Mar 14, 2005
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Every caravan book i pick up all i see is 4#4 or top of the range cars towing the vans.Nobody in this forum ever makes a comment about how costly petrol wise it is towing these vans.Take a case going from the north of France to south of France a journey of 850 miles.That is a long haul with a caravan in tow and a bloody lot of burned petrol.Please answer and convince me to take the family to France this year with my van.i am not a scrooge but i am lookin at every option open to us.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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jim, I have had numerous petrol cars, fitted with 2L engines, over the years, and have found with all of them that when towing I have got around 25mpg. (I had a 2.9 Granada and that would only do 18mpg).

I live in Poole so a journey to the Landes area of France uses the same as if I went to Scotland. The roads are generally free flowing and not so many hills.

What can I advise but bite the bullet, the ferry fare is generally the diffence beween the continent and home.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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hi jim, weve been to spain in our van for the past three years. calais to tarragona (nr barcelona) close to 2000 miles. total cost round trip on motorways (ie tolls) and lpg
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Jim,i have a 4x4 it gives me about 22mpg when towing my crusader storm yes its a big van the 4x4 is the one Jerrmy Clarkson hates a Frontera desiel but a great tow car my advise forget petrol besides desiel is cheap on the continent.Paul
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Caravans and economy don't fit well together. If we were to use the logic of number crunchers we would all use public transport and take holidays locally so as not to incur additional outgoings.

The truth is it does cost more to tow a caravan and it does cost to drive through France, but what a way to use and enjoy the freedom of choice we have.

Jim,

you can control costs to some extent by buying

a 'previously owned' caravan or car, I always do, also next time buy a diesel car, diesel is a lot cheaper in France than petrol.

John k

Ps use RN not A roads they may be a little slower but the scenery is 1000% better as is the opportunity given to experience the real France and not an extension of the M25
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Assuming you're going to drive a total of 2000 miles on holiday, even a relatively large 4x4 towing is not going to use more than about 480 litres of petrol. At current French prices this equates to roughly 520 Euros or about 370 pounds. You must put that into perspective with the cost of the ferry, campsite fees, etc. and don't forget that petrol is a good deal cheaper in france than it is in the UK.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I have just recently switched from a 2.2 litre petrol Omega to a 2.0 litre Vectra TDI diesel. I haven't towed the caravan yet with it, but I cannot believe the fuel consumption. I have gone from spending about
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Jim, don't know all your circumstances, but I'm convinced that diesel is the only serious option for lots of towing in UK and particularly in europe. Plus diesel gives much more low down torque.

In Spain diesel is still ony about 50% UK price. My MB 270 diesel gives nearly twice the mpg of the 350 petrol equivalent with better torque figures.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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LPG works for me with my 3.5L V8 Range Rover - a 1984 model that just keeps going and hardly notices anything that is being towed.

In France & Italy it is cheaper than desiel and easily available. However, in Spain it is cheaper still BUT it is suppossed to be for government service vehicles only i.e. Police Ambulance etc., as no tax is applied on it at all.

Tourists can get it but you need to talk nicely to the service station. I filled up at 13p per litre in Santander!

Mind you petrol in Spain is far cheaper anyway.

Why do we put up with it?

I am an IFA and recently worked out for a young client that the tax he paid on his petrol going to and from work was virtually the same amount as the income tax he paid on his salary.

As such the low paid pay far more tax in percentage of income terms than they realise.
 

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