Full timing in Europe with a tag axle

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by martyn jacques, May 26, 2013.

  1. martyn jacques

    martyn jacques

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    Help needed please.We retire next March and intend to rent our house out to full time tour around Europe. We have decided on an Autotrail but cannot decide whether to go for single or tag axle.(we would enjoy the room and storage space that the tag axle offers) To keep costs down we will be staying on aires and France passion most of the time and are wondering whether the tag axle will fit. Our next dilemma is my wife owns a Fiat 500 and it would be our intention to tow this as much as possible on an A frame (we are aware of the Spanish towing issues) Would the size of motorhome plus car limit us on aires and ACSI sites.Any help would be gratefully received.Many thanks
    Martyn
     
  2. ehuplad

    ehuplad Read Only Funster

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    Can i ask why a autotrail. :Smile::Smile:
     
  3. mikeman

    mikeman Read Only Funster

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    In parts of France campsites will not accept TAG axle caravans or motorhomes. I have been turned away in Paris, Bordeaux and near Mont San Michel. Just something to bear in mind.
    MIke
     
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  4. martyn jacques

    martyn jacques

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    Hi At present we have a caravan which we love but feel that maybe the best way to tour Europe is by motorhome.We like the quality and build of Autotrail and the typically British layout of fixed bed and two settees etc. What are your thoughts.
    Martyn
     
  5. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    "A FRAMES"....I do beleive the same rules or similar rules apply in France about the use of A frames and I think also in Germany...you may get away with it, as many others do in France and Spain....But the French majority use trailers ....I would think for that reason...I think the only country in Europe that seem to accept it at the moment is the UK, and that is a grey area....and then if you tow the Fiat on a trailer you must look at your towing weights as the tag axle may be of a lower limit!!! than a single axle
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2013
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  6. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    be far better getting a rear wheel drive m,home base .specially if towing . although many do use aframes i myself have one here ,is it really sensible . be prepared for hassle in spain .possibly other countries . i normally stick up for aframe use but if you are going to buy to do it think hard .
    why not get a 5th wheel easy to use and you have a run around .
    but front wheel drive towing . asking for grief.
     
  7. Rapide561

    Rapide561 Read Only Funster

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    Tag

    Hi

    We have a Swigy tag and also have been refused access to a couple of sites, Gien was one, I forget the other, but also were welcomed at one in Paris but with a supplement - do we did not bother!

    We tour overseas without a car. We used to take one, but no more....

    Russell
     
  8. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Bear in mind that a tag axle has an increased GVW (which is the point of it of course) and as the train weight remains the same the towing limits are greatly reduced. I doubt if you could legally tow a car on an A-Frame with that van and certainly not on a trailer.

    If you want to tow best to get a rear wheel drive vehicle, which is better for wet fields as well.
     
  9. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    spain and now Germany have now have banned A frames, think about selling the car and getting a scooter or motorcycle instead, cheaper to run all round.
    Tag axle means you still only have 2 wheel drive, twin rear wheels and you have 4 wheel drive and the same payload.
     
  10. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    FREEDOM is the reason motorhomers gravitate towards the continent, there is a vast network of stopovers open to motorhomers.
    HOWEVER, if you lumber yourself with too large an outfit, much of that freedom will be lost.:Eeek:
    If you wish to only use sites anyway, and you want to take a car, why not stick to a caravan outfit with a good combined payload?
    If you are certain you still want that motorhome, as others have said, towing a car might be a real headache! The length of a tag axle van can also prevent you from parking at many aires and stellplatzes.
    We are just over 7m and we feel we would hinder our freedom if we went over 8m. Many people run longer vans and hopefully one will be along to offer advice soon.
    Also, (sorry Haggers!) full timing suggests winter use to me. A Brit van isn't going to cut it when the weather gets chilly. Also Brit vans generally lack the big water tanks of continental-built vans.
    All more food for thought, but only the opinions of an experienced continental traveller(though there are many much more experienced than us!!!).:thumb:
     
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  11. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Hi Martyn, I've owned a couple of Autotrails and been very happy with them. they were perfect for our holidays with a growing family, but I would not have wanted to 'live' in either of them, they were not built for winters, but that was a while ago and things might have changed.

    No matter how strong the recommendation for Autotrail, or how glossy the brochure; you should choose your van on layout rather than make. In fact the "brand" should be one of the last things you consider. Choosing a motorhome on any criteria other than the layout and the chances are you will be changing it soon.

    By "layout" I mean the living arrangements and storage. If you get this wrong it won't matter what make it is or how many axles you have, you will regret it, so will your wallet. Get the layout right, then look for that layout in the best quality build you can afford.

    If you must have a car and you want to spend time in Europe then you will need tow a trailer, it can be a pain to tow and securely stow a trailer but plenty of people do. But I would really question the need for a car, I have never felt the need to tow. In a reasonable sized van we can go anywhere and park right where we want to be. When we've had bigger vans (we've had VERY big vans) then we preferred to use bikes. Lots of people use a bike, especially the new battery operated ones. If they really need a car, they hire one.

    Don't discount the caravan for fulltiming, you can drag it down south cheaply and it does not have to come back for an MOT. One option is to do what Funster Penelope Pitstop did; they bought a caravan to stick on their favourite site down in Southern Spain and they tow that with a panel Van Conversion, so they can leave their "base" and spend as much time as they like touring, and for touring and exploring the panel van is king.

    Decisions, decisions; exciting times.. Best of Luck:thumb:
     
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  12. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    All what Jonandshell has said is good advise...as all the other info that fellow Funsters have mentioned..

    You mention "Staying on Aires"

    Mine is a 7.5m van single axle.... I find that fine..(there was a mention in France of a limit of 7.5m vans only allowed on aires...but that's all it seems at the moment a mention in the french magazines) ..but there are more things to think of...village restrictions...axle limits of 3500kg in villages and certain roads....parking in towns, car park's, I am talking mainly France..some of the beautiful aires may have bad access roads...don't forget toll roads....weight alters the class you come under for chargers...also the more wheels you have ... a Tag (6 wheels)....a Tag +2 wheeled trailer (8 wheel's) a Tag plus + A frame or tag axle trailer (10 wheels) this make's any Peages (toll road) motorway very expensive.....and some times a peages may be the best route...
    All this info will give you food for thought...and Hopefully you can pick the correct motorhome.....motor homing sometimes you have to compromise to get the best out of it....it is a different life to stoping on CAMPSITES with all the extras tuggers carry...but for me(personal view,others may differ) far better than tugging
    :thumb:


    http://www.autoroutes.fr/en/vehicle-classification.htm

    Mel
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2013
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  13. wivvy's dad

    wivvy's dad Read Only Funster

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    For a couple of years (before it was stolen in Rome) we towed a caravan behind our Volkswagen Type 25. We'd park the caravan at a site, then use the VW for touring around. Apart from the horrendous fuel consumption, it was a very good compromise.
     
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