Service Stations that are good for Caravans'

Jul 23, 2020
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So im still very new to towing a caravan and tomorrow we head to the Peaks which will be a 4 hour drive, so im thinking we may want a comfort break.
How do you know where is good to stop and that you won't get stuck having to try and reverse or anything!
Im only on the M1 for a little bit so not even sure if there will be motorway services.
Is this something you just get to know?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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So im still very new to towing a caravan and tomorrow we head to the Peaks which will be a 4 hour drive, so im thinking we may want a comfort break.
How do you know where is good to stop and that you won't get stuck having to try and reverse or anything!
Im only on the M1 for a little bit so not even sure if there will be motorway services.
Is this something you just get to know?
You can check on M way services by looking a Google along the length of your route. Then there is one Google Earth is useful for looking at the layout and where the caravan spots are. If the caravan spots are full you can use the HGV areas too. On A roads its more difficult and the options tend to be lay byes, but some can be difficult to exit on fast moving busy roads as you dont have a slip road to enable merging. Again if you know approximately where you plan to stop use google earth. Sometimes its better to spot good lay by and pull in early. I came down the Fosse way one weekday and all lay bys were full or "blocked" by a single vehicle. So by the time I got to Tetbury I just carried on to home.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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Agree with Google Earth, fantastic for this, also make use of street view. As all services are different and often badly sign posted, it’s nice to see which lane to get into and what comes first, also if it’s possible to go back on yourself.

John
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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If you look at Google maps on a PC/MAC and expand the scale you will see "Aires" shown. These are laybys.

All take care if you stop at some so called A /trunk road serve areas. There may be precious little room fora caravan and if you only just fuel up getting back onto the trunk road can be difficult as there is often very little slip if any to accelerate. A classic example are the service stops on the Warwick by pass. Even an F35 might find it difficult to merge !!
 
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Jun 16, 2010
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If you stop at a service area and plan to leave your unit unattended, don't forget to fit a wheelclamp first.

Not wanting to sound alarmist, but the few times I've stopped, on each occasion my caravan has attracted unwanted attention.

At the Watford gap, a couple of unsavoury characters pulled up behind in a transit tipper, got out and had every intention of stealing until they found me sat in the car. Even had to cheek to pull alongside me as they were leaving, so they could smile at me before driving off.
 
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Jul 23, 2020
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If you stop at a service area and plan to leave your unit unattended, don't forget to fit a wheelclamp first.

Not wanting to sound alarmist, but the few times I've stopped, on each occasion my caravan has attracted unwanted attention.

At the Watford gap, a couple of unsavoury characters pulled up behind in a transit tipper, got out and had every intention of stealing until they found me sat in the car. Even had to cheek to pull alongside me as they were leaving, so they could smile at me before driving off.
Oh wow really! Cheers for the heads up!
 
Nov 11, 2009
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962
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If you stop at a service area and plan to leave your unit unattended, don't forget to fit a wheelclamp first.

Not wanting to sound alarmist, but the few times I've stopped, on each occasion my caravan has attracted unwanted attention.

At the Watford gap, a couple of unsavoury characters pulled up behind in a transit tipper, got out and had every intention of stealing until they found me sat in the car. Even had to cheek to pull alongside me as they were leaving, so they could smile at me before driving off.
We have never left our caravan unattended at services for that very reason.
 
Mar 27, 2011
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Whenever we are towing I always set off with a full tank of fuel, I’ve yet to need to refuel on route, obviously if we were to have a long enough journey planned I‘d need to plan for a stop to top up before, so far all I’ve needed is a leg stretch and the use of the loo, I look for a good long lay-by where there’s plenty of space to have a good walk round for myself and the dog, we have snacks and drinks ready with us and I always ensure the loo in the caravan is accessible with a shot of blue and a bottle of water handy for a flush, saves all the stress of services availability until there’s no choice because of the distance.

BP
 
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Jul 23, 2020
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Whenever we are towing I always set off with a full tank of fuel, I’ve yet to need to refuel on route, obviously if we were to have a long enough journey planned I‘d need to plan for a stop to top up before, so far all I’ve needed is a leg stretch and the use of the loo, I look for a good long lay-by where there’s plenty of space to have a good walk round for myself and the dog, we have snacks and drinks ready with us and I always ensure the loo in the caravan is accessible with a shot of blue and a bottle of water handy for a flush, saves all the stress of services availability until there’s no choice because of the distance.

BP
All I'm thinking is a walk and wee, shouldn't need fuel. I just thought rejoining from.a service station would be a bit easier than a layby. Agree though, won't leave the van unattended!
 
Oct 8, 2006
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All I'm thinking is a walk and wee, shouldn't need fuel. I just thought rejoining from.a service station would be a bit easier than a layby. Agree though, won't leave the van unattended!
For a walk go around your outfit several times: for No1 relief use your built-in facility in the van - its called a toilet! We have done that for decades UK and abroad.
 
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Mar 17, 2020
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Haha, sorry, meant wee for the dog!
At the risk of being hated for ever I bet there are some who would happily take their dog into the shower to "help it out! :rolleyes:
After all it could be raining and cold and windy - much nicer for Fido to use the on-board facilities!
:cool::cool::cool:
 
Jul 18, 2017
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If you stop at a service area and plan to leave your unit unattended, don't forget to fit a wheelclamp first.

Not wanting to sound alarmist, but the few times I've stopped, on each occasion my caravan has attracted unwanted attention.

At the Watford gap, a couple of unsavoury characters pulled up behind in a transit tipper, got out and had every intention of stealing until they found me sat in the car. Even had to cheek to pull alongside me as they were leaving, so they could smile at me before driving off.
Excellent advice and can only reiterate the above especially to newbies.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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If you stop at a service area and plan to leave your unit unattended, don't forget to fit a wheelclamp first.

Not wanting to sound alarmist, but the few times I've stopped, on each occasion my caravan has attracted unwanted attention.

At the Watford gap, a couple of unsavoury characters pulled up behind in a transit tipper, got out and had every intention of stealing until they found me sat in the car. Even had to cheek to pull alongside me as they were leaving, so they could smile at me before driving off.
We also don"t leave our caravan unattended at services what i like to do is stretch my legs and have a rest .
 
May 7, 2012
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On most trips we use a lot of motorway and therefore stop at services although we normally eat in the van. If we leave it we have the Nemisis Ultra which is fast to fit and should be secure.
On other roads we look got laybys where the parking is set back from the road. If you use the ones that have no separation, passing traffic will rock the caravan.
 
Mar 27, 2011
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Lol made me laugh about the idea of taking the dog for a jimmy riddle in the shower cubicle, my dog won’t even go in our own garden, she waits until she’s out for a walk.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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At the risk of being hated for ever I bet there are some who would happily take their dog into the shower to "help it out! :rolleyes:
After all it could be raining and cold and windy - much nicer for Fido to use the on-board facilities!
:cool::cool::cool:
Not in our caravan our two dogs will not be using the shower cubicle they are use to going for walks in any weather raining ,snow ,cold or windy . and that the same at home but they do use garden as well ,
 
Oct 17, 2010
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My Russell used to love snow, deeper the better, he'd occasionally pop his head up with a pile of snow on his snout, to see if you were still there.

In the van he had his area and that's where he stayed. Would have palpitations if he went in shower.
 
Oct 12, 2020
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I'm new to caravanning as well, and posts like this, warning about the dangers of leaving your van unattended are really useful. We've got kids who are still young enough that stopping at the services is a treat and part of the holiday, and we'd never have thought twice about parking the caravan and leaving it at a services.
 
May 7, 2012
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I do go with the idea of a full tank when I set off. We tend to try and keep to under 250 miles in a day so that is well withing the capacity of the tank. Motorway services are never a problem if you ignore the price and most service stations are safe enough although some supermarket ones can be tight.
You can use Google earth to check out locations if you have an idea where you will need fuel, but if on ordinary roads aim to fill up well before you need to, that way you can check out most petrol stations as you approach.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Like Haywood I check out motorway services on Google Earth as it shows where the caravan parking will be and also HGV parking. What I specifically look for are two things. One ca I enter the caravan parking before the fuel without getting slung back out onto the motorway. Secondly if as happens regularly the caravan parking is full can I enter HGV parking and then fuel on way out.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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Also like Raywood i always go with a full tank but i have stopped at Tibshelf motorway services located on the M1 Motorway accessible between junction 28 & 29 on both northbound and southbound directions as i enter caravan parking but we always put a hitchlock and wheelclamp on the caravan but there always one of us with the car .
 
Oct 8, 2006
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Best without a doubt is Gloucester services on the M5 near....Gloucester. Separate caravan park with CCTV but lots of other caravanners around.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Best without a doubt is Gloucester services on the M5 near....Gloucester. Separate caravan park with CCTV but lots of other caravanners around.
It is a good one and it’s owned by the same business as the one in Westmoreland on the M6 actually now in Cumbria near Shap. Again really excellent.
 

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