|Take Your RV to Europe: The Low-Cost Route to Long-Term Touring, by Adelle and Ron Milavsky|
Book Review by Jaimie Hall
If you have thought about an extended RV trip in Europe, Take Your RV to Europe: The Low-Cost Route to Long-Term Touring is a must-have for planning and budgeting for your trip. Authors Adelle and Ron Milavsky relate their decision-making process for taking their motorhome to Europe rather than renting one there. Surprisingly, the cost isn't that much more when compared to what you'd spend if you stayed home and can make sense if you are planning a relatively long stay of two or three months. The authors spent 83 days touring France and the Benelux countries in depth in 2002 and 77 days in the British Isles the following year.
Traveling in a motorhome adds a flexibility and spontaneity to your travels that can't be found in a traditional hotel-and-restaurant trip, plus it allows you to travel much longer for the same amount of money. You also meet more locals traveling this way, since you interact with others in campgrounds, grocery stores, laundromats, or waiting for the bus.
The Milavskys acknowledge there are some disadvantages and potential problems when traveling by RV. All but the last were easily dealt with.
- Size: Their motorhome is 21.5 feet
in length. Several RVers who have traveled to Europe have
told me that most American RVs would be too large for the
narrow, windy roads of Europe. The authors, however, saw
many that were larger than theirs. Noting that large trucks
and buses travel the narrowest of streets, they said it
wasn't a problem. Height can be a difficulty, but knowing
the height in meters allows you to avoid low overpasses
- Fuel: Fuel is expensive in Europe,
though distances traveled are much less. Camping right in
the city or on the outskirts enabled them to walk or take
public transportation most anywhere. Diesel fuel is much
less expensive than gas.
- Shipping: The shipping process via
"Roll On-Roll Off ("RO-RO") is not difficult
if you know how to go about it. A chapter is devoted to
- Propane: The one problem they did not anticipate turned out to be the only real problem, and that was the difference in propane systems between the U.S. and Europe. The authors tell you how to prepare.
The Milavskys walk you through the entire process of figuring costs based on the current exchange rate, the logistics, plus finding and utilizing a freight forwarder and how to prepare your rig for the shipping process.
Besides explaining the practicalities of European travel, driving, campgrounds, security of your rig, staying in touch, and tips for shopping and eating your way through Europe, the authors include several appendices. These include detailed descriptions of both their trips, useful things to know in each country, European ports and nearby campgrounds, suppliers, Internet sites, dealers who rent and sell RVs in Europe, a glossary, bibliography, and index.
Take Your RV to Europe supplies detailed price breakdowns, contacts, worksheets you'll need to decide if you want to have a similar adventure, and the resources and practical tips for having the time of your life once you are there.