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Bit of luck

Total Posts: 67
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Posted: 5 years ago
The caravan goes off to France to live on Wednesday so we thought we'd better give it a final outing and visited a local site for a couple of days.

Unfortunately, the mains electric was off so no hook up and the batteries needed a bit of a charge. I had an idea, and as we have a decent sized inverter on board I plugged in the battery charger and then hooked the charger up to the batteries.

I had been thinking about buying a solar panel, but this system means that we can be independent of mains hook-up and generators without the need for additional expense.
Total Posts: 27
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Posted: 5 years ago
I am intrigued your caravan going off to France to live will you have it on site to use whenever you go to France just wonder if that's really expensive? Would love to tow our caravan to France just getting the confidence to do it with hubby and 2 dogs in tow
Total Posts: 67
Please correct the mistakes below:
Posted: 5 years ago
The cost for storage in the UK - admittedly on an ACCOSA (?) Gold Site - has just gone up to £800 per year and the cost for storing the van, in a barn, in Normandy is 400€ per year. Coupled to which, we save £70 each way on taking the thing through the Tunnel. So yes, it's cheaper.

The downside is that it isn't around for popping off fore the weekend, but as we are fair weather caravanners that isn't a problem, we haven't had any fair weather since late March 2012 so it wouldn't get used here anyway. The other problem is that if there are any problems it's a bit more difficult getting it fixed. Although, I've been getting cars repaired in France for years and there are plenty of old-fashioned mechanics around who are used to wielding a spanner not a lap-top, so it's not that difficult.

We will be taking the caravan down south in June for a few weeks to get some 'sun-shine.' You may need to Google that. And then were thinking about a week or so in September going down to Brittany.

Long term, OK 2014, I want to take the caravan down south and leave it there. Storage is just as cheap and the weather is glorious. Plus, if we decide to have a winter in Spain the caravan is already halfway and gettiong it across France in winter was looking increasingly difficult.

Generally I think sites are cheaper in France than in the UK, but as I haven't been to that many in this country it's dificult to say. As for getting the confidence to do it, that is the tricky bit. Actually doing it is a lot easier.

Granted, I have been driving in Europe and beyond for over forty years, but I still vividly remember leaving the docks at Zeebrugge for the first time and thinking, "What the (add your own expletive) have I done?" Two days later driving on the wrong side of the road and dealing with different languages and currencies was all very normal.

You'll make mistakes, everybody does. Yesterday afternoon, hyaving dropped the caravan at a farm in darkest Normandy I set off back to Calais and my wife said, "So, when did Normandy decide that we were correct and driving on the left is the best way?" Swerve!

So, after forty plus years I'm still making mistakes. I'm still speaking Spanish to the French and German to the Greeks (not that I speak Spanish or German) and getting currency exchanges wrong and all the other things. But it's al part of the fun. (Well, driving on the wrong side of the road isn't).

As for the dogs, they'll love it. There are a few restrictions and things you need to check and precautions you need to take, but our dog loves going home. She was born in France and had a French passport up until a year or two back.

If you can find another couple who also want to venture forth for the first time, that's a good way to go. Much better, in my opinion, than going with some know-it-all, who's done it all before.

One downside though, once you start, you'll never want to stop.