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The 27-5L vs the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnels

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  • The 27-5L vs the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnels

    First, I hope I've put this question in the right place. My wife recently retired and we're looking at RV's an absolute favorite of mine is the 27-5L for obvious reasons - a great floor plan and excellent construction (especially comparing it to the light weight stuff). So now I'm paying attention to what it would be like to tow this trailer whenever I go anywhere (this will be our first trailer). Crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge there are two tunnels marked 13' 6". When I got home I looked at the specs for the 27-5L and discovered it is 13' 5" (nominally). While doing some internet searches, trying to figure out how accurate these figures are I read where a trucker said, "...don't trust bridge heights. If the state repaves the road that can take 2" away and they don't change the signs. Approach bridges with caution."

    Allow me to profess my ignorance. I have no idea how to approach a low bridge with caution on a 55 mph highway. On the bay bridge, there's no turning around if you don't fit. So I'm looking for thoughts from folks with experience how to deal with this. Thanks in advance and be gentle...I'm new here.

    Don

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum!!

    Our 27-5L is 13’5” at the top of the bathroom vent cover, if we didn’t have them installed I would guess we would be a couple inches less. I don’t take the the brochure as as the source but measured while connected to the truck on a level spot (our driveway). I keep the weights and height written down. Also important I keep the measurement of the passengers side roof height just about the outside wall (for tunnels info).

    A couple things use to to help is an RV GPS where I’ve put in some info specific to our fifth wheel and the Mountain West directory app on the iPad. Once I have a route the GPS will give warnings and I look on the app for the info it provides.

    The caution ion the trucker noted is a good one. In the State we live in many tunnels will have the height noted on a sign with an arrow pointing to a spot which should be the height of the spot.

    The biggest problem with the heigth of AF fifth wheels IMO is not the bridges and tunnels but low branches in Campgrounds and city streets.
    Rolland & Judie, 2 Shelties, Cozmo & Brinkley

    2016 AF 27-5L, 4 pt Leveling, Dual Pane Windows, 10 Cu Ft Fridge, 15K AC, Central Vac, Progressive Dynamics hard wired EMS, Slide Toppers, 2 Fantastic Vents & Covers, TST507s, 480 Watts Solar Charger, 440AH AGM Battery Bank

    2005 Chevy Silverado 3500, Duramax/Allison, Crew Cab LB 4x4 B&W Companion

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    • #3
      Thanks Rolland. I should have mentioned, we have a Blue Merle Sheltie named Merle. He's a therapy dog and agility trained (but we're not competing). Thanks for the information on trailer heights, bridges, tunnels...and campground branches.

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      • #4
        You might consider going with a 13,5 or 15K LowPro air conditioner as it is lower that the standard 13.5 or 15k. Factory rep said it is 6" shorter than the standard, I took that with a grain of salt and measured our 27-5L is about 13'2" with the LowPro and no vent covers. We have the rain sensing vents so they close when necessary. Many say they are noisier but are quieter than the noise of crunching your roof. Hitch also affects the overall height. Again MEASURE your rig to be sure!!!!!
        Glen & Linda
        2018 27-5L Arctic Fox,
        2013 GMC Sierra 2500HD D/A 4X4 Ext Cab
        Anderson Ultimate 5th wheel hitch
        Blogs: Ongoing: http://glelin-travels1.blogspot.com/
        Alaska: http://glelin-travels.blogspot.com/

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        • #5
          If the highway department follows their own rules, that height should be at the fog line. Most of the bridges will have a lane that gives you a bit more clearance. Here in Montana, East Glacier has a 13'0" signed railroad overpass. We've done it numerous times into Glacier Park by taking our 1/2 down the middle. The underpass is nicely arched and we clear it with a comfortable margin. One thing to look for is truckers. A lot of the semis are 14'. Many of these are height labeled on the rear or front side. Just keep your eyes open for them when you travel it without your trailer. If all else fails, pay up your insurance and plead stupidity. (for reference see DEF into fuel tank) ((sorry Kirk, couldn't help myself)).
          Ken and Rita Madsen
          2018 GMC 3500 Duramax, 2016 27-5L AF

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Don-n-Mary View Post
            Thanks Rolland. I should have mentioned, we have a Blue Merle Sheltie named Merle.
            Weve had three, two sable and whites and our Blue Merle. Sheltie give back so much love and humor. There are never two days the same with Blue Merle’s is there....
            Rolland & Judie, 2 Shelties, Cozmo & Brinkley

            2016 AF 27-5L, 4 pt Leveling, Dual Pane Windows, 10 Cu Ft Fridge, 15K AC, Central Vac, Progressive Dynamics hard wired EMS, Slide Toppers, 2 Fantastic Vents & Covers, TST507s, 480 Watts Solar Charger, 440AH AGM Battery Bank

            2005 Chevy Silverado 3500, Duramax/Allison, Crew Cab LB 4x4 B&W Companion

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MtCamper View Post
              If the highway department follows their own rules, that height should be at the fog line. Most of the bridges will have a lane that gives you a bit more clearance. Here in Montana, East Glacier has a 13'0" signed railroad overpass. We've done it numerous times into Glacier Park by taking our 1/2 down the middle. The underpass is nicely arched and we clear it with a comfortable margin. One thing to look for is truckers. A lot of the semis are 14'. Many of these are height labeled on the rear or front side. Just keep your eyes open for them when you travel it without your trailer. If all else fails, pay up your insurance and plead stupidity. (for reference see DEF into fuel tank) ((sorry Kirk, couldn't help myself)).
              The Rand MacNally Motor Carriers Atlas is our go-to source for clearance info. As MtCamper said, the clearance sign should reflect the lowest point at the fogline. We were driving east on US 60 out of Mesa AZ towards Superior. We checked both the Motor Carriers Atlas and LowClearances.com and didn’t see anything to be concerned about. But as we rounded a corner going through the mountains we were confronted with a tunnel signed at 13’ 6”. Fortunately we were in an uphill stretch that happened to have a truck lane so we slowed way down and tried to assess the situation. The center lane seemed to have plenty of clearance so we moved to the center, proceeded and prayed. Of course we couldn’t see how much clearance we really had but guessed it might have been 15’-16’ at the center.
              Bruce & Shannon
              Redmond Washington
              2017 Arctic Fox 27-5L replacing a 2013 Lance 1685
              2016 Chevy Silverado 3500 HD High Country Edition

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              • #8
                Don, I drove my '07 29-5 thru those tunnels a long time ago (maybe 2009 or 10) and I didn't hear any crunches. I never even thought about the height back then. Don't know if they have repaved the roadway since....or if they did if they scraped the old pavement before applying the new surface .
                BPofMD - Bud & Penny / Actively Retired Navy Vet
                2005 F250 6.0 - TorqLift Upper Overloads
                2007 Silver Fox 29-E 5th Wheel / Anderson Ultimate Hitch
                2015 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

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                • #9
                  This is not a real recent post but I"m "catching up" ... anyhow, thought the following link to a web site might be interesting to some of you. I have no experience with it but seems to be one answer.
                  https://giraffeg4.com/

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                  • #10
                    Just took my 27-5 across the bridge and through the tunnel end of Sept. They just asked if my propane was off.
                    I have 235/85/R16 tires which are about an inch higher. I measured 13'5" before installing the tires so must be very
                    close to 13"6" but they let me through.

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                    • #11
                      I think heights are open to being plus or minus the real height. If a local has info it can help. My friend, Ernie in LaPine, TX said all RV's were getting thru a underpass labeled 13-6, so I tried it and was OK. Another just west of Brice Canyon said 13 to 14 feet. A Hitch hiker 5th wheel ahead of me cleared it by 4 feet, so no problem. But what would I have done if he wasn't ahead of me? I understand folks on east coast have to be much more careful.
                      Neil and Marilyn and Beamer (feline)
                      2015 Chevy 2500HD LTZ Duramax 6.6L 4x4 Double Cab LB, 5th Spring, Ride Rite Air Bags, Tires: 275/75R18 125/122 3640 lb rated, 40 gal Transfer Flow Aux Tank.

                      2016 Arctic Fox 27-5L, Progressive EMS HW30C Surge Protector, TST 507 TPMS w/Color, Sailun Tires G rated, 2 Smart Tool 2000's, Titan Disk Brakes.

                      Of all the things I've lost. I miss my mind the most :-)

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                      • #12
                        "I understand folks on east coast have to be much more careful."

                        If you come this way DO NOT TAKE I-95 THRU NEW YORK CITY !!
                        BPofMD - Bud & Penny / Actively Retired Navy Vet
                        2005 F250 6.0 - TorqLift Upper Overloads
                        2007 Silver Fox 29-E 5th Wheel / Anderson Ultimate Hitch
                        2015 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BPofMD View Post
                          "I understand folks on east coast have to be much more careful."

                          If you come this way DO NOT TAKE I-95 THRU NEW YORK CITY !!
                          I'm planning a route in that area next spring and I was thinking about using southbound I-95 across the GW bridge into New Jersey. I need to get from Foxboro MA to Princeton NJ. I thought that was a good route because Southbound across the GW is toll free. I will be pulling our AF 27-5L, any more info would be appreciated. This might be a good reason to avoid my family in central NJ on my cross country trip.
                          Kurt, Leslie and Cooper
                          Flagstaff, AZ
                          2018 27-5L
                          2018 RAM 2500 6.7L

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                          • #14
                            Take I-84 west to NYS Thruway S to I-287 S to Bridgewater/Sommerville exit to Rt 206 to Princeton. The bridge over the Hudson there (I-84) is also toll free. There will be a small toll on the NYS Thruway, but it's much better than towing thru NYC.
                            BPofMD - Bud & Penny / Actively Retired Navy Vet
                            2005 F250 6.0 - TorqLift Upper Overloads
                            2007 Silver Fox 29-E 5th Wheel / Anderson Ultimate Hitch
                            2015 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

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                            • #15
                              You need to know the 2019 27-5L are taller than most previous years. The highest point on ours is the round Antenna with WiFi Booster.
                              Seems other years the highest point is different than ours.
                              We have the low profile AC and the Antenna towers way above that.

                              We have lost two Antennas so far.
                              2019 AF 27-5L Alumaguards Awnings all three, 3.6 Onan, Auto leveling, 160 Amp solar panel, WiFi, receiver hitch, etc...
                              2007 Silverado 2500HD Classic CC/SB D/A
                              EFILive, TranGo Jr. Firestone Air Bags, Rancho RS9000XL shocks.

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