Overnight stays in France

Andy and Michelle replied on 04/04/2021 11:23

Posted on 04/04/2021 11:23

We're "hoping" to be able to travel to the south of France later this year in our motorhome.  Of course our hopes raise & fade like the tide at the moment!  We haven't taken the MH before and would be very grateful for members' advice about overnight stays on the way down.  For the first trip we just want the convenience of an overnight stop.  We've read that some motorway service stations might be good enough for an overnight but wondered what members thought?  Probably want to stop somewhere near Reims or Troyes.  Many thanks in advance for any advice.

harryb replied on 04/04/2021 12:27

Posted on 04/04/2021 12:27

For me personally I wouldn't go near a autoroute service area to sleep overnight, They are too noisy with truckers coming and going all night. I always pull off the autoroute and find a municipal site. These are mainly local authority run and offer great facilities for overnight. Most large local towns will have one. Alternatively, with a motorhome, you can use something called an Aire, not to be confused with those on a motorway. I tow a caravan so will leave someone with better experience to explain their use but they are very cheap.

You don't say where your destination but by mentioning Troyes you will be heading for the centre of the south coast. That is a long haul from Calais, about 700 miles so you may want to factor in more than one stop. Troyes if 250 so that leaves you roughly 450 miles left to do. 

A popular overnight with Brits on that route is a site at Chalon en Champagne which is about 200 from Calais. another equal distance stop after that would be Macon.

eurortraveller replied on 04/04/2021 12:30

Posted on 04/04/2021 12:30

You can stay on motorway services if you wish, but, as Harry says, they tend to be noisy with trucks coming and going in the night. There are more pleasant places in just about every town and village - either campsites or aires.

You need decent guides listing them all  - they come in printed book form or as apps, or you can simply look on the internet. The  two towns you mention both have overnight aires and CamperContact.com will show you and tell you what they  are like. 

AnotherDavid replied on 04/04/2021 12:33

Posted on 04/04/2021 12:33

Hi there

Motorway services are much the easiest way to get long distances done saving detours to sites and allowing one to get another couple of hours driving if wanted.. It rather depends upon ones attitude to risk whether you use them I have in the past when time was more limited used them all the way south . I would ignore the "fake news" about gassings  but still play safe and only use the service stations instead of the more lonely picnic areas  and stay close to the HGVs in spite of possibly more noise.  I dont have to use them now but would if required

Edit

Just noticed Harrys recomendation of Chalons en Champage and Macon and have used both myself many times.

WayTwoGo replied on 04/04/2021 12:38

Posted on 04/04/2021 11:23 by Andy and Michelle

We're "hoping" to be able to travel to the south of France later this year in our motorhome.  Of course our hopes raise & fade like the tide at the moment!  We haven't taken the MH before and would be very grateful for members' advice about overnight stays on the way down.  For the first trip we just want the convenience of an overnight stop.  We've read that some motorway service stations might be good enough for an overnight but wondered what members thought?  Probably want to stop somewhere near Reims or Troyes.  Many thanks in advance for any advice.

Posted on 04/04/2021 12:38

You can stay at Aires - not the motorway stops, but places specifically for motorhomes. Perfect for overnighting, there are plenty available. Some are free; some charge; some can be booked, but you have no need to do so.

Have a look at:

https://www.campercontact.com/en

http://www.campingcar-infos.com/

https://www.campingcarpark.com/en_GB/

allanandjean replied on 04/04/2021 12:43

Posted on 04/04/2021 12:43

Hi, I am in the 'no way' camp re overnights on service areas and, if I was to consider doing so, I would soon be posting from just 'A' the 'J' having voted with her feet!

In all seriousness, if you cannot find a village  aire within a short distance of any route you take then there has been a lot of misinformation posted about the advantages of a MH.

AnotherDavid replied on 04/04/2021 12:51

Posted on 04/04/2021 12:43 by allanandjean

Hi, I am in the 'no way' camp re overnights on service areas and, if I was to consider doing so, I would soon be posting from just 'A' the 'J' having voted with her feet!

In all seriousness, if you cannot find a village  aire within a short distance of any route you take then there has been a lot of misinformation posted about the advantages of a MH.

Posted on 04/04/2021 12:51

A&J

I have not used them in France recently but have a couple of times done it in central Spain away from tourist areas where sites are thin on the ground. We had one memorable evening  near Honrubia where after a 400 mile run from France we parked up among the trucks, had a meal in the restaurant and capped it off watching France get knocked out of the world cup.smile

In the morning we were alone and hadn't heard a truck leave.

allanandjean replied on 04/04/2021 13:11

Posted on 04/04/2021 13:11

Hi David, We have only ever spent one night enroute not on a site and that was due to being stuck on the ferry due to an issue with unloading.

My point was that, for the OP, in a MH, in France why would they need to stop on a service area unless that is their preference.

Our now abandoned trip to Italy this year was going to be the first using our new regime of travelling a max of app 200 miles a day, as opposed to a max of 400, albeit that was only once across Spain, and a norm of 300-350.

Even in France I had to resort to Google map searches etc which is something I presume would not be the case when you can use aires. 

AnotherDavid replied on 04/04/2021 13:28

Posted on 04/04/2021 13:28

Agree its not ideal and our policy is campsites  but if I had to use a motorway  I dont think I would feel any less safe than on one of these village Aires we are told about.  We have since 17 been taking the long crossing to Spain . Prior to that we had a delightful municipal exactly where we wanted but when it  closed (delayed opening until June)  we found it hard to replace..

DavidKlyne replied on 04/04/2021 14:04

Posted on 04/04/2021 11:23 by Andy and Michelle

We're "hoping" to be able to travel to the south of France later this year in our motorhome.  Of course our hopes raise & fade like the tide at the moment!  We haven't taken the MH before and would be very grateful for members' advice about overnight stays on the way down.  For the first trip we just want the convenience of an overnight stop.  We've read that some motorway service stations might be good enough for an overnight but wondered what members thought?  Probably want to stop somewhere near Reims or Troyes.  Many thanks in advance for any advice.

Posted on 04/04/2021 14:04

We have been going to the South of France since 1992 on and off although not in the last few years. I have these maps on my website that show both the Lyon and Clermont Ferrand routes to the south with suggested campsites. See here http://www.davidklyne.co.uk/the_route_south_2.html 

Might be worth looking at Vicarious Books and consider a motorhome Aires book rather than an Autoroute Service Area.

David

WayTwoGo replied on 04/04/2021 14:16

Posted on 04/04/2021 14:04 by DavidKlyne

We have been going to the South of France since 1992 on and off although not in the last few years. I have these maps on my website that show both the Lyon and Clermont Ferrand routes to the south with suggested campsites. See here http://www.davidklyne.co.uk/the_route_south_2.html 

Might be worth looking at Vicarious Books and consider a motorhome Aires book rather than an Autoroute Service Area.

David

Posted on 04/04/2021 14:16

The three links I gave above are, I think, better than the All The Aires books sold by Vicarious Books which by no means list "all" the Aires. They also go out of date quite quickly whereas the websites are more up to date.