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Subject Topic: Towing in France
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Message posted by Alfacamper on 13/7/2017 at 7:33am
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We're in Spain at the moment (estartitt) takes me two days to drive here 400 miles a day however we stop in Aires overnight and use toll roads. Only downside to me is cost of diesel enroute 1.44 L for good stuff as against 93 cents opposite campsite for cheap diesel

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Message posted by path20 on 13/7/2017 at 7:18pm
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We towed in France for the first time last year. We were amazed how quiet the roads were cmpared with over here,We planned to arrive on a Sunday as HGVs do not travel on Sundays so the roads were quieter than usual. We got lost a few times with a 22ft caravan on the back but thankfully there seem to be more roundabouts over there. We took a slip road off the motorway by mistake within five minutes of leaving the ferry in Calais.The motorway signs are slightly differently positioned so it took a few hundred miles to get used to them.
You will be fine over there enjoy!

Message posted by JTQU on 17/7/2017 at 6:57am
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We find that successive days of driving can be fatiguing and need factoring into our decision making. Two successive days of 200 miles is tolerable, whereas just one day up to 300 miles is also. If we try to do more, then the "recovery" time afterwards tends to grow.

So much depends on the vehicle used, and how free-flowing the route is at the time you do it.
As already mentioned Sundays are "good" in that much of the HGV traffic is laid up; though that can impact on finding slots at Aires for breaks, they are full of lorries.
A very capable tow car with an autobox makes for a less fatiguing tow; IMO nothing fatigues more than a high reving engine and a set up needing endless gear changing.
Saturdays in the French holiday season 14th July till back half of August can be very hard work, plus every caravan specific parking place will have a small french car obstructing it!
As Tina has already pointed out, if the towcar has a Gross Train Weight of 3500 kgs or more, as so many will have, then legally you are limited to just 50 mph on single carriageways and 56 mph on most dual cariageways, whilst towing any sort of trailer. Not the unrestricted speeds lighter tow cars are allowed to use. In my experience this is not rigorously enforced and many tow at 60 mph on motorways, but I tend to be mindful when seeing signs for a speed camera not to push my luck.

All in all I find distance travelling in France a great deal less tiring that in the UK.



Post last edited on 17/07/2017 07:09:10

Message posted by Troon on 17/7/2017 at 7:39am
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That GTW-based limit is craziness. I'm heading to the Vendée in the summer, towing our 900kg MAM folding camper behind a Discovery Sport, which will barely notice it's pulling anything. GTW is north of 4000kg, so I'm restricted to 90kph despite the actual train weight being about 3000kg.

Some Nissan Micras have a 900kg towing limit, so if I took one of those instead of the Land Rover I'd be allowed up to 130kph on the autoroute, assuming it had enough power to get there and the inherent instability of such a rig didn't end in disaster first.

Hardly logical.

Message posted by 664DaveS on 17/7/2017 at 10:00am
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W just sit at 60 mph indicated where allowed,(which is 56mph according to GPS) it does occasionally creep up to 65 on autoroutes.
It does not seem to be rigorously enforced. I don't know why they didn't just state towing trailers speed is 90 or 100kph!
That's the same as UK motorways so no problem!
We don't have to have the 80/90 stickers
There are long downhill stretches on autoroutes with a 90kph or less warning sign for cars towing caravans and slow vehicle lanes on up gradients.
I much prefer the less crowded French network.

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DS-There's more to life than football!!!


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