Snow chains

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by parknride, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. parknride

    parknride Funster

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    Bit early but forearmed is forewarned. Subject to MIL's health we are crossing to France Dieppe ferry early December and driving down to Marjal guardamar. Is there a legal requirement for snow chains?
     
  2. flatpackchicken

    flatpackchicken Funster Life Member

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    Other than a legal requirement, it's always better to be safe as snow can catch you out at anytime and without them you could be in trouble in snow and ice on any road. Up to you but safety first at all times !!!!!!! Regards Flatpackchicken
     
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  3. parknride

    parknride Funster

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    Appreciated
     
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  4. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    In France you are not required to put the chains on, unless they put a sign : Chaînes obligatoires
    Then, if you don't have them, you might be stopped any time by the Gendarmes and forced to park until there's no more snow, more specifically on a motorway , as there's no way to operate a U turn.
    On a national road , if traffic and road state allow, you might be asked to make a U turn. THEY will decide for you. Plus..... you might be fined on spot if you get caught after the sign without your chains on!
    While if you have the chains with you, you might have a little more weight to carry but at least you'll be able to go on with your trip.
    Of course .... I am not talking about YOUR security!
     
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  5. parknride

    parknride Funster

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    We haven't travelled at that time of year and wondered if it would be necessary, don't know if the snow will be so bad in early December, sounds like it may be so snow chains it is.
     
  6. markh

    markh

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    Done this route in early December every year, never needed snow chains, but I've seen some proper snow! I always find the toll roads are kept clear (same in Spain)

    Never seen the signs that yodeli refers to though
     
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  7. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    Yes ... You might find snow on your way down. It happens very often in December!! I would say 75% risk of finding some. :)
     
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  8. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    I have crossed the whole country in heavy snow.... going to Paris. No way to postpone the travel as my daughter was going to start a new job there, the next Monday , and we had to move all her things in her new flat! It was on a Saturday
    It took me 4 hours to do 80 kms. No machine had been clearing the way, it was still night... and I seemed to be the one who was opening the way on the motorway! No car in sight , no wheels tracks .... amazing ! Never saw a sign either!
     
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  9. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    @markh Here are the signs
    Please Note that in some lost places in the mountains they make up a sign when necessary with just the words on it.
    "Chaînes Obligatoires" OR "Equipement Obligatoire"

    On the first pic they also say "Special tyres accepted"



    Panneau chaines obligatoires.jpg AUTRE chaines obligatoires.jpg
     
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  10. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    I think it depends on the route, we've certainly seen signs on some of the roads we've used recently saying that they must be carrier between certain dates (usually November to April) or have winter tyres fitted.

    If you do go down the route of snow chains, check that they can actually be fitted to your MH as some base vehicles, such as some by Ford, can't use them as there isn't sufficient clearance once fitted for the wheel to turn left/right without snagging on the inside of the wheel arch, when we had our Chausson we had some snow socks instead.
     
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  11. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    don't be tight and arm yourself with a set of half decent snow chains. Trust me, I had a set in my van used just once in 10 years of skiing. Then, bang, out of the blue got caught in the snow storm from hell and never had I needed them as I did. Everyone else pulling over on the side of the road crying as we pulled through. Yep, we were only in Kent.
     
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  12. Al-Di

    Al-Di Funster

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  13. zac

    zac Funster Life Member

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    We have done this route the last 2 years travelling down to south of Spain through France around the 20th December. Going down both times has been fine, 1st time we went toll roads and never came across any snow. Last year we avoided tolls and we came across a little whilst going through the pyranees on the way down. However on the way back we hit a ton of snow again through the pyranees. I did have chains with me but by the time it got really bad we were already on the way down on the otherside with no where to stop so just took it easy and used the "hill descent" option in our van. This was a life saver but i would definitely ensure you have chains or socks of some description. Take it easy and i am sure you will be fine, common sense normally prevails.

    This year we are avoiding France altogether and going Portsmouth to Santander for the very reason stated above and it will save us 3 days approx. I dont get long over xmas before i go back to work so trying to maximize the time.
     
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  14. parknride

    parknride Funster

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    @hagnap not being tight, just didn't know if the snow could be so bad that time of December. We will be getting chains. Some very useful advice on here too. Unfortunately couldn't get a pet cabin on Santander so have to go Dieppe @zzzzac
     
  15. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    Socks are ok but only really to get you out of trouble or to go a short distance. If you want to actually continue a journey then chains are the only way to go.

    Even that isn't any guarantee . Last year the Guardia were pulling people off before they'd even left Santander.
    Anywhere down from Pamplona through Zaragoza & on to Teruel can have horrendous snow conditions. That's why all the stops along there have parking for hundreds of vehicles; for when the Guardia pull them all off the road.

    Additionally Teruel can have some of the coldest winter weather in the whole of Spain ,even though it is 90 miles from the coast.From <November to march can often be well below zero.
    As opposed to monday when I passed / it was a pleasant 34ºc :) Unlike July when going the other way & it was 45ºo_O

    All that central area lives up to the " 9 months of winter & 3 months of hell " statement.:LOL:
     
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  16. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    To carry chains is a cheap insurance policy, never know if you will need them.
    Mine have been unused in a locker for five years but dont regret buying them.
     
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  17. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    Year before last, we went to Portugal Dec - March, via Calais LOL, we sailed on December 4th. Snow was horrific - though the main roads were clear, the sides of them weren't and the walls of the snow the ploughs had cleared were nearly as high as the motorhome ! The A16 - that goes from Calais to beyond Abbeville and thence on to Rouen - was actually closed on a few occasions - with traffic stuck on it - for days !

    We were lucky to miss that .........
     
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  18. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Bought mine (for my car) after the bad, freezing winter of 2010.(?)

    Only been trial fitted and never seen rain never mind snow.

    I feel robbed !!!
     
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  19. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    Sell them and when you have there will be loads of snow , sods law :rolleyes:
     
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  20. Cleve

    Cleve Funster

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    Get the chains. I did not have them on coming back up from Toulouse about 3 years ago around Christmas, unexpected snow, being good next thing I knew I had done a 360 in my own length how i did not hit anything I have no idea. A definate thrupenny bit half a crown job. Even slower after that and made that promise we all make. Nothing worse than "I wish I'd...." and believe me I wished I had! Clive
     
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