caravan and dog

cwinossett Image
08/13/2009 - 16:02

Hi all, sometime in the next 3 weeks we are upping sticks and moving to Puglia with caravan in tow two kids and a dog!! My questions are does anybody know the best way to go from Calais to Italia avoiding Switzerland as I have been told that the dogs passport doesnt cover her for Switzerland as they are not part of the EU, and I would also like to avoid tolls  if possible! Many thanks Chris



We brought two dogs over last year through Switzerland and they didn't even bother to check their passports in Switzerland,  they even got out of the car to have their photo's taken at the border !  Hated the drive through Switzerland, too many tunnels, so will be interesting to see what routes are suggested although I believe even with the Swiss road tax it's cheaper to go through there.

We did the route the other way this year via Austria, Germany, Luxemburg (cheap petrol), Belgium & France. It took no longer than our usual Switzerland/Franch route and the traffic was fine except for one stretch from Munich to Strasbourg I think, and no tolls except €4.50 in Austria and a tiny amount in the top of France. We'd definitely go that way again especially as we live on the eastern side of Italy.

 the way i would suggest would be with tolls however without is also possible by using the german routes to get you to munich then round into austria via innsbruck and out over the brenner pass...  down to bologna and then the coast road down to your homesorry to get to germany head out through belgium to the border near to cologne/koln... tolls will begin at the brenner pass... as you leave austria and you are supposed to pay a tax to use austrian roads...stop at the services ...  the main advantages if there are any to this route is that apart from the climb up to the europa bridge on the brenner motorway there are no other major hard climbs in the whole route...  the main problem can be traffic... but saying that can happen anywhere...  agree with the previous post that after leaving the uk there are no real problems with carrying animals in europe so i would not choose a route to avoid switzerland because of that... the other advantage of german motorways is that they have motels at the services... clean... and dogs can generally stay...  sorry forgot you had your own accomodation ... secure until you arrive at italy i would say overnighting at services along the way will be fairly safe... wehn you arrive in Italy make sure you do this with plenty of other trailers around you or else go to a secure site

In austria you will have to pay about 7 euro's for a 10 day pass and about the same to use the brennar pass, these are last years prices but wil be going this way on tuesday so possibly can post if i found a hotspot. be carefull towing through germany as the speed limit is 80kph unless you have a germany tuv a caravan Mot, then its 100kpm, and the germans are on the ball.

thanks to all for  the info looks like the northern route is the way to go but still looking at the map so would wlcome any more ideas i think iam nervous of the whole thing and cant make my mind up thanks again chris

Northern route gives you 2 options the bumpy route towards luxemburg, [the free french m/way does need resurfacing but only about 30km or so. or the route toward brussel and then leige, which can be very busy at times near the german border. take your pick, i take the luxemburg route, as there is a caravan pk just off the A13, junction 13 onto the N10 north for about 3 miles on the route du vin, with the mosselle on your right as the border between luxemboug and germany.

We drove down with 2 dogs last year. We didn't want the hassle of a load of border crossing so opted for just 2. We drove down through France towrads Lyon, then to the Mont Blanc tunnel at Chamonix and then into Italy. It was pain free and took us about 11 hours each day (we did it in 2 days with plenty of stops for the hounds). We were not stopped at the tunnel, the dogs were in plain sight, nor at the Italian border. We didn't get asked to show our passports nor the dogs at any stage.We drove another way through Switzerland last time and would not do it again at any price. I have never seen a country so bad for people using the middle lane at slow speeds and causing slow traffic. I thought England was bad. The borders were slow to get through and it took us much longer in the end. Switzerland is part of the pet passport scheme though, if you choose this way see page 7 of the below link which lists non EU countries where the scheme applies is more expensive to go the way we suggest, there is no argument, but I am happy to pay for the clearer roads and the fewer border crossings. If you go this way after October, keep an eye out for the snow alerts however, as the road does close occasionally. If that happens you have the option of going further south and using the Frejus tunnel or the coastal road. At the moment this is no problem for you but I would wait until September , whichever way you go. 

 sang gives to my mind most probably the easiest driving route of the whole lot to get to italy...either that or the frejus... the costs are what people seem to dislike the most... however french motorways are just so easy to cover distance on... and excellent...  cost with caravan...could make you decide to skip ease...  but the route he describes is my preferred route... especialley as you do reims now instead of paris... agree also on waiting till september.... 

Agree with SanG about the route they took through France etc. We towed a caravan down some years ago and that route is the least stressful. Okay its more expensive, as the caravan seems to make the vehicle count as a lorry for the tolls. Once you get rolling though, then you will probably save fuel as it's a constant speed most of the time.  

 I am not sure how one would save fuel going a route that is actually 70 miles or almost 10% longer to say bologna which is central so its a good mileage pionter. There is also the climbs, which whilst not being extreme are steeper gradiants than say the brennar way or even straight through switzerland..Time wise,well for starters you have to make up the 70 miles if one is using time as a scale, and when towing ! that isn't going to be easy,without making the journey more stressfull or using even more fuel because of driving at a higher speed.Could imagine it being a less stressful drive if time was not an issue as long as its not holiday time for the French, and sure why shouldn't cost come into it, or rather warn people that towing this route will cost a furtune compared to any of the more eastern approaches to Italy.If one is heading for Aosta or Turin then OK, this is the ideal route..But more eastern places?That does depend

Have used the other routes mentioned, apart from going through Switzerland. When we decided to tow the caravan down, we considered from knowing what it was like through Austria etc, that the best way was France - Mont Blanc - Italy. As it was a complete house change, we wanted to get down a.s.a.p. as the van was pretty well loaded to the limit. If that had not been the case and it was a holiday excursion then probably fine on the other route, as it is more scenic.