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Old 10-10-2013, 11:18 AM   #15
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X2 on the video sky_boss recommended. I did my test several months ago and found it pretty straight forward. If I remember correctly the written portion was entirely on only one section of the manual (12 or 14) I believe.
Someone suggested doing a class A exam, I understand if you do you still need to bring a trailer to the test for the reverse and parking tests. I would suggest you stick with the class B unless what you tow requires a class A.

Have fun you will do well just make sure you make your turns so that you finish in the correct lane! Also use exaggerated head movements at intersections that seems to be a popular "ding" used by examiners.

Steve
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:19 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mekanic View Post
To the OP if it makes you feel any better. If you had traveled though Ohio I'd wouldn't written you ticket for No valid operators License because Ohio doesn't require a class B of any kind for a Motorhome.
So I wouldn't think all your miles were driven illegally.
IMHO, I don't think that is a very good piece of legal advice. Granted, a state that doesn't have a non-CDL license requirement might not recognize that issue. That doesn't mean someone driving on a license with that requirement is driving with a proper license. I certainly wouldn't want to test that theory after an accident and then making a court appearance and/or making an insurance claim.

To the OP...

I actually had to tell my IL DMV office that I WAS required to have a Class C (for my Winnebago) then later a Class B (for my DSDP) NON-CDL license. LOL I can also guarantee that most any RV salesperson will NOT tell you when you need one. As an example, consider that you want to test drive a MH in IL needing a proper license but you don't have one. The only legal way to do this is to go to the DMV and take the appropriate written test so you have a "learner's Permit". Then, the sales person taking you out must also have the appropriate DL.

I know some folks will say something like "bull" to what I have just said. Just because some folks are not paying attention to the actual requirements and haven't suffered any adverse affects doesn't mean the requirements don't exist.
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Old 10-10-2013, 01:53 PM   #17
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That's a pretty nice video clip..thanks for posting it!
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:07 PM   #18
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I believe CDL is referencing Commercial Drivers License, and not California Drivers License!

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You said CDL so I assume you mean California. If not, read no further. I took the CA test 2years ago, They did not have a Class B test booklet so I read the Commercial booklet while I waited for the written. Good thing because there were some questions that were related to things I read. I think they mainly had to do with air brakes but I don't remember many specifics. I do remember quite a few senseless questions about things like passenger car baby seats and things having nothing to do with an RV. Then they hand you your permit and you schedule your driving test for a future day. IMPORTANT: You have to show up for the driving test with someone who has at least a class B license or they won't let you take the test because you drove to the office illegally. A permit requires you have a licensed driver with you. Luckily, I found a guy with a class B license in the parking lot and paid him to introduce himself as my driver and it all worked out. The only air brake stuff I remember inside the coach was the examiner checked the gauges while having me set the brake and push on the pedal to make sure we had pressure. Before we left the parking lot there was a simple backing test and then a docking test that was a lot like backing into an RV spot. You could back up and pull forward 5 times in order to successfully complete the maneuver. The driving test took 45 minutes and included left and right turns, lane changes, freeway, city, residential, you name it. The only things I got dinged for we're not driving "fast" enough on a narrow 45 mph residential street and not turning my head enough to make it obvious I was looking in the mirrors. Overall it wasn't difficult, just long.
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Statgeek View Post
That's a pretty nice video clip..thanks for posting it!
I will have to try that air brake test. I have never done that.
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:34 PM   #20
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Quote:
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You said CDL so I assume you mean California. .
Yeah, as mentioned, he's referring to Commercial DL and not California DL. Texas tends to be a bit more lax than California when it comes to how you get your coach there for the test. Usually kind of a don't ask don't tell attitude.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mekanic View Post
To the OP:
This might make you feel better to Know If you had traveled though Ohio I'd wouldn't written you ticket for No valid operators License because Ohio doesn't require a class B of any kind for a Motorhome.
So I wouldn't think all your miles were driven illegally.
As Sky Boss pointed out, I wouldn't rely on this.

You could probably drive another 300, 000 miles across the country and never have an issue but technically you're probably right about it being "illegal".

Most of us are more concerned with the possibility of having an accident in which the issue of us not having the proper license could be an issue more so than being pulled over and cited in another state.

With your experience, you should have no problem at all passing the driving test. If you're anywhere near Livingston, I would recommend taking the test there. Escapees is based there and the DMV office is very familiar with the processes.

Best of luck.

Rick
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:35 PM   #21
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Pellerotto,

Most of the advice and replies to your post have been pretty much right on. However, I would suggest you go for only the Class B unless your coach is 40ft+ with 20 foot or more of trailer. For a Class B you only have to drive the RV on the test. Also, I noticed that you drove from San Antonio to Key West so I assume you must be in Central Texas. I would strongly suggest that you take your test in either Seguin or Uvalde. I took both my written test and driving test in Seguin. The written test is fairly straight forward so study the CDL manual and you should be OK. On the driving test you will be directed to go through the pre-drive steps for the air brakes in detail. Pump the brakes and hold for pressure test, pump the brakes down to engage rear spring (parking) brakes, etc. Study the air brake section of the CDL manual to learn this. I had to do the brake test before we ever left the DMV lot. The driving test was not bad at all. Some driving around Seguin and then onto I-35 for Interstate driving. Check your mirrors often and signal before every turn or lane change. The examiner will be watching for this. The backing and parallel parking test in Seguin is in an industrial park. On my test they didn't use cones. They just had me pull forward about 100 feet and parallel park to the curb.

One other thing. If you have a friend with a Class B or A license then get them to go with you. I hired a local school buss driver to go with me. Several posts in the past have stated the examiner won't ask how you got the coach there but I didn't want to take a chance. I had at least 10 replies to an add that I ran on Craigslist for the San Marcos area. Cost me $100 but it was worth it for my peace of mind.

Study the sections mentioned and you should do fine.

Good Luck,
WM
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:37 PM   #22
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I had no idea how in depth the air brake test is. Thanks for posting the video!
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:53 PM   #23
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I took my test in Lewisville, Tx. I hade to take the test for a Class A (Non-commercial) license because I have Air Brakes.
Actually, I don't believe that Texas has any special licensing requirement for rigs with air brakes. The distinction between non commercial Class A and Class B is determined by the weight of your trailer.

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Old 10-10-2013, 04:58 PM   #24
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Timing is everything--after 10+ years of DP ownership in Texas, I decided to get my Class B licence this summer. They tell you that only a couple of the chapters in the CDL handbook apply to MHs and that is pretty much true. However, they will ask you about allowable speed limits based on vehicle and road type. They may also asked you how far out in front/behind yr vehicle a load can extend [w/o a flag]. Cant remember ever having a load extending out so the non-Commerc class B is for more than a MH. Also need to know where and at what distances you must deploy flags/flares in the event of a break-down. In most locations, the test is computerized multiple choice so they may mix up the questions/ areas covered each time the test is given.

The key focus of the driving test is basically "situational awareness." Lots of mirror checking and head turning before and after turns and lane changes will reassure your inspector. Of course all lights and your horn must be in working order. The parallel parking is a bit weird so dont hesitate to ask/get detailed directions from the inspector as to what you need to do. Also keep your speed under control as at any minutes they may ask you to change lanes or make a turn. I dont have air brakes on my DP so cant tell you about that test.
PS--depending on the DMV office you take your written test and get a "learners permit"/ temp license to drive your rig. You can then schedule your driving test for a later date [That's how you legally get to the DMV with your rig!]

PSS-the max distance for a load to extend in back is 4 feet but only 3 feet in front--dont ask me how I know this.
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:11 PM   #25
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Technically you do need an air-brake endorsement in Texas, that's in addition to the class b licenses for wieght over 26,000 lbs.
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:12 PM   #26
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Since we're talking about Texas non commercial test processes... I want to point out something which took us by surprise. It may impact nobody else here but....

Texas requires an eye test using one of those machines you place your head against and look in to. Both DW and I have had laser eye surgery. Our eyes have been set for "mono vision"... meaning that one eye is for reading and the other for distance.

The brain is an amazing thing and this actually works quite well for us and we don't require glasses for either reading or distance.

Problem is... when you use their eye test machine, they're looking for "normal" vision parameters in each eye. The DW could pass the test buy I couldn't. I had to make an appointment to see a local doctor who understood what I had done and could test/certify my vision.

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Old 10-10-2013, 05:14 PM   #27
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Technically you do need an air-brake endorsement in Texas, that's in addition to the class b licenses for wieght over 26,000 lbs.
Can you please explain?

This is not my understanding and I didn't get one when I got my non CDL Class B in Texas.
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:46 PM   #28
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Just a slight correction to a previous post. The temporary learner's permit for a Class A or Class B only allows you to drive with a licensed Class A or Class B driver on-board so it does not make you legal to drive solo to the DMV.

WM
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