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Old 02-05-2015, 05:56 AM   #1
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Tow redwood with class C license

I am seriously considering buying a new tow vehicle and a redwood fifth wheel. This would be my first rv purchase. I am new to this potential life style. thanks in advance.
The tow vehicle's GVWR is 14000 lbs and the redwood GVWR is 16,500 lbs; can I legally tow a fifth wheel with a Class C Texas driving license? It seems that I would need a class A drivers license. However, the rules are confusing.
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:04 AM   #2
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In the U.S. they passed laws many years ago making the commercial licenses the same in each state. The CDL class A is for commercial use ( used to be class D). Since you wont be commercial, a regular drivers license should work regardless of weight.
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Old 02-05-2015, 04:26 PM   #3
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Carefull Dave, many states if the Combined Gross is over 26K they require some sort of addition to a regular license. And because of RWs being heavy there are many of us that are over the 26K number. NY requires an "R" endorsement, Florida doesn't required anything, some other require a non-commercial CDL and everything inbetween. You really need to check with the State where you'll be licensed.
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Old 02-05-2015, 04:54 PM   #4
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Carefull Dave, many states if the Combined Gross is over 26K they require some sort of addition to a regular license. And because of RWs being heavy there are many of us that are over the 26K number. NY requires an "R" endorsement, Florida doesn't required anything, some other require a non-commercial CDL and everything inbetween. You really need to check with the State where you'll be licensed.

That's a good point, but a class "A" isn't necessary. The class "A" endorsement is for all single and combination vehicles with the exception of "stinger steer".

You're right, some of the states my require a special endorsement due to the weight but I seriously doubt they'll require a 80,000 lb classification.

Personally I'm kind of torn. I don't want the government getting anymore involved in our lives, however some people can't handle these rigs very well and need taught.
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Old 02-05-2015, 05:40 PM   #5
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Dave,
California is one. They require a non-commercial class a if the GVWR is over 15,000. (This is the weight rating of the trailer only, not its actual weight.) For trailers 10,000-15,000 they require an endorsement called a restriction 41.


Bottom line for those of us in California, most of us need a non-commercial class a. BTW, this is for 5th wheels....no restrictions for motorhomes!


Ken
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:19 PM   #6
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Always best to do your research on the state website you plan to licence the vehicles in. I went so far as to go to the govt weigh scale and talk to the guys that would be pulling me over and writing a ticket or impounding my truck and trailer to be sure I had what was required. Canada is getting cranky about this now with these big rigs and weekend warriors (for the most part) hauling them down the highways.
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:45 PM   #7
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Am I mistaken to believe as long as your legal in your home state your good in any state? This is just in regards to the weight rating req's, not towing length and state specific towing laws.
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:52 PM   #8
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Lwg,
Yes, you're correct. Brad's point is spot on. I am in the insurance business and insurance laws vary from state to state but all policies stipulate that they will conform to local regulations.


Can you imagine the nightmare we'd have crossing state lines and having to conform to local towing/weight regs? It would be a giant mess!


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Old 02-06-2015, 02:39 AM   #9
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Lwg,
Yes, you're correct. Brad's point is spot on. I am in the insurance business and insurance laws vary from state to state but all policies stipulate that they will conform to local regulations.


Can you imagine the nightmare we'd have crossing state lines and having to conform to local towing/weight regs? It would be a giant mess!


Ken

Ken, that's how truck driving was in the old days. Each state would issue laws and it wasn't uncommon to have 5 or 6 drivers licenses. There's still an issue with length even with the governed CDL because some states wouldn't allow the 53 ft trailers. It used to be that when you left California, you had to show proof you bought fuel in the state or you were fined due to not paying fuel taxes . And if you had a chrome bug guard on the front of the truck, either you removed it or panted it black with spray paint.

Such sweet memories
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Old 02-07-2015, 03:18 AM   #10
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Thanks

I would like to thank everybody for their input. It appears that in order to tow a redwood (16,500 GVWR) legally with a 1 ton truck, I have to get a class A non-commercial license. Under the CDL section of the code RV's are exempt but the state of Texas code states that a class C license holder cannot pull a trailer that is over 10,000 lbs., unless the combined weight of both the trailer and tow vehicle is under 26001 lbs. An individual that drives a MH will need a class B non-comercial license if his rig's GVWR is 26,001 lbs or greater.
I bet most people pulling or driving these large RV's are not in compliance with the Texas transportation stature. Tomorrow I am going to the Houston RV show and hope to get some more information on this issue.
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Old 02-07-2015, 03:33 AM   #11
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It's not just Texas, it's many states and many folks driving without the proper class license or required endorsement.
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Old 02-07-2015, 03:47 AM   #12
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Ken you are probably right but in all my travels in ca in the last 14 years I have never seen an Rv pulled over by the CHP or local cops ever
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Old 02-07-2015, 04:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Godog View Post
I would like to thank everybody for their input. It appears that in order to tow a redwood (16,500 GVWR) legally with a 1 ton truck, I have to get a class A non-commercial license. Under the CDL section of the code RV's are exempt but the state of Texas code states that a class C license holder cannot pull a trailer that is over 10,000 lbs., unless the combined weight of both the trailer and tow vehicle is under 26001 lbs. An individual that drives a MH will need a class B non-comercial license if his rig's GVWR is 26,001 lbs or greater.
I bet most people pulling or driving these large RV's are not in compliance with the Texas transportation stature. Tomorrow I am going to the Houston RV show and hope to get some more information on this issue.
This is an interesting subject. As mentioned earlier I wouldn't want the government to get involved with mandating licensing requirements for RV'ers, but with that being said, I have talked to some people who admitted driving nothing bigger than a sedan and now drive a 45 foot diesel pusher towing a car or trailer.
Scary

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Old 02-07-2015, 04:35 AM   #14
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Last summer my wife and I were test driving some new Tiffin diesel pushers and all of them were between 42-45 foot. Although a sales guy did go with us, not one time did they ask me if I had a drivers license or experience driving an RV.
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Old 02-07-2015, 04:38 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Godog View Post
I would like to thank everybody for their input. It appears that in order to tow a redwood (16,500 GVWR) legally with a 1 ton truck, I have to get a class A non-commercial license. Under the CDL section of the code RV's are exempt but the state of Texas code states that a class C license holder cannot pull a trailer that is over 10,000 lbs., unless the combined weight of both the trailer and tow vehicle is under 26001 lbs. An individual that drives a MH will need a class B non-comercial license if his rig's GVWR is 26,001 lbs or greater.
I bet most people pulling or driving these large RV's are not in compliance with the Texas transportation stature. Tomorrow I am going to the Houston RV show and hope to get some more information on this issue.

When I'm fully loaded with full fuel and 1/3 tank of fresh water, I weigh 26,500
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Old 02-07-2015, 04:40 AM   #16
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When I'm fully loaded with full fuel and 1/3 tank of fresh water, I weigh 26,500
Better lay off the Twinkies Dave

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Old 02-07-2015, 04:44 AM   #17
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Better lay off the Twinkies Dave


it would be the Jack not pastries.
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Old 02-07-2015, 03:45 PM   #18
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The scariest drivers on the road are the people driving large rental trucks (U-Haul and such) and large RVs (Large Motorhomes and 5th Wheels).
Most of these drivers have never driven such a large vehicle and in most cases no special licensing or driver training is required.
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Old 02-08-2015, 06:47 AM   #19
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My 36re and 08 GMC CC dually 2wd loaded and full of water is only 23,400. Can't be too many over 26k.

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Old 02-08-2015, 04:26 PM   #20
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I'm at 25,100 with all the stuff we normally have and half tank water. My RL has all but Gen and does have Quartz Countertops.
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