Nigel Donnelly

See other Blog articles filed in ‘Editor's Blog’ written by Nigel Donnelly
7Number of countries visited. We started in France, before visiting Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia.

SENJ campsite7

Number of countries visited. We started in France, before visiting Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia.




Well impressed with this. The average MPG achieved on the trip. The majority of running was completed towing so this average is broadly an average MPG figure for a £480, 15-year old car towing a caravan across the continent. I doubt you could substantially improve this without spending a lot more money.




This is the height recorded on the altimeter in feet, on my phone as we climbed across the Alps on the A11 in southern Austria.




Highest temperature recorded on the way in Fahrenheit. There are roadside thermometers all along the road in Croatia and the highest we saw was 32.7C on the A7 motorway, nr Rijeka, Croatia. With no air-con, it was considerably higher inside the car.




Total mileage covered. Given the age of both car and caravan, the fact that this many miles were completed in 16 days with no problems is testament to preventative maintenance. And how tough old Volvos are.




The number of road tolls paid, including the vignette 'pre-pay' system for Austria and Slovenia.




7864m is around five miles in old money and that is the length of the  Karawanken Tunnel that links Austria and Slovenia.




Our ‘96 Volvo 850 and ‘86 Sprite Alpine C comprise an easy 60% towing match, although because the Volvo only has the 10v 2.0ltr petrol engine, it wasn't as much of a 'no contest' as the weigh-in suggests.



The total cost of the car and caravan was £850. In fact, the car was sold for £500 when we returned, meaning we made a modest profit on it.




Sobering thought that we spent nearly £700 getting an £850 car and caravan across the continent. It was worth it though. As Mrs Donnelly said though, that's a lot cheaper than you'd have got there on a plane, by the time you include the hotel. We took our room with us...




The average cost of unleaded en route. Diesel was cheaper everywhere.




The most miles driven in one day was on day three, driving from Luxembourg to southern Germany



Number of sites stayed at along the way




Number of sea views we had from the Sprite's front window



Average cost of a night on site, in Euros



>>Go to day 1 - Croatia on a Shoestring

Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent caravan reviews

Xplore 422


The Practical Caravan 2018 Xplore 422 review – 1 - The new-for-2018 Xplore 422 costs £14,249, £14,718 as tested (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Adria Action 361 LT review – 1 - The Adria Action 361 LT should certainly stand out on site – and it has an MTPLM of just 1100kg (© Phil Russell/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Elddis Avanté 860 review – 1 - With an MTPLM of 1695kg, you'll need a big tow car to pull this new-for-2018 twin-axle tourer (© Practical Caravan)

Venus 570/4


The Practical Caravan Venus 570/4 review – 1 - Tweaked for 2018, the Venus 570/4 is priced from £16,499 (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Buccaneer Barracuda review – 1 - There are new graphics for the 2018-season range of Buccaneer caravans (© Phil Russell/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Knaus StarClass 480 review – 1 - The Knaus StarClass 480 has been ungraded for 2018 and is priced from £26,699 (© Andy Jenkinson/Practical Caravan)