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Old 01-05-2019, 07:46 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by dskyward View Post
Ok, I'll concede on this topic. It's true other states don't require a license above a passenger car and below a class A CDL to legally operate a >26k RV of any kind for personal use. "Lord keep us all safe and provide those who need it safe driving skills for the vehicles they operate." Amen.

Here is a good PDF and website that appears current to find your state's driver license requirement to legally operate an RV of any weight class, considering for personal use:
https://www.fcrv.org/documents/legis-licenses-15.pdf
Wrong for WA State. Here private RV's are totally exempt by law
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Old 01-05-2019, 09:05 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by grindstone01 View Post
I would get that rig weighed at a truck stop first. My Chevy DRW with 14k fifth wheel and a 1k Goldwing hanging off the back bumper only weighs in at 25k. You might not need a 26k+ licenses which would be a non-commercial A.
I have read that the law is based on GVW on the sticker from both tow rig and 5th wheel
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:58 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Wood Chip View Post
MattE- any update on this? Did you move forward with the non commercial class A? I am researching this topic as my next rig will be over 16,000 lbs. Heck, until today I didn't know I needed and endorsement on my class C for my current rig .
I haven't taken the test yet. I found a web site that has diagrams of the skills tests so I bought some cones and have gone down to the fairgrounds parking lot to practice a few times, but other than that it's kinda gotten back burnered due to other stuff. Hopefully I'll get it taken care of this spring.

If you just need the 5th wheel endorsement (aka "Recreational Trailer Endorsement" or "Restriction 41") for your current rig, it's pretty easy, just a 20 question test. Get the RV handbook from the DMV, study it and take the test. Hardest part will be getting the DMV worker to figure out what test to give you, they'll have no clue, bring printouts of the relevant DMV documents.
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:50 PM   #46
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I got my non-commercial class A in CA a couple years ago. You will need to take the written test for your regular driver license (class C) as well as the written motorcycle test if you have that endorsement. For the class A written test, study the commercial book and take the commercial practice tests you can find online.

Before going to the DMV for your pre-trip inspection and skills test, go find the commercial pre-trip inspection on YouTube and watch that a half dozen times. There is a video with a guy in a shop with a white truck which is a good one. During the pre-trip, anything that is hard is not crackd, damaged, or loose (CDL). Anything soft like hoses, wires and such show no abrasions, bumps, or cuts (ABC). I remembered that being the (ABCís) to get my (CDL).

Pay attention to everything on the pre-trip and try not. To miss anything but pay special attention to the brakes, tires, wheels and your hitch set up.

The skills test was pulling forward straight through an aisle of cones then back straight up through the same isle of cones. I was told to back up until the rear of my trailer was inside a painted rectangle on the ground that was about 3í deep.

From there, I was shown another aisle of cones out ahead of me at a 90 degree angle to my left. I was supposed to pull through the aisle of cones I was in and allowed to position myself to back up to the drivers side into that other aisle of cones and back up until the rear of my trailer was within another 3í deep painted box at the back of the second aisle of cones.

From there, the examiner placed a cone out ahead of me to my right side and told me to turn right around that getting my trailer tires within a foot.

From there, you go on the road.

You do not have to be perfect. These people just want to make sure you know your equipment and can handle your equipment
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:03 PM   #47
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I got my non-commercial class A in CA a couple years ago. You will need to take the written test for your regular driver license (class C) as well as the written motorcycle test if you have that endorsement. For the class A written test, study the commercial book and take the commercial practice tests you can find online.

Before going to the DMV for your pre-trip inspection and skills test, go find the commercial pre-trip inspection on YouTube and watch that a half dozen times. There is a video with a guy in a shop with a white truck which is a good one. During the pre-trip, anything that is hard is not crackd, damaged, or loose (CDL). Anything soft like hoses, wires and such show no abrasions, bumps, or cuts (ABC). I remembered that being the (ABCís) to get my (CDL).

Pay attention to everything on the pre-trip and try not. To miss anything but pay special attention to the brakes, tires, wheels and your hitch set up.

The skills test was pulling forward straight through an aisle of cones then back straight up through the same isle of cones. I was told to back up until the rear of my trailer was inside a painted rectangle on the ground that was about 3í deep.

From there, I was shown another aisle of cones out ahead of me at a 90 degree angle to my left. I was supposed to pull through the aisle of cones I was in and allowed to position myself to back up to the drivers side into that other aisle of cones and back up until the rear of my trailer was within another 3í deep painted box at the back of the second aisle of cones.

From there, the examiner placed a cone out ahead of me to my right side and told me to turn right around that getting my trailer tires within a foot.

From there, you go on the road.

You do not have to be perfect. These people just want to make sure you know your equipment and can handle your equipment
Good info, thanks!

Where did you test?

It sounds like you did the "straight line backing" and the "alley dock", but you didn't have to do the "offset backing" test? (see cdl skills test cone layout - Big Rig Career).

What did they expect you to say or do about the brakes during the pre-trip?
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:54 PM   #48
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Good info, thanks!

Where did you test?

It sounds like you did the "straight line backing" and the "alley dock", but you didn't have to do the "offset backing" test? (see cdl skills test cone layout - Big Rig Career).

What did they expect you to say or do about the brakes during the pre-trip?

I took the pre-trip and skills test in San Diego

They did not ask for the offset but I practiced it and was a little surprised it easier than I thought.

Nothing special about the brakes. Itís just they were interested that I knew about them and what to look for. Like...This truck is equipped with hydraulic disc brakes which are self adjusting...then you tell them the hoses have no abrasions, bumps or cuts and are secure in place, bolts are not damaged or loose, none missing. Brake pads are secure and in place and have adequate brake pad material overall in good condition. Rotors are not cracked or damaged, no signs rotors have been exposed to excessive heat, rotors are in good condition overall...
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:56 AM   #49
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I have read that the law is based on GVW on the sticker from both tow rig and 5th wheel

Well, I need my 5th wheel endorsement for my current rig and will go for the non commercial Class A in 2 years when i get my new rig. The problem with DMV is that appointments are all the way out into April. I think I will give it a go and get to DMV tomorrow at 6:00 AM to see if I can get this done. I have studied well and the info is fresh in my head. I want to get it done.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:29 PM   #50
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Well, I need my 5th wheel endorsement for my current rig and will go for the non commercial Class A in 2 years when i get my new rig. The problem with DMV is that appointments are all the way out into April. I think I will give it a go and get to DMV tomorrow at 6:00 AM to see if I can get this done. I have studied well and the info is fresh in my head. I want to get it done.
Holy Cow! I got my 5th wheel endorsement but only after a long day at DMV. Everybody is correct, they have no experience from what I could tell with a Class C restriction 41. At one point they printed up a class B which I caught on review then after explaining once again ,they printed up a class A permit. A manager finally made a call to the head shed and I finally walked out at noon. I was in line at 6:00AM so a 6 hour day at DMV is a low point for me. haha
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:17 PM   #51
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I bought a new 5th wheel and found out I need a non com class a because my weight is sitting at 27000 lbs. dont have the trailer yet will pick up on the 20th. need to know how to get it to dmv for test. any ideas
You have to find someone with a Class A or Non-Commerical Class A to go with you. Before that, you will have to take the test and after passing the test you will receive an L-Permit. They will set you up with an appointment to return to a DMV office at a later date where you will then conduct a pre-trip inspection. If you pass you will then conduct a few maneuvers towing. If you pass that section you will then conduct the road portion. But first, you need to take the written which will give you time to find someone to accompany you.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:40 PM   #52
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I took the pre-trip and skills test in San Diego

They did not ask for the offset but I practiced it and was a little surprised it easier than I thought.

Nothing special about the brakes. Itís just they were interested that I knew about them and what to look for. Like...This truck is equipped with hydraulic disc brakes which are self adjusting...then you tell them the hoses have no abrasions, bumps or cuts and are secure in place, bolts are not damaged or loose, none missing. Brake pads are secure and in place and have adequate brake pad material overall in good condition. Rotors are not cracked or damaged, no signs rotors have been exposed to excessive heat, rotors are in good condition overall...
The pre inspection is still a bit of a concern as when I look at the Pre-trip inspection video, it is more geared toward big rigs.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:32 PM   #53
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The pre inspection is still a bit of a concern as when I look at the Pre-trip inspection video, it is more geared toward big rigs.
When I id mine, the proctor was pretty helpful in making sure I didn't miss anything. More so because I was not a Big Rig driver which I am sure she would have been harder on me. She didn't outright give me the answers, but she wouldn't let me move on to the next part of the truck or trailer until I had hit everything she was looking for..."Are you sure there isn't anything else in this area you want to tell me about?"
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:40 AM   #54
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"Are you sure there isn't anything else in this area you want to tell me about?"
"Well there was the time I dated a circus performer and we..............Oh! the trailer. Right! Stick to the trailer."
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:16 PM   #55
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"Well there was the time I dated a circus performer and we..............Oh! the trailer. Right! Stick to the trailer."


She may not have appreciated that all that much...I sure would have though.
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