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HDT Friendly campground list


Vegas Teacher

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Hello again,

 

As I get closer I am wondering if there is a list or booklet out there somewhere that lists Semi and long rig friendly camp grounds?

 

Also is there a GPS that made for high clearance vehicles that will route you away from lower hanging bridges? I will be new at this soon. I know my questions are pretty stupid at times but has anybody been going down a road or a back road two lane highway, Highway 2 in the northern U.S. and U.P. of Michigan comes to mind, that ran into a bridge they could not fit under??????? If so what did you do? I am guilty of going off of the beaten path to find the road less traveled.

 

Has anybody been to the Semi shop in Joplin Missouri, on I-44, called 4 state trucks? The website looks pretty impressive. I am from Pittsburg Ks. It is only 30 miles from there. I am thinking if I go home in the summer about making a trip over to see it.

 

Later,

 

Vegas Teacher - Cory Ossana

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1. http://www.hhrvcampgrounds.com/

 

2. Yes, Garmin makes one as well as Rand McNally. Google them and be sure you get the RV models. They allow you to enter height, length, and other data so it won't route you wrong MOST of the time. Also buy a copy of the Rand McNally truckers atlas at any truck stop to act as a backup resource. http://www.randmcnally.com/product/motor-carriers-road-atlas

 

http://store.randmcnally.com/rvnd-7730-lm.html

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Everything Carl said is great. I will try to add a small amount to the great information he gave.

We have not invested in one of the GPS units. While we are relatively tech savvy folks and we do use google maps as our primary tool, I tend not to fully trust the navigation features of the devices - notice Carl's phrase "most of the time" :wacko: Susan trusts the navigation a little more than I do.

Always check the map route yourself - satellite view is your friend.

The Randy McNally Motor Carriers (aka Truckers) Atlas is a very good thing to have in case technology fails you. (no signal)

They make two alternative versions seen at the bottom of Carl's link.

1. Deluxe - spiral bound and laminated (we replaced our first one with this one - much more durable)

2. Large scale (could be good as well)

 

Also check State DOT websites. There can be a lot of good information there when you plan to go through a new state. (Depends on the state i.e. Colorado DOT has great features)

The issue can be inside small towns where the road goes under the tracks.

Reviewing your route on Google satellite view can also help. One can see where the railroad tracks are and if you go under or cross over.

Sometimes crossing over can be an issue, too. One can high center in some places where the road over the tracks is sharply steep. Never done it but have seen roads that could cause it.

You can also google search a big city for low clearance and it may pop up certain locations where truckers have failed to pay attention. This can be helpful in the Northeast part of the country where roads and towns are older and were not designed with larger vehicles in mind.

As with many things RV, it is less of a concern once you get out there and get going. I do remember the anticipation and concerns and to be sure it is good to be prepared but many of these concerns are relatively easy to manage.

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And of course don't forget to pack the Gen 1 technology optical scanning unit (eyes) and data processing unit (brain). You need to pay attention to those nice little yellow and black diamond shaped clearance signs that clearly mark any bridge 14' or less, both at the bridge, and at the beginning of the road before you turn down. And of course you need to know the exact height of your rig or the sign won't tell you much. There should never be any excuse for coming up to a bridge you can't fit under and have to back out.

 

That is not to say all that technology is not a wonderful thing to plan a worry free route, but you absolutely have to teach yourself to be aware of the signs and bridges.

 

That said, it does happen all the time. This Christmas we were traveling to my folks on a secondary road, and a dumbass in a Ryder truck went under a low railroad trestle without using the aforementioned Gen 1 technology. Peeled the tin roof off in a roll just as slick as you please and just shattered the FRP walls of the box truck. He was stopped about 100' past the bridge with a state trooper surely writing him a ticket worthy of being bothered on Christmas day.

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All good info. above. I plan and navigate my trips with Google maps on my phone, but always run it against the Garmin Dezl that is programmed for our rig's dimensions. Lastly, If anything on a route seems odd or if I have extra time on my hands, I always refer back to the RM Road Atlas. Of course, as also mentioned above, keep a keen eye out for those clearance signs.

 

As an aside, you can do all of these things and still fall victim to a low hanging branch or cable tv line if you aren't vigilant. My basic rule of thumb is to try to avoid routes not frequented by semi-trucks. They keep that stuff cleared out.

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The Garmin Dezl GPS is much better than former GPS units for truckers. I can't imagine going without it east of the Rockies, where older infrastructure includes 10' high bridges and underpasses. As for campgrounds, the RV Reviews site has been excellent in identifying big rig capable campgrounds. We have not found our size to be as much an issue as is the vast numbers of folks on the road now. We always make reservations and clarify our size at the time. Generally the worst case is having to unhitch and move the truck to an overflow parking area.

 

Experience has taught me to look over a new campground before I take our rig into it. Narrow interior roads, tight corners and structural obstacles and the best route to the camp site are all easy to spot if the campground host/owner gives you a ride to your site and shows you your route in. If I can't ride I walk, but I won't take my rig into a park till I'm sure I can get it out.

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Experience has taught me to look over a new campground before I take our rig into it. Narrow interior roads, tight corners and structural obstacles and the best route to the camp site are all easy to spot if the campground host/owner gives you a ride to your site and shows you your route in. If I can't ride I walk, but I won't take my rig into a park till I'm sure I can get it out.

 

Good Point.

 

I once pulled into a park at 4:00pm, after driving all day and was very tired. The manager saw my rig and expressed concern. I told her that we had called ahead and we were assured we would fit. She did not recall that conversation.

 

Anyway, we pulled into a site and the DW said, I did not think you were going to make it. I said getting in was easy. Getting out will be impossible. The truck had to be parked in overflow parking.

 

A week later, when it was time to leave, the manager's husband offered to help me back out. IMPOSSIBLE! And, after many attempts the clutch overheated! So, I told him, if he knows someone, with a pick up truck, I would pay the owner $50 to back the trailer out. He said, I think you can pull forward and drive through the park. I was thinking impossible. To, his credit, he ran around and checked all of my blind spots and walked me through the entire park (about a 1/4 mile), with very narrow roads, tight turns and low hanging trees branches.

 

I now email photos of my rig, with dimension imbedded in the photo, showing total length of rig, truck and trailer.

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