If you're thinking about going abroad for a holiday this summer and want to bring your caravan with you, you need to make sure you are fully prepared first. We have listed the top tips and regulations to abide by when travelling in Europe.
Thoroughly check your caravan and vehicle before leaving. This should be done every time you tow your caravan wherever you travel.
- Check your caravan tyre pressure and tighten the wheel nuts
- Check your caravan's nose weight
- Distribute the weight within the caravan to ensure safe towing
- Make sure the gas and water pump is switched off
- Close all windows
- Drain all water and sewage
- Switch the fridge to 12V and lock the door
Getting ready to travel
European countries have different regulations to the UK so we've included some tips below.
Drive on the correct side
First thing to remember is that all European countries drive on the right hand side of the road (except Ireland) and use the metric system (km/h).
Bring your documentation
You will need to carry your UK driving license at all times and if travelling outside of the EU you may need an International Driving Permit. As always, when travelling abroad, don't forget your passport! You will also need to bring proof of insurance too.
Click here to compare cheap caravan insurance quotes.
Check your speed as different countries have different speed limits.
In most European countries it is illegal to use a device which actively searches for mobile speed cameras.
Most countries require a nationality (GB) sticker.
As you're driving on the right hand side of the road you will need to adjust your headlights so that you don't dazzle oncoming drivers. You can do this manually or by using a headlight converter.
Cover for your caravan
You will need to make sure that your caravan is covered when travelling abroad.
Third party motor cover is compulsory when travelling in Europe but you should have full EU motor and touring caravan insurance which includes accident recovery. You should also bring proof of insurance with you.
If you are already insured, you may not have EU cover and may need to upgrade your policy. To compare cheap insurance quotes and EU cover click here.
Bring the correct equipment
When towing in Europe you will need to bring specific equipment. We have provided the equipment you need to bring.
*Correct at time of writing
Austria: You must bring a first aid kit, reflective vest, spare bulbs, nationality sticker, and motorway tax sticker called a vignette. In winter, you will also need winter tyres.
Belgium: You must bring a reflective vest, warning triangle and nationality sticker. You may want to take a First aid kit and spare bulbs as well.
Croatia: You must bring a first aid kit, reflective vest, two warning triangles, spare bulbs and nationality sticker. In winter, you will also need a shovel and winter tyres.
Denmark: You must bring a warning triangle and nationality sticker. You may also want to bring a reflective vest, first aid kit and spare bulbs.
France: You must bring a first aid kit, reflective vest, warning triangle, nationality sticker and breathalyzer test (even though you should not consume alcohol at all when driving, you must carry a breathalyzer test by law). You should also bring spare bulbs and winter tyres if driving on snow covered roads.
Germany: You must bring a first aid kit, warning triangle and nationality sticker. You may also want to bring spare bulbs.
Greece: You must bring a first aid kit, warning triangle, fire extinguisher and nationality sticker. You may also want to bring spare bulbs.
Italy: You must bring a reflective vest, warning triangle, spare bulbs and nationality sticker. Bike racks need to have red and white marker boards attached. You should also bring a fire extinguisher and first aid kit. Winter tyres or snow chains may be required in winter in some places.
Ireland: You should bring a first aid kit and warning triangle.
Netherlands: You must bring a nationality sticker. You will also need a warning triangle in case your hazard lights aren't working. You may also want to bring a first aid kit, reflective vest, fire extinguisher and spare bulbs
Portugal: You must bring a reflective vest and nationality sticker. You may also want to bring a warning triangle, fire extinguisher and spare bulbs.
Spain: You must bring two warning triangles, a spare tyre, a reflective jacket, spare bulbs and nationality sticker. Bike racks need to have red and white marker boards attached.
You should always prepare for the possibility of a breakdown when travelling abroad. Being stuck on the side of the road in a foreign country is not a pleasant experience and could ruin your holiday.
We recommend you take out breakdown cover with MyInsurance which covers vehicle and caravan/trailer breakdowns in the EU for only £49. Motorhome breakdown cover is also available. Click here for more info.
We've collected a few things to take into account when staying at European campsites:
- Make sure to bring a printout of your booking.
- Some campsites might require a deposit for the key.
- Some shops, businesses and campsite receptions close at lunch times
- Keep cash on you as some shops and campsites don’t accept cards.
- Some campsites have electricity that’s metered.
- Some campsites have separate parking and don’t want you to park your car on your pitch.
- If you need to arrive really late or leave extra early, contact the campsite first.
- Some campsites may insist that your caravan is insured.
Last of all, learn the rules and stick them and enjoy your holiday. For more peace of mind be covered.
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