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Old 06-03-2015, 08:00 PM   #15
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What's so darn stupid is basing the license tests for RVs off of a CDL set of tests used by commercial truckers. If any of the states that want a special license work smart they would work with the FMCA to develop a real world set of tests both written and practical that would be standardize. Then we know the states are not very smart so this would never happen.
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Old 06-05-2015, 03:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ZACRUX View Post
Why all the hub bub about a license... just another bad law to collect more tax dollars and not actually do any real improvement to what someone supposed the original problem to be.

I would rather see real statistics that would prove a significant cause of rv accidents due to inexperience or at least indication that such a license would actually show a difference in the level of such accidents.

This of course precludes the cause of an accident being general stupidity and poor driving techniques.
No amount of great driving will prevent another driver from crashing in to you.

PA requires non-commercial class B if over 26K lbs gross weight. Mine is 44,600. I studied the CDL manual and learned a great deal about brakes and maneuvering. No written test. Must know the air brake stuff. 15 minute driving test. It was 15 bucks.
I can maneuver where many folks would not dare to, nor have a clue. And I know air brakes well enough to know if there is a problem. So, it is more than being legal and qualified, it is, MOST IMPORTANTLY, about safety!!!!
I think studying the CDL manual can be valuable to ANY RVer. PDFs are easily available online.
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Old 06-07-2015, 11:32 AM   #17
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So does this mean a rig with a maximum loaded weight of 21000lbs than CAN tow an additional 6000 pounds maximum requires the Class E license?

Even if the rig is never towing a trailer? and weighs its max 21000lb?

That puts alot of 36 footers pretty close to requiring the license.
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:26 AM   #18
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The SC DMV didn’t make the language all that easy to understand, but here is what their web site says:

************************************************** ********
Class F
A Class F driver’s license allows you to drive non-commercial, combination vehicles that exceed 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. Examples of Class F vehicles include trucks and motor homes with a towed trailer or vehicle and any combination of vehicles used exclusively for recreation such as truck and camper combinations if the gross combination weight exceeds 26,000 lbs. With a Class F driver’s license, you may also operate a three-wheel vehicle (excluding a two-wheel motorcycle with a side car).

Gross Vehicle Weight
What is the "gross vehicle weight" of a vehicle?
Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW): The empty weight of a vehicle plus the weight of its load in addition to the empty weight of a towed unit and its load weight.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): The weight or value specified by the manufacturer as the maximum loaded weight of a single or combination vehicles. The gross vehicle weight rating of a combination vehicle (commonly referred to as the “gross combination weight rating) is the gross vehicle rating of the power unit plus the gross vehicle weight rating of a towed unit.
************************************************** ***

Neither the SC DMV nor the SC law enforcement seems to have a complete understanding, or in some cases even knowledge, of this law. I have passed the F license and had discussions with both DMV and Law Enforcement. Note that DMV issues the license, but Law Enforcements enforces it.

DMV used the GCWR, gross combined weight rating, of my rig to determine my need for the test. Note that this is the rating the manufacturer specified that the rig could weigh – not what its actually weight.

I talked to three Highway Patrolmen and they didn’t even know that the law existed. They said that in case of an accident, the investigation would show up such matters and it was the responsibility of the owner to satisfy the law.

This all means that the F license is required if the GCWR exceeds 26,000 lbs. It also means that the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of the motorhome plus toad can’t exceed the GCWR of the motorhome.

It is also important to point that the license is issued to a person for any rig he drives now or in the future, not just the one he used for the test.

Good Luck!
Wil
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:04 AM   #19
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I think its a great idea, should be required to tow a trailer greater than 10kGVW too. To many people have no clue how to drive a Kia let alone a MOHO or tow anything
Had to be said, too true......

So maybe there's a market/need out there to train new and some experienced RV drivers the way we train new truck drivers.

Why not? I think the concept could help many of us improve as safe drivers, and increase the comfort factor as we operate our coaches.

I'm sure as more states adopt the special license requirement for RV's, we will lose some RV'ers as not everyone will want to deal with whatever it takes to get the license.



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Old 06-08-2015, 02:45 PM   #20
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Driving School

I received my SC Class F license this year after driving for over a year at risk without really knowing it. I attribute that to the way the wording shows up in the SC handbook and wishful thinking on my part. In any event, at the Thor Diesel Club Pine Mountain Rally this spring, Camping World of Chattanooga sent a driving instructor as a courtesy. Wow. I spent twenty minutes under the wheel with this guy and at the end could do a full 90 degree back-in from either direction with no ground guide. He said to come over and he does a full day instruction. I am thinking about heading over this year sometime to do just that.
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Old 06-09-2015, 02:58 AM   #21
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I received my SC Class F license this year after driving for over a year at risk without really knowing it. I attribute that to the way the wording shows up in the SC handbook and wishful thinking on my part. In any event, at the Thor Diesel Club Pine Mountain Rally this spring, Camping World of Chattanooga sent a driving instructor as a courtesy. Wow. I spent twenty minutes under the wheel with this guy and at the end could do a full 90 degree back-in from either direction with no ground guide. He said to come over and he does a full day instruction. I am thinking about heading over this year sometime to do just that.

Thats great news, and more proof we need dedicated RV trainers out there. And not just the driving of the heavier equipment but systems training would be a big help to us all also.

Yea it's fun to communicate with our fellow RV'ers on this forum and share info and opinions, but look at how many times we struggle to get the right answer to to person we're trying to help.

Don't get me wrong, I love this forum, and learn something from it just about every time I join in with you guys. The comradery can never be replaced by a class room.
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Old 06-09-2015, 11:22 AM   #22
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Am I the only one wondering how a recreational combination exceeding 26,000 lbs and a three wheel vehicle are in the same license category?
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Old 06-09-2015, 11:56 AM   #23
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I think it's wonderful that you "think" everyone who tows in excess of "X" amount of pounds should take a test and pay a fee.

I personally think we've all paid enough fees and feel we're already regulated to death.

Maybe you should look up the amount of accidents actually CAUSED by towing a heavy load before you start telling us all we need to pay more money so you feel "safe".

I could be killed just as easily by an old lady in a Cadillac as an old man in an RV. It all comes down to reaction time and ability to control your vehicle when the SHTF.


Your rights end at my nose so stop imposing your unjustified "belief" without real facts!
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Old 06-09-2015, 11:59 AM   #24
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So I guess get a Class F and be done. End of story? Unless somebody has a plan to fight it...and win!
I got a PA Class B (over 26,000) and all is fine. I studied the CDL manual, and recommend it to all. I will be safer now, with all 37K lbs. I can make a button-hook turn. You?
Do whatcha gotta do, folks.
Happy trails!
How exactly did studying the book and paying a fee make you better able to drive your rig? Perhaps you are better able to understand your systems but accidents are rarely the cause of systems....
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:19 PM   #25
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In South Carolina a Class F driver’s license is required to operate a motorhome weighing more than 26,000 lbs., and I have just obtained that license. This post may be a little long, but I have discovered some very disturbing facts about this process.

Here is a quote from the South Carolina Driver’s Manual.
“If you plan to operate a motor home that weighs more than 26,000 lbs. GVW, you must obtain a Class E license. If you operate a motor home that weighs more than 26,000 lbs. and tow a trailer or other vehicle, you must have a Class F license.”

The disturbing part is the term “GVW.” I can’t find a definition of that term on the internet.But hidden deep in the bowls the SCDMV web site is.

“Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW):The empty weight of a vehicle plus the weight of its load in addition to the empty weight of a towed unit and its load weight.”

Well you can imagine weighing your unloaded MH and Toad to see if the weight of your unloaded rig requires the Class F license or not.

But that isn’t what DMV uses to make that determination. They read the nameplate in the motorhome and obtain the information they define as:

“Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR):The weight or value specified by the manufacturer as the maximum loaded weight of a single or combination vehicles. The gross vehicle weight rating of a combination vehicle (commonly referred to as the “gross combination weight rating) is the gross vehicle rating of the power unit plus the gross vehicle weight rating of a towed unit.”

But note that they say that term is commonly referred to “gross combined weight rating and normally that is referred to as “GCWR.”

In any event, they do not use the actual weight of the rig, but its combined load rating. That means that you can’t reduce the actual load in the rig to satisfy the less than 26,000 lb. requirement for the test.

The real problem is when you discover you need the Class F license because of your rig’s weight rating (not actual weight). You can’t even drive it to the DMV to take the proper test and make your license legal for your rig unless you have a beginner’s license by passing the written exam and have a person with a class F license in the front seat beside you with a year or more experience. A real catch 22.

I was real lucky; I am trading in a 2000 Kountry Star with a GCWR rating of 26,000 lbs. on a 2007 Koiuntry Star which has a CGWR of 42,000 lbs. I was able to get the license with the old Kountry Star before the actual trade for the new Kountry Star took place – it will take place Monday. I could not have done that if the trade had been completed.

Be careful and keep a very unpleasant event from happening. If you are charged with not having the proper driver’s license. The penalty is severe.

With a little study, the written test is very easy. The skill test (road test) is much harder and includes a 45 minute drive with many different maneuvers required. My written test took about 10 minutes. My skill test took about two hours.

Good Luck!
Wil
Does anyone know how a class F license compares to class A in California.....I ask this after being a class A instructor for 22 years and I did not think that anything over the road was higher....and this is to say that I have a school bus, doubles, triples and hazardous chemicals endorsement.

WDK
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:53 PM   #26
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Well, the driver's license requirements are specific to each state. You need to look at the specific state.

Good Luck!
Wil
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:28 PM   #27
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Never heard of this before. Guess I have been breaking the law. Googled it and I now see it. Sheesh!

Can't figure out what book you read to take the written test? Guess I need to get my permit, and work on a person to ride with me for the test.

Anybody know which book I study?

L.
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:21 PM   #28
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I bought my first starter motorhome in Feburary 2015. It is a 40'DP. I went to DMV to inquire about what I needed to study for my South Carolina class F. No one could answer that question. So I said let me take the test and then I will know. I thought I would fail it but only missed 1 question. I then got my permit that is good for one year. The next Sunday I went to the DMV in Rock Hill SC and played around on the course. (Backing 100' without trailer and stoping with rear between two line 18" apart, going forward and stoping between two lines 18" apart, and backing into a dock and stop as close as possible). The next week I took the driving test pulling my 6x12 trailer and passed. No big deal. However I was very worried before I did all of this. If anyone has any question I will be happy to help.
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