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Old 12-24-2013, 04:18 PM   #1
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How many here have a Class A CDL or Class A non Cdl

Being that it is "off season" for us atleast Im doing some research on what it will take to pull the fifth wheel we may eventually end up with. I already have a Dually picked out. But I have recently found that in my state PA that one must still have a Class A for a trailer over 10,000 even if its an RV. I thought campers were exempt. I have been self employed driving Tri-axle dump trucks and lighter trailers for years but I only have a Class B CDL.

How many of y'all Do or Don't have a class A towing a fifth wheel over 10,000lbs or a combo over 26,000lbs? and has the issue ever came up? Did you know you needed one to be legal in your home state? I have already called the DMV and I know what they required I just hate that they always put so much red tape around the most simplest of things.

Thank y'all for the replies and Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-24-2013, 05:00 PM   #2
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I've got a Class B as I am a school bus driver. My state (OH) doesn't require any kind of special lic for RVs. If I was in your spot, I'd just forget he NON CDL A and get your A CDL.
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Old 12-24-2013, 05:30 PM   #3
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You probably don't need a CDL. An RV is exempt from CDLs but not exempt from the weight ratings of higher class non-CDLs.
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Old 12-24-2013, 06:07 PM   #4
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Here in CA, a Class B non-commercial license is required for motorhomes exceeding 40' in lenght. I did know this prior to purchasing our 43' Tiffin, and since I purchased it in Oregon, I had to drive it from there to our home in southern California.
From the DMV website, I knew what was required and since I was due for my yearly medical checkup, I had the DMV form ready for the Doc to sign. Took that form to the local DMV and took the eye exam and the written test but found out that they didn't provide the driving test there. They did provide me with a "learner's permit" that required a licensed person to ride along with me when ever I drove the coach. Of course, I couldn't find anyone, so drove the coach over to Bakersfield and took the driver's test there.

I have mixed feelings about this requirement, but I suppose it is for the best. However, I do wonder why it's limited to coaches over 40'......seems to me that 30' would be better. Lot of people out there driving around in these monsters that have no business doing so. I understand that this same requirement is for trailers over 10,000 lbs.

It's probably a good thing.

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Old 12-24-2013, 09:57 PM   #5
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In my home state of WA, I am not required to have any special endowments. If required I would have them. I have a 40' DP over 26,000 lbs. I had a 25,900 lb. truck that I towed a 12,300 13'8" high, 10 ft. wide boat. I got the necessary permits to tow. Many miles under my belt, all legal. If the requirements were to change, I believe I would have no problem meeting the requirements, and would certainty do it. However I am not a commercial driver, only a recreational driver. But it bugs me when a RV dealer sell a big class A or 5th wheel to someone who has never driven any thing bigger than a VW, and tells them "You will be just fine".
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:17 PM   #6
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I got my first commercial license in PA back in 1976 and started truckin'. At the time it was called a Class 1 and you simply checked which rating you wanted on your license application. Over time it changed to a Class A. Due to recent new requirements for physicals my CDL license has been downgraded (I believe it is now 26,000lbs). Just by good fortune my MH is GVWR 25,500. I do not have a current driver's physical and had to self certify as such. Upon ever getting a physical, I send it into the DMV in PA and self certify again. There are many new regulations and requirements that are difficult to comply with. My suggestion is to check with your state for specific requirements for your needs.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:36 PM   #7
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I have a class A simply because I needed it for work years ago. I maintain it, get a physical every two years, just because I can. I feel I could always rely on driving if I needed in a pinch.
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Old 12-25-2013, 05:11 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies so far. I will more than likely get the license when the time comes (hopefully before hand). I am still convinced that the majority of folks pulling these big trailers don't even know they need an A in this state or others. I really think the government makes these laws confusing by design. I wonder what would happen if I got pulled over and didnt know about any of this with the family loaded up going on vacation. I could see the right cop making one drop the trailer along side the road.

Im also tired of all the licences. I have a a CDL, med card, boaters license, concealed carry, and about 10 fishing licenses for the states we camp in.
The funny thing is I have figured out that I dont need a special license to pull a 10,000lbs+ fifth wheel in any of the states we frequently visit just our home state go figure....
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Old 12-25-2013, 06:48 AM   #9
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In Texas if the GVWR of the truck added to the GVWR of the fifth wheel exceeds 26K then you are required to have a Class A non-commercial (or exempt) license. A commercial license will also do. Got mine a couple of months ago.
What most people don't realize is that your are looking at GVWR and not actual weights. The GVWR on a truck is usually somewhere around the driver's door and on the trailer there is a plate somewhere near the front outside.
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Old 12-25-2013, 08:47 AM   #10
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I am in Pa. and had a class A CDL or its comparable since they were in effect. When I retired I changed to non commercial class A has same weights as commercial. With regular class A no physical is needed no added penalty if issued a violation and cost is same as regular lic. When I changed it was just filing out form no test or cost.
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Old 12-25-2013, 08:50 AM   #11
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If your home state requires it, I suggest you get the proper license class for you RV. It is always better to be safe than sorry later.

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Old 12-25-2013, 09:42 AM   #12
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To my knowledge, in my home State of Maine, we do not require a special license for large weight RV's.

I have a commercial CDL license. Federal law is 26,000 lb GVWR truck is B CDL. A 26,000 lb. GVWR truck and 10,000 lb GVWR trailer now becomes a Class A CDL. There are additional endorsements, such as; Air brake, Tank, Haz Mat and so on, if needed.

I get a little concerned when an individual State wants to start requiring a non CDL A license with a truck that is under 26000 lb GVWR with a 10,000lb GVWR trailer.

I've heard that PA has a non CDL class B for motorhomes. It's unclear whether it is just for 26000 lb GVWR or more. In my opinion it would be ridiculous to have to have a special license for a non CDL RV under 25999 lb GVWR.

My understanding is that it is individual States creating there own RV licensing rules. This is the exact reason that they finally came up with Federal mandated CDL licensing rules across the nation.

These States keep it up and you'll see the same thing happening in the RV world.

This may be a good thing, or bad!
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:35 PM   #13
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I have a CDL had it for over 20+ years being as I drove truck over the road. I've kept it since retiring to preclude any issues with any state laws regarding license requirement for different RV's.
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Old 12-25-2013, 05:36 PM   #14
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If your TV has a GVWR greater than 10,000# you also need to have a medical card. If you now have a CDL class B, you would be better off upgrading it to a CDL class A and then never have to worry, no matter what happens, and remember to update the medical card every 2 years.
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