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Towing a trailer that weighs 10,000lbs or more

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Old 10-29-2017, 06:04 AM
DuallyMike DuallyMike is offline
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I went to the DMV center in Allentown. It's right off of 22 at Airport road exit. First when I went they said I had to apply for a permit, like a learners permit. Don't recall if there was a fee, but I think there was like $15 or some trivial amount. The guy in charge there knew I had driven fifth wheels for years so he said I could schedule an appointment to come back for test the following week. Took the rig up (in weekday traffic at rush hour , no less!). He had told me to park in the back of the lot (It's huge- plenty of room). He had told me to go in and ask for him and he came out with his clipboard and a trainee! He says we're going to go over my pre trip inspection (WTF???). So I bull**** my way through that, explained about checking lights, the hitch connection, breakaway switch, and even threw in that I torque the lugs when checking tires. They have 2 long lines painted and he told me to pull the rig up and back it 1 spot over. Plenty of room and I also told him I'd need someone to watch the rear, but there isn't anything close. Guess as long as you get it between the lines you're good. He then says we're going on a road test. He hops in pass. side and says just pretend this is like your learners permit test when you were 16! Make sure you do all the traffic things, turn signals, stay in your lane and when you get to a stop sign make sure you stop and better be before the big whit e line on the road! So off we go, only 1 spot I had to make a wide turn and go into oncoming lane at stop sign. But apparently he was OK with it because we got back and he say- You're good to go. Stamped paperwork and that was it. If you've been towing for a while it's a pretty easy test. My license now says AM, for class A and motorcycle. Not sure if they charge me for the A, I know they do for the M. There is nothing commercial about it, so having someone with you or backing into a dock isn't an issue. But like I said, he never questioned my weight rating or anything in regards to weights. Maybe he figured because my truck is a dually all was good.
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Old 11-10-2017, 01:44 PM
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Similar in CA. Any bumper pull over 10k or a 5th wheel over 15k Requires a class A license, commercial or non commercial.

First you have to take a class A written test without air brakes. Next, when ready you have to schedule a driving test, ensuring you have a class A "instructor" with you to get there. Next, you'll have to take the 52 question safety check which includes a lot of what was mentioned above( tech indicated that over 60% of applicants fail this part of the test), take it seriously.

Next is the skills test in a large parking lot, backing up 100' in a 12' wide area. If you have to stop and change directions, they take points off to pass. Next is backing up into a marked receiving dock, moving your trailer into a 90 degree dock, stopping in a 3' block. If you get that far, you then have to pull out and drive around a cone on the pass side, staying within 4" of the cone with 1 trailer tire. Now, off to the road test after passing the skills test. To the others above, you have to stop before limit lines, know the height of any posted overpasses, many right turns without issue, etc. if all good, you pass.

As a non commercial class A, you don't have to go through the medical tests yearly as a commercial driver does, just complete a form every two years, indicating that you have gone to a doctor in the last two year and passed a physical.

Every state is slightly different so know your specific states requirements. Here, a buddy got a flat tire, CHP stopped to check on his license and insurance. He did not have a class A license as his trailer wt was over 17,500. The CHP gave him 15 minutes to get a driver or he was towing it away. Know your states laws.

Also, just to clarify, some of the conversation above, was about whether your insurance company would cover you in an accident, your fault or not, if you were driving without the proper driver's license.

That's a question only those involve in an accident can answer. Don't want to find out the hard way!
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:26 PM
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I'd be in trouble with a GCWR of 34K
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Old 11-10-2017, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferguson65 View Post
What DMV center did you go to for the non commercial class A? Did they want to see someone with a class A riding with you on the way there? Did they make you do the course as you would for a commercial class A? Or just go on a road test without running anything over? Im very good at backing but not comfortable with backing the rv blind side into a dock without a spotter. I'm very close to you, only about 25 minutes from 22, 78, and 309 intersections.

As to the registration, you are supposed to register for a combo registration. Total the truck and trailer gvwr and then register that as the "combo" weight on the truck. So you now pay over $500 a year to register the truck instead of $300. It just another way for PA to extort money from us, since a trailer over 10k can be registered permanent for $150 or so and they need a way to make up for that revenue loss over the long term.

Again​​​​​​ this is written "for commerce". While there is no recreational exemption, it is not enforced, and as you found out, for the most part nobody even knows about it. For that reason, I'll keep my money and the PA can stick it.
Is the test as you described for the California DMV or some other state. I've not read a description of the California road test with as many requirements as you described. Thanks for posting this
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Old 11-11-2017, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by TheLex View Post
Is the test as you described for the California DMV or some other state. I've not read a description of the California road test with as many requirements as you described. Thanks for posting this
​​​

The test I described is for Pennsylvania. sounds like R2Millers is in California. Again, best to check with your DMV in your state. I never knew about my own state requirements until my state inspection mechanic told me about it. Only reason he knew was one of his other customers got pulled over and told about it.
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:15 PM
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Since the subject of CA was raised, Californians who tow 5th wheel toy haulers and RVs greater than 10,000 lbs, but less than 15,000 lbs, can do so under a Class C license with a special Endorsement called Restriction 41. No driving test, no equipment test, no equipment inspection, no parking lot maneuvering test, no medical exam, and no biannual certification form in lieu of medical is required.


Simply pass a 19 question multiple choice written test for Non-Commercial Class A license, missing no more than three questions, and viola, your normal Class C license will be upgraded to enable to lawfully tow a 5th wheel toy hauler travel trailer up to 15,000 lb. GVWR.


If you do this in coordination with a normal license renewal, then the new license will arrive with the number "41" under the RSTR line beneath your DOB, and the reverse side of the license will explain in plain English what the code means, as most CHP and almost all municipal police personnel will have never heard of this Restriction before, and won't believe you unless they see it in writing on a state issued document.


On the back of the license, the DMV will print "RESTRICTIONS: 41 - Class A restricted to operating 5th wheel travel trailer between 10,000 and 15,000 GVWR"


The most difficult part of the process is educating each and every one of the minimum of 5 DMV clerks and supervisors and supervisor of the supervisors you will likely end up having to speak to in order for them to look through their policy manuals and finally figure out what to do, what test to administrate, and how to enter your having passed the test into the computer in order to update your regular license.


So search Restriction 41 on the DMV website, and bring print out of everything you find. They will still need to get the info from their own binders and books, but the print outs from the State of California websites will at least give your request enough credibility for them to engage in the effort to do so. Seriously.


Once armed with R-41 on your license, the CHP can't park you on the side of the road simply for towing a 5th wheel RV travel trailer weighing more than 10,000 lbs, as long as the trailer's GVWR is less than 15,000 lbs... because you followed the provisions of the law, took the test, received the endorsement, and therefore are not driving out of class. In this case, there is no adding up the GVWRs of truck and trailer combined. It is treated the same as if towing any trailer under 10K, in which case the GVWRs are not combined either.


The R41 restriction does NOT work for towing a dump trailer over 10K, even if the dump trailer is a 5th wheel or gooseneck, and even if the dump trailer is only 14K GVWR. The letter of the law says "travel trailer". Now, if you add a bathroom, a bed, and the other amenities that meet the statutory definition of RV, then you could make a fair case.
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  #22  
Old 12-06-2017, 10:12 PM
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Unless your towing that 5'er with a Tacoma, there's no way your going to beat the GCWR, when our trucks top out at 20k...99-03 7.3l...250/350
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  #23  
Old 12-11-2017, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferguson65 View Post
What DMV center did you go to for the non commercial class A? Did they want to see someone with a class A riding with you on the way there? Did they make you do the course as you would for a commercial class A? Or just go on a road test without running anything over? Im very good at backing but not comfortable with backing the rv blind side into a dock without a spotter. I'm very close to you, only about 25 minutes from 22, 78, and 309 intersections.

As to the registration, you are supposed to register for a combo registration. Total the truck and trailer gvwr and then register that as the "combo" weight on the truck. So you now pay over $500 a year to register the truck instead of $300. It just another way for PA to extort money from us, since a trailer over 10k can be registered permanent for $150 or so and they need a way to make up for that revenue loss over the long term.

Again​​​​​​ this is written "for commerce". While there is no recreational exemption, it is not enforced, and as you found out, for the most part nobody even knows about it. For that reason, I'll keep my money and the PA can stick it.
Ferguson,
If I recall correctly, I live "right around the corner" from you. I have yet to get my Non Commercial Class A, but I intend to, hoping that more DMV folks are more knowledgeable on the subject since its been coming up more and more in the past couple years. I was hoping to go over to the Dublin testing center and not have to go into Allentown, I guess whenever I go apply for my permit I will ask if they do the test for Non Com. Class A, and see what kind of response I get...
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Old 12-11-2017, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDBiker67 View Post
Ferguson,
If I recall correctly, I live "right around the corner" from you. I have yet to get my Non Commercial Class A, but I intend to, hoping that more DMV folks are more knowledgeable on the subject since its been coming up more and more in the past couple years. I was hoping to go over to the Dublin testing center and not have to go into Allentown, I guess whenever I go apply for my permit I will ask if they do the test for Non Com. Class A, and see what kind of response I get...
You do. Where's the new trailer hiding? I drive past your place every night. Honestly I'd rather hit Allentown at an off time than deal with Dublin. Allentown is right off Airport Rd, all highway. I'm trying to get to Dublin to apply for the permit since I have the Friday before Xmas off and could quick run up to Allentown and get it done. IIRC, you need to hold the permit a week before you can test. Not sure if that is valid on just a class change or not.

At least from talking with duallymike, I know Allentown has administered the test before.
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Old 12-11-2017, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferguson65 View Post
You do. Where's the new trailer hiding? I drive past your place every night. Honestly I'd rather hit Allentown at an off time than deal with Dublin. Allentown is right off Airport Rd, all highway. I'm trying to get to Dublin to apply for the permit since I have the Friday before Xmas off and could quick run up to Allentown and get it done. IIRC, you need to hold the permit a week before you can test. Not sure if that is valid on just a class change or not.

At least from talking with duallymike, I know Allentown has administered the test before.
Yeah, I see ya once in a while...hahaha... We took it up to the dealer to get some work done. Some warranty, some repairs while it's there. Hoping to get it under roof behind the garage soon.
Those are good points...​that's very true, Dublin traffic sucks and yeah at least Allentown has done the test.
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