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Crossing the chesapeake bay conduit tunnel with an rv - in the open

 

New experiences make me nervous, and I believe that holds true for most of us. Towing our fifth wheel all through a major tunnel for the first time was such an experience. To top it off, this tunnel was one of the chief I know of: the Chesapeake Bay Association Tunnel, or austerely the Bridge-Tunnel, when dialogue with locals.

The Bridge-Tunnel is quite a site to observe for those of us who be aware giant production projects. It is a 20-mile-long channel on US highway 13, between the Delmarva Cape to the Virginia mainland over Chesapeake Bay. Of the 20 miles, two one-mile segments engulf to the bay floor, allowing large ships to pass above.

For new RVers like us, the tunnels hold a few challenges:

  • Determining if propane is allowed
  • Having to tow RV over two narrow lanes
  • RV travel is barred in winds of 40 mph and over, which was a clear chance in January

Despite these issues, we added the Bridge-Tunnel to our route in order to avoid iciness coarsen in the mountains along the western coast of the bay.

We left the RV park near Ocean City, Maryland, early in the dawn to exceed the approaching thunderstorm. With only a half hour to go ahead of attainment the Bridge-Tunnel, it was looking like we managed to stay well ahead of the storm. Until, that is, a driver certain to knock over a power line and halted all lanes of interchange for an hour.

Just as transfer happening emotive again, the wind began to blow fiercely. By the time we reached the Bridge-Tunnel toll booths, heavy winds and rain were buffeting the truck and trailer. Our hopes of crossing the bay ahead of the storm vanished.

A few days beforehand our trip, we contacted the CBBT Commission to make sure they allow propane all through the tunnels. They clued-up us that as long as the propane is shut off at the bottle, we were free to cross. As we approached the toll booths, we were looking for the rest area they told us about so we may pull over and turn off the propane. Due to the cold weather, we sought after to run the heating system as long as doable to avoid the pipes from freezing. A few hundred feet from the gates a sign critical left into the rest area, but to us it appeared as if it was pointing down a dirt road. At that time we did not announcement that the parking lot was a bit further, just beforehand the gates.

Thinking that I missed it, and having heard stories of stiff fines if jammed with the propane running, I categorical to pull over on the right shoulder just ahead of the toll booths. It only took a few seconds for me to jump out and turn off the propane bottles, but that was adequate for the truckers to make heartless clarification over the [an error occurred while dealing out this directive] about my inappropriate parking. Looking back at the situation, I can't assume a conundrum with me pulling up to the booth and elucidation to the attendant that I missed the turn and still considered necessary to turn off the propane.

As expected, the attendant asked us to take the U-turn lane into the parking lot (the one we missed earlier) until the high winds subsided. We pulled into the parking lot and fixed a few RV's that have before now been diverted. In a short time the parking lot was full of RV's and trucks devoid of loads.

We had a quick lunch and absolute to take a nap. Both of us had mild cold symptoms and the break from compelling was welcome. It was arduous to sleep in the rocking ad and with the noise of heavy rain, but it felt refreshing nevertheless. Four hours after stopping in the parking lot, the winds calmed. Officials with broken illumination and sirens came all the way through the parking lot to let us know we may cross. Talk about a passage jam! Hundreds of RV's and trucks headed for the definite exit from all directions. Although the come to of vehicles, the parking lot clear surprisingly fast with the aid of a fasten of officers directing traffic.

Choppy gray waves stirred by moderate winds made the crossing eerie. Gusts of wind could still be felt as they hit the side of the fifth wheel, building us thankful for not having to cross at the height of the storm. Five hours behind, we at length here on the Virginia mainland.

I'm not sure what it is about Norfolk, but even with the fact that I have motivated all through it more than a few times in the past, I all the time administer to take a wrong turn; this time was no exception.

At our disposal we had in print directions, trucker's map, and a GPS, yet we still managed to take a turn that took us into the north part of town. As we worked our way deeper into town aligned with our best efforts, our anxiety rose.

No assault to the good colonize of Virginia, but a touch about Norfolk caused us both to lose our map comprehension abilities and we were assembly our location worse at each turn.

It was time to take a break. We pulled into a store parking lot and took some deep breaths to regain our calm. Tolerantly we reviewed the maps again and intended our outlet from this trap. At last we were departure Norfolk behind, resigned to the fact that we have lost half a day of travel. As we headed into the backdrop sun, a fiery red dusk melted away our enduring worries.

Charles Kerekes is a fulltime RVer roaming the US with his children and maintains the ChanginGears. com web RV site.


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