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Old 06-17-2013, 09:00 PM   #1
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South Carolina RVers

Hello out there South fellow Carolinians, I am a 60 year old resident of South Carolina and have lived here all my life and I am really disappointed in the morons in the legislature who came up with the procedures for operating a Rv in excess of 26,000lbs.
I am retiring soon and wish to travel the great United States in a motor home. I want a Diesel Rv and most of the ones I am looking at are in excess of the 26,000lb rating. I have been researching buying one and have found several I like and want to buy. The ones I have been looking at are located out West. Places like Oregon, Idaho, New Mexico etc. I am looking at Alpine Coaches and the majority are located in these places. Anyway my plans were to fly out and drive the RV back to South Carolina. I have been told I must have a Class E or F license to operate the Rv if over the 26,000 lb limit. No problem if I had a 26,000lb Rv to take the test in!!!! I don't so the next plan is to get a learners permit by taking a written test which I did and now possess. The problem with that is per South Carolina DMV I have to have a person with one of these licenses (E,F) riding with me while I am driving! What I supposed to do, put an ad in the paper for someone with this license take several days and ride from Oregon to South Carolina? Don't think so!!!! Plus I would have to provide that person airfare to Oregon! This makes no sense! This law would be fine for someone that already has the Rv and just needs to get legal in the state but for someone trying to start it makes no sense. I had to get a motorcycle added to my license and South Carolina did not require someone to ride on the bike while I learned to drive it!!!!!
After talking to DMV and getting nowhere, they gave me the procedures department and they say the same things, its the law. That does not make it right, its stupid. Here is the other reccommendation they gave me. They asked if I knew someone with a vehicle that I could borrow to take the test in!!!! Yes they are morons, someone is going to loan me a vehicle that costs $100,000-to whatever price you want to pay to learn how to drive and take a road test in. Right! These are the kind of people making stupid laws like this! It's unbelievable! I understand that this vehicle is large and may need special treatment but for someone trying to get started it is ridiculus. Now if the vehicle weighs 25,999lbs no license is needed. Make sense? I don't think so!!

I am sorry for the long post but I needed to vent and see what other people think about this stupid law. I have emailed the governors office but it will probably fall on deaf ears. Right now I am not very happy to live in the state of South Carolina!

Thanks for listening
Paul Freeman
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:23 PM   #2
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I live in West Columbia SC and I know a lot of people that have large RVs I was told that they don't have to have a special licence because it is not a commercial vehicle don't hold me to that it is what I was told
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:12 PM   #3
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If I were you, I would go get the RV you want, Drive it home and take the test. Whats the odds of getting pulled over comming home and the officer knowing what your home laws are. I assume you have a valid drivers license for vehicles under 26,000.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:21 PM   #4
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Yes, you do need a South Carolina Class E ...but you already knew that.

DMV: click

Class E
A Class E driverís license allows you to operate non-commercial, single unit vehicles that exceeds 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. Examples of Class E vehicles include trucks and motor homes. With a Class E driverís license, you may also operate a three-wheel vehicle (excluding a two-wheel motorcycle with a side car).


But now to figure out how you're going to get your Class E ahead of time. I can understand your frustration.

Are there any RV driving schools in your area? Any truck driver training schools? Sometimes they'll allow DMV testing on their premises or arrange to have somebody accompany you to the DMV in their vehicle.

Let's see what kinds of responses you get here. Hopefully, somebody will have a solution.

Who knows, somebody may be willing to let you use their motorhome if they accompany you to the DMV ...never know.

-harry
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by chuckftboy View Post
If I were you, I would go get the RV you want, Drive it home and take the test. Whats the odds of getting pulled over comming home and the officer knowing what your home laws are. I assume you have a valid drivers license for vehicles under 26,000.
The problem that has been discussed before on taking such a chance is the insurance issue.

If you are involved in a accident, your liability insurance carrier may not cover you because you are not properly licensed in the state of your residence. You could end up losing your home if the opposing lawyers play the right angles.

In Nevada, where we need a Class B license (same as Class E in SC), some have decided to take the chance on not get properly licensed. I know several in NV who just don't think it's necessary to follow the law. They tell us that they'll just say that "nobody told us we need a special license to drive our motorhome" but as you know, as the saying goes: "ignorance of the law is no excuse" ...blah, blah, blah.

This is what several of us have cautioned them pertaining to their liability insurance ...you may lose your life savings should the circumstance dictate that your liability insurance will not completely cover you. Sure, chances are that you will not have an accident but do you want to take the chance?

We don't have that kind of guts, ourselves. But you have to determine if you are willing to take the chance.

-harry





ETA:

Paul, both the DW and I are former commercial drivers so we have a different outlook on "this stupid law" as we believe that ALL states should have uniform drivers' licensing requirements as it pertains to vehicles, and motorhomes in particular, that are 26,000 lbs GVWR and over and that a special license should be required in all states.

As we stated before, we as Nevada residents have to have a Class B license. A Class B license requires taking both a written test and a road test ...like SC.

However, our good friends in Washington state, where there is no requirement to have a special license to drive a diesel pusher motorhome, can come to Nevada with their diesel pusher that is longer and heavier than ours, and drive it on the same streets in Nevada that we drive ours on but we have to have a special license and they do not.

We are actually originally from Washington state and that's where we had our CDLs from but when we think about this situation, it makes us laugh and feel frustrated at the same time.

Two people driving the same type of motorhome can both drive legally on the roads of Nevada but the resident of the state has to have a special license that requires tests to be taken where the other person from another state where no special license is required and no special tests taken can also drive legally on the same roads.

Something is not right. All states should have similar requirements. All states should require a special license to drive a vehicle with a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs. and all states should require a test to be taken to drive a vehicle with air brakes.

-harry
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:02 PM   #6
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We have similar laws in Texas. I did as previously suggested and purchased a class A DP. I took the written test and got my class B learner's permit. Then I ran an add and hired a school bus driver to practice with me and ride with me to take the driving test. There will be plenty of takers on Craigslist. It cost me a couple of hundred dollars but it was money well spent. I learned how to maneuver a large coach in traffic and parallel park ( yes you may have to do that) and most importantly I learned about air brakes which is extremely critical to driving a large Class A DP. It may seem ridiculous now but I think you will glad, as I was, that you went through all of this. You will be a better and safer driver for it!

Good Luck,
WM
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:39 PM   #7
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I think it should be about the length not the weight. I really think it sucks for a RV in the first place
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:12 AM   #8
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I guess all class A motorhomes drivers in South Carolina would need class E and F. Mind is just 32 Ft Monaco Vesta and it's 29000 LBS.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:28 AM   #9
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Class E and F license

I do not disagree with getting the license for the RV. It's probably a good idea to make sure people are capable of operating the vehicle. My problem is with the procedures for getting the license. I think I should be able to get the permit and learn to drive the RV on my own. After all like I stated before I did not have to have anyone ride a motorcycle with me while I learned!

As for taking a chance in driving without the license, I don't have the guts! Like someone posted in case of an accident the insurance company could deny coverage for not having the license. Also if someone is hurt a lawsuit could destroy you.

Here is another thing to think about, there are only a few states that require this license so is the road really any safer? Don't think so! I live on the Georgia/South Carolina border, 10 miles to Georgia from my house, no license required!! Ridiculus, I think so!!! Please don't suggest moving to Georgia, its not an option. I am almost ready to retire and to move would not be possible.

As for schools in the area, we have called several which are CDL schools but this is not a CDL license. It would be overkill to take that school and still by what they say the class E or F license would not be offered there.

There is one other thing I have seen while looking at RV's in South Carolina, some of the dealers play this down and say it is not enforced, some of them say they have never heard of the license. This adds to the frustration but like the person stated Ignorance is no excuse!

This has made me think about giving up on getting an RV at all!

Thanks for the replies
Still Mad in SC
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:59 PM   #10
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Same required here in Pa. even though most people ignore it. There are some Vo-Tech schools here that offer RV driving courses. You need to drive with someone that has the higher class license even while you have your permit.

It is no different than buying a tractor trailer to drive. You need the proper license to drive it regardless of your situation.

These laws have been on the books a long time in many states. It is just recently that the states changed all the former protect and serve cops into revenue collectors and we subsidized the graduation of 10,000 more unneeded lawyers, that the laws have started to be enforced.

Also when I tried to insure mine they asked if I and all drivers were properly licensed for the weight and any towed vehicles.

It is almost a sure thing that if you are in an accident and not properly licensed, some low life ambulance chaser will uncover it while suing you.
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:13 PM   #11
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As for taking a chance in driving without the license, I don't have the guts! Like someone posted in case of an accident the insurance company could deny coverage for not having the license. Also if someone is hurt a lawsuit could destroy you.
That's not generally true, though I have seen a Canadian policy written that way. In most every state (I can't say all - I don't know that), the vehicle is insured, not the driver. The insurance covers damage done by the vehicle even if your 10 year old kid jumps in and drives off.

Where the risk comes is that an opposing attorney can (justifiably) claim you haven't met the legal requirements to be driving the rig and thus demand a much higher settlement award. Maybe even more than your liability insurance covers, leaving you responsible for the rest. And a jury might agree with him.
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:50 PM   #12
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Maybe even more than your liability insurance covers, leaving you responsible for the rest. And a jury might agree with him.
Especially when you are in a big $ DP and the guy you hit lives in a trailer worth as much as 1 of your wheels.
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