Driving on the Continent

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by BusyBuilder, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. BusyBuilder

    BusyBuilder Funster

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    First time for us going to Italy so we'll pass through Holland, Belgium (possibly France) Germany, Switzerland and of course Italy.

    I've read various thing about needing a pass to drive on certain roads if the van is Euro 4 or 3 and people getting huge fines for not getting certain passes.

    But to be honest I'm confused over what we need to do before we go
     
  2. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    In Germany there are issues going into certain cities but if you are just passing through or stopping at small towns etc there won't be a problem. Search on here for "umwelt". If you go through Austria and are over 3.5t there is a need for a Go box on the motorways. Probably best to avoid Austria in this case!

    Driving in Italy is a sport. I've found it best to put paper bags over the rear view mirrors so I can't see how close they are behind me. I was in a single lane contraflow on a motorway (autostrada) here yesterday so there was no chance of the car behind overtaking but it didn't stop him driving inches behind me and continually creeping out so he wouldn't miss any chance of overtaking if one presented itself!

    And the comment about the paper bags was a joke. They don't work as they kept getting blown off. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
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  3. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    It's only a few euros to get the umwelt emissions sticker for your van and can be done easily online, you can get it here by clicking credit card order. http://www.tuev-sued.de/auto_fahrzeuge/feinstaub-plakette/feinstaubplakette_ausland/england

    This one is €15 not sure if you will get it cheaper but be carefull it's not more expensive as some places are just web sites that will pretend to do it for you and charge inflated fee.

    As others have said it's pretty straight forward travelling in France Germany Belgium Netherlands Spain etc I think Switzerland needs some sort of box or vignette, just ask google and all will be Clara's.

    We used a Premid pre pay box in the Czech Republic and the system worked really well.

    Martin
     
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  4. SwissBob

    SwissBob Funster

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    Switzerland needs a 40 CHF vignette for vehicles up to 3.5t. The vignette last until Feb of the following year. If your MH is heavier then is a heavy vehicle daily charge of 3.25 with a minimum charge of 25 CHF. You'll be directed to the office to get what you need at the border crossing. Make sure you enter through a major border crossing like Basel, Geneva, Lugano as others may not be manned.

    One other thing, recently the Swiss have been doing more checks on MH weight both at the border and on highways. Being overweight ( your vehicle, not you ) can really spoil your day.
     
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  5. ****

    **** Read Only Funster

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    If trying to save a few quid head down through France avoiding toll roads and east into Italy :)

    BTW what route you taking, You crossing at Newcastle or going down to Hull/further?
     
  6. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    You seem to be going the long way round. Any particular reason why?

    Our route to Italy is the direct one:

    Straight down through France to Chamonix, using motorways all the way, and then through the Mont Blanc tunnel.
     
  7. BusyBuilder

    BusyBuilder Funster

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    No route planned as yet but we're going Hook of Holland on Sunday evening crossing, we want to go to Arnhem and down to Eindhoven. Then we have to get to Misano for the MotoGP for Friday. Plenty of time but not a clue where to go or stay.
    We thought 250 miles a day and a day in Lake Garda ?
     
  8. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    A day at Lake Garda isn't enough. A week isn't enough.
     
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  9. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    At the risk of being boring on the subject, have you got the CamperContact app? There are alternatives but it is the easiest to use I've found and it will find you places to stay. Add the ACSI books for campsites and you don't need much else. Just go and explore!
     
  10. Nirvanauk

    Nirvanauk Funster

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    If you get chance try to get over to lake Como in our opinion more beautiful than some of the other large lakes and less touristy.
     
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  11. BusyBuilder

    BusyBuilder Funster

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    Yes have the app, and we're up for any advice on where to go, we also have 5 days to get back after the weekends racing and would like to return via different rout or campsites, so any recommendations are gratefully accepted.
     
  12. ****

    **** Read Only Funster

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    What he said. ^^ I gave it a day also and never seen half of the area. Made the same mistake along the road at Como.
     
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  13. ****

    **** Read Only Funster

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    Someone on this side gave me this link if look for sites every 250 miles around your route

    http://www.searchforsites.co.uk/
     
  14. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    Good information has been given already, however, we are doing a very similar route to you next month, so here's what we're doing.
    Our ferry arrives at about 17:15, so don't want to spend the first day with a long drive, there are a few camper stops near the port so we are going to overnight and then our route takes us through these places:
    Luxembourg, Titisee in Germany, the Staubbachfall in Switzerland, Lake Como, Neuschwanstein Castle Germany, Colditz, Attendorn Germany and then back to Holland.

    The only places where it is a bit of a faff is Austria and Switzerland. In Switzerland if you are over 3.5t you need a vignette for all roads, there are many tarriffs depending on how long you need it for. Under 3.5t you buy a sticker which is 40CHF.

    Austria, over 3.5t you need a go box to use the motorway, and the tolls are reportedly mahoosive! Under 3.5t you need another sticker, no idea how much they are. We always avoid the toll roads in Austria, however recently they have got a bit sneaky, lots of roads now have 3.5t weight restrictions on the alternative routes, making it a bit of a maze to avoid the toll. In both these countries, there is a punitive speed limit for over 3.5t of 80kph on the motorway, so use the scenic routes, it is worth it for the views.

    Italy we found that it is really simple to get around, although don't rely on sat nav, there are some really long tunnels, so obviously no satellites. The drivers are totally insane, and just have to be in front of whatever is in front of them, overtaking on blind bends is not uncommon.

    Belgium has extremely congested roads, and our opinion is the roads are in an even worse state than ours, full of pot holes, and very uneven. Expect everything in every cupboards to rattle!

    Holland we found unnerving, whilst it was generally easy to get around, and the drivers are polite, the cyclists are suicidal. Apparently there is a presumption of guilt for motorists, so it is always the drivers fault, even when it's not. We had several heart in mouth moments when cyclists would suddenly turn into our path for no reason!
     
  15. Dizzy Izzy

    Dizzy Izzy Funster

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    This is all new to me too......This might be a really silly question but Is that 3.5t actual weight??.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
  16. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    It's you MPLTM which will be on the vehicle plate, and on the V5 as revenue weight. What motorhome do you have?
     
  17. Dizzy Izzy

    Dizzy Izzy Funster

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    Just checked on V5,it's 3750.
     
  18. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    €6
    https://www.berlin.de/labo/mobilitaet/kfz-zulassung/feinstaubplakette/shop.86595.en.php
     
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  19. rangitira

    rangitira Funster

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    Aw mate! they're all bleddy mad over there! The buggers all drive on the wrong side of the road!
    Aw Mate! am I telling you! I had hundreds of near misses, Mrs Mc Rangi is on 26 gms of Valium a day since we came back!
     
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  20. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    OK, so you have to abide by the 3.5t restrictions, which means go box in Austria to on Motorways so avoid them. If your sat nav has the capability, stop when you cross into Austria and change your route to exclude toll roads.
    Switzerland is easy, stop at the border when instructed (go into the vignette lane which is clearly marked) and explain that you need a heavy vignette, see here (this is us crossing into Switzerland):

    The guards are very helpful and will help you fill in the forms (you can hear me explaining in the video).
    You are restricted to 80kph everywhere in Switzerland, so take your time and enjoy the view, it is truly spectacular!

    You will need to abide by the 80kph speed limits in France on the motorway that apply to > 3.5t which again are clearly signed.

    I'm sure you wouldn't try, but in Germany, you are not de-restricted on the de-restricted sections of autobahn, but look carefully in your mirrors before starting an overtake, they could quite legally be going well in excess of 100mph! Lane discipline in Germany is impeccable, when you finish an overtake, move immediately back to lane 1. You will get very irate drivers behind you if you do not, and the penalties are very harsh for failure to observe this. Cruising in lane 2 is simply not tolerated!

    Overall I find driving on the continent much easier than here in England, so relax, take your time and enjoy your trip :D
     
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