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Subject Topic: motorhome access to French attractions Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by Ironned17/7/2018 at 8:45am
Outfit:  Benimar Tessoro 483     Location:  None Entered
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We are considering going over to the 'dark side' and swapping our caravan for a motorhome, as due to my husband's ill-health he is finding the setting up of the van increasingly difficult.
Once on site, we like to abandon the caravan and have lots of trips out in the car. I appreciate that you can access shops, supermarkets and the big attractions with a motorhome (we saw lots of motorhomes in the main car parks at Phare de Baleine and St Martin de Re recently for example) but how easy is it in towns or smaller attractions (beaches etc?)
Because of his health he probably couldn't cycle too far even with his electric bike, and we're not keen on the scooter option (although a mobility scooter is a possibility if we get a suitable motorhome); a small car to tow behind is probably outside our budget.


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Message posted by Berriow17/7/2018 at 9:05am
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It's certainly possible - thousands do it as the Motorhome revolution is sweeping France.

Our own answer was to downsize to a smaller caravan with on board water - dump the awning, aquaroll and all sorts of paraphernalia, so that "setting up" became a two minute job - unhitch , wind legs down, plug cable in, open beer.

It means we can keep the car and park in city centre underground car park parks in places like Vannes and Nimes and reduce walking to a minimum. Of course there are Motorhome parking spots - but they are always that bit further away.

I really don't think motorhomes are the answer unless you can walk or cycle or find public transport, but the majority will no doubt disagree.

Good luck.


Message posted by Val A17/7/2018 at 9:45am
Outfit:  Swift Speedbird 490 Mondeo Estate     Location:  West - North Yorkshire
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Our friends stayed with us on a campsite, they in their motorhome and us in our caravan. They admitted that parking was not so easy with having to find longer spaces, visiting supermarkets coild.be a problem with height barriers increasingly common,and they found access to the smaller villages with narrow streets in Provence and the Ardeche was less easy than it had been when they had a car and caravan. It didn't appear to me that 'setting up' took them any less time than us with trying to park it on the level.

Like Berriow we have no aquaroll, and just a small waste water container, and we only.put the awning up if rain is forecast, so Setting up.is just 'arrive, level (easy with a motor-mover) hook up in, steadies down, kettle on, table and chairs outside, sit down and have a cup of tea'. Done! Even our awning setting up is easy with Bradcot's quick erect three pole system.

What exactly about setting up is your OH Finding difficult? Others may have tips to help.

Message posted by SGThomas17/7/2018 at 10:51am
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I have never seen the logic of trading to a motorhome then trailing a small motor car behind. All the problems of a caravan and few of the benefits.

Like others, we have almost abandoned the full awning set up in favour of a smaller, lightweight travelling canopy.
This gives rain protection over the doorway and shade from sun. Water is a 5 litre container for the cup of tea

A couple of foldup electric bikes on the back seat of the car and we are away.

Longest bits of setting up are levelling and then finding the ehu bollard.

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Message posted by Ironned17/7/2018 at 1:57pm
Outfit:  Benimar Tessoro 483     Location:  None Entered
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Thanks Val A - he has Alpha 1 which is a genetic condition affecting the lungs, mainly. He struggles to bend down so even hitching and unhitching is difficult. It's worse in the heat or airless conditions. I've always done a lot of fetching and carrying but had spinal surgery earlier this year so I'm not much use except for running around! ( I can do the steadies sitting on the caravan steps!, and i do the loo and waste hog emptying) We get our set up done ok but it takes longer as he has to stop and rest frequently and is pretty tired afterwards. We have an air awning which we used at one site this year, and I do most of the setting up of that, supervised of course! Any suggestions or configurations greatly appreciated!

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Message posted by Berriow17/7/2018 at 2:46pm
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I sympathise because neither of you are well, but a portable electric drill will wind the steadies up and down in seconds.

We are not spring chickens either so the only water I fetch is to fill the espresso pot or kettle from the nearest tap, and to pour a bottle full into the bathroom bowl for night time hand washing - the waste from that goes into a bucket and is thrown in the nearest hedge. We don't drag water about. For the daytime we pitch close enough to walk and use the on site facilities.

We can't manage even an air awning or a canopy - so we just do without, but as we only caravan overseas in summer that's no hardship. We have given up the fuss of caravan cooking and so we eat lunch out, then manage with cold meats, cheese, salads and fruit in an evening. Life can be very simple.

But we absolutely need a car! Good wishes to you.







Post last edited on 17/07/2018 14:51:53

Message posted by Val A17/7/2018 at 5:25pm
Outfit:  Swift Speedbird 490 Mondeo Estate     Location:  West - North Yorkshire
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Don't forget that in a motor home every time you want to move (on to another site, or to the shops, beach or 'attraction) you will need to pack everything away. And that can take some doing as everything needs to be made 'rattle proof'.

I'd suggest a smaller caravan with a mover, drill for the steadies and a wind out canopy. You'll still have more space than in the very longest of motorhomes. Then ditch the aquaroll and wastehog, and use the site facilities. Fill a kettle and a large jug for fresh water. Try it for just one night somewhere to see how much easier it is.

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


Message posted by saxo117/7/2018 at 7:07pm
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We have had a Motorhome and a caravan and used both extensively,as far as we are concerned packing up or pitching the motorhome is easier and faster than the caravan.
saxo1


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