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Old 12-21-2020, 08:58 AM   #21
ewbldavis
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If I can comment on something in your original post: "...1/2 ton fifth"

I own a Cougar HT. Granted, I have the biggest one, but still - no way even the shortest one should be pulled by even a "properly" equipped 1/2-ton pickup. Many do it, but I don't think 1/2-tons should pull 5th wheels (and I'm not the most conservative on this forum!).

Don't sweat it too much - you got the unit you WANTED, and you'll be MUCH happier towing with an HD pickup - period.

Nice truck selection, too. I'm a GM guy, but those Ram's are very nice.
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Old 12-21-2020, 08:59 AM   #22
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So when CHP weighs a rig what do they use as the limits? Is it the axle weight ratings, the vehicle GVWR or both? Is the weights on the VIN or registration weights?
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From my understanding they stick portable scale on the rear axle, and then use the fed tag. Endorsement is GVWR regulated. Mine is 10240 so I need the travel trailer endorsement by 240 pounds.
So is there also a monetary fine that goes along dropping your trailer. If there is by the sounds of all the larger THís being pulled by 250/2500ís seems like a cash cow for the state.
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Old 12-21-2020, 09:12 AM   #23
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There are SO many gray areas about legal weights, registration, & licensing that it would literally drive you nuts to try to decipher them.
Not to mention if they started enforcing them they'd kill the rv industry.
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Old 12-21-2020, 09:19 AM   #24
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There are SO many gray areas about legal weights, registration, & licensing that it would literally drive you nuts to try to decipher them.
Not to mention if they started enforcing them they'd kill the rv industry.

Or give a big shot in the arm of the HD truck market!!! Actually, you are probably right. I see SO many overloaded 3/4 ton diesel HD trucks it's not funny.
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Old 12-21-2020, 09:49 AM   #25
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So is there also a monetary fine that goes along dropping your trailer. If there is by the sounds of all the larger THís being pulled by 250/2500ís seems like a cash cow for the state.
Yup! They are tapping into that gold mine.
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Old 12-21-2020, 11:58 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by ewbldavis View Post
If I can comment on something in your original post: "...1/2 ton fifth"

I own a Cougar HT. Granted, I have the biggest one, but still - no way even the shortest one should be pulled by even a "properly" equipped 1/2-ton pickup. Many do it, but I don't think 1/2-tons should pull 5th wheels (and I'm not the most conservative on this forum!).

Don't sweat it too much - you got the unit you WANTED, and you'll be MUCH happier towing with an HD pickup - period.

Nice truck selection, too. I'm a GM guy, but those Ram's are very nice.
Thanks! And I meant I would be ok with the 1/2 ton fifth wheel with my 3/4 ton truck I just traded . Yeah I wouldnít tow a fifth wheel with a half ton truck either
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Old 12-21-2020, 12:20 PM   #27
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There are many vehicle or load problems that can get a comm truck shut down.
Here's 1 you may never have realized. All required lighting must be working when needed or your shut down on the shoulder til fixed. Ok read it again ALL REQUIRED DOT LIGHTING. I worked with a gal who took the full time truck inspection assignment. She became a level 1 truck inspector. Me, I was happy with the required level 2 title, nothing more.
Ok, now think about all those owner/operator trucks that add lights all over the truck and sometimes trailer.
She told me one morning she shut down a trucker who had some of those extra lights not working. Well she was about as bright as a burned out bulb, I let her know that she did something illegal. But you see I was only a level 2 and she blew me off. I had to report her to the Sgt.
I never knew what happened to that case. I write this mainly because there are 1,000s of comm truck laws not just weight laws.
And sometimes the cop could make a mistake. One reason we allowed 1,000 over on most weight cases before writing a ticket. 10 lbs over on a scale that is certified to be 200 lbs from perfect, will get the case tossed out of court and judges unhappy.
Just had this light thing explained to me by a MDOT / State Weigh Master Officer here in Michigan.. If you install lights, they ALL must be working if inspected... not just the OE ones... that means all the extra lights you installed...My son is a Heavy Truck Mechanic and I was helping work on a W900 Kenworth yesterday... part of the work was replacing burned out add on lights.... he also said that ALL of them must work regardless of being factory or required lighting...Kind of shocked me so the reason I asked a friend who is a Mi State Weigh Master here who confirmed it....
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Old 12-21-2020, 12:57 PM   #28
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Ken, glad I never crossed your path with the old 2001 Ram 2500! It didn’t look it but was 1,700# over GVWR.
Me too when I was hauling sticks in the 70's & 80's 100K GV.
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Old 12-21-2020, 02:02 PM   #29
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It was a out of service or shut down only if DOT lighting. But, I suppose it could have changed. DOT out of service would be headlights, taillights, turn signals and brakes. Cab markers and trailer markers could be a cite or warning. I have not enforced DOT for 10 years this month.
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Old 12-24-2020, 10:09 AM   #30
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The officer gave the guy two options...lose the weight or wait for a cdl driver to come and drive the rig because it was over 26000.
Well, I could stand to lose 60 pounds easy, and being stuck on the side of the highway indefinitely unable to proceed is one of the very few ways I could see ever being successful at it.
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Old 12-24-2020, 10:59 AM   #31
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Long ago a PA trooper pulled me over as 1 candle on top of the non-commercial 3/4 ton pickup was out. He used that for the reason to stop me, gave a warning to be fixed in 24 hours at an inspection station. Said if he found anything else he would have wtitten something.
I did the 1/2 ton and TT, the 3/4 diesel with a light 5er, the 1 ton with a heavier 5er, should have just gone to the current dually long ago!
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Old 12-24-2020, 11:17 AM   #32
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Let's be open and honest here.


The guy in the video is operating as a commercial entity without complying with all of the commercial requirements including a CDL.



The 26k limit number comes from gross weight in a commercial environment/entity. Although the officer didn't ticket him for it, he was also illegal as the trailer was >10K gross, again in a commercial environment/entity.


My 5vr weighs 15k loaded and ready for camping. And, according to the laws of FL, I don't need a CDL to pull the camper. However, if I was towing a 15k capacity trailer as part of a business enterprise, I would need a CDL. And the list of possibilities are endless as it applies to weights, restrictions and CDL.



The main reason for boring everyone with some of the basic DOT stuff is to put some fears at ease for the RV camper crowd. Unless you are going to Komifornia I am unaware of any other state that dictates CDL requirements for recreational use.


Hope this helps and calms some fears.


Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-24-2020, 11:49 AM   #33
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Let's be open and honest here.


The guy in the video is operating as a commercial entity without complying with all of the commercial requirements including a CDL.



...
I'm glad you made this statement. I watched the video and read every post here. I was confused. It appeared this is a commercial endeavor, not a private RV road trip endeavor.


I've been towing travel trailers and now a fifth wheel, pretty much, all my life. I never had a run-in with DOT, weights or anything like that. I've never been to California either.

So, is the intent of this entire post and thread to warn RVers to make sure their rigs are under the California CDL weight limit requirements even if you are driving the family truck with the family fifth wheel on a family camping trip? If so, it makes me glad I live in Indiana!
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Old 12-24-2020, 12:29 PM   #34
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Over 26,000 lbs you need a CDL? Federal requirement.
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Old 12-24-2020, 12:58 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by TYHLR View Post
Let's be open and honest here.


The guy in the video is operating as a commercial entity without complying with all of the commercial requirements including a CDL.



The 26k limit number comes from gross weight in a commercial environment/entity. Although the officer didn't ticket him for it, he was also illegal as the trailer was >10K gross, again in a commercial environment/entity.


My 5vr weighs 15k loaded and ready for camping. And, according to the laws of FL, I don't need a CDL to pull the camper. However, if I was towing a 15k capacity trailer as part of a business enterprise, I would need a CDL. And the list of possibilities are endless as it applies to weights, restrictions and CDL.



The main reason for boring everyone with some of the basic DOT stuff is to put some fears at ease for the RV camper crowd. Unless you are going to Komifornia I am unaware of any other state that dictates CDL requirements for recreational use.


Hope this helps and calms some fears.


Merry Christmas!
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I'm glad you made this statement. I watched the video and read every post here. I was confused. It appeared this is a commercial endeavor, not a private RV road trip endeavor.


I've been towing travel trailers and now a fifth wheel, pretty much, all my life. I never had a run-in with DOT, weights or anything like that. I've never been to California either.

So, is the intent of this entire post and thread to warn RVers to make sure their rigs are under the California CDL weight limit requirements even if you are driving the family truck with the family fifth wheel on a family camping trip? If so, it makes me glad I live in Indiana!

Sorry if you were confused...it was not intented to suggest you need a cdl for private rv travel
I was pointing out that I was over my vehicles gvwr pulling my fifth wheel. I argued for months that I would be fine and figured if I was ever in an accident or if I was weighed on the side of the road ( I realize highly unlikely ) that I may just get a warning and sent on my way.
This video showed me how an interaction with a dot officer or state police or any entity with a reason to weigh me could go.
I was not implying cdl or commercial laws could apply to recreational rv’s
Although I do understand some states( California) do treat big rigs differently...and over 26000 lbs I believe does put you into cdl territory but most rigs would never see that. But don’t hold me to that. I don’t feel like arguing that point for three more pages of posts lol
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Old 12-24-2020, 01:53 PM   #36
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Sorry if you were confused...it was not intented to suggest you need a cdl for private rv travel
I was pointing out that I was over my vehicles gvwr pulling my fifth wheel. I argued for months that I would be fine and figured if I was ever in an accident or if I was weighed on the side of the road ( I realize highly unlikely ) that I may just get a warning and sent on my way.
This video showed me how an interaction with a dot officer or state police or any entity with a reason to weigh me could go.
I was not implying cdl or commercial laws could apply to recreational rvís
Although I do understand some states( California) do treat big rigs differently...and over 26000 lbs I believe does put you into cdl territory but most rigs would never see that. But donít hold me to that. I donít feel like arguing that point for three more pages of posts lol
A point... the 26,000 pound mark in most states including Texas is based on the registered GVWR of both the trailer and the truck... for the GCWR.

That 14,000 pound GVWR Dually will leave you a GVWR of 12,001 pounds for the trailer to flip the switch on a Class A driver's license in Texas.. it is not a commercial DL but is not a Class C or standard license.
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Old 12-24-2020, 01:59 PM   #37
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A point... the 26,000 pound mark in most states including Texas is based on the registered GVWR of both the trailer and the truck... for the GCWR.

That 14,000 pound GVWR Dually will leave you a GVWR of 12,001 pounds for the trailer to flip the switch on a Class A driver's license in Texas.. it is not a commercial DL but is not a Class C or standard license.
Great! One more thing to worry about lol
Out of the frying pan and into the fire
Again Iím not suggesting I know anything about anything....just furnaces and air conditioners
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Old 12-24-2020, 02:57 PM   #38
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I'm glad you made this statement. I watched the video and read every post here. I was confused. It appeared this is a commercial endeavor, not a private RV road trip endeavor.


I've been towing travel trailers and now a fifth wheel, pretty much, all my life. I never had a run-in with DOT, weights or anything like that. I've never been to California either.

So, is the intent of this entire post and thread to warn RVers to make sure their rigs are under the California CDL weight limit requirements even if you are driving the family truck with the family fifth wheel on a family camping trip? If so, it makes me glad I live in Indiana!

My takeaway was that weight limits are weight limits and if you are weighed, and overweight, any number of things can happen. Doesn't have to be CDL, commercial or in CA. Saw a guy pulling a 5th wheel pulled over in NM being weighed by a state trooper and he had to leave the trailer behind. It can happen and folks need to be aware of it. JMO
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Old 12-24-2020, 07:48 PM   #39
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So the guy in the video is hauling a trailer as a commercial vehicle, not a guy going out camping with his 5th wheel, which puts this in two different ballparks.
Operating a rig as a commercial vehicle puts a whole different spin on things, CDL, medical card, weights and permits and subjecting yourself to those random roadside inspections conducted by law enforcement. And yes, being shut down for being overweight and being told to correct the problem or getting impounded.
Iím not justifying his issues as being overweight, just trying to clarify the shut down.
Itís starting to sound like each state is setting new rules and requirements for towing trailers for us who use them for personal use (different licensing/endorsements) which is a double edge sword, but after seeing some folks towing a new trailer of 30 plus feet for the first time and having no business in doing so...scars the hell out of me, but thatís a whole different discussion for another time.
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Old 12-25-2020, 06:01 AM   #40
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To muddy the waters a little further on this, and remembering that these things will vary state to state, I had a visit with the DMV office and then a retired state trooper after buying the current truck.

Bought the truck in FL and went happily on my way. The dealer sent the paperwork to TX and the local DMV sent me the tags and paperwork. Just put the tags on and went about my business.

When we got home I pulled the registration paper work and it listed my gvwr as 8800lbs.!! I just about flipped. I called the local DMV and talked to the head lady about it. She told me they routinely place that gvw on a truck to save the buyer money. I asked the ramifications. She said that was all I could legally weight when traveling. I told her that was wrong and would not work; what did I need to do to raise it? She replied "tell me what you want, but it will cost more". I asked what the limit was and she told me whatever I told her - and here's where the fun begins.

My factory gvw is something like 11,500. I told her to register me for 12k and she did. Now, the way it was explained to me is that is what I "pay" for pulling that much weight around on state roads and the "damage/usage" I do to them. So, I can pay as much as I want (the increase I did doubled my registration fee) but need to keep in mind my established factory numbers that I have to abide by or I'm just wasting money.

Visited with the state trooper later and it went like this (from memory); yes, you have a "registered" gvw - what you pay the state to operate that vehicle and its load on the roads. Then you have all your legal weight limits established for that vehicle which have to be met. So when they stop you they have a little reader that scans the registration sticker in your window; it gives them all the registration info, insurance etc. The rest of the info is available to them or on the stickers on the truck.

As you can see from the above there are many, many ways to violate weight restrictions as Ken alluded to. It's up to each of us to know them and abide by them - if not, someone else will if you get caught "with your drawers down" and depending on the infraction it could be painful to downright devastating.
That's the exact same thing that happened to me. Dealer registered the dually for 10,000#. Their explanation was: "well it weighs about 8,000 and it's a 1 ton". I visited my county clerk's office and re-registered it for the sticker weight, 14,000#. Only cost a $1 to change it but raised my tag fee from $70 to $140 I think. Then I called the county clerk where the dealer is and had a nice talk with her. She promised to have a "talk" with the dealer.
And no, despite help from Javi I have not gotten the non commercial CDL.
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