Toll booth tips

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by beachcaster, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. beachcaster

    beachcaster Read Only Funster

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    I have to say Im always wound up about going through the right gate
    at pay booths on the Autoroutes. I come round a corner and suddenly Im confrontd by 10 booths.......cant understand what the symbols mean............and suddenly its make your mind up time !!!!

    Some are manned some are not...some are automatic if you have an electric sensor.........by the time Ive worked out what the graphics mean Im normall heading for the wrong one.

    At Dartford a few weeks ago..I even managed to go in one for cars...pulled the mirrors in and got through with 20mm each side of the motorhome.

    Im planiing to get to spain with the minimum of tolls but will use them here and there................any tips please.........It cant be too difficult:Smile:

    Cash ?...credit cards ?..and which booth/s to choose:Smile:

    thanks

    barry
     
  2. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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    The trick is to slow down and I mean 'slow down' as you approch the toll booths so you have enough time to ascertain which booth you need, do not worry about vehicles that pass you whilst your getting your head around all the different signs and most importantly do not change direction to access a particular toll booth untill you are certain it is safe to do so.
    Look for the green X it usualy indicates a manned toll both in spain.
     
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  3. chesterfield hooligan

    chesterfield hooligan Funster

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    :Rofl1: use someone else's credit card :Rofl1:
     
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  4. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Hello Barry

    We use the French autoroutes at least every other week using a Ducato Maxi panel van, so similar sized vehicle to your own.

    When approaching a multi booth peage to take a ticket almost any booth will supply you your ticket. Most issue the ticket automatically, some you have to press a button.

    When approaching a large number of pay booths (some of the minor exits will only have one or two booths for exits) as a generalisation the booths for cars only are on the left and are obvious because of height barriers.

    A few booths on the right are for trucks and most are for automated payment.

    In the centre are booths both automated and with an attendedant that anyone can use.
    If the booth you are aiming towards has a red cross above it it is not in operation, and as said don't make sudden changes of direction when near the booths just drive smoothly and indicate if you have to go off of your line.

    It's probably easier to use the booth with an attendant, but not all have a person operating a booth, some are all automatic now.

    Don't consider using cash, a debit card is the best thing by miles. You don't need to use a PIN number, just hand over your card and it will be returned to you with a receipt.
    An automatic booth is equally as easy but some have an extra step. After putting your card in you get your card and often a receipt back, but if no receipt comes out press the RECU button, this sometimes prompts the machine to issue a receipt, sometimes not.
    If you don't get a receipt at all we write down in a note book where we are and how much as we need a record. The amount is shown plainly as you arrive.

    French peages are very easy with a card for payment and a little practice, there are almost always parking areas just before or after the booths, always on the RH side. If you go through a booth and want to park immediately, watch out for trucks coming through on your RH side, some of these boys are on a tight schedule but will always make allowances if you give tham enough room.

    Edit : In France you will only need two words which are appreciated... bonjour and merci
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  5. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    you were lucky not to have been stopped

    Dartford River crossing is easy compared to France. If you took a motorhome through the car section (trow the money in the bin) I am surprised you were not stopped by the vehicles they have to enforce the tolls. You ran the risk also of the barrier coming down.

    I use the Dartford River crossing all the time in my RV and I am 9'11" on my wing mirrors. I have in the past caught the barrier on the way out as they do not always go up fully vertical.

    By the way the river cross is free from 10 p.m to 6 a.m. Other wise you get charged as a car rate not a truck.

    In France it is always wise to go to a booth that has an attendant. However not all booths have attendants and you may with have to use a credit card (no pin required) or put change in. .. make sure you have lots of it and all different values as if you put to much it the return chute is to low down to reach and there is not enough room to open the door.

    Some tolls have a separate are on the right to drive in to pay and it changes the ticket which you then use at the booth 50 yards on.. watch out for these as you will have to back up if you try to insert the card you got when you entered the motorway.

    On a trip last year at night we came to an exit booth one had a van in it with a barrier behind it, indicating it was closed.. so we went for the automatic EZ pass.. which of course would not work.. after a few minutes the van in the other lane drove off.. we faced backing with a trailer to try and get in the booth that was now over.. in the end (2.a.m) the lady came over to me took my ticket and the money and then opened the EZ lane. but you do need to have your wits about you.

    One issue we have being an RV is that due to size (height is measured) the ticket is dispensed from the upper unit for the trucks and that means even in our B class I have to climb up on the seat and lean out and up to reach it.

    But... you can do the run as we often all the way through France and never go via a toll booth.. the national roads (green signs) are fast and good... plus more interesting, but be aware of slowing down in good time before you go through a village.. the speed limit can drop by 3 lots by the time you are in the village or town. But saves us a lot of money .... plus a chance to stock p on cakes and bread often.

    Bob:thumb:
     
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  6. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    We went through Dartford Crossing (both ways) several times in our Autoquest and were always charged the car rate. Same with the Tyne Tunnel and Humber Bridge.
     
  7. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    It is a car rate even for an RV

    It is a car rate even for the largest RV.

    Bob
     
  8. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Always go for manned in France if you have a biggish van..
    Every time we have used the automated ones we get stung as a commercial vehicle ( couple of memorable ones.. £82 and £84 ...
    Kinda puts a crimp on the finances for the following few days I can tell you.. And there is never anyone about you can complain to or who will listen.
     
  9. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    I always remind the attendant

    I always remind the attendant that I am a camping car so he does not think it is a commercial vehicle

    Bob
     
  10. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    As Jaws and Bob say.

    Although going to a manned booth is not always an option. If you go to the booth and it classes you as 3 hit the button and start practicing your best French.

    Be polite and just simply say that you are a camping car and the tariff is set at a Class 3, never been failed yet, they have reduced it and apologised everytime. :thumb:

    Best email Frankie for your French lesson :Wink:
     
  11. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    The opposite happened to us in our current MH.

    Charged as a Class 3 (should have been Class 2) although we are under the 3m height limit but the operator decided we were over 3.5 tonnes so charged us Class 3. Didn't pick up what class we had been charged until later as a new to us autoroute, but went through the other 4 receipts for the same day all through auto tolls and were charged Class 2 as the height is the thing that is checked automatically.

    Think you have quite a large MH don't you Jaws? which then makes going to a manned toll (if available) the best thing to do, but of course if it is over 3m tall you are a Class 3 immaterial of other dimensions but maybe you appeared truck size to an auto toll?

    You also have to remember that different autoroutes have very different pricing policies. There are some that even for business we wont go near, across the Mediterranean (isn't this where you got caught?) is one, and going into and out of Bourgogne is another, plus some of the west coast autoroutes. These are mainly wealthy or holiday areas, but that still leaves the bulk of the autoroute system at ' fairly ' reasonable prices or free.
     
  12. spannermanwigan

    spannermanwigan Read Only Funster

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    Yep somebody did MINE after they robbed it in Spain Used it for a Month to pay tolls,even though it had been stopped on same day it was stolen. Only when bills arrived,and i disputed them and barclaycard refused to pay toll companies and it was then I presume stopped on their system.

    Regards
    Steve:Angry:
     
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  13. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    If you use http://fr.mappy.com/ you can change the details to a van & weight--it will calculate the toll charges for you. Select itinerary and you can put in start and destination. You can compare tolls vs no tolls by calculating twice, checking different boxes.
    I've found it to be a very reliable website.
     
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  14. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    Yes it is the height that counts

    We are about 13' tall with the satellite dome and aircon box on the roof..... being we are a B class RV we do look a bit like a large commercial... plus we are 5.5 tons.. then we have the car on the trailer making us 45' long... when I used to pull the small trailer it was hidden behind the RV... being a small two wheel trailer for my disabled scooter.. these days the car trailer is a different matter, so I use the National routes.. save a lot of money, as I am limited to 90 kph (55 mph) I often make as much speed on fast straight roads running along side the auto routes or very near to them. One does have to consider the costs when it is out of your own pocket and not being racked up on a company account ... not everyone can reclaim the costs of tolls or for that matter the fuel which they claim is for business use... so these days you have to consider how to save the money when you can.

    Bob
     
  15. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    If your not in a hurry the best advice is DONT use the Autoroute. One motorway is much the same as another anywere in the world. We are now at Sidi Ifni Morocco and the only toll we used was the Dartford bridge since leaving Cheshire.
     
  16. yorkshirepudding

    yorkshirepudding Read Only Funster

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    remember that (unless you have a lhd van) that your passenger will be inserting and retrieving the card. Don't set off until she/he confirms they have the card in their hand.
    Ask me how I know :Blush:
     
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  17. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    2.7 metres tall.. but it must register as biggy cos the ticket always comes out the top hole..
     
  18. mikkidee

    mikkidee Read Only Funster

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    Use the N roads, no tolls there:BigGrin:
     
  19. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    On the manned, we always get Class 2. On the auto, we always get Class 3. So I press the button and when they answer I say, Bonjour - comping-car, Classe Deux, SVP. They've usually changed it before I finish speaking. But no way can I reach either slot, I'm not tall enough for the top one and the window won't go down far enough for the bottom one. So Pete has to pull past the machine so I can open the door and get out. It's a PITA and I hate em. :Doh:

    Incidentally, our exact height measurement according to the spec is 3.05m. :Eek!: Ooopsy ...... :Laughing:
     
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  20. wizzer59

    wizzer59 Funster

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    [QUOTE
    Ask me how I know :Blush:[/QUOTE]


    How do ya know? :Cool:
     
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