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Old 11-02-2019, 03:06 PM   #1
Maggiedad's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Platte City, MO 64079
Posts: 84
What is the tightest spot you have found yourself in with your RV?

As operators of larger than normal vehicles, I'm sure it is second nature for all of us to stay in tune with our surroundings and try to anticipate any issues such as overhead clearance, dead ends, obstacles in the road etc. However, invariably many of us find ourselves "in a pickle" that we didn't foresee. I would love to hear some of your stories about the worst "spot" you found yourself in, and how you navigated out of it!

I'll start...

A couple of years ago we were making our way home to the Kansas City area from Round Top, Texas. We were driving down a 2 lane state highway with limited shoulders, and even more limited opportunities to pull over. As lunchtime approached, it was pouring down rain, and I spotted a rest area with a long looping single lane entrance that circled around to an exit on down the road. We pulled in thinking it would be a great place to have lunch and wait out the worst of the rain.

Well, as we drove in and rounded a curve, we were surprised to see a row of those large concrete barrier blocks across the road. There had been no warning sign at the entrance, and it was not visible from the entry. On top of that, we were literally sitting in a single lane, with barely enough room for two cars to pass each other.

Being the calm RVer's we are, we stopped and had lunch while thinking about our exit strategy. We were in our 40 foot Monaco DP, with a Jeep Wrangler toad behind.

A quick look around left us with only one option: unhook the toad and drive it back to the highway, then back the RV out several hundred feet...all in the pouring rain! So, I went out and unhooked, and DW hopped in the Jeep and took it out. Then I carefully backed out and onto the very narrow shoulder of the highway with traffic flying past, and re-hooked the Jeep up.

We laughed about it when we were rolling again, but it sure gave us a reluctance to drive into places we can't see into very well!

Now, let's hear your stories.

2002 Monaco Dynasty Baroness,
2013 Jeep Wrangler
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Old 11-02-2019, 03:15 PM   #2
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Winnebago Owners Club
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Location: fulltime
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old school rd in clinton corners ny it is a dirt one lane road the gps put us on it since we were to heavy for a bridge to cross which was shorter then out coach

2006 winnebago adventurer 38t 2018 carry-on hawkline enclosed 8.5x20 2007 mini cooper convertible
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Old 11-02-2019, 03:25 PM   #3
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Miss Garmin
"Destination on left in 500 yards"
Then Miss Garmin
"Turn left at next street"
Miss Garmin
"Turn LEFT"

So we did......narrow tree lined street. Trees grown over the street forming a canopy.
Really lovely entrance to Campground.
About 1/4 mile in at end of street were 2 large open wrought iron gates that lead into an OLD Cemetery with old large headstones and overgrown pine trees.
Lots of back/forth manuvering of truck/5vr to get turned around and headed back out

CG Entrance was just a bit farther down the main road.....not near as pretty but a heck of a lot easier to drive in/out.
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Old 11-02-2019, 03:29 PM   #4
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Holiday Rambler Owners Club
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Just last month took a wrong turn off, looking for a 'new to us' campground. Found ourselves on a very steep (maybe 20%), active logging road. Got to the first switchback, and realised there's no campground up here !
Managed to get the toad unhooked, and although the switchback was probably wide enough for me to get the coach turned, I was too damn chicken to get the coach sideways on that grade!
Backed down about 1/3 mile. ABS lite came on about half way down, and stayed on till I cycled the ignition off and back on.

Must have been quite entertaining for the folks driving on the hiway below us, see'ing a bus with a car in tow climbing a mountain!
Ben & Sharon
2008 43' Holiday Rambler Scepter PDQ
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Old 11-02-2019, 03:39 PM   #5
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Location: Prescott valley, AZ
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California 1 from Monterrey to Morrow Bay. Then through San Francisco from I5 to the Golden Gate, Don't know how we didn't get through either. Had a 40' Montana for both fun experiences
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Old 11-02-2019, 03:49 PM   #6
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Stories about having an RV in a tight spot? Yea I've got one of those.

I'm heading through New York state up to Maine to check out Acadia National Park. Why? Well, I had never been there before and that's as good a reason as any, so I went. Anyway, I was following my GPS (You see it coming already don't you?) through the state in a route that had me avoiding New York City. I've been down plenty of 2 lane roads before and have never had any issues. My GPS took me off the main road down a 2 lane road. No biggie. It's plenty wide enough for me. About half a mile down the road, it starts to narrow a little. No big deal. I've got this. About half a mile farther, and it narrows again. This time, it's not such a little change. This road is now a realistic lane and a half, not two full lanes anymore. Okay, I'll turn around at the next possible opportunity. Maybe 100 yards farther I see a low clearance sign. 10' tall bridge, Low Clearance Ahead. About 15 yards past that sign is a red light and a little itty bitty overpass.

There I was, big dually pickup truck with 37 feet of camper behind me and several vehicles waiting in line after me. There's absolutely no way to fit my rig of 10'8" high under that 10' bridge. I'd scrape off both ACs and probably the corners of the roof, totaling the rig in the process. I got out and flagged cars around me and looked around. There was a small gated lane that looked like it might be a driveway on my left. The gate was open, so I kinda had access to it. Okay, that gets me off the main road, so I back up a little and turn down that lane just far enough to get my rig off the road and out of traffic.

Now I've got this big dually and camper parked between the gate of someone's driveway that's barely wide enough for me, coming off of a lane and a half road in the middle of nowhere in upstate New York. Could this get any worse? Well, yes it can. I walked down the long driveway to the big house at the end and rang the doorbell. No answer. Maybe the doorbell doesn't work, so I tried it again and knocked on the door to make sure whoever was home heard me. No answer again, so a third attempt was made in desperation, but alas, nobody was home. Well, off of their driveway, there's a small asphalt path leading to their shop. It isn't level, but it's not steep either. I can back the trailer into that, then pull out and go back the way I came. Nobody will even know I was ever there. I drive down their driveway and back the camper into their little side driveway thing. I shift from reverse to drive and give it a little fuel to pull up the slight incline and out of the driveway. Nothing moves, but my traction control kicks in. Don't fret, I've been there before. Turn traction control off and try again. Give it a little fuel and I can feel the rear axle slipping.

I got out to see what was going on. Turns out, I managed to back up onto the only patch of moss growing on that little asphalt side driveway. That wet, slick patch of moss has all 4 tires just sliding around as if on ice. But that's okay, I got a 4 wheel drive truck. I put it in 4x4 and try again. Nice and slow, she crawls right out.

Well, not exactly. Just as I'm at that point where I'm no longer worried, and know I've made it out, I feel a slight tug, and just assume it's the 4x4 front axle binding a bit because I've got more turn angle than I should for being on a hard surface in 4x4. As I'm sure you've guessed by now, it wasn't the front diff, but I didn't find out until a couple of hours later when I stopped for the night. Turns out, I caught a rear jack on their landscaping, or edge of something and bent the snot out of it. Also managed to bend the square tube on the rear that the stinky slinky fits into.

By the time it was all finished, I lost about an hour and a half of time, a rear jack, and felt like a complete idiot for blindly following my GPS. Let this be a lesson. Check your GPS route carefully before you get stuck somewhere like I did.
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Old 11-02-2019, 04:03 PM   #7
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Location: NW Arkansas
Posts: 16
Years ago was late getting to campground about 11pm. As you get to campground there's a Y keeping right takes you through the campground looping around to boat ramp and staying right just reverse's that. So not knowing we hold left passing by the large boat ramp area and start up a very steep narrow 2 lane with a really sharp right had corner almost hairpin. About 300 yards past the corner come to a locked gate across the road with a sign that says gate locked after 10pm! Nothing like backing down something like that in the dark!!
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Old 11-02-2019, 06:50 PM   #8
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Tightest spot I was ever involved in was helping one of my wife's friends. We were at a dog show in Knoxville TN, we were in our Class C and they were driving a Class B type vehicle to transport their dogs. They had left the site overnight to go to the hotel. In the AM my wife and I were in the building, she was getting ready to take her dogs in when all of a sudden her friends comes up frantically and says her dad is blocked from getting into their reserved parking spot. She asked if I could go help him.

I go out to where they were suppose to be parked and her dad was parked some distance from their spot, a bunch of other RV's and trucks parked along the access lane. Her dad did not think there was enough space to pull in, I looked at the situation and thought there was enough room to get through but the only way to pull into their reserved spot was to back his rig in. So I got behind the wheel and maneuvered between all the vehicles with literally inches on either side and ultimately had to do a ~20 point turn to back into the spot.
Jim J
2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/5.7 Hemi
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Old 11-02-2019, 06:59 PM   #9
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Location: charlotte,nc
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Not an RV, but a large(28') box truck.
Following my GPS to a new customer, it took me down a road that quickly became a dirt road! I could SEE the customer, but couldn't get there that way.
Absolutely nowhere to turn around, so I hit the 4 ways and backed up a couple hundred yards, broke out the old school map and got there in about 5 minutes.
US Army 1980-86
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Old 11-02-2019, 08:23 PM   #10
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Thor Owners Club
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Posts: 152
So I didn't exactly get stuck but the first trip in my mh. My check engine light came on, and my wife found a garage to take a look, but wasn't able to check out where it was. The map of the route I took is below. I was nervous when I started seeing 10 ton weight limit signs.

Shared route
From 15 S Main St to Burkholder's Garage via Ashley Hill Rd/T876.

14 min (8.0*mi)
14 min in current traffic

1. Head east on E Wellsboro St toward Hoard St
2. Turn left onto PA-549 N
3. Slight right toward Ashley Hill Rd/T876
4. Slight right to stay on Ashley Hill Rd/T876
5. Turn left onto Bungy Rd/T867
6. Turn right onto Borg Rd/T579
7. Arrive at location: Burkholder's Garage

For the best route in current traffic visit https://goo.gl/maps/XNVvF2LDxmWiWgM59

They were not able to help me so I had to backtrack and finish out my trip to Elizabethtown, PA with the light on. Drove 3 hours straight through to get there. That was a long drive.
2005 Thor Four Winds Hurricane 33'
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:49 PM   #11
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End of August coming down from Alaska pulling the toad full of fishing gear, outboard and a 17 cu ft chest freezer full of fish and shrimp. Very close to 8100 pounds GVW. On a 2 lane road without shoulders in Saskatchewan we came on stopped traffic. Seems like there was a fatal accident ahead and when police finally came by, they said the road would be closed for 6 or more hours and there was no place to turn around. Since traffic had piled up behind us we couldn't disconnect and back up.. The road was too narrow to do a 3 (or more) point turn. At that point, a large empty double box trailer ahead of us turned off the road into a recently harvested wheat field. The truck was empty and the ground very dry and somewhat loose, but he was able to keep moving and make a "U" turn in the field. I'm sure he had his differentials locked. After another truck tried it successfully I thought "why not?". I put the DW into the toad and after starting it, shifted it into 4 wheel drive. Our plan was to have her help push the RV with the toad WITHOUT TOUCHING THE STEERING WHEEL. I dumped the tag pressure to put more weight and traction on the drive axle and we were off. We kept our speed up in the circle and didn't cut it too tight, but with me pulling and the toad pushing we got around the turn with minimal slipping. I'm sure that if we had stopped we would have bogged down. As we got back up onto the pavement we passed a number of waiting truck drivers who were laughing their butts off. I'm sure there was more than a few bets made on whether we would make it or not, but we did.
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Old 11-02-2019, 11:12 PM   #12
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Offhand I recall a campground in Alaska. . . big sites, suitable interior road . . . however, some big trucks parked so that they stuck out into the road and on a turn we couldn't make it. It appeared a couple of them had overnight visitors or else drove in two trucks as the extras were half into the street. We woke them all up and they had to move their trucks. Very inconsiderate the way they were parked and there was plenty of room for them to park within their site.
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Old 11-02-2019, 11:55 PM   #13
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Heading to one of our favorite campgrounds for our annual Spring Break camping trip about 3 years ago. Had been pouring down rain but was easing up when I hit the last county road leading into the park. Encountered water over the road bout halfway down the road so stopped to check things out. After thinking about it for a few minutes, decided that since I only had about a mile to go, to try driving slowly through it. With my head out the window, I watched to make sure water didn't go over the center of the wheels but to my dismay, it got too close for comfort about a quarter mile down. Couldn't turn around so the only thing to do was back the rig up to drier land. Did I mention I had the boat in tow? Yep, had to back the whole rig that quarter mile.

Made it back to drier land but still had no way to turn around without getting the tires off the gravel road. Backed the boat off first and the tires only sank a couple of inches into the wet ground. Unhooked the boat trailer then had to figure out how to get the motorhome turned around. I knew I'd be stuck if I got the rears off the road so I pulled in forward to see how that would work. To my surprise, the fronts sank about the same as the boat trailer tires. Kept the rear wheels on the road and with some coaxing, was able to maneuver forward and backwards a few feet at a time until I got the rig turned around. Hitched the boat back up then ended up going into the park from another direction.

Sure don't want to have do that again so I now make sure to call ahead and check if it's been raining.
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Old 11-03-2019, 05:54 AM   #14
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Posts: 595
Our tightest spot is the RV pad beside our house. With the outside of the tires on the edge of the concrete pad, the other side of the RV is about 5" from the roof overhang of the house. Parking anywhere else is a piece of cake.

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2011 Coachmen Mirada 32DS
2017 Chevy Equinox in tow.
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