Caravans and campers. Disadvantages or advantages of traveling?

Marcin Jankowski  •  24/June/2018 (23:27)
On Polish roads, especially during the holiday season, more often we can see travelers with caravans. In Poland, not all of them decide to buy their own trailer or motorhome, which is influenced by the prices of vehicles, and this in turn leads to the treatment of caravanning as a niche style of spending free time. However, this type of travel by car with a caravan will be more often chosen by Europeans. In Europe itself, Scandinavia is a great place to drive a motorhome or a caravan - very good quality roads, numerous camping sites and huge spaces. You certainly will not miss in Sweden, Norway and Finland. The next directions of automotive tourism development are Australia and North America, where traffic is much smaller than in continental Europe ... Even greater attention than trailers are campers, for easier service and low prices of accommodation. Caravans and campers. Disadvantages or advantages of traveling?

Traveling with a caravan more popular. Poles are also eager to travel by motorhomes around Europe.

The downside of traveling by caravans on the roads of Europe is the increasing traffic of passenger cars, which can be a hindrance and a lot of discomfort for moving tourists. Owners of caravans must also look for previously convenient parking spaces, especially for large cities. Unlike Poles, traveling with a caravan or a caravan is especially popular with Scandinavians, Dutch, Germans and British. It must be said that this is a convenient way, because you do not have to look for accommodation and bear the costs associated with it. However, the prices of fuel and stopping the trailer on the campsite mean that the entire cost of the trip will not be much lower than a traditional trip.

You can travel with a caravan everywhere, but places with a large space and low population density are the best. This is a type of trip where we prepare meals ourselves, which is a kind of advantage, just like having a car, which makes us more independent. Driving with a caravan allows you to make your own decisions, where we go and where we spend our time after a day's trip.

In Europe, the best for such trips is Scandinavia. This is primarily due to the sparse development and the right, which allows stopping and stopping overnight, also outside designated campsites. In Norway, for example, you can stay overnight in trailers and caravans without any restrictions, as long as there are no residential properties within a radius of 150 meters. Less optimistic is the fact that even for a short stop parking a motorhome in big cities may be a problem due to the large number of cars in the tourist season. Parking such a car for the night is forbidden in cities. This would make life difficult for residents, but moreover, problems with cleanliness could occur.

Among the tourists in Poland, the campers, which are easier to use and more comfortable than caravans, are surprisingly popular, but the costs of buying such a vehicle are even several hundred thousand zlotys. A big advantage of traveling in the style of caravaning can be low spending on accommodation - and in some cases even free accommodation. Just like in the case of caravans, the possibility of free movement and contact with nature as well as overnight stay in interesting places speaks for traveling in a caravan. It is, after all, the cheapest type of tourism, both in Poland and in the world, because prices on campsites are lower than in hotels.

One day ago, a dozen years ago, it was very fashionable to stay in tents at campsites. Then came the time for caravans, which were imported in large numbers from Western Europe. Currently, the campers are slowly taking over the prime. What distinguishes them from car-towed trailers is the possibility of being in the middle while driving. It should be emphasized that being in a caravan outside the stop is forbidden, and certainly dangerous. Kamper is also easier to manage due to smaller dimensions. However, the purchase of such a vehicle is associated with a large cost. A modern motorhome can cost several dozen or even several hundred thousand zlotys, depending on the facilities and sizes used.

Accommodation prices on campsites are lower than in hotels, and having their own caravan or camper, tourists can sometimes not pay at all. A stop for the night is possible, for example, at larger gas stations or in the service areas of travelers on motorways, and in the Scandinavian countries you can easily stop anywhere near the road. However, sleeping outside designated campsites can be risky. Therefore, the costs of caravanning include expenses related to adequate insurance and vehicle preparation. It is worth equipping yourself with additional mirrors put on the car's mirrors. In some countries they are required under pain of a mandatory term. In addition to compulsory third party insurance, it is also worth taking out additional travel insurance.

Towing a heavy trailer: you need to know!

Driving with a trailer is more difficult for the driver, resulting in additional load on the body, engine and transmission. Driving such a set can be quite a challenge, because the car brakes less and accelerates more slowly, and the trailer takes place in corners and requires appropriate maneuvering tactics. This is not the end. If you want to carry something really big and heavy, such as a yacht - you must have a B96 or B + E driving license, entitling you to drive a car with a maximum gross weight (DMC) of 3.5 tonnes, and remember to making payments in the viaTOLL system.

Regardless of whether we want to move from the so-called light trailer without a brake (with DMC up to 750 kg) or more (with a DMC up to 3.5 t), equipped with its own braking system (so-called overrun brake), we must remember a few basic rules regarding driving technique. Such a set of vehicles takes up more space on the road - especially a heavy trailer, which is often wider than the car that is towing it. If we are transporting a yacht, we are dealing with a really long load - in the case of a loaded trailer it is up to 6.3 m. It is necessary to accurately set the mirrors so that we know as much as possible about the situation at the back of the set. Sometimes factory mirrors may be insufficient and additional brackets will need to be mounted on the outriggers.

We must exercise extreme caution when cornering, because the trailer cuts corners, and the rear is taking place - we need much more space in curves. Therefore, we must overcome them as widely as possible, starting the maneuver from the opposite edge to the direction of the bend. The trailer follows a tighter track than the car. When reversing, it turns in the opposite direction to the front axle of the car. When we turn the steering wheel to the left - the trailer will turn right and vice versa. In the most difficult situations, it is worth asking for help from the passenger.

The whole set is very heavy - even for a light trailer it can be 4250 kg. It will be slower to accelerate and brake more. The overtaking maneuver must be carried out very gently in order to prevent the trailer from being abandoned. During it, especially when we overtake, for example, a truck, air turbulence creates a force that attracts our overtaken vehicle set. If the trailer begins to lose its stability, the way to regain control is to slow down the set. On steep descents, reduce gears to prevent the brakes from overheating. It is also very important to start braking beforehand and plan the maneuvers well in advance, because acceleration, and above all braking, is like a slow motion movie.

Let's adjust the speed. The built-up area is 50 km/h, outside the city 70 km/h, and on the motorway, expressway or dual carriageway with at least two lanes, 80 km/h. Who is responsible for any damage? If the trailer was in motion, regardless of whether it detached itself from the car or remained connected to the vehicle - compensation is paid from the car liability policy (the trailer's OC works only if it is not moving).

Information on the DMC of our car can be found in the registration certificate, it is item F.1. proof. About the weight of the trailer, which can be pulled, inform the headings: O.1 (for the trailer with the brake) and O.2 (without the brake). How to calculate the weight of a trailer weighing more than 750 kg? According to the regulations, the vehicle DMC to trailer DMC must be 1.33:1.

For example, for a Toyota Land Cruiser 150 4.0 V6 with a permissible total weight of 2900 kg, we must divide this number by 1.33, which gives a trailer DMC of 2180 kg. Remember that the trailer should not be heavier than the car that is towing it. In the case of the Land Cruiser, which has a robust, torsion-resistant body, mounted on a classic, strong frame, equipped with a 280 HP gasoline engine and a maximum torque of 385 Nm, and a permanent 4x4 with Torsen differential lock (with limited slip) and a gearbox Distribution, the manufacturer has determined the maximum weight of the towed trailer for a total of 3000 kg.

Toyota's roadster was coupled with a trailer with a DMC of 2000 kg, a payload of 1430 kg, a length of 7.3 m and a width of over 2.5 m, on which a boat weighing 1370 kg was placed. In this case, driving license category B is no longer sufficient. You must have the driving license with a heavy trailer with a DMC of up to 3.5 t, which is the category of B + E driving license. If you want to drive a car with a trailer, having a B category document - the DMC of the entire set (car and trailer) can not exceed 4250 kg in the case of a light trailer or 3500 kg in the case other than light. The third way to move with a heavy trailer is the B96 category driving license. In this case, we do not need a course, just pass the practical test to get the possibility of pulling heavy trailers, but with the DMC limit of the set up to 4250 kg. It allows you to tow, for example, a large caravan by car.

The last, very important information is the need to pay "tolls" for road sets weighing more than 3.5 t. In each case, the car must be equipped with so-called. viaBOX - a device that automatically pays viaTOLL system fees. Every day of driving with a stowaway trailer means 500 zlotys. You can register in the system throughout Poland, including at service points, at border crossing points, and also at some gas stations or through companies that offer fuel cards. The device operates in the pre-paid system, so you need to check your account balance on an ongoing basis so as not to pay the penalty. Mobile application will help. Post-paid systems are available mainly for companies.

The driver behind the wheel of the Toyota Hilux is in a similar situation to the driver of the Land Cruiser with the yacht. Only a bit more difficult. Because he manages a heavy set, he should have a driving license category B + E and installed in the viaBOX car. The maximum weight of the trailer for transporting these animals is usually about 2000 kg, and its load capacity reaches 1250 kg. No wonder, the racing horse can weigh between 500 and 700 kg. Pulling horse even about 1 ton.

Fortunately, Hilux about the DMC 2170 kg is a car created for such tasks. Here, too, we have a structure based on a solid, string-like frame, additionally reinforced, which allows towing heavy trailers - weighing up to 3,200 kg. Under the hood there is a 150-horsepower diesel engine with a significant maximum torque of 400 Nm, transferred to the rear or all wheels, depending on the drive mode selected by the driver. Thanks to these parameters, transporting a horse is not difficult. At least from the technical side.

On the legal side, the driver has to meet many other conditions. If the route is longer than 50 km and crosses the border of the commune in which the owner lives, in addition to the appropriate driving license and trailer, we will also need a certificate of completing the course of the carrier / horse escort (the cost of the course is approx. PLN 150). It is also necessary to have a road transport certificate (trailer) as well as a breeding passport

Crossing the border within the EU, you must additionally have a horse health certificate and a certificate of disinfection of the means of transport from the District Veterinary Surgeon and registration documents of the animal. When the journey lasts over 8 hours, a route plan is required, including time and place for stopping and feeding animals. Taking care of water and fodder is a matter of course. For this a skillful and gentle driving technique is essential to avoid injuring the animal. Very helpful in this - smoothly changing ratios - automatic, 6-speed Hilux gearbox.

News Source: (c) Newseria/
This is the automatic translation of the article into English. The original version of the guide has been published in the Polish language version.
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