European trip advise

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    My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe starting next spring hoping to last 6-9 months, maybe more. We want to spend some time travelling down the atlantic coast surfing, some time immersed in local cultures throughout Europe and as much time away from civilization as possible exploring mountains/forests etc. We intend to free camp where possible to stretch our budget/trip.

    Has anyone got any really useful tips on van preparation for a trip like this and recommendations on what spares are good to carry?

    Can anyone recommend any free camping gems that are particularly beautiful or secluded?

    Where might be a good place to stop for a while and maybe pick up a bit of work in the summer?

    Any other useful tips for long term trips?

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  1. long trips
    For peace of mind check your insurance, most will give you 90 days tops and recovery services even less.

  2. Early birds
    If you’re going in early spring, you may find some French Municipal sites where you can stay for free as they won’t be officially open at that time.
    Many sites are closed anyway if you are too early, particularly in Spain!

    Have a great time!

  3. Hi Tim
    Take a look at the

    Hi Tim

    Take a look at the free camping guide for some tips

    If you intend to be self sufficient then you need to be well prepared in several areas.  I would recommend:

    1.  Having leisure batteries, 2 if possible so you don’t drain the engine battery

    2.  Carry lots of water, it is easy to use even a large supply with washing etc.  It’s annoying to have to drive from an idilic stop just to get water.

    3.  I always carry spare radiator hoses.  They can burst at any time, and are fairly cheap.

    4.  Keep a supply of tinned/dried food in your cupboard, for when you find the ideal spot and you don’t want to leave.

    5. Take plenty of bedding and clothes if you are going to mountain regions or staying during the winter.  Camper vans are cold.


    I found some of my favorite spots by lakes and rivers, where few other people stop.  I also loved the north coast of Spain and the the northern and Alentejo regions of Portugal.  Most people stop in the same areas, so with just a little drive you can find a spot all to yourselves.


    For long trips I’d recommend taking plenty of books.  With all the time in the world you can soon run out.  Head down to your second hand book shop and buy loads.  And fishing rods are a good idea.

    For work try the Algarve and south coast of Spain.  Unless you can speak the local languages, then try wherever you like.  If you can sail there is normally work around the marinas.


    Have a great trip.