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Old 05-05-2011, 12:35 PM   #1
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New to RV'ing and want to stay legal

Hi all,

I am new to this site, so if this is posted in the wrong area please accept my apologies.

My wife and I are wanting to purchase a truck and 5th wheel trailer to live in while she works as a travelling nurse. We reside in Texas, and the rig we will be getting will have a combined weight of more than 26001lbs. This means that I will require a class B non commercial license.

Here is my dilemma: How can I pass the required driving test before we purchase the truck/trailer? I have searched everywhere and all I can find are commercial truck driving centers, which is not what I am needing.

I don't know how everyone else did it, but it seems that I am going to have to purchase the rig, and THEN take the driving test, which is back to front and doesn't seem sensible. I want to keep it legal, but I have don't know how to.

I know I could find someone with the required license to drive around with me, but as I will need to practice driving it quite a bit before the test, bring it home from the dealership, take it to the testing center etc, that is quite a lot of time, and I dont even know anyone that has that license...

If anyone here knows a better way, please let me know what it is..

JimC
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:38 PM   #2
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Are you sure that a class b is required in your state. Not all states require this endorsement.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:41 PM   #3
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Thank you for the swift response.

I have researched the licensing requirements, and I will need the class B non commercial license. I have absolutely no problem with the need to have one, I just want to keep everything legal..

JimC
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:46 PM   #4
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With all respect, I believe you'll need a non-commercial Class A. The differences are:

Class A - GCWR > 26,001 and towed load > 10,000 lbs

Class B - GCWR > 26,001 and towed load (if applicable) < 10,000 lbs

If your combined rig is over 26,001 lbs, then I daresay your 5th wheel is well over 10,000 lbs which puts you in non-commercial Class A territory.

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Old 05-05-2011, 12:54 PM   #5
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Rusty, you are absolutely correct, and that is what I meant to write in my post.

Thank you for correcting me. This is why I joined this forum, as what I have read is informative and extremely helpful.

JimC
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:23 PM   #6
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Hi Jim and welcome to the forum. I've gone through the process of getting my Texas non commercial Class B license. From what I observed and have read on forums, my suggestion would be to just go ahead and purchase the rig you want and then take your test in your own rig. I think this is especially true in the less populated parts of the state but calling the local office first and asking if you need someone to drive your rig in is probably a good idea.

I took my test in Livingston and there was a constant flow of RVers taking their test and I saw nobody with a driver.

Good luck...

Rick
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchatt30 View Post

Here is my dilemma: How can I pass the required driving test before we purchase the truck/trailer? I have searched everywhere and all I can find are commercial truck driving centers, which is not what I am needing.

I don't know how everyone else did it, but it seems that I am going to have to purchase the rig, and THEN take the driving test, which is back to front and doesn't seem sensible. I want to keep it legal, but I have don't know how to.
Jim, I had the same concerns when I bought a 40' diesel pusher a few years back. I called the local TX drivers license office (Hondo, TX) and they said when I showed up in my own rig to take the test no one would ask how I got there...
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:53 PM   #8
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Been there done that! Towing a commercial trailer over 10K I decided to get a Class A CDL. I just drove the Rig and trailer to the site. The inspector never asked how it got there. I did that without an air brake endorsement. Eventually we were going to pick up a 2-1/2 ton Mercedes truck that had air brakes. The company rented a Pensk truck with air(expensive), I picked it up, drove it to the DMV, took the written test for air, aced it, and never really had to take a driving test. The inspector asked me one question on the way to the truck which I answered and then said, "You passed." I've since downgraded from CDL to just the plain Class A since I don't drive commercially anymore.

What region are you in, in Texas. Maybe someone is nearby that can give you peace of mind and take you down there.

BTW, you can go down, take the written test, get a learner's permit, then go back and take just the driving test.
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:12 PM   #9
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BTW, you can go down, take the written test, get a learner's permit, then go back and take just the driving test.
A learner's permit REQUIRES you to have a person with the same class of license as your learner's permit in the vehicle with you. IMHO you would be better off without the learner's permit as 1. They charge you and extra fee for the permit, 2. They will expect a licensed driver to be with you when you take your driving test :-)

I took my Class B non-CDL written, went back 2 days later and took the driving test as this office schedules driving test after you have passed the written. They never ask how the MH got there.
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:57 PM   #10
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Yes, but the same applied to me with a learners permit when I drove the vehicle there myself. Was it legal - no. Is driving any vehicle which you are not licensed for legal - no. Do people do it - yes. Do they get caught? Sometimes. You take your chances and you pay the price on the outcome. The decisions is entirely your own.

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A learner's permit REQUIRES you to have a person with the same class of license as your learner's permit in the vehicle with you. IMHO you would be better off without the learner's permit as 1. They charge you and extra fee for the permit, 2. They will expect a licensed driver to be with you when you take your driving test :-)

I took my Class B non-CDL written, went back 2 days later and took the driving test as this office schedules driving test after you have passed the written. They never ask how the MH got there.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:08 AM   #11
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Just be sure that you know the actual weight that the state is going to classify your vehicle before you go through the DMV hassle. Last week, after taking delivery of my new Winnebago Journey 34Y, I took and passed the written portion of the class B license test. I was to go back this Thursday to take the driving test. When my license plates and registration came, Texas had classified my RV as a passenger vehicle over 6000# with a gross weight of 22,900# which brought me in under the 26001# limit. All the information I had read told me the gross weight was going to be 27900# but that turned out to be wrong. I went back to the DMV yesterday and had them cancel my class B license request.

Just be sure you know what your registration is going to state before going through the DMV process. In the DFW metroplex, the DMV experience is not a pleasant one.
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