When we first started this adventure, we were really nervous about driving the RV. As we racked up the miles, we got more and more comfortable driving it and having a ‘feel’ for where we could take it and where we could not. Well, that level of comfort is not always a good thing.
Well, on our way to Mount Rainier National Park, we were going through a small town that was likely the last place we would be able to get fuel for a long time. I wheeled into the station, angling for the right island to enable filling our tank, everything lining up just right.
Then, it hit me! Something was not right. Something felt bad. Just a foot or two before we drove under the gas station canopy (the roof that keeps you dry while filling up your vehicle on a rainy day) I jumped on the brakes and stopped, quickly!!
We both know our RV requires 12′ 10″ of clearance. We remind each other constantly. We even work together to critically assess gas stations before we pull in to be confident that there will be room to turn back out after refueling and that we can fit under the canopy. Don’t forget, this rig is close to 50′ in length when we are towing the Jeep.
Once the RV came to a complete (albeit, abrupt) stop, I looked up to see the following painted on the canopy:
Clearance: 12′ 4″
By now, I’m sure you see the problem. I’m guessing that it was a subconscious thing that gave me that somethings-not-right feeling. I must have seen the clearance painted on that canopy as we were driving in. Whatever it was, it saved us from making a huge mess out of that RV! That would have been the end of the two air conditioning units on the roof, the antennas, the triple-vision back-up and sideview cameras, maybe even the roof itself.
Six inches matter.
Since we can not back the RV up when there is a tow vehicle attached, we had to stop right there, blocking access to that lane at the station, unhook the Jeep, back it up, then back up the RV to get out of that place. What a mess…but…no damage. Just an inconvenience. And some excitement for the day.