St Gotthard Nightmare

This story happened on: 09/06/2012

I bought a ten year old caravan to try out and set off for Greece!

All went well until, on the way back to the ferry in Patras, we had a puncture. The caravan tyre was shredded. So this novice discovered the following:

a. You can't get a jack under a caravan with a puncture.

b. Tyres may look OK but if they are as old as the caravan (10 years) look out!

Anyway I got over the problem somehow and caught the ferry.

Then there was the second puncture - in the St Gottahrd Tunnel.

We limped into a laybye and phoned the rescue service from the refuge.

A very nice chap arrived but he spoke no known language and couldn't get the caravan onto his low loader. (see 'a' above) So he took me and the tyre to his depot

leaving my claustrophobic wife and our dogs in the car.

For an hour and a half.

Eventually, he found a car tyre to fit and we got under way gingerly and two hundred and twenty two euros lighter!

Spent the next two days searching Alsace for caravan tyres of the old size.

So don't ignore your tyres. Make sure you know how old they are!

We have a new caravan now and might do the trip again one day.

crusader commented on 27/06/2012 22:07

Commented on 27/06/2012 22:07


Hey up and well done for getting out there, on the subject of jacks I always found that on single axle vans a sissor type jack is best as it gets lower than a bottle jack. But now you have a new van get Tyron bands fitted they wont stop you getting a flat but they might save you and yours life as they act in a way similar to run flat tyres 

John Tomlin commented on 28/06/2012 14:26

Commented on 28/06/2012 14:26

I have read with interest many of the stories in "new to caravanning". I have just bought a Hymer motorhome which may qualify as the oldest on the road (1989), but it's in great condition. We are off to Burgundy next week - our first outing. Fingers crossed I have no horror stories to relate when I return.Cool