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TOPIC: French Speed Limit/ Gross Train Weight

French Speed Limit/ Gross Train Weight 4 years 7 months ago #282227

  • JeffD
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I have (only just) picked up on the CC posting in relation to speed stickers required for vehicles with a Gross Train Weight in excess of 3500kg when driving in France (refer to: www.caravanclub.co.uk/news-and-events/ne...s-in-france---update ).



I am towing in France shortly and am interested in other users experience of the necessity to use the appropriate stickers and, in particular, if the 90/80 stickers then need to be removed when returning to the UK?



Jeff










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French Speed Limit/ Gross Train Weight 4 years 7 months ago #282228

I was a mite concerned when I heard the regulations for France, but touring last year I did not fit the kph stickers and despite keeping an eye out I can't recall seeing any non_French, or French vans with them on. If it was to be enforced I am sure that the French police would be in the port exits.
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French Speed Limit/ Gross Train Weight 4 years 7 months ago #282229

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To the best of my knowledge, the French do not enforce this requirement for foreign registered vehicles.
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French Speed Limit/ Gross Train Weight 4 years 7 months ago #282230

This is one of those times when I am happy my van is short enough, and light enough that I do nothave to worry either about being over 3500 kg total weight, or over 12 meters in total length.



Trying to explain to 'Johnny Foreigner Plod' that you are correct, is a hassle I am glad to avoid. You speak slowly and loudly in English and they still pretend not to understand.
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French Speed Limit/ Gross Train Weight 4 years 7 months ago #282231

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My experience is that, on the whole, maybe with the exception of the Spanish and Italian police, they are relatively courteous and willing to overlook minor infringements. I've been caught passing through red traffic lights in France and the police, on realising there's going to be a language problem problem, just gave me a stern warning and followed it with an "Allez-y!".
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French Speed Limit/ Gross Train Weight 4 years 7 months ago #282232

Scotch Lad,

If I understand the rule correctly it doesn't matter how light or short your caravan. It is just based on the Gross Train Weight of the tug, so if I pull a small trailer tent with my X-trail I need the stickers. Conversely, you could tow a 1700 kg van with a 1700 kg car such as a C5 and not need stickers. Some modestly large cars may be affected, e.g. Audi A4

I have e-mailed the C&CC technical help to get more clarification on this but no reply after several days. I just hope Lutz is correct (he normally is) as I don't want stickers all over my new van which may need removing and replacing every journey abroad.

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French Speed Limit/ Gross Train Weight 4 years 7 months ago #282233

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I think you are a little off on that one. The gross train weight, as you call it of the tug is the maximum weight you can either load in it, or the total weight it can pull as well as itself. The latter is what i feel is what is relevant. My own 'tug' has a weight normally of 1650 kg, it can be loaded to a maximum of 2100 kg and it can also tow a maximum of 1800 kg, although one never does that. So my maximum gross train weight is technically 3900 kg. However as I usually tow loaded at about 1800 kg plus the van at 1300 kg, I am only at 3100 kg total train weight, so inside the limits.



Although one can tow a 1700 kg van with a 1700 kg trailer, it would not really be the wisest thing to do for stability. A tow vehicle weight of nearer 200o kg would be better and then yes, you exceed the train limit of 3500 kg. However, if I remember rightly this 3500 kg weight limit in France applies to the tow vehicle itself if you are looking at speed limits. As Lutz says, I would think they are unlikely to bother you unless you look unstable, or do something stupid.



The length issue is another one entirely and if your total length exceeds 12 meters, then get the stickers if you wish to travel Spain without incident.
John
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French Speed Limit/ Gross Train Weight 4 years 7 months ago #282234

I am aware of the difference between Gross train weight and Gross vehicle weight and believe you are wrong to think having a light van exempts you from the lower speed limits and sticker requirements. This example on the CC site clearly shows what I mean.

www.caravanclub.co.uk/news-and-events/ne...s-in-france---update



I quote :

Example

Honda CR-V 2.2 i-CTDI SE

Gross vehicle weight - 2160kg

Towing limit - 2000kg

Gross train mass - 4160kg



If you tow any trailer/caravan behind this car you will need to tow at the lower speed limits regardless of how much your trailer weighs. If the Honda is towing a caravan weighing 1000kg (total weight of 3160kg) the lower speed limits will still apply, because the gross train mass is over 3500kg.



The main question for me (and maybe you scotch lad)is whether this applies to UK based caravans.

X-Trail 173 and Swift Charisma 550
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French Speed Limit/ Gross Train Weight 4 years 7 months ago #282235

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It would appear to depend on which 'source' you use to get the information. From 'trawling' the Net the only one that uses the weight plus 'theoretical' towing limit is the CC, all others use the combination weight of the tow vehicle and trailer as the limiting factor.



Now, maybe the CC is correct in their interpretation but if so, I suspect the French are going to have a very large number of very unhappy Dutch, German, Italian as well as British holidaymakers kicking up all sorts of Hell with them. While I never drive at 130 km/hr when towing, as I doubt I could even achiev it going downhill, I certainly am not going to plod along at 50 mph on a motorway, ok, maybe 55 mph, and I know the Dutch will not either.
John
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French Speed Limit/ Gross Train Weight 4 years 7 months ago #282236

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I just had a look at the data for my car. Even taking the maximum towing weight of 1800 kg and the kerb weight, I still do not come to 3500 kg, so am still below the 'line'. The only way it could occur is if i load the car to its absolute maximum and then add on the said maximum 1800 kg, which is just not going to happen.



While in France last summer I never heard any gripes about any new laws, or saw any stickers.



This may be an area where if you have a big T/A and a 4x4 then the Gendarmes on a bad day may decide you are worth a Franc or two. I think with my 1300 kg tiddler i should be fine.
John
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