Taking off in Toronto, Canada. Photo taken April 28th.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

Where are they going next? Cabri Regional Park, Saskatchewan, Canada. Arrive April 29th.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Free overnight motorhome parking...what a great concept!

There is a great system of free motorhome parking in Europe. The "Aire" system began in France, and has slowly expanded throughout Europe, and even into the UK.

The word "aire" means area in French. These free motorhome stopovers are called "Aire de Service Camping Cars" in France. Now, they are commonly called "Aires", even though there are different words for them in Germany, and Italy for example.

There are over 2,500 aires in France...and apparently over 3,000 in Germany.

These aires are specifically for motorhomes and campervans...no travel trailers or tenting allowed.

They vary in size...sometimes only space for two RV's and sometimes space for 25 or 30 rigs. They are usually free, but sometimes charge a small fee if there are more services available. There is usually water and a dump station available, but some also supply electrical outlets and wifi. They are almost always located within the limits of a town or city. It's that municipalities way of saying "come and visit our town and maybe have a meal or do your grocery shopping here".

There is usually a time limit.

And very important...you are not camping! You are simply being supplied a place to park overnight. No lawn chairs, no awnings, no BBQs.

Last night was our first time using one of these aires. The one here in Chinchilla is new, and quite large...

Louis, parked at the aire in Chinchilla.
We were the only rig there for most of the day, but another one pulled in later in the evening.

The rules are posted in both English and Spanish.

Water and dump station.

What a fantastic way to welcome motorhomers to the area. We're headed for another aire tonight! There are several good websites for this....one of the better ones is http://www.campercontact.com/en/

Once we got parked up, we went and explored the town of Chinchilla de Montearagon. Like many towns in Spain, there is a castle!

Driving towards Chinchilla, we passed over the autopista.

Getting close to the town of Chinchilla.


Walking some of the alleyways. 

In that photo above, it's not really an alleyway. It's a road....with two way traffic!

We're headed up there!
Funny how the clouds look like smoke coming from the castle.

This castle has an actual moat! Now this is a real castle!

Kevin, knocking on the front door. There was no answer...

Ruth, enjoying the view.

Two cats. What a pretty picture!

This house was built in 1723!

The central plaza.

The town of Chinchilla.

Definitely a worthwhile spot to spend a day wandering around. But, we're heading a bit further south today. There's an abnormal cold front coming into the area and they're calling for temperatures down to -6C (21F) by Monday. We certainly don't want to be around for that, so we're going to explore where it's a little warmer. If that means being with all the other tourists along the coast, then so be it. We don't mind sweater weather, but below freezing is not what we signed up for!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Need more outdoor storage space? This is a great idea...


And in Canada...the highly rated Phillips wet dry shaver is on sale...






37 comments:

  1. Ok Kevin and Ruth I want to go. One question, is the propane system similar on their RV? Like, if I take my motorhome there will I be Able to fill the propane tank. Might as well ask for electricity at the same time. Thanks, enjoy reading you every day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question. The little RV that we are using has exchangeable tanks (they call them bottles here). When empty, we just find a depot, pay €15 or so, and pick up a full one. We have two, so you're never left high and dry.

      As far as refilling an American style motorhome tank? I have no idea, but I'll try and find out.

      Delete
    2. Daniel, we bought our MH when we got to Amsterdam from AB and we have 1 fillable propane (LPG)tank and 1 exchangable. Each country has a different filling system so you have to carry different adapters for the tank. We couldnt exchange our tank outside of Netherlands. You would also need to have a converter to change power from 220 50hz to 110 60hz or solar panels and dont worry about power. You would need a macerator pump to empty holding tanks to be able to use sewer dump - which is sorta like a toilet here. Plus remember American made MHs are at least a foot wider which makes some of these villages tough to get thru! Best to rent or buy one in Europe :) Check out our blog travelpod.com/members/lydanddwayne. We're traveling EU and Morocco for 9 months πŸ˜ƒ

      Delete
    3. Thanks Dwayne for being a little more specific to Daniel's question. You are experts to RVing in Europe compared to us newbies. :-)

      Delete
  2. Very cold here, looking forward to seeing you next month. At least there shouldn't be too many tourists around by the coast at this time of year, mostly those who are escaping the winter here for something a little warmer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking forward to seeing you both as well, hopefully it will warmer here by that time.

      The problem with having tourists around it that they are all down at the coast where it is warmer so it may be harder to find some quieter RVing spots down there but at least we will be warmer.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Sounds pretty much as expected for Ottawa in January.

      Delete
  4. What an awesome idea for the camping areas. I think here in the US, people are too eager to make the "all mighty" dollar to use this concept of camping.
    I love the two cats photo. So precious.
    How much history Chinchilla must have experienced. I can't believe two cars can fit in that tiny space.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, although some of the smaller towns in the midwest U.S. have free campsites in the central area.

      Delete
    2. Oh, and two cars can't fit in that tiny space. that's my whole point. :-)

      Delete
    3. Maybe two donkeys passing each other might work. Ha!

      Delete
    4. And thats what they were pretty well built for back in the 1700's 😊

      Delete
  5. What happened to the local people? I don't see anyone around. Beautiful country and clean, no graffiti too!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not many people around, but I do try and take photos without any people in them sometimes. Yes, this town is cleaner than most regarding graffiti...but there is some.

      Delete
  6. That cold front is hitting all of Europe - they had snow in many parts of Greece that don't usually get any. Stay warm!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, it is unusually cold here but we are surviving. It still beats being back home in Canada right now!

      Delete
  7. Love the concept of the aires, promoting tourism in a great way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Canada could certainly learn a thing or two about promoting tourism in the cities and towns by offering something like this as well!

      Delete
  8. Looks like you are both enjoying your trip. Lovely pictures makes me feel like I am right there with you. Like the free camping idea. Enjoy can hardly wait for the next adventure. Stay warm!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we are both enjoying our trip tremendously, the free camping helps! :-)

      Delete
  9. In 2 recent driving trips to Spain, we learned to park outside the walls of those citadel towns and walk in. Vehicles do not belong in the town centers. Towns/areas not to miss - Albarracin, Baeza/Ubeda, Medina Sidonia, Vejer; we avoided the coast from Nerja to Gibralta, way too crowded. Seek out the Roman sites near the coast and in land near Cordoba.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most of the "aires" are in easily accessible areas for RV's so really there is no reason to drive into the town but as you say it is always better to park outside and walk in. We will try to get to some of these places that you have mentioned thank you for passing them along.

      Delete
  10. We were in Tafraoute, Morooco a week ago and the temps for 2 nights dropped to -5C!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But I bet it is much warm during the day!

      Delete
  11. LOVE the cat photo. I think you could sell it and make big bucks. Gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a beautiful one isn't it! As soon as I saw those two cats sitting there I knew I had to get Kevin to take a picture.

      Delete
  12. The cat photo is amazing! What a neat town to explore!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, we could have lived it that town easily! :-)

      Delete
  13. We love cats! That cat photo is adorable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love cats too! Kevin not quite as much but he did agree that is was a good photo op. :-)

      Delete
  14. As I looked at the photo of Louis parked in the aire at Chinchilla, I thought to myself what a nice spot to overnight, even has a view. We used smaller "aires" in Labrador a few years back, and it is such a great concept. Louis' tanks and the means of emptying are certainly different than what we're used to over here. Geez, fly south in Louis, you guys, and stay warm. (It's winter in NorCal, too, very chilly)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a wonderful spot to overnight at. Emptying the tanks is definitely a lot different to back home but like everything we will get used to it.

      We are headed to the coast for hopefully a bit warmer weather but also more people.

      Delete

We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...