Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Do you know the exact height of your RV?

Do you know the exact height of your RV? We mean the “exact” height, not what’s printed in your owner’s manual.

We’ve all seen photos and videos of RVs losing an air conditioner or even their entire roof by trying to drive under a low bridge. It’s an ugly sight, that’s for sure. And the only way to avoid that happening to you is to know the exact height of your RV — to the inch — and then avoiding taking any chances by trying to squeeze beneath a bridge or overpass that’s too close for comfort.

So what about you? Do you know the exact height of your rig?

Oh, here’s what can happen if you don’t pay attention to bridge height warning signs.


  1. When I got my rig “Smart Weighed” at an RV rally, the service provider also measured the height. 12’5″ at the top of the satellite dome. 12’9″ is the least amount of clearance I would accept when driving under an overpass and, at that expected clearance, I would take it through slowly.

  2. ’09’ Thor Four Winds Class C. I haven’t measured it. Fed law is a max of 13’6″. I simply don’t go under anything lower than that. Going on 6yrs and haven’t hit anything yet!

  3. i have measured all 3 RV’s we have had. So I am adding to keep in mind with 5th wheels, your “real” height is affected by the tow vehicle. We use a Garmin RV GPS that allows us to help avoid the dreaded “crunch” as we lose the AC unit. And I know someone who has!

  4. Our RV is under 12′ high. It has to be, it fits into it’s home with a 12′ door and just the radio antenna twangs on the door bracing.

  5. The manufacturer’s brochure for our RV says we are 12’4″. However, I have our height as 13’6″ in our Rand McNally RV GPS. I will probably actually measure our next one , but never bothered with this one.

  6. Had it measured when it was weighed (4 corner) and then posted the height PLUS 6″ on my dash.
    I trust my measurement, but not the road crews! Resurfacing the road can diminish height without replacing the sign!

  7. Height of our RV was a go or no go when at the dealer. It had to fit in my carport. The dealer told me what the book said. I told him that was not good enough. I would be a sale or no sale. He got a tech out there on a ladder with 2×4, level, and tape measure. He got up and leveled the 2×4 on the highest point and dropped the tape measure to the ground and gave me a reading. That and replacing a slightly scratched headlight lens made the sale. Honest dealer OR hungry salesman – ? THEY met my specs.

  8. But, like others below, we do manually measure the exact height when kayak loaded on roof-top of our jeep – too many near misses. Plus we put a safety post (those neon orange ones hiway workers put out) in front of our covered carport as we have actually accidentally went in – luckily stopped just in time with no damages to kayak;).

  9. I have a label on the dash that has two heights: the height of the a/c and the height of the antenna added to it. If the antenna rubs no problem as long as the a/c clears but hearing it hit gives me reason to double check.

  10. When I first bought my Class C, I measured the highest point and used a label maker to put a label just above the speed-o-meter. I use that number to know my clearance. Also after you are packed ready for a trip, the height will be somewhat lower. Better to be safe than have to make repairs.

  11. We’re 13’4″ but I set the GPS at 13’6″. Believe it or not, we encountered a 13’6″ clearance on interstate 90 going through downtown Chicago but, as is typical of Chicago traffic, we were only going about 10 Mph. Coming from Ohio, we now stay on I-94 and have discovered that, while it adds 20 miles more, it actually is faster than staying on I-90 when heading to “The Dells”.

  12. While I haven’t actually measured it myself, the manufacturer states the height as 9’6″ so I use a working height of 10 feet.

  13. Exactly! After watching repeat videos of those “low bridge” disasters, I got my son to help me measure my Class Cs height. Eleven feet, eight inches which takes into account fully aired tires and the roof mounted AC. My only concern now is those bridges that aren’t marked!

  14. Yes, I used a straight 1×2, a level and measuring tape on a flat surface and had my wife read the tape, the motorhome’s overall height at the AC unit is 2 inches higher than advertised. My GPS is made for truckers and RV’s and I can put my height, width and weight measurements in it + 6 inches for the height, the GPS once warned me of width issues for the route. I also have all measurements on my dash area in inches and metric + 6 inches for height.

  15. Our custom ordered 2015 HR Ambassador 38DB is listed at 11.9 foot tall. I measured it myself and it is just an inch over 12 foot tall with the new style Digital TV antenna, the highest point as our two AC units are the low profile type and lower than the TV antenna. If my coach is parked next to most normal Class A DP rigs you can see the height difference easily. Lower height means better fuel mileage. But every one should know much more about the physical dimensions and weight capacities of their RV. Height is the most important for running into low obstacles of any kind when in an unfamiliar area. But weight and other dimensions are just as important to your safety if you have an RV of any type. Stay safe, Stay well

  16. Our classic (read old) coach is stumpier than most, but this was an immediate issue when I needed to have it in our barn to do some work on it during the winter. I have measured this with some accuracy and then used my label maker to put a label inside the top of the windshield with that number in large characters. When I am looking out the top of the windshield, there it is and hard to ignore!!
    I just read the note below and will be printing a new label that includes the metric number as well. I hope we will be going back to Canada soon.

  17. I live near a killer bridge and saw a truck peeled back one morning. I’ve also noticed that the stated height is probably a couple of inches higher than the actual height due to repaving jobs. I measured my rig and added 4” to the height; that’s the number I keep on the dash

  18. As an Escapees member, we took advantage of their Weigh service, at the same time we found out the 4 corner (axles) weight, they measured our height to the top of our TV Antenna dome.
    Very relaxing having this information. However for some strange reason, not all states indicate the bridge heights, then we take note, if an 18 wheeler fits under, then so do we.

  19. I had the height measured this summer at the Escapde. Much to my surprise it matched the factory specifically to the inch. Even knowing this, I will not go under an over pass that is not marked at least six inches higher than this

  20. I climbed onto the roof of our travel trailer and laid an 8′ 2×4 on,top of the a/c and measured from the ground to the bottom of the 2×4, then added 6 inches. I also measured the total width of our trailer and the total length of the combined trailer and truck. I then made a label that I taped to the driver side sun visor with all of this information. Maybe its overkill, but as least I know.

    • The worst scare I had back in 2009 when we drove up to Alaska was the first bridge height sign we came to in Canada, that was in Meters. It said 4 and something and I had to pull over and work it out to make sure the bridge was high enough. Lesson learned but a great story of panic to tell. Stay safe, Stay well

  21. Mine is 13′ 6″.
    Hauling RVs as a pass time, I also know the heights of every RV I pull. (I have never found one over 13′ 6″).

  22. And I also know my weight fully loaded when I had my 4 corner weight done my height was done also by escapees. My high test point is actually a roof vent as my a/c covers are low profile on my Dutchstar.

  23. 10’1″. Friend measured identical model to fit in his rv spot.
    Some great Youtube videos showing what can happen if you don’t pay attention to the warning signs.

  24. I know height, still give myself about 6″ more to height. Bridges might not be height listed if the road paved before and after which will change the angle.

  25. I went out and measured mine. Allowing for error, I gave myself an extra couple inches. I use 13’8″. I figure if a semi can go there, I should be able as well.

  26. My Coach has a label in the dash stating that it’s 12’10” to the top of the AC units. I add a couple “safety” inches to that, and never attempt anything below 13′.


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