We had never RVed before but we're adventurous. We did our homework as to what we wanted. We landed in Paris in March 2006,rented a car and gave ourselves 2 weeks to find a RV. We were looking for an Integral (like a smaller class A ). We wanted an inside garage to store a small motorcycle. We found one in 10 days. A 2 yr. old 21FT.Knauss with a Fiat diesel engine. We toured France and Spain until the fall and then bought a brand new 25 Ft. Rapido 996M with a Mercedes engine which we took delivery of in May 2007. To register a vehicle anywhere in the E.U. you need a guarantor from whatever country you make your gateway. You need a copy of his passport, a statement that you rent, reside or otherwise stay there and his permission to use his adress. Then, you register it and get insurance. You have to set up an account with a local bank and deposit money there to cover your pre payment for insurance etc... It takes some getting use to but it isn't so bad. Then you are free to drive anywhere in the E.U. and go to Russia, Turkey, and all ex soviet countries with the regular visas needed for tourists.
We flew there for 3 months in the summers and 3 months in the falls returning home for summer boating and for winter skiing. Also because summers are too busy there and winters are fairly cold unless you stick to mediterranean areas. Storing in the lay over times was easy enough. we aimed for empty rental spaces in campgrounds in the winters and empty winter storage places in the summer. We booked our flights, then 2 weeks before we started our search made reservations there and then toured again until 2 days before departure and took transportation to the airport and home we went.
We toured in this fashion for 4 years moving North to South with the seasons and progressively from West to East in a large zig zag.it went something like this: around France till Jun 06, home, back Sept. to see Germany Switzerland Hungary, Tcheck and slovakia,down to Sicily ,storage near RomeNov.to Mar. then Rome up to Britain, storage Glasgow for summer, rest of Britain down to Vienna for the winter,up to All Scandinavian countries to Cape North, then to Oslo for summer the in the fallBaltic ,RussiaByelorussia, Ukrain, Moldova, Bulgaria, Turkey, Serbia, Croatia, Italy again. Back to France, sell off and the end fall 09. We travelled almost every day except for bigger cities an only stayed in campgrounds about 10 times in the whole trip. Highly recommended if history and culture lovers. Castles, churches, mountains, fjords. galore.Never felt threatened. If serious about going, we could advise further by phone etc...
Now we bought a 42 ft. 2009 DP and will start (you guessed it) Zig Zagging with the seasons north to South moving from East to West about 4 months in the Spring and 4 months in the fall. Home 2 months in summer to boat and 2 months in winter to ski, Holidays and the 6 children and 12 grand children. Life is beautiful. We are blessed.