Put you empty barn to work and save the planet!

Put you empty barn to work and save the planet!

As you know, every summer there are many Dutch crowding the French roads with their caravans, slowing down traffic as they mosey down the highways, even being overtaken by big lorries. And burning up extra fuel uselessly, with negative environmental effects. I've invented a way to make it easier for them to leave their mobile home behind in France and get the move on for a change: Parkengo.

With Parkengo, I want to stimulate owners of empty barns in France to try and fill them with Dutch caravans. You can ask about 250 euros per caravan, which is not bad if you are not using the space anyway. With four caravans you've earned a month SMIC!

Of course there are some big storage facilities, but they are spread few and far between. And if someone has to deviate 150 kms from his course just to drop the caravan, this kind of defeats the purpose of keeping them off the roads. Other advantages are a lower CO2-emission and - for the caravan owner - savings in toll charge, a faster trip down and back, and less accident risk.

So if you have a barn (or a caravan for that matter), why not consider putting it on Parkengo.

Welcome to the real world that is modern Africa

That is 625.000 euros per engineer per year. 1750 euros per day. What kind of company do you work with that will give its engineers a luxury suite in a ***** hotel. Each? Why not buy them a house and rent a maid plus a cook?

Far from it - a local company here is expecting the company I work for to pay this to house and feed 4 engineers for 4 years

What do you mean? Who is paying 50 million for 4 people? Are you talking about the royal family?

Thats what I thought - thanks for clarifying (I forget I live in a country where someone is trying to charge us $50 m (yes - thats million) to house and feed 4 people for 4 years

250 euro per caravan per month? That seems optimistic. I think it is more like 250 - 400 euros a year, depending on the quality of the storage. Four caravans in a barn would get you 1000 - 1600 euros. About one month's wages. For a struggling farmer with room left over, this is a nice extra.

Sorry - is that 250 euro per van per month

Well, since there is no border control anymore, who is going to notice the caravan is residing permanently in France? Of course the storage owner should take insurance. On Parkengo you can specify which services are offered (cleaning, shopping, technical, transport).

We looked into this because we had an empty family barn in the right place (Loire Valley - on the autoroute and 1 days drive from Holland.). The caravanners wanted water and electricity on site so they could clean the caravan in the spring. Some also asked about provision of a mobile mechanic to service it ready for the summer.

More problematic was a Dutch lawyer owner who reckoned that a Dutch caravan permanently in France needs to be re-registered in France before use on French roads. The complications of registration (particularly difficult and costly for caravans) and insurance mean that it is not as straight forward as it appears.

The large storage companies obviously have found solutions. I guess they have off road only insurance for the caravans and I know they offer a valet and service deal to owners.

I guess if the caravan tours Europe and is only parked for a few months at a time in France, the registration question would not arise.

Hi, Annie, there is a link in the article. www.parkengo.com. Not all Dutch will be interested, but there are 500.000 of them in the Netherlands and most go South. So if I can persuade 1% to leave their caravan in the area where they will be traveling anyhow, next year, a lot is gained. It is true many bring the caravan home because they want to use it for shorter trips as well. But there are also those that drive it to the netherlands, bring it into a caravan storage there and leave it the entire off-season. So they are paying for the winter storage anyhow! Why not leave it in France then. You could even use it for short week-trips, since you can drive there in one day. Impossible if you take it with you, because this doubles your travel time.

Interesting. tried it with the locals for storing boats etc but didn't work. they would rather keep them on their driveways. Are you sure the Dutch would be interested in leaving their mobile homes in one place. Those that I know like to go off for short breaks to different places not just come to France for the summer. Regardless - how do we get onto Parkengo - is it a website?

yes, lots of people do it, just have a look round the Hérault! as for the gîte, that'll take you decades to get the investment back...!

Not a bad idea but is it acceptable by the laws of the land?

I find that during summer I am very busy but in late Sept it gets a little dull

and in March I am ready to work...

So, together with the fact that extra income would be delightful I am deciding wether I

can gently pesuade J to open a POP up restaurant.

I mention this because we have a lovely pigionier which would be a

great seating area and it would be far cheaper to spruce this up rather

than spending 100 THOUSAND euros to create a one or 2 bed gite....HAVING

to get deeply involved with builders....

OH my gosh the thought of that deeply upsets the sunflowers.

The dramas that go with re creating and building....I could write a small book.

It is just suprising that I have not had a nervous brake down?

Getting back to useing one's assets.

Yes waste not want not.

Great idea. Our problem there is our big barn needs serious repair that we cannot afford. Paradoxically this idea would pay for those repairs after a while. Perhaps one to hold on to in our minds though.

Good idea Gregor, unfortunately I can't help as ours is sold and is going to be turned into gîtes by the new owners