Subject: VW Campervans & French Aires Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:11 pm
Has anybody had any bother parking up for the night in an "aire" in France? According to the blurb your "motorhome" has to be self contained as regards internal water systems including waste water which our buses , strictly speaking, are not. Any feedback on this would be well received. We are planning a trip in March. Aires seem to be much cheaper than parking at camp sites and some camp sites won't be open at that early in the year.
Cabin : Exec 003 Location : Hove, East Sussex Posts : 1089 Join date : 2010-04-11
Subject: Re: VW Campervans & French Aires Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:56 pm
We stopped overnight last November going down to Paris and on the return, had no problems whatsoever. The Police stopped by about 8am on the first morning and had a chat ( my poor french and thier English) discussing the van, even had a cup of our coffee!! There were toilets and washing facilities, great idea wish we had them over here.
Cabin : Exec 018 Location : Bradford-on-Avon, Wilts and Bristol Posts : 2237 Join date : 2011-09-20
Subject: Re: VW Campervans & French Aires Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:19 pm
There's a lot of info under 'Great Bay Trips' (advice wanted on europe trip), as well as this link to Aires.
Subject: Re: VW Campervans & French Aires Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:59 pm
Cabin : Club Location : Currently Korea (used to be belgium) Posts : 315 Join date : 2009-10-11
Subject: Re: VW Campervans & French Aires Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:55 am
only just signed back into BBF after being away for a while (moved to korea in summer) so not sure how relavent this is anymore to you
Anyways we have used Aires de service du camping cars for the last 10 years on and off.
Facilities depend totally on where the aire is, who owns it and whether privee or gratis
We use a copy of the air de service guide book sold at masters (one of Frances largest campingcar stores) If you are coming in through Calais or Dunkirk then there are branches at Lille, Rouen and Labalette. All are only just off the Autoroutes http://www.masters-france.com/reseau/
Most other camping car stores sell a similar book
There is an ipad app for aires as well but we have found that it does not have full coverage and some have wrong coordinates.
Yes you do need to be self contained in the form of being able to - run off leisure battery, have your own water supply and a way of disposing of water. 90% of Aires have grey water dump facilities so even just a bucket is ok. Black water is different and so a cassette is need for most Aires.
Almost all have a Relais system - so that you can top up water and electricity. some charge some do not but almost all use Jetons (not the same as trolley Jetons for a hypermarche)
Jetons can usually be got for any municipal Aires from the Office Du marie, Hotel d'ville in any town or village. If the Aire is in a parc du Loisir then jetons can be had from parc office, same for camping sites with an Aire.
Water at Aires on the autoroutes is always free
We very rarely use relais services as we tend to pull into camp sites every third day or so and stay a few (an 11 and 6 year old)
The Aire at Bolougne sur mer has a great view overlooking the sea and is only 40 minutes from calais but can be very windy.
We have stayed in some beautiful Aires all over France our favourite probably being outside Troyes at Les Lac D'orient
Toilets, outside swimming shower (great for summer) and 7am croissant delivery.
Other really enjoyable ones can be found almost everywhere - St malo on the Harbour. Orlean next to the castle, Coulliore about the town looking out onto the Med, and Halfway up the road to the Toumalet.
If you can live without site facilities we would highly recommend them as travel stopovers. One proviso thoigh for March is that the Germans and Dutch have already hit the trail in their deleffs motorhomes - they just about exclusively use Aires and know where all the best ones are so they can fill up quickly - we aim to never be later than 3pm at any on a weekend or holiday week.
If you are ever stuck for a park up though head straight to the mayors office - Office du maire - before 4pm and we have yet to be let down for finding somewhere to stay - even if it is just the Townhall car park. When really in luck it is usually a routier restaurant