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Old 10-10-2016, 08:45 AM   #15
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If you total weight is over 25000 you also need one. You better practice your backing skills and making turns .
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:03 PM   #16
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If you total weight is over 25000 you also need one. You better practice your backing skills and making turns .
Haha...hence the "Jacknife".

Passed all three written tests today. When you go in to take the non commercial class A, you have to retake all tests for what you are licensed to drive. So, I also took the class C for passenger vehicles and the M1 for motorcycles. Now I need to make arrangements for getting my hands on a qualifying fifth wheel and scheduling the skills/driving test.
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Old 10-14-2016, 01:45 PM   #17
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Haha...hence the "Jacknife".

Passed all three written tests today. When you go in to take the non commercial class A, you have to retake all tests for what you are licensed to drive. So, I also took the class C for passenger vehicles and the M1 for motorcycles. Now I need to make arrangements for getting my hands on a qualifying fifth wheel and scheduling the skills/driving test.
UGH I would have to do the exact same thing! How hard was the non commercial class A test? Did you have to study for it?
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Old 10-15-2016, 01:01 AM   #18
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you can do the practice tests online. Just do the class A general knowledge test a few times and you will be good.

CA makes it very tough to get legal. If you don't have a qualifying rig, you have to find one. If you are lucky enough to find one, good luck getting a binder on your insurance for comp/collision. I found a guy willing to rent me his to take the driving skills test but the AAA underwriter would not give me the binder for a couple days.

If you are lucky enough to obtain a qualifying rig to take the test, you need to know somebody with a class A license that can take off work to escort you to the DMV to test M-F.

I understand wanting to make sure folks towing these big rigs down the highway know what they are doing but what a major logistical pain in the butt. I'm trying to get legal before I pick mine up in a month or so and find I'm having a hard time.
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Old 10-15-2016, 05:38 AM   #19
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you can do the practice tests online. Just do the class A general knowledge test a few times and you will be good.

CA makes it very tough to get legal. If you don't have a qualifying rig, you have to find one. If you are lucky enough to find one, good luck getting a binder on your insurance for comp/collision. I found a guy willing to rent me his to take the driving skills test but the AAA underwriter would not give me the binder for a couple days.

If you are lucky enough to obtain a qualifying rig to take the test, you need to know somebody with a class A license that can take off work to escort you to the DMV to test M-F.

I understand wanting to make sure folks towing these big rigs down the highway know what they are doing but what a major logistical pain in the butt. I'm trying to get legal before I pick mine up in a month or so and find I'm having a hard time.
Dang they sure are!! I didn't think about someone with a class A needing to drive the rig there for you. I wonder that the driving course will be like...you know they will have you back up and park between some cones etc.
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:20 AM   #20
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Dang they sure are!! I didn't think about someone with a class A needing to drive the rig there for you. I wonder that the driving course will be like...you know they will have you back up and park between some cones etc.
I passed the Class A non-commercial. The whole procedure is a PITA. Be sure to get the CA manual for this license. It has stuff that you will need to know! After you have passed the written test, you will be given a 'learners permit'. That is why you need a Class A licensed driver with you. I had such a person for my 'first' test. I FAILED the first time before ever getting behind the wheel. I failed the pre-inspection. You must inspect your whole system as if you have never seen it before. i.e. check the wheels and lugs of all wheels. Lift the hood and check for all fluid levels and belts. Make sure that you have the emergency triangles. Check all lights, brakes, etc. Touch everything you check and tell the inspector what you are doing. Otherwise you will not get behind the wheel.
The driving test was easy. Backup a hundred feet without touching the cones. Make a 90 deg back in for what they call the Alley Dock. Don't hit the cones and back the rear of the RV to within 2 ft of the backup line. BTW, you are not allowed to get out of your truck to check the area first. Pay close attention of the area before the back in. When pulling out there is a 90 deg rt turn that you must come within 2 ft of the cone without touching. After you pass that you are ready for the city driving test.
The city test was just that plus getting on-off the interstate. Lots of turns, lane changes, etc. My 5ver was new at the time and 38 ft long. Make your wide turns and don't hit the curb. Else you will be back!
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:40 AM   #21
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Joe, Congrats on your new 5ver and retirement! Beats working. Haven't heard about equipment, but if you can, add disc brakes now to your toy hauler. The drum brakes that are standard just don't cut it on mountain grades; I know from experience. On one trip in my 30' 5ver (12,000lbs), I lost all brakes coming down from Daggett pass (Lake Tahoe to Minden, Nv). Same trip, a week later, same thing happened in Colorado. I used Kodiak brakes and Dexter actuator, did the mod myself; no big deal. Best mod I ever did on my 5ver. Have now traded up to a 40' motorhome w/tag axle (2005 model). Drivers test required for motorhomes over 40', same reg as your noncommercial class A. Haven't done that yet...
Best of luck with your 5ver and smooth sailing.
Bill
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Old 10-16-2016, 09:41 PM   #22
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This fifth wheel is coming with drum brakes. One time wearing out and will look at doing something about that.

If CA did not require the driver that has passed the written to have a Class A licensed driver with you all the time when towing it would be no problem. It's not like most people you know have an A license and are willing to take time off work to ride around with you to the DMV.

When I finally get my A license, I think I will make myself available to others to help them get through this process.
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Old 10-16-2016, 10:21 PM   #23
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Where in Ca do you live ?
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Old 10-17-2016, 06:17 AM   #24
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Mostly just subscribing and hoping for more photos and write up

I'll second the need for disc brakes on that large 5er as soon as you feel you can add them. We recently finished a 7600 mile loop around the US and have to say that the existing electric drum brakes on our sig unit work kinda OK, but there was a time or two in the Rockies when they could have been a bunch better. My disc brake mod should be on order this week.
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Old 10-17-2016, 07:05 PM   #25
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Where in Ca do you live ?
So Cal, Western Riverside County.
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Old 10-17-2016, 09:38 PM   #26
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Joe, PM sent.
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Old 10-18-2016, 03:16 AM   #27
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I think the brakes on these 5th wheels would last longer if you had good exhaust engine braking. Either way using your transmission gearing to help slow things down can go a long way to saving your brakes.
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Old 10-18-2016, 06:24 PM   #28
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I think the brakes on these 5th wheels would last longer if you had good exhaust engine braking. Either way using your transmission gearing to help slow things down can go a long way to saving your brakes.
Which is cheaper to service or repair when worn out: brakes or transmission?

If it's a lease or you plan on dumping it before it's out of warranty it does not matter either way. But if I'm keeping the truck, or if it's bought used with no warranty, I'll keep my brakes in tip top shape and go easy on the tranny. Heck, I can replace rotors and pads at home in my driveway, can't do that with the tranny!
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