Thinking of taking your first trip to France?
The thought of that first trip really away from home can be a bit daunting. The considerations of the right ferry crossing, a different currency, driving on the other side of the road, a different language and of course, where to actually go can be either worrying or add to the overall excitement!
If you are already aware of the network of Aires de Service in France this article won't tell you much you don't already know. However, for those who don't know about them or have yet to use them. Prepare to slash the cost of your holidays in France!Aires are a network of, literally, hundreds of stopping places (mostly for overnight stops) specifically designed for motorhomes, or 'camping-cars' as the French call them. Generally no camping or caravans are allowed.
One of the great things about travelling in a motorhome is that you tend to be much more aware of the environment around you and as such you get to see more sunsets, mainly because you're not usually shut up indoors! A great opportunity for some photography too...
Just a few from travels so far this year.
Uploading your photos onto Club Motorhome
IMPORTANT - photos need to be smaller than your phone/tablet/camera produces..
This means that you need to reduce the size of your photos before you upload them to your timeline, profile, forum posts or article comments on Club Motorhome.
Uploading photos that are too big will just fail.
The good news is that resizing photos is a very easy process and there are lots of ways to do it.
The 2 easiest ways I use when we're on our own travels and want to upload my latest photos is simply one of these:
1. Email the photos to be uploaded to myself. This may sound daft but when doing this there is usually an option to reduce the filesize of the photo to email - just select the small version and press send. When you receive them in an email you just save them and use THOSE reduced images to upload.
2. If you already use social media like Facebook etc just upload your full size photos there and then download/save them back to your device. Then use the saved photos to upload.
The above processes take just minutes and don't involve any other software.
Using external software
Firstly, your computer system (Windows, MAC etc) may well already have options to edit your photos. However...
You can use various resizing programs to reduce your photos. Googling 'resize photos free' will give lots of options including software that you can download so that the job can be done on your own machine. Or, there are online resizing websites that allow you to submit your full size images and then download the reduced versions that they process for you.
An example of resizing software for your laptop/pc is: www.freesizer.com
An example for use on a phone/tablet is an app: Photo & Picture Resizer (Android) and Resizer Free (IOS)
An example of an online resource is: www.picresize.com
These are just EXAMPLES - there are lots to choose from because image uploading size is a common problem!
As a guideline for an acceptable size 100kb - 200kb per image is absolutely fine.
Another way to keep your photos a sensible size is to adjust the camera settings in your phone/tablet to take smaller images in the first place. There really is very little need to take photos that can be up to 10MB each for general use. Images of this size could even be printed off as wall posters and are not required for computer display.
As an example there was a photo of a plate of food uploaded to CM recently that was 10MB (that's ten megabytes!) - this was 100 times the size necessary and therefore took up 100 times the space necessary on our servers. Reduced to 100KB (that's one hundred kilobytes) the photo would display perfectly.
So please don't let this put you off posting your photos, it really is easy - certainly far easier than it was for you to learn how to use your computer/phone/tablet in the first place :) Just try any of the above methods yourself and you'll see...
Old Soldier's Guide for Newbie Chuggers
Admin Note: Club Motorhome member 'Old Soldier' has kindly sent in the following.... which are extracts from email correspondence that he had with a friend who was new to motorhoming and had asked for help and advice in the early learning days. All I've done here is to compile these extracts into the format of an article which may be of great help to other new motorhomers.
Thank you Old Soldier!
Owning an expensive motorhome can be expensive!! The cost of fuel, servicing, repairs, additional equipment, insurance, tax, habitation checks, gas bottles, tyres, campsites, are all in addition to your daily living costs of food, places to visit, cloths etc etc. A fortune can be spent if what you want are expensive brand name services and equipment, there are cheaper alternatives that have worked for Les and I for years.
If you have the space then keeping the van at home on your drive can save a fortune in storage costs, It also gives you the opportunity to keep your eye on your van, you can keep equipment in the van that you also might want to use at home or in the garden, and it makes loading and unloading simple and easy.
CHARGING THE BATTERY at home