Talbot Express MotorhomeVanlife

Vanlife: Driving the Devon Lanes

Getting to grips with a campervan in the lanes of Devon!

Recently I put up a video on the Vanlife Blog YouTube channel explaining how I am finding it stressful at times to drive the campervan in some of the countryside lanes of Devon. So I thought I would make a video showing what its like to drive the van in the lanes!

Devon is England’s second largest county, and it has over 8000 miles of roads and lanes – more than any other county in England. A large part of that is the centuries old lane network, that criss-crosses the countryside connecting small villages and hamlets.

These roads are hundreds of years old, and were cart tracks long before the motor car was invented. When the motor car came along, many dirt tracks were turned into roads, but the width of the road was never widened in a lot of cases – and this results in the lanes we have today.

So with no room to pass 2 cars side by side, if you meet another car coming in the opposite direction, one of you has to give way. This results in one of you having reverse into a designated passing place, somebodies driveway or grass verge!

Another hazard in the lanes are width and weight restrictions placed on old bridges. Many are limited to 6ft 6in wide, which means my 7ft wide motorhome won’t pass through, so I have to find an alternative route. Weight restrictions are usually limited to 7.5 tonnes, but some older bridges are down at 3.5 tonnes.

In the video above, I take you through different types of countryside road in Devon, from a main 2 lane road, through to a smaller lane, just wide enough for 2 cars to pass, and then finally onto a single track lane. I also show a narrow bridge which gives me 6 inches of clearance either side.

I made the video mainly for my international viewers to give them an appreciation of how small some of the roads and lanes are in England, and to show how manoeuvring a campervan or motorhome through the lane network can get a bit fun at times.

So there you go, hope you enjoy the video, please leave any comments below.

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