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I am afloat on my floating caravan on the the canal de Vosges and tied up in Charmes.


The wharf is lined with camping cars from all over Europe, parked in marked grass spaces around the size of a camper, water and power is included at the nightly rate of seven euros ( the same as we pay for the mooring).


There are around 50 vehicles here but none have room to put there awnings out, it is sociable here and overlooking the canal but they are very cramped. Is this usual or is because it is cheap

We have a Wilderness trailboat it is the same as a Caravan but it floats, the inside fittings are the same as in many Caravans (Lights,Cooker, Alde heating etc), we stay on Caravan sites (Caravan mode) enroute to and from our chosen destinations,and in France on the return leg for two or more nights due to vet visits. www. wilderness. org. uk

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I think some of us wonder why expensive motorhomes choose to stay in such crowded 'Aires de Service' and I can only think that it's the convenience of being handy for a town or village. I suppose if you're moving on each day then putting out your awning and having space isn't the same priority, but give me a campsite every time.

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We know of a car park in the middle of a large(ish) town in Portugal where camping cars congregate some staying for months. It is in the docks area so no view, no electricity and I don't know where they get water from or where they empty their sewage tanks, meanwhile we were on a small private site around 10 miles away with electricity, water, toilets and showers and (free) internet and cracking views from our huge pitch for just under €6. 00 per night.


I can understand the wild camping spots I've seen with the magnificent views, but many are horrible and I imagine only used to save cash.



Steve (BroGoat)

travel blog - www. adventure-before-dementia. co. uk

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The aire at Charmes is inexpensive - 7 euro per night with hook up and a short stroll to the town centre. The aire is open all year round and is for motorhomes only.


We've stayed there a few times - here.


Aires are not designed to be like campsites with pitches etc - they are for transit stops for motorhomes only - often free of charge - thus encouraging the (affluent) motorhomer to spend money in the community. France has the aires network, Germany has the stellplatz network and Italy has sostas - all three in common with that at Charmes - close to town/village centre, many are free and many open all year.


I am aware of two Italian sostas, one at Lake Garda, 12 euro per night - yes even in high seasons - that have accepted caravans.



Online blog and travels, although sometimes there is a lack of travel due to work!


It's an uncharted sea, it's an unopened door but you've got to reach out and you've got to explore.

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