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Driving to Poland from Ireland end of jan, Need Advice


sister act 2 | 88
14 Jan 2010 #1
Hello Forum members, have any of you ever driven to poland in Jan I have seen on euro news of the very bad driving conditions and people sleeping been stuck in their cars overnight. I am expecting to travel on the first ferry leaving Ireland and going to france which is around the end of jan. Can you reccommnd any where on the roads I will be traveling in the direction of north poland are there any good hotels I can prebook. I drove to poland before in july with my husband and it took us 3 days from france in good driving conditions towing a large trailer. We just took sleeping breaks on the way in set down areas. However this time we our two children with us so a hotel is a must. Any advice that would make this journey safer and easier would be appericated. Thank you
inkrakow
15 Jan 2010 #2
If it's still winter by then (and I think the forecasts say it will be), consider having winter tyres - summer tyres can be a nightmare in the current conditions.

Apart from that I wouldn't worry about a hotel - when I drive over I keep going until I've had enough and then pull off the motorway and there seems to be no shortage of hotels close to German and Dutch motorway exits.
dnz 17 | 710
15 Jan 2010 #3
Get winter tyres fitted, we struggle back the other week on summer tyres and ze germans don't seem to grit or plow the roads very often. If you are thinking of travelling in a BMW forget it as they are utterly useless in the snow as we found out! 30 mph most of the way back.

As for hotels, essen is a good half way point to stop and there is an etap hotel which is reasonable, well actually really basic and **** but its clean and really cheap.

Make sure you keep your tank topped up as you could be stuck in traffic for hours if the weather is bad and you will need to keep your engine running for heat. Regarding towing a trailer if you can avoid it but be prepared to take it really really steady.

In good weather I normally do North Cornwall to Poznan in one hit and it takes around 15 hours and costs around £180 each way in fuel. Get the ferry from Dover to Dunkirk as its much cheaper £25 each way and top up with fuel before you leave the UK as fuel in the euro currency zone is really expensive.

If you need any more advice drop me a pm as I do the trip quite regularly and would be happy to help.
frd 7 | 1,399
15 Jan 2010 #4
Definitely get these winter tires.. it is a must in here... Good luck and safe journey.
dnz 17 | 710
15 Jan 2010 #5
I couldn't agree more, we havent got them and our car is now beached on the driveway, Definitely a must!
Harry
15 Jan 2010 #6
I've got a set: they're sitting in the basement. Snow: fail.
wildrover 98 | 4,436
15 Jan 2010 #7
How your journey goes depends on lots of factors that i can only guess at , but i will have a go...

I have done the journey to Polska several times in the winter , one time the weather was ok , the other two times it was not...

Lets assume the weather is going to be really terrible , my first bit of advice will be to stay at home , and don,t drive in it , but if you really need to make such a journey then the first thing you need to do is check the weather reports , so you know in advance what you are heading into...

The second thing to consider is your vehicle , some are good on snow , some are hopeless...A car with the engine at the front , and the driving wheels at the back will be a bit hopeless on snow , a front wheel drive car will be much better on snow , the best thing of course is a car that has four wheel drive... Having winter tyres is a good idea , but if the road is covered with ice no tyre is going to work unless it has steel spikes in it....

You have to bear in mind that even if you have four wheel drive and snow tyres you are going to be stuck if the road is blocked by other cars that don,t have four wheel drive , you can,t drive over over the top of them , its not legal...!

You need to carry enough stuff in the car to cope with spending the night in it in freezing conditions if the worst comes to the worst , having kids makes this a little more difficult , but its better to be prepared rather than suffer if you get stuck... I have a four wheel drive vehicle , and have a lot of experiance of driving in very bad conditions , but i still carry enough gear on board in the winter to survive a night in the car , cars do break down sometimes....

Whatever car you decide to make the journey in , its important to make sure its well serviced , and up to making the journey , setting off with a battery thats past its best , or a slipping fan belt is just asking for trouble...

Last of all...have you driven on snow and ice before...? It requires a different style of driving if you are to avoid sliding into the scenery , if you can practice your driving on snow before you make the journey thats great , if not , at least check out any info you can find on snow driving.....

There is every possibility your journey will be smooth and uneventfull , especially if you have prepared well , but there is no harm in talking a few precautions to deal with problems if they arise....

I wish you a safe journey...have a good time in Polska....
dnz 17 | 710
15 Jan 2010 #8
I've got a set: they're sitting in the basement. Snow: fail.

Are they 205 60 15? Wanna sell? :) I can't chage the bloody tyres now anyway as i left the locking wheel nut in the UK without realising :(

.A car with the engine at the front , and the driving wheels at the back will be a bit hopeless on snow

Yes I agree, Coming back through Germany the other week it was strange to see that the BMW lane had moved from the outside lane to the crawler lane where all the rwd cars were practically stuck or the drivers were to scared to even breathe on the accelerator pedal for fear of spinning off in a ball of flames.

It was really funny to see one of those utterly ridiculous porsche cayenne 4x4 things stuck in the snow though, I still fail to see the point of such a creation.

Remember to top your washers up with fluid that won't freeze too, Mine has been frozen for weeks after filling it with water and i can't get it out until it melts :)
wildrover 98 | 4,436
15 Jan 2010 #9
, Mine has been frozen for weeks

A long extension lead from the house....your ladies hairdryer on hot..and just warm up the screenwash pipes till you get some water coming out....keep squirting untill you get the winter screen wash you have hopefully put in the screenwash botttle coming through...
frd 7 | 1,399
15 Jan 2010 #10
Remember to top your washers up with fluid that won't freeze too, Mine has been frozen for weeks after filling it with water and i can't get it out until it melts :)

Yup or take a bottle of denatured alcohol with you if you still haven't used up the summer washer. You can add it to the old one and although it's not the cleanest method it might help. If it does freeze up you'd need to find a warmer place like supermarkets underground garage and then put some alcohole into the tank, use some antifreeze on the nozzles.
g60edition 6 | 174
15 Jan 2010 #11
I know wildrover will like this...!Chains and rope

If you have the means take rope and chains.Snow chains that is and rope to help pull you out of trouble.Just be well prepared.My journeys at Christmas when I have driven have been mostly uneventful but im always well prepared and the car gets a full on service before I go,Good Luck
Wroclaw Boy
15 Jan 2010 #12
all the rwd cars were practically stuck or the drivers were to scared to even breathe on the accelerator pedal for fear of spinning off in a ball of flames.

I lost the back end last week at around 45 MPH just managed to hold it down.
Honest George 1 | 105
15 Jan 2010 #13
youtube.com/watch?v=mkleAMR3IyI&feature=related

This is the safest way to travel in winter. No doubt, the best advice your gonna get.
wildrover 98 | 4,436
15 Jan 2010 #14
take rope and chains.

Yep..having a good thick tow rope is always a good idea , even if your car is not capable of towing another car it is a good idea to have a rope , just in case somebody stops to help you when you are stuck , and they don,t have a rope....

Snow chains are a great idea in countries where you have a thick layer of snow for months on end , in fact in such countries they are compulsary , but in Poland you are more likely to get short periods of snow deep enough to need chains , and even then its likely to be in patches , and some roads will be clear of snow especially in town...I have yet to find any snow chains that are really easy to fit , and most people are not going to want to be messing around constantly fitting and removing snow chains as the conditions change...If you leave the chains on when you reach clear tarmac they make a horrid racket , and wear out really quickly...Some old sacking can be carried in the car to put under the wheels to get you moving if you are stuck , tie it to your car with a long bit of string so you don,t have to stop to pick it up when you get moving , you can stop later when you are on a better surface....If you have the room carry a long handled shovel for clearing the snow from under your wheels....Drive in the highest gear your car will pull in , and leave much more room between you and the car in front...Brakes throttle and steering should be used very gently....
scottie1113 7 | 898
16 Jan 2010 #15
All the advice given has been really good. My fiancee and I drove from Dortmund to Gdansk on 3 January. We left at 4 pm and arrived in Gdansk at 6 am because we took frequent rest stops. Although it had snowed a lot in Germany and weather was below 0, the highways (motorways/autobahns) were pretty good most of the way. We didn't drive fast because of the weather and because it was at night, and the trip was uneventful.

Gas (petrol) in Germany was about 1.36 euros/liter, less in Poland. We saw plenty of motels/hotels every time we stopped for gas so you shouldn't have any difficulty in finding a place to sleep.

Her car, a 10 year old Volvo V70, is in good condition and has winter tires-a must! We bought a battery just before we left and had non freezing liquid to clean the windshield, which we did frequently.

Be prepared and you'll be fine.
OP sister act 2 | 88
18 Jan 2010 #16
Thank you everybody for your advice it has been very helpful.
wildrover 98 | 4,436
18 Jan 2010 #17
What area of Poland are you heading for....? Perhaps some of us that live in the area can update you with weather reports when you are on route...
OP sister act 2 | 88
24 Jan 2010 #18
What area of Poland are you heading for....?

We are drivng to a small village smack band between Olsztyn and Mrongowo. Up at the mazuary lakes
convex 20 | 3,928
24 Jan 2010 #19
I just plowed from Wroclaw to Frankfurt return without a problem. The A4 was completely clear. Good driving all the way through. If you're driving through Germany, ADAC has current information on traffic and road conditions on their website.
wildrover 98 | 4,436
24 Jan 2010 #20
between Olsztyn and Mrongowo.

its a very nice area...you must let us all know you got there safely....i wish you a pleasant stay in Polska....drive carefully..
dnz 17 | 710
25 Jan 2010 #21
The A4 was completely clear.

What totally clear? it was shocking when we drove through the other week,
Alien 20 | 5,192
24 Aug 2022 #22
And now, 12 years later A4 is a complete disaster and must be expandad to 6 lanes. The faster, the better.
jon357 75 | 22,573
24 Aug 2022 #23
The faster, the better.

Trains are faster and better.

Expanding roads is not the way of the future.
Alien 20 | 5,192
24 Aug 2022 #24
You must wear masks in trains.
jon357 75 | 22,573
24 Aug 2022 #25
Not in Poland or in most of the countries in the world that have them.

Masks have gone now.
Alien 20 | 5,192
24 Aug 2022 #26
Will be back in autumn.


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