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Old 11-05-2015, 07:25 AM   #1
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Just a "Heads up" for us to be aware of.

Over the last year I have had two friends encounter the same issue. While entering or exiting their driveway they have snagged wires which were suspended too low. This was not the first time using the driveway or the motorhome.

The first case was a cable TV wire. The cable company had added a second line to create a new service for another customer while our friends were traveling. This caused the wire to sag lower than it had before and well below the 15 feet required in their locality. Broke off two antennas and got lodged under the rear AC after jumping over the front. RV owner called the cable company and they said they would send somebody out. There happened to be a fellow down the street with a bucket truck and he came and helped lift the cable so the rig could be moved. Good thing he did, because Comcast never came out. I told him that they would come out after he cut it so he could have access to his property. Thank God he is less radical than I am. They finally came out and raised it by pushing the excess beyond the next pole, which just created another issue when the people there tried to have a delivery made. Turned out the cable messed up the AC seal so the first time it rained the mattress under the rear AC got soaked. The cable companies insurance paid for all the damage, but time without the rig is not compensated.

Second case was a snagged phone line and it almost took the pole down. This just happened last night so the details are sketchy beyond the wire snagged on the awning wind sensor and destroyed it.

Just a reminder to not take for granted that things never change.

Shawn M.
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Old 11-05-2015, 07:57 AM   #2
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Good Idea to have a spotter with two way radios where ever you park..

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Old 11-05-2015, 09:25 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by HR2004 View Post
Good Idea to have a spotter with two way radios where ever you park..
This, don't ever assume you are clear. I am just glad to hear the cable company paid for the damage.
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:00 PM   #4
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DS drives a tractor trailer for a moving company, went down a dead end street to the client's house and heard a few twangs along the way. Local cable company was way below the minimum height required. No damage to the trailer, but he told the guy it was a good thing he was moving as his neighbours might be mad at him

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Old 11-05-2015, 04:18 PM   #5
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The street we live on is a main arterial and there is either a phone line or a cable wire that I keep hitting with my CB antenna when we are coming back from a trip. It scares the DW everytime we hit it and I keep forgetting to call it in. I know it's below the legal height as my antenna doesn't hit any bridges.
Not too long ago, several phone lines and cable lines dropped about two feet as one of those tensioners on a line, not at the pole, broke and a moving van caught them and did a whole bunch of damage. It ripped out a whole section of wires and it turned out that both the cable and phone companies had been notified over a week before.
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Old 11-05-2015, 05:11 PM   #6
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Any line that is below the States Statutory minimum height requirement and damages you coach, the company the owns the cable is liable for any damages to your coach. The issue is trying to collect from them though.
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Old 11-06-2015, 06:22 PM   #7
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Thanks FRR2EYW for posting this. I tore down the cable and the phone line once, and the cable again, about two years later.

I had been going in and out for several years without a problem, but one summer in TX the cable was drooping much more than normal. Since I've never had an issue in the past, I didn't even think about it. As I was departing one afternoon, I snagged both lines. I had no idea I had even been "hooked" and it was only when I heard a dragging noise and a "snap" that I knew something was going on. I had caught the cable and phone line with my front ac unit...the lines got pushed under the ac and eventually they broke. I found both the cable and phone lines laying on the ground. Both were repaired quickly, but neither contractor would raise the line...they claimed they were as high as they could go.

For a year or so, I was careful, but over time I forgot about the problem, since I never hit them again. About two years later I was coming home, it was summer and hot again. This time I realized what was going on quicker, and with the help of a neighbor, we were able to free the cable from the ac, and then push the cable above the coach as I slowly drove ahead. However, while I didn't break the cable, I did pull out an eye bolt anchor on the pole and the cable was sagging so bad it was now only 4 ft above the ground at several different places in our cul-de-sac.

When I called to report it, they wouldn't even talk to me since I didn't have an account with them. I explained that it was a hazard and I wouldn't be surprised if someone actually crashed a car trying to avoid hitting the dangling cable. I explained you don't see it, until it just about hits your windhshield....since it is hanging 4 ft above the ground. The employee really didn't seem to care. He told me he had no way to input the problem into the computer since he didn't have an account to write the trouble ticket against. I went outside and found a neighbor who did have an account. He called to reported the downed line. They told him since it was working, they would send someone out, but it would be a while....priority was given to those without service. My neighbor stressed the risk, and the company's potential liability...they just didn't seem to care.

So we called the cops! We described the dangling cable and our concern about causing a crash. They sent out a car, and when the policeman saw the cable he agreed it was just a matter of time before someone crashed. However, he knew who to call to energize the right folks and the response was much better. In the meantime, he wrapped the sagging line with that yellow crime scene tape to give folks ample warning. The next morning the bucket truck arrived and fixed the cable. However, even then, I still only had about 5 inches of clearance....the guy said it was as high as he could place it. No amount of complaining seemed to help.

However, last month the utility company came out and replaced all the utility poles in our cul-de-sac with poles that are 5 ft taller than before. Now the cables are no longer a threat to me. I have no idea who or why they decided to change them out, but it was the right solution. Now I have about 2 ft of clearance.

So, even though I had been going in an out for several years with no problems, a change in temp was all it took to cause the wires to sag enough to be a threat. It could happen to you, too!
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Old 11-06-2015, 06:33 PM   #8
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We made a "Tickle Stick" for measuring wire height. We measured our rig max height then made the Tickle Stick out of a broom handle and a pool noodle. we keep both parts in the back seat of our two vehicle when hooked up. If we see anything overhead that looks close I get out with the Tickle Stick. The way I use it is I marked the handle where the tip of my outrstretched index finger plus the remainder of the broom stick and noodle equals the max height of our coach. Essentially I choke up on the Tickle Stick. If I can tickle any overhead thing we don't attempt a drive under.... unless I get up on the roof with radio and DW drives slowly while I guide Cable TV or sometime phone lines over coach roof protrusions.
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:47 PM   #9
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There is an old thread here that contains links to laws governing wire heights, distance between electricity lines and phone or cable lines. If I remember correctly, the law stated 3' minimum between electricity and phone/cable lines on a pole. That's probably why they could not raise the lines any higher, the pole was the limiting factor.
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:12 PM   #10
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Everything, all cables, wires, phone lines, electricity, is buried underground everywhere around where I live. No problem.
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by FRR2EYW View Post
... I told him that they would come out after he cut it so he could have access to his property. Thank God he is less radical than I am.
LMAO, the way the past month has gone that would have been my approach, too!
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by GearGirl View Post
LMAO, the way the past month has gone that would have been my approach, too!

No, Mr Cable Guy, I have no idea how that line got cut. Let me put away these wire cutters and I'll go ask my neighbor if HE knows!

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