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Old 04-24-2018, 05:24 PM   #1
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Upgraded trucks and am getting legal...In Pennsylvania.

New member here.

I recently decided to upgrade my tow vehicle as we have been pulling overloaded. I was using a tuned and modified 2006 Duramax Crew cab to pull our 2015 427BHS(GVWR #16,200). I am the original owner of the truck and performed lots of mods to pull the camper, but always had that white knuckle feeling when pulling, because I knew we were short on having enough truck to pull that heavy of a camper. My old camper was much lighter and within weight rating of the truck. Our salesman told us our truck would pull with no problem....

Update to last week... Pulled the trigger on a 2018 F350 CC DRW 6.7 with 4.10 gears. I want to be able to pull any camper we may purchase in the future and think that I now have it covered.

Being originally from Texas, I was given sticker shock when originally registering the 2006 here as a class 4 rated vehicle($200). I was nearly reconsidering my decision to buy the dually when the dealership told me that I needed at least a class 8 registration($500+) to cover my camper and truck combo. Not sure if I needed a class 9 or not but I went with class 8.

Now I'm trying to get my noncommercial class A designation on my license. Got the learner's permit without issue. However, I got a mixed response when calling PennDOT on the phone versus in person, regarding having a Class A driver accompany me when I test. I've got a couple of friends and coworkers with their CDL so I should be good for the accompanying driver, but I see where some offices didn't require it.

Can anyone give me some insight to the pre-trip inspection that I may have to demonstrate to start the driving test? Any pointers or experience would be great.

Who knew getting legal would be so cumbersome?

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 04-25-2018, 06:03 AM   #2
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I've had CDL with all endorsements for years. There's lots of info on pre-trip inspections on the web as well as in the CDL Manual. The pre-trip is mostly specific to the vehicle you will be driving. They want you to check everything, including checking between dual tires for lodged rocks or debris. A lot has to do with the individual checking you out. Did they give you a study manual?
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Old 04-25-2018, 06:22 AM   #3
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Hi Mike! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Congrats on the new F350! Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 04-25-2018, 07:41 AM   #4
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I've had CDL with all endorsements for years. There's lots of info on pre-trip inspections on the web as well as in the CDL Manual. The pre-trip is mostly specific to the vehicle you will be driving. They want you to check everything, including checking between dual tires for lodged rocks or debris. A lot has to do with the individual checking you out. Did they give you a study manual?
No info given at the DMV office. The lady at the desk said there wasn't a study manual or specific checklist for the non-commercial license. She mainly stated that I would be required to drive the cdl course and that I had to show up with a licensed driver with their class-a and my camper/truck.

Thanks for the input.

Mike
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Old 04-25-2018, 07:42 AM   #5
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Hi Mike! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Congrats on the new F350! Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Thanks!

Mike
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Old 04-25-2018, 10:21 AM   #6
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Most of the time you can walk around during the inspection simply pointing to certain areas and describe to them what you would be looking for. Just cover everything including loose tools left under the hood, fan belts, fluid levels, tires for pressure, cracks and bulges. Bore them to death and they will usually end the inspection pretty quick. Start at the back left corner and walk clockwise around the truck covering everything...even fuel caps.
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Old 04-25-2018, 06:31 PM   #7
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What triggers the need for a CDL license when driving a motorhome or pulling a 5th wheel or travel trailer? Is it the size of the truck or the size of the RV?


I thought as long as your weren't driving commercially, and just driving your own rig you didn't need a CDL license.
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Old 04-25-2018, 07:16 PM   #8
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As RV's become larger monsters, they are worried about old people being able.to handle them. A charter us requires a CDL. That same size vehicle ad a motor home does not.
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:30 AM   #9
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Any special roadside gear that might be required as part of a "required kit?" I've got safety triangles and led flares, as well as airtank/portable compressor/tire gauges/jumper cables and tow straps.

Sorry for the newbie questions, I just don't want to miss anything and waste the time of the person going to the testing facility with me. I've got a pretty good kit set up from hauling fifth wheels for the last 10 years, I just don't have any experience with the "legal side" of towing.

So far, during break in, I'm loving the truck and can't wait to hook up to the trailer with it.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 05-23-2018, 04:15 AM   #10
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Legal now!

Now I'm legal to pull my rig.

The test turned out to be a non-issue. Simple walkaround and pre-trip inspection and then about 30 minutes of driving. No backing, special maneuvers or anything.

Thanks for the advice and input from those that replied.

Mike
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Old 05-23-2018, 05:07 AM   #11
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What triggers the need for a CDL license when driving a motorhome or pulling a 5th wheel or travel trailer? Is it the size of the truck or the size of the RV?


I thought as long as your weren't driving commercially, and just driving your own rig you didn't need a CDL license.
Some states require this some do not. Go with your home state laws and you are good.
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:28 PM   #12
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What triggers the need for a CDL license when driving a motorhome or pulling a 5th wheel or travel trailer? Is it the size of the truck or the size of the RV?


I thought as long as your weren't driving commercially, and just driving your own rig you didn't need a CDL license.
Driving commercially triggers the need for a CDL. An RV does not need or require a CDL, but MAY require an NON-commercial class A drivers license. Check with your state DMV.
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Old 05-27-2018, 07:56 AM   #13
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Heavy camping

We just went thru that with our camper. Our Chevy dually was good for 18,000 lbs but even with the 502 the hills would make you start shifting down so we upgraded. In NY as long as we stay under 65' and 26,000 with the tow vehicle no CDL is needed. I have a CDL but my wife can drive it with a regular class B because we reclassified the commercial truck as a medium duty tow vehicle ( RV only ) registration was about $285 and insurance was about $500. Our maiden voyage this weekend is going great the 550 HP makes driving so much more relaxing.
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Old 05-27-2018, 08:45 AM   #14
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We just went thru that with our camper. Our Chevy dually was good for 18,000 lbs but even with the 502 the hills would make you start shifting down so we upgraded. In NY as long as we stay under 65' and 26,000 with the tow vehicle no CDL is needed. I have a CDL but my wife can drive it with a regular class B because we reclassified the commercial truck as a medium duty tow vehicle ( RV only ) registration was about $285 and insurance was about $500. Our maiden voyage this weekend is going great the 550 HP makes driving so much more relaxing.
That's a nice looking semi in my favorite color too.

Do you have full mud-flap/tire covers for the duals that wrap over them?
In any kind of rain you will be making rooster tails of water as high as your fiver.
Spray/rock containment over the duals might be required in some states.

Enjoy that power!!

FWIW.
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