns and cities having dedicated FREE hard standing with chemical toilet disposal points and fresh water in the town center. This may not be applicable to you in your van but I think it reflects their attitude to campers.
However with lots of camping sites from "camping municipal" to full on "camping holiday centers" some area's have no camping areas but move away from busy areas and you should be OK. Stay with the surf culture and you will be fine. As a foot note their are plenty websites dedicated to "free camping in france" use this in Google and you will find info.

Have a great time

baileybridger
25-01-09, 19:56
i have just returned from skiing in tignes france , would really like to take the van their in the summer, however as previosly mentioned VERY EXPENSIVE
pint of fanta ........ 6.60
coffee......4
cheesburger and chips 9
pint of lager , pub, 5
pint of lager restraunt 7.50
obviosly a bit of a mark up because its a skiing resort but still , OUCH:eek:

ive got the scotland version of 'cool camping' my mate went last year with the french version , think that would be worth a look , good luck

conwaydance
25-01-09, 20:20
we went at christmas s/west france and it was fab weather 65 degrees in afternoon -4,5,6 in the mornings one afternoon it snowed for 3 hours and it was about 6" deep lot,s off fun tho , not as cheep as it used to be ,but a brill place and the french are great ,give missus a map ,to keep her quiet , and something to do and if you go wrong its not all your folt we never get lost with a map as with sat nav.s it gets confusing in the bult up areas .wine is cheep tho , have a good un :ILU:

king marty
26-01-09, 17:11
im planning of going in june, would be intrested to see wheres hot and wheres not R:

gazzagee
26-01-09, 17:29
We did a Euro trip last year see this Thread :https://www.vwt4forum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=20914&highlight=gazzagee T:

BIGBALL
26-01-09, 18:30
Winter suit or summer suit for surfing?? Taking my kayaks aswell, anyone recomend any nice lakes or suitable spots?? cheers for all your imput everyone x x :D

ravedave
26-01-09, 22:43
hi gaz do you no any thing about vw rally/festival july ish at tosserdemarr northan spain ive heard of it and as your self im heading to royan in sted of newquay this summer,hopeing to jump over the mountains and have a days fishing on the river ebro then to this rally has anyone any info.
cheers dave

BIGBALL
27-01-09, 06:53
Me again! Is breakdown cover mandatory in france?? Anyone recommend a company for 10 year + vans, thanks, john

David
27-01-09, 07:32
Not mandatory but recommended. They also have introduced a new law where you need a flurescent jacket for everyone in the vehicle. They were do lots of spot checks / fines when I was last over. Even fining people who they pulled over and got out of the vehicle not wearing it even thoughthey had one.

Most campsites open at easter but most of the Aires are open

Fab country, main advise is 'it's much biggar than it looks on the map so don't be tempted to try and cover too much distance.

David
27-01-09, 08:31
This france trip video was posted by a member on here and always makes me want to hop in the van and head back over

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxBEJNtw1Qw

boswell
27-01-09, 08:57
As already said above the French are pretty tolerant of Free Camping as long your not setting up awnings, washing lines etc. The Police patrol some car parks and are friendly enough.

Toll roads are great if you want to get to your destination quickly and are generally free of traffic jams unlike our motorways, as my van drops to 14mpg round town I find cruising at a constant 100kph 20+mpg on toll roads similiar price to the stop start in each town if using "A" roads, my Tom Tom did a great job both when using Toll roads and when going the more scenic route.

I personally would use summer suit for surfing but I'm the one in board shorts when everyone else has a shorty on!

Lakes............Biscarrosse is the place for me camp right by the lake side!

My van at Biscarrosse in 2007:

http://www.photopod.co.uk/images/f3.jpg

g299hos
27-01-09, 10:36
hi bigball as said france is very camper friendly you can park almost anywhere if you dont make a camp as such by law in france you can park overnight for 1 night, the weather can be cold and windy on the coast in march,i go 2/3 times a year and hardly ever go on to a site but i do have a shower and all the extras. i use a tom tom one xl europe and it has been excellent you can load all the aires from the website at the bottom the site is in french but it easy to follow http://www.campingcar-infos.com/index1.htm.. enjoy p/s dont use the aires on the motorways they are not safe

boswell
10-02-09, 08:37
p/s dont use the aires on the motorways they are not safe

Over 10 years of using them I have had no problems.

nealglover
10-02-09, 08:56
I have used the Aires on the motorway for years without incident, although I don't really do it anymore unless I have no other option.

For me the main issue is that they don't "feel" safe, although I have never had a reason to think it really.

Other than the fact that I watch way too much CSI :D

boswell
10-02-09, 09:14
Every year someones van gets broken into at Vanfest yet no one ever says don't stay there, likewise thousands of campers get gear stolen whilst on campsites.

nealglover
10-02-09, 09:36
I have never been worried about theft "from" at the Motorway Aires as I'm always in the van or close by it, it's theft "of" while I am there that would be my concern (Although no evidence of it actually happening like I said)

jarvo
10-02-09, 16:28
as anyone got prices for ferry crossings ? hull would be closest to me, but any really
regards jarvo

fiverods
10-02-09, 16:47
norfolk line 35 return and thats in peak times aswell,
just booked 3 returns, I:

jarvo
10-02-09, 17:13
mines a long wheel base does that make a dfferance ,also what time of year are your bookings ?
cheers jarvo

nealglover
10-02-09, 17:21
Hull Rotterdam Can be cheap, if you book a return via calais the following day (and dont use it)

then do the same on the way back (book outward dover calais and dont use it, return via Rotterdam to Hull the next day.)

If you book like this, rather than a Normal Return you save a fortune.

based on a van and two adults including 4 Berth Cabinon the overnight Ferry.

eg: (red tickets not used)

Outward Hull Rotterdam 10th March
return Calais Dover 11th march

Outward Dover Calais 23rd March
Return Rotterdam Hull 24th March

Total Cost 99

OR

Outward Hull Rotterdam 10th March
Return Rotterdam Hull 24th March

Total Cost 324

(who says I have too much time on my hands :D)

fiverods
10-02-09, 17:32
Just tell norfolk line its a vw camper thats all they need to know,
they said vw camper classed as car,
35 return anytime of year, 17 each way,
ive always used the tunnel but not this year,;)