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Parking for a Winnebago RV


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Having read peoples replies to our last posting and had time to think, we have now come up with the option of buying a Winnebago and traveling over to France for 6 months maximum.  In this time we would hope to discover if it is really what we want, how we would support ourselves - (that should say what work could I find) and also a chance to look at different regions and properties.

Obviously to enable us to do this we would need somewhere we could park up for short term stopovers or even long term ones if we discover an area we particularl like.

Does anyone know of any caravan or camping parks that are open all year round and don't charge the earth.  The Winnie will be fairly self sufficient,having its own generator, water and gas - so for a start just somewhere to park overnights would be helpful.

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We did a similar thing - sold our UK house, put all our stuff into storage, hitched out motorbike trailer onto the back of our camper, then set off for France to look for a house here.  We spent three months in the van whilst waiting for the conveyancing to go through.

Most French campsites are closed out of season but there are all-year ones - do a Google search.  There is also a national network of aires de service - parking areas specifically set aside for campers where you can stay overnight and empty tanks, etc.  These are either free or subject to a few euros charge.  You can buy a directory of aires at supermarkets and camping shops.

French campsites are usually very busy in the holiday season, so you need to book well in advance.  Similarly, if you are planing a stopever at an aire, you'd need to get there by late afternoon to get a spot.


The biggest drawback with buying a large Winnebago type of vehicle is it's size and weight.

  • Many small town and village centres have a 3,5 tonne weight limit, so you'd be effectively barred from entering them. 

  • Winter camping could be a problem - sites probably won't let you park on grass because if it's damp, the van will bog down.

  • Aires de service are generally quite small and a big van won't usually fit in the designated parking spaces.

Our's is a 7.1 metre Hymer at 4,6 tonnes, and that's quite big in French camper terms. 


Most continental vans come in at 5-6 metres and under 3,5 tonnes. In fact we have some English friends who have spent the last four years touring Europe and living in their 5 metre van.

Perhaps you might want to rethink what you actually need in terms of living space and facilities before commiting to such a large vehicle.


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