MBW124 holiday

SGCW124

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W124 estate
We are taking the old 124 Estate on a driving holiday!

Porstmouth -CAEN

Then drive to "La Reserve" holiday park in Aquitaine for 7 nights in a mobile home,

then to spend a couple of nights exploring on way to Spain (Santander) where we shall catch a 24 hr ferry back to blighty.

Has any of you experienced motor travellers got any wise words for me & family ?
- do's & don'ts , cheapish places to camp/stay on way to the holiday park & afterwards on to Santander ?

Also what spares would you sensibly take ? (in addition to worlds most expensive fuel can that I bored everybody to death with a couple of weeks ago!)

additionally I need to get a cool bag /box for cold drinks during the drives can you get one that works off the ciggie lighter ??

thank guys

Steve :eek: :eek:
 
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pammy

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You can get loads of cool boxes to work of the lighter socker now. Halfords have some on a very good deals - good boxes too!!

Use the web to find a site - decide where you want to stay - region wise and go for Google. I've found our holiday places for the past few years this way. french sites are generally very good - look for high rating and you'll get all the facilities you could shake a stick at :D

Depending when you're going though you could find it hard to get on some sites. I know the place we're going to in August in the Dordogne is fully booked - all moby homes and tent/tourer pitches :eek:

On the way down you could stop of in the Loire - some lovely places there. Then after Aquitaine - you could head for Biarritz :D

You need to take the compulsory light bulb kit - although in all our years of driving in Europe have never been stopped. Make sure your car insurance is noted for you going abroad - and you might want to think about breakdown cover. It is a long hard and prob hot journey :rolleyes: We always have paper napkins, wet wipes - Sure DEO wipes are fantastic for a quick freshen up.

hth
 
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sweeney todd

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Jun 8, 2004
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Sound advice.

You can get generic bulb sets from Halfords in neat plastic boxes for few quid.

On the accom front the cheapest is French rest areas, usually marked 'Aire du.....etc'. These offer clean green leafy places to get your head down for a few hours.............

French economy hotel chains such as Formule 1, ETAP & premier Classe (and myriad others) offer clean basic accom for around £25 per room. These are usually grouped around or near Mway and N road exits and are well signposted......

For £40-70 you can stay in IBIS, Holiday Inn Express, Novotel types or you can bluner into the nearest nice town hit the tourist info and get them to recommend a local hotel if you'd like some local flavour............

Enjoy....................
 

nickmann

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Dec 23, 2003
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Hi.

Buy your picnic-type stuff when you get there - inluding your powered coolboxes. Picniccing is the 2nd French national sport and their gear is cheap.

Best accomodation is to roll into small town on B-road, drive into town square, look for the Bar, and ask for a room. £10-20, often including dinner (which will be very good, and often include a jug of wine), depending on your luck. Often you will get a room above the bar, or be sent to Le Patron's friend across the square.

Best top tip - try to speak at least a few words of French, and smile a lot. The French respect politeness above many other things, and will really help you if you are polite.

Bon Chance!
 
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SGCW124

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Thanks for the advice guys

the tour is getting ever more complex: first we were leaving the bikes now. I am informed..............we may be taking them..........

any experience out there with bike racks / bike rack specialists for a W124 E class estate,? any pitfalls..........quite like the look of towbar / rear mounted ones

Steve

a rack for the kitchen sink might also be good...............
 

guydewdney

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whenever i go to france i dont make plans - i just drive until 4pm then pootle about until i find a village i like the look of (two or three bars, a few restaurants, a couple of hotels...) and check in.

i speak passable french and gesture alot (perfect the gallic shrug ;) )
 

nickmann

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SGCW124 said:
any experience out there with bike racks / bike rack specialists for a W124 E class estate,? any pitfalls..........quite like the look of towbar / rear mounted ones
QUOTE]


Hi,

I travel a lot with bikes (racing again this weekend, have you SEEN the weather?? :( )and I have a tow-bar mounted twin carrier and five carriers on the roof. I have Thule mounts, carriers and racks, and everything locks with one key. All bikes mount complete, ie no wheels off. You can also mount up the Thule luggage boxes, again on the same key.

The tow bar one is good as wifey can use it. The catch is that you have a bit of an overhang so tight manoeuvres require care. You will need a strap from the roof-rack to the tow-bar rack to stop it bending back at 80+mph. They are good for 100mph. Your bikes get v.dirty. The Thule one has electrics included, about £90 all told. Very hard cornering will swing it a bit.

On the roof I have Thule aero bars, with 4x Thule 510 carriers and 1x 591 carrier. This is good for any speed but hammers your fuel economy. Bikes get covered in flies etc, but otherwise stay pretty clean. The downside is the extra height - I am at 2.75m with that lot on so you will have to be careful in France as they use height restrictors at a lot of picniccy places to stop motorhomes.

Don't bother with rear-window mounted racks - utter waste of time and money. (IMHO).

Please ask again for more info. I am getting very envious of your trip - sounds fab. goto www.skidrive.co.uk that's where I get all my kit they are very helpful.
 
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SGCW124

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Thanks Nick

'good advice I'll post a piccie or 2 on my return next month, kids are very excited about it already !

Good luck with the bike racing this weekend and as you say especially with the weather , you must have the heart of a lion M8

Steve
 

Flyer

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I have the Thule aero bars and 510s for my CLK; highly recommended. I got mine from roofracks.co.uk. The difference between these and Halford's own brand is amazing. Don't skimp. The aero bars also look cool :)

Here's mine:
clk10.jpg


Nick, I was concerned about getting another 510 and having three on the roof, but after seeing yours, now I'm not! :D

Steve, I heard something recently that you need to carry hi-viz jackets in case of breakdown (on pain of a substantial contribution to the police xmas party). Certainly applies in Italy, not sure about France and Spain.

Cheers
Andrew
 
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SGCW124

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Messages
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Location
East Sussex
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W124 estate
Thanks flyer, guys & Pammy

just one more question.................

does any one know of a really good all in one rechargeable device ? by that I mean

tyre inflator
li-lo beach ball inflator
emergency light/ general light
12v oultlet
emergency dead battery start facility


I have tried my local (small) Halfords / Argos but have yet to find one that does it all, I would like to take one on the soon to happen France / Spain mororing holiday

Steve

PS

Just had the 124 serviced and requested a good check of the cooling system good job I did as the Rad wouldn't hold a pressure test, so although I didn't seem to be losing water, I wouldn't things to go pear shaped half way across the Pyranees!

Again thanks for all the info on this, its my 1st jaunt abroad in a car for many years & I feel much more relaxed about it now. :rock: :rock:
 

Satch

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I carry a can of Tyreweld all of the time, two if touring.

Consider alternative: Puncture, steep road, middle of nowhere, unload, extract spare, jack, eject moaning passengers, change wheel (not much fun if indeed actually possible on some mountain roads) reload everything, moaning passengers included. Even more fun to be had if all done in the wet.
 

nickmann

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Satch said:
I carry a can of Tyreweld all of the time, two if touring.

Consider alternative: Puncture, steep road, middle of nowhere, unload, extract spare, jack, eject moaning passengers, change wheel (not much fun if indeed actually possible on some mountain roads) reload everything, moaning passengers included. Even more fun to be had if all done in the wet.

I agree. I also have a puncture repair kit (from a BMW M/C) that has mushroom plugs and tool for fixing holes without dismounting the tyre. I also have half a dozen CO2 cannisters (can get from Halfords or any decent cycle shop).
 

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