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Hazardous /Propane and RVs

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I am a two week old Rver and as much I appreciate advice from all my new friends, I am confused about the signs on the road about "Hazardous Material Vehicles", "Tunnels" and my responsibilities or duties as a driver.

Driving my new rig from Florida to Torrance, California has giving me more experience, but as I was driving in Alabama and Arizona, I encounter a "Tunnel" and "A hazardous Material zone" which in both cases I panicked and took the detour. Some of you are probably laughing by now, but when you are new and dealing with size, weight and length of your new toy and your wife as the co-pilot, it is simply "terrifying" to say the least. 

I heard so far:  (1) Check your local law. (2) Call DOT (lol). (3) This rule does not apply to us (RV's). (4) We don't carry enough propane to make it dangerous or illegal (5) Just watch for the tunnel clearance, that's all. (6) Turn of the propane.  

Can someone, please provide reading materials or provide me with an answer that will help us be safe on the road?

 

Thank you, 

 

Phil & Cindy Benonguia

 

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The hazardous material warnings are meant for big trucks carrying those hazardous materials. While gasoline is a hazardous material, an auto or truck, or RV, without carrying a tanker load is not labeled hazardous, although they are, but in a relatively smaller proportion. Please do observe the need to turn off any appliance that uses propane while fueling, as this is a real danger zone because of the vapors produced at a gasoline pump while transferring gas to a vehicle. And of course at any location that specifies turning off propane appliances. Much better to be safe than sorry and thanks for your willingness to become familiar with the circumstances that can occur. If you feel safer turning off those appliances while traveling through a tunnel, then by all means do it, safety should always be our utmost concern, but my reccomendation is not the law concerning these things. Many happy trails and tales as you are now embarking on this new adventure. And by all means, be aware of your height before entering any tunnel, I live in Alabama and have passed through the tunnel in Mobile many times.  Kay

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Tunnels do not need to be avoided UNLESS there are signs that specifically prohibit propane.  That means you, even with the propane tank shut down.  However, there are some tunnels that prohibit propane but will allow you to stop at an inspection station, shut off the tank, have it tagged and then proceed.  On the other side you can turn it all back on.

You are NOT a hazardous materials carrier so you can ignore those signs.  You just need to keep an eye out for specific Propane restrictions and they are few and far between.

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This topic comes up often. I was told to avoid the I-95 tunnels in Baltimore harbor, here are the regulations.

Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) govern the transport of hazardous materials across our toll facilities. Under these regulations, vehicles carrying bottled propane gas in excess of 10 pounds per container (maximum of 10 containers), bulk gasoline, explosives, significant amounts of radioactive materials, and other hazardous materials are prohibited from using the Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95) or the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895). The Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695, the Baltimore Beltway) is a convenient alternative route for crossing Baltimore's Harbor.

We crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel once in the old coach, I was told at the toll booth to shut off all propane appliances and close the valve on the tank prior to entering the two tunnels.

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Been a while since I went from Jersey to Manhattan, I could not take the Tunnel under the Hudson, had to take a bridge instead....had to do with Propane.  This was last in 1988.  As lenp said and also on all ferry's on the Outhere Banks.

As for Mobil, AL and AZ, no problem!  Just know the height of your coach (that's with the tallest thing on your roof) and I mentally add 3 inches! If it's 13' 6" or less, I don't go there!

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propane gas in excess of 10 pounds per container (maximum of 10 containers), bulk gasoline, explosives, significant amounts of radioactive materials, and other hazardous materials are prohibited from using the Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95) or the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895). The Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695, the Baltimore Beltway) is a convenient alternative route for crossing Baltimore's Harbor.

They don't kid about the tunnels under the Baltimore Harbor The fine is large and the ticket is "must appear". That means you can't mail in the fine. You must travel back to Maryland and appear in court. The 695 bridge is an easy an option. If you are in an all electric coach with no propane you may still get pulled over to prove that you have no propane. They assume that all RVs have propane.

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Nice to know for some!  I'm all electric now, but learned in 1981 to avoid I-95 and US 1 anywhere South of Connecticut.  When I go to New England, I take the Northern rout.  Longer, less BS ! 

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We run those tunnels often in Baltimore, the bigger frustration for us is the lack of EZ pass technology. Maryland must have got their scanners for free from the trash that other states tossed out, they almost never work when crossing and there are no high speed lanes. You have to slow down to a crawl and squeeze through tight lanes for over 5T EZ pass.

We have crossed many, many times, have seen a countless number of LEO's parked after the tolls, never been pulled over even after the alarm goes off because their antique scanners cannot see our EZ pass.

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I'm with Carl on routes South of Conn. I run around all that and on up to I-84 and take the Newburgh Beacon Bridge.

Much more sane taking I-84.

If the sign says 13' 6" I'm alright with it as that is the "clearance," but then one has to worry about any road repairs and addition hot patch just before or after the bridge/tunnel.  Some hot patch repairs can raise the road an inch or more.  In the old coach I was only 12' 4" but the new one is 12' 11". 

Need to pay attention to the signs.

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4 minutes ago, wayne77590 said:

I'm with Carl on routes South of Conn. I run around all that and on up to I-84 and take the Newburgh Beacon Bridge.

Much more sane taking I-84.

YUP, that's the way we run to New England. Any other route south of that can and will probably ruin the entire trip, unless you run it at 3am on a Sunday night :o.

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