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france
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userrhinoatcas
Posted: 11 June 2009 3:11 PM
Subject: france
 
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we are new to camping and intend to camp in france for three weeks in august i know there is a thread much the same on the forum about booking but i really want to know any tips for camping in france. we have camped and caravanned before in france but with eurocamps equipment. we have an ectrical hook up for gb but what do i need and where is the best to purchase any ything for french electricity?
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 11 June 2009 5:18 PM
Subject: RE: France
 


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Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


You do not say what equipment you have/may use, but in principle, if your hook up has the standard CEE blue plug on the end, that will work on the majority of European sites, France included.  The only alternative you may encounter is the older type two pin plug, for which short adaptor leads are available from most caravan etc equipment shops: probably from a dealer's accessory shop near you.  While there, pick up a polarity tester which, apart from testing for correct polarity of the site supply, will also detect defective earth connections and other possible electrical safety hazards.  If you are unaware of these, go to the Motorhome matters forum and use the search facility.  Type in "reversed polarity" as the keyword, and set time to one year.  Bags of information on what it is, why it can be important, and how to correct it.
userrhinoatcas
Posted: 12 June 2009 6:28 AM
Subject: RE: France
 
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cheers yes i have the 20mtrs of orange flex and a blue phased plug on one end and 4 sockets with a cut out/reset button on the other end, so i can just plug in to the french socket and use my 3 pin plug on my kettle / toaster etc as normal? much obliged

Edited by rhinoatcas 2009-06-12 6:28 AM
userLordThornber
Posted: 12 June 2009 8:37 AM
Subject: RE: France
 


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Yes you can use them but be aware of the lower amps available on the majority of French sites some as low as 3 amps.

Martyn
userrhinoatcas
Posted: 12 June 2009 2:16 PM
Subject: RE: France
 
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cheers but what exactly does that mean to what i will use do i need to buy an adaptor and at which part does it fit i know nothing about electrics
userLordThornber
Posted: 12 June 2009 2:58 PM
Subject: RE: France
 


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Any half decent caravan accesory or camping shop will show you what you need. But if you camp on a site in France that accepts your blue EEC plug, you don't need aything at all. Unless of course the site has reversed polarity.

All you need to correct that is a home made, (you cannot buy one over the counter) piece of cable with the cables swapped round. Confused? I'll bet you are, the shop will show you what the job is, (and sell you what you need), it's no more difficult than wiring a plug.

How will you know if the site has reversed polarity? The shop will flog you a little gadget that tells you when you first plug in. It's not difficult, honestly.

Martyn

Edited by LordThornber 2009-06-12 2:58 PM
userAlphonsoDeLard
Posted: 12 June 2009 5:16 PM
Subject: RE: france
 


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Location: Derby


I'm so jealous... Three weeks in France.

I wanted to do the same but the OH put her foot down... She wants to stay in the UK...

Next year!

userTony Jones
Posted: 16 June 2009 8:49 AM
Subject: RE: france
 
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Location: France, or in our 2005 Burstner Privilege t585


You need to engage in a bit of subtlety Nige - not something I'm usually noted for, but hey ....
Leave magazines lying around, open at articles about camping in France.
Forget to log off the Forum, after reading some of the VERY enthusiastic posts about France, so it's all there when she next looks at the computer.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Teenagers used to do it years ago with holiday brochures - in non-camping families they probably still do!
userAlphonsoDeLard
Posted: 16 June 2009 9:34 AM
Subject: RE: france
 


Having a look around

Posts: 30
25
Location: Derby


The OH told me she wants more camping experience in this country before we go abroad... (I've camped for years, as a youngster with cubs/scouts and on trips to the South of France with my folks, she's only started camping perhaps over the passed three years)...

If it's experience she wants and that'll get me to France next year, then it's experience she'll get...

We've got seven seperate trips booked this summer, we've had two already, got five more to come before the middle of September

Probably worth waiting until next year due to the high euro anyway... And gives me more of an excuse to go camping this year than I would normally get away with

Thanks for the advice all the same... I did catch her reading my copy of Camping a couple of weeks ago... I think leaving it lying around open on an article showing the benefits of camping in France is probably the way forward...

Au Revoir,

ADL.
usermalc d
Posted: 16 June 2009 9:50 AM
Subject: RE: france
 
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AlphonsoDeLard - 2009-06-16 9:34 AM

The OH told me she wants more camping experience in this country before we go abroad... (I've camped for years, as a youngster with cubs/scouts and on trips to the South of France with my folks, she's only started camping perhaps over the passed three years)...

If it's experience she wants and that'll get me to France next year, then it's experience she'll get...

We've got seven seperate trips booked this summer, we've had two already, got five more to come before the middle of September

Probably worth waiting until next year due to the high euro anyway... And gives me more of an excuse to go camping this year than I would normally get away with

Thanks for the advice all the same... I did catch her reading my copy of Camping a couple of weeks ago... I think leaving it lying around open on an article showing the benefits of camping in France is probably the way forward...

Au Revoir,

ADL.




If your wife does enjoy camping this year in the U.K. just tell her to imagine what it's like in (generally) much better weather conditions.

userAlphonsoDeLard
Posted: 16 June 2009 11:17 AM
Subject: RE: france
 


Having a look around

Posts: 30
25
Location: Derby


malc d - 2009-06-16 9:50 AM

AlphonsoDeLard - 2009-06-16 9:34 AM

The OH told me she wants more camping experience in this country before we go abroad... (I've camped for years, as a youngster with cubs/scouts and on trips to the South of France with my folks, she's only started camping perhaps over the passed three years)...

If it's experience she wants and that'll get me to France next year, then it's experience she'll get...

We've got seven seperate trips booked this summer, we've had two already, got five more to come before the middle of September

Probably worth waiting until next year due to the high euro anyway... And gives me more of an excuse to go camping this year than I would normally get away with

Thanks for the advice all the same... I did catch her reading my copy of Camping a couple of weeks ago... I think leaving it lying around open on an article showing the benefits of camping in France is probably the way forward...

Au Revoir,

ADL.




If your wife does enjoy camping this year in the U.K. just tell her to imagine what it's like in (generally) much better weather conditions.



lol

you think I've not tried that one already?
userSickOfHotels
Posted: 16 June 2009 7:30 PM
Subject: RE: france
 
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Location: Somerset


AlphonsoDeLard - 2009-06-16 9:34 AM

The OH told me she wants more camping experience in this country before we go abroad... (I've camped for years, as a youngster with cubs/scouts and on trips to the South of France with my folks, she's only started camping perhaps over the passed three years)...

If it's experience she wants and that'll get me to France next year, then it's experience she'll get...

We've got seven seperate trips booked this summer, we've had two already, got five more to come before the middle of September

Probably worth waiting until next year due to the high euro anyway... And gives me more of an excuse to go camping this year than I would normally get away with

Thanks for the advice all the same... I did catch her reading my copy of Camping a couple of weeks ago... I think leaving it lying around open on an article showing the benefits of camping in France is probably the way forward...

Au Revoir,

ADL.


If you're going to France next year then make sure you take the OH to a VERY good site. I can highly recommend The Dauphin (the Dolphin) - the only site in france that has an 'en-suite' toilet/shower on EACH PITCH!!!

Luxury!

http://www.campingledauphin.com/camping-south-of-france/camping-south-of-france.php
userAlphonsoDeLard
Posted: 17 June 2009 9:38 AM
Subject: RE: france
 


Having a look around

Posts: 30
25
Location: Derby


SickOfHotels - 2009-06-16 7:30 PM

AlphonsoDeLard - 2009-06-16 9:34 AM

The OH told me she wants more camping experience in this country before we go abroad... (I've camped for years, as a youngster with cubs/scouts and on trips to the South of France with my folks, she's only started camping perhaps over the passed three years)...

If it's experience she wants and that'll get me to France next year, then it's experience she'll get...

We've got seven seperate trips booked this summer, we've had two already, got five more to come before the middle of September

Probably worth waiting until next year due to the high euro anyway... And gives me more of an excuse to go camping this year than I would normally get away with

Thanks for the advice all the same... I did catch her reading my copy of Camping a couple of weeks ago... I think leaving it lying around open on an article showing the benefits of camping in France is probably the way forward...

Au Revoir,

ADL.


If you're going to France next year then make sure you take the OH to a VERY good site. I can highly recommend The Dauphin (the Dolphin) - the only site in france that has an 'en-suite' toilet/shower on EACH PITCH!!!

Luxury!

http://www.campingledauphin.com/camping-south-of-france/camping-south-of-france.php



I've taken all the advice given in the last few posts... My plan unfurls... I normally just download brochures etc., but in this instance I've requested a hardcopy of a brochure from The Dauphin... Then I can leave it subtely available for the OH's reading in various rooms around the house

usermalc d
Posted: 17 June 2009 10:48 AM
Subject: RE: france
 
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AlphonsoDeLard - 2009-06-17 9:38 AM

SickOfHotels - 2009-06-16 7:30 PM

AlphonsoDeLard - 2009-06-16 9:34 AM

The OH told me she wants more camping experience in this country before we go abroad... (I've camped for years, as a youngster with cubs/scouts and on trips to the South of France with my folks, she's only started camping perhaps over the passed three years)...

If it's experience she wants and that'll get me to France next year, then it's experience she'll get...

We've got seven seperate trips booked this summer, we've had two already, got five more to come before the middle of September

Probably worth waiting until next year due to the high euro anyway... And gives me more of an excuse to go camping this year than I would normally get away with

Thanks for the advice all the same... I did catch her reading my copy of Camping a couple of weeks ago... I think leaving it lying around open on an article showing the benefits of camping in France is probably the way forward...

Au Revoir,

ADL.


If you're going to France next year then make sure you take the OH to a VERY good site. I can highly recommend The Dauphin (the Dolphin) - the only site in france that has an 'en-suite' toilet/shower on EACH PITCH!!!

Luxury!

http://www.campingledauphin.com/camping-south-of-france/camping-south-of-france.php



I've taken all the advice given in the last few posts... My plan unfurls... I normally just download brochures etc., but in this instance I've requested a hardcopy of a brochure from The Dauphin... Then I can leave it subtely available for the OH's reading in various rooms around the house






I don't know if you are aware of the star rating system on French sites.

They are rated from one to five stars depending on what facilities they have.
From one star with minimum facilities; fresh water, toilets and possibly showers, up to five stars with "everything" - toilets ,showers, restaurant, pools etc.

The higher the number of stars, the more you pay to stay there.

The number of stars does NOT indicate the quality of the facilities, although in my experience most sites of all ratings have acceptable standards.

(From my own point of view ' more stars means more noise ' but that's because I now look for a bit of peace and quiet).




Edited by malc d 2009-06-17 10:49 AM
userAlphonsoDeLard
Posted: 17 June 2009 11:09 AM
Subject: RE: france
 


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Location: Derby


Peace and quiet also on our tick list.

As is closeness to a beach.

Not too "touristy" - we like to see the "real" country when we travel abroad...

Not too much car travel - don't mind how long I'm on the ferry - although I've only ever done Dover-Calais. I wouldn't mind saving up the pennies and taking a longer ferry trip if it meant less time in the car...

My plan is to have three weeks, two near the coast - further down the better - the other week to get there and back - hopefully with a few days near to Paris on the return trip so we can take the DD to EuroDisney. (This would also mean I can get the cheaper Calais - Dover ferry on the return journey).

Should I be aiming to go "all the way" down to the South? (so to speak).

Or will the Western coast of France supply us with good beaches, fine wine and lots of sun?

I've got plenty of time to search for the perfect site that's for sure... (Seeing as I don't plan to go until summer 2010)...

I don't mind planning it all myself, but am also condsidering the use of a third party to do all the booking - as I've read elsewhere it's pretty hard to price match some of these companies as they bulk buy ferry crossings/pitches.
usermalc d
Posted: 17 June 2009 11:35 AM
Subject: RE: france
 
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AlphonsoDeLard - 2009-06-17 11:09 AM

Peace and quiet also on our tick list.

As is closeness to a beach.

Not too "touristy" - we like to see the "real" country when we travel abroad...

Not too much car travel - don't mind how long I'm on the ferry - although I've only ever done Dover-Calais. I wouldn't mind saving up the pennies and taking a longer ferry trip if it meant less time in the car...

My plan is to have three weeks, two near the coast - further down the better - the other week to get there and back - hopefully with a few days near to Paris on the return trip so we can take the DD to EuroDisney. (This would also mean I can get the cheaper Calais - Dover ferry on the return journey).

Should I be aiming to go "all the way" down to the South? (so to speak).

Or will the Western coast of France supply us with good beaches, fine wine and lots of sun?

I've got plenty of time to search for the perfect site that's for sure... (Seeing as I don't plan to go until summer 2010)...

I don't mind planning it all myself, but am also condsidering the use of a third party to do all the booking - as I've read elsewhere it's pretty hard to price match some of these companies as they bulk buy ferry crossings/pitches.



Don't try to do too much on your first trip, France is a very big country compared to ours - and I'm sure your wife won't appreciate France if she spends all her time travelling !

Make sure she enjoys the first trip and there will be many, many more.

I think the west coast is excellent. It's rather built up and busier north of Royan - but good beaches - and relatively deserted south of Royan.
In fact it's really one long beach from Royan to Spain.
Very easy to get a long stretch of beach to yourselves if you walk along a bit.

We normally cross Portsmouth to Caen ( Ouistreham) when going down there and once made it almost all the way to Biarritz in one day, but I wouldn't recommend that.

You could visit Paris on the way back, then cross from Calais, but you might consider doing that on a separate trip as it's " a long way round" if you don't want to feel rushed.

To see 'the real France' best to stay off motorways - most other roads are relatively quiet compared to here.

So, personally, I wouldn't go all the way down south AND try to see Paris.





userAlphonsoDeLard
Posted: 17 June 2009 11:55 AM
Subject: RE: france
 


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Posts: 30
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Location: Derby


Malc

Thanks for taking the time to reply. You've given some really good advice...

We tow a trailer, mainly due to the size of the Bear Lake & associated bits to fill her up... So long distances wouldn't be covered at high speed as I've done previously... Taking your advice onboard I'm now thinking... Two weeks on the west... With another week meandering from the west to paris(ish) using a (not yet purchased) pop-up, (maybe one of those Decathlon 4 person jobbies) to make pitching/overnights an easier task... Would you recommend a two night stop over somewhere mid-France to break the last week, with the remaining nights somewhere near Paris?

As a family we have done France before, but only stopped in Gites, so I understand your point concerning the size of the country...
userTony Jones
Posted: 17 June 2009 12:27 PM
Subject: RE: france
 
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Nigel
If you're thinking about where to go, look over on "Motorhome Matters." (It's OK, only a few of them bite!)
There's a recent thread called "France Advice Challenge" where a few of us have made suggestions which might help you as well.
(I always think it's worth an occasionally look at each other's forums - we're often looking for the same things!)
usermalc d
Posted: 17 June 2009 12:36 PM
Subject: RE: france
 
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AlphonsoDeLard - 2009-06-17 11:55 AM

Malc

Thanks for taking the time to reply. You've given some really good advice...

We tow a trailer, mainly due to the size of the Bear Lake & associated bits to fill her up... So long distances wouldn't be covered at high speed as I've done previously... Taking your advice onboard I'm now thinking... Two weeks on the west... With another week meandering from the west to paris(ish) using a (not yet purchased) pop-up, (maybe one of those Decathlon 4 person jobbies) to make pitching/overnights an easier task... Would you recommend a two night stop over somewhere mid-France to break the last week, with the remaining nights somewhere near Paris?

As a family we have done France before, but only stopped in Gites, so I understand your point concerning the size of the country...



From the west coast, let's call it Bordeaux, to Paris is approx 360 miles so you could do that by motorway with just a one night stop on the way, but you must also allow for the time it would take you to get to the motorway in the first place.

I can't really help you when it comes to camping near Paris because 'I don't do cities' but hopefully someone else will come along with ideas.
(The last time I camped in Paris was 1963)

I suggest you get a good campsite book.
The Michelin guides are very useful and list hundreds, if not thousands, of sites - including many of the municipal sites in small towns and villages.

For many years we also used the Alan Rogers guides which 'tell it like it is' about sites so you get a good idea of what to expect.

I'm not sure if you are thinking of booking sites. I have never yet booked any sites on the continent and find that if you arrive on sites by
3 or 4 pm you will usually find a place.
It may be a bit more of a problem during school holidays but I've not been restricted to those for a few years now, so I may be a bit out of date on that.










userAlphonsoDeLard
Posted: 17 June 2009 1:57 PM
Subject: RE: france
 


Having a look around

Posts: 30
25
Location: Derby


Thank you all for the advice... I seem to have taken over this thread a little... Apologies to the original poster...

I'll take a look at the motor home threads when I get home tonight... If I carry on browsing the camping forums my boss might start to get a little suspicious at my lack of work today

Edited by AlphonsoDeLard 2009-06-17 1:57 PM
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