Last updated on April 27th, 2009 at 06:43 pm
When you’re driving down the road in your big RV do you get a little apprehensive when you see a seemingly low overpass or tunnel ahead? Here are some tips to help minimize the fear.
Measure the height of your RV… from the ground to the top of your air conditioner… and post the height on your dashboard so you can refer to it when on the road.
There are minimum height standards for all state and federal highways. You can be sure they’re higher than your RV.
Bridges, overpasses and tunnels that do not conform to modern standards will almost always be signed with the maximum height and other restrictions (but beware, vandals and mother nature can remove signs). Usually there will be signs well in advance of the obstruction to provide a chance to take another route.
Purchase a Rand McNally Motor Carriers Road Atlas Deluxe Edition from Amazon.com … also available at truck stops. It will list any low clearances and shows you which roads truck can go on. If a truck can make clearance, then your RV can go there also.
Drive Your Motorhome Like a Pro
Learn how… and why…to drive a motorhome the right, safe way. In this 67-minute DVD, RVer/tour bus driver Lorrin Walsh. and host Mark Polk show you everything you need to know to confidently drive a motorhome. This should be essential viewing for novice motorhome drivers, but even experienced RVers will learn things they don’t know.
Don’t forget about the height clearances over gas stations and other places like bank drive-throughs.
There was an incident not too long ago where a guy pulling a fifth wheel was swing around a bank to park his rig before going inside. Unfortunately, he didn’t swing wide enough and the top of the camper caught on the “awning” (for lack of a better word) and brought it down on top of the truck and camper.
A friend of mine tore the air conditioner off his travel trailer at a gas station.
The entrance station to Yellowstone National Park from West Yellowstone, Montana, used to have a clearance of 12.5 feet, if I recall correctly. You could see scrap marks in the wood where too tall rigs had tried to go through. That entrance station was being replace the last time we were there in 2007.
A railroad underpass not too far from us is clearly marked at 11.5 feet. The concrete is also clearly marked overhead with the scrapes and scars of drivers not heeding the warning signs. Not too long ago, a camper got hung up trying to travel under it.
Mike Goad (at home in Arkansas planning our next great adventure)
Haw Creek Out ‘n About
Bridge Heights can be deceiving.. In Lowell Massachusetts there is a railroad bridge over Rte 3A. Over the years many a tractor trailer has hit the bridge. The posted height has remained the same, although the actual height had changed. Why you ask? Adding new surfaces over the years gradually reduced the height. I believe the posted height was finally corrected. Thanks for all your tips.