France and Spain first time need help

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    We are off in 4 weeks time to Spain and coming home from France.

    I really need some help on staying cool and dealing with insects.

    WE thought about buying a portable aircon unit and sleeping in the van or weather to take a tent to sleep in. Also we have an ornistor awning (just a simple one). has anyone create or has any ideas on creating a mosquito net to hang off it?

    Finally what about laundry etiquette in europe? In the UK most sites don’t seem to like washing lines. In Australia there are loads of shared lines, but what about Europe? We have a portable rotary dryer, but don’t wan to take it, if it is not allowed to be used.

    Any advice really appreciated.



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  1. Have fun!
    We love France.


    Find some kind of netting. Or sleep in tent using inner tent only.

    Leave washing dryer at home. Line from van to tree is fine. (Travel light!)
    French are very laid back, relax! Wine all day every day! yahoo!!

    Don’t book sites in advance. Stop and start as you feel. Nearly every town has a ‘Camping Municipal’ by law. (old laws!)
    They tend to be clean, quite cheap, relaxed and lots are now private owned and quite ‘switched on’ to tourists and business. Many have their own restaurant attached with a pool or near to one.

    It’s France. Try to speak the language, by local produce at markets, be friendly (No ‘little Englands’ or you will be in trouble!)and lay back and soak up the sun.. and wine…

  2. Mosquito Net
    Protection against biting insects at night in France is a good idea. Heat is not too much of problem in the South of France in the Summer. Find a shady place to park is important.

  3. WhityVan snuggle you must be
    WhityVan snuggle you must be rich !
    It is costing you an absolute fortune to go on the routes you have chosen with BF.
    We started camping in France more than 30 years ago when our children were small.
    You could afford to go on BF in those days. Not any more!
    I have never booked a site in France, and the reason why?
    There are over 10000 campsites in France, mostly Ok, but unless you have been to a site before, you don’t know what it will be like until you see it. If we get to one and don’t like it, we move on.
    Regarding washing lines, no problem, take your gear or do as we do and tie a line from the back of the van to the nearest tree.
    You will also find that quite a few sites have washing machines and driers these days, as well as good dishwashing areas.
    Above all relax, enjoy a wonderful country, with the best lifestyle in the world.
    You have probably heard the expression “laissez faire” – that is exactly what the French do – they leave you alone.
    Have a great time!

  4. WhityVanSnuggle July 20, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Thanks Darren. I was
    Thanks Darren. I was starting to think that if I got some mosquito netting to put round the awning and back hatch, then we could just sleep with the doors open a heck of a lot cheaper and smaller to pack than an air con unit.

    We are going into Spain via Bilbao and then coming home fom St malo in France and have booked sites in Dorgonge and Vendee (Noirmortimer) on the way north. Everything else is a roughly planned but not fixed.

  5. Hi Tamara
    Which part of

    Hi Tamara

    Which part of France are you going too? In June, in 30+ degree heat we found our van fine. No aircon needed. We slept with the windows open.
    Tents get very hot during the day, in the sunshine.

    In Europe campsites generally provide campsites, or more normally allow you to hang lines between trees.

    All the best