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Travelling on the A75 over the Millau Viaduct in March


Thurlestone

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We are planning to travel north in early March from Spain along the A75 over the Millau Viaduct and wonder if this will be ok with both a motorhome and friends towing a caravan. We have heard a variety of rumours that this route is not suitable for caravans. Has anyone travelled this route at this time of year and could share their experience please. We hope to stay over night while heading north and found one site open all year at Camping De La Cascade, St Rome de Tarn again has anyone used this site or know of any other good sites on this route.
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Often travelled over the A75 in our Duetto, both a non-turbo and a turbo version. No problems at all. It is steep and twisty going up from the start in the south, but have often seen cars pulling caravans without any apparent difficulty.

 

This is a motorway, it's not a back-country road, it has been engineered for normal road use. Take it and enjoy it (just think, a motorway that goes from sea-level to over 3000 ft AND it's toll-free!).

 

The Millau viaduct, like all such structures is better to look at from a distance than to drive over. Happily, there is a good rest area where you can stop and it's equipped with a viewing point so that you can photograph the bridge at leisure.

 

Can't help with the site, we've never stopped on one going north, always used Aires.

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Current tarifs for the the Millau Viaduct can be found here:

 

http://www.leviaducdemillau.com/en_index.php#/tarifs-peage/

 

There are some relevant A75-related comments here:

 

http://www.caravanclub.co.uk/community/discussions/sites-touring/overseas-sites-touring/Calais-to-nice-using-A75-route/rt/64942/

 

As advised there, the route's 'suitability' for caravanners is bound to depend on the car+caravan combination involved.

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Did the same route back from Spain this year in March, it was absolutely fine, there was only one steep part that I had to drop to third, its a well copnstructed, surfaced road no problem. There is a toll to cross the bridge but IMHO very worth it., and do stop at the viewing aire on the North side. Tuggers that we met in Spain also came that way a couple of days later without problems, he was towing a twin axle coachman with an audi A5.

Enjoy Spain and the Millau viaduct.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Thanks to everyone that responded to my request as we have found it very useful and will use the route next March. We still can't work out however the cost for taking a low profile motorhome over the bridge as the symbols show a car then a car & caravan followed by a van. The latter shows the cost to be over 20e but the car and van is about 7e surely this can't be right?
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Thurlestone - 2013-08-20 10:30 PM

 

Thanks to everyone that responded to my request as we have found it very useful and will use the route next March. We still can't work out however the cost for taking a low profile motorhome over the bridge as the symbols show a car then a car & caravan followed by a van. The latter shows the cost to be over 20e but the car and van is about 7e surely this can't be right?

 

The Millau Viaduct toll-rates are based on the standardised vehicle-classification system that applies generally to French autoroutes.

 

The system (and how it applies to motorcaravans) has been discussed very recently in this forum thread:

 

http://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/Motorhomes/Motorhome-Matters/Autoroute-Charges/32283/

 

There are 5 vehicle categories as detailed in this listing:

 

http://www.autoroutes.fr/en/vehicle-classification.htm

 

You'll see from the listing that Catergory 2 "Intermediate vehicles" must have a GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) not exceeding 3500kg and an overall height between 2 and 3 metres.

 

I believe you own a 2008 Renault-based Knaus Sun TI motorhome with a GVW of 3500kg and I'm near certain the overall height of this model is 2.65 metres. (Anyway, it's going to be below the 3 metres threshold.) Consequently, your motorhome will qualify for the Category 2 tarifs that are shown on the Millau Viaduct toll-rates webpage preceded by a "car & caravan" pictogram.

 

For 2013, the tarif for your Category 2 motorhome would be €10.50, except for the summer period July 1 through August 31 when it would be €13.30

 

Autoroute tarifs are updated each year and the 2012 Millau Viaduct tarifs were increased for 2013 by 3.8% to 4.4% depending on the vehicle category.

 

You should probably anticipate a similar rise for 2014, so (if you cross the Millau Viaduct in March 2014) you (and your caravan-towing friends) should expect to pay a tarif close to €11.

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Crossing the bridge is no big deal as the sides are sceened probablyto stop drivers being distracted by the view.

 

Close up it amazing but to get a true appreciation of the size you need to be a mile or three away to see the whole picture.

 

We have been over just the once but normally use the aire in the town as I really enjoy the drive up the now improved hill heading south back onto the 75. My van really sings up in third gear but bear in mind there is a speed limit.

 

The hill down onto the coastal plain at the southern end of the A75 is long and steep, a good place to cook your brakes if in a hurry.

 

The first pic was taken from the road road up the hill overlooking the town heading towards the Chaos something or other.

 

1203101632_MillauandViaduct.jpg.ade7bed8058697be8a781c959cbd6ff7.jpg

634882748_MillauViaductfromnorthernviewpoint.jpg.1aa071d08bc1ba0083bbcc0a7e88bae3.jpg

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Hi there, just a note to remember, if you come across a unmanned toll boothe on any auto-route in france, and it tries to overcharge you, just press the help button, and inform the operator that you are class 2 a campingcar, they can see you on the cctv and they will automaticaly change the fee, most operators dont even bother to check height or weight or even tag axles, they cant be bothered. By the way, it is not a long slog going down and through Milau, and its very scenic.
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sheer lunar-see - 2013-08-27 10:42 PM

 

Hi there, just a note to remember, if you come across a unmanned toll boothe on any auto-route in france, and it tries to overcharge you, just press the help button, and inform the operator that you are class 2 a campingcar, they can see you on the cctv and they will automaticaly change the fee, most operators dont even bother to check height or weight or even tag axles, they cant be bothered. By the way, it is not a long slog going down and through Milau, and its very scenic.

 

You appear to be suggesting that, merely because a vehicle is a motorhome ("campingcar"), it should automatically fall into the autoroute Category 2 vehicle-classification. This is not so - a motorhome is categorisesd just like any other vehicle regarding height, gross vehicle weight and number of axles and should be charged the tarif appropriate to its Category.

 

This recent thread discusses autoroute charging

 

http://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/Motorhomes/Motorhome-Matters/Autoroute-Charges/32283/

 

and mentions that the (probably correct) imposition of a Category 3 tarif for a motorhome 3 metres or over in height at an automated toll-booth can be downgraded to Category 2 by exploiting the booth's 'help button'.

 

This is all well and good if the toll-booth's automated system is genuinely overcharging you, and I'm certainly not going to be judgemental about using the 'help button' ploy even when a motorcaravanner knows full well that his/her vehicle should attract the Category 3 or Category 4 tarif.

 

However, if UK motorcaravanners as a group are being led to believe that any motorhome, irrespective of its specification, should always be charged the autoroute Category 2 tarif, not only are they being misinformed, but there's the potential for (unfounded) argument at manned autoroute toll-booths and/or when a clued-up toll-booth operator chooses to apply the Category regulations accurately.

 

There are no good grounds for thinking that all motorhomes should be autoroute Category 2 as it's plain from this French-language leaflet that the situation is otherwise.

 

http://www.autoroutes.fr/FCKeditor/UserFiles/File/ASFA%20CLASSE%20VEHICULE%20BD.pdf

 

it will be seen that, while Category 2 will apply to "La plupart des camping-cars" (The majority of motorhomes), Category 3 applies to "Les camping-cars de plus de 3 mètres de hauteur" (Motorhomes above 3 metres in height).

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