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the ascent by road to Alped'Huez, France


blueraincoat

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Has anyone done this in a 2.9 m high Hymer C class Fiat with a very small engine (1.9) ?!! We are hoping to go to the Alpes in the Spring and are anxious the 'van wont be able to climb up the mountain road. Presumably coming down will be no problem. Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Hi

May I be the first to welcome you to the Forum. It's great fun and you get a lot of practical advice.

We have a 3m high 6m long campervan with a 1.9 engine, have travelled the alps and the pyranees with no problems. The pyranees are far worse, in our opinion, than the alps - although not as high, the roads seem far steeper. Before going on any holiday, we always weigh the van fully loaded 3 times - total weight, front axle, rear axle - to make sure we are legal. Please be careful of the descents, they can be quite hairy! Going up is a matter of patience, coming down is a different matter. One comment I would make is, if you have to stop in a pullover due to overheating, make sure that the run out is sufficiently flat to get you out of first gear, otherwise the Fiat will soon overheat again.

Alan

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Just watch your braking, I've boiled brake fluid on a very long steep descent.

 

Very wide eyes and a squeaky bum when we got to the bottom and had to sail around a traffic island with only the hand brake and white knuckles.

 

Makes me go into a cold sweat when I think about it!

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starvin marvin - 2011-03-08 9:46 AM Just watch your braking, I've boiled brake fluid on a very long steep descent. Very wide eyes and a squeaky bum when we got to the bottom and had to sail around a traffic island with only the hand brake and white knuckles. Makes me go into a cold sweat when I think about it!

Been on the Cresta Rum Tony. :-D

Dave

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Alpe d'Heuz is a purpose made french ski resort. The french don't make ski resorts without a road that will take all the Thompson, Crystals and Inghams coaches. There are plenty of videos on Youtube of the ascent.

As a purpose made ski resort it is not very pretty and not worth the journey.

For something spectacular visit La Berarde camp site, not too far from Alpe d'Huez. The road is narrow so suitable for small vans only. There is a daily bus service to La Berarde if you don't fancy the drive. Worth it for a day visit.

Again Youtube has videos of the road to La Berarde.

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Many thanks for all your welcomes and advice!! I originally thought it might be tricky as the van struggled up a steep (but very short) hill in the North of England (it was wet and the wheels were skidding on the wet tarmac), and she also struggled to get up a steep ramp off the beach at Brean sands in the South West - but that was from a standing start. When i took a run at at ( and aimed for the very small gap between two walls at speed) she was fine! Your advice suggests we should have no problem so thanks again.
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Many people have a problem coming down the general rule is come down in the same gear as you went up in, we have seen motor homes with there brakes on fire at the bottom because the have not used there engine braking, a word of warning the mountain is a cyclists mountain show them respect only pass when you can give them plenty of room, it,s France not England, cyclists rule
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