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Old 07-14-2009, 02:33 PM   #1
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Combined Length Limits

Howdy,

We've started looking at diesel pushers that will tow our 24' enclosed trailer (which is 28', ball to bumper). Currently we use an upgraded older ('84) small 26' class A, but for our next rig we'd like to be within manufacturer limits for weights, have a slide, queen bed, etc.

We saw a 38' Tiffen Phaeton at a local dealer that we like, assuming they'll deal on the price. However, I was checking out the combined length limits at RVSafely.com (RVSafely.com), and potentially got some bad news.

It looks like our 28' trailer with that 38' motor home is going to be around 67' to 70' in total combined length... RV Safely is saying OH has a 65' limits and PA is 60'!

My question is... Is the RV Safely page up to date? Are these limits typically enforced? If if we go with one of the "short" 34' diesel pushers, we're still between 60' and 65' total...

We do motorsports events btw... If we have to change trailers to get below the limits anyway I might just go to an open trailer and a gas powered class A. That was one of our other options anyway just due to finances, but that decision would be pretty easy to make if the length limits are regularly enforced...

Mark
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Old 07-14-2009, 02:51 PM   #2
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The Texas limit is 65' while the Colorado limit is 70'. I have towed over length twice from Co. to Tx and also in the opposite direction, driving thu. Ok. once. I have never been stopped or ticketed. But there is always the first time. I think the big concern would be if you were in an accident. I have arranged to store the trailer in Co. and will no longer be illegal HAPPY MOTORIING.
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:11 PM   #3
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marka, no matter what you decide to do trailer wise I would stay with a diesel pusher. If for no other reason than for the power. Even if you downsize on your trailer you will probably stay with ( I'm guessing here ) at least a 20 or 25 foot trailer that you will be hauling all of your stuff on or in.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:15 PM   #4
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Howdy,

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdoc View Post
marka, no matter what you decide to do trailer wise I would stay with a diesel pusher. If for no other reason than for the power. Even if you downsize on your trailer you will probably stay with ( I'm guessing here ) at least a 20 or 25 foot trailer that you will be hauling all of your stuff on or in.
Jerry
If we move down to an open trailer, I'll be dropping my towed weight down from the 9k or so range to the 6k or a little under more range. The trailer will be quite a bit lighter, and I'll take a little less stuff.

The extra power would be nice, but unless it'd be unsafe, if we go with a smaller trailer I'd rather go with a cheaper motorhome. I don't care about going a little slower up hills or whatever.

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Old 07-14-2009, 06:51 PM   #5
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Attached is a shortcut for State by State length limits etc.

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http://www.ywip.com/rv07.pdf
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Old 07-14-2009, 07:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
If we move down to an open trailer, I'll be dropping my towed weight down from the 9k or so range to the 6k or a little under more range. The trailer will be quite a bit lighter, and I'll take a little less stuff.
Are you expecting to tow 6k or a little under with a stock gas unit? Reason I ask is that I had a gas unit that allowed me to pull 6K (GCWR-GVWR) but the hitch was only rated for 5K. Be carefull, being ok with length but over with weigth solves one problem and creates another.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:52 PM   #7
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marka, Nonno is right. Even if you do drop your weight, with a gas motorhome you are going to be very close to if not over the weight limit on whatever motorhome you get. I'm not the weight police by any stretch of the imagination. I've been known to tow heavy in the past. That is another reason to stay with the diesel pusher.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:55 PM   #8
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Marka,
As Nonno mentioned your biggest problem is hitch weight, not trailer size. class "A"'s are mostly set for 5000# and some pushers will be 10,000# or more.....You wouldn't catch me pulling a 6000# trailer on the back of a gas powered class "A" coach.......
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:19 AM   #9
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Howdy,

Thanks for the thoughts.

Here's the thing... We were already pushing our budget beyond the breaking point to get into a diesel pusher. Finding out we'd be over length even if we made the budget work just put the final nail in that coffin and made us examine budget even more.

So the end result is that we have two viable choices...

#1, find a cheaper (not more than 40k) motorhome and tow an open trailer (racecar+trailer @ 5k lbs best case)

#2 bail on the motorhome path altogether and get an enclosed car hauler with a couple of the most important motorhome features for us at the track (a/c, fridge, awning) and pull it with a truck.

Complicating #1 above is that I don't want another older motorhome. I want to be in the no more than five years old or so range, it has to have a living area slide and a queen bed minimum, the interior has to please my wife (lord help me), etc.

It just doesn't seem like I can do a diesel pusher of that era for that kinda money. I can maybe do it for $60k or so, but that's just too much money. We like having a motorhome, but besides the motorsports use we probably only use it three weeks a year or so. If we take out that extra three weeks, the enclosed trailer route works just as well at events, so the question is how much are we willing to spend / deal with for that three weeks a year?

We haven't given up on the idea of a motorhome though (despite it seeming to be the sensible thing to do in some ways), so I'll start looking at the gas powered options I guess. The whole deal is just so frustrating... It just doesn't seem to be that complicated to have enough capacity to tow a freaking open car trailer safely.

Anyway, appreciate the advice on lengths and such!

Mark
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:27 AM   #10
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Legal Length

I'g not saying this is fact-but I was told that if u r driving a RV not a commercial
Vehicle that You are allowed to travel in any state other than your own by the rules of your home state,which includes length & type of license.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:36 AM   #11
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More and more states are enforcing commercial laws and regulations on race car and bike haulers based on the interpretation that, since prizes of value are involved, racing is a de facto commercial venture.

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Old 10-29-2009, 10:07 PM   #12
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I also am in the same situation, I am shopping for a MH 38-40 DP and also want to tow an enclosed for the car and golfcart. This combo puts us over 70' and that's not even legal in our home state.

I have been pouring over the state laws and it appears there is a loop hole for commercial vehicles pulling a trailer. Possibly registering the MH and the trailer to a corporation?? ICC permits?

Spoke with a friend that has been trucking all his life and tells me if I shop around, I can get annual overlenght permits in most states for as little as $20 each. Also he tells me he has only been stopped once in 35 years for overlenght. Most of the time he says his rig, and most others, are overlenght but almost never get hassled.

I'm still looking in to this and I'm going to have a little chat with the local State DOT Police and get his point of view. If I should get anything worth posting, I'll let everyone know.
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:11 AM   #13
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I've talked to the DOT and to individual state troupers and they all told me that the length limits are not "usually" enforced and in fact they all had to look it up because they couldn't remember what the limits were and that they had never checked anyone for length. They told me I would probably never be pulled over to have the length checked, but if I were ever pulled over for something else or especially if ever in an accident I would probably be checked for length. This was when I was pulling a camping trailer with a motorcycle trailer behind that. With the current setup we are using I don't have to worry about length.
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:35 PM   #14
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I met someone who is buying a closed-in auto-transport trailer with extra room in the front for a full-size Washer/Dryer and mini garage.
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