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Old 08-29-2012, 10:48 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Default Do I have to have a DOT?

I'm considering getting a 17ft toter.
I'm concerned about dealing with the dot. I was planning on towing my horse trailer which has the name of our barn etc on it. Am I a giant red flag for the dot cops?

Is having a dot # costly or just time consuming with the log book etc?

I'm in Florida.

Any advise?

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Old 08-30-2012, 03:38 PM   #2
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Location: Dallas
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I just bought a 32' toter that is titled as a motorhome. I am required to have a class A license, but not a CDL. I also get around carrying commercial insurance. From what I understand, as long as you have the "Private Coach, not for hire" decals they will not randomly check you.

If you have grease dripping, bulging tires and look suspicious, they can and will stop you.

That was stated by a local Sheriff / DOT officer.

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Old 08-30-2012, 11:42 PM   #3
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I think if you are operating "in furtherance of a commercial venture" you need to be DOT registered. If your farm is a commercial venture and you're furthering that by advertising it on the trailer, I'd guess you need DOT registration. It's not expensive, just the DOT part. Now, I'm pretty sure you can't legally use RV plates on a commercial vehicle. So, that means truck plates. Unless you go interstate. That puts you into an Apportioned plate I think. Which also puts you into IFTA (Interstate Fuel Tax Aggreement) requirements. More paperwork and expense. Then, you'll probably have to pay more for insurance since it's a commercial vehicle, not an RV. I think this is all if you want to assure you're operating fully legal, which I'm probably missing other things. Just putting some "private rv, not for hire" or some such stickers won't cut it with a stickler of a DOT Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer. I know a couple of them and they say those are actually a magnet for them telling them that you are more than likely commercial and they're gonna go after you.
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:49 PM   #4
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Location: West Chester, Ohio
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legally "Private Coach, not for hire" means nothing, but most DOT will leave you alone. That said, Bob is right. There are Barney officers out there looking for those stickers... and they will use all the grey areas of DOT regs to antagonize you.

I was told that you cannot put company names etc on a vehicle titled as a motorhome. I would assume that if the trailer may need commercial tags and by connection the truck would too. When we went from work truck to truck conversion, we killed the company logos. I did my best to stay legal in the DOT grey areas.

Keep searching for your local rules.
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