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Old 10-05-2008, 03:40 PM   #1
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Have you ever seen a motor home pulled over by the police? I'm not talking about some broken down RV with a squad car to make sure a sleepy truck driver doesn't make the motor home into peanut brittle. I mean Ma and Pa Kettle, spread eagled, palms to the fiberglass, getting patted down my some burly Trooper. Miranda rights, cuffs, the whole nine yards...

NEVER HAPPENS.

I know the truckers call us ˜rolling road blocks' but come on, with those peppy big block gas rigs and those low end torque diesel's, I'm sure we have all exceeded the speed limit at one time or another.

Through some very unscientific analysis and some biased opinion, I think I have determined ˜Why?'

Reason #1 – Optical Illusion

Motor home size prevents the brain from processing the entire object and determining an accurate estimate of speed. Basically, with a rig that big, you could be cruising at somewhere near the sound barrier and it looks like your standing still.

Think of the last time you watched a football game. The undersized running back looks like a flash of lightning while the big full back acts like a slow motion battering ram at the line of scrimmage. If you take a stop watch to their motion, the speed difference is miniscule. However, your mind automatically thinks the big full back is moving like a turtle compared to the ˜speed demon' running back.

Same thing on the highway. Trooper sees a little red sport car doing 80 – bam, he's history. Same trooper sees a big motor home pushing 80 – oh look at the nice couple lumbering along.

Reason # 2 – Stealth Technology

I've also heard that radar AND laser are useless against the fiberglass ˜signature' of a motor home. But some trucker rushing to deliver blood plasma to an orphanage will get nailed if he goes 5 miles above the speed limit because of all that metal around him.

You see, radar works by bouncing a signal off of a metal object and measuring how long it takes to come back to the speed gun. That fiberglass box you're driving does not return a great reflected signal. So you can do 90 through a speed trap on Rt. 80 and the officer scratches his head when the radar gun doesn't register. Like flying a Stealth bomber, baby!

Reason # 3 – Profiling

A few years ago, NJ State Troopers got in trouble for using ˜racial profiling' in their automobile stops. See a couple of young minority men in a late model car and it was an automatic traffic stop for some minor, and sometimes fabricated, infraction. Unfortunately, along with all the drug couriers they stopped, the troopers also stopped some very respected and law abiding American citizens who worked very hard for what they achieved in life and could afford the nice car.

I think ˜profiling' is still alive and well but now works to the advantage of the typical motor home driver. We tend to be overly patriotic. We are not terrorists. We are high on life so we don't need or use illegal drugs. If we have too much to drink, we don't have to drive home. We go into the back bedroom to sleep it off. Our stereotype is an old, retired couple playing bridge, going for early bird specials and conking out by 8 P.M. We are little fish in the big pond of highway criminals. No trooper wants to waste his time pulling over a motor home for just a speeding ticket.

So next time your driving on the interstate coaxing that needle to the red zone, remember you have the triple whammy working for you.

MORE IMPORTANTLY remember, the laws of physics apply to all vehicles so what goes faster and weighs more will require much more time and effort to stop – especially when that family in the minivan right in front of you decides to stop in the middle lane because they missed their exit.

Just like you tell your kids – have fun but be responsible. That's big machine you're driving there...
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Old 10-05-2008, 03:40 PM   #2
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Have you ever seen a motor home pulled over by the police? I'm not talking about some broken down RV with a squad car to make sure a sleepy truck driver doesn't make the motor home into peanut brittle. I mean Ma and Pa Kettle, spread eagled, palms to the fiberglass, getting patted down my some burly Trooper. Miranda rights, cuffs, the whole nine yards...

NEVER HAPPENS.

I know the truckers call us ˜rolling road blocks' but come on, with those peppy big block gas rigs and those low end torque diesel's, I'm sure we have all exceeded the speed limit at one time or another.

Through some very unscientific analysis and some biased opinion, I think I have determined ˜Why?'

Reason #1 – Optical Illusion

Motor home size prevents the brain from processing the entire object and determining an accurate estimate of speed. Basically, with a rig that big, you could be cruising at somewhere near the sound barrier and it looks like your standing still.

Think of the last time you watched a football game. The undersized running back looks like a flash of lightning while the big full back acts like a slow motion battering ram at the line of scrimmage. If you take a stop watch to their motion, the speed difference is miniscule. However, your mind automatically thinks the big full back is moving like a turtle compared to the ˜speed demon' running back.

Same thing on the highway. Trooper sees a little red sport car doing 80 – bam, he's history. Same trooper sees a big motor home pushing 80 – oh look at the nice couple lumbering along.

Reason # 2 – Stealth Technology

I've also heard that radar AND laser are useless against the fiberglass ˜signature' of a motor home. But some trucker rushing to deliver blood plasma to an orphanage will get nailed if he goes 5 miles above the speed limit because of all that metal around him.

You see, radar works by bouncing a signal off of a metal object and measuring how long it takes to come back to the speed gun. That fiberglass box you're driving does not return a great reflected signal. So you can do 90 through a speed trap on Rt. 80 and the officer scratches his head when the radar gun doesn't register. Like flying a Stealth bomber, baby!

Reason # 3 – Profiling

A few years ago, NJ State Troopers got in trouble for using ˜racial profiling' in their automobile stops. See a couple of young minority men in a late model car and it was an automatic traffic stop for some minor, and sometimes fabricated, infraction. Unfortunately, along with all the drug couriers they stopped, the troopers also stopped some very respected and law abiding American citizens who worked very hard for what they achieved in life and could afford the nice car.

I think ˜profiling' is still alive and well but now works to the advantage of the typical motor home driver. We tend to be overly patriotic. We are not terrorists. We are high on life so we don't need or use illegal drugs. If we have too much to drink, we don't have to drive home. We go into the back bedroom to sleep it off. Our stereotype is an old, retired couple playing bridge, going for early bird specials and conking out by 8 P.M. We are little fish in the big pond of highway criminals. No trooper wants to waste his time pulling over a motor home for just a speeding ticket.

So next time your driving on the interstate coaxing that needle to the red zone, remember you have the triple whammy working for you.

MORE IMPORTANTLY remember, the laws of physics apply to all vehicles so what goes faster and weighs more will require much more time and effort to stop – especially when that family in the minivan right in front of you decides to stop in the middle lane because they missed their exit.

Just like you tell your kids – have fun but be responsible. That's big machine you're driving there...
__________________

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Old 10-05-2008, 04:23 PM   #3
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Yes, RV's are pulled over. Hwy 69 through Oklahoma is a major north-south route for all kinds of traffic as well as a lot of drugs. There have been several larger motorhomes pulled over in the spring with the occupants detained for drug possession and loss of the rig. Seems they are trying to supplement their retirement income with illegal substances on the trip back home from south Texas.

And they do get tagged for speeding as well.

Most LEO's are equal opportunity folks.

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Old 10-05-2008, 06:06 PM   #4
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there was a thread here a few years ago that i found really interesting ...

an LEO on this board who taught Interdiction techniques to other LEO's ... and he posted here that he himself was pulled over while in his RV, had done nothing really wrong, they just wanted to sniff around his RV

i remember he laughed, told the cops a couple things they had done wrong, told them what his job was, and they all went their merry way,

sounded to me like a lot of people who look like Cheech&Chong must drive RV's back and forth the USA
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Old 10-05-2008, 06:23 PM   #5
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Yes, I was pulled and no, I don't resemble either Cheech Marin or Tommy Chong!

I was in my old RV on a backroad going thru S GA on my way to FL. Seems some dopers are into getting older RV to run drugs in and using rural roads thru counties that don't have the resources to deal with large scale drug running. Older RVs are plentiful and cheap. They just asked me a few questions (TN tags... backroad in GA???) and I was on my way. No problem.
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Old 10-05-2008, 06:52 PM   #6
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In California you can expect to be stopped if you are speeding, driving in any lane other than the two right lanes when towing(unless posted or other exceptions), if your total length exceeds the max, if your tow combination of truck and trailer exceed the tow vehicles capacity, or if you are driving erratically. It happens all the time. CHP, California Highway Patrol, does not find motorhomes invisible. Happy Trails.
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:30 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Reason # 2 – Stealth Technology--I've also heard that radar AND laser are useless against the fiberglass ˜signature' of a motor home. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
The myth lives on. Any vehicle, Corvettes and fiberglass body coaches included, provide an excellent radar and laser signature. Just the headlights alone are perfect corner reflectors. Then you have the internal metal framing, radiators, and often metallic glass coatings. There is a reason stealth bombers cost billions each.
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:59 AM   #8
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Old 10-07-2008, 03:51 PM   #9
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California is one of only 12 states that speed and lane restrict towing vehicles. However I believe there is an unwritten understanding that you can exceed the 55 speed limit if you are in the right lane or the third or higher lane. This is certainly not gauranteed and you are breaking the law. But the pragmatism of keeping traffic moving seems to be in effect with the CHP.
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:23 PM   #10
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Reason #1- possibly, but not with an experienced radar/laser operator.

Reason #2- not a chance, the only difference between large and small vhicles and the construction and materials of those vehicles is the point (distance) at which a speed reading is attained.

Reason #3- probably.
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:51 PM   #11
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Well, my thought is---around 55-60 is the best gas milage. So that's where I'm gonna stay!
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:12 PM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">there was a thread here a few years ago that i found really interesting </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hey Fat Dog , good to see you again. That might be Patty and my story. WAIT, we didn't tell the deputy that he did anything wrong. That must be another story. We were afraid we would be spread eagle and have the cuffs slapped on us!! . But, here is our story link: Stopped for suspected drug running.
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Old 10-08-2008, 03:41 AM   #13
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In my 30 years of RV travels, never once pulled over...have seen one or two on the side of the road over the years with police, but not sure if they were pulled over or assisting.
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:49 AM   #14
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I was returning from Texas heading for Michigan going down the mountain going into St Louis, MO when I passed a trooper sitting in the dark at 12:30am on a curve, all I could see was his light from his radar through his side window. I was doing about 55mph when he pulled out behind me following me down the mountain, finally exiting but the very next exit another trooper came down the exit and started tailgating me after several miles I said to my wife I wish he would either pull me over or get off my butt, well I got my wish and he turner on his lights pulling me over on a curve in the pitch dark leaving me exposed to any on coming traffic while he parked in front of me. He had me get out of the motorhome, when I asked him what I did his answer was my rear wheel crossed the white line. He had me do all the things you see on TV walk a white line put my finger to my nose etc. I told him that I really don't drink maybe a glass of wine around a camp fire but a basic tea totaler and at the age of 69 I really didn't fit the profile. He never entered the motorhome and after about 30 minutes he let me go with a warning, for what I don't know. This was the only time I have ever been pulled over in my 53 years of driving
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