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 > Avoiding Low clearance routes

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Thekutman

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Posted: 01/05/21 07:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi all! My name is kutter. I am new to the forum and new to RVing. My family and I have recently purchase a 5th wheel, 35ft length and 13.5ft tall. I am not new to trailers or towing, but have never owned a trailer tall enough to worry about clearance issues. We are planning a trip across country, pretty direct to Tennessee from California. My question is how does an experienced traveler plan their route, checking in advance, for routes that may have clearance issues? I have seen a few apps online, which I don’t mind purchasing, but wanted some insight on the most accurate, easiest to use, that you guys prefer! Can’t wait to get to know the RVing community, Thank You in advance for your help!

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Posted: 01/05/21 08:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Stay on interstate and "red" roads and you will not have any problems.


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Posted: 01/05/21 08:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have the POI file from LowClearances.com installed on my Garmin GPS. I have it set to alert me 2 miles before any clearances lower than 12.5 feet for my 11.5 foot motorhome.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 01/05/21 08:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Unless you get into small back roads, it's not an issue. 13.5ft is the standard clearance. If semis travel the road, you should be fine. Most low clearance bridges tend to be in the east in the older cities but even there they are pretty rare and well marked.

The bigger issue is campgrounds. They won't have low branches marked and since most RVs are 12ft or under, you will be the one testing for height.


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Posted: 01/05/21 08:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We use a Garmin RV-specific GPS (the Garmin Dezl truckers' GPSs work well, too). With these, you enter the parameters for the rig (total length, GVWR, height, width, etc.) and they will route you around any place you shouldn't be. There's also a publication called the Motor Carriers' Road Atlas for truckers that's basically the same information in hard copy. As stated above, stick to the Interstates and US highways and you'll be fine. If you don't see 18-wheelers coming and going on a road, start to worry.

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Posted: 01/05/21 09:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Staying on interstates and major highways will pose no issues to taller RVs, more of an issue on the east coast than in the West as it pertains to low lying overpasses. As pointed out above there are plenty of solutions for those with taller RVs, we didn't fret too much when we had our 5er at over 13', we always use the interstates whenever possible anyway, just faster and more convenient overall. Here's hoping you love the RVing lifestyle as much as we do, over 3 decades and we still can't wait to get on the road.

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Posted: 01/05/21 09:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

x2 on valhalla's comment. Be careful in campgrounds! If you don't see tall RVs in a campground when entering, check first.


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Posted: 01/05/21 10:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Like others - I rarely worry about it as it is not an issue on major roads, and the only time I get on smaller roads is heading into a campground, which you can typically trust can handle campers.

That said, if you are in the northeast, be aware of parkways. They seem like 'highways' but many (if not most) are restricted to passenger cars only due to very low overpasses.

schlep1967

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Posted: 01/05/21 10:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What I have seen is if the campground has any low bridges nearby they will have notes about it on their website and directions telling you how to avoid them from major routes.


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RobWNY

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Posted: 01/05/21 11:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I use RV Trip Wizard when planning a trip from home ahead of time and I have a Rand McNally Truckers Atlas I always carry with me if I need to go off course. I also have a Garmin Dezl truckers GPS but don't use it a lot. I prefer Google Maps for navigation but that doesn't have the low clearance notifications. To get around that problem, I take the map I made in RV Trip Wizard and recreate it on google maps on my phone. I will say that even though I take extra precautions and triple check my routes, I almost took the top off my 5th wheel a couple years ago when approaching a campground because a low bridge was around a curve and unable to be seen ahead of time and it was 1/2 mile from the campground! You would think it would have been listed somewhere so never rely 100% on any software or GPS unit! Stay observant, alert and always watch for low clearance signs.


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