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Old 04-25-2015, 09:54 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Frankc26 View Post
I just bought a used phaeton 40. Will measure length. I assume I can exclude mirrors and tow hitch.
If you do this, you will cause yourself grief. Even thought the CA DMV rules say to ignore safety equipment when measuring, you will find the Phaeton is over 40 ft. (I recall mine around 6" over). You will ask yourself "should I include the rear ladder?).
Then you will ask "Do they go by model # or actual measurement?" I think it depends on who is asking the question.

Then you will need to ask yourself do I want the hassle of a non-com Class B.
Medical check every 2 yrs and driving test Finally, ask yourself, will it really matter.

I think it will come down to a gamble. I don't think it matters what any CHP officer says. Yes, he can write you a ticket, but that only means you go to court (he is not pronouncing you guilty). The insurance company wrote you a policy for your rig (with your name on it), so they will just process any claims. They are not going to try to debate your license type because they checked that out when they wrote the policy.

This is such an interesting thread because of the varied opinions (including mine).

Regards,
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:08 AM   #44
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If the title and manufacturer state 40 then it is 40.

If you measure it as 40.5 so what as you did not build it so not your issue.

Insurance is listed by VIN and your license so they have all the information required to insure it properly.

If dmv indicates you are good with your license and you are not comfortable ask them for a printout supporting it and get their card and staple it to your registration.

If it ever is an issue on the side of some road hand that to the LEO and state you asked and was gived that.
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:48 AM   #45
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A guy that used to park his Class A in the same indoor storage we use totaled his coach and had not gotten a class B endorsement. His insurance company refused to pay anything but the lender wants all the $ on the loan. He is not in a good position now. I went and took the test.


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Old 04-25-2015, 03:38 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by BobGed View Post
I'm sure it was probably a typo, as I believe you meant to say 26,000 lbs.
Nope, it is not a typo.
Class D is standard license
Class C is 16K to 26K
Class B is 26K+
Class A Towing a trailer 10K+
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Old 04-25-2015, 04:25 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
<snip> They are not going to try to debate your license type because they checked that out when they wrote the policy.

This is such an interesting thread because of the varied opinions (including mine).

Regards,
Dan
Yup, I too am always amused at the different opinions on this topic each time threads like these pop up and I'm not saying that any one person's is necessarily right or wrong so I may as well give mine.

I'm not so sure that insurance companies check your drivers' license when they write the policy to check if 1) your state requires a non-commercial Class B and 2) if you have one. I've always been told that being properly licensed is ultimately YOUR responsibility and not the insurance company's nor the DMV's.

Also, in many states that require a non-commercial Class B, you do not need a medical certificate renewal every two years and that is what distinguishes it from an actual CDL. In Nevada, that's the only thing that differentiates a non-commercial Class B from a Class B CDL ...it's the medical certification as all other requirements and tests are exactly the same between the two.

Pertaining to the "length" issue, I once asked that question to a California DMV supervisor at a social function and she told me that "they should" be going by the manufacture's stated length and went on to say that she didn't believe that any DMV office would physically measure the rig nor would a CHP officer actually get out a tape measure on the side of the highway to measure a motorhome on a traffic stop to determine if the driver was required to posses a Class B license but rather use the manufacturer's documentation to determine the official length.

And I agree with Duoglide1. I have also heard of insurance companies trying to refute a claim and some winning because the driver was not properly licensed in his state. I know many disagree that insurance companies will do that and say that if they issued the policy, they will pay no matter what. I kind of disagree. My belief is that they will do everything possible to try and find those loopholes to get out of paying a big claim. That's why I tell the Nevada folks I run into that drive diesel pushers (those are the motorhomes that most likely will have a GVWR of 26,001 lbs or more) that they really should get a Class B even though they argue that nobody will care if they don't ...neither a Nevada LEO nor their insurance company. Perhaps they are correct and in most cases, maybe so but I wouldn't want to take the chance. I would want to be properly licensed.

(I use Nevada as an example only as that is where I'm personally licensed and that is one of the states that require a non-commercial Class B for driving a vehicle over 26,000 lbs. GVWR)
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Old 04-25-2015, 04:26 PM   #48
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Nope, it is not a typo.
Class D is standard license
Class C is 16K to 26K
Class B is 26K+
Class A Towing a trailer 10K+
Got it. You're just referring to IL. I missed that part and was thinking about the majority of states that have a weight requirement that is 26,000 lbs, plus the trailer towing conditions.
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Old 04-25-2015, 05:23 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by theroc View Post

I'm not so sure that insurance companies check your drivers' license when they write the policy to check if 1) your state requires a non-commercial Class B and 2) if you have one. I've always been told that being properly licensed is ultimately YOUR responsibility and not the insurance company's nor the DMV's.

Pertaining to the "length" issue, I once asked that question to a California DMV supervisor at a social function and she told me that "they should" be going by the manufacture's stated length and went on to say that she didn't believe that any DMV office would physically measure the rig nor would a CHP officer actually get out a tape measure on the side of the highway to measure a motorhome on a traffic stop to determine if the driver was required to posses a Class B license but rather use the manufacturer's documentation to determine the official length.

And I agree with Duoglide1. I have also heard of insurance companies trying to refute a claim and some winning because the driver was not properly licensed in his state. I know many disagree that insurance companies will do that and say that if they issued the policy, they will pay no matter what. I kind of disagree. My belief is that they will do everything possible to try and find those loopholes to get out of paying a big claim.
I suppose it's like the answers you get at a DMV.
I have seen CHPs (CA's highway patrol) whip out a tape measure to verify length - don't assume they won't. Not as badly with motorhomes as with trailers, but mfr's can list a length a long ways from what the rig really is.
In fact, if you are in the right circles you can find out where the CHP is measuring, and stay away from those roads. (and FWIW - I had a CHP tell me that the maximum length for motorhomes when towing on the interstates is 73 feet - not sure where that came from but he worked the scales for years so should know...huh?)
And as for insurance, I've had insurance companies try and weasel out of paying a claim for reasons that are not considered by the State Insurance Commission to be valid - if you let them get away with it they will, but if you get the Commissioner involved, they will come around quickly as they don't like their rating downgraded which is what can happen if they violate the codes governing insurance. I told them I was going to the Commissioner and after refusing to pay me for six months, I had a check the next day!
But your mileage may vary if you're in another state...
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:09 AM   #50
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16,000 lbs and above often require a special license in probably half the states across the country. (Including IL) The Feds are trying to influence this across the country, so that restriction continues to become more wide spread. But something to point out is that you only have to worry about your own state, because regardless of the restrictions in other states, if your license is valid in your own state, it is valid everywhere.

One funny thing is that most of these restrictions do not apply if you are renting the RV. I always figured if you didn't want to bother with the license, you could rent your RV to yourself.

There are only 19 states that require a non-commercial license. CA is the only one I can think of that has a medical requirement. My state requires just regular license.
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Old 04-26-2015, 06:04 PM   #51
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Steve from S'vale's remarks got me looking into this deeply - I don't want to mislead any CA resident. I read over my policy with a fine-tooth comb, and there is no "not covered" or "exclusion" based upon not having the correct license to drive a "Private Passenger Automobile" - which is what they refer to motorhomes as. (I am told that if you are applying for a commercial policy it's an entirely different policy - mine is not commercial)
There are a couple issues that warrant particular attention, besides the basic agreement that you agree any facts you state are correct and accurate (which isn't an issue here since you supply them with the license number and vehicle information)...
You do agree to notify them of any change in residence, vehicles and vehicle use from what you initially stated (again, this isn't an issue with applicability of license to vehicle - but it's worth remembering),
And you agree to notify them of a suspension or revocation of the driver's license of any regular vehicle operator.
But, there is no out or ability for them to NOT pay a claim simply because your license isn't a Non-Comm B when it should be.
Perhaps the greater concern is if you get cited for not having the right class license, they could use this under the clause that allows them to examine your driving record to determine future insurability.
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Old 04-26-2015, 07:02 PM   #52
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If you have air brakes no matter what size you need a endorsement
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Old 04-26-2015, 07:06 PM   #53
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Durango,

Since we are actually diving into details, let me share that the wording about exclusions was actually in the application for the policy.

In the application for the Progressive policy, it states

"I understand that all operators shall have a valid driver's license and that operators under the age of 16 and those convicted of insurance fraud are unacceptable."

Now, one could argue that this might only apply to the initial policy, etc., and I am most definitely not a lawyer, but having agreed to that in the application for insurance, I would still remain very hesitant of the risk involved. To me, the key word is "valid."

Honestly, I would expect to lose the argument that either

1) "valid driver's license" means "any form of valid driver's license, even if not for the vehicle being operated"

or,

2) that subsequent changes to the policy (for example, say I replaced my 39' motorhome with a 42' one) somehow skip/obviate the requirements of the original application for a policy.

Again, this probably varies from policy to policy as time goes on. Years ago, for example, virtually no policies had exclusions with regards to vehicles being operated on race tracks (assuming they were a regular, properly licensed vehicle). In fact, I know several people that totaled vehicles during "track days" (non racing events where you can drive your car on a racetrack), were entirely honest, and their claims were paid. Nowadays, though, most insurance policies have such exclusions as track days have become more popular.

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Old 04-26-2015, 10:22 PM   #54
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If you have air brakes no matter what size you need a endorsement
This is not so. For a non-commercial class B, you do not need an air brake endorsement. Even if you show up for the exam with an RV that has air brakes, you are not tested on them. However, if you're smart enough to earn the money to buy a big honking RV that has air brakes, one hopes you're smart enough to learn the proper operation.
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:13 AM   #55
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My last license listed an Air Brake Endorsement, new one does not. I called the Commercial Section, and the answer is, California no longer has an Endorsement for Air Brakes, however, if you fail to take the test for an A or B, it will be listed as "Restricted to vehicles without air brakes". The State still has a Passenger Endorsement, Doubles, and HazMat.
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:36 AM   #56
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If you have air brakes no matter what size you need a endorsement
Not in most states for a privately owned and driven RV, in Canada then I think it's yes.
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