Barney Alexander is Lazydays’ recently retired senior RV
driving instructor, and has taught more than 44,000
students. He is also an avid RVer and fifth wheel owner.
How tall is your motorhome?
For years you’ve driven a car or truck and never worried about
low clearances. Now that you own a motorhome, you must
be aware that low clearances are everywhere. It’s a good
idea to write down the height of your coach in a note that
permanently lives on your dashboard, so when you encounter
a “low clearance” sign, you’ll know for sure if your coach will
pass underneath without incident.
Here are some more tips from RV driving expert Barney
Alexander about handling low clearances in your motorhome:
Make sure you know the height of your RV in feet and inches
as well as in meters and centimeters. This is important when
traveling through Canada, where they use the metric system.
Feet and inch measurements will be of no use to you there.
Most truck stops (including the Flying J at Lazydays) sell a
Rand McNally book called the Motor Carrier’s Road Atlas that
lists every low clearance in the United States. At a cost of about
$20, it is a good investment for RVers.
Consider buying a GPS that will inform you of low clearances.
Truck drivers often rely on this type of device. While more
expensive than an atlas, it’s also a good investment.
It is very important that you account for any height
adjustments you make to your coach as a result of installing
rooftop items like a satellite dish. Round up your coach’s height
so you don’t cut it close.
Be wary of older service stations, as they may have repaved
their lot several times over the years but may not have changed
their clearance signs.
Watch out for low-hanging tree limbs on back roads.
Unfortunately they don’t come with clearance signs, but they
can damage your coach all the same.
Pay attention to the roof of your home when you back into
your driveway. Chances are your roof is about 9 feet off the
ground, so take care not to back into it when you park your
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