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Old 12-13-2020, 12:37 PM   #1
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Height concerns

We are shopping for a 27-5L or a Fox Mountain 255 RKS, primarily because that is where we can get larger grey tanks.
We actually like the the FM 235 RLS but the grey tank is only 45 gallons and we have found that is not enough when you don't have sewer hook ups.
Anyhow, has anyone ever had issues with the height of the 27/5L as it stands at 13 and 6" tall.
Any input would be appreciated!

Jane and Joe Ball
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Old 12-13-2020, 02:26 PM   #2
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Many large 5th wheels, especially toy haulers are 13' 6" high. Keep in mind this is the the federal height limit and what you see on most commercial van (box) trailers.

The next part is hugely subjective, unless you are specifically asking for how it effects others. However that may not be helpful unless you travel the way they do.

I have a full height toy hauler and I would not say I have had any "issues", however I am using it like a 40' long, 13' 6" high trailer. If you plan on using it as a 25', 8' high trailer you will have issues for sure.

Does it limit some of the places we go, yes, but that is a trade off that is worth it to us. Has it created some interesting situations, yes, but again the trade off is worth it. Have I taken it places that were questionable, yes, but again it was worth it to us.

The only real "issue" we had was the power lines at my house were low enough we would touch going under them. Going forward it was not a issue because there was nothing to snag on. Backing up they could have caught on the vent covers. The power company did a service call and was able to tighten the wires up enough that it is no longer a problem. There was no charge in my case since it was "their" part of the system and it did not take major changes.
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Old 12-14-2020, 09:28 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Nwcid View Post
Many large 5th wheels, especially toy haulers are 13' 6" high. Keep in mind this is the the federal height limit and what you see on most commercial van (box) trailers.

The next part is hugely subjective, unless you are specifically asking for how it effects others. However that may not be helpful unless you travel the way they do.

I have a full height toy hauler and I would not say I have had any "issues", however I am using it like a 40' long, 13' 6" high trailer. If you plan on using it as a 25', 8' high trailer you will have issues for sure.

Does it limit some of the places we go, yes, but that is a trade off that is worth it to us. Has it created some interesting situations, yes, but again the trade off is worth it. Have I taken it places that were questionable, yes, but again it was worth it to us.

The only real "issue" we had was the power lines at my house were low enough we would touch going under them. Going forward it was not a issue because there was nothing to snag on. Backing up they could have caught on the vent covers. The power company did a service call and was able to tighten the wires up enough that it is no longer a problem. There was no charge in my case since it was "their" part of the system and it did not take major changes.
Thanks for the reply. That is the federal height limit? Wow, it is really tall then. Our current rv is around 12'. We do not want to have to google or use an app that directs us around low clearance sights really. Just another issue to deal with.

Plus I would imagine that it produces a certain amount of wind drag as well.

Jane and Joe Ball
2013 GMC Sierra 2500 HD, 4WD
2010 Forest River Surveyor 5er
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Old 12-14-2020, 10:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by tennis40luv View Post
Thanks for the reply. That is the federal height limit? Wow, it is really tall then. Our current rv is around 12'. We do not want to have to google or use an app that directs us around low clearance sights really. Just another issue to deal with.

Plus I would imagine that it produces a certain amount of wind drag as well.

Jane and Joe Ball
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2010 Forest River Surveyor 5er
So apparently I was making an assumption based trailer size, but I was very close. Here is what RVIA has to say about it, https://www.rvia.org/system/files/me...e%20Height.pdf

I know that the unit you are looking at is higher than your current one. Is it currently 12' to the roof, or the top of the AC(s)? The 13'6" is to the highest point with a level trailer.

Have you had any issues with low clearance now? It is unlikely that the extra 1.5 feet will make that large of an impact. I haul a lot more than the average person, but less than many of the members on here. I can only think of 2 times I ran into height issues on roadways and both of those were with my trailer that was about 10' high.

I am not sure when you are looking buying, but when you drive or travel around look at the height clearance markers on bridges, over passes, etc and see how often you "might" run into an issue. Look at all of the places semi trucks have to deliver.

I do not use any kind of special software for routing, just plain old google maps. If I am trying to head to an area that a semi truck would not normally go, I do a little more research and I always have an "out" plan.
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Old 12-15-2020, 12:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Nwcid View Post
So apparently I was making an assumption based trailer size, but I was very close. Here is what RVIA has to say about it, https://www.rvia.org/system/files/me...e%20Height.pdf

I know that the unit you are looking at is higher than your current one. Is it currently 12' to the roof, or the top of the AC(s)? The 13'6" is to the highest point with a level trailer.

Have you had any issues with low clearance now? It is unlikely that the extra 1.5 feet will make that large of an impact. I haul a lot more than the average person, but less than many of the members on here. I can only think of 2 times I ran into height issues on roadways and both of those were with my trailer that was about 10' high.

I am not sure when you are looking buying, but when you drive or travel around look at the height clearance markers on bridges, over passes, etc and see how often you "might" run into an issue. Look at all of the places semi trucks have to deliver.

I do not use any kind of special software for routing, just plain old google maps. If I am trying to head to an area that a semi truck would not normally go, I do a little more research and I always have an "out" plan.
We have not bought yet. Thanks for the table, looks like 13'6" is the minimum "maximum".
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Old 12-16-2020, 08:40 AM   #6
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We only travel in the west and thus far have only had problems in campgrounds that are heavily treed and seldom used. Mostly FS and boondock types. That is why we look up and carry a pruning saw. No problems on the highways. We have found many of the low clearance bridges are arched or have a by-pass. The height is measured at the fog line. We've cleared easily on several 12-13' bridges by moving to the center of the arched bridge. The one that comes to mind immediately is the railroad bridge over the highway into Glacier Park at East Glacier. Many semi trucks are 14', if they clear you will clear. If I have a serious question, I get out and measure the clearance. Haven't had to back out yet.
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Old 12-17-2020, 08:33 AM   #7
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We only travel in the west and thus far have only had problems in campgrounds that are heavily treed and seldom used. Mostly FS and boondock types. That is why we look up and carry a pruning saw. No problems on the highways. We have found many of the low clearance bridges are arched or have a by-pass. The height is measured at the fog line. We've cleared easily on several 12-13' bridges by moving to the center of the arched bridge. The one that comes to mind immediately is the railroad bridge over the highway into Glacier Park at East Glacier. Many semi trucks are 14', if they clear you will clear. If I have a serious question, I get out and measure the clearance. Haven't had to back out yet.
Thanks for the reply. What is a "fog line"?
Does your wife get out and stop traffic while you measure?
And it is good to know that you haven't had to back out yet.
Our own home town has a railroad bridge that is low, very low, I think, at 11'. But it is downtown and does have a work around. Just have to be aware that it exists.
Thanks,
Jane and Joe Ball
2013 GMC Sierra 4WD
2010 FR Surveyor
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Old 12-17-2020, 08:45 AM   #8
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it was stated that 13'6" is the max for an unattached trailer. when hooked up we have measured out 5th wheel at 13'7". i am careful about looking up and so far no real problems. bit we do not go off road. we had a problem with the entrance to commanche lake campground in california with a low entrance but they had a bypass. the tunnels leading into bryce canyon are signed at 13'6". but they are arched tunnels and we just waiting so we could drive down the middle of the road at the high point of the arch.

we have run into bridges where we could not get under. luckily we found them when we were in the truck and did not have the trailer attached.
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Old 12-17-2020, 10:03 AM   #9
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Thanks for the reply. What is a "fog line"?
The white line on the side of the road. It identifies the right hand side of the diving surface of a roadway. As opposed to the yellow, center line.

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Does your wife get out and stop traffic while you measure?
It depends on what you mean. Every overhead item on a public road way has to legally be above a certain level. Many of them like bridges, over pass, tunnels have the height marked right on them.

Anything lower than the legal limit is required to have the height marked on it. Usually you will find this on older structures that were built before the new limits. Typically well before the "low structure" you will see warning signs about the low structure and "exit now" or something similar.

There are also areas that have length restrictions. I know of 2 spots I can not take my rig and one were I am right at the limit.

Once you get on to private or non-typical roads like campgrounds, BLM, Park Service, USFS, etc all bets are off. This is where you have to pay extra attention. In these situations we have stopped and had my wife spot me.

Here is an example of a tunnel with 2 height markings and a narrowed lane marking,


Here is typical bridge signage,


Here is an example of an exit "now" sign,
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Old 12-17-2020, 10:33 AM   #10
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Jane and Joe -

The Arctic Fox 27-5L is a great looking fifth wheel! Most large RV's are in the 13'0" to 13'6" height range and as such we all must be very cognizant of avoiding highways with low clearances for bridges, power lines, large tree branches, etc. My coach is 13'0" tall.

While my long weekend adventures are in a 300 mile radius of my home (simply because I am still blessed with a full time career) I do use a trip planning service named "RV Trip Wizard" to help assure I avoid highways with low overhead clearances. Thus far RV Trip Wizard has worked well for me. Other forum members may have suggestions for trip planning tools. Here is the link to RV TRip Wizard --> https://www.rvtripwizard.com/?msclki...#5d94bc18a8b54
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Old 01-05-2021, 12:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by tennis40luv View Post
We are shopping for a 27-5L or a Fox Mountain 255 RKS, primarily because that is where we can get larger grey tanks.
We actually like the the FM 235 RLS but the grey tank is only 45 gallons and we have found that is not enough when you don't have sewer hook ups.
Anyhow, has anyone ever had issues with the height of the 27/5L as it stands at 13 and 6" tall.
Any input would be appreciated!

Jane and Joe Ball
I am an owner of a 27-5L. Tank size and floor plan are the major reasons we selected it. My rig has the low profile AC so sits at 13'3" and still height must always be planned for in routing but is not generally a problem.
I have had 1 instance where a low hanging banner at a state park entrance got snagged on the bat wing style TV antenna and also peeled off the refrigerator vent cover.
We camp at federal and state parks - have learned to always look up to see what tree limbs are waiting to ruin our day before pulling into a site.
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Old 01-05-2021, 01:59 PM   #12
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My coach is only 11'6" and I have even ran into issues, primarily in towns that don't do a good job of trimming trees that have branches that overhang the street. For the most part this is not an issue on highways even going through small towns as as larger trucks will tend to clear them out, though there are the occasional places where I might have to change lanes to clear. More of a problem is when I get off of the main streets, one time I ran into this was a couple of years ago taking my coach to an alignment shop at the end of summer, it was an older shop on an oak tree lined divided boulevard, with lots of overhanging limbs. While there it started raining, and upon leaving I found it difficult to make it back to the main highway 6-7 blocks away due to all the sagging rain soaked limbs.
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Old 01-05-2021, 02:15 PM   #13
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We are 13' and have had nail-biting experiences with tunnels (Yosemite and the Zion-Mount Carmel tunnel come to mind). But there are work-arounds. Low tree branches are a bigger problem (we boondock exclusively). Going down a narrow gravel road and coming to a low branch, maybe hanging lower due to being wet is the bigger problem. We have learned to disconnect and explore first. We replaced our A/C with a mini split and installed MaxxFans to get rid of the fan hoods so are now closer to 12-6.

We solved our 43 gallon galley tank problem by off-loading to a 40 gallon waste tank in the truck. We also solved our smallish fresh tank problem with a 46 gallon fresh tank in the truck.
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Old 01-14-2021, 04:44 PM   #14
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So apparently I was making an assumption based trailer size, but I was very close. Here is what RVIA has to say about it, https://www.rvia.org/system/files/me...e%20Height.pdf
Wow Kentucky max height is only 11'6"
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