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What is European Camping Like
from Travelers Guide to European Camping


The European campground is somewhat different from the one you may be accustomed to in North America. Most European rigs are not equipped with complete bathroom facilities like many North American rigs. Portable toilets are sometimes used but even they are not universal. This means that the facilities in campgrounds are more important and tend to be more extensive. Most are provided with showers, toilets, dish and clothes washing areas, and often even covered cooking areas. Many campgrounds have bars, food markets, and lounges.

The actual camping sites are also different. It is not unusual to find that individual sites are not delineated. Campers park where they like, often in a grassy field or in an old fruit-tree grove. Utility hook-ups are minimal. Individual water is unusual, sewer unheard of because campers just do not have black-water systems. Electricity is widespread, but breakers are set to limit use to lights and refrigerators. In most campgrounds you will find that appliances drawing over 500 watts won't be usable. Often the electrical service boxes are far apart, campers carry cords that are at least 75 feet long. There will be no picnic tables, campers usually bring along their own folding versions. People do spend a lot of time outdoors and you will find that you will meet more people than in a campground in North America. Finally, you will find no fire rings, campfires are not part of European camping.

Camping in Europe is simple once you try it. The hardest part is the first few weeks while you learn the new rules and ways of doing things. This book is written to help you along. Chapter 2 covers the process of setting yourself up with a European rig, whether rented, leased, purchased or imported and whether it is a motorcycle, car, van, trailer or motorhome. Chapter 3 contains information about the many details that are enough different in Europe that you need to know about them to make life easier. The remainder of the book is designed to make your life simpler when you are traveling Europe. It is organized by destination, describing places to stay and things to do all over Europe. You can read it when planning your trip to decide where to go first, and you can read it while traveling to make your arrival in an unfamiliar city more predictable and more fun.

This book is not designed to replace the traditional travel guide that is directed at the traveler who stays in hostels, pensions, and hotels. These guides do a great job of describing the sites and sights and giving you lots of background information. There are many of them and repeating their contents in this book is not necessary. This book is where you'll find the information that they leave out. Using it you can experience the Europe described in those guides while enjoying the advantages that camping affords. Have a great time!

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