There are many reasons that you might want to share a motorhome with friends or family but if your group is bigger than six people or indeed if you just want some space to yourself, travelling in convoy is a great solution.
A campervan convoy combines all the freedom of the open road, an ever-changing view and spontaneous decisions about what to do each day with the comfort of your own private space. If you fancy a day on your own, you can even head in different directions then meet up again later on.
The most common convoys we see at France Motorhome Hire are pairs or groups of friends with each couple taking their own Sky 20 motorhome. The Sky 20 offers a large dinette with generous seating for four so even if the weather does not permit sitting outside on the comfortable outdoor furniture, two couples can still socialise and dine together in total comfort.
Many campsites offer communal indoor areas too where bigger groups can get together and often provide large communal barbecues surrounded by picnic benches so get-togethers are easy to arrange.
Travelling in convoy requires a little more planning than travelling in a single motorhome or campervan as being able to park next to each other is important. You either have to book campsites ahead or be prepared to start looking for somewhere suitable for the night fairly early in the day.
Our top ten tips for planning your convoy with others are:-
- Make sure the people you are travelling with are interested in seeing and doing some of the same things as you! If you are interested in exploring World One Battlefields and they want to hit the south coast and lie on the beach all day it won’t work too well.
- Get together before your trip and decide on a rough plan of where you want to go and make sure everyone agrees about how much you want to try and fit in (don’t do too much planning as the spontaneity is very much part of the charm of a motorhome trip!).
- Agree dates and book your motorhomes early so you get the dates you want and are not hindered by availability issues. It’s a good idea to avoid the mid-summer months when travelling in convoy as everything from campsites to restaurants are busier then.
- Plan a trip that does not cover too many kilometers. Driving in convoy definitely adds time to journeys and the number of stops you have to make for anything from comfort breaks to buying to new gas bottles is multiplied by the number of vehicles in the convoy. Planning a trip that does not involve driving for too much of each day will take the pressure off and you will have a much more enjoyable time. Planning to stop for a couple of nights at a time is an even better idea and likely to be the most relaxing option.
- If you are in a big group and planning to dine out, book restaurants ahead or call in early in the day to secure a table.
- If you are on a tight budget or if there are lots of special dietary needs in the group and you don’t want to dine in restaurants too often, create a rota so each couple or family shops for and prepares their fair share of the meals or courses. If anyone in the group does not cook, make them responsible for wine buying and washing up!
- Before you set off each day, make sure everyone knows your destination so if someone falls off the back of the convoy they can find you later. A GPS in each motorhome is really good idea too and takes the stress out of losing sight of the person you are following.
- Make sure there is a phone in each motorhome and that everyone has all the phone numbers in the convoy (preferably with French sim cards to avoid high call charges) so you can contact each other to discuss changes of plan etc.
- If you are arranging visits to chateaux, wine tasting or any kind of guided tour in a group of six or more, call ahead and book to make sure they can accommodate you.
- Allow time to make plans together daily (preferably over a glass of wine) and make sure everyone gets their afternoon nap, walk, internet time or whatever they personally need to relax.
Travelling in convoy with a group of friends or family is great fun and there is no better country in the world for it than France where there are thousands of campsites and wonderful places to explore together. Plan your campervan convoy now and discover a great new way to share the fun of group travel yet retain total flexibility and independence throughout your trip.