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<p>Motorhome Aires de Service are a network of stopping places specifically designed for motor homes or camping cars as the French call them. In most instances they are run by the local town council or &lsquo;Mairie&rsquo; but there are also private Aires, auto route Aires, Aires within the proximity of campsites, Aires de Stationement (an Aire for parking, but no facilities) and Aires on farms and vineyards.</p><p>They can be large purpose built parks with all facilities down to tiny spots that accept only 1 or 2 motorhomes at a time. The variety is immense. It is not the same as a campsite, far from it, some locations close to the tourist haunts and along the coast are extremely popular and units can be parked very close together, sometimes only a few feet apart but you&rsquo;ll soon get used to this.</p><p>Once you get into using Aires you&rsquo;ll wonder why you bothered with campsites, although you&rsquo;ll need a fully equipped motor home because showers etc are rarely provided, it&rsquo;s using your motor home for what it&rsquo;s designed to do. If you don&rsquo;t have full facilities on board, don&rsquo;t worry, there is a way round this, book into a site every now and then to use the shower and laundry facilities between using Aires.</p><p>So, how do you find the motorhome Aires de Service? The best way is to purchase the book &lsquo;Le guide official etapes touristiques camping-car&rsquo;, a rough translation meaning &ndash; &lsquo;The official guide to tourist stopovers for motor homes&rsquo;.&nbsp; Or better still, there is now a version written in English. But as well as the book you will sometimes stumble across them by chance when you travel around France. Sometimes they can be well signposted with the blue motor home pictogram (top right hand corner of the book).</p><p>The facilities they offer vary. Most Aires will have what will be called either a &lsquo;Flot Bleu&rsquo;, &lsquo;Euro-Relais&rsquo; or &lsquo;Sani-Staion&rsquo;.</p>

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