Originally Posted by BobGed
I'll add just how much fun this was for us. From the DMV not knowing 'how' to provide the Class B Permit and the proper tests required. To the actual driving test itself, also requiring items not required, and of course the conflict between the DMV and California Highway Patrol.
> We have a 40 Model coach
> It measures 40' 8" (From 'bumper to bumper'.)
> DMV says it is a 40' model. And I pay my DMV fees and value tax based upon it being 40'. So DMV says no Class B required, as it is not over a 40' model (key word here is 'model').
> Visited the local California Highway Patrol office in San Diego. Three Highway Patrolman were by the counter where I walked in. Two different opinions form these three Officers.
1) Model is what two of them would go by, so 40' and no Class B required.
2) Actual measurement, was what one Officer said. Over 40' and Class B required
> Then the Officer's had a fun talk about 'how to measure':
1) One said from the front and rear most extreme points, so he would include the mirrors (ours go forward abut 10").
2) One said 'bumper to bumper'.
3) The third said he would go from mirrors to the trailer hitch if 'permanently attached' to the RV.
> DMV office did not have the ability within the computer system (the same computer system used at all CA DMV's), to provide me with a Non Commercial Class B Permit. The agent kept telling me I was wrong and needed a Commercial Class B (or the one to drive a Firetruck, asking me three times if I was trying to drive a Firetruck). I kept politely explaining the new regulations, and she finally asked her Supervisor for help. She too was confused, because the software would not allow them to click the proper buttons to provide the permit. She finally went to a folder at her desk, and came back 10 minutes later with notes she had taken 6 months earlier at a special Supervisor training class. (They had to print out what hey could get form the computer. Cross out certain aspects, initial, write in two other areas, initial again.)
> Then onto the written test. Which is supposed to only be the normal Class C written test. The agent giving me the written test, kept insisting that I needed to take the full Class A CDL test. Another polite 5 minutes of conversation, and again the same Supervisor was called over. She agreed with the agent, and said 'take it or consider it a fail'. I finally agreed to take it (after also passing the normal Class C test first), but said that if I failed it (I had not studied for this test.) - that I wanted her commitment to make more calls on my behalf, as I was positive it was not required. (I took it, missed on question. So got my Class B Permit. The Supervisor did come over to see how I did, and said she would ask for clarification on this from Sacramento. She actually was very nice, and thanked me for working so politely with them as this was not a very smooth roll out from Sacramento
> The confusion continued on what was the 'back of the RV', during the Class B test itself. One place you simulate backing into a loading bay. At this San Diego County testing facility, this was with orange posts sticking up around 4' tall on the sides and back. You are to back in and stop as close as you can without hitting the rear cones (loading dock). For every foot away, they subtract a point. I backed up and stopped within 1' (pure luck, see next item) of the rear cones, with my Stirling Tow Bar being the closest item to the cones. The gent giving me the test, measured to the 'rear bumper', and subtracted 3 points because he came up with over two feet, and rounds up.
> During the backing up test above, the person giving the test had me turn off my rear camera. We did talk this over some, as I explained to him that my mirrors were set to work in conjunction with rear camera. He said to reset them if I wanted, which I said no too because I had them 'where i wanted them'. When I pointed out to him that their was nothing in any of the documentation from the DMV stating 'no rear camera's' - he said it did not matter, it was how they did the test. (I did not push it, as the gent had an attitude towards me, and I sincerely believe he felt RV'er's were the scum of the earth. He was looking for ways to fail me, IMO.
> During the road test. I stopped my RV at a left turn red light. The gent asked me if I needed to, could I get around the car in front of me. I said yes, but it would be tight. He said 'You're too close, you did not leave enough room to go around.' Minus one point for Smitty. (Again, nothing in any DMV literature that I read about how much space you must leave when stopping behind another car.) I did really need to behave myself, because about 5 minutes later, at another left turn red light where I left about 1 1/2 car lengths between me and the car in front - a gent in a pick up cut into the space, as he decided he wanted to turn left. (I could see the gent giving me the test wanted to say something, but did not. I too really had to work on not smiling...)
Why did I decide to get a Class B? Because I did not want to provide for individual Officer's 'interpretation' of this very poorly rolled at change for RV owners. I could be right, still ticketed, and then may have to drive to a local area away from my home, to fight a ticket.
IMO, if in doubt on what kind of DL is required, go ahead and bite the bullet and get the higher of the classes in question.
Oh and to the OP. I'd like to do you a friendly favor, and deliver that Newell for you to your home. Now I sometimes have problems with navigating, so I may end up with a 48 state tour before I find your home - but I'll take good care of your rig for you
Best to all, be safe, have fun,