FAQ

    Here are a selection of  edited answers given to questions posed by readers. 

 

   Planning your route? . Initially we knew we wanted to spend Xmas in Spain, solely because of the weather. So armed with Microsoft auto-route we plotted the shortest route down from Calais which took in Portugal. Then using the Asci camping guide which, is an absolutely must have item, if nothing else because of the discounts you get at camp-sites which accept the Acsi discount card, we picked camp-sites that were near our proposed route or, didn't have us deviating too far from it. We also used Rick Stevens (travel writer) book on Europe and included places he recommended which again, were near or not far off our route. Having said that we chatted, on route, to other campers who gave us info on good camp-sites so we at times changed our route to include those sites. So our route kind of materialised from these four main sources. Planning it in too much detail can take the spontaneity out of just ambling along which is our style.

The Asci camping guide provides all the information you will need about the sites. Including the size of vehicle they can handle which, so far, has proven accurate. Chris said he was making the trip in an American RV. I know there is a camp-site guide book which deals solely with these types of vehicles. This book is available from Vicarious books. Having said that I'm constantly amazed how people, driving these Yanky behemoths, seem to get them in places I would have trouble pitching a six berth tent in. Most of the RV owners that I have spoken to are all pretty philosophical, and never seem to have a problem with the size. The MMM motor home forum is another good source of information.

    What about Internet connections?: This is something again the Asci book provides, in terms of internet capabilities on sites. Almost all have some sort of internet connection and in the main that's wifi, it's very few that don't. Surprisingly the country we found we had the poorest wifi facilities, was in Germany. Cost varies considerably. Some, like this site are free. But many charge by the hour or day and that can range from an expensive two Euros an hour to a reasonable ten Euros for the whole week. I've only used my phone as a modem in an emergency because it's far too costly, £2 for 25mb max download.. I've also used MacDonalds as, throughout Europe, they provide a free connection. However last year I spent £120 on internet connections, so about a tenner a week.

    TV and satellite reception. Many long term campers have satellite dishes and it appears the bigger the better. Some camp-sites can resemble spy listening stations as they can be littered with these huge dishes. We don't watch TV ourselves. But before leaving I did copy all my DVDs onto a stand alone hard drive which I'm able to connect, via a Multi media adapter, into the TV. I would recommend buying a normal TV rather than one that runs on 12 volt. For a start they are cheaper to buy, have more methods of connection and have more screen size options. Freeview is a British TV service and is not available in Europe, though other countries have their own versions. As I understand the system you have to have a Free-sat or Sky box. Some sites, such as the one we are on now provide TV reception on the pitch. You just plug in a co-axle cable and you're away, but that's not common. Here's a good link to all things TV technical by someone who knows his stuff.

 www.motorhomefun.co.uk/tv-satellite/25761-freeview-europe-2.html 

 

Your Photos: I'd like to know where your pics were taken? I am in the process, and will have completed the task within the next month, of using the photo location feature within Picasa, so people will know where each photo was taken.

 

Breakdown cover.   I've been asked a number of times about what breakdown cover I have. There is an issue with getting all year European cover for a car without some time limits. The best I could do was with Asda of all people. They offered me a maximum of six months continuous cover but on the upside they will bring you out a carton of mike and a dozen egg’s when they attend the breakdown.... just kidding. (Only just. Ed).

    Since we had planned to return to the UK every six months that seemed a good deal, but it's not cheap at £130 and it doesn’t cover us while we are in the UK. European Breakdown cover isn't quite such an issue with motor-homes, getting cover, for a year is not a problem.

    Recently I've had some correspondence with a couple of readers on this issue and thought I would pass on their pearls of wisdom and help save you money. God I'm practically a public service!.

    There is a German Breakdown company called ADAC. I did little research into them but was misinformed on a caravan web site which said you needed to have a German postal address to qualify. This, as it later turned out, was only partially right. The German web site doesn’t accept non German postal address but you can send in your UK address via email.

    If you're thinking of European breakdown service ADAC come highly recommended and it's very keenly priced. Cost is around £83 a year for the top cover plus package, there are other cheaper options. This covers you and your partner, rather than the vehicle you are driving, and covers the whole of Europe including the UK. In the UK they have a reciprocal agreement with the AA. They aromatically include caravans (I think he means 'automatically'. Ed.). However they apparently don't cover 'trailers' with more than one axle, so you might want to double check with them.

   www.joysofeuropeancaravanning.co.uk/adacbreakdownservice.htm

If your renting your home out what about a postal  address. You need to have a Uk postal address if you don't have one you might have problems with insurance etc. I use my daughetrs. She opens our mail and scans letters, if I need to see them, and emails them onto me.

Medication. Both hazel and are are on medication. (Its an age thing) A doctor might tell you that he can't give you more than a months suppy of medication which is true up to a point, he can however issues six months supply, thats the maximum. Explain what why you need it and if he doesn't give you it see another doctor. But remember many drugs can be brought over the counter around the world and theres noting to stop you having drugs posted to you..

 

Money:   We use a visa credit card for everthing, it's cheaper. However its not universally accepted, I check frist. You get the rate of the day and our bank, Natonwide, makes no charges for it's use, provided you pay up each month. And if it get stolen and used it's the banks money the crooks  are spending not yours. Drawing money out your debit account does attract charges.