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Old 03-19-2008, 08:11 AM   #1
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European Travel Question

Dear Friends:

My wife and I are planning to retire in the coming year and hit the road in North America and in France, where we have children and grandchildren. Since we plan to travel for at least two years, we'd like to find our dream 'stream and be able to use it wherever we ramble.

We understand that EU countries have different rules, but are looking for a synopsis of those rules. We don't want to purchase an Airstream here and not be able to take it with us.

Any suggestions? Many thanks.

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Old 03-19-2008, 08:47 AM   #2
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Hello and welcome. We have several memebers from the EU who may be able to help. You might also want to spend some time reading the Global Streaming section of the forum

Sounds like you have a fun couple of years ahead!
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:18 AM   #3
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I admire your courage. I have logged many many kilometers tooling around France and Southern Germany over the years and I cannot imagine doing it while towing.

Many, if not most of the local routes (or for that matter, national routes) have sections (usually transiting villages) that are extremely narrow. There are also many, many fairly tight roundabouts that I believe would be quite the challenge. Of course the Autobahn/Autoroutes are easy as they are designed to accomodate large trucks but they won't get you everywhere you want to go.

That being said, lots of people do it -- just watch the Tour de France and see how many trailers and Class B's line the route. The tend to be shorter and narrower than North American RV's but there are some pretty hefty units.

The shipping might be interesting...

Keep us informed as to what you discover and good luck!

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Old 03-19-2008, 09:19 AM   #4
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Thanks, Janet. I'll take a look. The resources available are wonderful, but daunting.

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Old 03-19-2008, 09:22 AM   #5
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Maybe Bruno will see this

Member brunoffrance is just the person you should talk to. Maybe he will see this post - or you can pm him. Search his posts for some cool fun stuff.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:29 AM   #6
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European Caravan 1956

I can't imagine that the roads in Europe today are any different than when I was there in 1956. Airstream has had other Caravan's to Europe. Of special note is the one that met our African Caravan in 1960.

Roads do not have a tendancy to shrink or get narrow. They remain the same. If anything the major highways have improved and new ones added.

If anything is different is the population growth. Bikes have been exchanged for automobiles.

Anyone going to Europe needs to contact the AAA.

I can't imagine anyone wanting to go to Europe experiencing any highway problems.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:59 AM   #7
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Not that much of a problem-

I'm from Europe, we live half and half and have Airstreams on both sides, my man is American. You have to think like this- busses are 2.4M wide- thats 8', trucks are all over the place. They're just as wide as what you have here- there are no narrow trucks- they're all wide, so if they can run the roads, so can we. My man has a bus from the USA that he did up to travel there, and was previously pulling a 24' Airstream, and the whole rig was 50' long. He drives, not me, but I never see him sweating anything. We're sending our 22' Flying Cloud this season, and probably our 33' Spartan. We're also going to send a long bed crew cab F350 4X4, so that coupled with the Spartan will be a lot of camping caravan to haul.

Campings are tighter there in a lot of places- here they have these big pull through pitches, there, we have lighter caravans that get pushed by hand into the pitch if necessary. My man put a hitch on the front of the bus- so he can steer it in like a fork lift. You should visit the Airstream park in Belrepayre- He's got a great set up for travelers, and its a beautiful place to spend a week or 2- absolutely peaceful and enjoyable. Perry can assist you with your questions as well. My man has all the pitches we've been to in Europe that are easy to park in memorized, so we know when we want to go to a place, he can reserve the pitch in advance.

If you want a good and easy combo, try a smaller Airstream, and a mid size European diesel vehicle- we have 2 BMW 525TDS wagons, they'll pull an older Airstream under 20' without a problem, and we get 1000KM out of about 75 liters of diesel when its not towing. You can also get a nice used G series diesel Mercedes SUV for under 20000EUR. They're built well, and easy to service. Depending on where you tag it, the regulations vary, but in UK, they have NO caravan registration, you can simply attach a dupe of your car plate to the back of the caravan.

If you want to PM me, I'll try and get my man to help you with questions- he's been going there and traveling with an Airstream on his own for 12 years. Keep the EUR to $ rate in mind- the USD is trashed now, and its expensive for you to visit us. Ellie
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:28 AM   #8
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Thank you, EllieZ.

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Old 03-21-2008, 10:29 AM   #9
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aairstreams in france

Hi there
well if you come to France you must look us up we are in the south on the way to spain,if you need any info over here i am happy to be of help also we are having an Airstream meeting here in AUG where you can meet other airstreamers from europe good luck with it all
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