Several months ago, per the request of readers Eve and John Burton, we looked at roads RVs should not be on http://www.rvlife.com/index.php/67-dave/1983-not-the-road-for-rvs.html Well, I have another road for the list. Actually, I already knew this road was not suitable for RVs, but circumstances, or maybe just plain male ego, sent me down a section of it anyway. Unfortunately, our new 2010 RV paid the price, as the raised white letters on our tires now read like pig Latin and our awning fabric has a unique perforated see through option! The road I refer to is the Historic Columbia River Highway in Oregon, specifically the very narrow section on either side of Multnomah Falls. You see we were camped with friends just east of there at Ainsworth State Park (a nice full hookup park) with easy on / off freeway access and check out time came before we had explored everything on our list. No problem, we would just check out and take the RVs down the Historic Highway to Oneonta Gorge, finish our exploring and head home from there. After exploring the gorge and preparing to leave, I noticed there was not enough room to turn around, plus fuel to get back to Portland was getting low. That pretty much left us with one choice which was to continue west on the Old Historic Highway past Multnomah Falls rejoining the freeway past the falls. The only problem is the highway contains several sections where there is a tall concrete curb on one side of the road or decorative concrete railing on the other and in some places BOTH AT THE SAME TIME! I also need to mention that the road was built nearly 100 years ago when motor vehicles were narrower and highway engineers didn’t see the need to leave any extra room for shoulders. Anyway, we survived better than the RV and the color eventually returned to my knuckles and I was able to pry them from the steering wheel. Just one more not so pleasant adventure in RVing.
Note: Those of you in seven foot wide RVs, like van conversions, lightweight trailers and tent trailers should be able to successfully negotiate this section of the highway. Those of you in eight foot wide RVs have been forewarned. If those of you in 8’ – 6” wide RVs are even thinking about it, let me know and I will call the guys in the white coats, because you’re crazy!
One of the wider sections!
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.