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Old 03-10-2003, 04:48 PM   #1
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HI all,

I ran into iRV2 a few days ago and have made my way to here due to the unusual needs I have for travel. Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to put this together and contribute.

I posted on iRV2 that I needed to sleep 7, haul a my van and have a 8x8 shop area. (10,000# trailer) Full time for a while. I did get some blank stares, but eventually found this group. A class 8 seems to answer a lot of my problems wonderfully. I'm absolutely jazzed on the whole concept. In fact, I called a friend that runs a trucking company today and he has a '99 VN 610 that he is getting ready to trade-in. This is getting dangerous!

The details: I'm taking my business on the road and I'm tired of being without my family. 5 kids(4-13yrs). 1 wife (undisclosed)
The idea is popular with them and I'm trying to work the logistics. Since I have only been used to short term trips, this is going to be a learning experience to say the least.

I know from reading Larry (onezman) that these rigs can be run without a CDL. It may get a bit tricky with me as I will be using the shop for prototyping/fabrication and intend to write the whole setup off as business use (employ the kids and all). My initial impression is that I would have to go ahead and get the CDL. Two problems with that are that I would have to convince the wife to get one also, and I would then be subject to the liscensing and taxes that go with it. Am I missing something? For the duration of the adventure, this will be my primary residence if that makes any difference.
I also have no idea of a budget needed to feed and care for a rig such as this. Expected service? Set aside for repairs? Cost per mile to run with everything included? Mileage isn't hard to guess, but what about the other things that I may not be thinking about. My friend mentioned things like separators, pumps, leaks, and such as the reason for swapping out before 500k. Also mentioned that they like to be out of them before the warantee expires. How much risk am I taking putting such a truck into this service? Any feedback would be appreciated.
I'm hoping for a July time frame, so I would have to start without the rig until it could be built.
Warpath: you did a wonderful service by putting these sites together.

Thanks all
Bo
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Old 03-10-2003, 07:11 PM   #2
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Bo -
Really not sure on the CDL issue, if it is a motorhome with living quarters (sleeping, refer, stove, ect.) normally you would not need a CDL. If you where to use it as a businees, that maybe a different story.

With regards to maintanence, unless you plan to pound out a 100,000 miles a year, it will be nothing like what a trucking company experiences. Basically when these trucks hit this stage they are now retired meaning low milage under 50,000 per year and maintenance is not nearly a issue. I am sure others have a better idea on this.

Good luck and keep us posted

Bill

2003 28' Show Hauler Motorhome on a 1995 FL 120 www.showhauler.com
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Old 03-10-2003, 07:34 PM   #3
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Hi Bill
This should really be a PM but I don't know how to do it with this newsgroup, and in fact, others may want to see in anyway.

It sounds like it took you about 6 months from start to finish. Is that what I could expect?

From what I can glean from your posts, you have about 120k in it. I suspect that is without the initial truck.

For now, what I think that I want is a large slide, double couch setup. I am tempted to go out to 30'.

Like you, I want functional much more than pretty. Its going to get used.

I broke down in Lima a few weeks ago, I considered heading to Mentor for parts, sounds like your neck of the woods.

This is definitely an adventure. I hope I can pull it off.

I'll can the DMV and see if I can get anywhere with them concerning the CDL.

Thanks again
Mark
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Old 03-10-2003, 09:10 PM   #4
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Mark you an your wife probably can read on the 8th grade level....correct?....The CDL manual is written on the 8th grade level....taking the test and study time will maybe take a full day...Other than that If you have a aquaintance to help you guys with identifying parts and guiding you through the mundane processes you can get this over in very little time....the physical and paperwork takes more time than anything else....geof
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Old 03-11-2003, 05:31 AM   #5
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Bo:

May want to check out www.busconversions.com discussion forum. They have had a number of discussions about this topic. A search should help you.

chuck
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Old 03-12-2003, 08:01 PM   #6
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The language below is copied from the Uniform Commercial Driver's License Act, as enacted in Washington (state) (RCW 46.25). The language and meaning will be the same across the US. What I see as your problem is the trailer you need to pull to do your business. The combined weight rating (GCWR) will be well over 26K, and given the business purpose of the trailer, may well end up making almost anything you use similar to what you describe into a "commercial vehicle".
Example: A 1 ton pickup, 11K GVW, with a 3 axle car trailer, GVW 16K; the combined total is 27K. It was used for pulling car parts, and the operator was convicted at trial of not having a CDL when required (I was slumming that day, covering for a Distrcit Court deputy). The wording here, and I think around the country, does not have a useful qualifier - "for hire", or words to that affect.
Where you have a problem would not be having a Class A RV based on a tractor, or even pulling a trailer (let's say you have your car and motorcycle in the trailer so you can use them when parked). I suspect where you would run the risk of a problem is the use of the trailer for a business purpose, or having a shop area in the RV for doing work (not sure which you mean from reading your description). Admittedly, if you didn't let anyone in, so the business portion was never seen, it would be hard to show that it is a commercial vehicle - it's just a nice RV.

(6) "Commercial motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle designed or used to transport passengers or property:

(a) If the vehicle has a gross weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds;

(b) If the vehicle is designed to transport sixteen or more passengers, including the driver;

(c) If the vehicle is transporting hazardous materials and is required to be identified by a placard in accordance with 49 C.F.R. part 172, subpart F; or

(d) If the vehicle is a school bus as defined in RCW 46.04.521 regardless of weight or size.

I went and looked at the definition of a motor home (46.04.305) and it is not clear how the overlap would be resolved, although in the early parts of 46.25, it is stated that inconsistencies would be resolved in a manner so that the commercial license law controls.
(Purpose -- Construction.
(1) The purpose of this chapter is to implement the federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 (CMVSA), Title XII, P.L. 99-570, and reduce or prevent commercial motor vehicle accidents, fatalities, and injuries by:

(a) Permitting commercial drivers to hold only one license;

(b) Disqualifying commercial drivers who have committed certain serious traffic violations, or other specified offenses;

(c) Strengthening licensing and testing standards.

(2) This chapter is a remedial law and shall be liberally construed to promote the public health, safety, and welfare. To the extent that this chapter conflicts with general driver licensing provisions, this chapter prevails. Where this chapter is silent, the general driver licensing provisions apply.)
Motor homes.
"Motor homes" means motor vehicles originally designed, reconstructed, or permanently altered to provide facilities for human habitation, which include lodging and cooking or sewage disposal, and is enclosed within a solid body shell with the vehicle, but excludes a camper or like unit constructed separately and affixed to a motor vehicle.
After reading these, I think that if it came to a real fight, you would need a CDL. However, I think that would be true of almost any combination vehicle capable of doing what you are describing - the combined purposes. The driver's license is not necessarily the big problem - it's the hassle and cost of registering the vehicle.
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Old 03-12-2003, 08:57 PM   #7
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When and if you have an accident-What is your insurance company going to do?....Screw the courts-Hey fine me and be done with it....but the insurance company will weasel out of anything- anyway they can to keep from paying for any loss....yours or the other guys....consider the "Second Golden Rule"-"Always Cover Your Ass" Granted a CDL is more trouble than it's worth, but a reasonable person would take the necessary steps to be within the law and conditions of his insurance company agreement/contract....cuz fighting them is expensive time consuming and rarely do your break even.....geof<who sued a insurance company-and won-but it took 5 years>
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Old 03-13-2003, 06:07 AM   #8
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I realized this morning that my answer missed a critical consideration: if your state of residence registers the vehicle as an RV, that is dispositive. You don't need the CDL. While I appreciate the insurance issue that Geof raises, the court issue is not as simple as a fine - in Washington, and I think in most states, violations of the CDL laws are not fine only offenses, but crimes with potential jail time. And insurance companies are REALLY afraid of litigation that alleges bad faith - if you are properly covered, they are in a world of hurt if they screw with you. I've had a couple try. They didn't enjoy the experience. :-)
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Old 03-13-2003, 10:52 AM   #9
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Gentlemen,

My OPINION concerning this matter is if one is not for hire, hauling others goods or passengers for compensation, one would not need a CDL if drivng a motorhome.

I have seen many motor coaches towing their own trailers that may contain their own property for business use. As far as I know, a CDL is not required for this type of use. All of these vehicles exceed 26K GCVW.

Then there are race car haulers hauling their own cars or parts that may be for sale elsewhere. They are carrying their own goods. They are not for hire and not being compensated directly for transporting their own materials. In such cases a CDL should not be required. OTOH, I am always over 26K when towing my travel trailer.

I might be found to be not in compliance concerning that particular law if someone wanted to get real technical about it. That has never happened to me or anyone I know of though.

Larry
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Old 03-23-2003, 03:43 PM   #10
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Commercial Reg. in Calif.

In California, under Cal. Vehicle. Code Ann. ß 260, the definition of a commercial vehicle includes any vehicle used for profit, and the ensuing regulations include both "for hire" and "not for hire", so equipping the trailer with a fabrication shop which would be used for profit would be a commercial vehicle in California and in most states I suspect. Therefore, IMHO boroko would be much safer paying the additional cost of commercial registration and including the costs as business expenses on his taxes. If the vehicle chosen is over the GVWR requirement set forth in his state then he should get a CDL as well. As Doug pointed out, the penalties may include jail time but even if jail time can be avoided, the cost of mounting a defense to any charges will far exceed the cost of commercial registration and a CDL.

Mike
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Old 04-02-2003, 10:44 PM   #11
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Update:
I contacted the Michigan Dept of State today and they said that I could get a 14 day temp registration for moving the vehicle for $10. She gave me chapter and verse in case I had trouble with a local office. She said that I can get another one when I'm ready to pick it up to get the final inspection and get it registered as a MH. This may not seem earthshattering to any of you, but originally I was told that I would have to properly register it as an commercial truck until it was converted. $20 is a lot different that $1200 if I have my math right. My Insurance agent is looking into coverage. So far, everyone has been pretty co-operative.
Bo
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Old 05-31-2003, 11:15 PM   #12
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i don't know if you need a cdl or not but my pa license says i'm class C which is any single or combo < 26,001 you need a class A for greater than that i would imagine. I'm sure my small motorhome and 32 tag trailer is more than that. also the not for hire on your rig will only get you passed the weight scales for commercal vehicles. i quess the only answer to it all is to get the cdl and your covered either way , when it comes to the law ignoance isn't a good defense
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Old 06-03-2003, 02:18 PM   #13
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A registered RV is exempt, no if's ands or buts. People working out of their rv's are exempt. It's no different than a traveling salesman working out of a car - they are working directly out of their vehicle yet are not required to have a cdl. Neither are we.

Now this may all change and I've heard rumours that it has in Texas, and of course Kalifornia is it's own world when it comes to most laws but especially motor vehicle laws, however for now, according to the state of Georgia I'm good to go in an rv no matter what the weight or the purpose for which I use it. Even says so on my drivers license...


Sean P. Clarke
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Old 06-03-2003, 02:47 PM   #14
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So what your saying is....It all depends on the state it is titled in as a RV...what about your insurance company?...what do they say?......I listen to Insurance Co's more than the State of Ohio employees[BMV]. I do have a friend who is the P.U.C.O. enforcement officer here and I go by what he says.....and I can quote him if I get into a jamb....geof
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Old 06-03-2003, 05:10 PM   #15
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I picked up a CDL handbook from the Highway Patrol office here in South Dakota, and right inside the front cover it says that you do not need a CDL to drive a motorhome, even if it weighs over 26,000 pounds (or whatever the majic number is).

I don't know if it would also apply if you are doing business out of it, as they are cracking down on race car drivers that pull their race cars with trucks licensed as RV's.

If you use it to make a profit, they say you must have a CDL, and as far as the Highway patrol is concened, if you have a sponsor on your race car, or you win a cash prize, you use it to make a profit.

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 06-03-2003, 09:49 PM   #16
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P.U.C.O officer said it has to do with advertising on the outside of the trailer....Brand names logo's etc...theose give probable cause to ask for permission to have a look...Interesting part here is the differance between a hobby and a business...seems to be the crux of the matter....but them again-I didn't listen too well as I only camp and haul my personal toys on my roll-off.....As long as you have the proper proof of ownership and use you have no problems with the cops/PUCO.....the big deal I'm told is the insurance company if you have an accident.....they will weasel out of it and leave you blowing in the wind if they can.....OY!....geof
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Old 06-20-2003, 07:28 PM   #17
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I talked with a state trooper in Texas today while trying to determine what class of license is required when using a class 7 or 8 truck as a RV tow vehicle. His response was that a CDL is not required, but a class A lecense is required. Now most of us have a class C license which is all that is required for passenger cars & light trucks or medium duty trucks towing LESS THAN 10000LB TRAILERS. After that conversation, I checked out the State of Texas web site & lo & behold, what he said was confirmed by section on license requirements. Basically, a class A license is required if the GVWR of the vehicle is greater than 26001 lbs, or if the combined GVWRs of the tow vehicle & trailer are greater than 26001 lbs & the GVWR of the trailer is greater than 10000 lbs. What this implies is that if you have a 1-ton pickup with a gvwr of 12000 lbs and a 30+ ft 5th wheel travel trailer with a gvwr of 14500 lbs, you are required to have a class A drivers license instead of class C. For medium duty haulers with a gvwr of 16500 or greater & any trailer with a gvwr of 10000 lbs, the same would also apply. This means that most of us that are pulling a 34 ft or longer 5th wheel with a 1-ton dually or bigger tow vehicle are theoretically illegal unles there is some exemption which I have not found yet. I spent a couple of hours on Texas' web site & haven't found an exemption for the class A lecense. CDL, not required for recreational vehicle, Class A, I don't know. I do know that there are a lot of folks pulling trailers with a gvwr of over 10k that exceed the combined limit of 26k. Any thoughts on this comment?
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Old 06-27-2003, 05:23 PM   #18
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TexArMan:

Almost 100 percent correct. I'd like to make a minor change in what you said about 1 ton truck GVWR plus a trailer GVWR exceeding 26,000 pounds thus needing a Class A license. Not true! 1 ton truck has a CGVWR under 26,000 pounds --- if you pull a trailer that exceeds the rating of the truck, you don't need a Class A license; you need your head examined. You did mention the rating of the truck and that is all the information you need - if the CGVWR is over 26,000 pounds you need a Class A license to pull a trailer over GVWR of 10,000 pounds. Texas has some CDL exclusions and RV'ers is one of them. But you are not excluded from the Class A requirement.

If your bob-tail truck/motorhome has a GVWR over 26,000 pounds you need a Class B (or Class A). And you can pull a trailer under 10,000 pounds GVWR.

CGVWR: Combined Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

Retired Dallas County Dep. Sheriff

Oh, and other States vary --- no such thing as "Standard"..
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Old 01-01-2006, 08:16 PM   #19
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I am in Texas and currently have a 40ft Hyline Premier. It has a GVW of 15,565. I pull it with an 03 4X4 Dodge quad cab dually. I have a weigh ticket on a certified Cat scale of 22,500 lbs of the entire rig. Thats with empty holding tanks, a full tank of fuel, my dog, son and load excluding the wife. I am about to buy a 95 Volvo day cab single axle tractor, M11 Cummins and Fuller 10 speed. With all of the weights and laws floating about I have the same question. Do I need a license other than my class C. I see other converted toters in my park (yes, I am a full timer) and they just sport a regular tag and inspection sticker. What would I need to do, if anything, to the title and/or truck to make it legal for a private toter.

I am all about legal, and I am not commercial in any streatch of the imagination. this truck would also have to be used as an everyday driver (pickup rather, it will get a fabricated bed on it) so are there any other requirements for that. The Dodge, altho a great truck would have to go if I buy this truck. The deal has been made, I just havent paid for it yet and want to cover all the bases before I do.
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Old 01-02-2006, 02:36 PM   #20
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Well, let me help in your corruption..

Going from memory (I'm not in Texas), I believe you'll need a non-commercial class A.

This topic has been talked to death in the Escapees HDT forum.
Escapees HDT

If you look, you might also find some ideas for a bed too.

Not that there is anything wrong with your choice, but personally I would have leaned toward a sleeper cab. A day cab might get a little cramped for 3+dog.

-ll
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