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Quick Tour: The 2017 DCR Eurobike RV

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As is customary the last few years, I rent an RV and drive down to Eurobike for the week long festivus.  The main reasons I do this is that it’s both cheaper than most hotels, as well as being a huge timer saver on a daily basis.  Finding hotels that are close to the convention halls is both tough and expensive, whereas the convention center actually provides a massive RV campground a mere 100 meters away from the main halls.  It’s like one giant party.

Albeit, one giant party in the rain this year.

I didn’t end up doing a Eurobike RV tour while at Eurobike itself this year, for the simple reason that it was monsooning most of the days of the show.  So instead I filmed it as I worked my way back  to Paris from Eurobike through the Swiss Alps.

Within it I show where I stash all the gadgets, trainers, and goods I use – not just for Eurobike posts, but actually many posts leading up to and after Eurobike.  You’ll see lots of things I shot or filmed from the RV over the coming weeks.  It’s just the way I roll, literally.

Without further ado, enjoy!

Note, if you want to look back at history, I did a DCR Eurobike RV tour a few years ago, which you can find here as well.

Also, like past years we did some recording and testing at the DCR Eurobike RV.  For example the Zwift Podcast recorded an episode outside under the awning.  Well, at least until the awning collapsed under the torrential rains.

You can watch the full podcast here (or listen to the podcast here):

And as noted, other goodness coming down the road too.  It was a perfect place to hold meetings to see upcoming show tech…off the show floor.

Frequently Asked Questions:

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I’ve had a ton of questions (mostly from people at Eurobike) about the RV while at Eurobike.  Here’s the rundown of the most common ones:

Did you rent the RV, and if so – where?

Yes, I rented it from a place in Paris, but you can also rent from a place in Zurich. The one in Zurich is couple of kilometers from the airport (5 minute drive).  I booked it online in July, super easy.  From Zurich it’s about a 2 hour drive to the Eurobike show grounds.  Whereas from Paris it’s roughly 7-9 hours depending on traffic and the route you take.

Where did you park it?

There’s a dedicated RV parking lot (well, more like three of them) on the grounds of the Eurobike convention center.  Essentially they’ve turned one of the parking lots into an RV lot.  It costs $20 per night to park there.  This includes electric for you to plug the RV into.

Additionally, the parking lot includes large shower stalls (usually hot/warm if you time it right), bathrooms, a dish cleaning area, and a water fill/dump station.  Oh, and it’s all of a 3-minute walk to the front door of Eurobike.

Was there electricity & water?

Yes, at the Eurobike lots they did have plugs for RV’s (included).  They also had a location to fill your water tanks near the entrance, so you can drive over there to fill-up at the start of the week.  Further, they had a central dump tank station as well for toilet goodness.  Right behind it, a small walkway/tunnel connects you to the main convention center that you can see in the background.

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Is there WiFi?

Not in the RV lot itself.  There is good cell service though.  The convention halls have WiFi, but it’s terribly slow.  What I did was buy pre-paid SIM cards from ALDI, the grocery store that’s nearby.  While I have a French SIM card as well living in France, the whole EU ‘use data anywhere’ thing doesn’t fully apply to all my data allotment, so I still needed more.  On average I went through 5-10GB of data per day uploading posts and videos.

Note, do leave yourself a bit of time to figure out the German SIM card activate process.  It’s one of the most wonky and complicated anywhere in the world.  I actually had to basically FaceTime with someone to get it all working.

How much did the RV rental cost?

It’s pretty cheap – cheaper than a hotel would be in this area during this week.  For Monday to Friday it would have been 750EUR (total).  We added a few extra days on the weekend as well of course, so that ups the price a bit.  But for just the Monday-Friday piece it’s rather inexpensive.

That includes a full kitchen set and the tables/chairs outside and the overhang (depending on the model).  It does NOT though include bedding, hence why I have a sleeping bag.  You can rent that from them.  Same goes for towels.  I find in general that even if you have to buy some of this stuff, you can do so at any number of Ikea stores you’ll pass along the way, and your whole payment will likely be under 50 EUR.

What about food?

There are 2-3 large grocery stores within about a 5-7 minute bike distance, right beyond the grounds of the convention center.  The RV lot and the convention center also have free bike rentals through the town, like a bike share program. I didn’t use it, but just an FYI that it’s there.  At worst though it’d be a 15 min walk to the nearest grocery store (which is massive).

From there I could cook anything I’d like.  Since I was plugged in the entire time, the fridge stayed cold (and the freezer stayed frozen). The RV came with two gas tanks for use with the cooking stove inside.

And driving it?

Fairly easy really.  Just like a big SUV, except taller.  It was 6.98m long, or basically 23ft.  And it was 3.2m tall (about 10.5ft).

And yup, I’ll continue to do it next year as well!

With that, thanks for reading!  If you’re looking to burn a bit of time, here’s all my Eurobike 2017 posts!  And yes, there’s still more on the way as I dig out from product announcements the past week or so.

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34 Comments

  1. rodrigo delgado

    DUDE LOL. were all here waiting for the favero assioma pedal review, and instead we get an rv review lol. rv was awesome tho

  2. Derek Chan

    Wow unloading has got to be a pain. Does the rental company find unexpected left behind goodies after you’re done?

  3. Mark

    $20/night with hookups! That would be a steal anywhere in the US. I’ve paid a lot less for a tent site – but also more for just a tent in some popular areas (Yosemite is $26 in the booked sites in the valley)

  4. Michael J Smith

    I like Ben and all, but a semi-weekly podcast with you and Shane Miller would pretty sweet….

    • David R

      Amen to that!

    • Carter Terry

      Ben Who??

      Oh right, that guy that used to do triathlon podcasts that somehow turned into podcasts about golf….

      I do miss the DCR podcast. If you can’t get Ben off the links Ray maybe someone else out there would be willing to take over production credits…you guys had a good thing going there.

      It was truly excellent when you sat in on the Traineroad podcast, start one up with those guys, you four are a match made in heaven for geeking out about bikes (I say as though the four of you actually have time to do more podcasting)!

    • chris

      Do one with Shane, he seems to love making youtube videos. I miss having a podcast about tech to listen to, I’d totally listen to one on tech (watches, GPS etc), one on trainers, and one on power meters!!

  5. I notice you never seem to mention language in any of your posts. How well can you get around if you only know English?

    • No issues. Most German’s speak English really well, as do Austrian’s and Swiss (where I spent much of my time). Parisians can usually get by with some English, though it’s more difficult/impossible if you don’t speak French outside of the major cities. But highway rest stops and such aren’t an issue.

      For example, the RV company I rented from in Paris didn’t speak English (no biggie for me), but they did provide documentation in English, and booking was in English.

    • Tosin

      He’s an international man of mystery.

    • Dave Lusty

      In my experience most French people can speak English, they just choose not to when around people who can’t speak French (only air traffic control in the world not using English!). The Germans though seem to have a very progressive attitude and have decided that English is the language of the Internet so why not go with it. I’ve even been told in Germany to stop speaking German as it’s easier to use English (and I wasn’t that bad at German!!).
      The biggest issue is the British – we’ll be moaning about US English for the next century because “we invented the language” and “they spell everything wrong” even though the planet has adopted the US spellings of everything :)

    • chris

      Yes the spelling in the US is stupid (there was no need to change!!!), the US vocabulary is also rather limited, which is a great shame.

  6. chris benten

    When are you going to take The Girl & Peanut and make vacation out of the event…or is it the wrong time of year?

    • That was actually the plan this time, and the reason why I had a car seat, pack & play, and running stroller. But the weather ended up being horrible for the 3-4 days they were planning on coming down. So rather than have a very active little 14 month old stuck in a small RV for 3-4 days with little room to play, they stayed home. :(

  7. chris benten

    Fred Armison with an English accent!!

  8. Daniel Fleischer

    Huu, i like your comment about the Sim Activation process here in Germany, especially ALDI TALK. Some of my colleagues at office did buy it too. Guess who was in charge helping them activate it. Right, the IT Guy (me!)…
    I did also need some time, not so easy to do as i expected it… So don´t worry about it.

  9. J.Fowler

    Great write up.
    Been going to Eurobike for years and have always wanted to rent an RV and do a tour before the show to ride in Germany and Switzerland.
    How hard was it to get a spot at the RV park at the Messe?

    • Super easy. I arrived Monday afternoon and had tons of spots to choose from. By mid-afternoon Tuesday there’s less prime spots, but certainly some. By Tuesday evening there’s spots to be had, but usually it’s slim pickings. There’s overflow lots too though – so I’m just referring to the nearby lots. The overflow lots are a ways away.

      I will say this year was by far the most packed I’ve seen the RV lot.

  10. Camillo

    Your RV is stashed with lots of goodness. Don’t you fear thieves?

  11. Lauren

    Thanks to your (now rather old) post about renting from Cruise America for the Rumpass in Bumpass we are renting for our homecoming football game from them! Cheaper than a hotel in Morgantown on gameday, and roll out the door for morning alumni band practice and tailgating!

  12. Next time you’re in Lungern, give me a shout! Bike workshop, hot shower, fresh coffee and cold beer always available!!

  13. Kevin

    God I love the way that you roll. One of the most entertaining posts ever. Would love to use you as a travel consultant :)

  14. The Real Bob

    I find these types of posts fascinating. Something you always wonder about but no one ever posts on.

    Kind of like when I first started watching cycling and wondered “what if these guys have to use the restroom during the ride” types of question. How does the sausage get made types of questions.

    great outside the box post Ray.

  15. Hey Ray – great post – perhaps I’ll bring my Motorhome to Eurobike next year.

    But you said there would be a link to the turntable you use for product shots below the video – can’t find them!

    Opps – just found them below the video on YouTube (not the blog) – but I’ve left this here so others might find them :-)

  16. Perry

    Glad to see someone else has a ‘portable man cave’!

    Kim and I opt’d for a used Winnabego Mercedes Sprinter – We had the rear queen bed raised so we can place 3 bikes under the bed. It’s our way of traveling to the races and not needing a hotel room and being able to sleep and train enroute – unless the race isn’t in the US or Canada.