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UK Caravanning (uk.rec.caravanning) A forum for the discussion of caravanning undertaken by residents of the United Kingdom, whether in the UK or abroad. It encourages the interchange of views on the merits of models of caravan, makes of tow car, accessories, caravan sites, caravan clubs, and other related topics. The term caravan is to include trailer vans, motor caravans and trailer tents.

Are 4/5 berths legal abroad?



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 10th 04, 02:44 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Stewart R
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 12
Default Are 4/5 berths legal abroad?

I will be getting my first caravan this season and I've just been
chatting to a friend (who's not an experienced caravanner) about my
caravanning aspirations: namely to get some experience in the UK this
year, then start venturing abroad next. I thought I'd fully established
the criteria for selecting my new van but he made a comment that's
thrown a spanner in the works. It's got me worried and I wonder if
anyone can help.

The suggestion is some countries have stricter legislation on caravans
than the UK and towing a caravan that is perfectly legal in the UK may
not be legal abroad. The example he quoted (which I'm not at all sure is
correct) is Italy, where he said it's not legal to tow a standard UK 4/5
berth caravan because it's too long. He reckons the maximum legal length
for a single axle caravan in Italy is only 6.5m. I need a 4/5 berth
caravan and I've scoured the technical pages of Practical Caravan
magazine only to find just about all popular 4 & 5 berths are around 7m,
e.g. the 4 berth Bailey Pageants are 6.92m and the Swift Challengers
7.08m. Italy itself is not one of my top priority countries (and I don't
know the veracity of the suggestion) but I'm now worried.

Does anybody know whether the suggestion is true? Or of any other
countries I would have to worry about (on any score) with a typical
single axle UK 4/5 berth?

Thanks in advance.
Stewart R






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  #2 (permalink)  
Old January 10th 04, 05:30 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Peter R.
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 15
Default Are 4/5 berths legal abroad?

On Sat, 10 Jan 2004 14:44:51 -0000, "Stewart R"
wrote:

I will be getting my first caravan this season and I've just been
chatting to a friend (who's not an experienced caravanner) about my
caravanning aspirations: namely to get some experience in the UK this
year, then start venturing abroad next. I thought I'd fully established
the criteria for selecting my new van but he made a comment that's
thrown a spanner in the works. It's got me worried and I wonder if
anyone can help.

The suggestion is some countries have stricter legislation on caravans
than the UK and towing a caravan that is perfectly legal in the UK may
not be legal abroad. The example he quoted (which I'm not at all sure is
correct) is Italy, where he said it's not legal to tow a standard UK 4/5
berth caravan because it's too long. He reckons the maximum legal length
for a single axle caravan in Italy is only 6.5m. I need a 4/5 berth
caravan and I've scoured the technical pages of Practical Caravan
magazine only to find just about all popular 4 & 5 berths are around 7m,
e.g. the 4 berth Bailey Pageants are 6.92m and the Swift Challengers
7.08m. Italy itself is not one of my top priority countries (and I don't
know the veracity of the suggestion) but I'm now worried.

Does anybody know whether the suggestion is true? Or of any other
countries I would have to worry about (on any score) with a typical
single axle UK 4/5 berth?

Thanks in advance.
Stewart R






The largest available single axle's around here are around 8m overall
(ours is 7.57 m if I remember correctly). I'm not aware of any length
restrictions based on the number of axles (at least not for weights
like a caravan).
There is a width restriction (max 2.50m).
Of course, weight restrictions relating to your drivers licence and
the tow capacity of the car apply. But you knew that.

Peter R.
  #3 (permalink)  
Old January 10th 04, 06:30 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
klyne
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 214
Default Are 4/5 berths legal abroad?



--
"Stewart R" wrote in message
...
The suggestion is some countries have stricter legislation on caravans
than the UK and towing a caravan that is perfectly legal in the UK may
not be legal abroad. The example he quoted (which I'm not at all sure is
correct) is Italy, where he said it's not legal to tow a standard UK 4/5
berth caravan because it's too long. He reckons the maximum legal length
for a single axle caravan in Italy is only 6.5m. I need a 4/5 berth
caravan and I've scoured the technical pages of Practical Caravan
magazine only to find just about all popular 4 & 5 berths are around 7m,
e.g. the 4 berth Bailey Pageants are 6.92m and the Swift Challengers
7.08m. Italy itself is not one of my top priority countries (and I don't
know the veracity of the suggestion) but I'm now worried.

Does anybody know whether the suggestion is true? Or of any other
countries I would have to worry about (on any score) with a typical
single axle UK 4/5 berth?


Stewart

I am sure trying to answer your question is a bit of a minefield. However
the generality is that in EU countries if it is legal in the country of
residence then it will be legal in another EU country. A lot of countries,
including the UK, have limits on lengths and widths if caravans. Your 7m
caravan would come well within these limits. I have just checked in the
Caravan Club Europe Guide and they state for Italy a total length of car and
caravan of something like 18m, a pretty big combination. In Switzerland,
outside the EU, they have regulations about the width of vans with the
insistance that wider vans should only be towed by 4X4 style vehicles. You
should be aware of some difference in regulations which could catch you out.
In France for instance the tyres on the caravan must be of a speed and
weight rating that allows the caravan to be towed at the maximum autoroute
speed, 84mph, this includes the spare. In Germany UK caravans are restricted
to a maximum speed of 50mph where as German caravans can tow at a faster
speed because they are subject to a TUV test, a bit like our MOT.


David - Milton Keynes
www.caravantravels.co.uk
Details of our Caravan Travels in the UK and Europe with help and advice and
site reports


  #4 (permalink)  
Old January 10th 04, 09:52 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Stewart R
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 12
Default Are 4/5 berths legal abroad?


The largest available single axle's around here are around 8m overall
(ours is 7.57 m if I remember correctly). I'm not aware of any length
restrictions based on the number of axles (at least not for weights
like a caravan).
There is a width restriction (max 2.50m).
Of course, weight restrictions relating to your drivers licence and
the tow capacity of the car apply. But you knew that.

Peter R.


Sorry Peter, but where's here? Are you talking about Belgium?


  #5 (permalink)  
Old January 10th 04, 10:39 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
wolfie
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3
Default Are 4/5 berths legal abroad?


"klyne" wrote in message
...


--
"Stewart R" wrote in message
...
The suggestion is some countries have stricter legislation on caravans
than the UK and towing a caravan that is perfectly legal in the UK may
not be legal abroad. The example he quoted (which I'm not at all sure is
correct) is Italy, where he said it's not legal to tow a standard UK 4/5
berth caravan because it's too long. He reckons the maximum legal length
for a single axle caravan in Italy is only 6.5m. I need a 4/5 berth
caravan and I've scoured the technical pages of Practical Caravan
magazine only to find just about all popular 4 & 5 berths are around 7m,
e.g. the 4 berth Bailey Pageants are 6.92m and the Swift Challengers
7.08m. Italy itself is not one of my top priority countries (and I don't
know the veracity of the suggestion) but I'm now worried.

Does anybody know whether the suggestion is true? Or of any other
countries I would have to worry about (on any score) with a typical
single axle UK 4/5 berth?


Stewart

I am sure trying to answer your question is a bit of a minefield. However
the generality is that in EU countries if it is legal in the country of
residence then it will be legal in another EU country. A lot of countries,
including the UK, have limits on lengths and widths if caravans. Your 7m
caravan would come well within these limits. I have just checked in the
Caravan Club Europe Guide and they state for Italy a total length of car

and
caravan of something like 18m, a pretty big combination. In Switzerland,
outside the EU, they have regulations about the width of vans with the
insistance that wider vans should only be towed by 4X4 style vehicles. You
should be aware of some difference in regulations which could catch you

out.
In France for instance the tyres on the caravan must be of a speed and
weight rating that allows the caravan to be towed at the maximum autoroute
speed, 84mph, this includes the spare. In Germany UK caravans are

restricted
to a maximum speed of 50mph where as German caravans can tow at a faster
speed because they are subject to a TUV test, a bit like our MOT.


David - Milton Keynes
www.caravantravels.co.uk
Details of our Caravan Travels in the UK and Europe with help and advice

and
site reports

Have they changed the speed limits in France then? For the last 14 years
I've been there it's been 130kph or 81mph in our money!
wolfie


  #6 (permalink)  
Old January 11th 04, 08:52 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Al Stevenson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 54
Default Are 4/5 berths legal abroad?

In message , Peter R.
writes
On Sat, 10 Jan 2004 14:44:51 -0000, "Stewart R"
wrote:

I will be getting my first caravan this season and I've just been
chatting to a friend (who's not an experienced caravanner) about my
caravanning aspirations: namely to get some experience in the UK this
year, then start venturing abroad next. I thought I'd fully established
the criteria for selecting my new van but he made a comment that's
thrown a spanner in the works. It's got me worried and I wonder if
anyone can help.

The suggestion is some countries have stricter legislation on caravans
than the UK and towing a caravan that is perfectly legal in the UK may
not be legal abroad. The example he quoted (which I'm not at all sure is
correct) is Italy, where he said it's not legal to tow a standard UK 4/5
berth caravan because it's too long. He reckons the maximum legal length
for a single axle caravan in Italy is only 6.5m. I need a 4/5 berth
caravan and I've scoured the technical pages of Practical Caravan
magazine only to find just about all popular 4 & 5 berths are around 7m,
e.g. the 4 berth Bailey Pageants are 6.92m and the Swift Challengers
7.08m. Italy itself is not one of my top priority countries (and I don't
know the veracity of the suggestion) but I'm now worried.

Does anybody know whether the suggestion is true? Or of any other
countries I would have to worry about (on any score) with a typical
single axle UK 4/5 berth?

Thanks in advance.
Stewart R







To the best of my knowledge it is the other way round - the UK has the
more stringent restrictions.

The largest available single axle's around here are around 8m overall
(ours is 7.57 m if I remember correctly). I'm not aware of any length
restrictions based on the number of axles (at least not for weights
like a caravan).
There is a width restriction (max 2.50m).


But remember that the UK maximum width is 2.25m unless you are towing
with something over 3.5 tonnes!

Of course, weight restrictions relating to your drivers licence and
the tow capacity of the car apply. But you knew that.

Peter R.


--
Al Stevenson
Remove .SPAMTRAP to reply.
  #7 (permalink)  
Old January 11th 04, 09:03 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Peter R.
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 15
Default Are 4/5 berths legal abroad?

On Sat, 10 Jan 2004 21:52:27 -0000, "Stewart R"
wrote:


The largest available single axle's around here are around 8m overall
(ours is 7.57 m if I remember correctly). I'm not aware of any length
restrictions based on the number of axles (at least not for weights
like a caravan).
There is a width restriction (max 2.50m).
Of course, weight restrictions relating to your drivers licence and
the tow capacity of the car apply. But you knew that.

Peter R.


Sorry Peter, but where's here? Are you talking about Belgium?


Yep, Belgium. Oh, and a max length of 18 m applies for any combination
without special pertmit etc. But I s'pose that's not an issue ?

Peter R.
  #8 (permalink)  
Old January 11th 04, 11:23 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
andy
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 248
Default Are 4/5 berths legal abroad?

In message , Stewart
R muttered:
I need a 4/5 berth
caravan and I've scoured the technical pages of Practical Caravan
magazine only to find just about all popular 4 & 5 berths are around 7m,
e.g. the 4 berth Bailey Pageants are 6.92m and the Swift Challengers
7.08m. Italy itself is not one of my top priority countries (and I don't
know the veracity of the suggestion) but I'm now worried.



Hi Stewart,

I think that the lengths you're talking about are "gross" lengths,
including the A-frame. Certainly there are 4 and 5 birth UK 'vans that
are less than 6 metres without the A-frame.

All of the standard 'vans sold in the UK are a maximum of 2.3 metres
wide, which is fine across Europe. In general, most of the EU 'van size
laws allow bigger 'vans than in the UK. For example, 2.5 metre wide
'vans are fine in Germany (and France etc I think) - but they're not OK
here unless towed by a commercial vehicle.

I certainly don't know the details of towing law across every country in
the EU, but I have brought an EU 'van into the UK - so I perhaps know
more than some. If you want an idea of what is legal throughout much of
the EU, the following link has layouts of the 'vans made by EU's biggest
'van maker (some of which are more than 9 metres long - total length!):

http://www.hobby-caravan.de/en/modelle/wohnwagen/

As a tourist towing abroad, generally 'van regulations in your home
country are allowed whilst abroad. So, 2.5 metre wide 'vans from Germany
can legally be towed here, if they are towed by a German registered car.
Or, UK non-TUV approved 'vans can tour Germany, provided they're towed
by a Brit.

Hope this helped.
--
Andy
  #9 (permalink)  
Old January 13th 04, 12:59 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Stewart R
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 12
Default Are 4/5 berths legal abroad?

Thanks to everyone for their input.

I have just checked in the Caravan Club Europe Guide...
David - Milton Keynes


That sounds like a good starting point. I'll have to get myself a copy.

Cheers.
Stewart R



 



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