FMCA News and Views.
FMCA News and Views.
The Mile Marker By FMCA
Dear RVer,
As the year 2019 winds down — how did it get to be December, anyway? — a bright, shiny new year awaits on the horizon. Are you ready? This month we’re bridging the gap, in more ways than one.
Regardless of whether you are a snowbird, or your RV hibernates all winter, you still can plan that next road trip. We hear Arizona is pretty in spring (wink wink). Registration is open for FMCA’s Sunsets + Saguaros convention, March 26 through 29, 2020, in Tucson. 
We also invite you to read about some of the most fascinating bridges in the U.S. and Canada; learn how to play the game of bridge; and glean handy tips on bridge height clearances, RV weights, GPS tech, and more.
As we prepare to cross the bridge from 2019 into 2020, we wish you health, happiness, and safe travels.
Let's Go!
The FMCA Team
Q:  Hey Fantasy Tours, what exciting tours are available for 2020?
A:  If you’re looking for fun in the new year, look no further! Enjoy the sunny California coast on our Santa Barbara Rally where we’ll stay at a deluxe RV resort with luxurious amenities, tour local wineries, go whale watching and explore Solvang, a quaint Danish village. Our festive Branson Christmas Rally is a holiday extravaganza in the Ozarks – a combination of the season’s best in musical, comical & theatrical celebrations (includes 10 live shows!) and local area activities that will be sure to warm your heart. For more information, call 855-385-3622 or visit
Members-only discounts on RV caravans and so much more - Join today
How Do I?
Navigating Bridges
For many RVers, bridges make them feel a little nervous…to say the least. Will my RV fit under this bridge? Does my RV weigh too much to cross that bridge? Bridge safety for RVers (and other motorists they may encounter) comes down to trip planning, and FMCA has several tips. 

Bridge Height Clearance 
This is a gray area for RVers for several reasons:
1. RVs are not considered commercial motor vehicles subject to federal size regulations.
2. Your RV is subject to state regulations and can thus be subject to state height restrictions. 
3. The U.S. Federal Highway Administration sets bridge clearances at 14-16 feet, unless a special design exception is obtained. However, many state and local bridges do not have to abide by the federal regulations. Many bridges will be significantly lower than the 14-16 ft. clearance, especially in rural areas.

Because there is no nationwide bridge height regulation in the U.S., bridge safety often comes down to “driver beware". Part of being a responsible RV owner is knowing how tall your RV is. Do not rely on your owner’s manual, especially if you have modified your RV. Climb on top of your roof (or ask a professional the next time your RV is in the shop) and measure from the highest point – the top of your satellite dish, solar panels, or A/C unit – not necessarily your RV’s roof. Click here for more tips from Roaming Times on knowing your RV’s height. 

Know Your RV’s Weight
Much like height, when it comes to weight, it is also “driver beware” for RVers. Know your RV’s loaded weight, and pay attention to the signs when you are about to cross a bridge. While bridge capacity is not federally regulated, local laws apply. Many states will charge you if your RV’s weight exceeds the maximum bridge capacity and you are at fault for causing a safety issue. If you have any reservations about the bridge’s weight limits, do not cross! 

Check Forums
As you plan a trip, check online forums including the FMCA Forums or IRV2. Many have threads about bridge height and weight restrictions. If you’re concerned about your route, it’s very likely another RVer has already figured out a detour.

Embrace Technology
When purchasing a GPS device or app for your RV trips, do your homework. These days many, including the CoPilot systems, allow you to plan a route according to your RV’s size and class (height, weight, and length) to prevent dangerous run-ins with bridges or tunnels. 

There is also new technology on the market that uses exterior sensors to measure the height of overhead obstacles such as bridges and overpasses. The GiraffeG4 will warn you if the clearance is too low, allowing you to back out and prevent damage to your RV. 
FMCA Adventure
Bridge Bucket List
Mackinac Bridge
Mackinac Bridge
Don’t just cross that bridge when you come to it; make plans to visit some of the spectacular bridges that dot the country. The list goes on and on, but we’ve chosen five diverse spans in the U.S., listed from east to west. If you suffer from gephyrophobia (fear of crossing bridges), feel free to scroll past!

Seven Mile Bridge – Beautiful ocean views greet travelers on this modern bridge in the Florida Keys. Vestiges of the original railroad bridge are visible and now open only to pedestrians.
Mackinac Bridge – The longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere, the “Mighty Mac” spans the Straits of Mackinac and connects the lower and upper peninsulas of Michigan. The 5-mile bridge opens to pedestrians each year on Labor Day.
Royal Gorge Bridge – Ranked as the highest suspension bridge in the world for 75 years, this span across the Arkansas River in Canon City, Colorado, was built as a tourist attraction — not for transportation. It affords stunning views of a canyon deep enough to hide the Empire State Building.
London Bridge – Dismantled and transported 5,400 miles from London, England, to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, a remote desert town, the historic bridge is now the second-most-popular attraction in the state — behind the Grand Canyon.
Golden Gate Bridge – Ten million visitors each year visit this spectacular art-deco-style bridge in San Francisco, California, with its signature International Orange color and 746-foot-tall towers.
FMCA Clubhouse
RV Marketplace
FMCA's RV Marketplace is the best place to find the products and services you need to live the RV lifestyle. Snowbirding this winter? This handy directory can help you prepare. With 1,000+ FMCA commercial member listings, many of whom offer discounts to FMCA members, you’ll likely be able to locate a vendor close to your location in just a few clicks, and save money in the process!
The Perfect Gift For RVers
It’s the time of year when people love to give gifts, and for the traveler on your shopping list, we recommend the 10th Edition FMCA North American Road Atlas and Travel Guide. Our most up-to-date atlas, it features an index of FMCA commercial campgrounds and pinpoints big-rig friendly locations. Other useful spots on the map include Walmart and Sam’s Clubs stores, Pilot Flying J and Loves Travel Center locations, and even Cracker Barrel restaurants.
One of the best parts of traveling the open road is pulling off at unique roadside attractions and travel destinations. The new FMCA RV Club app comes with access to Roadtrippers, a unique travel website that connects users to off-the-beaten-path destinations. Roadtrippers streamlines the planning, booking, and navigation process of a new destination in a convenient and fun way.
Visit the Events Calendar to see all upcoming events.
Explore Saguaro National Park
FMCA members with the user name “Martha Chuck” keep a traveling blog on the FMCA Forums called Wandering Toes. In it, they write of exploring Saguaro National Park! Lucky for us, they created a video to go along with their adventures and spark wanderlust. Watch here!
P.S. Did you know? From March 26-29, 2020, FMCA will be in Tucson, AZ, for the 101st International Convention and RV Expo. Join us before or after your Saguaro National Park adventure!
Gatlinburg's SkyBridge
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is home to the world's longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. What a view of the Great Smoky Mountains! Learn about the bridge (and other must-sees in the area) in this blog by Soulful RV Family. 
RVer's Delight
It's Tailgate Time!

Bridge is one of the most popular card games in the world. But even if you’re not a bridge player, hosting a card party in the campground can be a fun way to pass the time with friends, or to meet your campground neighbors. Plenty of other card games can be played instead. And, in addition to being great for your social life and helping you to relax and unwind, card playing brings other benefits. It can help with concentration, patience, logic, memory, and math skills. For children, playing cards and other games can help to teach them how to lose gracefully. And playing as a family helps to build great memories!
Learn the Basics of Bridge video:
Learn the Basics of Bridge
If you’ve always wanted to learn to play bridge, this quick tutorial covers the basics. It’s been said that bridge is “the game for a lifetime,” because no matter how long you’ve played, you always encounter new challenges and learn new things. Sounds kind of like the game of life, especially RV life.

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