Join Truck Conversion Today
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-16-2003, 02:04 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Hesperia, Ca
Posts: 22
Default

ORANGE COUNTY
Judge Rules Jumbo RV Is a Big Rig
Court supports DMV's contention that the specially appointed rig is a commercial vehicle. Now the owner is weighing his options.


LA Times Headlines


Poll: Voters Not Inclined to Back GOP Alternatives for Governor


L.A. County Home Prices Continue Rising; Sales Off


UC Regents Panel OKs 30% Student Fee Hik



By David Reyes, LA Times Staff Writer


Angelo "Chuck" Emanuele's dream of carefree highway motoring in his jumbo RV hit a bump in the road Tuesday when a judge sided with the DMV and ruled his 57-foot rig is, in fact, a commercial vehicle.

Superior Court Judge David A. Thompson's ruling means that Emanuele " along with his wife and two children " must pull in at weigh stations along with big-rig drivers and cross-country haulers.

The Orange resident must also carry a commercial driver's license, keep an updated log and carry a medical release. Emanuele was disappointed but has not decided whether to appeal the ruling.

The media attention he has received resulted in support from "dozens and dozens" of people with similar large, fifth-wheel RV rigs who are fighting the DMV over the classification of their vehicles. He said several sympathizers have urged him to file a class-action lawsuit against the agency.

"I feel very strongly about this," Emanuele said. "We know there are a lot of people in similar situations, people who have large, similar vehicles and who have been forced recently by the DMV to register their RVs as commercial vehicles."

Emanuele said while an appeal would allow him to present evidence, including witnesses, to argue the case on its merits, he hasn't decided on a course of action.

Emanuele's rig is a large truck-tractor that tows a 40-foot recreational trailer. He bought it from a recreational vehicle manufacturer that had altered its weight, suspension and hitch before appointing it with bed, toilet, shower, refrigerator and air conditioning.

The DMV argued the alterations "were incidental" and didn't change the vehicle's primary design to tow trailers. Additional rules regarding commercial vehicles must be applied for such a large vehicle because of public safety, the DMV said.

Armando Botello, a DMV spokesman, said the agency's attorneys have not reviewed the decision, but that "we feel that the judge is correct in his interpretation of the law."

http://community.webshots.com/user/onevolvoman
99 Volvo VNL64T/610 Motorhome
2001 Alpha Gold 39'10"
__________________

Bill R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2003, 04:09 PM   #2
Ox
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Arizona
Posts: 37
Default

Preaching to the choir here, but the confusion in the government folks still exists. If you DO hit the scales, they look at you like you are nuts for being there and wave you on. And depending on which Highway Officer you talk with, you get different stories.

I have zero problem with following the laws if the laws were clear enough and consistent enough for everyone to follow. The same ruling should apply to the bus conversions and the huge motorhomes, not just the folks trying to do a better and SAFER job of hauling their trailers.

Require a CDL for our rigs but make the air-braked, 50 foot motorhomes do the same.
__________________

Ox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2003, 05:49 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 201
Default

Just one more reason I won't live in commie Kali.
Patrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2003, 04:01 AM   #4
Ox
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Arizona
Posts: 37
Default

Hey Patrick: California is not the only place with that issue. Arizona won't allow the MH registration to happen, I've tried (oh boy, did I try). And Arizona is not exactly a liberal state!
Ox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2003, 04:43 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Yorba Linda, CA, USA
Posts: 35
Default

Being a current law student, I read these posts with great interest. I would like to read the actual case but since it's at the trial court level it's very unlikely it will be published. There may not even be a record if Mr Emanuele did not pay for a court reporter or make arrangements for audio recording. On a positive note, because it is at the trial court level it does not set precedent. A different trial judge may rule another way and unless he or she read the times article, would likely be unaware of the ruling. Only the Ca. Court of Appeal and the Ca. Supreme Court can set precedent.

It is unlikely Mr Emanuele will be able to file or be involved in a class action lawsuit unless he can come up with a new cause of action since his case has already been decided. He may be successful if he appeals based on the trial Judge's possible misinterpretation of the law. Mr Emanuele's attorney asserts that the DMV has conflicting codes regarding motor homes. I don't know if this is so since they are not available to the general public (he can obtain them through discovery since he represents a party to the lawsuit). However, that may be irrelevant since the DMV's codes/policies are not binding law unless a judge uses one as a guideline and says it is. At the trial court level it would only be binding in that particular case and can be set aside by a higher court. Binding law comes from statutes and sometimes from regulations if the agency writing the regulation has been specifically authorized by statute to do so (not always the case), and even those may be open to some judicial interpretation depending on how specific they are. The only statute that specifically addresses RV registration is Ca.VC 362 which only states that , "A 'house car' is a motor vehicle originally designed, or permanently altered, and equipped for human habitation, or to which a camper has been permanently attached. . . A house car shall not be deemed to be a motortruck." What constitutes "human habitation" is not defined and it says nothing about size or trailer towing ability. I did a thorough search in the law library where I work and there is no corresponding regulation or any case law. Therefore, a precise definition by the appellate or Supreme Court or by new legislation is still pending and in the meantime trial court decisions will likely be inconsistent.

The DMV claims that, "Additional rules regarding commercial vehicles must be applied for such a large vehicle because of public safety . . ." However, they rely on the assertion that, "It is a truck tractor because its primary design is to tow trailers. The living quarters are incidental to the primary design of towing a trailer . . ." The first line comes from Ca.VC 655(a). The provisions in Ca.VC 362 are intended to be an exception to this and nothing in the statutes supports the DMV contention that living quarters are incidental. That is their own spin. It appears that the ability to tow a trailer is the real sticking point with the DMV, probably out of some misplaced fear that it can and will be used for commercial purposes without giving the state its proper fees (it always comes down to money). I feel strongly that the DMV is not hassling owners with motorhome conversions like Bill's (Warpath) which do not have a 5th wheel. If so, that certainly belies their contention that it is a safety issue based on the vehicle's size (and we all know there are conventional diesel pusher RVs that are very large, but they look like a RV so I guess that placates the DMV). i.e., RV haulers are targeted because they look like commercial tractors. It seems obvious from the legislative notes that the legislative intent was for California citizens to own and enjoy RVs without the hassle and expense of commercial registration, especially in light of the far fewer miles RVs drive compared to commercial trucks, which seems to be the reasoning behind Ca.VC 362.

Anyway, I hope Mr Emanuele does take his case to the appellate court so we can get a declaratory judgement that clears this up, although that will take years. If that goes against us, perhaps it will spur the legislature to pass a statute that is more specific and overrules any possible adverse decision by the courts.
Mike E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2003, 07:55 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 42
Default

The article mentions he has all the required facilities on the truck to be classified as a MoHo. Does he have a Toterhome or did he add all that to the original sleeper? Sounds as though this applies only to vehicles with a fifth wheel setup?

IMHO (which doesn't count for much ) their rational is no different than that of a pickup. Virtually all pickups come with a trailer hitch but they all don't end up pulling trailers.
SandCarFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2003, 09:35 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Cincinnati Ohio USA
Posts: 286
Default

So if you lift off the 5th wheel for inspection and drop it back on after inspection....is this a way around this issue?....I'm confused....is it the configuration or the weight or size?....geof
geof is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2003, 05:53 AM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 17
Default

I have to agree its probably an issue of money - they can get more if its registered as a commercial vehicle. So the question is what if you already have a title that states its a house car or mototrhome? Shouldn't be an issue I would think.

2000 Volvo 610 Motorhome "Dixie"
Pulling a 32' Newmar Fiver
smokin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2003, 09:36 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: N.E. Ohio
Posts: 768
Default

Next question, let's say he goes ahead and gets the required license, will he have to enter weigh stations & keep a log outside of Cali? (Even if those states he is in do not require it) I am not sure what the tax is in Cali, but Ohio the truck plates where in the mid $800 range. Ouch!!

I will be honest, I think the CDL is going to be a requirement in the not to distant future, and will probably encompass RV's with air brakes. Maybe they will make a seperate classification.

It is kinda wrong that someone can jump into a vehicle that others spend months learning about.

2003 28' Show Hauler Motorhome on a 1995 FL 120 www.showhauler.com
Warpath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2003, 11:15 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Cincinnati Ohio USA
Posts: 286
Default

I think any legislation on CDL's in Ohio for RVs will depend on how many of our legislators have RVs and how many have airbrakes....the more that have big rigs the less likely that any other legislative BS will involve us....just commenting on our current goverment here in Ohio....Now IF there are any tax increases or any NEW taxes that can be added on-I'm sure there will be legislation....but for now I haven't heard any rumblings....only a steering committe forming to discuss age/driving issues....but they have done that many times in the past....geof in Cincinnati
geof is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2003, 11:17 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Cincinnati Ohio USA
Posts: 286
Default

Huummm....looking at my last post I'd say spell-check is on strike again.....geof
geof is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2003, 11:38 AM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Rapid City
Posts: 27
Default

What makes me mad, is that they are harassing guys that are trying to pull with a safer rig, but ignore the fools out there pulling 30'+ trailers, plus a boat behind, with 1/2 ton trucks that are grossly overloaded.

Living in the Black Hills, I see these kind of rigs almost every day in the summer, and wonder how some of them even make it out here. I was behind a 1/2 ton van the other day, that was loaded so heavy that the back bumper was almost dragging on the ground. It had a hugh bunkhouse type 30"+ trailer on the back, and was barely doing 50mph down the interstate.

And before anyone looks at my signature, and says that I have a lot of room to talk (I pull with a 3/4 ton), I have weighed my rig fully loadeds and ready to camp, and it weighs in about 500 pounds under my combined max gross weight, and there is plenty of room left on each of the axels..

Of course, this is why I want a larger tow rig, so I can safely pull my rig, and not have to worry about being over loaded because I added a few extra groceries and such to my normal load.

Jeff in South Dakota
1995 Ford F-250 4X4 PSD
1992 Skamper Slide in camper
1984 Holiday Rambler 5er
1979 Mercedes Benz Unimog
Junk Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2003, 03:20 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Kingman AZ.
Posts: 59
Default

Arizona has recently decided that if a large "motorhome" still has the ability to either pull a commercial trailer or have a load placed on it, such as a box truck with the opening rear door and a "garage" area. It will be considered a commercial vehicle as far as tags are concerned. This means that the $495 tags I will be paying for my motorhome FLD 120 will jump to $960 to included the heavy use tax, etc.

I was told this all came about because some unscrupulous truck drivers were registering their class 8 trucks as motorhomes and then pulling commercial loads during the week when they weren't pulling their RV.

As for CDLs, as long as the vehicle is not being used commercially to carry a load for profit, etc. you do not have to have a CDL, but the vehicle max. weight of 26,000 lbs comes into this and also how heavy your trailer is and what the combined weights are as well.

Best to check your home State's statutes and print them out and carry them in the truck.

Ain't disyphering legislation fun.....

Peter.
madbrit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2004, 05:55 AM   #14
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Anchorage, AK
Posts: 3
Default

I realize that this discussion is a year old by now - but I wanted to add my 2 cents worth.

It appears, from all previous discussion, that the fifth wheel hitch is causing all of the fuss. If it is removed, and a flat deck temporarily installed to cover the rear of the frame, and photos taken with a motorcycle or ATV strapped to the deck (or driven there with full deck cargo, toys, & gear, ice chests, etc. for a weekend outing to the desert or the river) for their inspection - I would bet that the conversion to a motorhome would be no big issue - especially at a different DMV office - with different clerks.
One might even go so far as to install a receiver hitch receptacle to prove it is used recreationally, and hook a boat trailer behind it. It could all be re-converted to a fifth wheel configuration after the change to MH registration is approved. Perception is in the eye of the beholder. I would not mention towing a RV.

Another solution would be create a trust or business entity like a LLC or family limited partnership for the express purpose of owning title in a MH conversion - friendly state. The converted vehicle would be owned by, and titled in, the name of your "entity" that you control as its owner. Like a company - owned motorhome. You can own a company or trust in any state with no need to change drivers licenses. It would just be in California on "temporary business". I posted more on this subject on the escapees MDT forum at this link: http://escapees.infopop.cc/eve/ubb.x...5406#401105406

Dan
DieselDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2004, 09:27 AM   #15
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10
Default

Dan,
Originally in the great state of Pennsylvania, the fifth wheel hitch was the stumbling block. Folks started doing exactly as you suggest. The rsult.....Now the DMV states that if it was ever titled as a truck tractor, it will always be a truck tractor. No ifs, buts or ands.

Racing is a big time here, so all those people were going the motorhome route to pull their racecars.
stim8r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2004, 12:08 PM   #16
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Denver Co
Posts: 4
Default

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by stim8r:
Dan,
Originally in the great state of Pennsylvania, the fifth wheel hitch was the stumbling block. Folks started doing exactly as you suggest. The rsult.....Now the DMV states that if it was ever titled as a truck tractor, it will always be a truck tractor. No ifs, buts or ands. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Exactly what I was just told at the Colorado DMV
DSjockey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2004, 05:42 PM   #17
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10
Default

Sad part is that it sucks for those of us who are legitimately using them for RV purposes. I have considered the Trust route, but it would be my luck that other states would go the route Pa. and Co. are.
stim8r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2004, 08:28 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,083
Default

....All you Pennsylvania Dutch boys have to do is register the vehicle in the Nasty state of Ohio.....NO Problemo!...once you are registered you are grandfathered.....geof
__________________
women-food-money-naps...not necessarly in that order
KAYE RIVERCITY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2004, 01:24 PM   #19
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10
Default

I thought about painting it black and placing an orange triangle(slow moving vehicle) on the back. Being an International that wouldn't be that far a reach anyway. I could get a hat and grow half a beard and paint Mennonite Freighthauler on the hood.

I'd have to get rid of my shiny wheels and runningboards though.
stim8r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2004, 09:18 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,083
Default

....I'm glad you are taking it so well....I'd be calling my lawyer for quick advice and heading for a RV friendly state.....geof.....
__________________

__________________
women-food-money-naps...not necessarly in that order
KAYE RIVERCITY is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×