We decided to try something slightly different on our travels in France. We had seen a promotion for something called Camping Car Park (CCP) and decided to test out their claims. The idea is that this French company is buying up derelict aires or patches of land and turning them into a ‘better quality’ aire with security, electronic admission and its own app for a smart phone.
You apply for a card – like a credit card – and load it with euros and then use the RFID enabled card to give you entrance to a site at any time of day or night. The app tells you immediately if there are any spaces free and gives you the location of the nearest site. Usually they have mains EHU and wifi as part of the price. They also have ‘ambassadeurs’ who travel around checking that the sites are well maintained and the guests are happy.
On our drive down to the Dordogne we stopped off at their site in Dreux just south of Evreux. When we arrived all nine pitches were vacant in what was clearly a recently made site with clean tarmac emplacements and neat borders.
The spaces are large and all facilities easy to access. The entry system has two electronic boxes, one to swipe your card against to gain entry and another to top up or purchase a card. Everything seems clean and well maintained. Two other motorhomes joined us during the evening so it’s clearly a system that is well used.
- Guaranteed to know if there is a space
- Clean and modern facilities
- Reassuringly secure
- This park was at the back of an industrial area near a sparsely used railway line so some noise
- The website and app are still being developed so information is minimal
- The Lat/Long coordinates gave us a position at the other side of the railway line so use the postal address in your sat-nav
A lifetime ‘Pass Étapes’ card costs €4. Pitch fees including power and wifi around €10 a night (perhaps €2 more than an unserviced aire.
Find out more:
http://www.campingcarpark.com, +33 (0)1 83 64 69 21
Dreux is much more ancient than I had imagined (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreux) being the seat of an ancient celtic tribe. We had picked it as a handy stopover point on our journey south so we didn’t really know what to expect. What we found was a delightful rural town with lots of local character.
The town is easy to wander through, coming across unusual sights and vistas around every corner. It’s not the sort of place where you would spend a fortnight but it’s ideal as a stopover to recharge your mental batteries in the sunshine.