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We are going to Holland in 3 weeks time i was wondering if anybody could give us some advice for towing a caravan when we are over there other than a warning triangle and headlight convertors we have also got breakdown cover for car and van just wondered if there was anything else, cheers

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I take it from your posting you have not towed across the channel before. Holland is similar to most countries in Europe but with the added caution of beware cyclists, they have right of way and on the approach roads to sites may be present in large numbers.

I find a good set of maps and a TomTom essential, well desirable at least, again do not regard satnav instructions as the final word, if you do not like the look of a road find another route. Time spent on Google Maps beforehand can be usefull.

If your car speedo is not clearly marked in KPH a small converter which sticks to the inside of the windscreen is also helpful.

Allow plenty of time for your journeys, especially around city ringroads and I am sure you will have no problems. We loved it.

Best of luck for your trip.

Brian
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This list from the AA should help. Note that if you arrive in France and drive up through Belgium you need to adhere to their requirements also.

 

http://www. theaa. com/motoring_advice/touring_tips/compulsory_equipment. pdf

 

Enjoy your trip and take bikes if you have them - wonderful cycling on very flat routes!

Edited by Glen and Les

2019 Ford Kuga 2. 0 (150 bhp) AWD Manual and 2022 Coachman Acadia GTS 565.

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We are going to Holland in 3 weeks time i was wondering if anybody could give us some advice for towing a caravan when we are over there other than a warning triangle and headlight convertors we have also got breakdown cover for car and van just wondered if there was anything else, cheers

Wherever you go in Europe it's worth having a reverse polarity adapter and a euro plug to two pin adapter . ...just in case the site doesn't use your blue euro plug. Whilst the majority do, sods law can bite you on the bum.

 

Whenever I go through Dutch towns, there always seem to be roadworks, diversions and other distractions. ...but they are far more tolerant of caravans than any other nation, so don't be concerned.

 

I took a wrong turn through one town and went through a shopping precinct with the caravan. They moved cafe tables for me to squeeze through! Lol

 

The police are also more tolerant. One year, travelling solo on business, a police car pulled up alongside me at a t junction and gesticulated to lower the window. He shouted across "what a nice expensive car. ..to only have one brake light” . ..and drove off. Point taken.

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Hi

 

The dutch are a most pleasant people and like Brits, you will have a great time, although you may want to tick "avoid ferries" if you use sat-nav, as although potentially saving considerable time and distance some are small with quite steep ramps.

 

Steve.

Steve (BroGoat)

travel blog - www. adventure-before-dementia. co. uk

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One thing very important. In Holland your break-away cable on the caravan must be attached to the towbar - it is not acceptable to loop it over the ball as in the UK (and most other places.) You either need to loop it through the towbar mount somehow or have a pigtail on one of the ball mounting bolts to which it can be attached.

 

It is common for the police to sit outside Europort and pull UK registered vehicles in the knowledge that they are certain to get plenty of on-the-spot fines. BEWARE!

2018 Passat B8 Estate 150GT TDi150 towing a 2018 Bailey Unicorn S4 Seville

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One thing very important. In Holland your break-away cable on the caravan must be attached to the towbar - it is not acceptable to loop it over the ball as in the UK (and most other places.) You either need to loop it through the towbar mount somehow or have a pigtail on one of the ball mounting bolts to which it can be attached.

 

It is common for the police to sit outside Europort and pull UK registered vehicles in the knowledge that they are certain to get plenty of on-the-spot fines. BEWARE!

Didn't know that - thanks for the good advice.

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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One thing very important. In Holland your break-away cable on the caravan must be attached to the towbar - it is not acceptable to loop it over the ball as in the UK (and most other places.) You either need to loop it through the towbar mount somehow or have a pigtail on one of the ball mounting bolts to which it can be attached.

 

It is common for the police to sit outside Europort and pull UK registered vehicles in the knowledge that they are certain to get plenty of on-the-spot fines. BEWARE!

 

Hi,

 

I would agree that this is a legal requirement but on my last two tow cars it was over the ball or nothing. I was never stopped and never saw anyone being stopped in Holland although we have been taking the caravan there several times a year for some years.

 

What I have had is, when travelling back from Holland one Christmas, we were stopped just after we left the ferry (around 8. 00am) at Hull and breath tested by police who said they were intending to test virtually every driver getting off the ferry and expected to have a considerable number of failures. I asked if random breath tests were now legal and was told it was a campaign that had been advertised in the local press and was therefore legal. The following easter we travelled to Holland and as we left the ferry at Europort there were two customs officers one went to the passenger side for passports the other to me for a breath sample.

 

As I restrict myself to a glass of wine with dinner on ferries if driving before noon I was clear on both occasions.

 

Steve

Steve (BroGoat)

travel blog - www. adventure-before-dementia. co. uk

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Hi,

 

I would agree that this is a legal requirement but on my last two tow cars it was over the ball or nothing. I was never stopped and never saw anyone being stopped in Holland although we have been taking the caravan there several times a year for some years.

Steve

 

Ditto here. It's over the tow ball or nothing. Drilling holes or welding parts would interfere with the integrity of the original towbar design, although I have heard of people doing this.

 

This topic has come up in the past and it still seems to be as clear as mud. I checked with German manufacturer Westfalia (my towbar) and they assured me it was legal in Germany, and as it was legal in the UK on a UK registered vehicle, it would be legal throughout Europe.

 

Is Holland an exception? I don't know. Do I now have to stop caravanning in Holland? Does anyone have a definitive answer based on European law? I know there are other cases where individual countries have different regulations, like Spain and long vehicles over 12m showing reflectors etc, but a towbar isn't a removable extra.

 

Gordon

Nissan Qashqai 1. 6 dCi (130 PS) + Avondale Rialto 390-2

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Netherlands Caravan Club sent me this link, translated via the computer.

 

This phrase intrigues me, 'If you have no fixed point of attachment to the towbar, you can use an auxiliary coupling.' What might that be?

 

But it does say, 'loops to the bullet, (tow ball) as usual in Europe, in the Netherlands is not permitted and is regularly fined!'

 

Looks like Holland is out for us until I change my car and towbar, I don't fancy arguing the UK case with a Dutch policeman.

 

Gordon

 

 

 

 

 

 

post-258-0-80972100-1407869532_thumb.jpg

Nissan Qashqai 1. 6 dCi (130 PS) + Avondale Rialto 390-2

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This was a good heads up - thanks CT contributors. We leave for the Netherlands a week on Sunday and I now have time to sort out a solution on my Toyota tow bar. I know the clip from the caravan brake does not go through the hole at the bolts end of the tow ball but I have been happy until now to loop it tightly around the ball.

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Hi,

 

I've had another look at my tow bar (a Witter) and found I still have no where to fix the breakaway cable other than over the ball but the Witter ZX88 Cycle Carrier I had fitted last year has an eye on it that I use. Have a chat with an official Witter dealer they may have an answer.

 

If it were me I would go anyway despite what some may say the Dutch police have more to do do than wait on corners for a brit registered car/caravan outfits to check for breakaway cable violations. It is my experience that if you get stopped for a moving traffic violation they will have a squint around otherwise they tend to leave you alone - I hope :blush:

 

Steve.

Steve (BroGoat)

travel blog - www. adventure-before-dementia. co. uk

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If it were me I would go anyway despite what some may say the Dutch police have more to do do than wait on corners for a brit registered car/caravan outfits to check for breakaway cable violations. It is my experience that if you get stopped for a moving traffic violation they will have a squint around otherwise they tend to leave you alone - I hope :blush:

 

Steve.

 

Steve,

 

I know what you mean. I've driven all over the Netherlands oblivious to the breakaway cable law and never had any issue with Police. But now I know, so it will be on my mind. I've never been stopped in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Switzerland or Italy, but I carry everything I'm supposed to have, or recommended to have for these countries. Belt and braces or what? :D.

 

Gordon

Nissan Qashqai 1. 6 dCi (130 PS) + Avondale Rialto 390-2

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A more basic question than asked by the OP. My wife has read somewhere that many supermarkets do not take Credit Cards - only Debit Cards and cash. We normally use our Nationwide Credit Card for all purchases abroad as it does not make any charge and the exchange rate is excellent. My debit card does charge for foreign use so this could, if true, have an impact.

 

Could someone with recent experience of the Netherlands update me in case what she read is out of date.

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What you say is exactly right. Supermarkets do not take credit cards, but usually have a cash machine at the front of the store. They prefer cash!

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When we were in Holland last year we found that most supermarkets would not accept our VISA Debit Card nor our Credit Card. After being caught out a couple of times we always made sure to carry enough cash. We had no problems getting cash from hole-in-the-wall machines and no problem using our cards to pay for diesel at garages.

We fight not for glory, nor for wealth nor honours . ..

but only and alone we fight for freedom,

which no good man surrenders but with his life.

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A more basic question than asked by the OP. My wife has read somewhere that many supermarkets do not take Credit Cards - only Debit Cards and cash. We normally use our Nationwide Credit Card for all purchases abroad as it does not make any charge and the exchange rate is excellent. My debit card does charge for foreign use so this could, if true, have an impact.

 

Could someone with recent experience of the Netherlands update me in case what she read is out of date.

 

I agree with Sulyka, we used cash as the credit card wasn't accepted. I don't know about debit cards, perhaps these are OK.

 

Interesting link here about supermarket shopping in Holland:

 

http://southholland. angloinfo. com/information/lifestyle/food-and-drink/grocery-shopping/

 

I smiled at the way they describe Aldi as '' very low cost hypermarket chain selling B brand foods'' :D .

 

And they say the British are snobbish. Must go now, I'm off to Waitrose.

 

Gordon

Nissan Qashqai 1. 6 dCi (130 PS) + Avondale Rialto 390-2

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When we were in Holland last year we found that most supermarkets would not accept our VISA Debit Card nor our Credit Card. After being caught out a couple of times we always made sure to carry enough cash. We had no problems getting cash from hole-in-the-wall machines and no problem using our cards to pay for diesel at garages.

Exactly our experience on two visits to different areas.

2019 Ford Kuga 2. 0 (150 bhp) AWD Manual and 2022 Coachman Acadia GTS 565.

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When we were in Holland last year we found that most supermarkets would not accept our VISA Debit Card nor our Credit Card. After being caught out a couple of times we always made sure to carry enough cash. We had no problems getting cash from hole-in-the-wall machines and no problem using our cards to pay for diesel at garages.

 

Yes it was the VISA cards the supermarkets wouldn't accept. Mastercard was ok I think, but we too resorted to cash from the Orange Rabo Bank machines using the same Visa cards. ...... and will do again when we go in a few weeks time ! Hoorah ! :)

Edited by Shirl250

2007 Bailey Series 5 Senator Arizona (4 berth, rear bathroom, side dinette) towed by a 57 Kia Sorento XS Auto with Kumho KL17 tyres, Reich Mover, Kampa Rally 390, Caravan Tyres : GT Radial Maxmiler CX 185/80 R14 102R.

 

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Many thanks for the rapid response. The Nationwide CC is a Visa so it will have to be plenty of cash in the pocket - what a pain and I thought it was a modern country!

 

We once had an embarrassing moment about 25 years ago in Germany at Freiburg. We were used to French supermarkets taking credit cards and got to the checkout and the girl said nein!! We did not have enough dms to pay for what had gone through the till so put back those items that were not essential until we got down to the dms that we had. This was not a straight forward procedure on the till and the fraulein was not impressed and neither were those locals standing in the lengthening queue behind. We crossed back over the Rhine to more familiar territory a couple of days later.

 

We haven't been to Holland for about 20 years and really looking forward to it - all we need now is for the weather to improve.

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This afternoon I was speaking to a Scot who now lives in Holland and he was telling me that the Dutch generally don't believe in credit at all since they prefer to save up for stuff that they want to buy. That's probably why credit cards are not welcome. He also told me that there had been some kind of problem between the Dutch banks, Visa and some of the supermarkets, but he thinks that is now sorted out because he now has no problem using his RBS Visa Debit card over there. I'd still recommend carrying a reasonable amount of cash though.

We fight not for glory, nor for wealth nor honours . ..

but only and alone we fight for freedom,

which no good man surrenders but with his life.

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If you tow into the Netherlands from Belgium or Germany watch out for Dutch caravanners slowing down very quickly to the official speed limit. You may see them hammering along through France, but not at home. I think it is something to do with Dutch enforcement of speed limits. Just a warning.

 

John

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One thing very important. In Holland your break-away cable on the caravan must be attached to the towbar - it is not acceptable to loop it over the ball as in the UK (and most other places.) You either need to loop it through the towbar mount somehow or have a pigtail on one of the ball mounting bolts to which it can be attached.

 

It is common for the police to sit outside Europort and pull UK registered vehicles in the knowledge that they are certain to get plenty of on-the-spot fines. BEWARE!

I had a Westfalia detachable tow bar fitted and it didn't have anywhere to attach the cable and fitters said I didn't need one. Given that the bar was sold as 'EU Compatible' I challenged them and eventually Westfallia conceded and sent me a rather heavy and cumbersome bolt on attachment which although ugly did the trick and cost me nowt.

CARPE DIEM

 

While we're talking, envious time is fleeing: pluck the day, put no trust in the future.

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I had a Westfalia detachable tow bar fitted and it didn't have anywhere to attach the cable and fitters said I didn't need one. Given that the bar was sold as 'EU Compatible' I challenged them and eventually Westfallia conceded and sent me a rather heavy and cumbersome bolt on attachment which although ugly did the trick and cost me nowt.

 

Thanks for that, really interesting. I'll make enquiries.

 

Gordon

Nissan Qashqai 1. 6 dCi (130 PS) + Avondale Rialto 390-2

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I'm going round in circles but here goes if anyone's interested.

 

Caravan Club (overseas travel) has informed me verbally (no reply to my email) that the rule on breakaway cables applies to Dutch registered vehicles only, but can't guarantee that all Dutch policeman know this, so you may still be left with an argument. They have not been informed of anyone having problems.

 

Doing a bit of reading myself, the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic says that vehicles crossing borders must meet all technical requirements to be legal for road use in the country of registration, and signatory countries have an obligation to recognise the legality of vehicles from other signatory countries. Special cases are given like number plates back and front and nationality badges.

 

CC could well be right then.

 

Gordon

Nissan Qashqai 1. 6 dCi (130 PS) + Avondale Rialto 390-2

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