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4 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

It’s only lorries carrying perishable goods (food) and medical supplies that are allowed on any of the French roads from mid-day Saturday until midnight Sunday into Monday

Thanks MrPlodd-that should help make the Auto-routes even less congested at toll booths and ease overtaking ;-)

9 hours ago, hedgerowpete said:

Park up on the harbour wall as we do

Is that free parking?-If so doe's it also make you a tightwad?....only joking  ;-))

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Did you spot the earlier comment about it being easy to drive from Calais to the south of France on one day. It’s good job he doesn’t have a tachograph registering  his driving hours.

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The French autoroutes are nothing like English motorways. They tend to have very light traffic (except of course near cities etc when they are busy) but for the rest of the time they tend to be much quieter than any in the U.K. You can usually set your cruise control and leave it untouched for long distances. On busy sections near cities they also tend to ban HGV’s from overtaking for most of the working day. That stops them “elephant racing” and leaves the outside lane for the faster moving cars. It works pretty well. 

 

Just be aware that the French seem to like to “ambush overtake”  They come up very close to the back of you and then suddenly swoop out at the very last instant. So you do need to keep a careful eye on what’s coming up behind so you don’t pull out in plenty of time to overtake at the same instant they decide to “swoop”  as they will be expecting you to be crawling up the exhaust of whatever you are closing up on before pulling out :blink:

 

French motorway services are on a different plane of existence to U.K. ones! clean, welcoming, reasonably priced, in fact nice places to stop. 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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7 minutes ago, moorgate said:

Did you spot the earlier comment about it being easy to drive from Calais to the south of France on one day. It’s good job he doesn’t have a tachograph registering  his driving hours.

Yes I did-I'm not totally sure if the contributor meant driving without towing a trailer/caravan...or if the driving was shared maybe? The profile does mention a 2010 caravan.

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10 minutes ago, moorgate said:

Did you spot the earlier comment about it being easy to drive from Calais to the south of France on one day. It’s good job he doesn’t have a tachograph registering  his driving hours.

 

Or something that records his speed!

 

That is just foolhardy, or downright stupid! No-one can stay alert enough over that period of time no matter how experienced. 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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2 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

Just be aware that the French seem to like to “ambush overtake”  They come up very close to the back of you and then suddenly swoop out at the very last instant. So you do need to keep a careful eye on what’s coming up behind so you don’t pull out in plenty of time to overtake at the same instant they decide to “swoop”  as they will be expecting you to be crawling up the exhaust of whatever you are closing up on before pulling out :blink:

I've been caught out by those "swoopers" a few times...that terminolodgy made me smile I always imagine "swoopers" are why I have to clean my outfit so often :angry:

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When we tend to go south, its motorways and toll's, expensive yes, time consuming no. Cruse control on a set speed, only off at congested traffic times and toll's. Always vigilant for the 'swoopers'. As I said expensive, but you build this into the total cost of your holiday. Fuel, Toll's, Time  (I still work, but pensionable date is approaching). On the other hand we do go to the Loire, to a site about 30min drive from Saumur. (Not telling as it's a gem of a site). To get there we go via 'A' roads and not use any motorway, only when its a peripheric, like around Le Mans, then its free. This holiday takes the ferry from Portsmouth to Caen, or Poole to Cherbourg, then drive down, admiring the sites.

It's a thing of horses for courses, long hall, motorways, not so long a leisurely drive, keeping vigilant of your speed, as the police tend to hide in bushes with their hand held speed guns?

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Having started 3 times intending to get to the south we have never managed it furthest I have got is around Limoges we just find  ourselves thinking why move its lovely here and stayed  

and thats why I enjoy caravaning  and also France 

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Calais to Perpignan, using the peage and towing a caravan works out at over €90 each way! And that’s just the peage cost, you have the fuel to add to that. 

 

Makes the £130 VED on my car look good value when you consider all our motorways are free, and before any clever clogs jumps in yes I am aware of the M5 toll.

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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M5 Toll???

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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7 minutes ago, WispMan said:

M5 Toll???

I think he means the M6 toll road north of B'Ham

We find the French motorways relaxing and excellent, little traffic, good road surfaces.

And with an Emovis Tag there is no fumbling to pay at the toll booths - just take the automatic drive throughs.

The services are generally very good although the best we have found are in Austria.

However plan your journey and find the fuel stations just off the motorway for cheaper deals.

As for driving from the Channel to the Med in one day - only a fool would try that and definitely not recommended.

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We used to have two toll's  (M4) to get into Gods given land, but it is now free for all and everyone. For all those that can't go to France, because of the France + issue, your welcome to come to my Green & Pleasant land, but don't forget to abide with the rules?

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35 minutes ago, WispMan said:

M5 Toll???

 

I have fat fingers, and my iPad has a small touchscreen keyboard ;)

 

Yes of course I meant the M6 

 

5 minutes ago, David P said:

We used to have two toll's  (M4) to get into Gods given land, but it is now free for all and everyone. For all those that can't go to France, because of the France + issue, your welcome to come to my Green & Pleasant land, but don't forget to abide with the rules?

 

Wow! You live in Israel then? 

Edited by Mr Plodd

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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12 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

I have fat fingers, and my iPad has a small touchscreen keyboard ;)

 

Yes of course I meant the M6 

 

 

Wow! You live in Israel then? 

Mr Plod

You can call it Israel, if you want. I call It home:) (Have you ever visited, not Israel!)

For our main holiday of 2021, if we are not in a 3rd lockdown by then, we are going to Gods affiliated land of Anglesey. (Listening to our 1st minister Mr Drakeford, Staycation, Staycation) France, perhaps next year or 2023?

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8 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

It’s only lorries carrying perishable goods (food) and medical supplies that are allowed on any of the French roads from mid-day Saturday until midnight Sunday into Monday

The downside of this is that it can be very difficult to find a parking spot in aires when looking for somewhere to stop! Full of parked up lorries.

John M

2017 Skoda Superb Estate 2. 0 Tdi 190; 2014 Swift Challenger 530SE + Powrtouch Evolution

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9 hours ago, David P said:

Mr Plod

You can call it Israel, if you want. I call It home:) (Have you ever visited, not Israel!)

 

It was meant as a joke man!!

 

Yes I have visited Wales, on many occasions, Swansea,  for anyone who thinks its an old run down industrial town (as I did) I can confirm it’s a very modern and vibrant city, we love going there. In addition we have visited  Mumbles The Gower, and a good few places in North Wales as our daughter lives within the grounds of Powys Castle! 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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Don't mention Anglesey. Everyone will want to go!

 

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15 hours ago, moorgate said:

Did you spot the earlier comment about it being easy to drive from Calais to the south of France on one day. It’s good job he doesn’t have a tachograph registering  his driving hours.

15 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

Or something that records his speed!

That is just foolhardy, or downright stupid! No-one can stay alert enough over that period of time no matter how experienced. 

I have posted a similar comment in the past and we have driven the length of France with the caravan in a day when higher cruising speeds were permitted on the Autoroutes. In France we used to typically tow on Autoroutes at around 70mph (112Km/h) when conditions permitted. What people tend to overlook, is the fact that the driving can be shared by swapping drivers at refuelling  stops and comfort breaks. On long straight empty sections of road the speed can safely be increased, but it is also necessary to reduce speed on downhill sections, and when in areas where there may be cross winds. With forward planning, long distances can be covered safely without breaking any rules, or the drivers becoming fatigued. Before anybody asks, yes I have had a blowout on the caravan at 70mph when I ran over a 1/2" bolt on the road, and the event was drama-free allowing a safe and controlled stop. 

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan and Motorhome Talk.

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7 minutes ago, MalH said:

Don't mention Anglesey. Everyone will want to go!

 

As long as everyone has proof of the double vaccine on whatever (NHS app don't work in Wales, waiting for a Welsh update). And keep the required distance (diffrent to England) & you wear your masks, until told otherwise, you are all welcome. More revenue,  better for the Welsh economy 😀.  £ spent investing  in Wales not € if you could go to France?

Mr Plodd

Lucky daughter ( Powys Castle).

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16 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

French motorway services are on a different plane of existence to U.K. ones! clean, welcoming, reasonably priced, in fact nice places to stop. 

 

often the case but not always. We love the small ones but their larger services are often just like ours but without the choice.  We've also had a few times where we've pulled off the peage and simply had to pull back on due to over-capacity

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On 20/07/2021 at 16:19, jan69c said:

 

fwiw ...

Hi Jan69c / Ian,

We are from Leeds and have done the return trip to the South of France near to Nice in the last 5 years.

My tips :-

QE2 (Thames) Toll bridge can be very busy at commute times but little choice really.

Euro Tunnel.  We use & would strongly recommend consider the Tunnel crossing for speed of travel and option to nip onto an earlier or later Train - often 3 or 4 per hour. Our fastest crossing was 55 mins total from the UK motorway onto French Motorway. Allows for making some way down France on the same day as departure.

It can assist to speed up the trip to use the French Motorway Services / Aires rather than sites. NB The Motorway un-manned Aires are pretty risky for night stops. The bigger services we have found a bit scruffy (un-like some on CT) and we have seen all sorts of prowling suspects wandering around - we dont ever leave the unit un-manned and go on alert when calling in even for fuel or a day time stop off / coffee.

With a total trip of c.1100 miles it's not easy to condense into a two day run unless 2 drivers or brave. 

Having sited in the South of France the pitch prices can be expensive e60 / e70 / e80 / e90 per night and the whole area is very chaotic & traffic log jammed in mid summer. Equally the Motorway up & from Paris is noted for heavy going at holiday times - beware.

Would seriously re-consider the merits of just a 10 day stay / trip with 4/6 days of heavy driving to build into your schedule unless you like a challenge.

Be good to hear a reply / response ?

M  

Await critic and more thread drift .....

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The Op was last online on Wednesday @ 17:59 so I guess they are just watching this topic unfold.....

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54 minutes ago, montesa said:

fwiw ...

Hi Jan69c / Ian,

We are from Leeds and have done the return trip to the South of France near to Nice in the last 5 years.

My tips :-

QE2 (Thames) Toll bridge can be very busy at commute times but little choice really.

Euro Tunnel.  We use & would strongly recommend consider the Tunnel crossing for speed of travel and option to nip onto an earlier or later Train - often 3 or 4 per hour. Our fastest crossing was 55 mins total from the UK motorway onto French Motorway. Allows for making some way down France on the same day as departure.

It can assist to speed up the trip to use the French Motorway Services / Aires rather than sites. NB The Motorway un-manned Aires are pretty risky for night stops. The bigger services we have found a bit scruffy (un-like some on CT) and we have seen all sorts of prowling suspects wandering around - we dont ever leave the unit un-manned and go on alert when calling in even for fuel or a day time stop off / coffee.

With a total trip of c.1100 miles it's not easy to condense into a two day run unless 2 drivers or brave. 

Having sited in the South of France the pitch prices can be expensive e60 / e70 / e80 / e90 per night and the whole area is very chaotic & traffic log jammed in mid summer. Equally the Motorway up & from Paris is noted for heavy going at holiday times - beware.

Would seriously re-consider the merits of just a 10 day stay / trip with 4/6 days of heavy driving to build into your schedule unless you like a challenge.

Be good to hear a reply / response ?

M  

Await critic and more thread drift .....

M,

I now accept that my holiday needs to be longer than originally planned.  However I am not planning on going peak season.  I paid 70 EUR a night for a pitch back in 2009, in the Loire valley. I have done 4 different crossings to France and the tunnel is by far the quickest. I would however book the cheapest and plan around that.  I know some caravanners are happy to overnight on the motorway aires, personally I wouldn't. 

 

I am now looking at taking the trip over 21 days, and as my good lady is starting a new job, that has to be taken in to consideration too.

 

Thank you for your input 

Ian 

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17 minutes ago, jan69c said:

M,

I now accept that my holiday needs to be longer than originally planned.  However I am not planning on going peak season.  I paid 70 EUR a night for a pitch back in 2009, in the Loire valley. I have done 4 different crossings to France and the tunnel is by far the quickest. I would however book the cheapest and plan around that.  I know some caravanners are happy to overnight on the motorway aires, personally I wouldn't. 

 

I am now looking at taking the trip over 21 days, and as my good lady is starting a new job, that has to be taken in to consideration too.

 

Thank you for your input 

Ian 

Booking a combined ferry and/or train journey with your campsite through one of the caravan clubs could save you a large chunk of cash too :-)

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2 hours ago, jan69c said:

M,

I now accept that my holiday needs to be longer than originally planned.  However I am not planning on going peak season.  I paid 70 EUR a night for a pitch back in 2009, in the Loire valley. I have done 4 different crossings to France and the tunnel is by far the quickest. I would however book the cheapest and plan around that.  I know some caravanners are happy to overnight on the motorway aires, personally I wouldn't. 

 

I am now looking at taking the trip over 21 days, and as my good lady is starting a new job, that has to be taken in to consideration too.

 

Thank you for your input 

Ian 

For Us living in Wales it does not make sense to tow all the way to Kent for a 30 min tunnel trip or an hrs ferry crossing, then to drive all the way back across France.

Wales to Poole or Portsmouth, then to Normandy, down to Le Mans, then off to wherever you are in the Loire.

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