Channel Tunnel Cost Increase (1 Viewer)

Nov 22, 2018
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As I may have explained before, due to my boys' disabilities, we need the certainty of booking and reserving everything before we cross the water. I don't want to re-hash the "That's not proper motorhoming" argument, so roll with me!

Anyway, over the last couple of weeks, I have been booking sites for our summer 3 weeks. OMG, but it is so much more expensive than last year. Admittedly, we always go for the premium sites with activities that my boys would enjoy (mainly posh swimming pools with slides and/or a beach), but even so, if I told you the per night cost of one particular site, none of you would ever speak to me again, out of sheer disgust at our profligacy in these economically tight times.

Anyway, all booked and deposits paid. Off to the Channel Tunnel website to book crossings. Get in early.

I should explain, we have a 7.15m, 3500kg moho. There are 4 of us so we can easily go overweight. Some of you will be outraged, but I have no problem going a tad over, because I know that the bus is safe, having bigger tyres and rear semi air. Therefore it is safe up to 3850kg, pending paying someone a couple of hundred quid to do the admin (Mrs DDJC can't drive >3500kg, although I can)

So we attach a little trailer. A titchy, narrow, unbraked spud of a thing, but it allows us to be legal. And this where I got the shock of my life on the tunnel website. Bear in mind that we can only go in August, during the school holidays - there is no alternative.

To get our motorhome under the water to France, costs a preposterous £276. Even if we had a 9m moho, it would there or thereabouts.
BUT, as soon as you add our 2m long trailer, the cost goes to ...

£620 !!!! ONE WAY!!!!!!!
There is no consideration on trailer size. If you have one shorter than 4.5m, it more than doubles the cost. Yet if we booked a motorhome with a total length that is longer that my moho+trailer, it is less than £300,

But that isn't the worst of it. For the return journey, the moho only cost is a scary £300.
But if you add a trailer, and you won't believe it, the cost goes to ....

£1030 for ONE EFFING WAY!

Try it. Get the price yourselves. I have tried several times, and it is the same. Last year we were getting crossing costs with trailer of £300, which is heavy, but affordable in the context of a three week family trip.

So I guess I am asking a few questions.
We could use the Dover Calais ferry, but I haven't used it for years and years. Can anyone tell me, from arrival at Dover to driving off at Calais, takes how long?
Is there any other way that you can book the tunnel without being royally shafted? I am going to talk to the Tunnel and plead my case about trailer size.
We could cut down the weight a little and pack it in, but I reckon we would still be over. How much over do you go, assuming you are confident that you are legal?
Any other weird or useful suggestions.

Thanks all,
 

meanders

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Not done so for years, but last time we used a ferry, it was that overbooked we got sent to DFDS Dunkirk and got a partial discount. Excellent crossing, easy access to the port, and takes only about half an our longer. Fairly certain we got a free meal as well, but grey cells fail me as to if that was part of the deal and move from Calais, or because that's what you get with DFDS. We always allowed 2 hours Dover Calais. The crossing itself is about an hour.
 
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Mar 23, 2012
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What are the items you take in the trailer and how far do you travel from Calais how much do you travel between sites when you're there?. It might be cheaper to ship some large items in advance rather than use the trailer or take a car as well driven separately.
 
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May 7, 2011
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I know you must already know this, but have you got any Tesco points to use for the booking?
Also we always book a late crossing out and an early crossing back,as we used to have frequent traveller,and is always cheaper.

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MichaelT

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Ferry is about 30 minutes longer and a better loading experience plus normally a lot less. I would look at other routes depending on where you are starting from and where you are going to, may get better prices on western routes. We went Poole-Cherburg this year which was reasonably priced and good crossing but not practical if you live in Kent and are going to Germany say.
 
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DDJC
Nov 22, 2018
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What are the items you take in the trailer and how far do you travel from Calais how much do you travel between sites when you're there?. It might be cheaper to ship some large items in advance rather than use the trailer or take a car as well driven separately.

We are doing seven sites this summer, so shipping may not be viable. Six in France and one in Spain.
 
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bigtwin

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So we attach a little trailer. A titchy, narrow, unbraked spud of a thing,
Size is irrelevant (so I keep telling myself 😉) on the tunnel; they care not about the size of your vehicle, nor of your trailer. If you add a trailer, it doubles the price.

I’ve been saying this for years, how expensive the tunnel is.

The tunnel is a godsend for thise with larger vehicles and, when I last checked (many years ago) it was the only real option for larger vehicles.

With a shorter vehicle, particularly if you add a trailer, then the ferry is probably a much cheaper option.

You just have to go with whatever works for you. 👍

Ian

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DDJC
Nov 22, 2018
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DFDS Newhaven to Dieppe. When we had a trailer it was by far the cheapest option. We always book a cabin on a day crossing so that we can have a lie down, shower and a quiet place to relax. With the trailer it was always our favourite option.

Did it last year in 2022. Nasty experience for us. Cabin had not been cleaned and the bedding smelt of someone else. Not going to try Newhaven again, but thanks for the suggestion.
 
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DDJC
Nov 22, 2018
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I know you must already know this, but have you got any Tesco points to use for the booking?
Also we always book a late crossing out and an early crossing back,as we used to have frequent traveller,and is always cheaper.
Yes and we would use, but at that price, it barely makes a dent!
 
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Aug 26, 2008
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Or buy a cheap trailer in France to spread out your stuff for touring.

Actually, it might be cheaper to do without the trailer, and buy all the extra camping kit when you arrive in France from one of the big retailers like Decathlon. The risk of being stopped and weighed in France seems very small. You may have seen visibly overloaded French Camping Cars - quite common apparently.
 
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Aug 18, 2014
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I just did a dover > dunkirk one way for 5th august for MH up to 10m in length + trailer under 2m+ 4 passengers = £205
I allow 2 hrs for the crossing to dunkirk & whatever time you wish to allow in advance of booked crossing.
Other end straight off. Or pay £265 for a flexi & you can then get on any boat 3 days either side of the booked one.

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Mar 3, 2013
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Prices are disgusting at the moment and we too are limited to school holidays due to my job.
We have taken our same size and weight Moho skiing with 5 adults on the tunnel in previous years. We literally kept our packing down to the basics and washed clothes if we needed to on the campsite. Only filled the water halfway. We didn’t weigh and were probably over by a little but I honestly couldn’t be bothered to worry about it too much…yes, I know I will get slammed for that comment.
We did all we could to limit the weight wherever possible. As you are going in what should be warm weather, forget the trailer, strip things right back.
all that said, we are using the Poole to Cherbourg ferry this year as the price was very competitive, so a ferry may be and option especially if you definitely plan to use the trailer.
Hope you have a fabulous trip.
 
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68c

Oct 22, 2019
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Actually started to think further on the idea of a collapsible trailer, google soon showed me they are out there, this one from Towbag.

1672570595851.png


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DDJC
Nov 22, 2018
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Wow. Just checked Irish Ferries and unbelievable.

£162 over and £184 return including trailer, plus £48 for Club class for four of us (the boys need the relative peace in there)

So, a total of £1650 on the tunnel or £450 ish on the ferry. Duh.

So, in the words of Rod Stewart, "I am sailing"

I will be writing to the Tunnel and telling them that their trailer policy is stupid and I won't be using them again.

Thanks very much all.
 
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DDJC
Nov 22, 2018
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Looks brilliant. Drive it down to Folkestone, unload, pack up, drive on the train, and then on the other side, unpack, load up and off you go.

Except. It isn't made anymore!
 
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Sep 13, 2016
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Just done a dummy booking for a motorhome with 4.5 m trailer out 5august back 26 august. £333 out, £400 back

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DDJC
Nov 22, 2018
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Just done a dummy booking for a motorhome with 4.5 m trailer out 5august back 26 august. £333 out, £400 back

I just checked again this morning and it comes up the same. 7.15 moho and trailer under 4.5m. Total more than £1650
What am I doing wrong? I've used the tunnel for years and never had this?

Edit, I've just done it again (again) and the costs have dropped to £446 out, and £609 return. £1055. Still ridiculous, so I am going on the boat.
 
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