Measuring Your Truck Camper

Truck camper hit low bridge

Know The Height of Your Truck Camper

Knowing the height of your truck camper can prevent a very costly disaster. Understand that every state is different as to whether they mark the height of bridges, tunnels or not, or whether that signposted is RV hits a lowaccurate. Upon approaching a state/town bridge or tunnel, don’t always trust the post height sign. Local and state bridges don’t have to abide by federal regulations. So, many bridges or tunnels will be significantly lower, particularly the further you get away from major commercial areas.

Measuring Your Truck Camper

Start by placing your TC on a hard-level surface such as a driveway. Measure from the ground to the top of the highest object on your TC. The air conditioner and TV antenna/satellite dish could be the tallest objects. Once you have the height, consider adding a safety margin – add two or three inches to the height and post this new height on your dashboard where you and the passenger will see it.

The safety margin of those extra added inches will consider the possibility that the road’s original surface may have been paved over. Repaving a road can lower bridge and tunnel clearances by 2 inches with each repaving. In addition, the height clearance warning signs may not have been updated after the last repaving job.


Another safety measure to consider when using a GPS unit is to overstate the height of your TC in the GPS  height settings. By adding two inches to the height of your TC, the GPS should provide a warning on your intended route.

GPS Examples

If the height of your TC is 11 feet, 6 inches, set the GPS height setting to 11 feet, 8 inches, or more in the GPS unit. Then, when you input your itinerary into the GPS, the unit should warn that a bridge or tunnel with low clearance is on the route. You will be able to alter your route.

Confirm the height with the local authority, such as the police department or Department of Public Works (DPW).

Words of Warning from the US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration:

Chapter 2C Warning Signs and Object Marker, Section 2C.02 Application of Warning Signs:

“The use of warning signs should be kept to a minimum as the unnecessary use of warning signs tends to breed disrespect for all signs.”

Height sign

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