For a glimpse of the World War 2-related things to do in Bastogne, we moved to Camping Renval in Belgium from Camping Municipal Epernay in the heart of champagne country in France on day 13 of our family road trip. Here’s a quick review of this campsite.
Crossing the Belgian border from France with no problem has increased our confidence level that there are no coronavirus checkpoints at border crossings during this after-lockdown summer. . . so far.
The problem comes with the all-reliable Belgian weather with rain clouds hanging overhead where the sun seems too shy to shine long enough for our socks to dry.
This is our second time camping in Belgium; both with pleasant yet rustic camping conditions. The first one was a municipal campgroud in Chimay. Both seemed to confirm what we’ve heard about Belgium having 8 months of rainy or gloomy weather.
Camping Renval is located very near the center of Bastogne but NOT walking distance to the places that we wanted to see such as the Bastogne War Museum, the American foxholes from World War 2, and the Peace Forest.
There were plenty of empty spaces here for both tents and caravans. During our visit there were only 3 caravans, 2 other tents and another one that stayed overnight.
Many of the more permanent structures (mobile homes) at Camping Renval Bastogne looked like summer houses where the “local residents” know each other.
What we like about Camping Renval. This camping site is about convenience, tranquility and good service with sufficient things to do for kids, such as playground, minigolf, and wide open space.
Note: In case you’re wondering. . . No, we do NOT receive any form of compensation or freebies or anything at all for reviewing or mentioning this camping site or any others.
This campsite is about a 5-minute walk to grocery stores–AD Bastogne, Aldi, Carrefour and a pharmacy. There’s also a gas station right across the street.
The unique thing that Camping Renval has is a 24/7 automated, self-service check-in where you can… well, check yourself in. At the same terminal you can also call the receptionist/owner to the feont desk, apparently useful for obtaining mini golf clubs for example.
For a novelty dinner, walk west along the main highway (Route de Marche) for about 5 minutes and have a good old fastfood on an old tram that has been converted into an American-themed diner.
TO DO: What’s to see/do nearby? Camping Renval s about less than a 10-minute drive to the Bastogne War Museum or the 101st Easy Company Foxholes–the main attractions in Bastogne–and another 5 mjnutes to the Peace Forest (Bois de la Paix).
Our slow-go family recommends giving one day for the war museum area, another day for the foxholes and peace forest, and have a separate half-day for the center, where the tank is.
SHADE. There was hardly any shade in the tent pitch area except for a tree in the middle of the tent area and thosr along the fence that gives some shade during sundown.
ACCESS. The entrance to the camp site was off a main road. There’s a big sign for the camping site. So, no problem spotting it from the road.
The road for the most part shortly after entering the camp, however, is not paved. So, it can be muddy in the rain and it looks like it rains quite often in Belgium.
PITCH. The grassy ground was soft with no problem with hammering tent pegs. The pitch area was big enough for a car, a 3-person tent and two times more.
Privacy hedges. None.
PLAY. Playgrounds are always a bonus. Here, there’s a municipal playground next to the campground which is great for family campers with young kids. There’s also a mini-golf for 4 euros each (free for kids under 5) which could last 2 hours at least of FUN WITH KIDS.
PRICE. Lower than average at 22 euros per night (including tax) for a family of 4 (2 kids–1 under 5), a car, 3-person tent with electricity during high summer season (July).
FACILITIES. Like in Camping Municipal in Chimay, Belgium the facilities here were sufficiently basic. Here , however, it was cleaner and, unlike in other camping sites, Camping Renval provided toilet paper.
There was about 4 showers, 4 toilet and 3 urinals (in the men’s section); likely the same in the women’s.
There were (supposedly) separate bathroom/WC for the “residents”–those who have their summer mobile homes. It was not the case when we were there. Maybe the other bathroom was closed.
DINE/DRINKS. There’s a bar/restaurant near the entrance to the campground to thee playground. We did not try it though.
What we don’t like about this camp site? The bathroom/WC area is tight, particularly the entrance, making it difficult to maintain coronavirus social-distancing guidelines.
The downside of this campsite is that you have to pay 1 euro for a 5-minute shower and it’s not even a hot shower. And it’s not exactly warm weather here in these parts.
We saw a resident let his dog Use the bathroom in the tent area. A sign prohibiting dog pools and zuch suggests This maybe a commonyet peihobitedbehvior.
ANY OTHER? The receptionist spoke English. And, oh, don’t forget to have a look out back, in the ither side if the tree-lined fence. If you’re lucky you might see some beefy blue Belgian cows up close. Mooooo!
So, on you’re next family camping road trip through Belgium, do stop by this place if you would like to be close to the center od Bastogne. It is conveniently licated, with sufficiently basic facilities and pocket-and-family-friendly.
Happy travels to YOU! Big Smile!
Next stop: Off the beaten canping in the Netherlands.