Croatia Romania, Eastern Europe

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Croatia Romania, Eastern Europe

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Posted: 21.02.2021  ·  #1
Planning a future trip.
Has anyone got any tips or advice for touring Eastern Europe in a motorhome.
Firstly I have had a look at the climate as it is likely I’d be there in October and November or Feb and March it looks cold and wet especially when compared to southern Spain but has anyone any experience of these periods would it be any better weather than Ireland?
Security? What are the concerns?
Sites or Aires? Would they be open?
Costs? Fuel? Sites? Beer? Food?
Road quality?
Thinking Croatia and Romania but any other suggestions?

Basically any advice tips experience welcome.

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Re: Croatia Romania, Eastern Europe

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Posted: 21.02.2021  ·  #2
I have visited almost all the countries of Eastern Europe including Romania.
From Italy (I am Italian) we got there via Slovenia and Hungary.
To use their motorways (Vehicles less than 3.5tons) Slovenia requires a sticker and Hungary an electronic registration which can be purchased at the borders. Not known above 3.5 tons.
In Romania you have to buy the "rovinieta", another electronic recording lasting thirty days. Mandatory not only on motorways but everywhere.
Not very frequent but they have portals with cameras.
On the highway from Constance to Bucuresti there is the only toll not included in the "rovinieta", a manned gate with payment by credit card.

We were there in the summer so I can't help you for the other seasons, what I can expect is a continental climate in the north and quite temperate in the south due to the proximity of the Black Sea.
When I was there, apart from a few off grid nights we always stayed in campsites.
They are not many but at least in the areas worth visiting they are located.
I have data on the places where we spent the nights available but they are in Italian.
With a little effort with Google Translate they can still be used. If you want I can send them to you by email.
You can refer to the sites www.campercontact.com and www.archiecampings.eu.

Many guest houses (Pensiunea), often used by truck drivers, offer the possibility of staying overnight for a small amount.

As for your questions:
Security? What are the concerns?
We had no problems whatsoever and always felt safe.
Sites or Aires? Would they be open?
They must be checked individually. When we were there there were very few areas, maybe two or three.
Costs? Fuel? Sites? Beer? Food?
All very cheap.
Supermarkets almost only in medium-sized cities.
Road quality?
Variable but undergoing improvement. Some still in poor condition can be found in Maramures and in the Curtea de Arges area.

Do not miss the boat trip on the Danube Delta (departures from the Murighiol campsites).

Anyway, feel free to ask other questions.

Max

p.s. To my knowledge, in Croatia it is forbidden to stay overnight off grid, it is necessary to use campsites.


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Re: Croatia Romania, Eastern Europe

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Posted: 21.02.2021  ·  #3
I forgot.
You mentioned beer.
Please note that in almost all countries of the former Eastern bloc the maximum amount of alcohol allowed while driving is zero..
Not 0.00x, just zero.
It has never happened to me to be stopped for a check but a small accident would be enough ...

Max


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Re: Croatia Romania, Eastern Europe

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Posted: 21.02.2021  ·  #4
Great info, thanks


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Re: Croatia Romania, Eastern Europe

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Posted: 21.02.2021  ·  #5
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How to attach files to a thread

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Posted: 22.02.2021  ·  #6
I tried to insert an excel file with stopover and other data but I couldn't.
I've seen how to attach photographs but I don't think there is a way to do it with different files.

Max

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Re: Croatia Romania, Eastern Europe

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Posted: 22.02.2021  ·  #7
Quote by rebbyvid

Heres a link to a thread on another forum.
https://www.motorhomefun.co.uk…ys.213730/

Thanks for the link. I didn’t think about insurance. I have got to page 2 of the six and will read the rest later.


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Re: Croatia Romania, Eastern Europe

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Posted: 22.02.2021  ·  #8
Quote by mtravel

I have visited almost all the countries of Eastern Europe including Romania.
From Italy (I am Italian) we got there via Slovenia and Hungary.
To use their motorways (Vehicles less than 3.5tons) Slovenia requires a sticker and Hungary an electronic registration which can be purchased at the borders. Not known above 3.5 tons.
In Romania you have to buy the "rovinieta", another electronic recording lasting thirty days. Mandatory not only on motorways but everywhere.
Not very frequent but they have portals with cameras.
On the highway from Constance to Bucuresti there is the only toll not included in the "rovinieta", a manned gate with payment by credit card.

We were there in the summer so I can't help you for the other seasons, what I can expect is a continental climate in the north and quite temperate in the south due to the proximity of the Black Sea.
When I was there, apart from a few off grid nights we always stayed in campsites.
They are not many but at least in the areas worth visiting they are located.
I have data on the places where we spent the nights available but they are in Italian.
With a little effort with Google Translate they can still be used. If you want I can send them to you by email.
You can refer to the sites www.campercontact.com and www.archiecampings.eu.

Many guest houses (Pensiunea), often used by truck drivers, offer the possibility of staying overnight for a small amount.

As for your questions:
Security? What are the concerns?
We had no problems whatsoever and always felt safe.
Sites or Aires? Would they be open?
They must be checked individually. When we were there there were very few areas, maybe two or three.
Costs? Fuel? Sites? Beer? Food?
All very cheap.
Supermarkets almost only in medium-sized cities.
Road quality?
Variable but undergoing improvement. Some still in poor condition can be found in Maramures and in the Curtea de Arges area.

Do not miss the boat trip on the Danube Delta (departures from the Murighiol campsites).

Anyway, feel free to ask other questions.

Max

p.s. To my knowledge, in Croatia it is forbidden to stay overnight off grid, it is necessary to use campsites.


Thanks for the information, looks like I’ve got some planning and further research ahead.


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Re: Croatia Romania, Eastern Europe

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Posted: 22.02.2021  ·  #9
Great thread.
Been researching this option for a while myself.

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Insurance and maintenance

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Posted: 22.02.2021  ·  #10
Insurance ...
I forgot to mention it.
But a distinction must be made.
As an EU citizen (I guess it also applies to those of the ROI) I have the European health card.
However, it only covers first aid and emergencies, any hospitalizations or additional services will be reimbursed afterwards.
Due to Brexit, I can't help Northern Ireland citizens as well as UK citizens in general. Sorry.

Another note concerns the mechanical workshops.
You can find those of the usual brands (Renault, Mercedes, Fiat, Peugeot, Citroen and Ford) only in big towns.
For the rest a myriad of small workshops on which I have some doubts about the ability to operate on modern vehicles also because of the diagnostic equipment and so on.
I recommend getting a list (or POI for satnav) of at least authorized workshops of your brand.

Max


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Re: Croatia Romania, Eastern Europe

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Posted: 22.02.2021  ·  #11
Few more hints.

Roads and Motorways
Prices at the exchange rate of August 2016 and for vehicles up to 3.5 tons.
Check for any special conditions if your vehicle exceeds it.

Slovenia (Motorways):
VIGNETTE (adhesive sticker): https://www.slovenia.info/en/p…nia-by-car
Purchasable at the border.
Divided in two, the lower part to keep in case of policecontrol or request for a duplicate.
Upper part must be placed on the windshield on DRIVER'S SIDE, no matter at what height.
For motorhomes up to 3.5.tons (category 2A) €30 for thirty days.
On the motorway, gates (or toll booths) with license plate reading.

Hungary (Motorways and some unspecified fastways):
Electronic MATRICA (just vehicles registration, no sticker): https://e-autopalyamatrica.hu/en
Mandatory also on some unspecified fastway.
Buyable at the last service before the border. Warning: it is not marked = risk of passing over.
For motorhomes up to 3.5tons (category D2) about €35 for thirty days.
Keep the receipt in case of disputes even after returning home.
On the highway, gates with license plate readings.

Romania (Whole roads network): electronic ROVINIETA (just vehicles registration, no sticker): https://www.roviniete.ro/en/
Mandatory to circulate on the whole road network and not just on motorways.
Purchasable at the border. For motorhomes up to 3.5tons (category A) €7 for thirty days.
Keep the receipt in case of disputes even after returning home.
Portals with license plate readings are not uncommon both on and off the motorway.
Note: On the highway from Constanța to Bucureşti, at the height of Feteşti toll bridge not included in the Rovinieta.
Manual payment at the toll booth (14 lei).

Roads:
Good in Hungary. In Romania, generally better than one might expect but with some exceptions, especially in the mountainous and rural north.
They could be improved but in 2016 the national road 18 was terrible and the 73C (also called 733) just better.
Mandatory dipped headlights (or daylight) on even during the day in all the countries crossed.

Alcohol:
0.00% in Hungary and Romania. 0.05% in Slovenia.
I suggest to not risk. In addition to the fine, there is a risk of the license being withdrawn.

Fuel:
No major problem of geographic availability of point of sales.
The only lacking stretch between Borsa and Campulung Moldovenesc (DN18 about 100km).
In 2016 prices/Lt from 4.78 to 5.00 RON.
We usually refilled at already known brands OMV and LUKOIL (in one occasion the Russian GAZPROM).
I believe that ROMPETROL and PETROM are the local equivalents of BP.
Not used "exotic" brands and always made small supplies instead of full ones.
In case of problems with poor quality fuel, there is less of it in the tank and it dilutes with what is already there.
However, the problem does not exist.

Currency:
Slovenia: EURO.
Hungary: FORINT (Not changed).
Romania: RON (Or Leu and Lei in the plural). We have always changed at banks without commissions.
Credit cards:
Visa / MC widely accepted. Definitely for fuel and supermarkets. Some campsites grumble or don't accept it.

Language:
Almost always only Romanian. Incomprehensible. Quite seldom English is an alternative.

Food supply:
Villages:
In almost all of them, at least in the larger ones, it is easy to find mini or micro markets (so they call them).
Very poor for our needs and habits, both in terms of quality and availability of articles.
Bread is almost always only packaged and very seldom fresh.
Good fruit and vegetables instead.
Small towns:
Near them it is not difficult to find supermarkets even if they are often only Lidl or discounts (Penny, Billa).
Large towns:
No problem, Malls with Auchan and Carrefour type chains are almost everywhere.

Public transport:
Used only in Bucharest. Problematic purchase of tickets.
They are not sold on buses and at the Casa Alba campsite they do not keep them.
They tell us that three stops away there is a kiosk where they sell them but I don't know where it really is.
We were helped by one of the guardians who was returning to the center, we traveled with him who lent us his card.
A good alternative can be to use taxis which they say are cheap.
Useless in the rest of the other locations, all of which can be visited by walking.

Internet connection:
With few exceptions, all campsites have WiFi connection, which is almost always free and very fast.
Bars and restaurants are also often equipped with them.
If you don't have any business reasons that need constant connection to the network, you can save money.

Max


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Re: Croatia Romania, Eastern Europe

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Posted: 22.02.2021  ·  #12
Quote by StrandcampingDoonbeg

Planning a future trip.
Has anyone got any tips or advice for touring Eastern Europe in a motorhome.
Firstly I have had a look at the climate as it is likely I’d be there in October and November or Feb and March it looks cold and wet especially when compared to southern Spain but has anyone any experience of these periods would it be any better weather than Ireland?
Security? What are the concerns?
Sites or Aires? Would they be open?
Costs? Fuel? Sites? Beer? Food?
Road quality?
Thinking Croatia and Romania but any other suggestions?

Basically any advice tips experience welcome.


Jamie....We've been to Romania in the MH. Even drove down to Romania's Black Sea Mamaia area which was beautiful. Diesel costs are similar to here. As max stated, you will need a Rovinetta for your stay but they are cheap and can be purchased in most fuel stations. Food and drink is very cheap compared to Ireland. Also a revelation for me was how good Romanian wine is...Delicious stuff and again...Very cheap. There are some amazing sights to be seen, Some roads are terrible but the main ones are ok. In fairness, The motorway to Bucharest was excellent. There is much to see and do in Romania. It has Europes largest area of natural Forest...Just watch out for the bears! Stunning lakes, rivers mountains, beaches etc.

We wild camped 99% of the time and never felt safer. It helped that Mirela is Romanian so she was able to ask locals what the story was with Parking and they were very helpful.

Weather wise it can be like Spain in the summer but cold and snow in the winter. Quite a few will speak english, especially in the bigger towns and cities so communication shouldnt be an issue.

Just watch out for the Romanian Police.....They will see you parked up for the night and escort you to there personal field or land and let you stay as long as you want!.....Could never see the Gardai doing that!...Check out video attached....These Finnish fulltimers have an excellent series of vlogs in Romania and Bulgaria...Worth checking out.



Our van parked at in Romania 2016 visiting Mirelas friends..

 
 


Parked up in Brasov....Lovely city

 


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Re: Croatia Romania, Eastern Europe

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Posted: 22.02.2021  ·  #13
Quote by panda

Quote by StrandcampingDoonbeg

Planning a future trip.
Has anyone got any tips or advice for touring Eastern Europe in a motorhome.
Firstly I have had a look at the climate as it is likely I’d be there in October and November or Feb and March it looks cold and wet especially when compared to southern Spain but has anyone any experience of these periods would it be any better weather than Ireland?
Security? What are the concerns?
Sites or Aires? Would they be open?
Costs? Fuel? Sites? Beer? Food?
Road quality?
Thinking Croatia and Romania but any other suggestions?

Basically any advice tips experience welcome.


Jamie....We've been to Romania in the MH. Even drove down to Romania's Black Sea Mamaia area which was beautiful. Diesel costs are similar to here. As max stated, you will need a Rovinetta for your stay but they are cheap and can be purchased in most fuel stations. Food and drink is very cheap compared to Ireland. Also a revelation for me was how good Romanian wine is...Delicious stuff and again...Very cheap. There are some amazing sights to be seen, Some roads are terrible but the main ones are ok. In fairness, The motorway to Bucharest was excellent. There is much to see and do in Romania. It has Europes largest area of natural Forest...Just watch out for the bears! Stunning lakes, rivers mountains, beaches etc.

We wild camped 99% of the time and never felt safer. It helped that Mirela is Romanian so she was able to ask locals what the story was with Parking and they were very helpful.

Weather wise it can be like Spain in the summer but cold and snow in the winter. Quite a few will speak english, especially in the bigger towns and cities so communication shouldnt be an issue.

Just watch out for the Romanian Police.....They will see you parked up for the night and escort you to there personal field or land and let you stay as long as you want!.....Could never see the Gardai doing that!...Check out video attached....These Finnish fulltimers have an excellent series of vlogs in Romania and Bulgaria...Worth checking out.



Our van parked at in Romania 2016 visiting Mirelas friends..

 
 


Parked up in Brasov....Lovely city

 



Thanks for the information I think it’ll be a great trip sometime but it may have to wait a few years. I’ll quiz you further when you are next here.

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Re: Croatia Romania, Eastern Europe

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Posted: 22.02.2021  ·  #14
If ever have the opportunity to venture to Romania, I highly recommend use Transalpina and Transfagarasan in your route planning (looks like Stelvio and Grossglockner had a chilld ) ...
If you visit Bran Castle
 
you will be suprised to find out that has very little to do with Dracula
Rural areas you will find friendly people, genuine and more than happy to help you out. Urban not the same...everybody is busy and peculiar characters.
In Hungary, Ballaton Lake is a well worth visit..


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Re: Croatia Romania, Eastern Europe

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Posted: 23.02.2021  ·  #15
I would definitely recommend Lake Balaton but be aware that
lots of the villages around the lake are called Balatonsomething. We went out on bicycles one day and rode for hours then decided to get the train back. Took us a few goes before we found the right Balaton


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Re: Croatia Romania, Eastern Europe

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Posted: 23.02.2021  ·  #16
Quote by vasilelung

If you visit Bran Castleyou will be suprised to find out that has very little to do with Dracula
Rural areas you will find friendly people, genuine and more than happy to help you out. Urban not the same...everybody is busy and peculiar characters.
In Hungary, Ballaton Lake is a well worth visit..


Vlad II the Impaler may never have been to Bran, but was held captive in Corvin Castle in Hunedoara.
He is said to be buried in the Snagov Monastery, about forty kilometers north of Bucuresti.

Note 1: in Hunedoara you can "admire" some Roma's mansions, the most tacky and kitschy you can say you have ever seen.
You might see more around the town of Arad.
Note 2: Lake Balaton is little more than a puddle of dirty water. Obviously that's my opinion.


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