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Old 08-16-2018, 11:50 AM   #1
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South Carolina Class F test ( Long post)

I have owned a Class A ( 2002 Fleetwood Revolution) for a couple of years, bought from my dad who bought it new. I have driven it a lot even before I purchased it . It has 50,000 miles and I guess I have logged around 35,000 of those miles ( no wonder he made me buy it, Ha!) Anyway , I recently learned I was suppose to be licensed as a Non CDL Class F ( If towing ). I know it is a bit crazy but as you all know ( or at least in my case) you do not get any sort of notice concerning license regulations. The way I found out was poking around on some forum , I forget which one . On Monday August the 13th 2018 I decided to go to DMV and just ask what all was needed. I had read the online SCDMV info but still wasn't clear. I walked in and asked to clarify some things and was greeted by a Dmv employee with a snarly " Take a number" . I did and finally was call up . I went on to ask my uestion ( sorry but the letter between P and R will not work on this laptop) The DMV employee simply handed me the application , so I figured , what the heck , I will fill it out and see what happens. I filled it out still not getting to ask my uestion and next thing I was asked do you want to do a written test or wait on the computer version? By then I figured I might as well go for it. With no studying at all I got 28 out of 30 correct and passed. So then I asked about the Skills test , where an when etc.... I was told to go online and schedule . I went back to my office and got on line and attempted to make an appointment . I say attempted because after filling out everything exactly It would not print , I tried several more times and still no printed receipt which BTW has a certain # you need to do a search to see if you do in fact have an appointment. Without that # you cant see crap concerning your supposed appointment. I then called the DMV where I was attempting to make the appointment and got a recording telling me to call another # for info. I called that # and after 23 minutes I got a person and explained to her my situation . After her putting me on hold several times she came back and said " That facility does not take appointments ,you can just walk in". She said she actually called two people to confirm this. I said so I wait two weeks ( actually 15 days according to the DMV web site ) and just walk in for a skills test, she again said yes. I hung up and just didn't feel this was correct, so a bit later I drove over to the Facility.I wanted to be sure and also look at the test area to see what I faced. It is the Irmo/ Ballentine DMV which is right out side of Columbia S.C. I went in and asked about a class F skills test and was told " you need an appointment" I said that I had tried earlier and couldn't print my receipt , so they asked my name , sure enough I was scheduled on Aug 28 at 9.00 am. I was happy that my appointment was scheduled but aggravated about the confusion THEY seem to have. Anyway I looked over the course , seems simple . The only thing that concerns me is the part of the skills test where I will have to pull up and back into a a so called loading dock. I have driven this coach for years and can handle it well , I also at one time held a CDL and class7 and 8 vehicles , hauled car on a car transport but pulling up to a line painted on the ground in a vehicle such as a class motor home is tricky. The nearest you can see is 9"7" out beyond the front. I have two solutions , My Coach has a back up camera , the control buttons beside the screen have a button that says camera 1 or 2 . I have only one camera on the back of the coach . I opened up the dash near the camera and saw that the monitor did in fact have two inputs for cameras. I just happened to have a cheap camera that came with a security system from harbor freight . I hooked it up and low and behold it worked . I then routed the wire down through the dash and out to the front area between the coach generator and the front nose of the coach and mounted the camera . I aimed it strait down and with it on ( Monitor on camera 2) I can see strait down 10 inches back if the front most portion of the coach. When I see the white line I just stop with a little extra clearance to spare. I know this is cheating but do what you gotta do. I have read where they tell you to cut off camera but in my coach , it will come on when backing and cant be cut off I am pretty sure. I also have the back up camera adjusted to look more down at the rear of the coach . with both in place I can see all I need to see. My 2nd plan is also working out pretty good . For the pull up I can hopefully find a spot at test site where I am suppose to do the pull up exactly 9'6" out on front ( a dark spot or something out in front of the two lines .. That way just pull up till the said spot just disappears below the windshield. I have already practiced this and it works if there is a spot in said area but this would reuire me driving over there and practice which Intend to do. As far as backing up , I made a mark at or near my rear wheel well, with red reflective tape and as I back up , if get this tape and the target in alignment I am dead on. I have practiced this as well. Others on different asked the same uestion concerning getting your rv to the dmv , do you need a class f or higher rated driver with you, Well on my new class f beginners permit , it say on the back I need a licensed driver , 21 yeas of age with 1 years experience. It says nothing about them having a class F . So I am going by this and probably wont even be asked about how I got it over there anyway according to others whom have taken the test. Finally to finish this loooong post I will say I am sorta glad for some regulation concerning these larger motorhomes , imagine a person whom never drove anything larger than a mini van getting behind his or her new 40 ft , 44,000 lb monster home heading your way.
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:38 PM   #2
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Is the return key missing too?

You would think in this day and age that communication would be easier and that people would know what you need to do. At the very least the department charged issuing permits/licenses for something would know how you obtain said permit/license. It's stories like this that make me question when someone says they want the government do this or that.

I agree too that its good that someone is looking at this. I know I felt uneasy the first time I went out and it's been a learning curve since then. With the numbers of RV's increasing and traffic not getting any lighter on the roads, it kind of makes sense. I'm not talking about all out regulation but education and someone saying "OK - you know what you're doing and aren't a danger to others" is a good thing.
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Old 08-16-2018, 01:44 PM   #3
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Yeah,MapleKing I had already read on some forums about folks going to the DMV in various states and getting this sorta runaround concerning license and exactly what you need . My solution is to have a test related ONLY to RV's . The test I took had nothing pertaining to an RV ,it was sorta based on signs and some class 8 tractor trailer stuff which I gotta admit without my former experience as a cdl driver I probably would have done worse being I didn't study one bit. Also they need a skills test that makes sense. Backing a coach is something every one needs to practice but backing up to a dock will never happen, also knowing the clearance at the front of the coach is very important especially in close , slow traffic but having to pull up to a line on the road that the last clear view you have of is 9 '6" before you get to it and then having to guess as to where you are makes no sense. I can pull this motorhome up to a vehicle, a gate a building or garage door and I know I am two feet away from making contact and in the real world that is what you will encounter on occasion but " guessing " as one poster put it is not a good way to prove you can drive this thing. In the real world you would get out and look . GOAT was a term I learned in CDL school . I remember I was at Maverick Trucking and had to back up to a dock but had to do sorta a s turn to get into it , believe you me backing a 53 ft trailer with spread axles is not a lot of fun especially for a new driver , anyway I got out 5 or six times and checked my progress and I made it in perfectly. Some other drivers tried to just wheel it in and missed by a bunch and after we were all done the instructor came over to me and told me he was glad to see some one actually get out and look . I uarantee I was not any better of a driver than most of them but still I used common sense and the given opportunity I was allowed Same thing should apply in this coach , It doesn't matter if you've logged 200,000 miles, there are time you better take a look so I think in a rv skills test they ought to encourage you to be safe rather that getting lucky by guessing. Also on the weight regs and different classes of license in various states, as you know every state is different SC had a class E and F pertaining to Rv's I think some states refer to theirs as class b and some states dont even have a class but supposedly a license from your home state is good anywhere even if your home state don't reuire any special license. Why not have a license class uniform ( same name such as Class B ) in every state with the exact same weight regulations and towing regs .
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Old 08-16-2018, 02:16 PM   #4
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Not SC but NC so different DMV, but both wife and I had to backup thru a tight parking lot about 50 to 100 feet. (We had practiced backing in a closed parking lot).

On our driving test also had to do a walkaround check and explain what checking for, as well as an airbrake system check, before departing on the driving portion.

Backing is common into most campground spots, wife and I have a set of hand signals, and I usually am outside as I do all the outside hookups while she backs, levels the coach, puts out the slides, shuts off the engine, and gets the inside the way she wants it.
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Old 08-16-2018, 03:27 PM   #5
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Kiawah , you have proven some of my points . As stated , proper backing is important and knowing how to back is a must. Just think , how many times have you backed into a camp site , using only your mirrors without any one helping or guiding you or for that matter not getting out several times to make sure you are ok. Like you said , you have a plan, your wife drives you guide and all is well . This test in S C will have me backing into a 25 ft or so alley with a boarded (three or four horizontal boards mounted to three post in the ground approx 12 ft wide by 4 ft high) barrier or dock . I have no problem with backing in an alley or turning and backing but in the real world I cant think of many situations where I would have to do this with no help or no get out and look.
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Old 08-16-2018, 04:01 PM   #6
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South Carolina Class F test ( Long post)

Looks like you need a class F or EClick image for larger version

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Old 08-17-2018, 07:20 AM   #7
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I must live "around the corner" from you because I would be using the same Ballentine DMV test area. In the past, I have ignored this requirement but now think I might go through the hassle of getting the F license. Don't forget to bring your toad vehicle with you because for your "driving test" you will need it. Please keep me posted on how things go.
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Old 08-17-2018, 07:53 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tha_Rooster View Post
Looks like you need a class F or E
Since it's GVW based, looks like our rig exempts us from this process, yet another positive for aluminum. As far as benefiting from the process, prior experience has equipped me well.

Kiawah's statements re NC DMV: (and I realize there may be exceptions) My experience with NC DMV bureaucrats says there has to be a special heaven for anyone who had to deal with them and the opposite would also apply.
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Old 08-17-2018, 07:53 AM   #9
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I use a local truck shop for some repairs. Even they had no clue that a class E or F was required for more than 26,000#. Took my class F test about 3 years ago. Greenwood DMV office knew less about it than I did. Sounds like it hasn't improved much. At that time they just gave the same test as a CDL. I think that's changed somewhat now.
The hardest part of the loading dock backing is keeping the nose of the MH in your lane. As for pulling up to the line I just practiced with checking where my drivers side mirror arm lined up to the line when the nose was a foot or so behind the line. The examiner was not inside with me for any of the test on the pad other than the air brake test question part. She was outside observing to make sure I was staying in my lane.
The road test was not hard. Did have a 13'6" underpass we went under and the examiner asked after we were under it "what was the height of that bridge we just went under?". I actually remembered the posted height.
You will have to unhook your toad for the pad portion of the test and re hook it for the road test portion. Good luck with the test.
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:42 AM   #10
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Veraken, I live in Leesville SC, yep pretty close to Lexington I come there a lot , dang your traffic is getting bad, HA!.Yes I will be testing for the F ,with tow and will take everything needed. I held a cdl for a few years and wish I had kept it, I just got sorta lazy an didn't wont the hassle of doing a Medical every two years ( what an idiot) Wimpy, I have dealt with Tennessee, NC, Kentucky and SC and I see pretty much the same everywhere but Id say, NC is prob the hardest. Tennessee was the best , but with the confusion I have read about and experienced ,I d say all states need to do like a Class A CDL and have the same info regarding regulations . I think most are the same but the language they use can be confusing. mhudson, yeah backing , not much of a prob but as you stated front end need attention especially mirrors I suspect since they stick out and I am sure gotta stay inside lines. When I took my road test for Class A CDL in Kentucky , I remember being told the examiner would at one point ask you what was that last speed limit sign, so I remember to keep an eye on all signs. I will say this, He was very understanding , I had to stop for a long train, they teach you to put flashers on , pull emergeny brakes and soforth. I was so nervous , I had truck in 1st gear and kept foot down on clutch because my teacher told me to do it that way , so after about ten minutes of this slow train and me sitting there with clutch pressed , My leg was about to die on me , he noticed this and said " go ahead and knock it out of gear an let up on clutch, which is the right way but my teacher told me to keep in gear at a stop. Anyway passed the test actually got out of truck at end of test and laid down and kissed the ground, all the other guys that were about to do their road test feel on the gound laughing.
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