Thousands of Free and Low Cost Motorhome Stops

Camperstop Europe, there is a 2016 edition available now

Camperstop Europe, there is a 2016 edition available now (see end of post)

There are over a million motorhomes registered in Europe, and the continent’s evolved numerous facilities to welcome them, and their spending power, into local communities. Alongside a myriad of campsites, there are thousands of official, or semi-official stop-overs available with more basic facilities. You might have come across the names: aires, sostas and stellplatz, among others. We use these, a lot. In fact in the past two months of travel we’ve not stayed on a single campsite. The locals use them too, they are very popular, especially in the summer months!

The types of stop available in Camperstop

The types of stop available in Camperstop

So how do we find these spots? In a few different ways, one of which is the Camperstop Europe Book, which we only started using last year, but have found it very useful, and great value. The cost of the book is roughly the cost of one or two nights on a campsite, so it earned its keep almost immediately, and wonderfully, it’s all in English! Update: if you feel up to using your school French, the same book is available for £8 less (see end of post)!

The main other resources we use are online databases – park4night.com (various languages) is our current favourite, but we also use campingcar-infos.com (in French) too, both of which we have off line versions of so can look up places without internet access. Books still have their place though – the consistence and accuracy of the data is very good, and they’re easy to reference and browse without flattening gadget batteries, squinting in the sun, or soaking up your Internet allowance.

As we’re on the road, we’ve not been able to update our Camperstop book to the 2016 edition yet, but we will once we stay still awhile. The 2015 edition has 8033 stopovers listed, mainly in Western Europe. The 2016 edition has 8910 stops, and now covers 27 countries. We’ll update this review once we get our hands on the newer book.

Orange is France, Green is Germany and Blue is Italy. There are a serious number of places listed in these countries!

Orange is France, Green is Germany and Blue is Italy. There are a serious number of places listed in these countries!

So, this is how the book works. It is intended for motorhomes – units which are self-contained so have their own water and toilet facilities. Although some of the stops are campsites, they’re normally more cut-down, many of them simple parking areas where you might be just a metre or two from the next van. The book gives an indication of the type of stop (see image above), usually with a photo. It explains the cost to stay, any limitations on how many days, the services available and the distance to town and shops, and so on. You don’t need to show the book or a sticker to stay (it’s not a scheme like Britstops or France Passion), and you can’t normally book a place – you just turn up – and almost always you’ll find a space, especially outside July and August. They have 50 teams of motorhomers who check most of the places each year, so it’s never too far wrong.

To find somewhere to stay, you can either search for the name of a town in the index or do what we normally do, which is to use the maps, like this:

1. First go the overall map page and look for the detail map which covers your area

1. First go the overall map page and look for the detail map which covers your area. The 2016 book has expanded to the east and the north, just where we’re going, so we need to get our copy!

2. On the detail map page, find the stop you're interested in. Then on the right find the name and look up the page its listed on

2. On the detail map page, find the stop you’re interested in. Then on the right find the name and look up the page it’s listed on

3. Look down the page until you find the entry, sorted

3. Turn to that page and scan down it until you find the entry you’re interested in

4. Here's a typical entry

4. Here’s a typical entry. Yes, incredibly some of these places are right next to campsites! This stop has space for 30 vans, is free to stay, charges €5 for water, has grey and black water disposal and batter charging, is open all year and is on the beach, 500m from town with shops, restaurants and laundry. The GPS co-ordinates are at the top, along with the street name so you can double-check you typed them into your satnav correctly!

The Camperstop Europe 2016 book is available through Amazon:

Or exactly the same book, but in French, is available for considerably less wonga!

Note that the new 2016 camperstop book (both English and French versions) are now in a larger format, as shown in the photos below.

Camperstop or Aires Camping-Car Europe 2016

Camperstop or Aires Camping-Car Europe 2016

Camperstop or Aires Camping-Car Europe 2016

Camperstop or Aires Camping-Car Europe 2016

Camperstop or Aires Camping-Car Europe 2016

Camperstop or Aires Camping-Car Europe 2016

Camperstop or Aires Camping-Car Europe 2016

Camperstop or Aires Camping-Car Europe 2016

Cheers, Jay

Ciao Italia! Easter Monday in Ancona
Buona Pasqua from Numana, Italy
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12 Comments on Thousands of Free and Low Cost Motorhome Stops

  1. How strange… That aire in Huelgoat is part of the reason we got a motorhome at the end of last year. We had a holiday in a house in Huelgoat and saw the aire right next to the lake and it got us thinking about buying a motorhome….

  2. Jay, would you say this replaces the “All The Aires” series of books? If so it is a bargain as they are sold per country.

    • Hi Alan. In a word, yes. If you only want to buy and carry one or the other, camperstop is cheaper and has more coverage. Neither has all the locations in though, so if you want as much coverage as you can get (particularly if you are staying in one country) then get both. Cheers, Jay

  3. I also have the 2015 Camperstops book but, because we won’t be travelling on long trips until we hit FI in 2018, I’ll hold on to this one for now!
    I also load a bunch of POI GPS data onto my Satnav – Garmin in my case. You can pretty much find POI files for anything – including Lidl & Aldi! I tend to use this site to find them (link is for Croatia POIs): https://poi.gps-data-team.com/croatia/

    Paul

  4. We’ve the same 2015 copy and use it all the time, it must have saved us thousands of €uros. Great guide. 🙌

  5. We swore by http://www.campercontact.com/en/ when we were travelling – it’s a Dutch site and very comprehensive – we found it to be our best guide once we hit eastern Europe.

  6. I have been using the 2013 Camperstops book for the last 3 years but it sounds like it might be worth getting a newer version as mine only has 7420 stopovers and I recently found that some no longer exist! I tend to use it in conjunction with campingcar-infos.com but also used the All the Aires guide for Spain and Portugal which had some different stops and more detailed info and pictures for each site.

  7. Hi both 99% of the time I use http://www.campercontact.com either the website or offline app which costs £4.45 per annum. They have over 19,000 stops in all European countries and morocco. I have added loads and also left something like 195 reviews. It’s a great tool for offline searching. Just need to connect to wifi every now and again to sync the newest data. Wifi is initially required to download the offline maps but after that you can practically use it anytime anywhere with no internet.

  8. Can’t fault the Camperstop book, it has been the first book we looked at for the last few years. But we’ve now downloaded the Dutch Camper Contact App and it’s far more comprehensive with detailed descriptions, locations and reviews of all locations. There’s a free version but I think the full version is only £2.99. It’s in English, the maps and locations can be downloaded for off-line use and we now rarely look at anything else. Well, maybe France Passion if we’re looking to buy some wine or ACSI if we need a campsite for a washing machine.
    Pat

  9. fred chase // April 8, 2016 at 5:46 pm // Reply

    yes agree with the above. we were given a 2012 copy in Lagos last year by a new-found Kiwi chum. really took to it and have now bought the latest edition. could have bought the French version but went for the one in English. we also use the aires books, the Camperstop site plus anything else we can beg , borrow etc. Enjoying your latest and hope to get out on the road semi-long term again soon. The cats are getting restless! couple of ?’s please guys. 1) the latest Wi-Fi kit (4G? something) you have from Adam and Sophie…..how is it working out on your current trip? 2) we are looking at a new camera and are serious looking at the Nikon D90 series a model we notice you use. can you please give us a quick “heads up” on yours especially anything video-wise (length of use, effectiveness, ease of action) many thanks in anticipation and keep the very informative blogs coming.

    • Hi Fred. Thanks, quick answers as it’s beer time!

      1. The 4G kit is working very well. We have the usual problem of managing how much data we use, but the MiFi reports on that quite well, and we also sometimes need to manually change the network selected, but only normally when we enter a new country. Apart from that, we’re very pleased with the signal strength we get from the roof antenna. Note that the kit I’m taking about is cellular, not wifi. Ask Adam about it all, he’s the expert and I’m sure he’ll give you solid advice.

      2. We don’t use the D90 any more – sorry – we ended up getting a bridge camera as a replacement as we found carrying lenses meant we didn’t take the camera out with us as often as we should have. We now have a sony dsc-hx200v, which we’re very pleased with. There are several professional reviews of it online (one here: http://www.cnet.com/products/sony-cyber-shot-hx200v/). As far as I know it is now discontinued and there is a new model.

      Cheers, give the cats a stroke from us, Jay

  10. fred chase // April 11, 2016 at 3:00 pm // Reply

    Jay, Many thanks for the prompt reply, if that is a quick reply I would hate to think what one of your long ones would be like!Lol. like you, we look forward to our evening snifter, end of the day, supper on and we can sit somewhere warm and confortable and get outside of a long, cold one. it’s what it is all about guys. will have a think on the Wi-Fi situation and give Adam a call. strangely enough, one of our mates here has just bought a new camera, a Fujifilm X-S1, and has asked over for a drink to view the beast. watch this space. we had Ned2 open today to sort out some books and tinned food spares and a couple of hours later were having lunch and realised that the felines were absent from their feeding position…you can no doubt guess where they were! sat on the memsahib’s seat waiting for the off!!!! safe motorhoming. fred

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