Don't forget to look at the panel on the left of this page for other topics especially if you are looking for information on travelling in the EU (HERE)
INTERNATIONAL DRIVING PERMIT (IDP)
Brexit day draws closer with nobody really any wiser on the effect of our travels to the EU in our motorhomes. What is clear you will need an International
Driving Permit (IDP)
Obtaining one is quite simple. Until recently you could obtain an IDP from the AA/RAC from 1 Feb 2019 they are only available from main post offices. Check here to find the nearest post office to you that issues IDP’s. It should take a few minutes to get one from the Post Office counter. DON'T wait until the last minute. You can post date your permit to start on any date up to three months in advance. The cost of a single IDP will cost £5.50 Two will cost £11 etc. You’ll need a passport sized photo for each. If you are heading to Spain via France you will need to purchase both the 1949 and the 1968 versions of IDPs
A 1949 Convention IDP covers Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Malta and Cyprus.
A 1968 Convention IDP covers you in all other EU countries, including Norway and Switzerland
A 1926 Convention IDP Liechtenstein
MORE INFO HERE
https://www.gov.uk/driving-abroad/international-driving-permit and here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/prepare-to-drive-in-the-eu-after-brexit
EHIC CARD POST BREXIT?
If the UK leaves with no deal, your EHIC will no longer be valid. Last week, the UK government issued detailed advice on health care when travelling abroad.If there is no deal, the advice for those travelling on or after 29 March 2019 to EU countries as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, is to buy travel insurance to cover health care "just as you would if visiting a non-EU country".The government says it is "seeking agreements with countries on health care arrangements for UK nationals after 29 March", but there is no such agreement in place with any of the countries yet. The information will be updated if the circumstances change.
What happens if there is a deal?
The UK and the EU have reached agreement that there should be a transition period between 29 March 2019 and 31 December 2020 to allow more time for negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship. During this time, all EU law would continue to apply in the UK. That would mean that citizens would have exactly the same rights and guarantees as before - so, you'd still be able to use your card. Under the terms of agreement, the transition period can be extended by up to two years, if necessary. What happens after that is not clear as this will be decided as part of the negotiations on the future EU-UK relationship. More info here EHIC
SPAIN has lowered the speed limit on secondary roads from 100kph to 90kph.
At the moment 66 per cent of road fatalities occur on secondary roads, about half of which are due to cars leaving the highway usually due to excessive speed.
Spain joins other European countries that have lowered the speed limit on their secondary roads – in the case of France to 80kph.
The Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Finland, Cyprus and Malta also have an 80kph limit while Sweden’s is the lowest at 70kph.
There are four countries in Europe with a higher limit – the United Kingdom, at 96 kph (60 miles per hour). Germany, Austria and Romania keep the maximum at 100 kph.
In these three countries the limit on motorways is also higher than in Spain’s 120kph limit at 130 kph.
The lowering of the speed limit on Spanish secondary roads is part of the battery of measures of the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) for 2019.
Fines for not wearing seat belts will also be tightened, and the use of other vehicles such as bicycles and scooters will be regulated.
The reduction in the maximum limit will affect around 7,000 kilometres of roads. Drivers of vans, lorries and buses that until now could reach a maximum of 90 km/h on these roads will have to keep to a 80 kph limit.
Advice for pet owners planning to take a pet to any EU country after 29 March 2019 in the unlikely event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
You should contact your vet at least 4 months before you plan on travelling to any EU country.
Over the past 2 months there has been an increase in thefts of Fiat Motorhomes due to technology available to purchase online, which overrides the manufacturer standard security.
Areas specifically targeted are along the A127 within the postal codes of:
If you own a Fiat Motorhome in these areas please be aware of the increased theft risk.
While Motorhome thefts are rare, claims statistics have shown that Fiats are being targeted. We recommend investigating and installing deterrents and/or taking preventative measures to decrease the risk of theft. Steering wheel locks, wheel-clamps and door locks are some ideas for extra security.
Ford Motorhomes still have the highest theft rates in the above areas particularly and in
If you are thinking of, or have already purchased a Ford Motorhome please be aware of this increased risk and fit preventatives to the vehicle.
Look out for new speed limits as French authorities cut the top speed on two-lane roads across the country.
Here’s all you need to know about the new limits as you plan your trip to France and beyond.
The French Government has cut speed limits on all of the nation’s two-lane roads from 90km/h (56mph) to 80km/h (50mph).
It is likely that in wet driving conditions, the speed limit will drop to 70km/h (43mph). New signage will confirm this.
|Motorway||130 kph (110 kph in wet weather)||80 mph (68 mph in wet weather)|
|Dual Carriageway (Major Roads)||110 kph (100 kph in wet weather)||68 mph (62 mph in wet weather)|
|Two-lane roads outside built-up areas||90 kph (80 kph in wet weather)||56 mph (50 mph in wet weather)|
|Built up areas (towns and villages)||50 kph||31 mph|
|Motorway||130 kph (110 kph in wet weather)||80 mph (68 mph in wet weather)|
|Dual Carriageway (Major Roads)||110 kph (100 kph in wet weather)||68 mph (62 mph in wet weather)|
|Two-lane roads outside built-up areas||80 kph (70 kph in wet weather)||50 mph (43mph in wet weather)|
|Built up areas (towns and villages)||50 kph||31 mph|
MOTORHOME SPEED LIMITS
Under 3.5t Motorways 80mph, 130km/h Other roads 50mph, 80km/h
Over 3.5t Motorways 68mph, 110km/h Other roads 43mph, 70km/h
If towing a trailer then
Car + trailer OVER 3.5t on MOTORWAYS 56mph, 90km/h
All other limits remain the same as above
Speed limits on dual-carriageway roads, will remain as they are.
The new speed limits apply on two-lane roads without central separation, where the limit was previously 90km/h (56mph). Other roads, such as dual carriageways and motorways where the dry weather limit is 130km/h, will not be subject to a reduced limit.
These secondary roads where the cut applies are the French equivalent of A- and B-roads in the UK – excluding dual carriageways.
That’s right. Even if these 2×2 roads don’t have a central barrier, they will not be subject to the lower speed limit.
The cut in speed limit for two-lane roads that currently have a 90km/h limit came into force on July 1, 2018 – just in time for the summer rush.
In reality, most Brits will be using the bigger motorways or expressways as they surge towards warmer climes in central and southern France – leaving most untroubled by the cut in limits.
However, travellers will need to be extra vigilant as they join sections of local two-lane roads where the new limits are in force.
It’s likely these areas will face heavy enforcement as the new law comes into force.
Drivers caught exceeding the new limits can expect an on-the-spot fine of at least €68 (£60), but this could technically rise to €750 (£650) if it goes to trial. Even if they’re not fined at the roadside, Brit offenders can still expect to pay for breaking the limit.
Prior to May 6, 2017, French authorities were unable to find out the registered keeper of Brit-registered vehicles, this is no longer the case.
French police are likely to impose heavy enforcement as the new limits come into force:
No. Penalty points are not transferable or applicable for offences committed on foreign roads. This could change in the future, however.
THIS INFORMATION IS ONLY A GUIDE AND WE MAKE NO GUARANTEES TO IT'S ACCURACY
PLEASE MAKE YOUR OWN CHECKS BEFORE MAKING ANY JOURNEY TO OR ACROSS FRANCE
UPDATED INFORMATION FROM DOT MAY 10th 2018
The information contained in this document relates solely to the construction requirements for vehicles. Readers should ensure that they are aware of, and comply with, all relevant requirements on other aspects of vehicle use (driver licensing, vehicle excise duty, insurance etc). CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Fiat Ducato with Comfort-Matic Heater
Fault Hot Air to Drivers Feet
Useful information supplied by member
Dennis Hobbs who experienced problems with the heating in his motorhome.
Fiat App for IOS and Android phones
FIAT DUCATO CAMPER MOBILE is the original Fiat Ducato Camper application for your smartphone.
It’s designed to always be on hand, wherever you go, and to offer you the information and services that you want quickly and simply.
Access a wide range of services at the touch of a finger:
FIND A WORKSHOP¹
to find the Fiat Camper Assistance Centre closest to you
to contact Fiat Camper Assistance directly: your dedicated Customer Care Service
FIND YOUR MOTORHOME
to store the location of your parked motorhome and be directed back to it
to ask for roadside assistance in case of need and be aware of the Roadside assistance service range
to check the mechanical servicing due dates and schedule for your motorhome
to check whether your motorhome is involved in an upgrade campaign
It lets you view the parking areas closest to you. You can change your position or searc range by pressing the “options” button. You can also “check-in”.
It allows you to view the Campsites closest to you. You can alter your position or search range by pressing the "options" button. You can also "check in".
POINTS OF INTEREST¹
It allows you to view the points of interest closest to you. You can change your position or search range by pressing the "options" button. You can filter the results based on tourist sites, places associated with comfort, shopping areas and embassies. You can also "check in".
It allows you to view the refuelling stations closest to you. You can alter your position or search range by pressing the "options" button. You can also "check-in".
For IOS devices visit iTunes store
For Android devices visit Google Play Store
Do you think you could still pass the driving theory test?
Click link below to test your knowledge, it's free and only takes 5/10 minutes. There are 50 questions and you are allowed 57 minutes to complete the test. you need 43 to pass.
Have fun and no cheating!
Sargent Recall Notice
A small number of PSU built in November and December 2016, and fitted to vehicles in January / February 2017 are being recalled. They have identified 70 circuit boards that may prematurely fail due to a possible manufacturing problem. These 70 PCB’s were used during a period where 190 EC155 PSU’s were manufactured, so we are including all 190 of these for checking and possible replacement.
If the PSU serial number is between 7908 to 8095 inclusive then it is one of the 190 that need to checked.
Sargent have produced a short video showing how to check the number, and then the internal PCB batch number as required. See the YouTube video below. If you need to contact Sargent, call 01482 881655 or email Dave Chapman at Dave@sargentltd.co.uk
Fiat Engine Oil Euro 6 IMPORTANT NOTE
I have been trying to source top-up engine oil for the Euro 6 engine and this has been quite interesting. The oil is fully synthetic which of course equals expensive. I have tried to match the specification with oils available and came across what appeared to be a major error. The Fiat Handbook page on Fluids and Lubricants (page 329 in mine) states the oil is SAE 0W-30 ACEA C2 with the specification shown as being 9.55535-S1. This being manufactured by Petronas and named Selenia WR Forward. In talking to Petronas and Castrol I have ascertained that the S1 is ascribed to a Euro 5 engine and NOT Euro 6 and is not recommended for the Euro 6 models. I have spoken with Fiat Customer Service who confirm that the oil required for this engine is SAE 0W-30 ACEA C2 with a specification of 9.55535-DS1. They accept that there is a misprint in my Handbook and showed some concern over this. They have escalated the issue to the powers that be who are concerned with the production of the handbook and expect there to be a correction issued via a Service Update through Fiat Professional agents. I have also been warned that these engines are liable to use a half litre of oil every 600 miles and therefore a close watch needs to be kept on the engine oil levels.
I am unsure how many members already have Euro 6 vehicles but as more purchase new models hopefully they will pick up on this issue. I am sure that it will take months for this to appear in new Handbooks, mine is dated 02/2015 and came with a 2017 model, meanwhile owners and presumably maintenance engineers may well be filling up with incorrect fluids.
Just thought that you might be interested to know that the saga with Fiat continues.
Fiat Customer Services came back to me to confirm that the correct oil for the Euro 6 engines is SAE 0W-30 ACEA C2 with a specification of 9.55535-DS1 entitled Selenia WR Forward. I asked the source of their confirmation and was told that it was from the Fiat Handbook. Having emphasised that this was not in my handbook they conceded that the handbook was out of date. At the bottom of the last page of my handbook there is a Print Number : 603.99.772 – 05/2015 – 1st edition despite being shipped with a 2017 model. It was suggested that for the up to date version I should refer to the internet to which I responded that this was unacceptable and potentially impossible if I were located on a campsite with no signal or communication. The correct handbook for Euro 6 models is Print Number. 603.91.187 – 03/2017- 3rd edition. On investigation I found that the 2015 handbook was ascribed to all cabs up to November 2016 and suddenly changed to the 2017 version with December 2016 models. I have also established that the latest 2017 Auto-Trail and also Swift models continue to be shipped with the 2015 handbook – someone seems to have a job lot of these with little concern to the end user. I wonder how many other incorrect references appear in the earlier version??
Having remonstrated with Fiat, who refused to send me an updated version, they advised that I spoke with my dealer or the local Fiat Professional garage to come to some agreement as to how a current handbook could be made available!! I understand that the potential cost to acquire the correct handbook is £20 + VAT. You will not be surprised to hear that I will not be paying that!!
With thanks to Bryan Steiner for this information
If you have to use your mobile then you need to park safely and legally with the handbrake on. To avoid any doubt switch off your engine too as stated in the parking rules in the Highway Code.
You can use hands-free or voice command phones and sat-navs when driving, but you cannot pick up the device and you must be in full control of your motorhome or car.
If you’re involved in an accident or the police think you’re not in control of your vehicle then you could be prosecuted for this or even careless, or dangerous driving.
You can’t use your mobile phone when stopped in a queue of traffic or at traffic lights
It’s illegal to read a text message, check your social media or stream and watch videos when you’re behind the wheel of your motorhome or car.
If you have to take or make a call it’s best to pull over, stop driving and turn off the engine; or leave the call to go on to voicemail.
If you’re using your phone as a sat-nav then it must be mounted in a hands-free holder. It’s illegal to hold your phone and use it as a map for directions.
If you have to take or make a hands-free call then keep it brief and then follow it up when you can safely stop.
You can make an emergency call to 999 or 112 as long as it’s unsafe or impractical for you to have to stop your vehicle.
If you call someone on their mobile phone and you know they’re driving, then arrange to talk when it’s safe for them to stop.
Carriage of Passengers in Campervans
Statement from the Department of Transport
This document provides general guidance and advice on the legislative requirements in Great Britain relating to the carriage of people in campervans. Every effort has been made to ensure that it is factually correct but recipients should check with the producers of this document if they are unsure about the validity of a particular regulation after the date of publication or if they have reason to believe any part is not correct or is now out of date.
Although it is not specifically illegal to travel in the accommodation area of a campervan, you should bear in mind that this area would not have been specifically designed for use when travelling and Regulation 100 of the Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986 (SI 1986 No. 1078) may apply. This requires: a motor vehicle, and all its parts and accessories; the number of passengers carried, and the manner in which any passengers are carried in or on a vehicle; and the weight, distribution, packing and adjustment of the load of a vehicle, to be at all times such that no danger is caused, or is likely to be caused, to any person in or on a vehicle or on a road.
Further to this, Section 40a of The Road Traffic Act 1988 (as amended by Section 8 of the Road Traffic Act 1991) Part II, Using a Vehicle in a Dangerous Condition, states that: A person is guilty of an offence if he uses, or causes or permits another to use, a motor vehicle or trailer on a road when:
(a) the condition of the motor vehicle or trailer, or of its accessories (b) the purpose for which it is used; or (c) the number of passengers carried by it, or the manner in which or equipment; or they are carried; which it is
(d) the weight, position or distribution of its load, or the manner in secured; is such that the use of the motor vehicle or trailer involves a danger of injury to any person.
Our advice is that passengers are safest in a forward or rearward facing seat equipped with a three- point seat belt. Seat belt anchorage points should be designed so that they will be capable of withstanding the high forces of an impact and seat belts must comply with the latest British or European standards and be marked accordingly with either the 'e', 'E' or BS 'Kitemark'. We strongly recommend that they are professionally installed by qualified persons (such as a commercial garage or seatbelt specialist).
Although side facing seats, with or without seat belts, are not illegal, we would not advise that they are used. This is because seat belts are not designed to be used with such seats. In the event of an accident, seat belts on these side facing seats may help to prevent the wearer being thrown around the vehicle or from being ejected, but in a frontal crash they can increase injury risk by subjecting vulnerable parts of the body to higher loads than seat belts used on forward facing seats.
If you intend to carry children aged 12 years or under, the seat belt wearing regulations require them to use a suitable child restraint. You should bear in mind that child restraints cannot be fitted to side facing seats. In order to fit the required child restraints, you would need to have forward or rearward facing seats with full three-point seat belts.
Whilst there is no specific legal limit to the number of passengers carried, the manufacturer will probably specify the maximum number that the vehicle is designed for and if that is exceeded,
Regulation 100 of the Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986 or Section 40a of The Road Traffic Act 1991 may again apply. It is therefore important that you also confirm the number of passengers and the manner in which they will be carried with your insurance company.
The requirements for child car seat use can be viewed at: http://www.dft.gov.uk/think/focusareas/children/childincar?whoareyou_id=&page=Overview.
If you require any further information regarding the content of this information sheet, please contact the DfT at the address below:
International Vehicle Standards Department for Transport Zone 1/34, Great Minster House 33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR
Telephone: 020 7944 2091 Fax: 020 7944 2196 Email: email@example.com
Have your fitted a Nudge or Bull bar to your motorhome?
Have you informed your insurance company?
I fitted a very nice chrome nudge bar to my motorhome and following a conversation with a member I was advised to inform my insurer of the modification.
To my surprise I was told that my insurance would be invalid if it was left on. It is now for sale!
Not all insurance companies have the same exclusions, so if you have fitted one or are thinking about fitting one, check with your insurers first!
My insurer is Saga.
Thanks to John Pridgeon for raising this very important point.
Truma UK has informed motorhome owners of a potential safety problem with gas filter cups fitted since the start of 2012. The gas filter cup is located between the gas bottle and the regulator. We decided to relay this call. A faulty processing in the manufacturer's supply chain has resulted in the possibility of a material fault in the windows of the gas filter cup. This can allow gas to escape freely into the atmosphere via the cylinder box. In unfavourable circumstances, this might cause gas deflagration and injuries, although Truma wants to state that it is not aware of any cases where this has happened. To avoid any risks, Truma has therefore decided to replace all filter cups in the market with a new version. The rest of the filter body assembly is unaffected and will not impact on anything surrounding or connected to it, such as the hose or the regulator. The probability that the material fault will present itself is very low; however, motorhome owners who have a Truma gas filter fitted in their vehicle must take the following precautions:
Customers can replace the cups quickly and easily themselves. The gas supply needs to be closed before the part is replaced. Then the old filter cup can be unscrewed – like when replacing the filter cartridge – and the new filter cup screwed on.
To see how it’s done, watch this helpful video.
We recommend you to address the manufacturer if you are impacted.
Gassing in motorhomes?
The Royal College of Anaesthetists issued a statement last year amid claims that Britons were being gassed and burgled in motor homes and now the robbery of
Jenson Button claiming gassing is in the news, it is repeated here.
"Despite the increasing numbers of reports of people being gassed in motor-homes or commercial trucks in France, and the warning put out by the Foreign Office for travellers to be aware of this danger, this College remains of the view that this is a myth."
"It is the view of the College that it would not be possible to render someone unconscious by blowing ether, chloroform or any of the currently used volatile anaesthetic agents, through the window of a motor-home without their knowledge, even if they were sleeping at the time."
"If there was a totally safe, odourless, potent, cheap anaesthetic agent available to thieves for this purpose it is likely the medical profession would know about it and be investigating its use in anaesthetic practice."
They went on to say that the quantity that would be needed to fill a motorhome would require a tanker full and the significant cost would far outweigh the advantage of the robbery. They also said that the administering of the necessary volume of an uncontrolled anaesthetic agent would mean the possibility of killing the victims.
Check out the links on the side bar for other useful information.
Information and Nomination forms
Auto-Trail - Special Offer on 15" Alloy Wheels.
Driving over 70? Sign a petition to the Government requesting a review of the current age restrictions for C1 and C1e
See General Information
EHIC CARD AND INTERNATIONAL DRIVING PERMITS POST BREXIT
NEW YEAR RALLY ADDED
HARZ MOUNTAIN RALLY INFORMATION UPDATED
Europe changes gear over speed limits on country roads
Germany's Diesel Ban is Starting to include Autobahn Network
Driving in Europe after March 29th 2019?
Important notice if no Brexit deal is reached
Updated 17th October
Safe parking at rallies advice, please take time to read this item.
Auto-Trail - Where it all began, a brief history.
Click HERE to view our