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Old 08-07-2013, 09:33 PM   #1
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Clearances.

In my many years of driving many different sizes of vehicles, I quite often wondered if the posted clearances on bridges and under passes were exactly as posted. Could 13 ft mean that there was a perhaps 6 inch fudge factor included in the posting for good measure? The other day in a city in Wyoming I had that question answered for me. When an underpass there is posted at 11 feet, it is probably exactly that or a little less, in fact. I got away with trashing two a/c units in one fell swoop! The only bright side was that both my a/c's were on the way out and they were the only thing damaged (other than my pride). Six hours later we were back on the road. As I told my bride,"Someday we recall this and have a laugh. However, it will be quite a bit further in the future.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:36 PM   #2
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I'd have to say for the most part the posted heights are correct, that's not to say every single one of them as we all know things happen.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geezerb View Post
In my many years of driving many different sizes of vehicles, I quite often wondered if the posted clearances on bridges and under passes were exactly as posted. Could 13 ft mean that there was a perhaps 6 inch fudge factor included in the posting for good measure? The other day in a city in Wyoming I had that question answered for me. When an underpass there is posted at 11 feet, it is probably exactly that or a little less, in fact. I got away with trashing two a/c units in one fell swoop! The only bright side was that both my a/c's were on the way out and they were the only thing damaged (other than my pride). Six hours later we were back on the road. As I told my bride,"Someday we recall this and have a laugh. However, it will be quite a bit further in the future.
geezerb
I use the Rand Mcnally RV gps. It sounds a warning if you are about to go under an overpass that is too low for your rig. I have not went under any in my MH but I also take that GPS with me when I fly somewhere and use it in the rental car. I was returning the rental car to the airport turn in terminal earlier this year. I got a warning that the overpass was lower than my RV. I looked up and they had a pedestrian walkway over the street going to the rental car garage that was lower than 13ft. I was impressed that it had a walkway at an airport in the memory.
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:49 AM   #4
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Another thing you have to watch out for! If they repaved the road without removing the old pavement, and didn't change the clearance sign.....
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:42 AM   #5
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Clearances

Something I can ad to my new mind set is, even while going along the Interstate system, when I pass under an underpass, there is a distinct twitch in the "Ole pucker string" even if the sign reads 16'9".
My son said I should go back and measure the underpass but it will be a cold day in hell before I go anywhere near that nightmare again.

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Old 08-08-2013, 12:30 PM   #6
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Most overpasses read 13'6". Most not all rigs are less than 13'. Anything less than 12'6" you should stop and turn around. At least in FL that is.

There is one underpass in Pensacola that says 9' but everyday there are folks trying to go under it with RV's and semi truck trailers. It has flashing lights and all. Go figure?????
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:39 PM   #7
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What is the liability of the state if the sign says 13' and is actually 12' 6"... ripping off AC units etc?
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:36 PM   #8
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Most overpasses read 13'6". Most not all rigs are less than 13'. Anything less than 12'6" you should stop and turn around. At least in FL that is.
BACKDRAFT161
Maybe most overpasses read 13'6"...in Florida!

IMO it's a not a good idea to state that most overpasses read 13'6", on a forum read by RV owners nationwide......(no telling how many air conditioner losses might result because of that statement)!
:-(

My advice is:
1.) Measure, (and remember), the height of your rig.
2.) READ and BELIEVE whatever a sign says.
3.) DEDUCT 6''
If your rig is taller than that....
4.) TURN IT AROUND!

I'd much rather be a "chicken who turned around" than the "fool who destroyed his rig".
:-)

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Old 08-08-2013, 03:34 PM   #9
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We just recently needed to stop at a Wal Mart in Statesboro GA. Because of the treacherous entry, we pulled into another shopping strip that was right beside the WM. There was a "bridge" of sorts linking the two parking lots. Because we were so intent on finding our way around, we didn't pay attention to the archway made of pipe that clearly said 12 ft. Well, we are 13'6". Obviously, we went under fine. I happened to notice the arch at the very last second when we were leaving. Of course, we couldn't back up, so held up cars behind us while I got out to see if we, indeed, had room. We made it through a second time, but I don't think a hair could've fit between us and the arch. Note to self...pay better attention to surroundings.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:50 PM   #10
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There is one thing I always wanted to know if a bridge is not marked what is the height? I see this alot on the highways here in Connecticut.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:27 PM   #11
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Clearances

Mel Stuplich has a really good list of things to consider with overhead clearances.
Where I went astray was, I measured my height at 11'3". Never considered the air ride being down.
I didn't really, truly, thought there would be some fudge factor.
I didn't modify the measurements in any direction.
I was not in a position to turn around or back out. There was a string of traffic behind and the road was too narrow to pull off to allow traffic to pass. The good citizens of that city can be thankful that the jerk in the motor home did not hold them up from making them late from what ever they were doing.
Another reply mentioned that he had the RV GPS. I had a regular Garmin and a smart-phone GPS. The RV GPS is much pricier GPS but quite a bit cheaper than a pair of A/C's.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:30 PM   #12
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There is one thing I always wanted to know if a bridge is not marked what is the height? I see this alot on the highways here in Connecticut.
Ron
When I got my CDL in Maryland I was taught that an unmarked bridge is at least 14' 6". I don't know if that's the same in all states.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:52 PM   #13
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From Wiki: Vertical clearance: Minimum vertical clearance under overhead structures (including over the paved shoulders) of 16 feet (4.88 m) in rural areas and 14 feet (4.27 m) in urban areas, with allowance for extra layers of pavement. Through urban areas at least one routing should have 16-foot (4.88 m) clearances. Sign supports and pedestrian overpasses must be at least 17 feet (5.18 m) above the road, except on urban routes with lesser clearance, where they should be at least 1 foot (0.30 m) higher than other objects.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:53 PM   #14
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When I got my CDL in Maryland I was taught that an unmarked bridge is at least 14' 6". I don't know if that's the same in all states.
If it came down to betting my KingDome and/or roof airs on that being true anywhere... I wouldn't!
:-)
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