By Martin Leduc
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After the Covid-19 pandemicMany French people bought a motorhome to experience their holidays differently.
But beware, if it offers, precisely, immense freedom, it is still subject to several rules. Make the point.
Can we drive at the same speed as cars?
This will depend on the total weight of the motorhome. Below 3.5 tons, there is no problem, the same rules as those for cars apply.
Above, it will be necessary to adapt: 110 km/h maximum on motorways, 100 km/h on two-lane roads, 80 km/h on normal roads, and no more than 50 km/h in cities .
Attention, on two-lane roads, motorhomes over 7 meters long and over 3.5 tonnes are not allowed to drive on the one that is furthest to the left.
Regardless of the gross vehicle weight (GVW) of the motorhome, keep in mind that this type of vehicle is more subject to variations in the wind than a car. “Caution must be in order”, insists, withnews.frCharly, who runs the forum-camping-car.fr website.
Can I park and camp anywhere I want?
Regarding parking, generally the same rules as those for cars apply, but you cannot take out the awning when your vehicle is parked.
Regarding camping, there are certain places to avoid. Service-public.fr lists the places where it is prohibited:
- On roads and public thoroughfares
- In classified natural sites or in the process of classification
- In remarkable listed heritage sites
- Near historical monuments
- On the shores of the sea
- Less than 200 m from water points used for drinking
Note that these prohibitions apply even if the land is not a public place.
Moreover, even for public areas, the practice of camping can be prohibited by the municipalities. Also, making a quick phone call before hitting the road can surely save you some unpleasant surprises.
On the road, if we’re not driving, can we go take a nap?
Received idea. No, “in a motorhome that is moving, moving is prohibited”, confirms Charly.
In fact, a motorhome is like any vehicle. On the road, all passengers must be strapped in and not move.
Some older models do not have a rear seat belt. In this case, you can still sit down, but you must not move.
On the road, we stay seated. “Legally speaking, there is no question of playing a little card game on the highway as you can see on TV,” discovered Charly.
I have a simple B licence, can I drive the motorhome?
Again, this depends on the weight of the vehicle. Below 3.5 tons, no problem.
Above, it gets a bit more complex. If you passed your driving test before January 20, 1975, then that’s good. “Even for a huge vehicle. This rule is a bit absurd, ”plagues Charly.
On the other hand, if this is not your case and your vehicle weighs more than 3500 kg, then you will have to pass the C1 license, which allows you to drive any vehicle between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes and which does not exceed nine seats. Note that the B permit is necessary to be able to take the C1 exam.
Am I allowed to hitch a trailer to it?
With a B license only, it is authorized to tow a trailer of less than 750 kg, if the total weight (motorhome + trailer) remains less than 3.5 tonnes.
If the total is between 3501 kg and 4250 kg, it will be necessary, in addition, the B96 training. A simple training of a few hours at a driving school.
Above, it will be necessary to be equipped with a C license, for heavy goods vehicles.
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