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Old 02-28-2016, 08:15 AM   #1
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Accept The Risk?

I realize there are many many threads addressing the pros/cons of flat towing vs dollies vs trailers. Not my intent to beat those horses again.

There are also threads with posts warning readers of towing configurations that are in violation of state laws. I know the state laws and dont need to be warned about Georgia, Maryland, D.C., etc.

I am seeking input from those who have been there as to whether the consequences were worth the risk to violate the law regarding total length.

I have a 43.5 foot coach and would need an 18 foot deck (open) car hauler. If I do, the total length is likely to be closer to 66 feet than 65 feet (trust me on the math). Was it worth it? What were the real-life consequences?

If you are fearful of violating the laws regarding length but have no direct experience with traveling over the legal limit or with being measured by authorities, you won't be able to help me. If you have traveled outside legal limits and/or have seen or experienced the consequences of being a violator, I would very much appreciate your thoughts.

I have read posts suggesting that my rig will be towed and impounded. I will have to pay fines and will be forced to find another way to get the equipment home. Really? My rig will be towed if I am 66 feet and the law is 65 feet? I doubt that unless there are extenuating circumstances, but I don't know for sure.

Again, I am not asking about states with 60 foot or 55 foot limitations. I am asking about traveling at 66 feet in 65 foot states.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:22 AM   #2
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I have never heard of a "first" hand account where a motorhome towing a car on a trailer was impounded let alone stopped for being over length. Police today have other more important things to do than stop a motorhome and get out a tape measure and check the length. Besides most police have no clue what the length statute is in their state anyway, that's reserved for the DOT enforcement folks who could care less about an occasional motorhome towing a trailer going down the road.
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:33 AM   #3
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We are at 68' flat towing our F150 w/ 6.5' bed. We are over the limit here in Texas and many of the states where we travel. My bailout plan has always been, to unhitch and have DW drive the F150 to the next state line. As far as impounding, you could always unload the toad and have the other half drive it. Worst case is you may have to store the trailer. If the toad had a hitch, maybe it could tow the empty trailer.

If you want to see some over length vehicles, attend any motorsport event and walk through the pits. There was once a discussion about CHP setting up outside a NHRA event in Pomona, and ticketting and/or impounding rigs as they left the venue. I don't know of this happening 1st hand.
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:38 AM   #4
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I don't have first hand experience. But I would not worry about it, especially for one foot over.
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:05 AM   #5
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We used to tow a motorcycle on a trailer behind a camping trailer with a truck. I checked with local and state police as well as the DMV and they all told me I would never be stopped just for being over the length limit. They did say it might come into question if I were ever involved in an accident and the investigating officer thought about measuring my length but all of them said they doubted even that would happen. We ran that way for about 15 years and never had a problem.
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Old 02-28-2016, 02:08 PM   #6
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We've been running just a bit over 70' with this rig and two previous Class A's for about 200,000 miles. We travel cross country in the winter and to Alaska every second year from the east coast. We've never been stopped nor checked for length since we began RV'ing.

Unless you are planning to be registered as a commercial vehicle, there's no reason to ever be subjected to an area where overall lengths are regularly checked, most truck weigh stations. I have heard that some people who race stock and drag strip cars have been stopped shortly after leaving tracks and checked. I believe this was a local dispute between cops (sheriff officers?) and the competitors as to whether they should be classed as commercial vehicles or non-commercial, such as RV's.

In reality, LEOS have many more important duties to attend to instead of pulling over and measuring RV's. In fact, most road officers probably wold be hard pressed to tell you off hand what their own state's length requirements were without looking it up. Checking these things are usually left to DOT units or special truck enforcement units.
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Old 02-28-2016, 04:03 PM   #7
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I am over 65' and have been for many years. I have never had any consequences. Worst case scenario would be you couldn't continue down the road at your over length status, I would unload the Escalade and tow the trailer down the road or hire someone to bring the trailer to me. I don't think I will ever have to deal with it. I wouldn't over think the situation, especially if you stay on Interstate Highways in State that may have less than 65' rules.
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Old 02-28-2016, 04:44 PM   #8
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Risk Accepted

Thanks for the responses! Very helpful.

I don't recall the thread/post where the comment suggested the RV and trailer could be impounded but I could probably find it again.

I shall sally forth into a mild form of insubordination.

As an elderly friend once told me when walking against the crosswalk light, "a little civil disobedience is good for the soul, just don't make a habit of it".
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Old 02-28-2016, 05:04 PM   #9
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Here is the post I was referring to which suggested all sorts of bad things will happen if you are measured over the limit (from a thread on rvforum.net). I should note before you read it; not my circus, not my monkeys:

"Police in any state don't care how much expierience you have, it will get you a stiff fine and you will not be allowed to move your trailer with your MH if you get stopped They will have it towed and storage for 30 days and if you want it or the vehicle inside you will pay the high charges in addition to the fine. If you don't pay the tow and storage it is the sorage companies property free and clear and they can do with it as they please. He a friend that it happened to. Why be dumb or stupid when it's uncalled for. Besides a 40' MH usually measures near 41 ' or more. Add the A frame of the trailer and hitch. you are probably 70 or better. To get a permit for that in each state, each day you travel and hire an escort for front and rear, you better have Bill Gates type of money. I sure can't afford any of the affore mentioned. I'll stick at 65 and watch where I go. If I go to a 40' then the 24 Trailer goes and also the Lincoln, both for smaller units. Dang I would hate to give up the comfort of the Linc. JMHO but do what you got to do. Sorry about being so blunt but thats the only way I know."
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Old 02-28-2016, 05:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveark View Post
Here is the post I was referring to which suggested all sorts of bad things will happen if you are measured over the limit (from a thread on rvforum.net). I should note before you read it; not my monkeys, not my circus:

"Police in any state don't care how much expierience you have, it will get you a stiff fine and you will not be allowed to move your trailer with your MH if you get stopped They will have it towed and storage for 30 days and if you want it or the vehicle inside you will pay the high charges in addition to the fine. If you don't pay the tow and storage it is the sorage companies property free and clear and they can do with it as they please. He a friend that it happened to. Why be dumb or stupid when it's uncalled for. Besides a 40' MH usually measures near 41 ' or more. Add the A frame of the trailer and hitch. you are probably 70 or better. To get a permit for that in each state, each day you travel and hire an escort for front and rear, you better have Bill Gates type of money. I sure can't afford any of the affore mentioned. I'll stick at 65 and watch where I go. If I go to a 40' then the 24 Trailer goes and also the Lincoln, both for smaller units. Dang I would hate to give up the comfort of the Linc. JMHO but do what you got to do. Sorry about being so blunt but thats the only way I know."

As I stated, no first hand actual experience. Only a lot of supposition and hearsay, no real world facts.
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveark View Post
Here is the post I was referring to which suggested all sorts of bad things will happen if you are measured over the limit (from a thread on rvforum.net). I should note before you read it; not my circus, not my monkeys:

"Police in any state don't care how much expierience you have, it will get you a stiff fine and you will not be allowed to move your trailer with your MH if you get stopped They will have it towed and storage for 30 days and if you want it or the vehicle inside you will pay the high charges in addition to the fine. If you don't pay the tow and storage it is the sorage companies property free and clear and they can do with it as they please. He a friend that it happened to. Why be dumb or stupid when it's uncalled for. Besides a 40' MH usually measures near 41 ' or more. Add the A frame of the trailer and hitch. you are probably 70 or better. To get a permit for that in each state, each day you travel and hire an escort for front and rear, you better have Bill Gates type of money. I sure can't afford any of the affore mentioned. I'll stick at 65 and watch where I go. If I go to a 40' then the 24 Trailer goes and also the Lincoln, both for smaller units. Dang I would hate to give up the comfort of the Linc. JMHO but do what you got to do. Sorry about being so blunt but thats the only way I know."
All I can say is most people who posts these I have found usually are not first hand facts. I have also heard your insurance will not be good, I sell insurance and there is no clause in the policy if you violate a traffic law your policy won't cover you. Think about most accidents, there usually is a ticket or violation of law, illegal turn, failure to yield, speeding, careless driving, etc.

Use common sense and don't draw attention to yourself, my personal experience is you won't have an issue. Good luck on what ever you decide, but I love utilizing a trailer, only negative for me has been when I take my unit in for service, I wished I still had 4 down capability, but I like the trailer so much better than towing with a dolly or 4 down, yes I have done all. Each has benefits and drawbacks, you have to decide which is best for you.
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jeryan59 View Post
All I can say is most people who posts these I have found usually are not first hand facts. I have also heard your insurance will not be good, I sell insurance and there is no clause in the policy if you violate a traffic law your policy won't cover you. Think about most accidents, there usually is a ticket or violation of law, illegal turn, failure to yield, speeding, careless driving, etc.

Use common sense and don't draw attention to yourself, my personal experience is you won't have an issue. Good luck on what ever you decide, but I love utilizing a trailer, only negative for me has been when I take my unit in for service, I wished I still had 4 down capability, but I like the trailer so much better than towing with a dolly or 4 down, yes I have done all. Each has benefits and drawbacks, you have to decide which is best for you.
Good points and good counsel.

We will keep the Jeep 4-down capable, but my wife's '56 ford pickup and my VW microbus are fun to take along at times. Options are great.
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Old 02-29-2016, 05:39 AM   #13
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I have towed all sorts of things all over the country. The only time Enforcement has had anything to say was when I was driving obvious commercial rigs. I have had a few overzealous small town types, usually they would just tell me to stay off certain roads. I did get one ticket with my dually and a backhoe But it was kicked out of court because I had the plates to cover the weight and that was what Barney wrote me up for.

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Old 02-29-2016, 09:24 AM   #14
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I seriously doubt that anybody is gonna be out there with a measuring tape checking your length! JMHO
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