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Old 11-14-2022, 06:42 AM   #1
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Check your Drivers License you might be surprised

I thought I had done all my research and made good decisions on purchasing our truck and RV.

Turns out based on experience thus far I did with one huge exception.

After almost two years of towing I recently discovered that my Class C drivers license was not correct and legal to tow our rig with. The dealer which is in the same state we live and are licensed in said nothing, and they actually made a photo copy of my Drivers License. Even after recently learning all this the DMV did not know the law, I had to show them in the manual they provide before they believed me!

I now have the proper license with it clearly stating on the back that I may tow a fifth wheel trailer with a GVWR between 10,000 and 15,000 pounds.
Had I been stoped by law enforcement or had an accident and not having the proper license, well imagine the potential for trouble there.

All US States honor each others drivers licenses so as long as you are legal in your home state you are legal in all the states you pass through.
There are at least 17 States in our country that require special drivers licenses for RV's be them class A towing a car, fifth wheels with the afore mentioned GVWR's and Fifth Wheels over 15,000 pound GVWR. Don't shoot the messenger but do your own research and be safe and legal.
Pictured is what is printed on the back of my new DL. Im my state only a written test was required to obtain the proper license, it cost me nothing but time.
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Old 11-14-2022, 06:51 AM   #2
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I now have the proper license with it clearly stating on the back that I may tow a fifth wheel trailer with a GVWR between 10,000 and 15,000 pounds...........glad you researched and got the endorsement!!

When I started towing fifth wheel trailers in California over 18 years ago I also obtained the endorsement, albeit never been stopped towing my fifth wheel or asked to show my endorsement or asked to weigh my trailer. Today I limit the trailer to 15,000 lbs and carry a copy my trailer weigh ticket.
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Old 11-14-2022, 07:48 AM   #3
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OK with my Class C license

Thanks for the heads up. Had me worried, but not a problem for me. Good to go with current license up to 26K pounds combined weight. I have no interest in anything bigger than that.
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Old 11-14-2022, 07:54 AM   #4
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Great, better to know for sure, I wish I had known before I purchased the trailer and hit the road.
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Old 11-14-2022, 08:07 AM   #5
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Extremely rare for dealer's to say anything. They sell and they are focused on getting you and a product they sell past the curb and on your way. Verifying if you even have a valid driver's license, regardless of the the necessary endorsements, isn't part of their pre or post sale check list.

Interstate travel is an even bigger mix of unknowns. State A has no idea what state B, C or D requires regarding endorsements, license class or restrictions for a noncommercial operators license. Plus state A has no authority to enforce state B's requirements regarding the same. Outside of the legal sphere and into the civil side there's no telling what even a newly minted personal injury lawyer could do to make you life, would difficult be an accurate description?

Anyone remember Nick and his one night adventure in Vegas?
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Old 11-14-2022, 08:10 AM   #6
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One thing to add, the trailer weight that the license requirement is predicated on, is the listed GVWR of the trailer, not what your actual weight is.


When I was living in California, I had the 5th wheel endorsement, which is a simple written test.
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Old 11-14-2022, 08:41 AM   #7
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!00% accurate. Thank you!
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Old 11-14-2022, 01:36 PM   #8
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I got that endorsement about 10 years ago. It was a struggle to get the DMV to know what to do for me to get it. I had to break out the drivers manuals, the website pages, etc. They were trying to give me the non-commercial class A and even got a "just get a commercial class A" from one person. Finally they called Sacramento and figured out what to do and how to apply it to me record. Quick written test and all good.

I was hauling my rock crawler on a personal use 24ft 14k gooseneck at the time and wanted to at least be able to try to get out of a ticket at the time if I got pulled over. If I can pull a 15k high walled 5er trailer, I can surely pull a wide open deck on a gooseneck
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Old 11-14-2022, 03:15 PM   #9
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CA LEOs know about that law.........they routinely stake out Glamis and Pismo Beach in summertime waiting for those CA Licensed Trucks pulling large 5th wheels/tow haulers

Easy pickins all day long.
Lived in CA for 33 yrs......seen it happen time and time again
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Old 11-14-2022, 05:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
CA LEOs know about that law.........they routinely stake out Glamis and Pismo Beach in summertime waiting for those CA Licensed Trucks pulling large 5th wheels/tow haulers

Easy pickins all day long.
Lived in CA for 33 yrs......seen it happen time and time again
Wow, no kidding, thatís scary. I wonder if they just cited the illegal drivers or impounded their rigs?
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Old 11-14-2022, 05:55 PM   #11
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It was probably just the money they were after. Easy pickins'
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Old 11-14-2022, 06:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
.......they routinely stake out Glamis and Pismo Beach in summertime waiting for those CA Licensed Trucks pulling large 5th wheels/tow haulers.............
They are the triple axle 45 ft fifth wheel trailers being towed by 250, 350, 2500 and 3500 SRW trucks.........> 15,000 lbs.
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Old 11-14-2022, 07:05 PM   #13
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They are the triple axle 45 ft fifth wheel trailers being towed by 250, 350, 2500 and 3500 SRW trucks.........> 15,000 lbs.
That is a non commercial Class A in almost every state. How many of those drivers do you suppose are properly licensed?
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Old 11-15-2022, 08:41 AM   #14
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Wow, no kidding, that’s scary. I wonder if they just cited the illegal drivers or impounded their rigs?
Knew a number of Highway Patrol guys, they go after them when the stupidity gets out of control. The community puts up with a lot of it, but at certain points, the complaints, or accidents get to where extra enforcement is required. If the highway patrol were to go after everyone that is pulling out of license class, that would be 95%+ of the drivers.

If you are ticketed for any of those violations, the trailer can not be moved from where you were stopped, unless a proper vehicle and/or licensed driver does it.

In California, towing anything over 10,000 lbs requires a minimum of a non-commercial class "A" license, or the 5th wheel endorsement.
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