Welcome to Sail & Trail FREE Phone 0800 009 6944

Call FREE 0800 009 6944

What You Must Know Before Taking Your Caravan Abroad  

 

Taking your caravan abroad is an option that has some great benefits; you get the independence of moving when and where you like, while bringing your own little piece of home with you. The rules of the road vary from place to place, so we’ve given you a checklist of things you need to consider before you set off for Europe or the Republic Of Ireland.

 

Plan Ahead

It’s wise to be familiar with your route, carrying either maps or a satnav which functions in the countries you’re visiting.

Check your vehicle and caravan thoroughly before you leave to make sure they’re roadworthy, examining the tyres of your caravan for tread, bulges and perished rubber especially as they’re often a hotspot for roadside trouble. Don’t forget to manually adjust your headlights or buy converters to do the job for you.

 

caravan europe

 

Insurance

You’ll need to phone your insurance provider to make sure you’re covered wherever you’re going.

Make sure, also that you’ve got breakdown cover for all the countries you’ll be visiting, and have the contact details for them along with a mobile phone that operates in Europe; being stuck on a foreign motorway with no help in sight is not a pleasurable way to spend your holiday!

 

Documentation

It’s essential that you have the passports for everyone that’s travelling, your insurance certificate, an MOT certificate for your car if its more than 3 years old, your V5C (log book) and of course your driving license. It’s also a good idea to have a European Health Insurance Card for everyone on board in case you need to make use of the medical system.

 

Check the Legalities

Speed limits can vary from one country to the next, and it isn’t always apparent what the limit is on every road. In France, for example, when you enter a built up area, the speed limit automatically goes down to 50km/h, and for heavily populated residential streets may be 30km/h, with no signage.

For a full list of the speed limits in European countries, see this webpage: http://www.caravanclub.co.uk/overseas-holidays/advice-and-information/compulsory-requirements/speed-limits

It’s also worth noting that in most European countries it’s illegal to have a navigation system or program that alerts you to the presence of mobile speed cameras, or speed traps; in France, Germany and Switzerland, if you’ve got a satnav you’ll need to disable the fixed speed camera alerts as they’re prohibited too.

If you’re planning to tow a car, the safest option is to have a trailer so all 4 wheels of the vehicle are off the ground. The law on A-frames is a bit hazy and seems to depend on how the local police interpret it; while some have had no trouble with using these abroad, others have faced on-the-spot fines.

 

Equipment

What you’re required to carry with you as you travel varies from country to country. All EU countries dictate that you must carry a warning triangle, and you’ll need two in Spain or Croatia.

In Spain you’ll also need a marker board for the rear of your caravan, which should be a plain yellow square with a red border.

Other equipment you are at least recommended, and in some countries required, to have with you are: a fire extinguisher, a reflective jacket, a first-aid kit, spare glasses if you need them, spare headlight bulbs, and snow tires or chains in icy conditions.

Leave a Reply