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Old 09-28-2017, 12:07 PM   #1
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Floorplan/Length vs. the California 40.0' law

This topic of California having requirements/restrictions on motorhomes greater than 40' 0" has been discussed before.
A) requires a non-commercial class B drivers license
B) restrictions on which roads can be driven on

Our dilemma is that every 40' model with floor plans we like, is longer than 40.0' (the California Highway Patrol is known for using a tape measure to check the actual length - front cap to rear cap from what I've read).

A 36-37 footer is one solution, but I'd like to have recliners on the drivers side and a queen sleeper on the passenger side, and those models don't have enough room for a queen sleeper.

Getting a class B license is the obvious solution, but I'm protesting going through the hassle for a 40' 8" motorhome

California is my home and moving out of the state is not an option.

I'm curious as to how other California residents are dealing with this.

Kindly refrain from California bashing. Thanks


Our ideal floorplan (Newmar Ventana 4037)
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:50 PM   #2
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I've been driving in California since I was 16 and have never heard of or seen a motorhome getting measured. I have friends with a 40' + a few inches motorhomes and they've never been stopped or measured. As long as my insurance company hasn't told me I need a special license, I wouldn't worry about it. JMHO.
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:53 PM   #3
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The obvious answer is get the class b and enjoy the mh. Yes its a pain in the butt to get the license but its needed if you want that 40ft. Protesting is going to change the law. It wil only aggravate you doing no good

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Old 09-28-2017, 01:16 PM   #4
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Lived in California all my life ( except 1968/69 US Army ). Have never seen a RV being pulled over and measured. It's not just MH's driver also 5th wheels over 15k total which I also have had. I've been passed by many CHP officers and they never gave me a second look. I'm also over 65' with my toad so that's against the law also. I'm 42' for my MH and don't have a special license. I did have a full blown class "A" but dropped that now being semi retired.
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Old 09-28-2017, 02:13 PM   #5
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I've been driving in California for almost 50 years and RVing for 25 years. Never seen CHP measure or pull you for length. I run my rig with Toad at 65 MPH and I have had CHP pass me and just wave. They never seam to bother RVs. Unless you are being Stupid. Happy Travels
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Old 09-28-2017, 02:51 PM   #6
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I would be more worried about the liability of not being legal if there was an accident.
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Old 09-28-2017, 03:20 PM   #7
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During holiday weekends (Halloween,thanksgiving and New Years)CHP has been cracking down on rigs heading out to glamis area sand dunes. There are some big rigs and are obviously over length. Normal driving in CA has not been an issue to me and as others have stated CHP just motors on by if you are driving at legal speeds.
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:09 PM   #8
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Just for the record, it would not be a legal stop to just pull you over just to measure your rig's length. They'd have to have some other reason to stop you (such as a traffic infraction) to give probable cause for a stop.
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:20 PM   #9
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Many in CA have 40' model that physically measure a bit more, and no special license - and are ok with it.

If you are not ok, then two choices 1) get the license 2) buy shorter coach (don't forget about mirrors that extend at the front, and ladder at the rear. Oh, and if you have towbar and any towbar accessories add them as well...).
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nehog View Post
Just for the record, it would not be a legal stop to just pull you over just to measure your rig's length. They'd have to have some other reason to stop you (such as a traffic infraction) to give probable cause for a stop.
Wouldn't "I think your motorhome is over 40' long" be probable cause to pull you over and measure the length of your motorhome? I would think being over length would be a traffic infraction of it's own.

Isn't "I think your tail lights don't work" enough probable cause to pull you over and check your tail lights?
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic View Post
This topic of California having requirements/restrictions on motorhomes greater than 40' 0" has been discussed before.
A) requires a non-commercial class B drivers license
B) restrictions on which roads can be driven on

Our dilemma is that every 40' model with floor plans we like, is longer than 40.0' (the California Highway Patrol is known for using a tape measure to check the actual length - front cap to rear cap from what I've read).

A 36-37 footer is one solution, but I'd like to have recliners on the drivers side and a queen sleeper on the passenger side, and those models don't have enough room for a queen sleeper.

Getting a class B license is the obvious solution, but I'm protesting going through the hassle for a 40' 8" motorhome

California is my home and moving out of the state is not an option.

I'm curious as to how other California residents are dealing with this.

Kindly refrain from California bashing. Thanks


Our ideal floorplan (Newmar Ventana 4037)
There are a few responses claiming they have never seen a CHP putting a tape measure to a motorhome. They are totally unaware why the CHP exists in the State of California - their sole purpose in life is to create revenue for the state of California. They are highly paid with gold-plated pensions to match and whenever the talk in Sacramento revolves around cutting benefits to state workers, they always exempt "Public Safety". Ever wonder why? Because if the CHP stopped writing tickets California would go broke. Trust me when I tell you that when a CHP types your license plate number into their computer, it spits out, in addition to all the registered owners etc, it also spits out the length of the vehicle. (The use is growing of the Automated License Plate Readers being used by the CHP) They will stop you and cite you. No doubt about it. Take a look at a CHP's badge, it does not say Peace Officer (like all police officers) but says Traffic Officer
I lived in California all my life until two years ago before I moved to Arizona for retirement. In all my years, I have NEVER had a CHP officer cut me some slack on a ticket. I have found Police Officers and Sheriffs, on occasions send me away with a warning.
A man in my RV Club moved from California recently. He made the mistake of buying a 43' Motorhome. As a law abiding citizen, he made three attempts to pass the driving test to drive his 43' rig. Each time resulted in failure. He has driven for years with a clean driving record but always seemed to get the same License Examiner who seem to hate Motorhome owners.
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:38 PM   #12
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CHP has pulled over triple axle toy haulers near the dunes to check for the Class A endorsement - very unconstitutional for them to do that but they do it.

On DL endorsements: I wish all big RV drivers had to get the endorsement just like the commercial drivers. I had to get my Class B CDL to drive for my RV dealer employer and the information I learned was invaluable plus I had to prove I could maneuver the thing (parallel parking for example). It is sad to see so many DP's leave the lot and the new owner has had no training. We had one guy leave in his new 5th wheel and came back an hour later with the right side caved in. It is too dangerous for new drivers not to know what they're doing especially when it comes to air brakes. If I have to have a CDL (pass a written test and road test) then shouldn't private owners have to do the same? For safety sake?
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:42 PM   #13
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This will help to Muddy the Waters.


45' Motorhomes
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krudawg View Post
There are a few responses claiming they have never seen a CHP putting a tape measure to a motorhome. They are totally unaware why the CHP exists in the State of California - their sole purpose in life is to create revenue for the state of California. They are highly paid with gold-plated pensions to match and whenever the talk in Sacramento revolves around cutting benefits to state workers, they always exempt "Public Safety". Ever wonder why? Because if the CHP stopped writing tickets California would go broke. Trust me when I tell you that when a CHP types your license plate number into their computer, it spits out, in addition to all the registered owners etc, it also spits out the length of the vehicle. (The use is growing of the Automated License Plate Readers being used by the CHP) They will stop you and cite you. No doubt about it. Take a look at a CHP's badge, it does not say Peace Officer (like all police officers) but says Traffic Officer
I lived in California all my life until two years ago before I moved to Arizona for retirement. In all my years, I have NEVER had a CHP officer cut me some slack on a ticket. I have found Police Officers and Sheriffs, on occasions send me away with a warning.
A man in my RV Club moved from California recently. He made the mistake of buying a 43' Motorhome. As a law abiding citizen, he made three attempts to pass the driving test to drive his 43' rig. Each time resulted in failure. He has driven for years with a clean driving record but always seemed to get the same License Examiner who seem to hate Motorhome owners.
[Mod edit] Your friend shouldn't be driving the 43 footer if he can't pass the test.
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