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Subject Topic: am i barking mad?? Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by tinallkn4 on 29/2/2012 at 12:25am
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ok.. so have never owned a motorhome before.. but now looking for a reasonable 6 berth coachbuilt. liking the layout with the fixed bunks a the rear.. but has to be under the 3500kg weight restriction.

so... with new van in the not so distant future (fingers crossed) i have just looked at the price of travelling to france via eurotunnel in august and was amazed how cheap it is compared to the ferries!

as we have children.. we will have to be travelling during schol holidays. so... i thought we could take a nice leisurely drive from isle of wight, via mainland to south eastern spain to visit my parents for a couple of weeks .. in AUGUST!!!!

i have never really driven on the right.. only getting my mother out of some small, tight village roads in spain.

OH wont drive (he might change his mind.. but i wont be expecting it!)

and we have 2 teenagers (16 and 14) and a 10 yr old.. and a 4 year old with special needs

ooh and then there is the slight problem of taking the dog too... think i should look into getting him jabbed etc!

we dont want to do tolls.. or too many motorways...

we have the whole month to take in, but would like to stay at my parents for approx 2 weeks!

any advice?? (apart from "dont do it!!")

 



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tina xx
mum to 5 kids
DD-20
DS-16
DD-14
DD-9
DS-3 and a half!
and a large, daft, black dog!!

Don't forget to leave a review of the French and other European campsites you have visited!


Message posted by happybonzo on 29/2/2012 at 6:52am
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have fun - it's not as difficult as it all sounds

Message posted by roofie41 on 29/2/2012 at 7:33am
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Go for it!
You will have a wonderful time I'm sure.
Planning is the key I would say - lists, lists and more lists.
Have you thought about a practice run in it during June half term?
I would do it without hesitation, in fact am seriously considering selling everything up and just going!!!

Good luck and enjoy.

Ruth

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Make the most of every single day - you don't what's around the next bend!

Message posted by SW307 on 29/2/2012 at 7:48am
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It must depend what ferry crossing you look at, we're going on the tunnel with our van for the first time this year and it's 276. We had enough Tesco vouchers to bring it down to 66 so booked. We could have got a Dover to Calais or Dunquerke cheaper. Sounds a good trip though. Use the search facility to find out about first time in France etc, lots of good information.

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Sandra



2014
April - Malaga & Granada 4 nights
Spring Bank - Ireland
Summer - Prairies de la Mer South of France
October - Lakes




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Message posted by Tentz on 29/2/2012 at 8:00am
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To help you back to sanity. Try looking again at ferry prices & you will see Dover ferries are somewhat cheaper than Eurotunnel, using Tesco vouchers will reduce the price tho.

To buy a secondhand motorhome that would comfortably sleep 6 people & get you reliably across Europe you are looking at 40k minimum, under 3.5t will be very cramped & probably not achievable with 6 people & luggage.

Why not use the car you already have & get some Quechua popup tents for your trip, a projected saving to you of 39,800?

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Love Tentz.!...

Message posted by SGThomas on 29/2/2012 at 8:00am
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Are you barking mad? Yes but then is everyone else on this site.

It is relatively easy to get down to Spain toll free (just select toll free from the satnav). Many of the "aires" are free for an overnight stop, and practically every town has a free overnight discharge point for thw campervan.
.
Sites like   Guide Officiel and ViaMichelin should help in the planning.

If in doubt, just go for it

-------------
Stuart


April/July 2014 awandering we will go
Aug/Sept 2014 Normandy/Brittany
      

Message posted by Val A on 29/2/2012 at 8:08am
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Roofie41 says 'planning' and lists - well we're just the opposite - we hardly plan at all.  We book a ferry (with a caravan definitely cheaper than the Eurotunnel) early in October, when the Caravan Show offers are avaible.  This year you could book a car and caravan for 58.00 return, or motorhome for 38.00 return.  We buy our Camping Cheques, and ACSI card, and have a decent detailed map - and just go for it!  We arrive in France, with only a vague idea of destination, buy a map and head for the best weather.  One year the vague intention was Italy, but the four day forecast was for torrential storms, so we turned right instead of left at the bottom of the Rhone Valley and went to Spain instead!

French roads are mostly OK for driving without tolls - though there are some sections where it makes sense to avoid city centres, and built up areas, etc  and you can generally spot them on a map.  There are campsites, and for you motorhome aires, in many small villages and towns, and you can always find somewhere to stay wherever you are.  In northern Spain I would say to use the autoroute - the 'coast' road down through the Costa Brava takes much longer than you think, and whilst it's picturesque in the northern part, the southern end towards Barcelona is just one seaside suburb after another,  so I would stick to the toll routes in that area.

You need to sort the dog out soon and check out the regulations.  I think there used to be a six month period after the vaccination/blood test - not sure what applies now as we've dropped the idea of taking our pet (cat) to Europe.  However, read it all up before you build yourselves up and find that taking the dog is a No No for this year.

Have a look at the 'pinned' thread above, which is advice for 'Continental First-Timers' - lots of useful information in there.

Lastly, just enjoy it and report back on here when you come back.


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Message posted by sunshinetours on 29/2/2012 at 3:45pm
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I guess you know your own children better than anyone. Do you think they will enjoy it, especially the 4 year old with special needs?

As for what vehicle you choose I would have thought something reliable and within that weight range that will effectively comfortably sleep nearly 5 adults and a small child is a big ask?

Also one of you only driving will be tiring. Why not aim for next year and trial your new toy iover here and maybe closer to home on the continet for first time.

We are all different but I do think where children are involved sometimes you do need to take a step back and say "is this really right for us?"


Message posted by savanne1 on 29/2/2012 at 6:00pm
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Tina, having met you I have no doubt whatsoever that you would have a brilliant time and cope no problem. Its a great idea.

I can highly recommend a film called RV to get you in the mood, it is hilarious. But in all seriousness I say go for it girl. The roads in France are less busy, its so motorhome friendly compared to the UK. Before we bought the caravan we took the inlaws motorhome to France three summers in a row and had brilliant holidays.

I will have to give you serious teasing if you buy a motorhome, you traitor to canvas



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Thistledown Easter
Nantcol June
Domaine du Verdon Castellane and Etoile d'Argens Frejus Aug

Message posted by tinallkn4 on 29/2/2012 at 9:08pm
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well.. i think i have done the natural progression!! i started in a small poly tunnel tent... upgraded to a bigger one... then a HUGE one!!! then fell in love with the dream of a bell tent, (which got smashed by the shoddy communication with the vendor)... then looked at pyramids but didnt manage to buy one! then went to a cabanon trailer tent, which we luuurve... but now... now the chance of a motorhome... hmmmmmmmm!!!
my kids..
16 yr old has incredible inteligence level and will soak in allllll the information that he gains, and is WELL up for the journey, 14 yr old is my camping buddy, and seriously loves all of it! 10 yr old is bored anywhere, so doesnt really make any odds to her!! 4 year old has a fixation with moving vehicles, so driving is the best thing for him!! he can sit in a car all day and just watch the traffic!!
and yes.. i WILL be giving it a trial run or three , before i set out!!! pfft.. loads of time!!! living on the isle of wight, i dont even have to go far!!

-------------
tina xx
mum to 5 kids
DD-20
DS-16
DD-14
DD-9
DS-3 and a half!
and a large, daft, black dog!!

Message posted by Val A on 29/2/2012 at 9:58pm
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Tina, I took my nine year old and three year old camping in France, in an (I can't remember how old, but VERY old) lime greenLada (yes Lada) Estate on my own, twenty-odd years ago.  I had little money, husband had just left, but I wanted to give the boys their 'normal' holiday.  We just 'went for it'  I had to 'wise up' on the maps once they'd gone to bed, so I was completely confident about driving (no Sat Navs in those days). 

I didn't even know where to fill up with oil, and put too much in which is another story, but we had the most fantastic holiday, and it's still one that my sons remember well.  They're now nearly 32, and 26 - and both camp in France for their holidays!  So just go for it, mad or not, it will be what you make it.  You have more children to cope with, but they sound the sort of children who will enjoy whatever comes their way!

If you don't do it, you may regret it! Life is about what you remember, not what you regret.  We've all got some fabulous memories of that holiday, and that's what counts! 


Don't forget to leave a review of the French and other European campsites you have visited!


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