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Travel app that avoids tunnels and low clearances


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RV Trip Wizard. You set your height, weight and length and have the option to navigate with tunnel avoidance. Most tunnels in the western US do not have restrictions on RV size propane tanks. For example, the Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70 allows RV passage but not a tanker truck. Bridge clearance can change if there has been road resurfacing. There is a railroad underpass on US-87 in Dalhart, TX that makes me nervous so I have found way to bypass it. Like anything in life though, when in doubt, call or check ahead.

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34 minutes ago, Chalkie said:

RV Trip Wizard. You set your height, weight and length and have the option to navigate with tunnel avoidance. Most tunnels in the western US do not have restrictions on RV size propane tanks. For example, the Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70 allows RV passage but not a tanker truck. Bridge clearance can change if there has been road resurfacing. There is a railroad underpass on US-87 in Dalhart, TX that makes me nervous so I have found way to bypass it. Like anything in life though, when in doubt, call or check ahead.

Super, thank you!

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only the east coast has a problem with rv propane. but as to clearances, most of everything west of the mississippy river you will have no problems. DOT regs says bridges, tunnels must clear 14 feet. the rare one will not. most of those are marked. back roads, old rail bridges, old not improved tunnels, etc.

for the west coast, watch out on mt pass roads, as some are way to steep, or twisty to pull a trailer or drive a big class A rv. damage will happen.

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In all our travels full-time with our 40' motorhome and also our 5th wheel we never used any kind of app for that purpose and absolutely never had any issues with tunnels or bridges and we traveled secondary roads all the time.

For mountain driving I highly recommend getting the 'Mountain Directory for Truckers and RVers'.  It comes in western and eastern editions.  It gives an very detailed description of the roads.  If a road is described that doesn't mean you shouldn't drive it.  We always used it as a 'heads up' of what we can expect and we always referred to it when driving the road again just to refresh our memory.

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18 hours ago, 2gypsies said:

In all our travels full-time with our 40' motorhome and also our 5th wheel we never used any kind of app for that purpose and absolutely never had any issues with tunnels or bridges and we traveled secondary roads all the time.

For mountain driving I highly recommend getting the 'Mountain Directory for Truckers and RVers'.  It comes in western and eastern editions.  It gives an very detailed description of the roads.  If a road is described that doesn't mean you shouldn't drive it.  We always used it as a 'heads up' of what we can expect and we always referred to it when driving the road again just to refresh our memory.

Simply , X2^ . Except ours is a 36' motor home and never a 5th wheel . ;)

Edited by Pat & Pete
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38' motorhome, have never worried about tunnels.  Have had to turn off propane when using the ferry system in Washington State.  But then we use major highways (Interstates and US Highways) to get from A to B, then explore with the toad.   For example, we've done most of Highway 1 (Coast Highway) in California, but with the toad, not the Motorhome.  

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2 hours ago, Pat & Pete said:

Except ours is a 36' motor home and never a 5th wheel .

On all US highways the clearance height is posted on or next to the tunnel or bridge. We traveled US101 with our 36' motorhome, no problems but we did go inland with US101, leaving the coast for most of what is CA1, since much of it isn't recommended for large RVs.   

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On 6/24/2021 at 9:55 PM, whj469 said:

The Good Sam GPS does all of those things. You enter info like height, tolls or no tolls, preference of Interstates or scenic, etc  and it tells you. I always use a Motor Carriers Map Book to be sure of heights, always.

Does Good Sam offer this as an app on the phone? We just bought an RV and it comes with Good Sam. Thanks!

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I have been less than happy with the good Sam since it missed a 10'6" in Ohio.  I use several apps and sources for route planning.  I am a real fussy planner for travel.  I hate surprises.  And I have discovered that GPS's all have a twisted sense of humor and are not to be trusted.  I use them as a tool, but do not tow using one.

For clearances I generally rely upon AllStays Camp and RV.  It shows many campgrounds, rest areas, clearances, diesel stations, walmarts and other stores, Cracker Barrel, repair shops etc.  It is a pretty good source.

For tunnels I go online and read the regulations and specifications for a particular tunnel.

Grades and mountain road descriptions are found in Mountain Directory.  The MD was about $26 for combined East and West when I bought it.  I have it downloaded to my phone as well having it available online.  Nothing I've found comes close to this resource for mountain driving.

Route planning has evolved over time and is pretty complex for me.  I find thorough planning makes for less stressful travel.  Did I mention that I hate surprises? We are 57 feet, end to end and weigh about 25,000#. 

I start with a paper atlas - I like Rand McNally.  It gives me a feel for how the roads run, general topography and distances.  I use that to establish a tentative route.

I look at the route for clearances (AllStays) and grades (Mountain Directory).

I look at google earth to determine whether there is any major construction on the route and to answer questions about lanes and shoulders.  If I have more questions I read the highway description in Wikipedia.

Once a route is established I write out a turn by turn description of the day's travel including distances.  I use Google Earth's street view to look at the approaches to turns and interchanges, exit ramps and merge lanes, and signage when I write this out.  That way I often recognize a turn/exit as I approach it.  Jinx and I go over the directions before going and she navigates using them.

Yes, it takes time.  It works for us.

Wayne & Jinx
2017 F-350 diesel, dually
2006 Carriage Carri-Lite 36KSQ

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Jinx & Wayne said:

Yes, it takes time.  It works for us.

It is interesting to hear of the different ways people approach travel planning and the amount of it each does. Like you, I still have a lot of faith in Rand-McNally. I miss the old paper versions of campground directories too. The electronic media does require less storage space, but to me it has made travel more complicated.

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I just downloaded the GS app onto my phone and could not locate any method of inputting my RV height, weight or length. When I had it map to a nearby CG I received a pop-up msg I was leaving GS and using Google maps for routing.

So that's that.

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Garmin DEZL truckers GPS. The best and safest method. You can program in your night, weight and any hazards. Your app, if there was one would have to rely on a cellular signal. What if you did not have one? A GPS relies on satellites. 
It gives you a ton of warnings  ahead like speed limit changes,sharp curves, grades, lane assist and construction notifications. 
Not to mention the thousands and thousands of points of interest including campgrounds. In 6 years it has not gotten me in any trouble. 

Edited by rynosback
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1 hour ago, rynosback said:

Garmin DEZL truckers GPS.

Hmmm.  Six years is a good test.  My Ford's GPS (we've named her Bong-Bong) has a wicked sense of humor that will take you through a mile of residential streets to save 50' of travel.  I will read some more on the Garmin.

Wayne & Jinx
2017 F-350 diesel, dually
2006 Carriage Carri-Lite 36KSQ

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We use RV Trip Wizard for planning routes, fuel stops and campgrounds. If a specific fuel stop is not listed (like Bucee's) you can add it by entering the address, same with campgrounds not listed, then a Garmin RV660. Both of these pretty much select the same routes. There is the capability to download the RVTW routing to the Garmin but I have never got it to work. As a backup a Rand McNally RV road atlas. Used them for the last 3 years, so far so good but then again we have not been way out in the sticks with nothing around for miles.. We do not use the truck gps or Iphone Maps unless unhitched and sight seeing.

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22 minutes ago, Steven@146 said:

There is the capability to download the RVTW routing to the Garmin but I have never got it to work.

You may want to give the Garmin BaseCamp a try as it does pretty much the same but works hand in hand with your RV660. We have a 660 that we have had for quite some time and were recently given a new RV770 so are using it now. The main difference is the screen size.

Like you, we still keep and sometimes use our Rand McNally atlas. 

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48 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

You may want to give the Garmin BaseCamp a try as it does pretty much the same but works hand in hand with your RV660. We have a 660 that we have had for quite some time and were recently given a new RV770 so are using it now. The main difference is the screen size.

Like you, we still keep and sometimes use our Rand McNally atlas. 

Yeah I've got BaseCamp loaded on the laptop, thats what I tried to use, but that was a while back. Haven't tried it recently, I need to hook up the 660 anyway and update it and look at basecame again, I've got a lot of time now to play with it.

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I think we bought our Garmin DEZL in 2008. It still works fine. Do remember to update maps twice a year, though, because if you skip a year you lose the free upgrades so have to pay for future ones, or so I have heard. We update in April and October and that works fine.

Linda Sand

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16 hours ago, Jinx & Wayne said:

Hmmm.  Six years is a good test.  My Ford's GPS (we've named her Bong-Bong) has a wicked sense of humor that will take you through a mile of residential streets to save 50' of travel.  I will read some more on the Garmin.

Wayne & Jinx
2017 F-350 diesel, dually
2006 Carriage Carri-Lite 36KSQ

Plus I get free updates to maps and POIs. It’s stupid that the GPS in the big three trucks do not allow you to put in parameters and route you accordingly, as they are capable of pulling heavy loads now. But the updates would be costly over time. 

Edited by rynosback
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  • 1 month later...

I use Waze when I'm in motion, but CoPilot as a route planner. This app has an RV mode that avoids low clearance areas. You can choose between 12'6" or 13' tall in the appThe one feature I really want and don't have is lane notifications. Waze recently added something, but it pops up too late.  

Edited by cowolter
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2 hours ago, cowolter said:

I use Waze when I'm in motion, but CoPilot as a planner. This app has an RV mode that avoids low clearance areas. You can choose between 12'6" or 13' tall in the appThe one feature I really want and don't have is lane notifications. Waze recently added something, but it pops up too late.  

CoPilot used to have lane notification, but now I it doesn't.  I wonder why they stopped it.

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