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Old 12-27-2013, 10:27 AM   #1
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Low Bridge Clearance

Recently, on a trip from Louisiana to Texas we had to detour around a bridge with 12'3" clearance. I remembered well in advance that this old bridge was placarded but was not sure the actual height. My wife found the height info on the web so we went a different route. We were in our Safari Sahara 30 and we're not sure of the actual height of it. My question is what is your clearance limits while traveling and is there a web sight that you use that is for RVers reference? Thanks
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:35 AM   #2
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I had a Safari serengetti that was 12'6" to the CB antenna tips monted right up front. They worked great for checking height. That put them about 4" above the AC's. You should be about that same height.
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:40 AM   #3
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My first advice is to get an accurate height measurement on your rig. If you look for bridge restrictions, bridges with less than 13' 6" clearance will be listed (height for normal size TT & tlrs.) Low bridges can occur anywhere on any type of highway. Sometimes on interstates, the slow lane has less clearance than the fast lane (Pa. Turnpike for example).

I suggest you set your height restrictions about 12" above your rig height. The road may have been repaved, the bridge settled an inch or two, etc. Better a detour than a new A/C.
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:51 AM   #4
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My first advice is to get an accurate height measurement on your rig. If you look for bridge restrictions, bridges with less than 13' 6" clearance will be listed (height for normal size TT & tlrs.) Low bridges can occur anywhere on any type of highway. Sometimes on interstates, the slow lane has less clearance than the fast lane (Pa. Turnpike for example).

I suggest you set your height restrictions about 12" above your rig height. The road may have been repaved, the bridge settled an inch or two, etc. Better a detour than a new A/C.
Bridge settled? I built a lot of bridges in my life and this NEVER better happen. How would it be if you are crossing a river and the bridge settled an inch or two? You couldn't hang on to wheel as you bounced on then off.
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:27 AM   #5
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To answer the second part of your question you could go here: Low Clearance GPS Data
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:29 AM   #6
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Bridge settled? I built a lot of bridges in my life and this NEVER better happen. How would it be if you are crossing a river and the bridge settled an inch or two? You couldn't hang on to wheel as you bounced on then off.
On Hwy 287 just West of Wichita Falls about a year ago a bridge did indeed settle. When you hit it in an 18 Wheeler it would bounce you around terribly. Calls to the Highway Department did no good. It took a Hazardous Materials hauling tank truck overturning and spilling his laid to get it fixed. They milled down the approach to even it out temporarily then rebuilt the entire bridge section about 6 months later.
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:47 AM   #7
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I would be more afraid of low hanging tree limbs. Wires across all roads are required to be 14' height, but tree limbs that stick out over the road can pose a greater risk.
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Old 12-27-2013, 12:34 PM   #8
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The American Independent Truckers Association, Inc., used to have a web site with all the states low clearances. i have not been able to find that recently. However a word search on "DOT Low Clearance" without the quotes will bring up many of the States low clearances sites. It would be best to check one of them out before traveling a non-interstate highway.
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Old 12-27-2013, 12:34 PM   #9
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You may have built them but I am surveyed them and they DO settle and more than an inch or two!
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Old 12-27-2013, 03:39 PM   #10
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We have the Gamin DEZL 760 and downloaded the POI files from here POI Factory | new & interesting places for your GPS that we wanted, including the one for low clearances.
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:25 PM   #11
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Crop Duster-- If your talking about the bridge over the Sabine River on Texas state road 63 between Jasper, tx and Louisiana state road 8 to Leesville, La. Then this bridge is posted at 12' . There are 3 or 4 signs warning 12 foot clearance for miles before the bridge. In reality, it is only 12 foot clearance along the upper corners of the bridge due to corner gussets on the metal frame. My Motorhome is 12'2" to the top of the Satellite dome and I have used this bridge 4 times now. I have seen 13' Logging trucks use this bridge. Just stay in the middle and go slow so you don,t bounce to much and your 12' foot rig will clear.
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:32 PM   #12
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Crop Duster-- If your talking about the bridge over the Sabine River on Texas state road 63 between Jasper, tx and Louisiana state road 8 to Leesville, La. Then this bridge is posted at 12' . There are 3 or 4 signs warning 12 foot clearance for miles before the bridge. In reality, it is only 12 foot clearance along the upper corners of the bridge due to corner gussets on the metal frame. My Motorhome is 12'2" to the top of the Satellite dome and I have used this bridge 4 times now. I have seen 13' Logging trucks use this bridge. Just stay in the middle and go slow so you don,t bounce to much and your 12' foot rig will clear.
I need to measure the height because we travel that road routinely. We went over it Sunday in our suburban and noticed multiple hits from tall loads. That would sure ruin your day if you hung the dome or one of the a/c's.
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:52 PM   #13
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If you don't trust electronic gadgets you can get a truckers atlas at truck stop. It will show low clearances for each state and where they are.
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:07 PM   #14
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Oh yea, Interstate blocked for a accident. All traffic detoured down this narrow road going under this awful looking posted low clearance bridge. Should have 6 inches of clear height above the air conditioner. Road dropped down to the bridge then rose back up on the other side. Roadway had just been repaved. The coach went down under the bridge OK but when the front rose up the other side the roof gained altitude also. That combined with the newly repaved roadway ..........

The noise was horrendous absolutely horrible. Not from the crunching of the antenna or the front air conditioner being sheared off, but the noise from my DW screaming! (she still ducks and makes this kind of quiet scream sound every time we approach a bridge just to rub it in)

Cops showed up. Traffic blocked for blocks behind and and in front of us. Cop said "I told those highway people the bridge needed to be re-posted. We get someone stuck here almost once a month. That bridge is at least 1 foot lower than the sign indicates!"

"So son, what did you learn from this experience?" I could hear my dear departed Dad saying in the back of my mind. Well Dad, I learned to look at how the road enters and leaves the low bridge, and not to believe what the sign says and to always listen to my wife when she says "do you think we can fit?"!
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