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Old 06-13-2017, 02:52 PM   #1
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Class A license

Just got my class A license so now I'm legal with a CA issued driver license. If anyone has been putting it off, just go do it, it's not that bad.

Read the RV handbook from the DMV (you can find it online). Then watch the Class A pre-trip inspection on YouTube a few times. Walk around your truck and trailer a few times practicing to yourself and you should do ok on the pre trip inspection.

For the skills portion, they had me drive through a straight section of cones that were set to create a "lane" approximately 12' wide. Pull ahead a couple hundred feet and then back up to the starting point where there was a painted line on the ground and honk my horn when backed to the line.

Next was the 90 degree ally dock. A 12' wide rectangle was marked off with painted lines and cones. You start at approximately 90 degrees and back the trailer into the rectangle that is set up. It is a point accumulation so if you hit a cone or pull up you get points (you don't want to be assigned to many points. I pulled up twice because I have a 13' tail swing and couldn't see anything on the passenger side so I hugged up tight to the driver side. You back up till you are ar the rear of the rectangle and honk your horn. There is a 3' deep painted box at the back of the rectangle. The idea is to get the back of the trailer inside that box.

From there, they put a cone out on your passenger side and you make a turn around it and try to get as close as possible with the trailer tires without hitting it.

Then you do some in town driving, lane changes, left and right turns, do a bit of freeway driving, merging, etc.

You don't have to be perfect. Now I'm not concerned about potential insurance issues or the random 24 year old CHP officer wanting to impress his boss.
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Old 06-13-2017, 03:03 PM   #2
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That's the main reason I did it in my domicile Texas. Not that bad and insurance has less wiggle room. It's called a non CDL class A.
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Old 06-13-2017, 03:10 PM   #3
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Joe, you got a Non-Commercial Class B license, or a Class A? RV operators don't need (but are welcome to use) any Class A license.
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Old 06-13-2017, 03:16 PM   #4
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Joe, you got a Non-Commercial Class B license, or a Class A? RV operators don't need (but are welcome to use) any Class A license.
I got a non commercial class A to tow a fifth wheel over #15,000 GVWR.

The non commercial B would be for a motorhome over a certain size. (I think 40')

A fifth wheel from #10,001 to #15,000 GVWR needs an endorsement on their class C which can be had by passing the "written" test at the DMV.
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Old 06-13-2017, 03:25 PM   #5
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Interesting!
Is the thinking that a further advanced licence might be required in all States in the future, for Class A motorhomes?
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Old 06-13-2017, 03:33 PM   #6
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...excuse the sidebar: Cruzbill, I see Bill, Kathi, and ZORRO!! I assume it's an all black animal, possibly dog? I have never heard of another Zorro, and that's why we named our Newfie Zorro.
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Old 06-13-2017, 03:46 PM   #7
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Zorro, 'cause he wears a mask! Beautiful dogs, yours! Ours is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, about 26 lbs these days.
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:30 PM   #8
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Zorro, 'cause he wears a mask! Beautiful dogs, yours! Ours is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, about 26 lbs these days.
ZORRO!!
Yah, we'll have to downsize our dog pound as they attrite -- kinda fill up the motorhome with chaos.
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Old 06-13-2017, 11:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe11 View Post
I got a non commercial class A to tow a fifth wheel over #15,000 GVWR.

The non commercial B would be for a motorhome over a certain size. (I think 40')

A fifth wheel from #10,001 to #15,000 GVWR needs an endorsement on their class C which can be had by passing the "written" test at the DMV.
Here in CA you also need a class A, either commercial or non-commercial for towing any trailer over 10,000 gvw.

I understand almost 50% of those attempting to get their Class A or B ncl fail the inspection test. I had 52 items to identify and verify. Don't take this section lightly.

Many do not have the correct license. A buddy of mine didn't and he had 15 minutes to get a properly licensed driver or have his rig towed.

Not much fun as it ruined his day.
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Old 06-14-2017, 12:56 AM   #10
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Here in CA you also need a class A, either commercial or non-commercial for towing any trailer over 10,000 gvw.

I understand almost 50% of those attempting to get their Class A or B ncl fail the inspection test. I had 52 items to identify and verify. Don't take this section lightly.

Many do not have the correct license. A buddy of mine didn't and he had 15 minutes to get a properly licensed driver or have his rig towed.

Not much fun as it ruined his day.
You need an endorsement for fifth wheels with GVWR from #10,001 to #15,000 and a non commercial A for fifth wheels over #15,000 GVWR.

Pre-inspection is not that bad if you study for it. Where is the 50% failure rate published? If you prepare a little, there shouldn't be a big problem.

My 5er is registered in Arizona because of the CA rules. I own property there where it stays for about half the year so it's legit. It was a new trailer so I couldn't register it in CA if I wanted to because the DMV would have required the VIN get verified. If I had taken it to the CHP, they would have threatened to have it towed because I was unlicensed according to CA rules. CA lost out on $thousands in sales tax and lost registration fees because of their rules.

Your buddy's situation is what made me get the required license. That cop should have given him a fix it ticket but that's the guy going for a promotion.
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Old 06-14-2017, 09:09 PM   #11
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I have the California license with the 5th wheel endorsement (actually called a "restriction 41") for up to 15K lbs. Like has been said, just a simple written test. Just go over the rules, which is available on line, and is really just common sense.

Word of caution, if you have not taken some kind of drivers test in the last 2 years, you have to take the written tests for all the other licenses you have also. Bit of a surprise for me. Passed, but had me sweating for a couple.

It will take the DMV about 30 minutes to understand such a license exists, and what they needed to do.

Mark
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Old 06-15-2017, 03:15 AM   #12
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I live and base in TN, which has no special licensing requirements. Do I need anything fancy if I drive me big, heavy and long MH to .CA or TX?
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Old 06-15-2017, 03:28 AM   #13
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If you are legal in the state you are licensed in, then you are legal in all other states you visit.

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Old 06-15-2017, 03:30 AM   #14
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Same question! I think it's unclear who you are saying this all applies to.
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