Approaching toll booths

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Tom

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Is there a secret to approaching toll booths? When I'm driving, I prefer to use the bus or truck lane, but frequently I've seen "RVs this way" signs that direct you to a regular (aka car) booth. I must admit to having a tough time judging it, mainly because, as I start to enter the booth, the light suddenly dims significantly. Those booths just don't seem wide enough for the coach (and mirrors) to fit comfortably.
 

Ned

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RVs don't fit comfortably in the toll lanes.  We've got the scratches on the mirrors to prove it :)

If there are no signs specifically for RVs, we will go to the truck lanes.  If a semi can make it, then we can too.  I'm not so sure about the car lanes.  Then again, we often deliberately avoid toll roads and take the more scenic routes.
 

Ron

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We tend to avoid toll roads when possible.  However when we are faced with a toll booth or the ding a ling California inspection stations we will take the same lane as the 18 wheelers unless we feel comfortable with the car lanes.  Regardless of what signage they have we take what ever lane WE feel is not going to result in damage or scratches.  Have never had anybody challenge this procedure yet.
 

Tom

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Ned said:
we often deliberately avoid toll roads and take the more scenic routes.

Good strategy, but some of the routes we travel have toll bridges with no easy alternative.
 

Tom

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Ron said:
Regardless of what signage they have we take what ever lane WE feel is not going to result in damage or scratches.

Is that also true when crossing the border Ron? Those guys are armed and, if you disregard the signage, they just might think you're one of the bad guys.
 

Ned

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Tom,

I didn't say it was easy, just scenic :)  We haven't found anyplace we travel that couldn't be gotten to on other than a toll road.  It may have been a long way around, but it could be done.

The worst toll booths we've seen are on the Chicago Skyway.  Last time through Chicago, we completely avoided ALL toll roads and it didn't take us much longer.
 

Ron

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Tom said:
Is that also true when crossing the border Ron? Those guys are armed and, if you disregard the signage, they just might think you're one of the bad guys.

I don't recall ever seeing a sign at the border telling us to go to a specific booth.  As I recall when ever we crossed the Northern boarder there was ample room.  Besides if you approach slow as you should anyway there should be no problem.  Have never had anybody question why didn't comply with the signage.  Actually I can't remember to many cases of signs directing RV/s to a specific booth.
 

Steve CDN

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Toll lanes are bad enough, but border crossings are even more difficult to negotiate.  Most border crossings were built in the days of the interstate system, while many are undergoing reconstruction these days. m Those that are built in the old style need to be approached very slowly.

As we frequently cross the border in Eastern Canada, we have seen a variety of situations and most do not (specifically do not) allow RV's and motorhomes through the lanes for semi's.

Therefore RV's must pass through whatever is open...so caution and slow speed is the key.  Whoever is the co pilot at the time in our coach stands in the entry door well and checks for clearance on the passenger side, while the driver carefully lines up the driver side.  We do this at an extremely slow speed, and so far..touch fiberglass..our coach has suffered no damage.  In some situations the co pilot may want to actually get out and spot from the front to survey the upper as well as side clearance.

V-e-r-y  s-l-o-w speed.
 

Jim Dick

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Tom said:
Is there a secret to approaching toll booths? When I'm driving, I prefer to use the bus or truck lane, but frequently I've seen "RVs this way" signs that direct you to a regular (aka car) booth. I must admit to having a tough time judging it, mainly because, as I start to enter the booth, the light suddenly dims significantly. Those booths just don't seem wide enough for the coach (and mirrors) to fit comfortably.

I guess there's no real secret. What I do is slooow down and approach very cautiously keeping an eye on both mirrors. I try to position the driver's mirror so it just clears the booth. I figure the passenger mirror will then have enough room to pass. So far it has worked well. :) One must not be in a hurry to get through the booth. That's when an incident will happen. I also try to take the wide load lane whenever possible.

 

Tom

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Ron said:
I don't recall ever seeing a sign at the border telling us to go to a specific booth.

I've seen them at border crossings Ron, but don't recall specifically which ones.
 

Tom

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Steve said:
we have seen a variety of situations and most do not (specifically do not) allow RV's and motorhomes through the lanes for semi's.

That might be one of the crossings where I remember seeing signs Steve.

Whoever is the co pilot at the time in our coach stands in the entry door well and checks for clearance on the passenger side, while the driver carefully lines up the driver side.

That's kinda what we do. But, when I'm driving, I have a real issue just as I enter a booth and everything suddenly goes quite dark.
 

Jim Dick

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Tom said:
That might be one of the crossings where I remember seeing signs Steve.

That's kinda what we do. But, when I'm driving, I have a real issue just as I enter a booth and everything suddenly goes quite dark.

Tom,

Is that what is known as tunnel vision? :) I would guess that it is similar. It hasn't happened to me but I'll bet you are not the only one to experience it.
 

Tom

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Jim

I get my eyes tested regularly and one of the tests is for peripheral vision. I've always passed that test and have never been told I have tunnel vision. I don't know how to properly describe what I experience when entering a booth, but it sure throws me a curve, especially when I'm concentrating on the small distances between my mirrors and the booth structure. I might just ask my optometrist about it next time I'm in for a test.

Just remembered that I usually drive with prescription shades. As you see from my avatar, even when I'm not wearing shades, I'm wearing photochromatic (aka photo grey) lenses and have done for many years. Either of these might affect the "light" when I suddenly enter the confines of a booth.
 

Jim Dick

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Tom,

I was kidding about the tunnel vision but a consultation with your optometrist might reveal the source of the problem. It could have something to do with the close proximity of the sides of the booth. They certainly are not the most joyful of experiences while driving an RV! I remember the first time I had to drive through a toll booth. It scared the you know what out of me. Now it's just another thing to do while driving. Not so for many others, I'm sure.

 

Tom

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Since I drive the coach only 5-10% of the time, that might exacerbate the problem for me Jim.
 

Jim Dick

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Hi Tom,

Guess you'll have to get Chris to give up the driver's seat more. ;D It's true that lack of practice does make it harder.



 

JerArdra

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Tom said:
Is there a secret to approaching toll booths?

Tom,

It's easy...

Slow to 50 MPH

Wrap coins and bills in something heavy so when you throw them the wind does not carry them astray.

Watch your mirrors closely.

Close your eyes just as you are about to enter the narrow toll both lane and think about you new motorhome.

See...it's easy!

JerryF


 

Tom

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LOL Jerry. 50 mph on some of the bay area bridges might be a challenge even if the booths were 5x their current width.
 
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