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Old 04-04-2016, 05:07 PM   #1
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East Bridgewater , Massachusetts
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Propane tanks and tunnels

We are newbies with a 25FC. We were excited living south of Boston to travel north either through the Big Dig (Tip O'Neil Tunnel) up 93 to get to New Hampshire, Maine and also through the Ted Williams Tunnel to get to Winthrop to see family. We heard no propane tanks allowed.

Anyone have info on tunnels around the country?

I have read some threads about turning the tanks off for ferries (we plan on going to Martha's Vineyard this summer? Can they be empty? Crazy expensive.

Thanks!
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Old 04-04-2016, 05:36 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums!

Propane restrictions are done separately for each tunnel, bridge, ferry etc. by the governing agency. You can search for each location with ease.

Also this site's Google search function works well, and here are the results for "propane restrictions" revealing many previous threads:

https://cse.google.com/cse?cx=011403...ions&gsc.sort=

In theory emptying your propane tanks should make things easier, but it may complicate things as the person in charge may want you to prove they are empty, and will treat you as having propane in them, even if you do not. (IMO)

Various RV orgs have map functions for trip planning, and they usually give you a heads up for restrictions like propane and height. Good Sam Club is one example.

For the Tip O'Neill tunnel, I have not been able to find any published regs online. In general the forums have lots of posts that say basically -- no propane in any tunnel -- go around. I know this is true for the Baltimore and NYC tunnels, so I would assume it applies to ALL tunnels.

Good luck!
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Old 04-04-2016, 07:42 PM   #3
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Seems to me you need to somehow check your specific route in advance to be sure.

But even if you don't, surely there must be signs sufficiently in advance of the tunnel to shut off any propane tans if that is what is needed, or to detour if no propane tanks are allowed even if shut off?

That would seem reasonable to me - but maybe that is expecting too much!


We just came home on I-77 from Florida last week (to avoid a rockslide on I-75!)

We had to use several quite long tunnels, and neither had any signs - that we could see - saying anything about propane, so through we went - not only with propane but also with the fridge running on gas at the time - maybe not the smartest thing to do, but once we suddenly came upon the tunnnels with no advance notice (unless of course we missed seeing it) there was no place to pull off and shut off the propane even if i had wanted to do so!


Brian.
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Old 04-04-2016, 08:19 PM   #4
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The following link has good information for a variety of things, once it opens, do a find on page in your browser for propane, you'll see the restrictions for various states, some are NO TANKS others are just that they need to be OFF. All tunnels in MA are off limits to tanks, I always just take 128 around the city anyways.

http://www.woodalls.com/articledetai...icleID=2799181

Oh ya, this too

http://www.rvtripwizard.com/rv-info/...n-tunnels.html
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Old 04-04-2016, 08:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
. . . maybe not the smartest thing to do, but once we suddenly came upon the tunnnels with no advance notice (unless of course we missed seeing it) there was no place to pull off and shut off the propane even if i had wanted to do so!

Brian.
The signage is usually very small and very close to the forbidden tunnel/bridge/etc. but ignorance of the law is no excuse. I would hate to be pulled over for a violation and have a trip stopped dead in the tracks because I had not planned ahead. There was a thread a few months ago about someone from NJ heading to Florida, in which this issue was discussed about the Baltimore tunnels I think. A violation of the HazMat laws forbidding propane in tunnels is a heavy duty violation, and the authorities WILL HALT your trip as I understand it, and maybe put you under physical arrest ("jail" in other words). Plus the fines are very heavy.

Forewarned is forearmed . . .

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Old 04-04-2016, 08:56 PM   #6
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MassDOT clearer mark the tunnels across Boston (with Hazardous Cargo (HC) signage, and specifically saying NO Propane). They even post alternate routes for vehicles needing to cross the city.

https://www.massdot.state.ma.us/high...signation.aspx
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
.... snip......
We had to use several quite long tunnels, and neither had any signs - that we could see - saying anything about propane, so through we went - not only with propane but also with the fridge running on gas at the time - maybe not the smartest thing to do, but once we suddenly came upon the tunnnels with no advance notice (unless of course we missed seeing it) there was no place to pull off and shut off the propane even if i had wanted to do so!


Brian.
Since propane vapor is 1.5 times heavier than air. If it is spilled it will pool in the lowest point, an explosive situation.
Tunnels that go below water are slope downward, where propane would pool if spilled. Any spark could cause ignition.
Tunnels on I-77, and most tunnels in the mountains, have roadways that are generally sloped toward the entrance where spilled propane vapor (and water) would naturally flow out and dissipate.
I assume that is why there are restrictions on some.
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:12 PM   #8
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tunnel & propane

Congratulations and welcome to the Airstream Forums.
Signage on the Central Artery says NO PROPANE the O'Neil tunnels. This also goes for the Ted Williams tunnels to and from Logan Airport
We live in Scituate, Ma. When we travel to NH, Me or the Maritimes we take Rte 3 north and at the Braintree split we take Rte 128/95 north and leave 128 and continue up 95 leaving 128 in Peabody.
Save yourself a lot of headaches and avoid ALL the Boston tunnels
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:28 PM   #9
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MV travel.

If you are traveling to the Vineyard with your Airstream, check with the Steamship Authority before the season begins. Also if you are staying at the State Park, you ought to check the availability for campsites dates
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:29 PM   #10
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If you come To BC and ride one the largest ferry fleets you'll find the restriction is that your valves are shut off and they give you a tag to place on them confirming they are off during the voyage. Otherwise no problems and no rules in tunnels to my knowledge.
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:34 PM   #11
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Others have commented about New England tunnels. I can say from my travels that I95 in Baltimore has a no propane tunnel. However, we went through the Chessapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel legally with tanks full but turned off at the valves. Ditto the NC ferry system (twice). Net: check your specific route using the sources cited above.
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:40 PM   #12
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We have travelled the ferries in WA State and from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland. Both allow propane but it must be turned off and tagged.

Our GPS has an option to avoid tunnels when plotting our route. A useful feature to use for the unanticipated tunnel when traveling in an unfamiliar region.
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:25 PM   #13
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There's a tunnel in the Virginia Beach, VA area (clearly marked at least twice) where you MUST pull over. A uniformed employee WILL come out and, you must show them that the propane is OFF at which time you're allowed tunnel access. At the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, I only had to state that my propane was turned off (maybe I had a toll taker with a relaxed attitude). Near Baltimore, there's a tunnel with strict limits of how much propane you may have (up to ten cylinders, each with NO more that ten pounds of propane. No, I have no idea how they came up with that).

Be aware, MANY GPS units do NOT give you the opportunity to enter propane. Those units will not be able to keep you away from where you shouldn't go, when you do carry propane. As already mentioned, ignorance of the law is no excuse. When on the road, stop in a real truck stop. Every year, I buy the current issue of the Rand McNally Motor Carrier Atlas. The heavy duty, laminated version has an MSRP of $79.95. Truck stops sell it for $29.95. It's the "bible" for professional truckers and, will have all sorts of useful information therein.
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