Essential gear for taking a European caravan holiday

Caravanning in Europe can be quite different to caravanning in the UK, with many local and regional rules and regulations for touring holidaymakers to stay abreast of.

French authorities insist that all drivers carry breathalysers

The most recent development has seen the French authorities insist that all drivers carry breathalysers at all times, but there are many more things that you will need to pack besides this, depending on your destination.

It's always a good idea to pack first aid kits, warning triangles and hi-vis vests wherever you are going, but in many European countries these are required by law, so it's important do your research before setting off, and if in doubt, take them anyway. Fire extinguishers are also recommended by the Caravan Club for those visiting Denmark, Norway or Sweden.

Since you will be driving on the other side of the road, it's important to adjust your headlights to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic when towing at night. This can be done by manually adjusting the lights or by purchasing a headlight converter.

Vehicle markings are also compulsory in many parts of Europe, including GB stickers to indicate where your tow vehicle is registered, if you do not have the new-style license plates.

All of the above can be purchased in what is often called a European Motoring Kit, available from many car accessory retailers for around £40. units that measure more than 12m in length (towcar and caravan combined) are obliged to fit reflective marker boards

Meanwhile in Spain, all towing units that measure more than 12m in length (towcar and caravan combined) are obliged to fit reflective marker boards to the back end of the caravan.

It's also worth knowing that most European countries enforce a lower speed limit for tow vehicles, which is normally in the region of 50mph on motorways.

When it comes to exploring the continent, your trusty sat nav can be invaluable, however it's important to make sure you're not falling foul of the law.

French road law dictates that sat navs are not allowed to detect the location of speed cameras, so it's important to turn that function off before boarding the ferry.

What's more, not all sat navs come with European maps pre-loaded onto them, and this is something that's definitely worth checking on your particular model. check that you have arranged sufficient overseas caravan insurance

Finally, and most importantly, be sure to check that you have arranged sufficient overseas caravan insurance, as not all standard policies will cover your caravan in all parts of Europe.

With all of these things in place, you will be all set to enjoy an exciting European caravan holiday, without worrying about being stopped by the Gendarmes or Polizia.

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