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Review: Caravan/Motorhome Essentials On The Trip To France, from Olpro

Thanks to OlPro for giving us some of their chemicals to test.

As some of you know, we visited the South of France on a whim this year.  The weather in the North of France was dismal so we just kept on driving.  That’s the beauty of taking your home on your back, so to speak.   The weather there was glorious, but to get there and home again, we ended up having to do two overnight stops on French Aire’s.

There are all sorts of stories about how unsafe they are, and yes, there is the possibility for things to go wrong, as things can go wrong anywhere.  If you find yourself in the same boat as us, with nowhere in driving distance, pick your Aire well.

Avoid ones next to large Cities and choose one that also has an overnight petrol station, with regular visitors.  We tend to look for one with lots of other overnighters, so we have safety in number for a few hours kip.  The preferred option would be to find a municipal campsite, but they close quite early and fill up much quicker than literature suggests, so book ahead if you can.

France - SF

We’ve owned caravans for years, and at the moment, we own a motorhome, though that may well change in the future with family illness, but for now, we still enjoy its comforts when we can.


The one thing we all need on this kind of journey is a loo.  French Aires’s do have toilets, but the kids often found them tricky to navigate, and to be honest, there’s no way I’m dragging myself from a comfy bed in the middle of the night to take a child to the loo, no matter how desperate they are.  I don’t understand people who have vans, but never use the loo as it’s easily enough cleaned and maintained with the right help.

France - Toilet

To prolong the life of our favourite little home from home, chemicals are a necessary fact to keep us all healthy.  We need toilet chemicals if we use our toilets, cleaning chemicals, and yes, even things to stop the inside of the vans becoming damp over winter.   The picture above, is the toilet cassette from our van.  Chemicals and water go in the top, and it’s emptied into a toilet or chemical waste point when it’s full.  The chemicals do a great job of breaking down the waste and toilet roll, so that there’s no smell inside the van, no matter what gets dumped into it.  Yes, it has benefited from vomity upchucks with ill children on occasion.

The flush water also needs chemicals, but it usually has to be two different chemicals.  This year, we used the Olpro Bottom and Top Plus.  That meant we only had to carry one bottle for the job.  We used the same chemicals for the flush water as we did to put into the toilet.  Any reduction in weight when you’re travelling in a van is a welcome thing.


We kept going with it for the duration of our holiday and didn’t need to get anything else to use, so we were pleased with the results.  It’s Formaldehyde free and environmentally friendly so can be used on all Caravan & Camping & Caravan club sites and even on inland water ways.  It’s high strength kills all bacteria in both the top and bottom tank and breaks down waste quickly.  It also protects the moving parts within the toilet and ensures the bowl remains clear and free from bacteria.

We’ve also been sent a few other things that have come in handy.  It seems we can get away with four chemicals in total for the van.

Fresh and ClearFresh and ClearWinter LongSanidry Dehumidifying Tray

While we’ve not had the chance to try the Winter Long or the Sanidry Tray yet, they’ll come in handy for winterising the van at the end of this year’s season in October.

We used the Fresh and Clear to flush through the system before we left for France, and used it again when we came back, to make sure the pipes were clean as a whistle.  The Inside and Out is pretty good.  I decanted some into a smaller container to take with us, but it did the job well.   I tended to use wet wipes to clean the toilet before, but this did the job nicely.

The chemicals can be used on caravans, boats, motorhomes and cars too, so there are lots of jobs they can work for.

On the way down through France, the boys stopped at the Millau Bridge.  Apparently it’s the highest and longest suspension bridge in the world, but that was not on my radar until we’d passed it, so our picture is pretty boring.

France - Millau Bridge

France - Beside Millau

The kids loved the weather, so I’d love to go back.  Hopefully more organised and knowing where we’re going before we leave home.  That’s one of my daredevils sitting on the top of that rock on the left.