Arriving at & Staying on a Campsite
When you arrive at a campsite, go to the reception. Your pitch is reserved from mid-afternoon to mid-morning. Most camp offices close about 20:00, sometimes earlier in the low season, except for some of the sites near the ports. During the summer months, there is usually somebody in the site office who understands English.
When staying on an individual site, you are their paying guests and should abide by its camp rules. Many camps close their gates at 22:00 or 22:30, after which entry with a car is not possible, and you will have to park your car outside, return to your caravan/tent on foot and collect it in the morning. More and more sites are installing barriers operated by a magnetic card. If this is the case, you should expect to pay a refundable deposit of about £10 on arrival. The gates are often firmly locked during the night and open about 07:00 or 08:00. If you wish to leave earlier than this, pack the car the night before and leave it outside. Do not leave any valuables in it. If you have a caravan or trailer, it will be virtually impossible to make a really early departure, unless previously arranged with the site manager.
Serious breaches of campsite regulations can result in the offenders being asked to leave the site. Each site has its own code of behaviour and you will be given a set of the site rules on arrival. On most sites noise should be kept to minimum after 22:00 and some camp proprietors are firm about maintaining peace and quiet after this time. One common and strictly enforced rule is that young children should be accompanied to toilet blocks by their parents, to ensure that they are properly used and to prevent children playing around them.
Speed of Cars
This is restricted to 10km or 5km per hour. Please respect this rule for everybody’s safety.
Cyclists should also respect the site rules and remember that those on foot have priority.
Waste water should be emptied in specified places, not on open ground or under hedges.
Respect vegetation. Do not climb over hedges! Some sites do not allow washing lines to be tied to trees either for aesthetic or protective reasons.
Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and exercised well away from the pitches, often in special areas. Please note dogs are generally not allowed in the rented accommodation.
There are remarkably few problems with security on French campsites. To be on the safe side, however, it is a good idea to keep valuables locked up in your car or caravan, well out of sight of casual passers-by. Virtually all campsites have a safe-deposit box and many also have a night watchman on site. Great care is needed at beach car parks, where “professionals” often operate, so do not leave anything valuable in your car during the day, even in the boot.
Electric Hook Up
It is essential to have a 2-pin adaptor plug. It is often necessary to use a couple of extra fittings particularly in France, i.e the French-to-CEE17 connector and the reverse polarity connector, available from most caravan dealers and some electrical shops. The French connection is often plugged inside a locked connection box which only site staff can unlock. If you have a motorhome, this may mean that you have to leave the unplugged lead on the pitch. Try to drape the lead above the ground when left unhooked. You should also be equipped with 30 - 40 metres of cable to ensure that it is long enough to meet most eventualities.