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 Breakdown cover in France - recommendations please

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stoneyuk

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PostSubject: Breakdown cover in France - recommendations please   Wed May 04, 2011 12:35 pm

We are still working out the logistics of travelling down to Provence in the van and having looked at my current insurers (Safeguard) arrangements, I am wondering if there is anything better out there? Safeguard use the AA to provide 'Fleet cover' for their policy holders for travel in both the UK and Europe but the Europe/France cover is fairly basic. I am also an RAC member and shall be looking to see if they offer a more comprehensive service. In the meantime, your recommendations would be most welcome.
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TimV
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PostSubject: Re: Breakdown cover in France - recommendations please   Wed May 11, 2011 1:44 pm

Can any of you 'foreign travellers' help stoneyuk out with this?

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belgiumbay

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PostSubject: Re: Breakdown cover in France - recommendations please   Wed May 11, 2011 2:34 pm

Hi Stoney

LINKS INCLUDED IN COMPANY NAMES

Reality is that UK standard European insurance is basically all you may get easily or cheaply.. There are a few specialist who deal with the expat community ..mainly diplomats such as Italsure who offer insurance cover and breakdown cover but they are expensive ... a few thousand dollars for good cover but that does include full insurance cover as well.

If you just want breakdown and homestart type cover (is that what the AA still call it?) then any of Europes motor organisations will let you join over the phone when you are in that country. We used it once in Switzerland. But again it is basic restart or tow to a garage type.

For the benelux countries and part of germany VAB - Vlaamse Automobilistenbond this is the flemish automobile club - All their telephone operators speak english and you can join over the phone.

For france the standard cover is with Michelin its called on-way again it can be bought over the phone but the French obviously speak French so you need a fairly good commandMichelin on-way

THough probably the best for the whole of europe and they are use dto dealing with campervans is the German ADAC They can provide full breakdown cover across europe plus you get other benefits. They are used to dealing with the German motorhome community across europe and they will set up membership over the phone in English. Membership also entitles you to discounts on lots of products in Germany and on quite a lot of campsites across Europe.

The biggest problem though that all ABrazilians share in Europe is that very very few VAG will touch them if something does go wrong (under orders from Hanover) and most small garages in europe are not set up to deal with aircooled in any event so getting go return home cover is vital

Especially in france there are not many small service garages most of the french take their car or even large motorhome to the local version of Kwikfit (Feu vert) to have servicing done or to main dealers

Another alternative though we have no actual experience of it ourselves but a few broken brits we have met over the years with RAC comprehensive breakdown seem to have been ok - though even brits with large motorhomes who regularly go on the mainland tend to use ADAC

Hope that helps
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stoneyuk

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PostSubject: Re: Breakdown cover in France - recommendations please   Thu May 12, 2011 11:44 am

Have to say that we are still undecided about whether or not to do this trip in Eva. The purpose of our trip to Provence is to take part in the Gigondas trail race and originally we were going to do the trip by train, until my beloved thought about going down there in the van. It would be a trip into the unknown and that feels rather daunting for us novices. In saying that, I do rather like the sense of adventure attached to doing the journey in the van. If our decision is to drive, then I will think about doing a blog.
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Scooby

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PostSubject: Re: Breakdown cover in France - recommendations please   Thu May 12, 2011 12:06 pm

Go on - Go in Eva - you know you want to
But like a Boy Scout - be prepared Cool

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stoneyuk

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PostSubject: Re: Breakdown cover in France - recommendations please   Fri May 13, 2011 10:29 am

Decision made... YES we are going to Provence in Eva!

Off to Damage Barton this weekend, then onto Polzeath for some surfing and then on down to St. Austell. That should sort out any lurking gremlins.
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stoneyuk

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PostSubject: Re: Breakdown cover in France - recommendations please   Fri May 13, 2011 11:12 am

We are just use body boards, so big surf not too important for us - tried the big boards a couple of times but found it knackering!

Thanks for encouragement.
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stoneyuk

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PostSubject: Re: Breakdown cover in France - recommendations please   Fri May 13, 2011 11:29 am

Tristram camp site I believe, same side as public car park. Used to stay at Polzeath every summer when a lad, as my fathers family lived at Rock. In those days we travelled on the Atlantic Coast Express out of Waterloo, got on the bus at Wadebridge then onto Rock/Polzeath. Had wooden surf boards in those days - which I see are making a come back.
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kiteman

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PostSubject: Re: Breakdown cover in France - recommendations please   Fri May 13, 2011 11:42 am

Woo Hoo! You've made the right choice. Propper road trip. Don't plan too much, just jump in Eva and drive to Province by which ever road takes you fancy that day.
sunny sunny sunny

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stoneyuk

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PostSubject: Re: Breakdown cover in France - recommendations please   Fri May 13, 2011 4:36 pm

Den, thanks for loan offer. Will get back to you on return from the west country.

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belgiumbay

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PostSubject: Re: Breakdown cover in France - recommendations please   Sat May 14, 2011 4:58 am

Hi Stoney

How long are you thinking of taking to get down to provence????

It can be done from Calais/Dunkerque in about 12 hours with decent eating stops in that

Guessing you will be going Reim Troyes dijon Lyon Montelimar

Doing a two day that way is really easy depending on which ferry you get --- early cross from Dover (8am ferry) means you can be in Troyes by about 3 pm in afternoon and there are some really good aire service du campingcar (free overnight camping) A really good one here 48.302295,4.335437 (just paste into google maps) right next to lac d'orient totally free there are toilets, water but no showers though there is a cold water shower at the swiming beech on the lake across the road from the aire. We have used it a few times with the kids as well and its good. Also brilliant fresh bread is delivered i the morning and the croissant armand are some of the best I have had

If you feel like a bit of luxury there are also some great campsites around there.

Cullanary wise Troyes is also the world centre of Sauerkraut (warm with wurst and jambon in it) and Andouillette (tripe sausages - excellent but acquired taste) certanly worth eating in Troyes if you get the chance.

Also for the full journey to Montelimar current payage (toll) is around 70 - 80 euro (obviously more if you leave the autoroute in a region payment)
Using route national is possible (N roads) and slightly more scenic though the autoroutes most of the way are fairly scenic - however unless you are looking at taking a couple of days the going is pretty slow - if youw ant to use N routes then surprisingly going around paris via rouen, orleans and then onto Clermont Ferrant is actually quicker takes about 20 hours in a van because of accel decel at the 1000s of round abouts.

Most brit vdubbers think you save money using route N which is a total myth due to the extra fuel you end up using - we use route N all the time but would take 4 days to get down to provence from Francais Nord

Hope thats of some use



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stoneyuk

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PostSubject: Re: Breakdown cover in France - recommendations please   Sat May 14, 2011 7:21 am

Hi belgiumbay,

Thanks for the very useful info.

We are allowing three days for the journey down to Provence, using campsites along the way. Probably use channel tunnel rather than ferry and Troyes already identified as probable first stopover.

More on return from our Devon/Cornwall trip.
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stoneyuk

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PostSubject: Re: Breakdown cover in France - recommendations please   Wed May 25, 2011 11:04 pm

Channel tunnel booked for 10.20AM Sunday 19 June. Now compiling a checklist of spare parts etc. wondering if I should take spare accelerator/clutch cable? Read somewhere that this is a sensible thing to do. Also read/heard that Brazilian Bay accelerator cables come in two parts. Is this correct and where/who can I get them from?
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