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Author Topic: Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL  (Read 743 times)

Rene T

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Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL
« on: November 05, 2017, 05:31:42 PM »
Came across this while surfing and thought members from Texas may be interested if you tow a large fifth wheel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UBGRpuIMEI
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Roy M

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Re: Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2017, 07:47:27 PM »
Two things I noted. That highway is some boring. ;D The other pertains to the subject, he mentioned towing a 14,000 # fifth wheel with an F-250 to get under the 26,000 lb maximum for a class C and stay legal. Trouble is, now the maximum payload on the truck is exceeded. Is the state not concerned with that? The insurance company sure would be in the event of a wreck.

edjunior

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Re: Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2017, 08:02:32 PM »
Two things I noted. That highway is some boring. ;D The other pertains to the subject, he mentioned towing a 14,000 # fifth wheel with an F-250 to get under the 26,000 lb maximum for a class C and stay legal. Trouble is, now the maximum payload on the truck is exceeded. Is the state not concerned with that? The insurance company sure would be in the event of a wreck.

Agree on the highway.  He got to be a bit boring also.  I don't agree with your second part though.  I don't think he was saying to tow, or even alluding to tow, with an F-250 or F-350.  He was just using those trucks to give weight ratings examples.  I think.  I may have gotten lost in the drone.  Anyway, interesting info.

Oh, and he did also make it a point that there is a difference between a Class A (or B) CDL, and a Class A (or B) for towing a recreational vehicle.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2017, 08:04:33 PM by edjunior »
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2017, 06:10:03 AM »
Quote
Trouble is, now the maximum payload on the truck is exceeded. Is the state not concerned with that? The insurance company sure would be in the event of a wreck.

The insurance company doesn't care much either. They might refuse to renew the policy, but there will be nothing in your policy that requires you to be operating safely or even legally. Well, use of the RV in a felony crime is usually excepted, but violating traffic laws is not. For example, you are covered even if speeding or reckless driving.

I suppose that drastically overloading a vehicle could be considered "reckless driving", but in most states non-commercial vehicles are not subject to legal GVWR limits.

Texas defines reckless driving as:

Quote
Reckless Driving;  Offense
A person commits an offense if the person drives a vehicle in wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 06:12:26 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2017, 08:43:21 AM »
[ but in most states non-commercial vehicles are not subject to legal GVWR limits.]

You're wrong with this statement Gary. Every vehicle is subject to the GVWR limits of the state, not just commercial vehicles. There are many people driving these rigs illegal, and don't even know it. Normal driver licence in Illinois is only good for 16,000 lbs. anything over that you need a different class licence. I got a larger coach this year and didn't give it a second thought until I had it weighed to set the tire pressure correctly, and realized just how heavy it was. I always heard that anyone could drive a RV with just a regular drivers licence, NOT TRUE, if it's over 16,000 in Illinois. I just took the class B non CDL test a couple months ago.   
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TonyDtorch

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Re: Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2017, 09:06:43 AM »
The problem with all of this is.... This law has very little affect to the RV world.

The GVW and CDL laws are only enforced in the Commercial industry (largely for revenue).  RV's are not required to go through State or DOT scales out on the highways to check weights or paperwork.

Because of all the states having different RV driving laws,   a Texas cop is probably only going to ever pull over a Texas registered RV for a traffic violation,  and then check to see if the driver has a correct Non com-CDL RV license. (it may add to the state revenue) ..  Gramma and Grampa RV's account for a very small percentage of vehicle accidents and not much state revinue. 

In the event of a 'non commercial' RV traffic accident,  the RV is never weighed and it is just all your mess to clean up,  you will not be arrested if that trailer was over loaded.   Nobody cares what the RV GVW is after you've paid State registration and sales tax on that truck and trailer.

On a non-commercial vehicle,  You can even paint over the "yellow GVW door sticker" nobody cares after it's registered.

   In any vehicle accident where you can not control the vehicle for any reason... over loaded GVW, incorrect drivers license, or you forgot to connect the trailer brakes.... it's 100% your fault and you will be financially liable to the full extent of your insurance policy.

Proving 'Reckless Driving' .. (by knowingly exceeding the GVW)  in court in an effort to go after more money than the insurance policy was worth.... is not judicially financially viable.



  There are big differences in life in having a rule or law...and having one that is actually enforced.

« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 08:23:35 PM by TonyDtorch »

Larry N.

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Re: Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2017, 10:39:54 AM »
[ but in most states non-commercial vehicles are not subject to legal GVWR limits.]

You're wrong with this statement Gary. Every vehicle is subject to the GVWR limits of the state, not just commercial vehicles. There are many people driving these rigs illegal, and don't even know it. Normal driver licence in Illinois is only good for 16,000 lbs. anything over that you need a different class licence. I got a larger coach this year and didn't give it a second thought until I had it weighed to set the tire pressure correctly, and realized just how heavy it was. I always heard that anyone could drive a RV with just a regular drivers licence, NOT TRUE, if it's over 16,000 in Illinois. I just took the class B non CDL test a couple months ago.

Charlie, he's talking about the vehicle, not the driver. You're speaking of the driver's license, which has different requirements in different states. In Colorado, for example, I don't need anything other than a regular drivers license to legally drive a 45 foot, 50,000 lb. coach. In other states, anything over 26,000 lbs. needs some other license.  But none of the affect the legality of the vehicle itself.
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2017, 12:20:49 PM »
Charlie, he's talking about the vehicle, not the driver. You're speaking of the driver's license, which has different requirements in different states. In Colorado, for example, I don't need anything other than a regular drivers license to legally drive a 45 foot, 50,000 lb. coach. In other states, anything over 26,000 lbs. needs some other license.  But none of the affect the legality of the vehicle itself.
But in Illinois you DO. This is right out of the book.

In Illinois if the vehicle is over loaded on any axle it is parked until it IS made legal.

I know in the last couple of years the State Police have been stopping many drag racers with MH pulling enclosed trailers looking for infractions. I know one guy personally that was stopped and his rig impounded because he did NOT have the correct licence. He had his trailer lettered and the cop said he needed a CDL to drive the rig,  because it was a commercial rig. The guy went to court, and lost ! He had to either remove the lettering or get a CDL to drive it.
   
Class B Any single motor vehicle with a GCWR of 26,001 pounds or more or any such
vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds. Also allows for operation of Class
C and D vehicles.
Class C Any motor vehicle with a GVWR of more than 16,000 pounds, but less than
26,001 pounds or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds. Also
allows for operation of Class D vehicles.
Class D Any motor vehicle with a GVWR of 16,000 pounds or less. Does not include
A. B, C, L or M vehicles.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 12:37:27 PM by Charlie 5320 »
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Larry N.

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Re: Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2017, 02:26:16 PM »
You're back to the driver's license, not the VEHICLE legality for someone who DOES have the correct DRIVER'S license.

Quote
I know in the last couple of years the State Police have been stopping many drag racers with MH pulling enclosed trailers looking for infractions. I know one guy personally that was stopped and his rig impounded because he did NOT have the correct licence. He had his trailer lettered and the cop said he needed a CDL to drive the rig,  because it was a commercial rig. The guy went to court, and lost ! He had to either remove the lettering or get a CDL to drive it.

This is a driver's license infraction, not a vehicle infraction.

I'm done...
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2017, 03:24:20 PM »
You're back to the driver's license, not the VEHICLE legality for someone who DOES have the correct DRIVER'S license.

This is a driver's license infraction, not a vehicle infraction.

I'm done...

Good thing you're DONE, because this thread is about having the correct drivers licence for proper operation. 
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TonyDtorch

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Re: Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2017, 05:03:22 PM »
It may be only a license infraction but a cop can not knowingly allow you to drive a vehicle away if you are not licensed to drive that vehicle or the state/city becomes liable.

I was at the Highway Patrol office getting a vehicle VIN verified, when a guy with a big toy hauler loaded with motorcycles in for inspection was finishing up.
 As the motorcycle inspection finished the officer asked for a copy of his drivers license,  after he sees the license, he looks at the data plate on the trailer he informs the pickup truck driver because of the trailers GVW,  he can not tow this trailer off of the premises with his license.

Luckily I have a CDL so I drove it 2 blocks away for him.   

« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 06:00:33 PM by TonyDtorch »

TonyDtorch

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Re: Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2017, 06:11:22 PM »
Many states have a 26k weight CDL rule for a drivers license. and many states also exempt RV's (for non-commercial use) from the CDL license rules.

 In California they have a 26k CDL weight rule,  but they allow any standard Class C licensed driver to drive any motorhome (housecar) ...no mater how many axles or what the GVW is...as long as the motorhome is less than 40 foot long.

So legally you can drive one of those 3 axle, 10 wheel, 54k GVW, conventional cab Freighliner airbrake truck toy hauler 'motorhome'.. (that is less than 40' long), and you can tow up to a 10k trailer...with a standard old Class C license.

(great loophole for RVers)

but, as we all know... California is weird.   :)
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 07:57:40 PM by TonyDtorch »

johnaye

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Re: Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2017, 06:09:00 PM »
I think the rule is, if you are legal in your home state, you are legal anywhere. 
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Re: Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2017, 06:41:12 PM »
Good thing you're DONE, because this thread is about having the correct drivers licence for proper operation.

Everytime I read about some of the stupid laws in IL, it makes me proud to say that I am a "former resident"!  I've been gone from there since 2006 and I don't miss it even one little bit.  I remember the totally stupid law that was on the books there for years and years.  If you were pulling a trailer, the speed limit for you was 55 mph.  It didn't matter if it was a semi truck or a 5' x 8' flat bed trailer.....55 was your max on the Interstate.....which at that time was 65 mph for everyone else, not 70!  If it weren't for family and friends living there, I'd never cross the line into IL again.
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Bill N

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Re: Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2017, 07:18:09 PM »
Came across this while surfing and thought members from Texas may be interested if you tow a large fifth wheel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UBGRpuIMEI
I find this interesting.  I was a Drivers License Examiner for the State of North Dakota for 10 years, retired in 2003.  We did written and road exams for car, CDL , truck and bus and motorcycle.  The figure of 26,000 lbs is, or at least was when I was active, the key number for determining CDL licensing.  For buses additionally it had to be a 15 or more passenger capacity (lots of large vans qualified).  What interests me about the Texas requirement is how is the road test performed.  For a normal CDL truck or bus, you must do a pre-trip inspection of the vehicle (many failed on this), a backing test and the actual road test.  Putting a 5ver through a similar road test procedure would be sort of ridiculous because of the differences in vehicles. We did not do any personal recreational vehicles but we did test commercial buses, city buses (including doubles) and a motorhome that was equipped as a mobile xray unit.  Has anybody ever taken the Texas road test for a Class A  5ver and, if so, could you give me some of the things required. Thanks.

Bill
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Bill N

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Re: Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2017, 07:22:17 PM »
Everytime I read about some of the stupid laws in IL, it makes me proud to say that I am a "former resident"!  I've been gone from there since 2006 and I don't miss it even one little bit.  I remember the totally stupid law that was on the books there for years and years.  If you were pulling a trailer, the speed limit for you was 55 mph.  It didn't matter if it was a semi truck or a 5' x 8' flat bed trailer.....55 was your max on the Interstate.....which at that time was 65 mph for everyone else, not 70!  If it weren't for family and friends living there, I'd never cross the line into IL again.

Back in the day (60s & 70s) some of the travel trailers that did not have equalizing hitches could get real squirrelly on a windy day with speeds a bit over 55.  The hitches and other equipment have greatly improved since then.  I myself darn near flipped a 15 foot travel trailer when passed by a semi at 60 mph.  Illinois could have done better in specifying what type of trailers were restricted to lower limits.  I have a lot of dislike for Illinois also but for totally different reasons not related to this topic.

Bill
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edjunior

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Re: Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2017, 07:31:05 PM »
I find this interesting.  I was a Drivers License Examiner for the State of North Dakota for 10 years, retired in 2003.  We did written and road exams for car, CDL , truck and bus and motorcycle.  The figure of 26,000 lbs is, or at least was when I was active, the key number for determining CDL licensing.  For buses additionally it had to be a 15 or more passenger capacity (lots of large vans qualified).  What interests me about the Texas requirement is how is the road test performed.  For a normal CDL truck or bus, you must do a pre-trip inspection of the vehicle (many failed on this), a backing test and the actual road test.  Putting a 5ver through a similar road test procedure would be sort of ridiculous because of the differences in vehicles. We did not do any personal recreational vehicles but we did test commercial buses, city buses (including doubles) and a motorhome that was equipped as a mobile xray unit.  Has anybody ever taken the Texas road test for a Class A  5ver and, if so, could you give me some of the things required. Thanks.

Bill

My Dad did when he delivered trailers for a while.  I think he mentioned something about the inspection, but he definitely had to do a driving test, which included backing and parking.  He had been towing things most of his life so it was not really an issue for him.  He delivered trailers for a few years until he got tired of it.
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Rancher Will

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Re: Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2017, 02:09:01 PM »
Larry N, I am not trying to nitpick, however, before you are sure about any Colorado Drivers License restriction, I suggest you again carefully look at your Colorado License. Take time to notice No 12, "Restrictions". Even if it says "none", then look at "Vehicle Restrictions" usually just below No. 12 on the front, just below the word "NONE". Then look on the back and read any Vehicle Restrictions in detail on this license. In my years as LEO in Colorado, I noticed almost none of the drivers that I contacted ever had looked to see the restrictions on their license.

Larry N.

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Re: Towing a 5v'r in Texas without a CDL
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2017, 08:30:47 PM »
I see that, Will. I also recall hunting up  information when I got my first DP, finding information that said RVs are an exemption from that. Look at this Colorado web page, under the section "Which vehicles are exempt from requiring a CDL?" I see that "Recreational vehicles such as a motorhome" is first on the list.

It does say, "Any commercial motor vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more" but note that it's "commercial vehicle." I've also seen notes on the web that certain folks have called the DMV and gotten the same info, that is, RVs don't need a CDL.

So if it really IS a requirement, things are muddled enough that it's difficult to find something so stating without ambiguity, but statements either way are not as clear as they might be. It would be nice if they'd spell it out more clearly.

"In my years as LEO in Colorado," -- did any of your training define this either way? You have a unique perspective, and it'd be interesting to know how (and if) you were taught about this.

But thanks for bringing it up (incidentally, I had looked at restrictions before this, part of why I checked several years ago).
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