Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
JanP Norway

Long caravan on English roads

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Me and my wife are thinking about to take a trip to England in 2020, or 2021. WE have  never been driving on roads with left side driving. With a car I think we'll feel pretty safe after 2-3 hours on smaller roads. But our challenge is the Caravan. The length of the caravan is 9,5 meters (nearly 32 feet). Together with the car the total lenght is about 48 feet.

Our plan is to visit the south of England, ending up in south west. My wife has been talking about The Isles of Scilly, after she met a nice lady from that place in a summer holiday some years ago.

I'm a bit worried to take out on British rods with a huge caravan. So I'm interested in hearing from other caravanist whom can give some good advise. We are also thinking about renting a motorhome in europe, and take the trip without the caravan.

So if anyone have time to help us with some advise we'll be very happy.

 

Jan and family

Sognefjell_1.jpg

Edited by JanP Norway
Picture upload

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome Jan,  leave the caravan at home and  rent the Motorhome :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I tow a 6.5m car trailer behind a 7.5 m motorhome and 8m caravans with near 6 m trucks  before for years so I don't think your have problems on majority of our roads but you might find you will need to check with sites that they can accommodate a long carvan .

 

Some islands have restrictions and permits on caravans so your need to check 

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The maximum permitted length of a trailer towed by a vehicle with a maximum permitted weight up to 3500kg is 7 metres (excluding the A frame). Your car and caravan would be illegal in the UK. Hire a motor home.

https://www.gov.uk/towing-with-car/weight-and-width-limits

 

In addition, I do not believe there is a vehicle ferry to the Isles of Scilly only a passenger ferry. Freight is moved by crane. Flying is quicker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Legal Eagle said:

The maximum permitted length of a trailer towed by a vehicle with a maximum permitted weight up to 3500kg is 7 metres (excluding the A frame). Your car and caravan would be illegal in the UK. Hire a motor home.

https://www.gov.uk/towing-with-car/weight-and-width-limits

 

In addition, I do not believe there is a vehicle ferry to the Isles of Scilly only a passenger ferry. Freight is moved by crane. Flying is quicker.

 

European visitors with caravans over 7 m are tolerated on our roads .

 

 

Dave

  • Like 1
  • +1 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, CommanderDave said:

 

European visitors with caravans over 7 m are tolerated on our roads .

 

 

Dave

There is no exemption  in law for foreign visitors so it would still be illegal. The fact there are inconsistencies and turning of blind eyes at ports of entry is irrelevant, especially if involved in an incident.

A trailer 32 feet long  and a total combination length of some 48 feet is not going to slip off the ferry unnoticed that easily!

 

As a point of interest, in the summer an over length trailer (not a caravan) being towed by a 4x4 was prohibited from leaving the dockside and turned back by police in Essex when it came off the ferry at Harwich.

Edited by Legal Eagle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Legal Eagle said:

There is no exemption  in law for foreign visitors so it would still be illegal. The fact there are inconsistencies and turning of blind eyes at ports of entry is irrelevant, especially if involved in an incident.

A trailer 32 feet long  and a total combination length of some 48 feet is not going to slip off the ferry unnoticed that easily!

 

I haven't heard of any reports in any of the Continental caravanning forums of anyone not being allowed into the UK  with an over 7m caravan, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Lutz said:

 

I haven't heard of any reports in any of the Continental caravanning forums of anyone not being allowed into the UK  with an over 7m caravan, though.

That assumes a report is very likely to be made. It still doesn't change the law though, so please don't shoot the messenger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for responding. Our plan is to leave the caravan on the main land and only bring the car with us to the Island of Scilly.

I'll check out the length if the total length is too long. In Scandinavia this is no problem. We have in Germany 3 yers, and in 20108 we was in Holland (the city of Alkmaar and Groningen).  We are towing the caravan about 7-9000 km every year.  The biggest challenge is to pass roundabouts. If we go to England I'll check out a place with smaller roads and not start on the roads with much traffic just to learn how to drive on the left hand side of the road.

I saw this travelouge a danish caravanist made in 2013, and we hope to take a trip along some of the places he visited:

 

https://campingferie.dk/2016/11/13/ekspedition-lands-end-introduktion/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Legal Eagle said:

There is no exemption  in law for foreign visitors so it would still be illegal. The fact there are inconsistencies and turning of blind eyes at ports of entry is irrelevant, especially if involved in an incident.

A trailer 32 feet long  and a total combination length of some 48 feet is not going to slip off the ferry unnoticed that easily!

 

It is not illegal in their country and fully insured .  It also come under Vienna Convention .

 

As said they are tolerated .

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I said, I don't think you will get your car to the Isles of Scilly. As far as I know there is no vehicle ferry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks that your information is correct, Legal eagle. From this side I can find correct information:

 

https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/driving-advice/towing-a-caravan/#Can-I-actually-tow-a-caravan

 

The site confirm what you say: 

"Width and length rules

The maximum trailer width for any towing vehicle is 2.55 metres. The maximum length is 7 metres for a trailer towed by a vehicle weighing up to 3,500 kilograms"

 

So it seems that the best thing is to leave the caravan at our Dutch friends home, and rent a motorhome in England. I'll continue to find out more about this.

Legal Eagle: I have noticed that it may be only a passenger ferry. But that's not a big issue. We want to see more of the area, and ferry (boat) is the only way to travel around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, CommanderDave said:

 

It is not illegal in their country and fully insured .  It also come under Vienna Convention .

 

As said they are tolerated .

 

 

 

 

 

They may be tolerated but that doesn't make it permissible in law.

If the Convention states that drivers only need to comply with the laws of their own country when travelling abroad why are UK vehicles required to carry warning triangles, reflective jackets and alter their headlamp alignment in European countries?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, Legal Eagle said:

That assumes a report is very likely to be made. It still doesn't change the law though, so please don't shoot the messenger.

 

I agree that the law has no provisions for exceptions to be made for foreign visitors, but I am sure that if anyone arrived at the docks with a long caravan and was turned away, thus ruining their holiday plans, there would surely have been an uproar in one of the forums. After all, such a restriction is not something that a foreign visitor would normally reckon with.

 

Edited by Lutz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, JanP Norway said:

Thanks for responding. Our plan is to leave the caravan on the main land and only bring the car with us to the Island of Scilly.

I'll check out the length if the total length is too long. In Scandinavia this is no problem. We have in Germany 3 yers, and in 20108 we was in Holland (the city of Alkmaar and Groningen).  We are towing the caravan about 7-9000 km every year.  The biggest challenge is to pass roundabouts. If we go to England I'll check out a place with smaller roads and not start on the roads with much traffic just to learn how to drive on the left hand side of the road.

I saw this travelouge a danish caravanist made in 2013, and we hope to take a trip along some of the places he visited:

 

https://campingferie.dk/2016/11/13/ekspedition-lands-end-introduktion/

 

I think you will find English roads very very different from Norway. There are few if any roads with not much traffic on them, and some of our smaller roads are the most difficult. Indeed the route you are planning has some of the most crowded roads in the country. Roads down on the south west are the most difficult of all with narrow winding roads and high earth and stone banks on either side. Parking will also be a problem. I think you will find campsites few and far between that will accept that sized caravan.  You should also be aware that British drivers are not used to that sized caravan so will not be aware of the rear end swinging out when turning or the need to steer wide when going round corners.

 

Something I'd never considered until a Canadian pointed it out, is that most UK roads have kerbs so avoiding those could be a real problem with a caravan that size if you are not used to them.

Edited by thebriars
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Lutz said:

 

I agree that the law has no provisions for exceptions to be made for foreign visitors, but I am sure that if anyone arrived at the docks with a long caravan and was turned away, thus ruining their holiday plans, there would surely have been an uproar in one of the forums.

 

But surely a potential visitor would as the OP make some effort to know if bringing a very large van to the UK was viable, before getting on the ferry?

 Over here we tend to find out what is needed to comply with going the other way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Narrow and curvy roads in Norway can be like this map shows. You cannot see the actual width of the road, but is about 4,5-5 meters in much of the part with the curves. And from the fjord it rises up to 1100-1200 meters in 15-16 km.

 

We'll continue and find out more what to do. This is a great forum, niece and helpful people here, and u respond quick!!

 

Google "Sognefjell" and have a look.

Sognefjell.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The caravan has also an rearview camera (correct description?) for controlling the traffic behind the caravan. Is connected to main lights, and is always on line if I want. For parking on campsites I have a four wheel Mover, Truma XT4.  If needed I will pay for 2 pitches.

 

We look forward to plan this trip. The first thing is to book a ferry from France, if possible. And then get information from the authorities if it's possible with this size on the roads.

At last we will not do a trip if we find out that this is a bad idea. Motorhome is an option also.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, JTQ said:

 

But surely a potential visitor would as the OP make some effort to know if bringing a very large van to the UK was viable, before getting on the ferry?

 Over here we tend to find out what is needed to comply with going the other way.

 

Considering we are talking here about a regular production caravan it's not something that one would expect to have to check, though. Being used to travel without any form of restrictions is something one has taken for granted within the EU (OK,  Norway isn't in the EU either) so nobody gives specific regulations applicable to neighbouring countries much thought unless enough people have run into an issue and written about it in forums, etc. An example of a requirement that is specific to a particular country is marker boards for overhanging loads in Spain and Italy, but that is something that is common knowledge now, thanks to enough publicity being given to the need for them due to the sheer volume of fines that have been dished out to the unsuspecting.

 

In the foreign travel section of their website the German Auto Club, ADAC, for instance, lists a whole host of regulations which are peculiar to the UK,  but makes no mention of the 7m limit.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I must say: though I'm used to small, curvy an narrow roads I'm not stupid either.  If we find out that this thing is not an good idea we will terminate it and go for an motorhome instead. Not a"must do" project.

 

In Norway we have maps showing where not to go with caravans at 250 cm width. Also there is road signs telling drivers not to go on. But lots of tourist don't respect this. And the result is totally chaos in the summertime. Look at the picture below:

 

 

 

 

Vetland.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, JanP Norway said:

Narrow and curvy roads in Norway can be like this map shows. You cannot see the actual width of the road, but is about 4,5-5 meters in much of the part with the curves. And from the fjord it rises up to 1100-1200 meters in 15-16 km.

 

We'll continue and find out more what to do. This is a great forum, niece and helpful people here, and u respond quick!!

 

Google "Sognefjell" and have a look.

Sognefjell.jpg

 

Yup! I've been over this towing a caravan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope it's ok to post some more pictures from Sognefjell.

As u can see the roads can bee curvy and narrow. Not the biggest  challenge going to England.

 

 

 

 

Sognefjell2.jpg

Sognefjell3.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, JanP Norway said:

The caravan has also an rearview camera (correct description?) for controlling the traffic behind the caravan. Is connected to main lights, and is always on line if I want. For parking on campsites I have a four wheel Mover, Truma XT4.  If needed I will pay for 2 pitches.

 

We look forward to plan this trip. The first thing is to book a ferry from France, if possible. And then get information from the authorities if it's possible with this size on the roads.

At last we will not do a trip if we find out that this is a bad idea. Motorhome is an option also.

 

 

The rearview camera is frankly of little consequence, and there is no way whatsoever you will control traffic behind with it. I don't think its as simple as paying for 2 pitches on campsites,  our campsites are just not designed for caravans that big, and you may not be able to get round the campsite because of tight turns or obstructions. Many campsites do not allow you to pitch whichever way you want. There are designated pitches sometimes with dividing hedges etc, and a set length. I've driven round most of Europe towing for a good many years, including a couple of times round Norway, and personally I wouldn't dream of trying that route, or anywhere else in the UK  with a caravan that size. I also used to hold a heavy goods driving licence, so I've driven large vehicles enough, both here in the UK and abroad. Driving in the UK is very, very different to Norway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, thebriars said:

 

The rearview camera is frankly of little consequence, and there is no way whatsoever you will control traffic behind with it. I don't think its as simple as paying for 2 pitches on campsites,  our campsites are just not designed for caravans that big, and you may not be able to get round the campsite because of tight turns or obstructions. Many campsites do not allow you to pitch whichever way you want. There are designated pitches sometimes with dividing hedges etc, and a set length. I've driven round most of Europe towing for a good many years, including a couple of times round Norway, and personally I wouldn't dream of trying that route, or anywhere else in the UK  with a caravan that size. I also used to hold a heavy goods driving licence, so I've driven large vehicles enough, both here in the UK and abroad. Driving in the UK is very, very different to Norway.

I lsten to your advice. If pitches are small, the roads is difficult to drive on there is also an solution in renting a motorhome in Holland. Not more complicated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, JanP Norway said:

I lsten to your advice. If pitches are small, the roads is difficult to drive on there is also an solution in renting a motorhome in Holland. Not more complicated.

 

Frankly, a much better solution in my opinion.  You are going for a holiday, you want to enjoy  it and have a stress free experience.  A motorhome will allow you to stop on route more easily and explore.

  • +1 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...