Planning to journey Europe in a Campervan? Feeling a bit overwhelmed and daunted by vanlife in Europe? Need to be sure to don’t neglect something on your journey?
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Don’t worry- we all know precisely how you’re feeling. Earlier than we set off for Europe for the primary time, we felt barely terrified (in an over-excited kinda method). And all of it labored out wonderful. (Aside from forgetting to convey any fuel. And dropping all our contemporary water. And burning out our brakes coming down a mountain. You recognize, little issues like that…!)
However we’re nonetheless travelling Europe by van two years later- so it could’t be that tough!! 🙂
I promise you, a bit of little bit of preparation will make all of the distinction. That’s what this information will provide help to with- making ready for Vanlife in Europe!
How you can journey Europe in a campervan
So, you’ve purchased your camper van. You’ve packed, adjusted and repacked your campervan. You’ve made listing after listing after listing. You might need even spent a number of nights away in your van. You’re feeling able to set out and tackle the world. (Or, you already know, Europe.)
If you happen to’d like some extra steering on street journeys and van journey, we now have some incredible guides and checklists that will help you get began in our FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY- click on right here to verify them out!
And don’t fear when you’re renting a camper and haven’t even seen it yet- you’ll be simply wonderful when you observe the recommendation beneath. It’s completely attainable to choose up a van and take it straight on an epic street journey journey.
Vanlife Europe – the boring, however oh so important paperwork
Sorry, however this paperwork stuff actually is important. I promise it will get extra thrilling afterward!
We’ve been stopped twice, each instances close to the ferry at Caen, France. I like travelling in France in our van, however the French police close to the UK border do appear to like to pounce on campervanners who could have forgotten some important paperwork. Or who break the velocity restrict. Don’t let that be you!
Fines should be paid in money there after which; no- they don’t present any proof when you’ve been caught dashing. It’s their phrase towards yours. If you happen to don’t have money, you’ll be escorted to the closest money level and requested to withdraw the correct quantity.
Additionally, don’t count on them to have change. Our wonderful was for 90€, and we solely had 20€ notes… fortunately one other one who was stopped occurred to have 2 x €10 notes, in any other case we’d have been going to the cashpoint 15 miles away behind a police automobile!
To the police’s credit score, we supplied to provide them the additional 10€ simply so we might be on our method, however they wouldn’t take it.
On-the-spot fines are widespread in all international locations, besides Eire the place the Police should not authorised to gather fines. Some locations, like Croatia, offer you 8 days to pay. Different locations, like when you go campervanning in Portugal, give their law enforcement officials an ATM to ensure fines are paid instantly!!
A very powerful bits of paperwork are:
- V5 Logbook (yep, the unique)
- If it’s a rent car, proof that you’re allowed to drive and cross borders
- Insurance coverage
- Legitimate MOT
- Driver licence (pink half solely)
- Worldwide Driver Allow (if required- learn the put up when you’re unsure)
Different gadgets you have to carry for Vanlife Europe
- UK sticker hooked up to the again of auto or reg plates (and trailer when you’ve got one)
- First assist equipment– do you know it’s unlawful to NOT cease at an accident in France and plenty of different locations in Europe?
- Warning Triangle
- Hello-vis jacket which should be simply reached with out leaving the car (or getting off a motorcycle!) We advocate carrying not less than 2, ideally one per individual.
- Motorhome velocity stickers for some vans
- Spare mild bulbs- difficult when you’ve got LEDS however we stock a few random previous bulbs only for present
- Headlight deflectors as our UK headlamps are pointing the ‘unsuitable method’ for European roads-
- Radar detectors are forbidden EVERYWHERE in Europe.
- You may additionally want a pink/ white striped reflective board when you’ve got bicycles or a motorhome storage field.
Campervan route planner- Planning a route round Europe
Europe is superior to discover by camper, nevertheless it may also be daunting. We advise planning a unfastened route, so you already know the place you’re headed however go away time to discover locations you discover alongside the way in which.
We prefer to preserve a word of locations we discover or hear about on Google maps and use these factors to plan our subsequent journey. However you possibly can preserve a easy listing in your cellphone which you refer again to everytime you want inspiration!
Touring Europe in a campervan – Discovering locations to remain
Most individuals travelling Europe in a camper are doing so on a finances. Due to this fact, you have to discover low cost, or ideally FREE locations to remain. That’s referred to as wild or free tenting.
You’ll be happy to know that Europe is MUCH higher at offering locations for vans to cease for the evening, not less than in comparison with the UK (though Brit Stops helps.)
Listed below are our favorite methods to search out locations to remain for the evening:
This free app is what we primarily use when touring in Europe in our van. There are LOADS of locations marked appropriate for campers, vans or motorhomes to park for the evening. Some are paid (and marked as such), some have services and others are completely wild tenting spots in the course of nowhere.
Most locations have critiques and pictures so you possibly can see the place you’re staying- we keep away from anyplace that doesn’t.
Phrase of warning- some websites/ aires have guidelines towards unmarked/ unconverted vans. If that is you, learn the critiques fastidiously so that you just’re not requested to maneuver on while you arrive. Or use the locations marked ‘Nature’ on the app- there shouldn’t be anybody there who cares.
France Ardour is a group of native companies throughout France, which provide free in a single day parking for vans, in return for a meal/ buy some wine at their store. It’s purported to be utterly with out obligation, however we’ve heard tales of a tough promote. It really works nice when you’re planning to eat out anyway, however when you’re attempting to save cash, Park4night could be a greater possibility for you.
If you would like extra data on how we choose our locations, right here’s a video we did explaining our course of:
Is wild tenting authorized for campervans in Europe?
Typically. There are totally different guidelines in several international locations. For instance, wild tenting is illegitimate in Italy. But you’ll nonetheless discover locations on Park4night the place it’s tolerated. Additionally, the accredited locations (Sostas in Italy) price from as little as 2€/evening.
Wild tenting can also be unlawful in Switzerland- till you attain the Alps and persons are merrily parking without spending a dime in any layby they will discover. My favorite evening ever touring within the van was spent within the Swiss Alps, trying up on the Milky Method, with nothing however the wolves for firm. And it price us completely NOTHING!! You can even take pleasure in wild tenting with a campervan in France.
My recommendation is to try the legalities within the nation you might be heading for. If you happen to’re unsure and never completely happy, transfer on to an accredited cease level. You’ll find extra recommendation on wild tenting in Europe right here.
Aires- Authorized Locations for Campervans, excellent for vanlife in Europe
Europe is NOT just like the UK and Motorhomers/ campervanners should not handled like a nuisance- most cities make wonderful provision for them and you’ll keep in clear, fairly places inside simple strolling distance of city centres or points of interest.
These locations are referred to as Aires (France and Belgium) / Sostas (Italy)/ Stellplatz (Germany) For the sake of ease, let’s name all of them aires for now.
You can not pre-book Aires- they function on a primary come foundation. A campervan will match properly into all of them except you have got a trailer- a number of the areas will be fairly tight. Some aires have guidelines towards unconverted vans/ vans with signage staying- you should definitely learn the critiques fastidiously (you’ll find critiques on Park4night.
Campervan Journey tips- some important equipment to assist make life simpler.
Is Wifi an important? For me it’s.
I’ve a wifi dongle within the van and it’s BRILLIANT. I commonly have a number of units related to it without delay with out drawback. Sure, sometimes it’s a sluggish connection, however for comfort and power-saving I haven’t discovered something to beat it. I cost it utilizing a 12v charger whereas driving and it simply lasts a few days when wild tenting.
We use an previous, second-hand iPad with Co-Pilot navigation app put in onto it. It’s been nice and we love the offline map function.
If you happen to don’t need an app, these campervan sat navs are superior and really useful- notably when you’ve got a much bigger, taller van.
Additionally, watch out the place you mount your sat nav. Many international locations now say it’s unlawful to have the satnav mounted on the windscreen or blocking the motive force’s view. We use a mount on our dashboard, the place it’s low sufficient to not trigger any issues. Listed below are some choices you might like:
Journey Europe in a Campervan- POWER necessities!
One of many joys of touring Europe in a campervan is the liberty. We love having the ability to park in distant places for days on finish. Having to discover a campsite each evening so we had electrical energy would actually smash that! (To not point out blow our vanlife finances!)
The answer is an inverter (and presumably an influence pack relying on how energy hungry you might be.
We cost while we’re driving by operating the inverter as we drive, which expenses the laptops. We cost telephones/ iPads utilizing USB sockets within the cab.
Photo voltaic Panel
We do have a photo voltaic panel onboard, which actually helps once we’re wild/ free tenting with a camper. It helps prime up our batteries and permits us to remain off-grid within the van longer.
We use Gaslow refillable bottles, that are so helpful and make getting fuel as we journey a lot simpler. There are many locations throughout Europe to purchase refillable fuel and you utilize it identical to a petroleum station; some petrol stations even promote LPG fuel.
If that isn’t an possibility on your campervan, be sure to get a equipment with numerous nozzles, so you possibly can simply swap between the several types of bottles out there.
Europe in a campervan- Recommendations on Security
112 will be dialled anyplace in Europe in an emergency, accident or misery state of affairs.
Thieves & Safety
Vanlife safety is especially about widespread sense (and at all times leaving an space if you’re unsure.) We’ve stayed put twice, even once we had doubts and each instances we’ve ended up regretting our choice.
We don’t journey in our van with any jewelry, little or no cash and only a few gadgets of worth. We attempt to minimise the danger as a lot as attainable, however on the similar time it’s important to get out and benefit from the locations you go to; in any other case, what’s the purpose. Set up a very good lock in your camper, each for outdoor and for inside. We additionally like to make use of a steering lock as a visual deterrent.
Important Ideas for Touring in a van in Europe
The place to get water and waste whereas travelling Europe by campervan?
If you happen to’re not planning to make use of campsites (and also you don’t must!) there are a number of choices for getting contemporary water and eliminating waste. PLEASE don’t simply dump your black waste when you’ve got a rest room onboard- there are many locations to eliminate it hygienically.
Many service stations (additionally referred to as aires, confusingly!), present a motorhome service level. Typically this prices 1-2€ to get all the things you want. We discover these utilizing the Park4Night app- there are masses all through Europe. Some aires even have disposal points- once more, you usually must pay for them.
Sidelights while driving your camper
Sidelights should be switched on within the following international locations at ALL instances:
Low Emission Zones in Europe
Watch out of low-emission zones and areas which require a congestion cost or related, like Paris and London. These locations are sometimes clearly signed however it may be simple to be caught out. We attempt to Google every metropolis earlier than we go to, or park properly exterior and catch a prepare in.
Vignettes in Europe
Additionally, you want a Vignette for Motorways/ toll roads in Switzerland and Austria.
Driving on the unsuitable facet of the street!
Driving on the right-hand facet is just not as scary because it appears! Promise.
Don’t neglect some (VERY few) roundabouts in France nonetheless give precedence to folks coming ON to the roundabout- so when you’re already going round it’s important to cease and allow them to on! (Don’t ask- it’s a French factor!!)
In all our years of driving in France with a automobile and a camper, we now have NEVER discovered one in every of these roundabouts, however we now have been caught out every now and then by a member of the… older… technology driving onto a roundabout with out proper of method, forgetting he has to cease! (I hate to say it- nevertheless it does appear to be the lads who do that!!)
Simply watch out and concentrate when you’re not sure- at all times count on the sudden!!
Touring in a van in Europe- important suggestions for camper van life
Attempt to purchase your Euros prematurely as you’ll get a greater fee. You should use money machines in Europe however there are sometimes excessive expenses for that.
Additionally, don’t neglect that not each nation in Europe makes use of Euros. Listed below are some standard ones which don’t!
- Bulgaria – Lev
- Croatia – Kuna
- Czech Republic – Kurona
- Denmark – Krone
- Hungary – Forint
- Norway- Krone
- Poland – Zloty
- Romania – Leu
- Switzerland – Swiss Franc
- United Kingdom- Pound Sterling
There are others in East European as well- be sure to verify prematurely.
This cross is superior for having the ability to skip the queues if you’re touring Europe throughout Summer time. We love not needing to search out change as we travel- it simply sends us a invoice on the finish of the month. We use Emovis-tag.
Be sure to’re have sufficient medicine for you and any pets. Be ready to elucidate your medicine and show what it’s with a physician’s word or one thing similar- simply in case customs search the van and ask you.
Really, on that word, EXPECT to be searched at customs/ borders. They do search campers and vans lots!
Tyres & Snow chains
If you happen to’re travelling Europe by campervan throughout the winter, you may want snow chains and all-weather tyres. You will get these fitted in Europe with out drawback.
How you can journey Europe in a camper van- Last ideas
I do know the thought of travelling abroad in a van will be daunting- particularly in the event that they don’t communicate the identical language! Nevertheless, none of that is troublesome; you simply have to be organised, which may take a while. Listed below are some last suggestions and inspiration on your campervan travels:
- Study a bit of of the native language. English is extensively spoken round a lot of Europe, however they like it when you make an effort. In any case, you might be of their nation and a bit of respect to them means a a lot friendlier welcome!
- Settle for you’re a tourist- you’ll make errors and possibly appear like an fool. Don’t let it put your off your camper van journey!
- Attempt to ‘sluggish journey’- travelling by van is in regards to the journey as a lot because the vacation spot. This may be laborious while you’re on a schedule, however attempt to not cram a lot in you possibly can’t have a day by the seaside or at a winery when you fancy it.
- Having stated that, perform a little analysis as you journey so that you don’t miss some wonderful locations. We like to select an space after which Google it to see what nice adventures are ready for us! Then we plot a tough itinerary on Google Maps.
- You don’t wish to spend your time with a damaged down camper. Be sure to do these important car checks earlier than you go!
I do know you’ll LOVE having the ability to journey Europe by campervan. Let me know the place you finish up- I’d like to see your footage. Protected travels.
Final replace on 2023-11-30 / Affiliate hyperlinks / Photographs from Amazon Product Promoting API