Taking Your Caravan To: France!

Posted on Friday, February 7th, 2014

Whether you’re taking your caravan abroad for the very first time or are a seasoned pro that spends most of their time zooming round other countries, caravan in tow, it’s always nice to have a little reminder about what to expect when you reach the other side. With this in mind, the team at Ryedale Leisure have put together this handy infographic that includes all the information you could ever need to know when venturing across the pond to France!

From speed limits to road signs and important safety notices, this infographic is sure to come in helpful, even for the most advanced caravanner.  To make sure you’re completely prepared for your holiday, we’ve even created a handy downloadable checklist which contains a list of all the documentation, and equipment you need to get safely to your destination. To make it even more helpful we’ve included a cheat sheet of common phrases you may hear, or see on road signs, so you can manoeuvre the streets with ease!

Taking Your Caravan To: France – An infographic by the team at Ryedale Leisure

Embed Taking Your Caravan To: France on Your Site: Copy and Paste the Code Below



Travelling on the Ferry

When booking your ferry tickets, you need to know the exact dimensions of your vehicle, including the tow bar, and the height and length of your caravan. Rates are calculated by size and many ferries have limited space so incorrect information could cause problems at check in.

There’s no need to worry about loading or unloading your caravan on and off the ferry, there are people everywhere who are willing to help. Go at your own pace – there’s no need to rush along. If you’re still feeling nervous, check out this video from Andrew Ditton. He offers an on-board view of what to expect when loading and un-loading your caravan.

As you can see, there’s nothing to worry about!

Travelling via the EuroTunnel

If you’re travelling with pets, then the EuroTunnel is ideal for you as you remain with the vehicle for the duration of the journey. Travelling via the EuroTunnel takes roughly 35-45 minutes from platform to platform, so is much shorter than the ferry journey duration.

It’s important to know that if your caravan, motorhome or camper is fitted with LPG tanks for powering domestic services e.g. refrigeration, cooking, heating, you are permitted to take tanks up for 47kg as long as they are not more than 80% full.

LPG (or equivalent flammable gas) vehicles cannot be transported via the Eurotunnel, even if it is being used as a secondary fuel source. Dual powered vehicles can be accepted, e.g. petrol/electric.


Article R413-14 of the ‘Code de la Route’ now states that drivers are prohibited from carrying devices capable of detecting speed cameras such as satnav’s or gps systems capable of showing camera sites as POI’s. Penalties can include fines of up to €1,500, confiscation of the device and of the vehicle. If your satnav is capable of showing speed camera locations, you don’t need to get a new one – just make sure that you’ve disabled this feature before embarking on your journey! For built-in systems where you can’t see the option to turn this feature off – it may be worth a call to the manufacturer to determine whether you can disable the speed camera POI’s.

The maximum speed limit varies depending on your towing weight:

3.5 tonnes and under: 81mph/130kph
3.5 tonnes and over: 56mph/90kph

Normal Conditions: 81mpg/130kph
Rain or Other Precipitation: 68mph/110kph
Visibility less than 50M: 31mph/50kph

Urban Motorway of Dual Carriage-Way with a Central Reservation:
Normal Conditions: 68mph/110kph
Rain or Other Precipitation: 62mph/100kph
Visibility less than 50M: 31mph/50kph

Other Roads:
Normal Conditions: 55mph/90kph
Rain or Other Precipitation: 49mph/80kph
Visibility less than 50M: 31mph/50kph

Built Up Areas:
Normal Conditions: 31mph/50kph
Rain or Other Precipitation: 31mph/50kph
Visibility less than 50M: 31mph/50kph

Be Aware: Exceed the speed limit by more than 40kph and you could have your licence confiscated on the spot by the police


As opposed to the UK, child seat requirements in France aren’t based on height, but weight!

Drinking and Driving

No, you can’t drive and drive abroad. In fact, drink drive laws are much more stringent in France.

The maximum legal level of alcohol in the blood is 0.05% except for bus and coach drivers who must have no more than 0.02% of alcohol in the blood. All vehicles are required to carry breathalyser tests certified by the French authorities.


Have a fantastic trip!

If you have any questions about preparing to take your caravan abroad, or need to get your ‘van serviced before embarking on your travels, just give us a call on 01509 508951 or send us an email at sales@ryedaleleisure.com – we’d be delighted to help!

Dave Steer
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Dave Steer

Director at Ryedale Leisure
Dave is one of the directors of Ryedale leisure and has over 29 years experience in the caravan industry dealing with all aspects of the business.
Dave Steer
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