Monday, December 4, 2023


Video: Motorhome ripped apart, totaled, by low bridge

It gets old showing you videos of RVs that have had devastating encounters with low bridges. But we will keep showing them to help remind our readers to be careful and pay attention to bridges and tunnels along their route that will rip their rigs apart if they dare try to pass through.

You must wonder what the heck was going through the mind of the driver of this Monaco diesel pusher motorhome when he tried to pass beneath a nine-foot, nine-inch train bridge in Racine, Missouri. We’ll be kind and assume he was distracted. But, whatever the case, it’s hard to imagine the horror he or she must have felt at the sound of the roof (and in this case sides) of their RV rip off above them.

This beautiful motorhome, we’ll guess, was toast after this encounter, which was so bad that the highway it occurred on had to be shut down for a time. As you watch the video, pay attention to all the innards of the RV spread out by the side of the road.

Watch the video and weep!

Here’s another recent incident — RV vs. Bridge — where the bridge wins. In this case, you actually see the RV as it passes beneath the bridge. So sad!


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Neal Davis (@guest_249675)
3 months ago

Yikes! Did a medical emergency account for an RV at least 12′ 3″ trying to pass under an overpass 9′ 9″ in height? I wonder how the conversation between the driver (passenger?) and the insurance company?

DW/ND (@guest_249659)
3 months ago

A few years ago my neighbor borrowed a Class C from his employer (friend). They journeyed to Winnipeg Mb and visited Assiniboin Park Zoo – leaving on a road which goes thru a residential area, he encountered the low bridge marked in metric numbers – about 2.8 or 3.0 or so. Cleaned the AC unit off among other things. We’ve been on that road, but in our car; it is clearly marked and doesn’t come up too fast, altho there is on a slight curve leading to it.

Snayte (@guest_249642)
3 months ago

Geez wasn’t the bridge at just about eye level?

Irv (@guest_249631)
3 months ago

Where did the driver sit who backed up the MH?

Bill Braniff (@guest_249618)
3 months ago

I have to assume the driver put it on automatic and went to use the bathroom?

Bob P (@guest_249614)
3 months ago

You can’t fix stupid! This also another example of why age should be a factor in mandatory retesting for drivers license, I’m 80 also. I quit driving our 38’ class A due to my declining awareness, I backed into our fence in the backyard and bumped into the rain gutter on the garage returning from FL violating the rule of every truck driver. G.O.A.L. Get out and look! I’m not ashamed to admit it, it was stupid on my part. There are many situations where at a certain age you think you’ve got it under control but it’s not. Whoever coined the phrase “ the golden years” couldn’t tell the difference between gold and rust. Lol

Carl (@guest_249643)
3 months ago
Reply to  Bob P

Agree with you. But I would add my feelings about the “so sad” comment in the article. The person who wasn’t bright enough to know the clearance height of the motor home (bridge clearance was clearly posted) will likely get reimbursed by his/her insurance company, while everyone else will see rate hikes. That is what is “so sad.” It’s likely another example of spanking all the children for the bad behavior of one of them.

Jim Johnson (@guest_249610)
3 months ago

I’ve seen how this could happen in my own family. We bought our first small camper about 300 miles from home. Shortly after starting our trip home, we pulled into the parking lot of a fast food restaurant. My spouse asked why I didn’t use the drive-through. I pointed at the clearance sign. She still didn’t get it until I verbally pointed out our camper was upwards of 2 feet higher than the crossbar. She has no true concept of distances and just said “oh.” Luckily, it was a safe one-trial learning.

Bd2 (@guest_186666)
1 year ago

Both bridges show 9′-6″. He pealed the roof of the second bridge but backed out under the first bridge w/o incident. I wonder what the true clearance heights of both bridges are ?
For example once measured and marked, no one checks the true height and re-marks after re-paving…..I have actually seen this happen

Andy (@guest_186773)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bd2

The posted clearance height of a bridge is measured at the lowest point. Often, if the road has even a slight curve that point will be on the outside berm of the curve. As a retired truck driver I’m always amazed at these bridge strikes. I used to research a route diligently for low clearance bridges and low weight limit bridges. DPs drive so easily (I am the owner of a Winnebago Journey) I often wonder if they simply lose track of how high their RV actually is. Mine is certainly not the tallest, but some 5th wheelers are right at 13’6”. RVers must always be vigilant for these warning signs.

Jules (@guest_249611)
3 months ago
Reply to  Bd2

Bridges are marked for the lowest point, so the first bridge might have been 14′ but isn’t that irrelevant when the second bridge is 9’6″?

There was a sign back up the road you can see as they backed past it to hook up the wrecker. There were plenty of warnings. Clearly there was something else going on.

Very sad for them – she passed away and her husband is left behind to live with what happened. All these rude, hateful comments about them, I would hate to be judged by strangers. I’m sure these “judges” aren’t perfect either.

Dr4Film (@guest_249627)
3 months ago
Reply to  Bd2

It doesn’t matter what the TRUE height is of both bridges because the warning signs are for the LOWEST height of the two bridges as there is no space to turn around once you get to the second bridge, you can only back up. The posted warnings signs state 9 ft. 9 in. well in advance of either bridge and again on each of the two bridges. This is unfortunately just a case of not paying attention which cost the life of one person. Driving these monster coaches is a Full-Time job which requires your constant attention ALL the time. I just read recently where an entire family plus their family pet perished along with the OTR trucker that the RV hit head on while driving on Interstate 81. The RV sustained a catastrophic left front tire failure, crossed the medium and hit the truck almost directly head on.

Spike (@guest_186614)
1 year ago

I’ve watched enough of “The Can Opener” bridge videos to think some people don’t think there is any direction other than forward once they close in on a bridge that is too low.

My wife and I came to a bridge about a block off a main highway that was marked at the same height as our 5ver. No way I was risking that! I couldn’t turn around, so my wife got out to do “traffic control” while I backed up the block and got back on the highway. Other motorists were patient and kind…at least no honking, hollering, or fingers letting me know I was “Number 1” with them!

A little bit of embarrassment was far preferable to a lot of it along with pieces of my 5ver on the road!

Marie Beschen (@guest_186640)
1 year ago
Reply to  Spike

Good for you two! We met a gentleman who “chose” to go through the bridge because of the traffic behind him! Pushed his air conditioners into his coach causing $$$ big damage!

Lou R (@guest_186942)
1 year ago
Reply to  Spike

Us too! Traffic was so heavy we waited for Canadian police to turn us around and Scott us out of town.

Lou R (@guest_186944)
1 year ago
Reply to  Lou R

Scott == escort

Jeb (@guest_186594)
1 year ago

I know where you can get a good deal on a diesel and transmission.

Bob p (@guest_186577)
1 year ago

You can tell by the way he backs the unit he doesn’t know how to drive it.

Thomas D (@guest_186636)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob p

Kind of hard go back up without mirrors
After seeing that its surprising it even started and ran

Tim (@guest_186806)
1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas D

LOL. The driver was worried about ripping the door off on the guard rail. At that point who cares!
Some of these videos you have to wonder if they are 1) that absent minded or 2) they couldn’t afford what they bought so this way the insurance company bails them out.

Ivor (@guest_186648)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob p

It was the wrecker crew that reversed the RV.
No mention was made of the occupants, and by the looks of the cab, sincerely hope they got out alive.
Now, the signage was there, BEFORE the bridge and BIG at the bridge!
I wasn’t there, but my guess judging by the extent of the damage, the speed was quite high!
If I was the insurance company, I would NOT pay out for this gross negligence.

Pancho (@guest_186705)
1 year ago
Reply to  Ivor

that was my question…
Will insurance pay for this kind of “careless” damage?

david (@guest_186651)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob p

in that shape!!

Danny Morrell (@guest_186671)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob p

He was unable to see behind him. It’s not easy without being able to see.

Kris (@guest_249590)
3 months ago
Reply to  Bob p

I got the impression it was the recovery/clean up the mess crew who provided the driver to back up the rv.
I thought the driver did extremely well considering the disaster the original owner/driver made out of the RV.

Patty (@guest_186575)
1 year ago

Not only did they not see the low bridge crossing sign before they got to the bridge, they actually tried to go under TWO low crossing bridges, they had to be traveling fast. I hope they were not hurt that looks like it could have crushed them with the cabinets in front. OUCH !!

Ron (@guest_186562)
1 year ago

This was driven by an 83 y/o man with his 93 y/o wife (of 50 years) as the passenger. She died a couple of days later.

Danny Morrell (@guest_186674)
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron

This is really sad. I have hit verandas in my UPS truck two different times many years apart. Same Hotel each time. I totally was not paying attention, each time I had a bigger truck other than my P-500. I am not so critical of the elderly folks who had this accident. This is so sad that life was taken.

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron

Thank you for the information, Ron. That’s very sad. Take care. 🙂 –Diane

Tom Hosack (@guest_186544)
1 year ago

And it still runs. I’m seeing John Candy in Planes, Trains and Automobiles driving down the road.

Steve Trimble (@guest_186542)
1 year ago

Guess they can’t read , don’t feel sorry for them at all.

Landry (@guest_186529)
1 year ago

Wow…about what you would expect, came apart as it was built. Have seen other lower front collisions on diesel pushers, never one hitting the roof. I assume the driver/passenger was OK? Must have been a hell of a ride…

Tommy Molnar (@guest_186522)
1 year ago

But, it appears that this MH has a driver’s door. Finally, a MH I could like – in better shape of course.

Leonard Rempel (@guest_186515)
1 year ago

You can’t fix stupid.

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