Here we go again — the famous Can Opener Bridge of Durham, North Carolina, has ruined another RVer’s day. This time, the legendary low bridge snacks on a fifth wheel trailer. The driver must have suspected he was cutting things close as he inched ahead at a snail’s pace as he passed under the low railroad underpass.
But, oops! Bad decision! He doesn’t make it without the bridge taking a bite, as it has more than 170 times since a traffic camera was installed.
The comments on the YouTube video are hilarious:
• “There absolutely has to be a perfect ratio of slowing down just enough that the bridge grows.”
• “Love how they slowed down in order to…shrink?”
• “The bridge has awakened from its long winter’s slumber and has begun to feed!”
• “Oh come on! Clearly it was the fault of the other drivers, who woke up the bridge with their honking while the camper was silently sneaking through.”
• “If I drive slowly the bridge gets higher right?”
Okay, watch the video and weep!
And here’s another RV vs. low Bridge encounter (with worse results than this one). And yet another one.
Human fools are lucky. In nature, fools are simply killed and eaten when they ignore obvious hazards.
I notice the bridge say 11’8” then +8- just what does that mean? If you add 8” to it that says to me 12’ 4” right?
Yeah, yeah yeah. That sign is for other people. I have special driving skills.
I believe that the state or county responsible for that 12′ 4″ sign is legally responsible for these damages.
Why, the 12′ 4″ is the new height and this guys rig must have been an inch or so too high. But I still don’t get why the Yellow Crash Bar was high enough for him to clear it, but then hit something whilst under the bridge. It’s as if that Crash Bar is a little bit higher than 12′ 4″.
Appears to me that the yellow bar did rip everything loose.
Wow, I watched several times and to me, it looked like he completely cleared that bar, then while under the bridge, pieces came off.
What I found confusing was it looked like he cleared that thick yellow bar they have before the bridge. But then something further in, under the bridge took out, at least his antenna and it looks like an A/C Unit (cover).
I guess they need a gate arm to come down and block the path of the overheight vehicle.
I have been to one location that warned me approx two miles from a low bridge then another sign one mile from low bridge with a sign with height & Turn Here. Both were flashing road signs and a solid sign. I measure from the ground up to highest point including AC.
Agree with others, you must know the height of your RV. It looked as if someone was not paying attention or did not know their rig height.
These bridges have height sensors (IR beam like a garage door), so when the beam is broken – IT TRIGGERS THE FLASHING SIGN. This idiot (and, yes, this driver was a first rate idiot) completely ignored the sign in a case of ‘I know better’. I’m sorry, but I have zero sympathy for them.
Based only on this video, it looks like people are being “lured” on route that requires passing under the bridge, but not given warning, or an alternate route in time to change. Once you get to that intersection before the bridge, what are your options? How soon before you get to the bridge can you make an alternative route?
Right turn and 2 blocks to a level crossing.
So on the 2 lane, one way road, you are traveling in the left lane, in traffic, expecting to make a left turn after passing under the bridge, and discover that, 1. You are too tall, 2, you need to make a right turn from the left lane, and 3 all the traffic in the world is passing you on the right.
At which point your options are 1. to accept that you are screwed, or 2. Endure the traffic jam you are creating in order to make a damage free crossing.
Seems to me the road control agency needs to put a bar across the roadway with dangling chains to the correct height. If they hit the trailer or box truck, then you have been warned in time to take the alternate route.
There is an intersection as the driver is stopping in other videos I have seen, drivers turn on that street.
RV GPS marketing video! Yup, I do not plan any route without it! Worth the money not only for the bridges, but roads as well. I will echo Bob’s comments that “You can’t fix stupid”!
Can’t always rely on GPS. I have a Garmin RV gps and it missed a low bridge this weekend, good thing I was watching signs and had time to take another road.
Flashing sign DOES say “overheight – must turn”. He just turned too late.
You Can’t Fix Stupid!!
If they had let some air out of their tires they might have made it. 😄
So what is the height of that trailer?
That’s what every RVer should know as it is road ready. Manufacturers usually give height measurements in the specs, but that is the trailer sitting on level surface. Many people are towing with trucks that raise the height above level, such as 4X4 trucks that sit 3-4” taller than 2WD trucks. If in doubt check it out, it’s easy to measure from the tallest point of the roof to the ground hooked to the truck, then measure from the roof to the highest structure on the roof, usually the bedroom A/C unless you have a flat top 5th wheel then it probably will still be that A/C.
Another problem if your height is close to the particular bridge limit is, whether the road is level going into and out of the bridge. The wrong angle as you approach or pull away could cause something to hit, even though your rig is truly under the limit. Like this, they say 12’4″, with a bad angle a rig 12’2″ or 12’3″ still might snag something.
If you are within an inch or two below the 12′ 4″ you can still get messed up by a patch repair, speed, a new layer of blacktop, or just your vehicle shifting at the wrong time as you pass under a crucial spot! The best thing you can do for your well being is know your actual height and if your within a certain amount (up to you to determine) go around! Find a way! It is cheaper than repair, with a lot less headache. You are on vacation or retired or such so relax go around, use your head and don’t be in a hurry. As a retired trucker I can tell you “Read and heed all road signs” they are there to protect and help you to stay safe! It helps to know where you are at all times. Happy Trails
Missed it by “THAT” much!! (old “Get Smart” quote for our younger readers)
I’m curious. The video says 11′ 8″ yet sign says 12′ 4″ Which is correct?
It used to be 11 foot 8 inches then the city of Durham did something to increase the clearance to 12 foot 4 inches hence it now shows 11 feet 8 inches + 8 in the beginning of the video.
Sign isn’t in enough languages.
How many languages do you want, this is America and we speak American, learn it or go back where you came from I won’t miss you.
You speak “American?” Hmm., what language is that? I speak English.
LOL – reminds me of the joke that ends, “If you want to speak English, go back to England…”
That said, those signs before the flashing warning sign are an International standard, so the driver would know the height restrictions. And, honestly, the vast majority of RV’ers are middle aged white folks, so English should be a given.
We speak ENGLISH, which came over with the settlers that came from Europe. We would have to be speaking Wampanog to be speaking American. They were here 10,000 years before the white settlers.
I agree, but try to tell that to our politicians. The Scranton, Pa school districts students speak so many different languages. They have to try and teach them english before they can teach them school work.
We are a land of immigrants – even the First Nations were immigrants. Our language (American English) is largely based on ‘the Queens English’, but has adopted an amalgam of other languages, and has a variety of distinct dialects within our ‘shared tongue’.
Well Scranton has a big mark against it due to one person who was born there.
Come on man! LOL
America or more accurately the USA does not have an official language bob
They have to translate it into ‘idiot’ for many to understand.