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Old 09-11-2008, 03:05 AM   #1
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For 10 years I have avoided the Baltimore Harbor and Fort McHenry tunnels in my migrations north and south.

I have read and heard tales of real high fines, and then again tales of no problems going through it with an RV. Yesterday, in Bedford Mass, a friend (Army retired Ranger), said as long as your not in a commerical operation and do not have a placard of hazardous materials on your vehicle, its okay-- He uses it all the time.

Well, I've heard enough, so I got on the Web and found a number to call, Here it is 410-537-1374, They are the enforcement agency for the tunnels. The Corporal who answered the phone said-- NO WAY can RV's use the tunnels with Propane on board--PERIOD! He said any RV going through the tunnels is a big red flag to enforcement officers. You must use the Key Bridge or other alternative routing.

Call them-- check for yourself. I'm going around them again tomorrow---

If you have a theory for successful tunnel passage, please give those folks a call, and report your answer back here-- I would love to hear your results-

Safe travels to all,
Max H,
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Old 09-11-2008, 03:12 AM   #2
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Thanks for the info, Max. I will be sure to avoid the tunnels if I'm ever in that area. Of course, I would probably try to avoid driving an RV anywhere near Baltimore even if they didn't have tunnel restrictions.
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Old 09-11-2008, 05:31 AM   #3
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For the last 10 years, I have been living dangerously (and probably stupidly) and driven through the Rt. 95/Ft. McHenry tunnel many times with a motor home with no problems. I use an EZ-Pass that is registered to my motorhome so they have a record of what vehicle is going through.

Last spring, I even went through the Harbor tunnel because of a wacky GPS. Fit was much tigher but still made it through with no problems or fines.

It is probably a restriction that is not, or selectively, enforced. But is probably safer to go around and take the bridge.
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Old 09-11-2008, 08:11 AM   #4
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The key bridge has way better scenery anyway,thats the reason I am mobile.Why take the chance,your not saving enough time to worry about it,imho.

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Old 09-11-2008, 11:46 PM   #5
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The first time we drove that route was over 25 years ago with a popup in tow and we were stopped and told we had to go around. They were very clear as the Corporal Max spoke with was on the phone. Anything with propane in it is not allowed in the tunnel. We did not have to pay a fine but we were made to turn off and go the long way around.

Anyone see the movie "Daylight"?

From the horses mouth this is the restriction as listed on the State of Maryland's website:

"Vehicles carrying bottled propane gas in excess of 10 pounds per container (maximum of 10 containers), bulk gasoline, explosives, significant amounts of radioactive materials, and other hazardous materials are prohibited from using both the Fort McHenry and Baltimore Harbor Tunnels. In addition, vehicles in excess of 13 feet, 6 inches, in height, or 96 inches (8 feet) in width; and all double trailers are prohibited from using the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel. Vehicles carrying Class 1 explosives and radioactive materials require an escort at the Francis Scott Key Bridge. For additional information regarding these restrictions, please call 410-537-1374."

You can see the notice posted at the very bottom of the page found at:

Notice the height and width restrictions. The width restriction alone "96 inches (8 feet) in width" prohibits all the coaches listed in the signitures posted in this thread so far from being driven through either of the tunnels.

Be safe!
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Old 09-13-2008, 02:57 AM   #6
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I did the trip yesterday, Friday (around Baltimore and Wash DC).

I also have traveled this route, mostly in cars, for many, many years. Trafic was light the entire route. I whizzed by the New York, New Jersey area, in daylight hours, also. I have never seen such light traffic. It must be a sign of the times.

I made the trip from Morgentown NJ (Ft Dix/Maguire AFB)to Kenly NC in about 7 hours, including breaks and lunch. I never was below 50 mph-- except on ramps.

A trooper in Delware (as Clint Eastwood said) "make my day"-- As I was in a merging "on" ramp, I was now on a 6 lane (one way) stretch of I-95. I was in the second from the left lane- the first lane was going bye-bye ahead, as I approached the merge point I looked in the drivers side mirror and this car was flying to get ahead of me and cut me off, which he did. Well the trooper was right there, on the left shoulder and nailed him. Of course he ducked into traffic ahead of me, two lanes to the right thinking he was "hiding". Not to be---- This guy bit the bullet this day And to think I was the cause of it-- It made Cindy and me laugh during the whole process, as it unfolded like in a movie!! It was Great-----------
Max H,
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:46 AM   #7
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Waking up an old thread.

I am driving to North Baltimore (Abingdon, MD) This Sunday with my MH. carring propane. IS Francis Scott Key Bridge, I-695? No Tunnel on I-695 correct? So coming from the south on I-95, I should take the bypass around Washington DC 95N/495 to the East then back to 95N to 695N, then back to 95N north of Baltimore. Is this correct. Is the toll the same for cars as for the MH single axel?

Thanks for your help or any other suggestions on a route from Charlotte NC. I am expecting the traffic to be lighter than a weekday on Sunday about 12-1pm. I made this trip last week in our car with a gps. The gps took us I-95 to Pennsylvania Ave back on I-95 then thru downtown Baltimore. I do not want to do that route with the MH. We did not go thru the tunnel on I-95 this way either.
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:02 AM   #8
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Wonder why the difference between the Baltimore tunnels and the I-64 tunnels under Hampton Roads towards/from Virginia Beach?

Went thru them last May and all I did was stop at the inspection point, was asked if I turned OFF my propane, and given a friendly wave to go on thru.

Is it a state or Fed regulation?
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:07 AM   #9
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Last time I went that way I missed the turnoff for the Scott Key bridge and got off just before the tunnel. Completly lost I pulled over to check a map. A pickup pulled over and the driver explained he worked for the tunnel authority.The pickup verified that.He said although he can't tell me to do it, he sees motorhomes going thru all day and night.I usually avoid all that mess by going inland.
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:35 PM   #10
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Heading from the South to the North, I avoid I-95 completely and use I-81 instead. Less traffic, much better scenery. Lots of hills, though.
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:37 PM   #11
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The rules for bottled propane gas apply to travel trailers with bottles. It does NOT apply to motorhomes with DOT permenant propane fuel tanks. DOT fuel tanks are NOT hazardous cargo and are allowed anywhere other motor fuel tanks (ie gasoline and diesel) are allowed to travel.

Now, if you are carrying a 20# bottle in a basement compartment, that would be illegal in the tunnel.
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:54 PM   #12
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I prefer using 81 also. The last time I went north on 95 the tolls from Baltimore to Ct was $120 towing a car. The GW bridge was $32 .The other way is a little longer but I can buy a lot of fuel for $120 and the scenery is nicer.
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:18 PM   #13
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I live in Maryland & can assure you that folks HAVE been stopped at the tunnels.That being said there are several ways to reach your destination,especially if traveling on a weekend.I prefer 95 north through Richmond to exit 104.This will take you to 301,across the Harry Nice Bridge,through southern maryland.Take 301 north to 97 to 695 east,across the F.Scott Key bridge {no propane restriction} back to 95 north to Abingdon.
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:30 PM   #14
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The route would be to go around DC, which is clearly marked if you just follow the signage to Baltimore. As for taking I-81, it depends on where you are going and your scenic desires. You could also go around DC and Baltimore on their western sides using VA Rt-15 and connecting to I-70 joining back up to I-95 above the tunnel. If you want to stay on I-95, the I-695 exit is clearly marked.

I'm pretty sure you can not go through the tunnel with propane, unless your USDOT approved containers contain less than 10 pounds. At about 4.2lbs/gallon your tank would have to be less than 2.5 gallons.
C. The following classes of hazardous materials are prohibited from being transported through any tunnel or its approaches, as indicated:
(3) Class 2, division 2.1 flammable gas is prohibited, with exceptions for propane, LPG, CNG, LNG, and other flammable compressed gas in U.S.D.O.T. approved containers, in quantities not to exceed 10 pounds gross weight per container, and 100 pounds gross weight per vehicle;
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