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To motorway or not to? That is my question
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Ironcymru
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:05 pm    Post subject: To motorway or not to? That is my question Reply with quote

Hi theSamba,

In a months time I will be driving 2300km across europe in my 1.9 TD AAZ Vanagon. It's top speed is somewhere around 100 (but comfortable around 80/90). If i do a google maps search it suggests that my journey will take about 21hrs. That's if I could do the 130kph speed limit; which I can't. I'm assuming that it'll take something more like 25 hours of driving (we're planning to split it over 5 days (5 hours driving time + pit stops = 7 hours). Does this seem realistic?

We actually have a lot of time to play with. We are leaving on the 19th April and I have to be in work on the 1st May, if the journey takes an extra day or two that's no problem.

Google maps assumes that I'd be taking the motorways. But as my vanagon can't do that would it be better to take the secondary roads? What do you think? I have driven the distance twice before using a Land Rover and that was a piece of cake. The vanagon is another kettle of fish.
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newfisher
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:12 pm    Post subject: Re: To motorway or not to? That is my question Reply with quote

First, enjoy your trip. With that much time I would not be on the motorway ( freeway here in the States) and enjoy the back roads. Don't push it, check fluid levels and conditions, inspect tires etc at your stops. Listen to the van. Do not be in a hurry, enjoy what you see, you have a drive schedule that easily lets you wander.

I would rather do the trip in a 300,000 mile non maintained vanagon than any state side Rover.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:17 pm    Post subject: Re: To motorway or not to? That is my question Reply with quote

I'd stay off the motorways. You will fit in much better with local traffic than on the motorway. Your bus will appreciate it as well. Enjoy the journey! Very Happy
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c705ncp
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:25 pm    Post subject: Re: To motorway or not to? That is my question Reply with quote

Where are driving from and to where. Motorways are definitley quicker than driving on other roads, but boring. Driving at 80 / 90 kph is not a problem on motorways ,better getting there than not at all. As you have driven long distances before you will know that the first day is allways the worst. 3 or 4 hours driving then stopping for a drink and stretching your legs is a good idea and then carrying on.When you feel tired stop. As retired long haul international driver covering Russia and Middle East I'm speaking with experiance
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:41 pm    Post subject: Re: To motorway or not to? That is my question Reply with quote

I can't speak for European motorways, but it doesn't take that much longer to drive a long distance on a US Interstate at 90 kph than it does at 130 kph. Assuming traffic is moderately heavy you only loose between 5-10 klicks per hour by driving slower. Traffic tie ups effect everyone about the same as do fuel and other stops greatly cutting into the average speed.
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scottyrocks
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:09 pm    Post subject: Re: To motorway or not to? That is my question Reply with quote

I prefer backroads every day of the week even in my modern Hondas, and certainly in my acvw. If it was me and I had the time, that's the way I would go, regardless of vehicle.
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0to60in6min
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:30 pm    Post subject: Re: To motorway or not to? That is my question Reply with quote

the vanagon was design/built with secondary roads in their mind... if they aim for motorways/freeways they would put in a stronger engine

my vote is for secondary roads (or the nationales in France) much prettier...

Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:35 pm    Post subject: Re: To motorway or not to? That is my question Reply with quote

I do my level best to stay off American motorways, but driving through a bunch of towns at reduced legal speeds as well as local traffic can really take time by the end of the day. it sounds like you can afford the time to sightsee places you wouldn't otherwise.
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Jake de Villiers
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:40 pm    Post subject: Re: To motorway or not to? That is my question Reply with quote

We drove from Sylt down to Mont Ventoux in a 1.6D high top which is a LOT slower than your 1.9TD. It was easier to drive on the A roads because the COMPLETE lack of acceleration made the constant slowing down and speeding up pretty stressful.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:58 pm    Post subject: Re: To motorway or not to? That is my question Reply with quote

is the journey its own reward or just a hwy to hell?



find the fun roads and mix those in with the motorways so as to not waste too much time driving and camping
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Ironcymru
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:02 pm    Post subject: Re: To motorway or not to? That is my question Reply with quote

This all great advice guys. Thanks very much. The secondary road route seems to be recommended.

I figured if I am cruising on a boring motorway at 80kph then I might as well be driving down a beautiful secondary Road at 80kph. Avoiding toll roads on Google maps takes me a different route doesn't seem to add much distance.

I am enjoying reading your responses.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:10 pm    Post subject: Re: To motorway or not to? That is my question Reply with quote

Have your JATO assist rockets bolted on, then you can be out in front of the pack.

No problem.
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Chainsaw
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:16 pm    Post subject: Re: To motorway or not to? That is my question Reply with quote

Depends on where in my opinion. There are parts of Italy/Germany that you'll be tarred and feathered for driving that slow. And besides, all the good stuff worth seeing is one the secondary roads anyway.
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:24 pm    Post subject: Re: To motorway or not to? That is my question Reply with quote

this we'll often hop on the expressway and skip constant stop and go lights at the larger cities. local street traffic will drive you knutz to get across town..
but once past the suburbs of the other side back off the freeway for a more relaxed pace.

Trey_h wrote:
I do my level best to stay off American motorways, but driving through a bunch of towns at reduced legal speeds as well as local traffic can really take time by the end of the day. it sounds like you can afford the time to sightsee places you wouldn't otherwise.
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AndyBees
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:36 pm    Post subject: Re: To motorway or not to? That is my question Reply with quote

We love driving back roads to get from point A to point B when time is not an issue, even in any of my non Vanagon vehicles.

However, there are few downsides to driving back roads.

1. Much easier to fall into a speed trap.

2. Far less safe driving on a two lane road

3. Subject to more possibilities of traffic jams, slow-downs, etc., for whatever reason.

4. Secondary roads are more dangerous in rain.

5. Emergency situations can be a challenge if there is not much of a shoulder along the two lane highway.

But, I believe the beauty and non-boring experiences on by-ways are worth the risks...
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:53 pm    Post subject: Re: To motorway or not to? That is my question Reply with quote

As someone who lives in Germany and drives an AAZ-powered brick (Syncro), I can tell you that any speed between 100 and 115 is just fine on the Autobahns. The trucks are limited to 100, so you have someone to pass regularly.
MY van will top out at 120, and when that happens, I usually find oil spots on my back door, so I try to avoid that. That being said, we drive all over the freaking place. Sometimes we return home on a tow truck, others under our own power. Maintenance tip: put a heat shield over your exhaust manifold! This will save your rubber intake hose from INTENSE heat pulling up some of these hills!
Get the Vanagon App (I'm Nico), and enjoy your time here. The Bulli is still used, and there are LOTS of knowledgeable people that can help out in a pinch.
EDIT- Get ADAC, and KEEP THE NUMBER HANDY!
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Buss Marius
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:48 am    Post subject: Re: To motorway or not to? That is my question Reply with quote

Where are you going?
I agree with the previous poster. With the 70 hp JX engine the top speed was, according to VW 127km/h. It is not faster with the 75hp AAZ but it is stronger uphill. The Trucks are blocked at 85-90km/h and the buses at 100-105km/h. you will have no problem following the trucks on the Autobahn/Autorute/Highway.
Last summer we drove 6000km in our vacation. We have a Karmann Coachbuildt 87 VW LT with the mighty 6 syl. 2,4liter 75hp diesel. It doesn't have any aerodynamics and it weights 3150kg when we are on vacation. We did about 60% Highway driving and 40% other. In France we hardly did any highway driving, but took the shorter Rout Nationale. From Compiegne, 75km north of Paris we drove to Geneva only on Route Nationale, and even smaler roads, and it takes a lot of time, but off course we saw a lot of landscape. Between Geneva and Chamonix we first did the route nationale, but when we where returning we paid at the autorute, it was just to much traffic, taking to long time to drive thru the small towns. Thru Switzerland we payed and drove thru it in 4-5 hours, it would just take to long time to drive on the other roads. In south of Germany we drove on the Autobahn from Basel to Wolfsburg, except a small shortcut on som smaler roads. From Wolfsburg we drove straight north towards Rostock, on smaller roads using both a good map and GPS. But then there was some roadwork and we had to take another road, drove many km extra and lost a lot of time.
In many countries they want you to use the highway so they make obstacles on the other roads.
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