RVing in Europe - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-30-2015, 08:55 PM   #1
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RVing in Europe

A buddy on another forum had this to report. Interesting......

"Just back from a week of camping in Austria and the Munich, Germany area, and I have to say that it was great fun as well as educational. Camping is very popular there, and you'll see trailers, as well as small RVs, on the road everywhere. The trailers average out at about 20 feet or so, mostly single axle, and pulled by a small car or small SUV. A VW Toureg is a large tow vehicle there. We saw exactly one pickup truck, and it was pulling a small 5th wheel - the only one of those we saw, as well. You just don't see the mega bus campers or very large trailers. Although semi trucks travel the secondary roads, you'd be challenged pulling a wide body Airstream. There's no room for error, and the Austrian and German roads have small wooden posts just off of the paved surface - no shoulder - to keep you honest. The roundabouts you'll go around in every town are another difference in the driving experience. The Autobahns are the quickest way between two points, but there are plenty of scenic twisties in the Alps regions.
A popular layout for a Euro campground is to have the campers nose to tail along the roads, and you park your car alongside. You back the trailer partially into the space, disconnect, and finish pushing it into place by hand. All of the trailers have handles built into the body at the corners, and a nose wheel at the front jack. A standard practice is to extend the living space by attaching a three sided room to the trailer."
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Old 06-30-2015, 10:09 PM   #2
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There are some good books i've enjoyed reading about rving in Europe.
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:36 AM   #3
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Yes Ken.... I like the way they use and understand the use of economical tow vehicles. Also it is different the way they tend to park in the camp grounds.
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:07 AM   #4
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From the info here you are lucky to be alive with all of the overloaded small cars towing nearly anything over 900 lbs!
Perhaps the towing regulations and the required T-ESP on the cars help reduce the predicted carnage on the roads. Also the very low trailer speeds in effect. Since the cars are so small they probably can't get over 40 mph anyway.
It is interesting how everywhere else in the world they can use a smaller vehicle to tow safely!
The physical laws are different in the US I guess!
Actually this is the model I follow with my 16' Scamp and VW TDI wagon with the OEM towbar and the electrical kit to activate the T-ESP as well.
I am glad you enjoyed the trip, I envy your friend the time.
Connie and I have some friends in Spain and perhaps we could stage from there and rent the equipment? In a few years I will be retired and have the time, but perhaps not the $$.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:19 AM   #5
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My wife and I visited a number of campground in Germany when we were there for a month a couple of years ago. We enjoyed looking at the different types of campers and were amazed at tthe size of campers to the types of cars (small). Camping is big buiness during the warmer months where we were.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:28 AM   #6
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Two points to add in....


I have made at least 20 trips to Europe and have never seen a privately owned pick-up truck, not even the ubiquitous Toyota's so popular worldwide. Insurance, fuel and licensing is soooo expensive that few families have more than a single vehicle. The euro version of a pick-up is a 2.5 meter long utility trailer, and they are very common.


Many (but not all) European trailers are of much lighter construction than would be acceptable in the U.S..


I was a co-sponsor of an event for 40 hp aircooled VW military cars in Germany (like 73-74 Things) a number of years back and at least 10-12 members showed up pulling a small caravan of some sort. Some were claimed to weigh as little as 300 kg. I saw pics of several that were involved in accidents and, for the most part, they folded up like a cheap suit. Looked almost like they were make of cardboard.... but, you can be sure that the vehicles, hitches and trailers all met the stiff euro specifications, failure to do so can result in the loss of ones drivers license.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:44 AM   #7
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.... but, you can be sure that the vehicles, hitches and trailers all met the stiff euro specifications, failure to do so can result in the loss of ones drivers license.
For sure! The safety standards over there are top notch. It is a shame to see the stuff that goes on over here...... not
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:00 AM   #8
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Yep, kinda like the hitch fabricators that see vehicle specifications as being only "suggestive" that wouldn't be in business for a NY minute in Germany.


Even the hitches that were used on aircooled VW's could only come from approved vendors such as Westfalia.
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Old 02-10-2017, 03:54 AM   #9
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Not everything is small in Europe

This is a Kabe Imperial 1000 TDL made in Sweden. It's total length is 11.57 m (37.96 feet) and it's 2.5 m wide (8.2 Feet).

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Old 02-10-2017, 05:39 AM   #10
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Touring around in Europe on the way between Sweden and Spain

I've spent the summers in Sweden and the winters in southern Spain for a bit more then ten years. It appealed to me to go by car to explore everything in between, so I bought an 8-seater VW-bus 10½ years ago and it's where I started to RVing in Europe. Earlier I had touring around by motorcycle in the 80's, mainly in England and Wales.



To start with, I just put a mattress on top of the parcel shelf and the back of the folded seats, plus a few camping gears in the boot of the car. Even though the car has been developed over the years, it's still an 8-seater that easily can be converted to a temporary camping-car.



The car is handy and fits into ordinary parking spaces, which rarely is the case for real camper cars.

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Old 02-10-2017, 06:13 AM   #11
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We loved our VW Eurovans! So versatile and roomy. Of course, they quit selling them in the U.S. in 2003, so you don't see many around anymore.
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:27 AM   #12
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Bringing two cats when touring around make it more complicated

We ended up with two cats five years ago, after Ms. insisted to have cats for replacing two earlier cats that both died earlier. Therefore, I had to build a bespoke transport box to be squeezed into the car for them to be able to come with us on our journeys between Sweden and Spain.



We try to drive different ways between our locations in Sweden and southern Spain. The distance depends on the way we go, but it's normally a bit less then 4.000 km (2.485 miles) one way and it tend to take two weeks. It's quite a bit of a journey for the cats, especially for our rescue cat that is very difficult.

After two round trips with the cats, we thought maybe a small caravan as a complement to our camping-car could make the journeys with cats easier. This is the reason way bought a small little fiberglass caravan two years ago.



Our Birman cat is a relaxed boy.



It's been more difficult to have our rescue cat to get used to the caravan, then I thought. I even made a "net-garden", hopping it would feel less clostrofobic for her, but it hasn't paid off so far.

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Old 02-10-2017, 07:52 AM   #13
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I did some camping in Europe from 95 to 98 a good bit with tent and with my Jeep Comanche pickup. A Major and his wife I knew full timed in there RV for the 3 years stationed in Germany, traveling with it on his off time. The reason that I wanted to get my RV was talking with him about it.
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Two points to add in....


I have made at least 20 trips to Europe and have never seen a privately owned pick-up truck, not even the ubiquitous Toyota's so popular worldwide. Insurance, fuel and licensing is soooo expensive that few families have more than a single vehicle. The euro version of a pick-up is a 2.5 meter long utility trailer, and they are very common.
I worked with a German colleague and he imported a Dodge SRV-10 (8.3L V-10) pickup from the US to Germany.
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