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UK Caravanning (uk.rec.caravanning) A forum for the discussion of caravanning undertaken by residents of the United Kingdom, whether in the UK or abroad. It encourages the interchange of views on the merits of models of caravan, makes of tow car, accessories, caravan sites, caravan clubs, and other related topics. The term caravan is to include trailer vans, motor caravans and trailer tents.

Camping in a French motorway service area for the night!



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 6th 05, 12:42 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3
Default Camping in a French motorway service area for the night!

Hi,

I've had a large amount of caravanning experience in France, but have
been out of the 'scene' for several years after having taken a number
of package tours and in the last few years owning a property in
southern France which I drive to in one long haul (12 hours door to
door inc. the Ferry!) Not bad going for 600 odd miles.

Anyway. I'm looking to tour a lot of France this summer, but here is
the catch - I'm not going with a caravan, just a tent, and I will be
travelling either in a hired convertable or my 600cc motorcycle. I know
this is uk.rec.caravanning, but thought you people would have the
experience to answer this question!

I'm mainly travelling to do a lot of photography work, therefore I will
be only needing to stay at each area for one night only. What I was
thinking of doing was using the N roads, and then pulling onto an
autoroute, finding a service area and pitching the tent for the night -
cheap, effective and efficient. However, is this really allowed? Am I
allowed to pitch a tent in a service area of France? I've done it once
before when motorcycling down with a couple of friends to Spain, but
I'm not sure if it was breaking any laws or rules. As I'll more than
likely be on my own this time, I do not wish to be woken in the middle
of the night being told to move in French!! I guess I could sleep in
the car, but half the fun is putting the tent up!

When we used to caravan through France, we often stopped at a service
area for the night and on some areas were able to (for a small fee, but
sometimes free) hook up to mains electricity. I know the French are
camp happy, but I'm not sure how welcoming they are when it comes to
tents.

I would be greatful for anyone who can answer my question :-)

Ads
  #2 (permalink)  
Old July 6th 05, 07:01 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Dave Dew
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 218
Default Camping in a French motorway service area for the night!


wrote in message
oups.com...
Hi,

I've had a large amount of caravanning experience in France, but have
been out of the 'scene' for several years after having taken a number
of package tours and in the last few years owning a property in
southern France which I drive to in one long haul (12 hours door to
door inc. the Ferry!) Not bad going for 600 odd miles.

Anyway. I'm looking to tour a lot of France this summer, but here is
the catch - I'm not going with a caravan, just a tent, and I will be
travelling either in a hired convertable or my 600cc motorcycle. I know
this is uk.rec.caravanning, but thought you people would have the
experience to answer this question!

I'm mainly travelling to do a lot of photography work, therefore I will
be only needing to stay at each area for one night only. What I was
thinking of doing was using the N roads, and then pulling onto an
autoroute, finding a service area and pitching the tent for the night -
cheap, effective and efficient. However, is this really allowed? Am I
allowed to pitch a tent in a service area of France? I've done it once
before when motorcycling down with a couple of friends to Spain, but
I'm not sure if it was breaking any laws or rules. As I'll more than
likely be on my own this time, I do not wish to be woken in the middle
of the night being told to move in French!! I guess I could sleep in
the car, but half the fun is putting the tent up!

When we used to caravan through France, we often stopped at a service
area for the night and on some areas were able to (for a small fee, but
sometimes free) hook up to mains electricity. I know the French are
camp happy, but I'm not sure how welcoming they are when it comes to
tents.

I would be greatful for anyone who can answer my question :-)



Cannot really give a definitive answer but we often spend a night in the
caravan at one of the 24 hour service 'Aires' .
We park with the lorry drivers and have often seen people sleeping in cars.
I have never seen anybody using a tent but knowing France as I do I am sure
nobody would object if you were discreet. As you know there is plenty of
room and always karge areas of grass at the 'Aires'. Unless the breaking
of a rule actually infringes the comfort of others the French seem to turn a
blind eye. One of the funniest sights I have seen is on the roadbridge on
the dam across the river Rance. About every 20 metres is a sigh stating
'Peche Interdit'. Against each sign there was propped a fishing rod and
standing beside them the unconcerned anglers, most of whom smoking a fag.

Regards.

Dave

  #3 (permalink)  
Old July 6th 05, 07:01 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Dave Dew
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 218
Default Camping in a French motorway service area for the night!


wrote in message
oups.com...
Hi,

I've had a large amount of caravanning experience in France, but have
been out of the 'scene' for several years after having taken a number
of package tours and in the last few years owning a property in
southern France which I drive to in one long haul (12 hours door to
door inc. the Ferry!) Not bad going for 600 odd miles.

Anyway. I'm looking to tour a lot of France this summer, but here is
the catch - I'm not going with a caravan, just a tent, and I will be
travelling either in a hired convertable or my 600cc motorcycle. I know
this is uk.rec.caravanning, but thought you people would have the
experience to answer this question!

I'm mainly travelling to do a lot of photography work, therefore I will
be only needing to stay at each area for one night only. What I was
thinking of doing was using the N roads, and then pulling onto an
autoroute, finding a service area and pitching the tent for the night -
cheap, effective and efficient. However, is this really allowed? Am I
allowed to pitch a tent in a service area of France? I've done it once
before when motorcycling down with a couple of friends to Spain, but
I'm not sure if it was breaking any laws or rules. As I'll more than
likely be on my own this time, I do not wish to be woken in the middle
of the night being told to move in French!! I guess I could sleep in
the car, but half the fun is putting the tent up!

When we used to caravan through France, we often stopped at a service
area for the night and on some areas were able to (for a small fee, but
sometimes free) hook up to mains electricity. I know the French are
camp happy, but I'm not sure how welcoming they are when it comes to
tents.

I would be greatful for anyone who can answer my question :-)



Cannot really give a definitive answer but we often spend a night in the
caravan at one of the 24 hour service 'Aires' .
We park with the lorry drivers and have often seen people sleeping in cars.
I have never seen anybody using a tent but knowing France as I do I am sure
nobody would object if you were discreet. As you know there is plenty of
room and always karge areas of grass at the 'Aires'. Unless the breaking
of a rule actually infringes the comfort of others the French seem to turn a
blind eye. One of the funniest sights I have seen is on the roadbridge on
the dam across the river Rance. About every 20 metres is a sigh stating
'Peche Interdit'. Against each sign there was propped a fishing rod and
standing beside them the unconcerned anglers, most of whom smoking a fag.

Regards.

Dave

  #6 (permalink)  
Old July 6th 05, 11:28 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Dave Dew
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 218
Default Camping in a French motorway service area for the night!


"petert" wrote in message
...
On 5 Jul 2005 17:42:42 -0700, wrote:

Hi
I have seen small tents pitched at aires, but why not help the
economies of small villages by using their Municipal sites. These
provide good toilet facilities and often the camaraderie of fellow
campers.
I have found them as cheap as 5 Euros per night. Excellent value and
with a degree of security not found at aires.

peter


I agree with you Peter. We do not use 'Aires' to save money but as one
convenient stop when travelling the length of France. Usually on the way
home from the south. In fact we always have an evening meal at the 'Aire'
restaurant and then breakfast before we get on our way. It makes the
journey quite simple as we stay on the Autoroute and do not even have to
unhitch. The Municipal sites of France are a wonderful facility and I think
we should use them to the utmost. Motorhomes are increasing in number
every year and many of these tend to use free overnight parking and only
visit the Municipal sites every few days to clean and tidy up.
One evening last year at Blaye on the Gironde I counted 23 motorhomes
parked free on the quayside, behind the sign that read Camping Interdit :-)
Meanwhile up on the ramparts in the lovely Municipal site at about 9 Euros
a night there were 19 of us. If we do not use the sites we shall lose them.

Sorry about the 'typos' in my last post. It was of course - large areas of
grass; signs stating 'Peche Interdit; and I am sure the word should have
been impinges not infringes. I had a late night :-)

Regards.

Dave

  #7 (permalink)  
Old July 6th 05, 11:28 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Dave Dew
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 218
Default Camping in a French motorway service area for the night!


"petert" wrote in message
...
On 5 Jul 2005 17:42:42 -0700, wrote:

Hi
I have seen small tents pitched at aires, but why not help the
economies of small villages by using their Municipal sites. These
provide good toilet facilities and often the camaraderie of fellow
campers.
I have found them as cheap as 5 Euros per night. Excellent value and
with a degree of security not found at aires.

peter


I agree with you Peter. We do not use 'Aires' to save money but as one
convenient stop when travelling the length of France. Usually on the way
home from the south. In fact we always have an evening meal at the 'Aire'
restaurant and then breakfast before we get on our way. It makes the
journey quite simple as we stay on the Autoroute and do not even have to
unhitch. The Municipal sites of France are a wonderful facility and I think
we should use them to the utmost. Motorhomes are increasing in number
every year and many of these tend to use free overnight parking and only
visit the Municipal sites every few days to clean and tidy up.
One evening last year at Blaye on the Gironde I counted 23 motorhomes
parked free on the quayside, behind the sign that read Camping Interdit :-)
Meanwhile up on the ramparts in the lovely Municipal site at about 9 Euros
a night there were 19 of us. If we do not use the sites we shall lose them.

Sorry about the 'typos' in my last post. It was of course - large areas of
grass; signs stating 'Peche Interdit; and I am sure the word should have
been impinges not infringes. I had a late night :-)

Regards.

Dave

  #8 (permalink)  
Old July 9th 05, 10:30 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default Camping in a French motorway service area for the night!

I read with interest your thoughts on using the French Aires, but there
are other issues to consider, twice we have had very bad experiences,
on one occasion there were people trying to enter our locked caravan
via a slightly open window and on another someone loitering around the
outside acting very suspiciously.

But I do agree with you the services that these areas iffer are superb
and put the UK to shame.

We have been travelling to the South of France for many years and have
only noticed this situation for the last couple of years, we now plan
an overnight stay at a local camp site for safety and peace of mind.

Happy holidays!!


petert wrote:
On 5 Jul 2005 17:42:42 -0700, wrote:

Hi
I have seen small tents pitched at aires, but why not help the
economies of small villages by using their Municipal sites. These
provide good toilet facilities and often the camaraderie of fellow
campers.
I have found them as cheap as 5 Euros per night. Excellent value and
with a degree of security not found at aires.

peter


  #9 (permalink)  
Old July 9th 05, 10:30 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default Camping in a French motorway service area for the night!

I read with interest your thoughts on using the French Aires, but there
are other issues to consider, twice we have had very bad experiences,
on one occasion there were people trying to enter our locked caravan
via a slightly open window and on another someone loitering around the
outside acting very suspiciously.

But I do agree with you the services that these areas iffer are superb
and put the UK to shame.

We have been travelling to the South of France for many years and have
only noticed this situation for the last couple of years, we now plan
an overnight stay at a local camp site for safety and peace of mind.

Happy holidays!!


petert wrote:
On 5 Jul 2005 17:42:42 -0700, wrote:

Hi
I have seen small tents pitched at aires, but why not help the
economies of small villages by using their Municipal sites. These
provide good toilet facilities and often the camaraderie of fellow
campers.
I have found them as cheap as 5 Euros per night. Excellent value and
with a degree of security not found at aires.

peter


 



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