8 Quick Tips For Caravanning Through Europe

Each day, thousands of caravan enthusiasts can be found travelling around Europe. Whether it’s only for a weekend or part of an elaborate three month trip, there are a few things you need to know before heading out.

Join a caravan group

If you’re from the UK, joining a caravan group similar to The Caravan Club is a good start. Not only will you save money on your travels, you’ll also have access to a whole host of information from top places to stay to little known facts about an area. As part of a group, you’ll also be part of a large community of similar minded people. The guidebooks might not say much about a little restaurant down the road from the park you’re staying in, but there’s a good chance someone on the caravan group boards does.

Get insured

Before heading out, also make sure your motorhome or caravan is properly insured. Accidents can and do happen so make sure you’re covered. You can take a look at The Caravan Club website to also get an idea on what it will cost to insure your home away from home.

Make sure it’s road worthy

Whether you’re pulling an RV or caravan, driving a motorhome or backpacking in a modified van, the first thing you need to do is make sure the vehicle is road worthy. It doesn’t matter if it’s just down the street or all the way across Europe, if your vehicle breaks down on the road, your holidays are going to suffer because of it. If you can’t afford to bring it in to a qualified mechanic to get it all checked out, there are tons of great sites on the internet that can point you in the right direction. RV West has a great article on Prepping your Rig for Spring.

Learn the rules of the road

Unlike caravanning in North America or even Australia, Europe is unique in that so many countries are accessible to the average traveller in a small amount of space. Want to go to France, Belgium, the Netherlands or even Madrid for the weekend? They’re all possible to get to from the UK in a matter of hours. Just make sure you learn the rules of the road for each country you’re driving through. Check out this quick table on European Traffic Laws.

Make sure it’ll fit

Speaking of driving, many cities in Europe aren’t extremely caravan friendly. Some roads are so tight they’re barely even car friendly. Make sure when you’re planning on visiting older cities in particular that you leave your large caravan parked somewhere. If you’re in a motorhome or have a large vehicle, it’s probably a good idea to just find a campground or site on the fringes of town with good public transport close by. Even if you manage to squeeze your vehicle through some of the tiny roadways, the likelihood of finding somewhere to park is going to be impossible. It’s best to just leave it parked and enjoy what the city has to offer.

Stay safe

Some places in Europe are safer than others. No matter where you go, make sure to leave your caravan locked up when you’re not around. Insurance might cover that stolen laptop or camera but nothing can replace the pictures you might lose because of it. Caravanners are typically a good lot, however all it takes is one bad seed to ruin your holidays.

Reserve ahead

Depending on the season, always make sure to plan ahead and reserve a spot before setting off on your journey. There’s nothing worse than getting to your chosen campground after a long day driving only to find out that there’s no lots available and searching for a hotel late at night. This is really important during summer holidays where a little planning can go a long way to ensuring that you can stay at the site with the swimming pool or the place close to the beach.

Plan for the season

Off season can be a great time to see the continent. Not only are prices often reduced but campgrounds rarely fill out, popular tourist attractions have shorter queues, there’s less traffic on the highways and you won’t need to run the air conditioning like you do in the summer.
Regardless of when you go or what your pulling, Europe has a ton to offer the caravan enthusiast. From the Alps to the fjords to the beaches in the south, there’s tons to see and a ton to enjoy. Just make sure you have fun doing it!
Photo by by Bill Ward on Flickr.
One Response to “8 Quick Tips For Caravanning Through Europe”
  1. Marcie says:

    Thanks for the tips. Very well done! Marcie