This is our personal opinion of staying at Le Ranc Davaine in the Ardeche and also our view on the new Euro Camp Aspect caravan. We stayed at this park for 7 nights and we had 2 caravans between 4 adults and 2 children in August 2015. This was the first stop of our 2 week holiday in France. The Aspect Caravan is the top of the range caravan which also came at a price at this parc (just over £1600 for the caravan for the week, in hindsight I probably wouldn’t book this type of caravan again unless it was under £900 for a week)
We had the new 3 bedroom Aspect Caravan which consisted of 1 double bedroom, 1 twin bedroom and 1 bedroom with bunk beds. This is a very modern Caravan/holiday home, it has lots of internal living space (although a wardrobe is placed within the living room/kitchen area which is slightly out of place) From the living area there are two patio doors that lead out onto a lovely outdoor decking area with a gate; which is great for having young children around. The decking is also covered with a permanent canopy.
You get given everything you need for cooking and there is also a TV screen (Its not a TV with channels, you can play DVDs on it), a kettle and toaster (I think this is the only type of caravan where you get a proper kettle and toaster!).
The things we found we didn’t like were lack of kitchen storage (we used the wardrobe in the living area but if that was already in use then would be lacking in space) Microwave is rubbish compared to the lower Eurocamp caravans and the mattresses and pillows were shockingly rubbish. (pillows too soft and mattresses were too hard) Included in the price you get your own MIFI to use and you get your bed linen also included. Normally you have to purchase this on top of the price of the accommodation.
Problems we had while on holiday:
The following happened to our caravan only, my parents caravan was perfectly fine.
- No car park space next to the caravan (instead a dedicated car park), which meant countless journeys back to the cars to get everything out. On departure we decided to reverse up the path…I don’t think we were suppose to but it took half the time to pack the car back up.
- With the new Aspect caravans you get a WIFI (MiFi) unit for your personal use. When we arrived ours was completely dead and with no charger. Luckily we used my parents charger which worked.
- Our electricity kept cutting out on our first two days which doesn’t help when your in the shower and then plunged into pitch blackness!
- Our AC was broke and when we said to the Euro Camp staff they said someone would be round to fix it…nobody came. Took my husband nearly 4 days to find the correct settings to get it to work properly. Not good in 40 degree heat and with 2 small children.
Our Biggest Complaint
- One night we smelt gas, we phoned the emergency number which didn’t work, I quickly went round to the Euro Camp tent and nobody was there so left a little note for them. Tried the emergency phone again upon my return to the caravan and it worked. Cut a long story short we had to stamp our feet and demand someone come out to see the caravan asap as we have a 6 month old and a 4 year old…were they happy…no there werent. They kept on telling us that yes they could smell gas but we would be fine! Eventually someone came out and checked everything over and everything was sorted. The Irish team leader seems to be the only one with his head screwed on. He was nice enough to come check on us the next day and apologise for his staffs lack of help.
- Also the other problem we had and found quite annoying were the Euro Camp staff (apart from the Irish team leader) When we have been to other Euro Camp parks upon arrival we have been given a welcome meeting with the person handing out leaflets and telling us about the area…this time nothing. We were quickly shown the caravans and then left. In our caravan none of the beds were made (my parents on the other hand did), which according to the Eurocamp website all beds should be made for your arrival! The young girl who was there we found very cheeky and she often spoke before thinking which often meant she said things that were insulting and rude. She also came round at 9am on departure (check out is 10am) and burst out with “you not left yet?!” What a lovely way to finish your weeks holiday!
So as you can see we didn’t have it easy, if our Aspect Caravan had been like my parents caravan then maybe things would have been slightly different. The caravan itself is definitely lovely though, with the feeling of space.
Le Ranc Davaine Campsite in the Ardeche
We have been to this camp site before, although it was some 15 plus years ago. This was one of the reasons we decided to go back as we wanted to bring back some of the memories we had while there as kids. My older brother passed away in 2011 just after our eldest son was born so we thought it would be nice to visit the campsite again.
The camp site itself is lovely although be it overcrowded and slightly cramped. It seems to have doubled in size since we last went. This meant we found there was a lack of green space for the kids to play unless they play on the roads or go down to the football pitch etc. Which is no good for toddlers who need supervision. It has a big plus of having direct access to the river which is great for kids to play in (with adult supervision of course)
We could hear the evenings entertainment on several occasions and we were near the entrance to the park so not close up to the main area. It wasn’t too loud though and we could sleep through it. Might be more annoying if you had a pitch closer to the centre of the park.
Swimming & Food
The pool we thought was overcrowded when we went, and we found the “no sandals/flip flop” to be quite dangerous. The walking areas were very hot and my mum burnt the bottom of her feet. Not good so we wore sandals to go out. There was also hardly any shade and no sunbeds were available, so unfortunately we did not stick around for long.
We also ate at the restaurant on 3 occasions, each time the food was lovely and the staff were very nice. You get quite big portions which we never finished. The park also has a shop, and laundry facilities (6 euros for use of the washing machine)
Overall we would recommend the new Euro Camp Aspect Caravan, when we go to other parks we will be looking for this type of caravan, our experience definitely didn’t put us off. The park we visited we probably wont go back to again mainly because of the distance to drive. But once our boys are older we would consider it again.
* Reviews are our own opinion. We haven’t been paid in anyway for writing this.
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