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Post Info TOPIC: Low clearance in Alpine, TX


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Low clearance in Alpine, TX


We travelled from Del Rio, TX to Van Horn, TX yesterday, and were thrown for a loop at Alpine. On the way out of town heading north on Hwy. 90, there is an underpass with a posted clearance of only 13'7" - and this once you are already on the single-lane downhill grade. We stopped and pulled over onto the narrow shoulder, put on the hazards and wondered what the heck we would do, being we are about 14' high. To our amazement, a truck coming towards us turned out to be occupied by two employees from the local department of transportation. They kindly went up the hill to stop traffic so we could back all the way up and get turned around in a lot nearby. They followed us and gave us directions to take a detour all the way to Fort Davis then back to Hwy. 90. Apparently, there is one other route we could have tried to get out of town, but he said it went through a very tight residential area that even cars have trouble navigating, much less us with our dually and 40' fifth wheel. And also of note: the fellow commented he thinks the sign is wrong, as he's seen semis at 13'6" scrape the bridge.

Fortunately for us, it was a lovely day to travel and we were not in a hurry. Hopefully this post might help someone else plan their route somewhere, someday! 

On a related note, does anyone know of an app that warns travellers of such things as low clearance bridges? This was our second encounter; the first time, we squeaked through by ducking our heads within the cab - haha! Somehow that seems to help biggrin



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Lowclearances.com - I’m not sure if it comes in an app. We have an RV GPS that routes us around things like that.

I thought the tallest you are allowed to be without a permit is 13’6” - which is how tall 18 wheelers are.



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Thanks for the link to the GPS add-on. Definitely worth considering. As for the tallest without permit, we've never heard of that, so we don't know. In certain provinces in Canada, you need a special endorsement for your license for being overweight or overlength, but there was no mention of height.

I should clarify we are 14' when parked and leveled. We are slightly lower than that when hooked up, but we aren't sure our exact height. I can tell you, though, after that experience, our next job is do get up on the roof and get the proper measurement!

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Interesting that you say your RV is 14 feet high.  Is yours a stock unit or have you added something to the top?

Terry



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Fortunately (and wisely), you didn’t “take a chance”. We are 13’ as measured brand new, before we loaded up, so possibly a bit less now that we're heavier ... but my “personal minimum” is 13’6”. As has been mentioned, we subscribe to lowclearances and our gps routes us away from low clearances.



-- Edited by RonC on Tuesday 13th of February 2018 04:36:36 PM

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It's possible for 13'6" semis to be too tall for a 13'7" overpass. if they put new pavement down after the sign was installed and no new height measurement was taken or no temporary sign posted or that the new sign had yet to be installed... all of which are process failures. It happens. Personally I'd never 100% trust any sign that was close to my vehicle height. You're probably good, but a mistake will be costly and you're not in a rush, are you?

And yeah, one thing every RVer should know is... E X A C T L Y the height of their RV. Do it before you next move the rig. JHMO



-- Edited by BiggarView on Sunday 11th of February 2018 11:32:02 AM

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The Allstays app also lists low clearances.

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Hiway 90 doesn’t go north out of Alpine. I’ve looked at the satellite view of Alpine and can’t find the overpass.  

Edit:  Train trestle.  Trucks run that day and night.  



-- Edited by Barbaraok on Sunday 11th of February 2018 04:36:05 PM

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As for everyone's questions and suggestions about our height, our trailer is just a stock unit so it shouldn't be 14' high - and isn't, as my hubby crawled up and took a quick and dirty measurement WHILE HOOKED UP! We need to do it properly, but looks like we are more like 13'4" ... or so. I totally agree, Brian - we need to find that out sap, and definitely before our next move. Interesting point about roadwork after a height has been posted. New asphalt could definitely add an inch or more.

Bill/Kelly, you got me curious so I looked up allowable height limits and it varies by state, some being 13'6" and others being 14'. One state was even 14'6"!

Barbara, you're right - 90 goes west and 118 to Fort Davis goes north. I posted without looking at a map and in my mind, we were heading north to Van Horn so that's where my error came from. The helpful transportation fellow said he's seen many semis hit the bridge. I guess he would know!

Thanks again to all for ideas on apps and websites for this kind of highway information. Greatly appreciated!

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Not an app for phone or tablet, at least that I know of, but the Rand McNally Trucker's Atlas has a section on overhead clearances.  When we are fixing to travel, I refer to it to see if there are any low clearances along our route.

Terry



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Ignoring the Barking Dogs  -  Terry's Blog



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I use American Independent Truckers Association website - aitaonline.com "Information" tab - to review our route for low clearances before setting out.



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More excellent advice from those in the know - thanks Terry and Howard!

The first year full-timing has brought about many learning experiences (AKA mistakes!) but has not dampened our enthusiasm and love for living this lifestyle. It will continue to challenge us and lead us down roads less travelled, all to our delight.

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