Everything you need to know about motorhome regulations

In the eyes of the law, a motorhome is a car. The same traffic and parking rules apply. Except for a few subtleties.

Six things to know rules which apply to camper vans.

  • there are not permission specific for motorhome
  • On the road, each passenger has his own safety belt
  • Respect the limits of loading of the camper
  • Rules of conduct: just like by car
  • Park like a car camp at the campsite
  • Maintenance, anti – pollution and technical control: like cars

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Motorhome driving license

To drive a motorhome of 3.5 tons or less, a B license is enough. The same as for a car. The only scenarios that may require special permissions are:

Number of seats on the road

As in any motor vehicle, the passenger of the motorhome must be fastened with an approved seat belt when the vehicle is in motion. Be sure to buy or rent a motorhome that the number of places with gray card matches your needs. And remember that it is forbidden to leave the seat to lie in the back permanent bed or to make coffee.

Avoid overloading

His appears on the caravan’s gray card total weight allowed in charge (PTAC), which is its maximum weight, and its sidewalk weight (PVOM). Subtracting the PVOM from the PTAC, we get the payload of the motorhome, which is its load capacity. Be careful not to overload yourself, considering the weight of your luggage, but also the passengers and accessories that have been added since leaving the factory (TV, solar panels, etc.).

Traffic laws

mountain motorhome

A motorhome is a motor vehicle like any other. It is subject to the same road code. Traffic rules, speed limits and parking rules are the same. Be careful though local regulations it can impose specific bans on vehicles of a certain size, or even sometimes on residential vehicles and motorhomes. Be sure to respect the panels. And if you have a motorhome heavy weightsrespect speed limits and other specific traffic restrictions.

Stage: parking or camping

Motorhome parking on the beach

  • Free parking and bivouac
    Motorhomes can be parked wherever they can park their cars, unless otherwise stated. So be sure to follow the signs. Once parked, it is possible to sleep in your motorhome, as long as you do not do any camping on the public road. This means that if you are in a parking space, you should not remove any external accessories from the motorhome. No wedges, no garden furniture, no awning, etc.
  • Reception areas
    In a motorhome reception area, of course, you can spend the night, put on your panties and take out one or two chairs, as well as a folding table. But beware, each zone may have its own rules. Some prohibit any unpacking, others limit the length of stay, etc. Areas located in car-sharing car parks, in particular, may be considered parking spaces on public roads. Finally, it’s not just the law: education requires that when the area is very busy you don’t occupy three places with your camping accessories.
  • In the campsites
    Of course, motorhomes are allowed in the campsites (with rare exceptions). Here the rules of the campsite prevail. Of course, blinds, tables and garden chairs are allowed.

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Vans and vans: nothing special

Photo by V. Pelagalli

Yes, drop-down vans are subject to the same rules as motorhomes (hence those that affect any car). They can stop at motorhome reception areas and avoid camping on the public road like others. The only difference is, of course, the size, which allows the van less than 2 meters high to pass under the access doors that close certain car parks. That doesn’t mean you can camp there. If you deploy the pop-up roof, for example, you may be fined.

Highway: fare issue

Motorway tolls are determined by the size of the vehicle (less than 2 or 3 meters in height), its GVW (light or heavy vehicle) and the number of axles (vehicles with two rear axles go directly into the most expensive category). It is important to know the fare category of your motorhome, to check that the toll has not improved your vehicle. It happens…

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Anti-pollution adhesive

In this area, motorhomes are subject to the same rules as cars. They are mostly equipped with diesel engines that meet Euro standards. It should be noted that, for the time being, the bans linked to the Crit’Air sticker have only affected traffic in built-up areas.

Approvals and technical control

The living area of ​​the motorhome is subject to specific approval regulations for gas. Ventilation, distance from the wall burner and other rules are taken into account when approving the vehicle. As for the cab, parking spaces, engine, etc., the rules are the same as for cars. Thus, the technical control must be carried out according to the periodicity of 4-2-2 years, in classic technical control centers (or specialized in heavy vehicles of more than 3.5 tons).

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