Camping overseas; Europe, New Zealand, etc. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-01-2012, 12:52 PM   #1
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Camping overseas; Europe, New Zealand, etc.

Hi all,
Please share your experience of camping overseas in places such as Europe and New Zealand, as well as others. In our early days we camped all over Europe in a tent with our 1981 Volvo that we purchased with the overseas program. We had a blast! Campgrounds in European countries tend to be an open field of grass that you drive on and set up camp right next to your neighbor. It's very different than camping in the wilderness in the U.S.
Now that we're older we'd like to consider renting a "caravan" or camper and camping that way again. Of course, we'd prefer to bring our Scamp and TV, but that's out of the question.
Thanks and happy camping!
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:03 PM   #2
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Hi: Gilda... Lex and Rita M. shipped their Volvo Wgn. and Biod trailer over from Europe and then followed it on the QE2 then spent 6 months touring N.A. We met up with them on Labour Day weekend in Niagara Falls Ontario and discovered a wonderful campground to hold our Niagara Wine Escape at. Later in the fall they shipped their combo back to Europe and followed it home.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Riverside C.G. Niagara Ont..jpg   Lex& Rita Sept'09 Niagara.jpg  

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Old 12-01-2012, 01:27 PM   #3
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Gilda - google "Take yoUR RV to Europe" - it is a SOMEWHAT dated (early 2000's) self published book by a couple who took their Class "C" MH to Europe. VERY "do-able". Also, send Lex a PM - he will direct youi to his home page, and I am sure will update you on "what it takes". Re: the Aussies, I don't believe you CAN do it with your own tow vehicle. I believe you cannot take ANY "Left hand drive" car into the country. ONLY Right hand drive vehicles. BUT you could either buy or rent a rig.

re Europe - My dauhter lives in central Germany and Michele and I visit on a regular bais. IN GENERAL, our little trailers would work. Her neighbor two doors down has a stickie that looks to be about 16-18' (next time we are over I am going to go chat "caravans" with him...). So OUR size is NOT a problem. In Germany there are what they call "stellplatz" (I THINK the literal translation is Parking Place). These are little, mini overnight sport. My daughter's little villiage has one - room for about 4-6 little rigs. I only cruised in one time. LOOKS like Electric and water. Dunno cost.

In Germany campgrounds are called CAMPPLATZ. WE cruised thru one this summer - MOSTLY folks from the Netherlands in German Campplatz. Next time we are over, I will make iot a POINT to visit, interview and do a writeup for the documents section. Talk to owners / operators of the Campplatz as well as campers.

I am **STILL** hopeful that Michele and I will take our 19' Scamp 5er to Europe. BIG endeavor. BIG.

Hope this helps somewhat.

Alan
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:55 PM   #4
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Here is the link to Lex's story. I assume in there he will have a "contact me" link


Touring North America 2009
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:03 PM   #5
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I will be waiting for your story, Alan. I looked into shipping the VT from Chicago a couple of years ago. I want badly to go to Germany and see the parts where my father's ancestors and my husband's ancestors came from in northern Germany and perhaps meet the cousin who recently contacted me via ancestry.com.

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Old 12-01-2012, 03:53 PM   #6
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Daughter lives just 1/2 hour to 45 min west of Frankfurt in a small villiage just West of the Rhine and south of Mainz (which is across the river from Wiesbaden). BEAUTIFUL countryside. This past trip trip we took our American g'son with us and so we toke him on a Rhine River cruise and had our own rental (There were 7 of us with g'kids and all so we took daughters and our rental). After the cruise, M and i split off and had a nice dinner along the river and "meandered" back to daughters. Along the Rhine we came to a CampPlatz, so we decided to cruise thru. FULL of Netherlanders. Many of the trailers had screened rooms added on w/ fold out tables for dining. We ONLY did a drive thru. Not "brave" enuf (or... "forward enuf???? lol) to just stop by and say Howdy! Next time. The power situation is a little different... there seems to be several power posts scattered aboiut (rather than a pedestal for each spot) and there is a riot of cords, plugs and what-not going from the posts to each trailer. Didn't notice the water situation. Was too busy just gawking and taking it all in.

We will PROBABLY go over in late 2013 or spring of 2014. Something like that.
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:22 PM   #7
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Alf,
Lex's and Rita's trip sounds amazing! No doubt a round trip on the QE2 and shipping a car and trailer would be terrific. I'm sure, for us, it would all be prohibitively expensive.

The Volvo international purchase program was great in that we purchased the car in the US (for a sizable discount and made to California specifications) for Europe delivery and had it shipped back for peanuts. The Volvo people were terrific every step of the way. In fact, we have purchased two Volvos in this manner. Currently we are not in the market for a new car.

Recently we met several German and Dutch people in Canada who had rented RVs there for their vacation.
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:33 PM   #8
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I have thought somewhat along the lines of, after retirement, taking a several months long trip to Europe. Rent or buy used, a diesel VW and a Predom Prespol, and go camp awhile on the old ancestors' farm in NE Poland. Tour around and see the Alps, Italy, France, etc. Then turn in (or sell) the tug & trailer, and fly back home. Don't know if I will actually do it, but maybe. It's a fun dream.
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:47 PM   #9
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I would love it if I could find a way to reasonably rent a travel trailer and tow vehicle and spend months traveling around Europe. It would be a great way to meet people outside of the tourist areas.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dextersp1 View Post
reasonably rent a travel trailer and tow vehicle .

Thereiin lies the issue. In the Take your RV to Europe book, the couple who shipped theirs over put it in winter storage and went back the next year so got TWO summers of travel for the cost of one shipping.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Weinel, Alan View Post
Thereiin lies the issue. In the Take your RV to Europe book, the couple who shipped theirs over put it in winter storage and went back the next year so got TWO summers of travel for the cost of one shipping.
I used to read this UK forum
Caravan Talk Forum

They have some really nice travel trailers that can be pulled by European cars.

Cost wise; I think the only thing that works it buying something there and then selling when you leave.
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:58 PM   #12
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I read a blog where a couple flew to Iceland via Paris (cheap air fare) and rented one of these to travel around the island nation. Looked very interesting, and fun. Wonder if they're available on the continent?
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:16 AM   #13
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As part of the Adventure Learning Foundation, Don and Kim Greene have taken their "Expedition Vehicle" through Central and South America, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Great Britain, and West Africa. You can find out more about their travels at:
ADVENTURE LEARNING FOUNDATION = online learning expeditions or you can contact Don at: dbg@questconnect.org

Don and Kim are good folks with lots of info. We corresponded frequently during the build of their vehicle and their early adventures.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:16 AM   #14
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Camping in Western Europe

I have camped with German friends all over western Europe: Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Scotland... As whole, European campgrounds are fantastic. There are many that are many "open field" ones, but I find the bigger problem these days is the five-star, amusement park ones. Three-star ones are about right for me/us. Because high end campgrounds charge larger per person fees, I have heard stories about people paying over $100 per night for a family of four in a five-star Italian campground, for example.

Just some brief observations:
- hook ups - electric is standard, but water/sewer are not widely available. Water is available but a water hookup is not.
- Bathrooms are generally fine, but at times you may have to pay for shower via a coin or token.
- Generally there are dish washing sinks and maybe even a kitchen available for tenters or all campers. I am always impressed by these facilities.
- The fee structure is odd - You generally pay per camper and/or vehicle then maybe per person too. Just review the fee list before you go.

If you do not want to ship a camper, an option might be the little cabins or huts rented at most campgrounds. These vary from basic sleeping cabins to fully outfitted apartments with kitchens and bathrooms. We have been very pleased with these as a whole.

Look for online campground guides or a copy of a European campground atlas. I have a couple from the UK and Germany, and they are great. The British camp a lot throughout western Europe, so English information is available.

I have found camping in France to be the easiest and probably the least expensive. Towns frequently have MUNICIPAL campgrounds which are low cost. Some of these have stunning locations.

As whole, camping in Europe is as cost effective and relaxed as it is in the US. It is a great way to meet people as well.

Send me a private message if you have specific questions.
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