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Old 03-30-2003, 02:13 PM   #23
Mike E
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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