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Old 03-29-2003, 08:11 AM   #21
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Rapid City
Posts: 27

It just got easier to license a class 8 truck as a motor home in the state of South Dakota. On March 24th, the Govenor signed SB 115 into law. This bill specifys what has to be done to license a truck as a motor home in the state. It seems very similar to the laws in other states. Up until now, it was almost impossible to liscense a large truck as a motor home in this state.

Guess I'll have to start looking for a good deal on a truck!

Jeff in South Dakota
1995 Ford F-250 4X4 PSD
1992 Skamper Slide in camper
1984 Holiday Rambler 5er
1979 Mercedes Benz Unimog

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Old 03-29-2003, 09:08 AM   #22
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Visalia, Ca.
Posts: 12

Mike, this is what I found on line. In health and safty

18010. Recreational vehicle

"Recreational vehicle" means either of the following:

(a) A motor home, travel trailer, truck camper, or camping trailer, with or without motive power, designed for human habitation for recreational, emergency, or other occupancy, which meets all of the following criteria:

(1) It contains less than 320 square feet of internal living room area, excluding built-in equipment, including, but not limited to, wardrobe, closets, cabinets, kitchen units or fixtures, and bath or toilet rooms.

(2) It contains 400 square feet or less of gross area measured at maximum horizontal projections.

(3) It is built on a single chassis.

(4) It is either self-propelled, truck-mounted, or permanently towable on the highways without a permit.

(b) A park trailer designed for human habitation for recreational or seasonal use only, which meets all of the following criteria:

(1) It contains 400 square feet or less of gross floor area measured at the maximum horizontal projections. However, it may not exceed 12 feet in width or 40 feet in length in the traveling mode.

(2) It is built on a single chassis.

(3) It may only be transported upon the public highways with a permit

With this in hand you should have little trouble.

My friend Ted gave this info to me and it worked just fine.

In the vehical code book of 2001, health and safety, page A166, artical 18010. I asked the person at the DMV what book is the law, the Vehical code book or the pamthlets they allways refer to. Tell them you are non-comercial. You will have to have a non-comercial class A licence if your 5er has a GVWR of 15,000lbs or more. It doesen't matter if it weighs less than the GVWR, it goes buy The GVWR sticker on the 5er.

Hope this helps and gives you a place to start your research.

Steve and Nancy O'Bosky
1998 Peterbilt 330 400hp 1028 torque
1995 collins two slides
(AKA Pete and Pete's draggin')

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Old 03-30-2003, 02:13 PM   #23
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Yorba Linda, CA, USA
Posts: 35

Thanks Sono,
I had read H & S 18010 but again, it does not specify what equipment is necessary. Rather, it refers to the square footage limits and what equipment is included within each limitation. Since the tractor will not be close to those limits and 5th wheel trailers are already made with those limits in mind, it doesn't help. From talking to the main state DMV office I know that when I go to the DMV with the truck, most DMV personnel, once they get over the idea of registering a class 8 truck as a motorhome, are going to pull out the DMV manual and run through the list of required equipment found under motorhome. If the truck is noncompliant in any way, that is an easy way to say no. If the truck has the required equipment they will probably still say no but then they would lack any reasonable grounds to support their position. I'm sure I will still have to go over their heads and up the ladder as Larry suggests but eventually I will find (hopefully) a strict constructionist who feels the regulations should be interpreted exactly as written. If not, I may be in a situation where I would have to contemplate filing suit, which I am willing to do if I exhaust all possibilities without success. This is why I need to do my homework first so I am on firm legal ground from the beginning. The ~$100 to file suit is cheaper than all the costs associated with commercial registration. Once the lawsuit is filed, they would have to defend their position with existing law. As Larry points out, employees at the DMV office cannot make up law. Through a document request in discovery, I would be able to see all the documents they would rely on and I am confident that if I have done my homework properly, those documents will show that I am in compliance. That is why I don't think a suit would ever go to trial. Instead they would probably just offer to comply with the registration in exchange for dropping the suit and I might recover costs, but probably not. Of course, I will try several different DMV offices first. After all, Bill R was successful so I might be too if I hit the right office.

By the way, I already know the gist of the requirements in the DMV manual, I just need to have them in writing. They do not actually require a single axle, modifying the 5th wheel, the commercial 7 pin connector, or any of the other items used to pull a standard commercial trailer. However, doing those things does strengthen your argument that the truck is not a commercial vehicle. The requirements, according to the individual I spoke to at the main DMV office, address the equipment required to meet the definition of "human habitation" as set forth in the California V.C. 362 which defines a motorhome. I will go to the local DMV office this week and attempt to get a copy of the requirements. One way or another I am going to get a copy and when I do I will post them so anyone on this forum from California will know what is technically required.
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Old 03-30-2003, 04:08 PM   #24
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Visalia, Ca.
Posts: 12


It is my understanding that San Bernardino DMV has had several regestered there as the fellow that helped me went there after being denied elswere.

Good luck

Steve and Nancy O'Bosky
1998 Peterbilt 330 400hp 1028 torque
1995 collins two slides
(AKA Pete and Pete's draggin')

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