Ask Mr. NoobieQUESTION: Hi. We have a 32 ft RV that is 13 ft high. I am looking for a GPS / mapping app for my iPad that shows the height of bridges. I was using “GPS DRIVE” over the weekend and it sent us on roads that had very low clearance (11 ft). We had to backup the RV to find a turn around place. Do you know of something we can use? Thank you for your time. – Laura S. from Lockport, New York

ANSWER: This is what I love about technology. I’ve used various GPS navigators for years and years and never once stopped to think that someone might need to know the height of the bridges along the route. But now that I read your question, it seems like such an obvious request, especially for people with RVs.

I first thought that the answer was going to be to find a GPS navigator that allows you to download bridge height information to it. But after doing a little research, this doesn’t appear to be the solution.

What I did find were a couple of apps that appeared to give you all of the information you need to find the bridge heights across the country. The first app is called Low Clearance Locations and the second is called Camp & RV – Tent Camping to RV Parks. However, while these apps appear to give you the information you want, they don’t necessarily integrate with any kind of navigation which is a major bummer.

The best all-in-one solution

Rand McNally RV GPS appI think I struck gold though when I found the Rand McNally RV GPS app. Check out this list of features:

  • Safe and easy routing for 11 types of RV, customized for the specific vehicle
  • Routing based on legal and physical restrictions, such as low bridges, weight limits, and propane restrictions, and favoring right or left-hand turns depending on RV size and class
  • Warnings for speed limit changes, sharp curves, dirt roads, and other potential hazards
  • RV checklists–Prepare for trip departure, campsite setup, and more. Or create your own lists

The app is a bit pricey at $99.99 but I’m guessing if it saves you even a handful of times from having to turn around because you can’t fit under a bridge, it will be worth every penny!

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Patric Welch

Patric Welch founded Noobie, Inc. in 2006 to help others effectively choose and use technologies to enhance their work and lives. The catchy company name earned Welch the name of Mr. Noobie®, but, in reality, Welch is an experienced and professional techie. Unlike most techies, Welch evaluates emerging technologies from a noobie’s perspective and provides technology education for all skill levels in a friendly, non-threatening way.

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