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Old 04-15-2012, 09:02 AM   #1
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It IS KINDA SCAREY, Is it

hard to keep these rigs on the road. who do you call if you break down. do low branches occur often, or other emergencies. what do we need to watch out for, low bridges? Thanks Sandy
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:13 AM   #2
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Driving a motorhome does take some learning, but it is really not that hard. Just find a big empty parking lot and practice. Many of us pay an emergency road service, most commonly Coach-Net or Good Sam, for towing and breakdown service. AAA and your casualty insurance company can also provide some coverage. Of course, a high limit credit card is useful, too LOL.

Low bridges are not very common on main roads, but you do need to learn how high your unit is and watch warning signs. We have a little sign on the dash reminding us of heights. Finding low branches depends mostly on where you drive. If you are in back woods, you will probably find many. Older residential neighborhoods can also have a lot of low branches.

Good luck with you new to you unit.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:38 AM   #3
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Thanks! DH has cdl, so that SHOULD help too! Thanks again. Its still scarey!lol Sandy
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:23 PM   #4
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Sometimes you simply learn OJT (on the job).
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:02 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mysticcherok View Post
Thanks! DH has cdl, so that SHOULD help too! Thanks again. Its still scarey!lol Sandy
I would think the DH would be able to fill in the blanks if he has a CDL. My DW won't even get behind the wheel to do a light check!
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Old 04-17-2012, 04:52 AM   #6
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Ha! Low branches. I have a couple stories I could tell about that. Yes...low branches happen on most city streets and many small secondary roads. They will do a good job of sweeping everything off your roof if you don't watch it. It's best to stay on major roads, trucking routes and roads that attract a lot of RVers. If you aren't paranoid yet about tree limbs, become paranoid. As Andy Grove once said, "only the paranoid survive". But he wasn't talking about tree branches. Nevertheless, it applies.
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:14 AM   #7
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Yes low branches especially near the edge of those secondary roads need to be watched. As far as the rest. Coach-Net or another service handles the breakdown. If you are towing then you always have your toad ( car) that you can get into to go if a breakdown happens in the sticks. Great advice about practicing in a parking lot. Set up some cones and you can practice backing into a campsite. Also bring a super soaker water gun. You want to " see " how your rig and toad track on wide turns Soak the rear tires and the toad's tires then do a hard right and left. Great visual on how your vechicles track. Another parking lot tip. Have one of you stand at the back ps corner of the rig. Have the driver cut hard left and SLOWLY move the rig forward. SLOWLY!!!!! The other person place markers on the ground to show you how much your overhang swing is. Remember our rigs drive more like buses than tractor trailers. Some great free videos out there on how to drive these babies. Hope you enjoy your house on wheels because there is so much to see in our great country.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:21 AM   #8
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LOL! Thanks! Ill let DH do the driving. He DOES reassure me, but hes biased. I would do a light check, not much more. Thanks all. Dan, yer a trip! Ha! Sandy
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:48 AM   #9
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No matter how well you plan the best trucker and RVer will get into trouble but a gps that allows you to set a height for your rig helps, co pilot, rand mcnally (sp), and cobra all do. I also use the truckers atlas for road maps and basically unless I know the road try and stay on these dot approved truck roads. That also has listings of low bridges and restricted roads..
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:48 PM   #10
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Search for the words, "AITA Low Clearance" without the quotes and if you are able, plan your routes according to where you "can" go.

There just isn't a book or web site for the overhanging trees though. I don't typically go down residential streets, but do be careful when traveling through towns, etc., they like to plant those trees on the side of the street between the sidewalk and the street, or close to the curb. Most of the time the big rigs will keep the twigs cut back, but they do tend to stick out and they can and will scratch the side of the MH also. I always keep to the left or center lane when they are available. If only two lanes and a tree looks like it will jump out at me, I'll stop and let oncoming traffic pass then pull out toward the center and travel. DH should be up on that and can be your eyes.

We never move without a ground guide. Since I'm the driver, DW is the ground guide. And we never move without her on the outside checking the lights. And we never move after a night of stopping without checking the air in the tires (Don't have a TPMS installed).

Happy trails.
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Ha! Low branches. I have a couple stories I could tell about that. Yes...low branches happen on most city streets and many small secondary roads. They will do a good job of sweeping everything off your roof if you don't watch it. It's best to stay on major roads, trucking routes and roads that attract a lot of RVers. If you aren't paranoid yet about tree limbs, become paranoid. As Andy Grove once said, "only the paranoid survive". But he wasn't talking about tree branches. Nevertheless, it applies.


I chipped in to help neighbors get their trees (leaning out into the street about 8-9' above street level-code is 13') to code when I bought the MH last year. I went overboard this year trimming the crape mertyls on my neighbor's side of the driveway, feel terrible about it, but certainly have no problem backing the coach up the driveway into the back yard without scraping branches now.....

Last year, second trip out, I made the mistake of following gps instructions to Lake Texhoma. Made turn down a small street, started getting encroaching trees, and after about a mile, was a dead end and no where to turn around Looked over to my left (port side I think) and God was watching over me, there was a kind gentlemen on his porch that said he could move his pickup out of his drive and let me back up and turn around........WHEW was I lucky!!!

Now I have a trucker's atlas and pre plan will NOT be attempting any side or residential streets unless I have a reconnaissance out ahead of me....and my rig is not that long either!

I learned my lesson and I am quite paranoid!!
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:13 PM   #12
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Boy, theres some good stuff here. Entertaining too! Thanks! You are all wonderful and helpful!Sister Hugs, Sandy
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:53 PM   #13
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A couple of years ago I picked up a TT in Elkhart Indiana. A few hours later I needed gas so I punched up fuel on the GPS. It showed a station about half a mile off the freeway at the next exit. I followed the GPS and found the station was out of business. No problem I selected the next station a few miles down the freeway and the GPS gave me directions back to the freeway. The GPS took me down a one lane paved road that turned into a two rut dirt road. I had never pulled anything larger that a 16 ft boat and here I was with a brand new 29 ft travel trailer half a mile down a one lane road. Fortunatly there was a house and drive way there. I learned to turn that rig around, it was not easy but I gotter done with no damage to TT or truck.
In Tennesse last fall approaching a campground I went around a curve on a one lane road and there was a bridge with a clearance of 12 ft. My Bounder is 12 1/2 ft. I guess I was not the first MH to go under this bridge as the road gently dropped of about a foot and I could see a lot of duel wheel tracks in the dirt. With DW guiding and watching the overhead clearance we made it through. Had I followed the campgrounds directions on thier website I would not have encountered this bridge. But I was smarter than that and the GPS showed me a shorter route.
Leasons learned: Know your vehicle clearance, don't go down one lane roads if you don't know what is down there, and DO NOT TRUST A GPS.
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:41 PM   #14
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Rving is, by its very nature, a great adventure. Sometimes things do tend to get a little complicated. Having a good road service is important since you never know when mechanical problems will happen. I always "try" and map out my routes well in advance to avoid obstacles that create problems. But no matter how deligent you are with planning, things can and do happen. Worst thing for me was missing the turn off to a campground and then there was no place to turn around. After several miles, the road came to an abrupt end. I had to un hook the Jeep and then after many pulling up and backing up small distances, I got turned around. It was over 100 degrees that day and it tested my patience. The part that got me was it was a state road and there were no signs showing that it came to an end. Just try to be as prepared as possible and enjoy the adventure.
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