Do you break into a cold sweat when squeezing your RV through highway toll lanes? This unlucky traveler probably did and unfortunately reacted a bit too late when crashing into the Golden Gate Bridge toll lane.
The RVer’s drive into the city by the bay didn’t start out so well. “Luckily, when we arrived on scene it turned out the only reason the occupants were trapped inside is because the only door to the RV was ripped off in the collision and the vehicle was wedged into the toll booth,” stated the California Highway Patrol on their August 2 Facebook post.
“Golden Gate Bridge crews were able to extract the RV and repair the Toll Plaza in less than an hour. The occupants suffered very minor injuries and were treated at the scene.”
If the damaged motorhome fell into the average RV width of 8 feet 5 inches, it’s not clear why it got wedged into the toll lane. Because according to the Golden Gate Bridge website, the designated wide lane measures 11 feet, 10 inches wide.
“When traveling south through the Toll Plaza, use only the two right-hand toll lanes; these toll lanes are wider (11 feet, 10 inches) than the other toll lanes (9 feet, 2 inches) in the Toll Plaza,” bridge authorities advise.
The width of Golden Gate Bridge toll lanes are about the same as other toll plaza lanes around the U.S. All must comply with the U.S. Federal Highway Administration’s lane and shoulder width design parameters which state that a “Toll lane width should be a minimum of 11 feet, with 12 feet desirable to accommodate large vehicles.”
Since your RV probably doesn’t exceed the required width limit, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about when you drive your RV through highway toll lanes, right? Well according to some RVers, not always.
“Long story short, I struck the concrete barricade with my steps. Did about $3000 damage, including the cost of the steps, fiberglass work and painting, etc.” – iRV2 member Gripper
“I lost lug nut covers on both front wheels at the same toll both at the same time with a small concrete inverted V directing me thru the booth. It was in Gulf Coastal Texas. Very strange. I had it pretty well centered and stopped. The toll booth operator waved me thru and I picked them clean off.” – iRV2 member Lindsay Richards.
Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid the white-knuckle journey of squeezing your RV through highway toll lanes. When your time comes, remember that the vast majority of RVers do not end up as news headlines like the Golden Gate Bridge driver. Just go slow and choose the far right lane for oversized vehicles whenever possible. The remember the wise words of iRV2 member Bill Adams:
“If you keep your driver’s side hardware as close as possible to the obstructions without hitting, the passenger side will clear by default.”
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.