The LongRoadSouth

Trotter

Full Member
“LongRoadSouth. A motor home route through France to Spain.”

I read this on another site, “ OutAndAboutlive.
This will be my first time in the van into France,Spain and Portugal. As a result I’m looking for as much help as I
I can get. The author is giving their chosen route from the ferry port at Calais into Spain.
It would be a great help to me, if someone with recent experience,would read the piece and give me the nod, or suggestions as to a better route and associated stopping places .
I’m not sure of the etiquette of putting up pieces from other sites on here. If I’ve made a mistake, I’m sorry, but I do need the advice, if only to ease my mind. The road trip is getting ever closer, and scarier. First solo over the water.
I’ve put this on another thread on MH. Just giving it its own thread and a “bump “.
 

WillyO

Full Member
“LongRoadSouth. A motor home route through France to Spain.”

I read this on another site, “ OutAndAboutlive.
This will be my first time in the van into France,Spain and Portugal. As a result I’m looking for as much help as I
I can get. The author is giving their chosen route from the ferry port at Calais into Spain.
It would be a great help to me, if someone with recent experience,would read the piece and give me the nod, or suggestions as to a better route and associated stopping places .
I’m not sure of the etiquette of putting up pieces from other sites on here. If I’ve made a mistake, I’m sorry, but I do need the advice, if only to ease my mind. The road trip is getting ever closer, and scarier. First solo over the water.
I’ve put this on another thread on MH. Just giving it its own thread and a “bump “.
Hi Trotter I will be following your posts closely as I will be in the same situation when I take my first trip in a van South . Done it on a motorbike in 2016 but it's much easier to turn around than the van. Good luck and stay safe buddy.Willy.
 

jagmanx

Full Member
Easy to say "do not worry" but I suggest that is the case..
Our first trip to France (2013) was at times a bit fraught
1 No calor available
2 Going into silly town centres
3 TomTom giving silly routes
4 Trying to go too far
5 Not stopping early enough in the day

So beware of the above
But having revisited France (and Germany) since.. They are great
No experience of Spain but others will help with that.

We avoid French Toll roads (cost)
The alternatives are fine..just be wary that in some villages there are narrow sections and you can meet an oncoming lorry.
Check you route every day (night B4) using both your satnav and something like Maps.me.
Planning as I think you imply !
 

Minisorella

Moderator
Exciting times Derek!
I'm sure you've already looked up this sort of thing but there's a useful checklist here.
https://www.drive-france.com/checklist/

Can't help for Spain - although many others will I'm sure - but that lot saw us through France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg. We added a towrope, toolkit, first aid kit, plastic gerry can and a selection of European gas-filler adapters. You'll also need somewhere safe to keep documents and money if you can't always carry them with you. Google translate is a great app to have on your phone, so you can take a pic and instantly translate those pesky parking regulation signs, etc... very useful for getting by with general words and phrases too. We kept the hi-viz tabards velcroed on the back of the driver and passenger seats, so they were clearly visible. Oh and I got into the habit of using Google Maps to back up or double-check the route my satnav chose because it didn't always behave itself so sensibly abroad as it always does at home for some reason. Don't mean to be disloyal but, together with our own POIs, that well know park up app worked very well for us too all over the place.

Bon voyage and have fun! (y)
 

cronkle

Full Member
Just had a quick look at the article and would say that if you followed it you can't go far wrong. Rouen is the only part of the journey that I would give extra comment to. The route in that area is a good one but do not worry to much if you get it wrong there - very few people have not gone wrong there at one time or another but the Ponte de l'Arche route is fairly sound. (Try Street View for that part.) Other than that it is an easy but long drive - your choice about toll or non toll roads and your sat-nav will sort you either way. Have fun!!
 

Minisorella

Moderator
Just had another thought... there's a great series of books by Dorning Kindersley Eyewitness books called "The Back Roads of France", Spain etc. They highlight and guide you through routes that take you off the main tourist tracks to see things that you'd otherwise miss. I bought one for Lee and Linda when they first went to France years ago and they loved it so much, they returned the compliment by buying me the same one for Germany last year. Fabulous books.
 

Trotter

Full Member
Exciting times Derek!
I'm sure you've already looked up this sort of thing but there's a useful checklist here.
https://www.drive-france.com/checklist/

Can't help for Spain - although many others will I'm sure - but that lot saw us through France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg. We added a towrope, toolkit, first aid kit, plastic gerry can and a selection of European gas-filler adapters. You'll also need somewhere safe to keep documents and money if you can't always carry them with you. Google translate is a great app to have on your phone, so you can take a pic and instantly translate those pesky parking regulation signs, etc... very useful for getting by with general words and phrases too. We kept the hi-viz tabards velcroed on the back of the driver and passenger seats, so they were clearly visible. Oh and I got into the habit of using Google Maps to back up or double-check the route my satnav chose because it didn't always behave itself so sensibly abroad as it always does at home for some reason. Don't mean to be disloyal but, together with our own POIs, that well know park up app worked very well for us too all over the place.

Bon voyage and have fun! (y)
Done pretty much what you suggested and maybe I’ll park four the night.lol.
 

Trotter

Full Member
Just had a quick look at the article and would say that if you followed it you can't go far wrong. Rouen is the only part of the journey that I would give extra comment to. The route in that area is a good one but do not worry to much if you get it wrong there - very few people have not gone wrong there at one time or another but the Ponte de l'Arche route is fairly sound. (Try Street View for that part.) Other than that it is an easy but long drive - your choice about toll or non toll roads and your sat-nav will sort you either way. Have fun!!
Thank you, that’s a great help. I tend to over think stuff sometimes.

Although, some would say, “You? Think? Hi Nabs lol.
 

Trotter

Full Member
Just had another thought... there's a great series of books by Dorning Kindersley Eyewitness books called "The Back Roads of France", Spain etc. They highlight and guide you through routes that take you off the main tourist tracks to see things that you'd otherwise miss. I bought one for Lee and Linda when they first went to France years ago and they loved it so much, they returned the compliment by buying me the same one for Germany last year. Fabulous books.
Demi is beginning to look like a mobile library atm. I’d never say no to a second hand book. Only kidding,honest.
 

Carrerasax

Full Member
Sure you’ll be fine. Nothing to be scared of, not that I speak from a solo perspective.
Much less traffic than here.
I’m not a big planner, just set distance/place goal usually not doing more than circa 200 miles a day getting there or back then 50/60 when there!!
Enjoy.
 

Trotter

Full Member
Sure you’ll be fine. Nothing to be scared of, not that I speak from a solo perspective.
Much less traffic than here.
I’m not a big planner, just set distance/place goal usually not doing more than circa 200 miles a day getting there or back then 50/60 when there!!
Enjoy.
I’ll be doing a bit more than 200 miles a day,until I get to Spanish coast, then as you say, 50/60 a day would be plenty. Thanks for posting.
 

oppy

Full Member
As already mentioned, avoid toll roads like the plague. The journey south through France is a wonderful experience, the little villages and towns will ensure that it will take you twice as long to get down to Spain, they are so delightful that you can't help stopping there for a while. Away from the cities most towns and villages seem to be blessed with "Aire de Camping car" areas (http://en.airecampingcar.com/ http://www.airecampingcar.com/aire_camping_car_recherche.php) some even have leccy !! free !! The only advice here is to try and arrive no later than mid afternoon and have a backup available just in case. In Spain it is on occasions difficult to avoid the odd toll road, but they are cheaper than France and the Spanish are a tad more tolerant of wild camping but in some areas there seems to be a little hardening. The main thing is to take your time and enjoy the journey, don't try to do to much driving each day, we've found that the getting there is almost as enjoyable as arriving there
 

Ed on Toast

Full Member
Hi Trotter,

I was where you are now, some 4 months ago. About to venture over the channel for my very first time in a campervan.

I was luck that 'The' Full Member kindly offered to meet up with me in Belgium and 'Hold my Hand' for my first few days.

He, 'The' Full Member, told me it was all really simple, and he was totally correct.

Make sure and it sounds you have, to take all those important 'things' you may need:

Documents (you and vehicle)
Money
Access to more money
A navigation app/system you are comfortable with
Enough data so you can check out places on route (drive in the morning, park up and explore in the afternoon, feet up and reseach tomorrow in the evening)
Some dry goods, just as a fall back
Pocket phrase books or Google translate
If you driving solo, maybe Rova Viva
Gas? Have you what it needs to refill/exchange (refill is by far the easiest)
A kit of all those things: Hi Viz, beam deflectors etc...
Torch
....

This list could go on a little more or maybe it is enough.

Next do as you are doing read the forum and chat to some who have been doing it for many years. They can give you awesome insights. You can also do this as your travelling. If you update them, they will k ow where you are and offer great visit advice.

I too have the DK books guides to the relevant coutries and the back road guides, they are great reading but Google is also awesome, free and not as bulky.

Try not to rush France, it is an awesome place, back roads, fresh bread every day, aires, everywhere.

So, turn up the music (Pink Floyd) and enjoy the ride


:)
 

Trotter

Full Member
Hi Trotter,

I was where you are now, some 4 months ago. About to venture over the channel for my very first time in a campervan.

I was luck that 'The' Full Member kindly offered to meet up with me in Belgium and 'Hold my Hand' for my first few days.

He, 'The' Full Member, told me it was all really simple, and he was totally correct.

Make sure and it sounds you have, to take all those important 'things' you may need:

Documents (you and vehicle)
Money
Access to more money
A navigation app/system you are comfortable with
Enough data so you can check out places on route (drive in the morning, park up and explore in the afternoon, feet up and reseach tomorrow in the evening)
Some dry goods, just as a fall back
Pocket phrase books or Google translate
If you driving solo, maybe Rova Viva
Gas? Have you what it needs to refill/exchange (refill is by far the easiest)
A kit of all those things: Hi Viz, beam deflectors etc...
Torch
....

This list could go on a little more or maybe it is enough.

Next do as you are doing read the forum and chat to some who have been doing it for many years. They can give you awesome insights. You can also do this as your travelling. If you update them, they will k ow where you are and offer great visit advice.

I too have the DK books guides to the relevant coutries and the back road guides, they are great reading but Google is also awesome, free and not as bulky.

Try not to rush France, it is an awesome place, back roads, fresh bread every day, aires, everywhere.

So, turn up the music (Pink Floyd) and enjoy the ride


:)
Think I’ve ticked off everything you’ve listed. I’ll have to look up Rova viva, going to do that as soon as I’ve posted this. Unfortunately I don’t have a red short wearing guide to hold my hand, he can’t be everywhere.
Money. I’ve no wish to sound flash, but l’ll have in excess of £30. 20 franc and more pesatas than I’ll ever spend, can’t remember what the Portuguese currency was.
Will be taking my time through France on my return. I have the need for sunshine.
Pretty sure the van will be a Pink Floyd free zone.
Thanks to everyone for taking the time to help.
 

oppy

Full Member
But whatever, do have a truly wonderful time and just as an aside, buy your duty free booze in Spain it's so much cheaper than France, yes even French wine too. We are so excited for you--enjoy
 

Trotter

Full Member
Rova viva.
Just googled that. Is it a dash cam? I’ve got one on my Garmin. Should be okay with that. I’ll have to work out how to save stuff to my iPad.
I’m sure someone will be alone soon to tell me how. Hint, hint.. You reading this Nabs?
(He’s blanking me atm, give him a little time, and he’ll not be able to resist the challenge, bless him) 😂
 

Trotter

Full Member
But whatever, do have a truly wonderful time and just as an aside, buy your duty free booze in Spain it's so much cheaper than France, yes even French wine too. We are so excited for you--enjoy
Don’t be shy. Two twins are better than one. We don’t mean quads 😜
 

Pauljenny

Full Member
Look on our sister site. Forum European Travel.. There's loads of info in there..
.
Particularly in a long running, still active thread.. Spain/ Portugal...where are you...?
You can contact current travellers on it and maybe meet up.
 

Pauljenny

Full Member
Do you really want to drive all the way through cold France.. ?
Consider ferry to Caen, .. Don't forget your Hi vis vest !
 
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