A warning to “A” Framer’s using Mont Blanc tunnel

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Graham6846, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. Graham6846

    Graham6846 Deleted User

    Recently myself and wife decided to tour around lake Garda Italy , we have a Motorhome and in common with many other people tow a small car using an “A” Frame
    We travelled down into Italy via the San Bernardino tunnel from Switzerland , all very beautiful and relatively cheap as this tunnel cost was Zero even though it was 15Km long .
    After touring around we decided to come back from Italy via France and the 13 Km Mont Blanc tunnel , this was a big mistake
    Our firstly concern was the toll fee’s on the Italian side . the final section of only 40Km we were charged 40 euros , one Euro per Km .

    This delivered us to the Toll booth of the Mont Blanc tunnel , the attendant firmly informed us we MUST reverse out of the booth entrance, at this moment he gave no reason .
    As my fellow “A” framer’s will confirm this is NOT an easy task in the best circumstances so I told him it was impossible /impractical etc and can he tell me why he wanted us to go back ?

    He informed me that it was not possible for us to proceed through the tunnel towing a car using an “A” frame system but he could not tell me the exact reason simply it was "the rule’s" also and he could not let us go through the barrier to do this U turn.

    I simply couldn’t reverse in such a confined space further aggravated by several other cars backing up behind my unit and the attendant still refused to let me go through to do a U turn.

    So after having other tunnel official’s confirmed this particular attendants verdict in the end , I was forced to de-couple the two vehicles outside the tunnel booth area .
    Thankfully my wife can drive so was able to take the car through on her own while I drove the Motorhome as I was informed the alternative was for me to drive the motor home through get on a train ,return somehow and then drive the car OR for take both units back down the motorway and re-route around this tunnel etc

    Toll booth charge was the final straw and was a massive 80 euros , would I tour again via Mont Blanc tunnel , no NEVER ever
    Graham
     
  2. ruffingitsmoothly

    ruffingitsmoothly Read Only Funster

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    When I ran trucks to Italy we used both the Mont Blanc (before the horrendous fire) and Frejus, however in the summer months and before they placed a 19ton weight limit and rigids only ban we would use the Mont Cenis pass, this is still open and though it is very steep does give you spectacular views and as you are on holiday I would think would give would be well worth the experience:thumb:

    Here is a pic of one of the many hairpin bends

    [​IMG]

    Regards Pat
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2008
  3. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    :Eeek::Eeek::Eeek: All of a sudden the tunnel seems cheap:Rofl1::Rofl1:
    Geo
     
  4. Graham6846

    Graham6846 Deleted User

    Bottle Required

    I would like to think that its because we are retired , but Clearly the driver of that "Rig" has alot more bottle than we have.

    Graham
     
  5. ruffingitsmoothly

    ruffingitsmoothly Read Only Funster

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    Many many loads went that way a lot of them on old trucks like early daycab ERF's and Atkinsons and at that time it was to save about £70 in tunnel charges!

    I must admit that with say a 25 ton payload it was a struggle to climb the steep steps but that was the last of your worries, the real challenge was the descent :Eeek:

    As a relatively young owner/driver I was really worried about the climb up Cenis wether or not my truck would make it or not, ie overheating engine etc, I remember voicing these fears to an experience driver, he said don't worry about getting to the top it's getting to the bottom in one piece is the real problem, and he gave me the best advise, that was to go down the mountain one gear lower than you would climb it!

    But with todays vehicles that should not be a problem, I would definitely go over again if we ever take the RV to Italy it would be nice to stop at Victors if it is still there! Plus my Monaco has a very good exhaust brake, come to think of it I would probably have to go that way as I believe that there is a restriction for both tunnels on emissions, otherwise it would have to be one of the other passes or the long way round via Ventigmillia

    Regards Pat
     
  6. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Hi Graham, I bet that was a stressful hour or so:Eeek: had it been me in that situation my wife would have added to my stress levels by telling the tunnel officials where to stick there stupid rules etc etc :Blush:

    Thanks for the info, its certainly a heads up for those touring in the area with an A :thumb:
     
  7. Road Runner

    Road Runner Read Only Funster

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    Would be a big problem for me as Irina cant drive and wont learn:Doh::cry:
     
  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    likewise john,

    think i'd unhook the toad, unbolt the 'a'frame, give 'em the keys and tell 'em where to shove it....:Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  9. RuthRv

    RuthRv Read Only Funster

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    to be honest, I would have unhooked the car before attempting to enter the mont blanc tunnel, as you say you can't reverse so i think that is the reason why they wouldn't allow you to tow it, what if there had ben a fire/accident and you were required to reverse:Eeek:I have been through this tunnel and there is no room for manouver,hey I have also been with tony up the old mont blanc road and then back down coming back scary or what the only words I uttered were s---t s--t all the way up and again coming down but louder!!!! no wonder there is a statue at the bottom I did say a prayer for letting us assend and descend safely, tony did this trip on a regular basis, the worst was when you looked over and saw all the trucks that hadn't made it:Eeek::Eeek:
    ruth
     
  10. dylan

    dylan Read Only Funster

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    Hi Ruth, are you saying the trucks were crashed over the side ?:Eeek::Eeek::Eek!:
     
  11. RuthRv

    RuthRv Read Only Funster

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    they sure were now u know why i was s--t scared,they never atempted to bring them back up as far as i am aware it was like a truckgraveyard in places,quite a few truckers lost their life,fortunately my prayers seem to have worked and kept tony safe:Smile: don't now how tony did it as often as he did that picture does not do it justice the further down you go the narrower it gets:Eeek::Eeek::Eeek:
    ruth
     
  12. dylan

    dylan Read Only Funster

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    I would have been under the dash with eyes shut tight saying the same as you !:Eeek::cry:
     
  13. ruffingitsmoothly

    ruffingitsmoothly Read Only Funster

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    Yes there were accidents.

    Here is a pic from about 1977 of an English truck that went over the side near the steelworks on the French side of the Mont Blanc. It was a righthand drive truck a Volvo of Febland from Blackpool and the driver overcooked the brakes going down but managed to climb across the bonnet and jump out of the passenger side door before it went over carrying a full load of books, all he suffered was a broken collar bone! Lucky man!!
    [​IMG]
    Where it happened
    [​IMG]

    Regards pat
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2008
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