We've come to realize that government agencies have a hard time with what an RV actually is in terms of vehicle classification. We've already had to switch insurance companies within the first month of owning our RV and have had to take 3 trips to the RMV before we could actually get our vehicle inspected.
Technically, in Massachusetts an RV is a Passenger vehicle, but in terms of height and weight it is right on par with a truck classification. So when you're driving in new cities and states it's sometimes hard to discern where you are allowed to drive. Sometimes you'll see a "no trucks" sign, but you don't know if it's posted because they don't want commercial traffic through residential areas or because there's a low bridge that will take the roof right off the bus.
Yesterday we had our first brush with where we are allowed to drive or not. Cutting through NY to CT we hopped on the Hutchinson Parkway. Parkways in NY are strictly for passenger vehicles only; no trucks. So you can see where this gets hairy ( read above paragraph). About 3 miles into our trip on the parkway we start getting a barrage of horns, waving, and cars swerving from in front of us and side to side. It reminded me of the scene in the Planes, Trains and Automobiles when John Candy is bombing down the highway towards head on traffic and the adjacent car passengers are yelling "YOU'RE GOING THE WRONG WAY" followed up by the impeccable delivery of Candy "How would they know where we're going?"
After the first guy extended his arm out the window and was signaling over the roof of the vehicle as to display we were heading for a low bridge and a state vehicle pulled to our side and gave a short blast of his sirenwhile pointing to "GET OFF THE ROAD", we pulled over before the bridge". Since were were in between exits we were not liking our options. Tear the roof off the RV or have a police caravan stop 2 miles of traffic so we could reverse down the entire parkway and be handed and $1,000 ticket. After watching several school busses clear the bridge, we made a run at it. We have about a 12' height clearance and the bridge said 11'6" at the edges. It was taller in the middle, so we cleared it no problem.
Phew, now we can just get off at the exit and be done with this. Not so fast, there was still another bridge to clear. This time it was 9'6" at the corners. Yikes. Only having 2 options we slowly crept towards the highest point of the bridge with cars laying on their horns giving us massholes their finest New York welcome. We cleared the bridge with a few hair follicles to spare.
Finally we were off the parkway and a friendly New Yorker followed us out and stopped to give us directions to make a safe exit out of New York. For convenience sake he drew the map right on the hood of our bus. We handed him a CD for his troubles and were on our way.
We spent the night in a spacious Wal Mart parking lot with not a bridge in sight. Brent edged out a win in Monopoly to give him a total of 2 tour wins since last April. We refueled the propane tank at Hocon Gas. They were extremely friendly and helped us out big time on our journey. We just made dinner on the stove with our fresh propane and are getting ready for our show at Cousin Larry's in Danbury CT.
We'll see you tomorrow.
Just in case anyone wants to see the video clip from Planes, Trains and Automobiles. It's posted below. Such a great movie.