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Borussia 1900

How far is too far?

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How far do you consider 'safe' for a days towing?

 

A friend of mine is setting off to our site of choice in Spain later today (we're meeting up there next week), he's towing a large caravan with a VW Passat estate. From my house its exactly 1300 Km but he lives near Dortmund so you can add another 100 Km to that. He's driving there in a 'one-er', no stops en-route which I think is crazy (dangerous), he say's I should man up!

We're doing it over 3 days, 500 Km - overnight stop, 500 Km - overnight stop, 300 Km - arrive fresh. For us the overnight breaks (we arrive on sites around 3pm and leave the next day around 8am) are part of the holiday and we look forward to them.

 

So who thinks I should 'man up' and do the whole journey without a break?

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Posted (edited)

May be your friend should "grow up" and drop the macho image to take full account his responsibilities and duty of care to other road users as well as his passengers. 800+ miles is a long drive without breaks

Edited by Legal Eagle
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HGV driver's permitted hours are a sensible yardstick.

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Posted (edited)

solo I have done 650 miles with a decent break (Cold Play concert) in the middle.

 

807 miles / 1300k  is doable with breaks an a comfortable car but towing a caravan, that's a damn long way and I'm not convinced I could do it. some people are able to stay alert and awake better then others but I would suggest a decent break at 400 miles and again at 600 would be wise

 

I think I would do it over 2 days

 

macafee2

Edited by macafee2

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How many driving hours do you estimate he needs?  I motorcycled 3,000 miles over a long weekend in California/Nevada heat and never felt sleepy.  But could average 60 to 70.

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Not towing but in the sixties I have left the city of Salisbury at 4am in the morning and arrived at my destination Cape Town which is 2000 miles at 12.30pm the next day having slept for about 4 hours.  Cortina MkII.  Cape Town to Johannesburg 1000 mile is a day trip.  Would not dream of doing it again at my age.

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How many hours will it take, the time taken can be more important than distance ? As well as too far for the driver, any passengers will not appreciate it. Most I've done is about 300 miles taking 8 hours including dropping the caravan off in storage and that was more than enough. A good sleep the few nights before helps, no sense in risking falling asleep driving.

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In my old job, I used to be a field services engineer, silly distances no problem!

When done south of France a sensible thing was. S wales to Black Horse farm (Dover), tunnel, Overnight somewhere around Beaune, then to destination! As said 3 days 2 overnight. later years we have done Plymouth Santander, the destination. Planning this for next year!

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Three times a year for work i would leave home in the Midlands at 6.00am and drive to Dijon, arriving there at around 6.30pm. My only real break was the half hour in the tunnel. I hated it and certainly wouldn't do it again.

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Posted (edited)

working it out , I'd say it's roughly 12 hours at 70 mph. I don't know about speed restrictions in Europe.  Are all roads similar to a motorway but with little or no traffic or obstructions, so there wouldn't be any hold ups e.g. roadworks or accidents?  So if he's fit , young and stupid , then I would say , go for it.  He will probably sleep for the first two days of his holiday  :blink: 

Years ago we travelled from the West Country to Wales, it took 13 hours as we were in a traffic jam for 9 hours. This is the sort of thing that you have to cater for when travelling long distance.

Edited by joanie

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49 minutes ago, Borussia 1900 said:

How far do you consider 'safe' for a days towing?

 

A friend of mine is setting off to our site of choice in Spain later today (we're meeting up there next week), he's towing a large caravan with a VW Passat estate. From my house its exactly 1300 Km but he lives near Dortmund so you can add another 100 Km to that. He's driving there in a 'one-er', no stops en-route which I think is crazy (dangerous), he say's I should man up!

We're doing it over 3 days, 500 Km - overnight stop, 500 Km - overnight stop, 300 Km - arrive fresh. For us the overnight breaks (we arrive on sites around 3pm and leave the next day around 8am) are part of the holiday and we look forward to them.

 

So who thinks I should 'man up' and do the whole journey without a break?

We have to drive 825 to 850 miles from our flat in Scotland to our French hovel via the Newhaven to Dieppe Ferry which gives us a 4 hour break/sleep plus about 2 hours rest in the ferry queue prior to loading. We used to does over a day and a half [set off 0830 Monday and arrive about 1330 on Tuesday] after a 2 or 3 hour doze break around Alencon, and by the time we reached the hovel, I was fit for nothing, other than a quick tour of the house and garden to see what needed done first, a coffee and slice of toast and then crash out to catch up on sorely missed sleep.

Now, with the caravan, we can take an overnight stop in the Midlands, on the way to the ferry and can arrived feeling relatively fresh. Still need the doze break at Alencon, but that freshens me up rather than surviving whilst I take 5 steps backwards to catch up with my eyeballs.

As Legal Eagle says, it's not safe to try this length of journey without a break. And there is the important consideration that, whilst your friend is free to commit suicide if he wishes, the poor so and so he collides with in that escapade is denied any choice in deciding whether to shuffle off this mortal coil or not.

Stupid and downright dangerous.

Steve

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It all depends on attitude to tiredness - when I was working there was pressure to delay a break, whether driving for business for pleasure - but since retiring, I quickly learnt how beneficial a short break can be as soon as tiredness shows itself, especially with no pressure to be somewhere by a certain time.

 

Three years ago I drove the National Three Peaks Challenge 24, covering 1000 miles in about 38 hours - and a couple of years ago I did a solo road trip, Midlands to North Coast of Scotland - 550 miles in 11 hrs 22 mins, including 1 hr 50 mins in breaks so 9 hrs 31 mins driving time - I wouldn't want to do any more than that in time with a caravan.

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He’s a 49 year old German fella, I know quite a few Germans on our Spanish site who do it in 1 go, sod that!!

 

When I was younger I used to drive from Celle in northern Germany via Calais Dover to Yorkshire but that wasn’t towing a caravan.

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1 hour ago, Stevan said:

HGV driver's permitted hours are a sensible yardstick.

 

Thats a pretty good yardstick to start with.

 

Last summer I did 325 miles from Charente Maritime to Port en Bassein with only a couple of minutes for a pee about half way; it dawned on me as we got closer to the destination that I was not far away from being ‘on the edge’, my view was there was probably another hour in my at the most but like Borussia 500k (c300 miles) is probably a good limit for a days driving.

 

Unless you are Dutch towing a caravan, when you can do 400 miles in the same amount of time 😂

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Mine own record was driving solo non-stop (apart from filling up with petrol) from Detroit to Quebec and back to Montreal, a distance of about 1500km, but I'm three times as old now and wouldn't dream of doing such a thing today. However, we met a 72 year old German lady in southern Spain the other week who drove her motorhome single handed over 700km on one leg to her destination.

Lately, we have found that around 400km is a nice comfortable distance to cover before stopping over. It gives one opportunity to relax in the evening upon arrival and perhaps even end the day with a nice barbecue or even a bit of local sightseeing on foot to get some much needed exercise. I appreciate that this is not always possible among the working folk who have to try to make the most of their precious holiday break, but as a retiree I have the time. Our trip to southern Spain took us 5 days there and even longer coming back because it got so hot that we interrupted our return journey in the south of France to cool down in the waters of the Med for a couple of days before heading inland.

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3 minutes ago, Lutz said:

I appreciate that this is not always possible among the working folk who have to try to make the most of their precious holiday break, but as a retiree I have the time. 

 

Thats one reason why I suck up the cost of a western crossing - this summer it is 120 miles on this side, overnight crossing and 190 miles on the other side - I could tunnel it but it’s the same 120 miles on this side and 420 miles in France - that would be two days of driving rather than an easy afternoon and then morning.

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There is, of course, a world of difference between successfully completing a journey, feeling fine at the end and planning a safe journey!

Staying alive while playing Russian Roulette does not prove it to be safe.

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2 hours ago, kelper said:

How many driving hours do you estimate he needs?  I motorcycled 3,000 miles over a long weekend in California/Nevada heat and never felt sleepy.  But could average 60 to 70.

Dortmund to Costa Brava, towing a caravan, no traffic jams or incidents, I‘d say about 16 to 17 hours

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On a good day, I can drive more or less indefinitely, I’ve had jobs where I’d regularly cover 800+ miles in a day. My longest day was about 1100 miles, and I’ve done that distance on a bike in about 16 -17 hours. 

 

I wouldnt fancy doing that with a caravan in tow, though at least with the van on the back it’s easy to stop and have a snooze if needed. If there is someone to split the driving with, I’d be tempted to do what Borussias mate is doing. Sole driver, I think it’s pushing it. 

 

While I can normally comfortably drive long distances, on a bad day, I can feel tired after less than an hour. And I never know whether it’s a good or bad day until the wheels have been rolling for a while. 

 

we’re off up to the Cairngorms in the morning, which’ll be about 400 miles, and I think that’ll probably be enough. Hopefully, not a bad day. 

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3 hours ago, Borussia 1900 said:

So who thinks I should 'man up' and do the whole journey without a break

 

I think you are having more fun, being safer and more sensible.

 

In Europe, we rarely do more than 500km in a day as the kids get too bored. That's a 10am (at best) departure, drive 2-3 hours, stop an hour, drive another 2-3 hours and arrive on site 15:00 - 17:00

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29 minutes ago, Fireman Iain said:

I’d be tempted to do what Borussias mate is doing. Sole driver, I think it’s pushing it. 

 

While I can normally comfortably drive long distances, on a bad day, I can feel tired after less than an hour. And I never know whether it’s a good or bad day until the wheels have been rolling for a while. 

 

we’re off up to the Cairngorms in the morning, which’ll be about 400 miles, and I think that’ll probably be enough. Hopefully, not a bad day. 

He‘s got the Mrs and 2 teenagers in the car but he’s doing all the driving.

 

We went to the Cairngorms at Easter, very nice but a bit tight in places if you’re towing a caravan 

In the early 90’s in the Army, drivers hours, duty of care etc didn’t exist. We would work/drive for days on end, I fell asleep driving a tank once :o luckily it was on the Canadian Prairie and the Commander hit the cut off switch before we hit anything (although there’s nothing there to hit). 

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I've been towing to southern Spain each year for 25 years.   When my wife was alive, because of her severe arthritis, I drove the car and caravan solo, whilst our girls saw her off from Gatwick Airport on Sunday morning.   I kept to the same programme each year, leaving home on Wednesday evening taking the tunnel or ferry from Dover.   I arrived at Baie du Somme near Abbeville around 11pm and slept till 5ish am.   I stopped for the usual meal breaks usually followed by a doze, and arriving at the last filling station on the N10 before Bordeaux around 8 in the evening.   The filling station has a picnic area in a wooded area behind the forecourt.   I settled down amongst the trees, leaving at 5am.   Bordeaux was traffic free at that time and I stopped for breakfast at Cestas on the A10 south of the city.     My next night stop was at another filling station with parking about 90 miles south of Madrid at KM196 on the A4 getting there around 8pm.   Again I was ready to leave by 5am reaching my site on Saturday morning around 11 oclock.   That gave me the rest of the day to put up the awning, ready to meet wifey the next day at Malaga Airport.   That was three daily mileages of 430, 575 and 200.  

Now that I'm on my own I take the ferry to Bilbao then spend two weeks travelling the 600 to 700 miles to the coast.

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We tend not to measure by the distance, but rather by time. To this end, I never exceed coach tachograph hours. The motorhome does not have a tacho, but essentially...

 

Maximum of nine hours driving in a day (can be extended to ten hours)

Minimum 45 minute break after 4 1/2 hours driving.

 

I'm ex travel trade, so these are what we try to adhere to.

 

Russ

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Towing I do 800 - 1000km a day. 1300 Is more than I would want to do.

 

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26 minutes ago, AndersG said:

Towing I do 800 - 1000km a day. 1300 Is more than I would want to do.

 

1000 a day :o, that’s a lot with a caravan.

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