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Hints and Tips from our first long trip (Latest - 27. Cap Corse Site Review)

johanna

johanna

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5
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sw15
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Cali now sold
Last year I was charged class 2 on french motorways . 5 in total. It seemed extremely expensive. I have nothing on the roof or bike rack. Does it matter which gate you go through? I am going by myself to my son's wedding this year to Aubeterre , on the edge of the Dordogne. Any advice welcomed please . I have a dog and thinking of the Newhaven Dieppe crossing again. Johanna
 
Victor

Victor

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Padstow & Eymet
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T6 Ocean 204
Last year I was charged class 2 on french motorways . 5 in total. It seemed extremely expensive. I have nothing on the roof or bike rack. Does it matter which gate you go through? I am going by myself to my son's wedding this year to Aubeterre , on the edge of the Dordogne. Any advice welcomed please . I have a dog and thinking of the Newhaven Dieppe crossing again. Johanna

Always make sure you go through the car toll booth (under 2m)
 
DM

DM

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Location
Leicestershire
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T6 Ocean 204
Last year I was charged class 2 on french motorways . 5 in total. It seemed extremely expensive. I have nothing on the roof or bike rack. Does it matter which gate you go through? I am going by myself to my son's wedding this year to Aubeterre , on the edge of the Dordogne. Any advice welcomed please . I have a dog and thinking of the Newhaven Dieppe crossing again. Johanna
I had a roof load last year and found it was fairly random as to whether I was charged the under or over 2m charge. I haven’t tried it yet but I believe that a toll tag may reduce the chances of overcharge. You can register the vehicle so if you do get overcharged I believe it is possible to get a refund.
 
flying banana

flying banana

T6 Ocean 204ps manual
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doncaster
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T6 Ocean 204
some cracking top tips in this post . cheers
 
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DM

DM

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Leicestershire
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T6 Ocean 204
15. Gas Life Expectancy
Can't think of any amusing anecdotes relating to gas so a short factual post. How long does a gas bottle last? We happened to have a new bottle a couple of weeks before we set off.

We cooked in the van about 3/4 of our nights away. Partly because I seem to spend my life in hotels and restaurants so eating out isn't really special and partly because we did a lot of our driving in the evenings arriving at sites and stop-overs after most sensible restaurants had closed! We also had teas and coffees for breakfast and usually at least one brew-up most days. I carried a spare bottle but we didn't need to use it. One bottle lasted us our 18 night trip. It feels fairly light now but has certainly still got some life left in it.
Quick update on the gas. I eventually changed the bottle this weekend. Probably done about half a dozen more weekends away ancestries Corsica - so probably about 30 nights in total from a bottle.
 
DM

DM

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Leicestershire
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T6 Ocean 204
4. The Dartford Crossing
I'm sure that regular users of the crossing will think me a complete amateur on this. But I only every use the crossing en route to Dover and it stresses me every time. It is so easy to forget to pay unless you do it straight away. Dartford Crossing, M20, Dover, Ferry , Holiday -Hurrah !!! Oops - forgot to pay............... . I haven't actually forgotten but always worry about doing so. I keep meaning to get an account but have never got around to it. My advice is pay as soon as possible - you can do in advance if you are organised.

At least Mrs DM is becoming much more internet savvy and managed to pay on-line before we got to Dover. We paid for a return journey to avoid any stress on the way home - but of course then neither of us could remember for sure whether we had paid for the return so there was some frantic searching of emails for the receipt.
It had to happen - I forgot to pay the toll on a work trip a few weeks ago. Turns out that you get 1 ‘warning’. A grace period of 14 days after a reminder letter. This only applies the first time you forget though. A colleague just got fined for a second offence.
 
babble

babble

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Brussels
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T6 Coast 150
Great trip report this. Can't wait to go to corsica in my soon-to-be-arriving.

On French toll charges: in my multivan with roof tent, I always just press the 'speak to someone' button if I am charged as class 2, and politely say "bonjour, je suis class un. Es ce que vous pouvez changez pour moi ?" and they change it to class one straight away every time, no problem. They can see you car from where they are.
 
Frankyworthy

Frankyworthy

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111
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Manchester
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T5 SE 174
7. Lake Como
This is completely out of chronological order because we visited Como fairly late on - but I know a few are about to set-off for that region so I thought I'd promote this.

View attachment 23511View attachment 23512

Como is one of the three largest and most famous lakes - the others being Garda and Maggiore. Como and Garda are wholly in Italy whilst Maggiore is partly in Switzerland. We'd been to Garda before so settled on Como for 3 days - it was just a quick stopover on our way home. We had a loose arrangement to meet some friends in Como on the Friday as one of them is Italian and only lives 40 mins from Como. Lake Como is like an inverted Y with Como at the bottom of the south-west leg. We started out looking for campsites around Como - but there aren't really any. There's one lakeside site on the Lecco arm (south east) but most are in the North where the lakeshore is less mountainous and there is a little more flat land. These sites are full of families and are mostly lakeside so are ideal for watersports. In the end we found a little campsite on the hill above Bellagio which is on the peninsula where the three arms join.

Camping Clarke -Hotel_Review-g187834-d5963874-Reviews-Agri_Camping_Clarke-Bellagio_Lake_Como_Lombardy.html

It was a good choice for us. Bellagio is a great location from which you can explore some of the nicer villages by ferry or boat. There is a regular car ferry service connecting Bellagio, Varenna, Cadenabbia and Menagio which are all towards the centre of the lake. Varenna is particularly pretty an unspoiled.

We had considered cycling along the lakeshore but we soon binned that idea - the roads are incredibly narrow and very busy. Its OK for serious cyclists who will be keeping pace with traffic - but not very pleasant for a leisurely ride. We did use the bikes between the campsite and Bellagio - great downhill on the way in - hard work on the way back.

Como is certainly very pretty and scenic. But also busy. The central area was extremely busy with mostly Amercian tourists. Como itself had a more mixed feel with many tourists of many nationalities including Italians. Most tourists don't leave the lakeshore. You don't have to go far up the hill to find tranquility. We had a great day out - Boat to Argengo, cable car up to Pigra (where there is a fantastic marked walking trail through the village, and then a walk back through the forest to Colonno with amazing vistas over the lake in the way down. Then bus to Cadenabba and the ferry back to Bellagio.

Prices for camping are high - 31 Euros per night where we stayed - even higher lakeside according to fellow campers.The ferry and boats are also pricey - approx 4 Euros per person for any trip on the ferry, more for longer journeys on the passenger boats. But the cable car and the funicular in Como are cheap and we had a great meal out with friends in Como for about 15 Euros per head.

We moved to Como itself for our last night and stayed at a camperstop there. great and good value (12 Euros) for one night but I wouldn't have stayed their longer. I'll post more about the camperstops generally later.

For a longer holiday I'd suggest 3 to 4 days per major lake would be good. There are also some smaller ones that are apparently just as scenic but more frequented by locals than on the main tourist trail.

Hope those of you heading this way have a great time.
Hi,
The north of the lake is less crowded and more beachy. You can take a bus or a boat to most places and can cycle quite easily. We stayed in Dongo. Nice site outside village, lakeside view, great ristorante just by it and nice lively village. It’s famous for its WW2 museum. Here it was that Mussolini was arrested fleeing north in 1945. The rest is history and a piano wire collar for him.
 

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