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Old 10-25-2008, 06:51 AM   #1
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Residents of California. Just purchased our new 42' Country Coach from a dealer in Oregon. GVWR is 45,200, actual weight is 38,484. Have a Class C license. California DMV says I need a Non-Commercial Class B license to drive legally in California. Must take a written test, a driving test (with my RV of course) and be cleared by my doctor. Now the dilema: How do I legally get my new coach from Oregon to California with only a Class C license? (Can't take my drivers test until I get the coach in the state). Let's say I cross my fingers, drive the new coach from Oregon to California with only my Class C license. Let's assume I make it with no problems (ie. getting pulled over, etc.). Then I drive the coach to DMV to take my driving test. I would think the folks at DMV could ask who drove the coach to their office? And what about insurance. Our coach is fully insured, however I would assume the insurance company could deny a claim if I was not properly licensed? While there are many more important dilemas in life than this one........I'm stumped!
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:51 AM   #2
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Residents of California. Just purchased our new 42' Country Coach from a dealer in Oregon. GVWR is 45,200, actual weight is 38,484. Have a Class C license. California DMV says I need a Non-Commercial Class B license to drive legally in California. Must take a written test, a driving test (with my RV of course) and be cleared by my doctor. Now the dilema: How do I legally get my new coach from Oregon to California with only a Class C license? (Can't take my drivers test until I get the coach in the state). Let's say I cross my fingers, drive the new coach from Oregon to California with only my Class C license. Let's assume I make it with no problems (ie. getting pulled over, etc.). Then I drive the coach to DMV to take my driving test. I would think the folks at DMV could ask who drove the coach to their office? And what about insurance. Our coach is fully insured, however I would assume the insurance company could deny a claim if I was not properly licensed? While there are many more important dilemas in life than this one........I'm stumped!
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:20 AM   #3
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If it were me I would drive it to CA and plead ignorance in the unlikely event that of being pulled over...just don't blame me if you do have a problem as I never stay @ Holiday Inn Express's .

Just make sure you stay on the roads approved for over 40' in CA -- I believe that the DMV has info on their web-site regarding roads that are restricted based upon vehicle length.

The bigger dilema is that you will need to have someone with the right license with you when you go to the DMV. Even if they don't ask how you got it there, if you fail the test or if anything (ie a bulb is burned out) is discovered and you're not allowed to take the driving part of the test then you're screwed.

So, you need to get a friend (or pay someone) who has the right license to go with you.

BTW there are other states that require non-commercial class B licenses based upon weigth rather than length...same problems with regard to how do you get tested unless someone with the right license goes with you.

Can't speak to the subject of insurance/coverage.

Of course another solution to all of this is to move to South Dajota where I don't think there are any special license requirements for personal use RV's.

Good luck and let us know what you did and how well you did on the tests.
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Old 10-25-2008, 08:24 AM   #4
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Contact RV Driving School at http://www.rvschool.com/ They have a school in Auburn, CA that should be close.

Good luck.
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Old 10-25-2008, 02:25 PM   #5
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Thanks Techie. Have a friend with a class A license who can go to DMV with me. As for getting the coach into CA.......perhaps I'll just take a big breath and hope for the best. Appreciate the reply.
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Old 10-26-2008, 05:10 PM   #6
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Michaels,

After 25 years in law enforcement in CA, I can promise you your chances of getting pulled over and actually cited for out of class license are slim and none. CHP are the main concern, and they generally have WAY too much to do to worry about motorhomers.

I recommend getting the correct class license for anything you drive, but don't worry about driving your MH. Drive it at a safe speed, if you are pulling a toad, stay in the right 2 lanes just like the big rigs, and signal early and adjust your lane position accordingly for making off ramps and turns. No LEO will ever give you a second look.

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Old 10-27-2008, 09:32 AM   #7
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Question to SargeW.

In previous trips to California, either with a 5 Wheel or MH pulling a toad, I drove at the truck speed limit and trailers, but noticed that most RV's trailers or MH with toads were driving at the same speed as cars.
I am right in driving at the truck speed or can I drive as fast ( legally ) at the car speed limit.

Thanks for the info. I will be back in California sometimes soon.
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:48 AM   #8
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No, you were right. Most Californiaians believe that speed limit signs don't apply to them. That is until they get stopped. Then it's big crockodile tears.......

Any vehicle in Ca that is towing ANYTHING is restricted to 55 MPH, and the two right lanes.

And yes, the CHP will cite you in a heartbeat. No sense of humor those guys.....
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:14 PM   #9
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SargeW is right! I've lived in CA all my life and since RVing I'm amazed at how fast RVers drive while towing. Recently, I've noticed more MHs pulled over, perhaps some special enforcement going on.

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Old 10-28-2008, 11:48 AM   #10
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"Sage" advice from Sarge! Appreciate your informed advice. I'm as careful as they come on the road and look forward to enjoying our new coach!
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:57 AM   #11
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I'm going thru Ca next week. That's good to know. I sure don't need a ticket. That's major gas money!
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:51 PM   #12
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Sarge (or anybody else with the answer) . . .

How crazy do they get about length? Our rig is 58'9" with the toad, and 64' 8.5" with the trailer (custom built to be under 65' - the limit in most states).
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Old 10-29-2008, 07:39 AM   #13
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Norm,

I wasn't a "traffic officer" like the CHP, but here is some reasonable advice. If you are driving safely and staying to the right lanes, it is highly doubtful you would get pulled over for length. I *think* that at 65' you are still at the legal limit in Ca.

The CHP are usually much more concerned with safety related issues, such as adaquate braking systems, over loading is a big one, and having a safe lash up between vehicles. Usually the BIG tip off to LEO is when the rig is going down the road swaying back and forth, or excessively nose up or down.

If one were stopped for say a weight violation, then they would pull out the book and write everything that applied. Since RV's are not required to go through weigh stations in Ca, the odds of being pulled over and examined are minimal. However, if poor driving got you pulled over, then all bets are off
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Old 10-30-2008, 06:33 PM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by porscheracer:
How crazy do they get about length? Our rig is 58'9" with the toad, and 64' 8.5" with the trailer. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
You're fine. The license requirement only applies when your tow vehicle is 45 feet or longer. Your MH appears to be well under 45 feet.

Sarge is right, most officers won't give you a second look as long as you're not driving poorly. As a working motorcycle officer I can tell you that I've never even pulled over a motorhome that large. I have stopped my share of rigs under that length with trailers and toads driving in the diamond lane, holding up traffic. I've never cited any of them though. Most don't seem to be aware of the law covering trailer towing and thank me for advising them. I've only cited one RVer in my career....he was kindly dumping his gray water tank while speeding down the freeway.

Here's a link to a California state web site that describes license requirements.

Craig
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