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France first trip in the Cali 6.1

Trojax

Trojax

VIP Member
Messages
181
Location
Birmingham
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
So here we are on our first trip to France in the Cali and it’s been an interesting one so far.
We Had the van serviced before before we left as it seemed like the sensible thing to do and I also took out the RAC European cover as that seemed like a good idea.We crossed from Dover to Calais £82 one way (booked as a standard car no problem at all” and as I pointed at the security shed we immediately got directed to it for a search“ top tip don’t point at anything as you go through!!” As we sat in the cues it became apparent that we would miss our sailing time, but after speaking to the attendants on the ticket check they said we would just be placed on a another boat as it arrives and that the French customs had delayed everything. I followed a van towing a caravan on to the boat and her is another top tip, if you have to go up onto the upper decks wait for the ramp to become clear, as the caravan stopped at the very top and I was stuck behind them on the ramp, as he pulled off, I tried to do the same but was unfortunately on the rubber joint of the deck and ramp with spinning front wheels an attendant came running over with some chocks putting them behind my rear wheels. Although this was very nice of him I had to get out and explain that I need to reverse first of the joint and then I would be ok. In the end we got on the Boat lol and arrived in Calais with out sinking LOL onward to the D940
 
Heading off along the D940 for our first stop Boulogne-sur-mer and on the way the Cali gave a low tyre pressure warning for the Drivers side rear on checking it looked ok and I could not see any apaparent damage so carried on keeping an eye on the reset tyre pressure setting , when we arrived at Le Portel I had another look and found a small screw had punctured the tyre, A quick call to the RAC resulted in a huge brake down truck being dispatched to us at the campsite for what turned out to be a very small screw. My French is getting tested LOL

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In past, I had false alarm from tyre pressure monitor after leaving the ferry twice. I thought you had the same issue, until I read about screw in the tyre.
 
Heading off to Dieppe went without incident, so starting to like this. We arrived at aire’s and watched the England match we surprisingly won could we be getting an England France final !! And then went in to the centre for something to eat and find a toilet, not realising there is a toilet right next to the Aires wish we had see it before we left Top tip if you do stay at an Air’s check where all the toilets are lol. Whilst we were there we found a classic car show that had some very nice old British classics on show and apart from the wind no incidents But it was very WINDY indeed



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We left Dieppe picking up the D940 and D925 and headed for Hon Fleur and must say the drive down was very nice and the TomTom worked well following my pre planned route. We found a campsite and setup for the night. Hon Fleur is a very nice place and has plenty of places to eat……Now those of you with sharp eyes will notice that the first setup is not the same as where we ended up. The first Pitch was surrounded by trees and I thought that would be lovely and shield us from any wind, however when I woke up in the morning I thought I would give the mirrors a clean, as I walked around to the front of the van I had a bit of a shock as the whole of the front of the van was covered with bird dropping and seeds from the purple berries that they had been eating. It took a few hours to get everything cleaned, I did think the windscreen cover was stained but fortunately it washed out…another Top Tip ne vous garez pas sous les arbres

Unfortunately no picture of the sing as I assume I was in shock LOL


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So today was an interesting start to the day, after packing away and moving from the campsite pitch to the toilet block I can confirm that all of the warning lights on my dash work!!!. After returning from the toilet I turned on the ignition and the yellow triangle on the left of the dash was on and a warning to leave the van in P and take to workshop along with all the other warning on the dash, sos not working, side sensors not working along with 5 other warnings. After the panic had settled I read some messages here and decided to disconnect the battery to reboot the system as the infotainment system was also locked up and to my surprise even more warnings come up after re connecting the battery…..I then read another post about the DSG and position sensor getting confused. So with a heavy heart put the van in gear and drove a little way out of the campsite and all of the warnings disappeared with the van saying have a good drive much to my relief, I also noticed that the oil seemed a little low so topped up with some from a local carparts store and we have arrived in Angers safe and sound albeit 35 euros light after the toll charges, another Top Tip get yourself a 10mm spanner as you may need to disconnect the battery at some point….Happy days another Top Tip is brush up on your French as you will need it beyond Bread, wine and Beach
 
So we have decided to say at the camp in Angers for a second night before heading to La Rochelle, one thing I have noticed is the much talked about roof drop on the passenger side after 2 days, easy to fix by lowering the roof a bit and then re tensioning it. Also as we are by the Lake you need to have an anti mosquito setup as got quite bitten last night, so it will be out with the Flextail tonight to see how it works…….anyway just getting settled for the match Allez l’Angleterre lets hope it goes well, but we do have 3 bottles of red wine to get through LOL
 
Well we have arrived at ile de Re just in time for the Fireworks once we have moved from one side of the island to another, The campsite are quite full LOL and also seem a bit pricey.

No issues with he van other than the sag on the passenger side roof, I am sure it will sort it’s self out. Also the Flextail is working well as I have not been bitten since using it.

been to the local markets everyday to get food and wine and am just settling down to get merry on a few bottles of Vin de France as its going down quite well


Happy days

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Well we have arrived at ile de Re just in time for the Fireworks once we have moved from one side of the island to another, The campsite are quite full LOL and also seem a bit pricey.

No issues with he van other than the sag on the passenger side roof, I am sure it will sort it’s self out. Also the Flextail is working well as I have not been bitten since using it.

been to the local markets everyday to get food and wine and am just settling down to get merry on a few bottles of Vin de France as its going down quite well


Happy days

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Where are you staying? We were at La Grainetière a couple of weeks back, loved Ile-de-Re
 
Well we have arrived at ile de Re just in time for the Fireworks once we have moved from one side of the island to another, The campsite are quite full LOL and also seem a bit pricey.

No issues with he van other than the sag on the passenger side roof, I am sure it will sort it’s self out. Also the Flextail is working well as I have not been bitten since using it.

been to the local markets everyday to get food and wine and am just settling down to get merry on a few bottles of Vin de France as its going down quite well


Happy days

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Very interesting read, got some tips there, and nice to see a Cali same colour as ours, looking forward to our first trip abroad in it with our dog.
 
So today was an interesting start to the day, after packing away and moving from the campsite pitch to the toilet block I can confirm that all of the warning lights on my dash work!!!. After returning from the toilet I turned on the ignition and the yellow triangle on the left of the dash was on and a warning to leave the van in P and take to workshop along with all the other warning on the dash, sos not working, side sensors not working along with 5 other warnings. After the panic had settled I read some messages here and decided to disconnect the battery to reboot the system as the infotainment system was also locked up and to my surprise even more warnings come up after re connecting the battery…..I then read another post about the DSG and position sensor getting confused. So with a heavy heart put the van in gear and drove a little way out of the campsite and all of the warnings disappeared with the van saying have a good drive much to my relief, I also noticed that the oil seemed a little low so topped up with some from a local carparts store and we have arrived in Angers safe and sound albeit 35 euros light after the toll charges, another Top Tip get yourself a 10mm spanner as you may need to disconnect the battery at some point….Happy days another Top Tip is brush up on your French as you will need it beyond Bread, wine and Beach
“yellow triangle on the left of the dash was on and a warning to leave the van in P”

We had this last year. Workshop visit to rectify. Fairly common issue I was told.
 
“yellow triangle on the left of the dash was on and a warning to leave the van in P”

We had this last year. Workshop visit to rectify. Fairly common issue I was told.
After disconnecting the battery I just put it in gear and drove a little bit and everything disappeared without a trace, Gremlins
 
So we have to say that the bastille day fireworks on the the ile de Re were something to behold, although we were not at St Martian where the big display was we did get a really good display in the area we were at Viva La France. Also note that when we were there July 2024 the village markets seem to be on everyday along with Carboot sales on the Sundays. Resist the junk or the van will be full very soon LOL.

We are now at Camping Le Beaulieu La Rochelle and got the Bus to La Rochelle no 4 for a very nice day walking around the old town Top tip have Crepps here as they are to die for, and if you like food then this is the place to be. Got the bus back to camp 1 euro 50 each way did some shopping at the Super U shopping complex and am quite Pissed on red wine as I wright this, What a life………Heading off towards Bordeaux tomorrow but will problem only get as far as Royan LOL happy days

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We came back from 15 days in France on Friday and went directly from the tunnel to Volksweald in Kent before finally getting home last night. Top tip Make sure you learn the French word for 'tripe' otherwise you will get a nasty surprise when you cook and then bite in to an andouillette sausage...

Dog bloody loved them though.
 
An emergency happened in the night ”I lost one of my pillows down the hole of despair”!! You would have thought my other half would have been more graceful when asked to recover it for me
 
This is a great travelog, keep it up.

Be sure to check in with home Trojax, just to confirm that the weather is foul there. Here in the Alps with a Green/White Ocean it is beautifully warm with blue skies.
 
That sounds
This is a great travelog, keep it up.

Be sure to check in with home Trojax, just to confirm that the weather is foul there. Here in the Alps with a Green/White Ocean it is beautifully warm with blue skies.
Sounds like heaven, we are still deciding if the Northern lights are calling next year or we come back to France.Another TopTip if you lower a leg on the rollout awning remember to put it back up when packing away your head will thank you. And here is the van after 2 weeks
 
That sounds

Sounds like heaven, we are still deciding if the Northern lights are calling next year or we come back to France.Another TopTip if you lower a leg on the rollout awning remember to put it back up when packing away your head will thank you. And here is the van after 2 weeks
Unlikely to see Northern Lights in Summer.
 
So today we made it as far as Camping la Giroflée with a stop off at Rochefort look out for the lady’s of Rochefort, and there is a huge 1000 space carpark very close to the centre, but my van protection mode kicked in and we found another free parking area, and strolled in to the main village area that was surprisingly nice.
As for the campsite I have to say that a 2 night stay is going to cost us 27 euros now that’s a bargain even with your own toilet roll!! And has been added to our favourites list Haha.
Just looking for bike hire this’s this side of the bridge, but had to go over the small one and found a bike hire place at 23 euros for 2 days and 100 euro deposit + POP cycles as Drive cycles seemed expensive…every penny saved can buy more red wine LOL…As for fuel filled the van up today and have to say the price is about the same as in the UK so no drama there. We will get to Bordeaux at some point !!!!! Oh I almost forgot TopTip when you go to a supermarket look out for this butter as to say it goes with french bread and red wine is an understatement.

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So today we went over the big bridge to Point De L'ile and have to say i think its a really nice place to visit, there is plenty of beaches and the cycle routes are fabulous. We ended up hiring a tandem but had to take it back “ balance was an issue”so ended up with 2 single bikes the Blue ride was very enjoyable.
The Pop top on the van also seems to have sorted itself out so all good now keeping tension so must be a heat thing.
My mind now turns to cooking and what is the best solution I looked at various things before we left the UK and ended up ordering a Cadac Carri Chef 40 one of the new ones with ceramic coatings and it seems to be the ideal solution plus if you get the Cadec scrubbing brush its very easy to clean, I my view it is the best option for cooking on the go https://thebbqshop.co.uk/carri-chef...MIg_jf0dauhwMV0ZNQBh1EqAK_EAQYASABEgKJiPD_BwE

I also have a failsafe way to close the pop top sorted !!

We are maybe heading to Bordeaux tomorrow but h=who knows what will take our fancy at this rate we may never return to the UK LOL
 
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