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Old September 7th, 2016, 06:19 PM   #21
ChrisZwolle
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Originally Posted by NordikNerd View Post
Yes, I have seen very few caravans from eastern europe, but I actually saw a czech registered caravan a few weeks ago. As you write low income and no tradition of camping may be the reason, but the times are changing.
The Czech Republic actually has a large amount of campsites. Some of them are very simple, but quite a number are comparable to regular campsites in France or Germany (minus the long-term caravans). Slovakia appears to have fewer well-equipped campsites. There are numerous 'autokamp' sites, but these tend to have a field next to cottages where you can but the tent on. I first camped out in the Czech Republic in 2000, and I've camped there twice since.

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Camping, Northern Germany in april 2012. In Germany the caravans are parked very close.
These campsites with a lot of dauercamper is usually not what short-stay tourists are looking for. They're attracting a different kind of people than short-stay tourists, and some build their pitch out complete with ornaments and garden gnomes. As a tourist, you don't feel as welcome in 'their territory' of the campsite.

I've been to 18 campsites this year, and only one or two looked like this.
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Old September 7th, 2016, 07:41 PM   #22
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I'm in Croatia at the minute, and one thing that drives me insane is the presence of Dutch people with their campervans/caravans. They drive incredibly slowly, often 20-30km/h below the speed limit, they often travel in convoy on state roads (meaning that it's impossible to overtake them) and they don't seem to use their mirrors to understand that huge queues are building up behind them. As people, the Dutch are fantastic people, but they are absolutely horrible on the roads.

Even today - I got stuck behind one guy with his caravan. I was coming back from Zadar on a road that's mostly 80km/h. He drove at no more than 60km/h the entire way, with a queue of cars building up behind him with no possibility of overtaking him. I gave up in the end and started flashing my lights at him to try and get him to speed up or pull over, yet he just kept on driving without any consideration.

I've never driven in the Netherlands, is slow driving like this a national trait?

The Germans are fine in comparison, although I notice they tend to use bigger/more powerful cars to tow their caravans with.

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Originally Posted by Bulevardi
I dislike the idea of mass campings full of caravans, and hordes of loud Dutch people (mind the smiley)
I've got Dutch friends that absolutely hate the idea of such things. They're full of amusing stories of Dutch tourists going on holiday to the south of France with their caravans full of Dutch cheese and Dutch food while spending absolutely nothing in the local area beyond the campsite fees.

Having said that, I'd quite like to go on holiday near them, as they're really nice, warm people - just they're absolutely terrible drivers.

For what it's worth, I can't imagine towing a caravan from Poland to Croatia or beyond. A large campervan/motorhome RV-thing would be fine, but well, that's not going to happen on two Polish salaries
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Old September 7th, 2016, 07:59 PM   #23
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This time of the year it are mainly retired people who drive around. They tend to drive slower than most other tourists.

Dutch drivers in general have no idea that is etiquette to briefly pull over if possible if you're slowing others down. Especially in mountainous areas where there are a lot of curves and grades.

You can also recognize Dutch drivers in the mountains, on the way down their brake lights light up the entire way down. Many don't understand the concept of engine braking / or are afraid to crash in a curve. They don't like high RPM, sometimes you just need to put it in 2nd gear and let it roll to 70 or even 80 km/h, only braking for curves.
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Old September 7th, 2016, 08:38 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
These campsites with a lot of dauercamper is usually not what short-stay tourists are looking for. They're attracting a different kind of people than short-stay tourists, and some build their pitch out complete with ornaments and garden gnomes. As a tourist, you don't feel as welcome in 'their territory' of the campsite.
+1

Although I'm a garden gnome collector, I wouldn't like staying on a dauercamping like that. For me it would also be a small cosy nature camping for short-stay roadtrippers/travellers/adventurers/skyscrapercityforummers.

I'm such a guy who wants to discover the region/culture, and not staying only on the campsite.
I know some dude who goes camping on expensive music festivals without watching the bands play, they just stay the whole weekend on the campsite to be together drink a beer there... can't imagine that. He once told me a story that he was already 4 days there and didn't go to the music area yet to see a band. Some people...
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Old September 8th, 2016, 01:28 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
This time of the year it are mainly retired people who drive around. They tend to drive slower than most other tourists.

Dutch drivers in general have no idea that is etiquette to briefly pull over if possible if you're slowing others down. Especially in mountainous areas where there are a lot of curves and grades.

You can also recognize Dutch drivers in the mountains, on the way down their brake lights light up the entire way down. Many don't understand the concept of engine braking / or are afraid to crash in a curve. They don't like high RPM, sometimes you just need to put it in 2nd gear and let it roll to 70 or even 80 km/h, only braking for curves.
Is this recent?

Only relatively recently have car brakes improved to the point where this is possible (not to overheat the brakes and crash if using them downhill). Surely a Daffodil with a trailer down a typical Alpenpass will die if the driver uses brakes only
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Old September 8th, 2016, 08:58 AM   #26
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Although I'm a garden gnome collector, I wouldn't like staying on a dauercamping like that. For me it would also be a small cosy nature camping for short-stay roadtrippers/travellers/adventurers/skyscrapercityforummers.
These campsites loaded with long-term campers is more common in Germany than France. Many Belgium campsites are also like that, I rarely camp out in Belgium (haven't done so in years, also because it's close to home).

There are approximately 10,000 campsites in France, so the possibilities are endless. There are hardly regions with not at least 1 campsite within 20 kilometers.

France also has many 'camping municipal', i.e. municipal owned campsites. They vary a lot, many are quite basic with few services, but some are really nicely located, and they are often very cheap. They increasingly offer wifi and have restaurants.

In Spain I noticed many campsites have a small bar for people traveling by or people from the region. From the looks of it, they generate more revenue with the bar than the campsite itself.

I stayed on 18 campsites this year, all but one of them offered free wifi (reliability and speed varies). And I had to pay for the showers mostly in Germany and Scandinavia. In France and Spain a shower was included in the price. In Norway you have to pay mostly 10 NOK (€ 1.10) for a 5 minute shower.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 10:10 AM   #27
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In Norway you have to pay mostly 10 NOK (€ 1.10) for a 5 minute shower.
Norway is famous for that. After making a zillion of trips to Norway, we have created a family-internal term "take a norwegian". It means taking a very quick shower. The origin of the term is in the Norwegian campsites. Quite often there is lack of coins. After the coins are exhausted, the shower does not close but the warm water stops to flow. If well organized and planned, 90 seconds are enough to take a full shower.

In the south coast of Norway, the campsite prices are ridiculous.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 11:48 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
I'm in Croatia at the minute, and one thing that drives me insane is the presence of Dutch people with their campervans/caravans. They drive incredibly slowly, often 20-30km/h below the speed limit, they often travel in convoy on state roads (meaning that it's impossible to overtake them) and they don't seem to use their mirrors to understand that huge queues are building up behind them. As people, the Dutch are fantastic people, but they are absolutely horrible on the roads.
Aahh the retired masses. Like ChrisZwolle said, these are the sort of people who vacation during the off-season in order to avoid the crowds because they don't like it busy. They're old, they've got all the time in the world and they're gonna use it.

Then there's the additional problem that owning a car is heavily taxed in the Netherlands and the tax is based on the weight of the car. The heavier it is, the more you pay. So a lot of people will tow a caravan with a car that isn't necessarily ideal for the job (compared to a German, say).

Aand to top it off; Dutch people over the age of 50 (more or less) never had to take a separate test to learn how to drive with a caravan. That rule is relatively recent.

If it makes you feel better, the post-war baby-boom generation will be dead soon. So there will be a lot fewer old Dutch people clogging up your roads.
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