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Old 11-01-2010, 02:59 AM   #1
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We are/will be Europe-bound as soon as we get this house finished and sold.



The Safari Trek Pathmaker Vortec (24’, with the Magic bed in the ceiling) is parked in the drive, just waiting to get on the boat and get started on this adventure.



We are planning on a minimum of a couple of years.



I have so many question and so few answers! I do have, in my hot little hands, Adelle and Ron Milavsky’s book “Take Your RV to Europe.? It is a wealth of information but digging out answers to specific questions isn’t easy. How in the world did we do major projects without the Internet?



If you have any experience with this type of endeavor, just want to give advice, or would like to comment on how crazy we are...please feel free.

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Old 11-01-2010, 05:46 AM   #2
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Not crazy by any means. Have a great trip and enjoy. Where do you go first?

I don't know the caravan (camper in the UK) spots but if you get anywhere close to Clovelly, Boscastle, and Tintagel in Cornwall, it's worth a stop. Also the New Forest (see the ponies), Salsbury Plain (Stonhenge), Glastonbury (Glastonbury Abbey and Tor), Arundel (Arundel Castle, the family home of the Duke of Norfolk), Dover, and then head to Scotland though the weather is going to go interesting in Scotland shortly.

I used to work with a guy that pulled his to Spain every year from Basingstoke, UK.




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Old 11-01-2010, 09:04 AM   #3
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Aloha Al and Linda,

Thanks for the good wishes. We still have not decided if we are going to UK or will just stay on the Continent. We have actually visited most of the places you mentioned and this has been the driving force behind this trip. We have been there but on a schedule...in other words, never enough time to really absorb what we are seeing. We have no schedule, no itinerary, and plan on going where we want and staying a long or as little as we want.

We are checking European ports right now to see which is the best...the easiest and cheapest. We are shipping “roll on-roll off,? which is generally a different animal than the container ports. Finding someone to share information is major. Barcelona is top on the list right now but could change with new information.

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Old 11-01-2010, 10:12 AM   #4
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I do understand the time problem. I lived in Germany in the late 60's and then worked (and eventually lived) in the UK in the mid 90's. That let me see a lot more of the country in both cases, since I had to travel on business around the country. My wife and I were back in Germany in 1998 for 3 weeks as I had to teach in a couple of places but had a long time between each class so we got to wander to Austria, Switzerland, and then eventually winding up in the Netherlands.

Be careful on the Continent with some of the smaller cities. We were thru a couple of places in southern Germany that I'd be a bit reluctant to pull thru due to road clearances, corners, etc. One place we followed a bus into town and got to watch him back up and pull forward till he got around a corner.

If you are in Germany and get a chance, check out Oberammergau and the surrounding area. Oberaamegau is southeast of Munich and is the home of the Passion Play. It's also the home of some really interesting woodcarvers. Near there is a couple of neat castles, Linderhof and Neuscwhanstein, and you will be close to the old Bavarian border. In southern Germany, the Lake Titisee area is kind of neat as that is where there are a lot of cuckoo clocks built into houses.

In Switzerland, the Rheinfalls in Zurich are a good place to visit. Zurich is not as clean as it was in the 60's but is coming back from some really bad decisions made in the late 70s. One of my favorite spots is in central Switzerland near Grindelwald & I think there were camping spots in that area.

One caution that I need to pass along from personal experience, make sure you get the Autobahn toll tags for each country you run the motorways. I got stopped in Switzerland in a rental car that didn't have it. Fortunately, they let me purchase one and didn't fine me otherwise it would have been 200 Swiss Francs plus the cost of the tag (40 Francs) in 1998. I have no idea now but it's worth asking.

I don't know much about the ports but I would imagine that Rotterdam, Barcelona, Hamburg, and possibly Portsmouth/Southhampton have the capability you need. Nice, Calais, and some of the Italian port cities may have that capability as well but I've not been anywhere near those (I spent time in Portsmouth, Southampton, and Hamburg & was in and out of Rotterdam regularly but not anywhere near the port facilities).

Have a great time, post up pictures and experiences as I suspect others may be contemplating the same thing. Maybe doing some articles for various RV and travel publications might help with expenses. Taking a camper overseas might be a good advertising thing for Crossroads as well so I'd hit them for sponsorship.

I'll try to contact some of my old team over there. They have retired but I still have some contacts that may know where they are so I can pose a question or 2 and maybe get you a contact over there. I can't promise anything but the guy in Basingstoke pulled a camper quite a bit, and the one in Hamburg may know someone in the south that has information that would help. The one email I still have that works is a guy near Portsmouth that was a good friend with the other 2 and had contacts all over Europe.









Edited by: WoodcarvingGypsy
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:42 PM   #5
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BKBinITO, I've been trading emails with one of my friends in the UK that pulls a caravan (travel trailer to us). He said that most of the coastal ferries can handle a car/trailer, particularly those going across the Channel but that some of the smaller ferries could have an issue as you need to board them and then make a 90° turn toward the bow.

I don't know if the Royal Auto Club in the UK would be of any help or not. I know that there is an equivalent on the Continent but I can't tell you the designation. I don't know of a Good Sam's equivalent there but then again, I haven't camped in Europe since 1971 so things change a bit (I did mine from a motorcycle and just pulled off into the woods when it was time to park).

Good luck and have fun. As I get more information back, I'll post it up here.

Al


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Old 11-18-2010, 01:16 AM   #6
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Aloha Al and Linda,

I’m not sure why (I think it was the warmer weather at the originally planned departure time) but Barcelona has been selected as our arrival port. We are in Jacksonville, Florida right now, which is a “roll on-roll off? port.

This is about the only thing for sure at this point. We have just discovered the Schengen visa restrictions. Both of our travels in Europe have been short term or on a student visa, so we have not faced this problem.

Thank you for your input. All help is appreciated. BKB

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Old 11-19-2010, 12:38 AM   #7
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Aloha, BKB

I wasn't even aware of the Schengen visa as it appears to have come into being after I stopped going over frequently. Looking at the requirements, I wonder if you could go to the UK (Clais - Dover crossing) and stay there for a bit and return. I've seen that done to avoid tax issues, etc. There is a big expatriot community in Italy and France that may be able to shed some light on this but I have no idea how to contact anyone there. I have seen some commentary on the AARP pubs and web site about that so maybe that could help.

My friend in the UK suggested contacting the equivalent of the AAA or RAC in Spain as they may have some information.

Barcelona looks like a good place to go. I was scheduled to work in the Nice area but the project fell thru a couple of weeks before we were to leave so all my travels there in the last 15 years have been short term, if you can call flying over every week short term.

Have a great time and good luck.
Al



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Old 11-19-2010, 09:14 PM   #8
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Hi,
It seems that you are off for a great adventure.
We lived and RVed in Italy,Norway and New Zealand.
Norway is a paradise for RV, many C.G and small ferries that take you from one fjord to another saving many road miles.
Italy is beautiful but many small towns have very narrow streets and we found ourselves parking the MH out of the gates and walk/bike into town (Bike is a good solution).
We spent nights parking along beaches,gas stations,parking lots,vineyards- no problems .
Here is a good link that might help http://http://www.eurocampings.co.uk/en/europe/
It would be nice if you kept a blog for us to follow.
Have a great trip.



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Old 11-21-2010, 05:15 AM   #9
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Dan, just curious. When you RV'd in Italy & Norway, were you in a US or European motorhome? When I was wandering about over there on business, I used to see caravan parks around but until you sent the link for EuroCampings, I didn't think much about hookups.

This will sound like a really dumb question but from what little I could glean from the web site (particularly on the UK campgrounds), I was able to determine that they had 10amp hookups but no indication about dump stations, etc. There was one that did comment that certain rigs were "unwelcome", an interesting way to discourage bringing certain manufacturers & models.

I camped there in the late 60's/early 70's but from a motorcycle so I did a bit the same as you in southern Germany. I used to just pull off into the woods where I couldn't be seen from the road and set up for the night. Some mornings I wondered just how I got where I was camped and wondered how I was going to get out of there.



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Old 11-21-2010, 07:34 AM   #10
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Hi Al & Linda,
In both countries I rented a local MH.
In Norway it was a Westfalia WV with no toilets,just a small kitchenette .
In Italy we rented a Fiat MH with a bed above the drivers seat with a small ladder to climb up.
It had a chemical toilet , a shower and a kitchenette .
To dump it you had to open a side small door and pull out a plastic canister that closed when being pulled out, we dump to a regular toilet in gas stations,or public washrooms.
We found out that using Italian C.G is a wast of money as they provide almost nothing (bad toilets and showers) so we just camped overnight where ever we could,only in Sicily we used a protected parking lots to camp as we were concerned about our safety.
I have to add that all this was 10 years ago and things might have changed.
I still think that Europe is beautiful and worth the trip but everything is small especially in the Cities.
I would suggest you to join Europe RV forum and ask questions that they will be able to answer better than me, here is one link but I am sure that there are others www.fodors.com/community/europe/rv-in-europe.cfm

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