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Old 11-05-2013, 07:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What license do I need to tow a 12-15k bumper pull?

It's Tuesday

I'm adding an rv endorsement to my ca license, which will allow me to pull up to a 15k 5th wheel.

But what license is required in California to pull a 12-15k bumper pull trailer? Is it a non-commercial class A?

Also: assuming I have a cab over rv camper in the bed of my tow rig, how would the chp view me towing a 12k bumper pull with a rv endorsement?

Last edited by GRMhick; 11-05-2013 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You need a class A licence, commercial or non commercial depends on what you do with the trailer, as far as the camper thing, give it a shot, worse you'll get is a fix-it ticket for the licence. Most get away with towing 10k trailers for years without a class A, but it only takes one asshole to make you get a class A
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Pirate has kicked this one to death in the following threads:

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/tow-r...-flatbeds.html

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/tow-r...s-licence.html

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/tow-r...s-license.html

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/tow-r...s-test-ca.html

I will leave it with that if your GCVWR exceeds 26,001 lbs, you will need a commercial class A license as per the US DOT. As far as what the non-commercial class A covers, that is up to some debate as if it is an RV (housecar or not). I've called the DMV and the CHP and have yet to get a clear answer if a non-commercial class A covers ANY trailer from 10,000-14,999 lbs or if it's just a glorified RV endorsement tailored for 5th wheels instead of Class A motorhomes.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Here is what I came up with

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/usa-n...dorsement.html

Don't think your going to get there with a tag trailer but might help you get your endorsement easier?
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The DMV is so fucking confusing with its definition that you and I can both be correct.

Example:

With a non-commercial Class A license you may tow:
  1. Travel trailers weighing over 10,000 lbs GVWR not used for hire
  2. 5th Wheel travel trailers weighing over 15,000 lbs GVWR, not used for hire.

Seems pretty clear right?

Now to the definition of a travel trailer vs. trailer coach vs. utility trailer and the intent of law (and to why there are so many damned lawyers in CA). Apparently through roundabout logic a travel trailer is up to 16 feet in length and 96 inches wide and can be occupied by humans.

Here is the link: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/reg_hdbk...trailer_id.pdf


Carrier

A carrier is a trailer designed to carry a specific load on its own structure, drawn by a motor vehicle, and so constructed that no part of its weight rests upon any other vehicle.

Example: boat trailer, horse trailer, car carrier, etc.



Fifth-Wheel Travel Trailer (CVC 324)

A fifth-wheel travel trailer is a vehicle designed for recreational purposes to carry persons or property on its own structure and so constructed as to be drawn by a motor vehicle by means of a kingpin connecting device.

NOTE: Fifth-wheel travel trailers that exceed the maximum length(16') and/or width (8') requirements for a camp trailer (CVC 242) are trailer coaches (CCHCVC 635) and cannot be registered under the PTI Program.



Well shit. Let's go down another section.




Travel Trailer

A travel trailer is a portable unit mounted on wheels, of such a size and weight as not to require special highway movement permits when drawn by a motor vehicle and for human habitation for recreational or emergency occupancy (Civil Code 799.24).

NOTE: Travel trailers that exceed the maximum length of 16 feet and/or width of 96 inches are trailer coaches (CCH) (CVC 635) and cannot be registered under the PTI Program.



There it is again. Clear as mud. Thanks DMV.



Utility Trailer
  • A utility trailer is any trailer or semi-trailer used for the transportation of property.
  • A utility trailer includes any trailer or semi-trailer designed and used for the transportation of equine (horses), not on a for hire basis, which does not exceed a gross weight (the weight of the trailer and the horses) of 10,000 pounds.
NOTE: The addition of living quarters to a trailer does not permanently alter that vehicle for human habitation. The living quarters are secondary or incidental to the primary function of the vehicle, which is transporting property.


Back to the beginning - I now have no fucking clue what's legal and what isn't. The only thing consistent about the CA DMV vehicle code book is that it narrowly lists trailer classes, yet does not define what makes a trailer a different class very clearly.

A carrier is neither a utility trailer nor a travel trailer, a trailer coach is not a travel trailer, nor is it a carrier.

The law specifically states Non-Commercial Class A is ONLY reserved to tow 10k+ travel trailers and 15k+ 5th wheel travel trailers. My guess is a CHP is not going to have any idea either. My guess is the DMV will always error towards telling you that a Commercial Class A is needed.

This is exactly why I run stop signs and pay my property taxes the day before they are due.


In summary, with a CA Non Commercial Class A you can tow: ?
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I run a 3500 dodge with a 920 lance with a 32" double hitch extension with a WD hitch. I pull a 20' 12k trailer full of toys and gross under 23K. I have a class c license. I have run this way for many years without issue. as long as you don't drive as if your as dumb as a cinder block no one will bother you. yes it makes fuel going up hill doing 80mph
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if you don't roll it over once in a while you aren't trying hard enough

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Old 11-09-2013, 07:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=wilez5150;22075082 don't drive as if your as dumb as a cinder block no one will bother you. yes it makes fuel going up hill doing 80mph [/QUOTE]

I think that is the real moral of the story. Pirate is confused your standard state trooper is even more confused and cares less. As long as you are clearly not commercial and not driving like a jack ass he has better things to do with his day then figure it out. If you are trying to skirt the commercial rules there is a huge financial incentive to call out the dot cops.
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Old 11-09-2013, 07:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You need a class A licence, commercial or non commercial depends on what you do with the trailer, as far as the camper thing, give it a shot, worse you'll get is a fix-it ticket for the licence. Most get away with towing 10k trailers for years without a class A, but it only takes one asshole to make you get a class A
in ca you need a commercial class a for anything over 10k besides an rv with endorsement, you used to be able to get a class a non commercial to tow over 10k but they changed the law some years ago. complete bull shit
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think that is the real moral of the story. Pirate is confused your standard state trooper is even more confused and cares less. As long as you are clearly not commercial and not driving like a jack ass he has better things to do with his day then figure it out. If you are trying to skirt the commercial rules there is a huge financial incentive to call out the dot cops.

This. The law is so confusing that 99% of CHP aren't going to hassle you about it as long as you aren't drawing attention to yourself.


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in ca you need a commercial class a for anything over 10k besides an rv with endorsement, you used to be able to get a class a non commercial to tow over 10k but they changed the law some years ago. complete bull shit

Thanks for adding to the internet confusion. CA has never changed the "law" regarding non-commercial class A. In fact CA didn't even offer NonCommercial Class As until recently. The problem is there is very little clarity where a NCA is actually legal to tow with. If you have any clarifying information, then please post it. Otherwise, you are just adding confusion.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't know why everyone ties to get away pulling/hauling/towing as much as they can with standard issue drivers license? The DOT rules are clear as mud so I take no chance. Just go get a CDL and not worry about it. It's not that hard to get and then you have piece of mind.

When I got mine I was not worried about getting a ticket...I was worried about the "what ifs". What if I get in a wreck with my truck and trailer and someone gets hurt. I did not want some lawyer to sue the shit out of me because I was not licensed to drive a truck and trailer that I thought I was licensed correctly for.

Just my .02

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Old 11-11-2013, 06:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I don't know why everyone ties to get away pulling/hauling/towing as much as they can with standard issue drivers license? The DOT rules are clear as mud so I take no chance. Just go get a CDL and not worry about it. It's not that hard to get and then you have piece of mind.

When I got mine I was not worried about getting a ticket...I was worried about the "what ifs". What if I get in a wreck with my truck and trailer and someone gets hurt. I did not want some lawyer to sue the shit out of me because I was not licensed to drive a truck and trailer that I thought I was licensed correctly for.

Just my .02
There are implications for having a CDL. For me it would mean tripling my insurance. That's about $5 grand a year I don't want to pay. It also would mean I couldn't play stupid with my 350 dually flat bed that was commercial based on weight in CA. I also don't want to keep up with all the random rules and hurdles like having an annual physical. In the trivial it also lowers the allowable BAC from .08 to .04 in several states. They don't distinguish if you are actually driving proffesionally or not. A DUI is career ending for me. I don't drink and drive, but I also wouldn't want to end my career for driving home after a couple of glasses of wine.

If you have a CDL you are considered a professional driver. If you screw up the smallest thing and have an accident a lawyer is going to have a field day with you.
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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This. The law is so confusing that 99% of CHP aren't going to hassle you about it as long as you aren't drawing attention to yourself.





Thanks for adding to the internet confusion. CA has never changed the "law" regarding non-commercial class A. In fact CA didn't even offer NonCommercial Class As until recently. The problem is there is very little clarity where a NCA is actually legal to tow with. If you have any clarifying information, then please post it. Otherwise, you are just adding confusion.
same to you, post some clarifying information that states ca only recently offered non commercial class a license.

unfortunately the dmv website does not list the history, and im basing my information off what used to be on there website many years ago. the only thing you have posted that is clarified is the current law, everything else youve stated is just as you put, internet confusion.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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There are implications for having a CDL. For me it would mean tripling my insurance. That's about $5 grand a year I don't want to pay. It also would mean I couldn't play stupid with my 350 dually flat bed that was commercial based on weight in CA. I also don't want to keep up with all the random rules and hurdles like having an annual physical. In the trivial it also lowers the allowable BAC from .08 to .04 in several states. They don't distinguish if you are actually driving proffesionally or not. A DUI is career ending for me. I don't drink and drive, but I also wouldn't want to end my career for driving home after a couple of glasses of wine.

If you have a CDL you are considered a professional driver. If you screw up the smallest thing and have an accident a lawyer is going to have a field day with you.
I guess you could look at it in multiple ways. I live in Illinois and having a CDL did not change my insurance one bit. I figure a annual physical couldn't possibly hurt me and could possibly be to my benefit. I also do not drink and drive...thats what my wife is for.

I have to have a CDL for work reasons but even if I didn't need it for work, I think I would still get one. Having a CDL has not changed my life at all and I am not limited in what I can drive.

Lawyers are going to have a field day no mater what...its how they make money.

I can see why some people don't want to screw with a CDL but if you want to pull big toys you gotta have the proper license. DOT rules are there for your safety and the safety of others...I don't mind following the rules
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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same to you, post some clarifying information that states ca only recently offered non commercial class a license.

unfortunately the dmv website does not list the history, and im basing my information off what used to be on there website many years ago. the only thing you have posted that is clarified is the current law, everything else youve stated is just as you put, internet confusion.

Here are the actual vehicle code definitions:

V C Section 12804.12 Restricted Class A License


V C Section 12804.9 Examination and Driving Test Classifications

Amended 1994 and 2005 respectively regarding the medical exam waiver for non-commercial Class A. You're welcome
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:11 AM   #16 (permalink)
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same to you, post some clarifying information that states ca only recently offered non commercial class a license.

unfortunately the dmv website does not list the history, and im basing my information off what used to be on there website many years ago. the only thing you have posted that is clarified is the current law, everything else youve stated is just as you put, internet confusion.
CA Does have a non-commercial "A" license, it's a Class "D". It's for the RV exemptions listed above -over 15k fifth wheel RV, over 10K tag RV, no physical, no BAC change. I tested for it about 4 years ago and got my "learners permit" (like being 15 all over again), but never followed up on the testing for the actual license because I did the easier thing - I sold my 45' trailer, and moved out of state


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Old 11-12-2013, 08:55 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Here are the actual vehicle code definitions:

V C Section 12804.12 Restricted Class A License


V C Section 12804.9 Examination and Driving Test Classifications

Amended 1994 and 2005 respectively regarding the medical exam waiver for non-commercial Class A. You're welcome
that still does not prove i am wrong

since youre a pro what is section 235 chapter 130 and what was amended in 2008?

Amended Sec. 235, Ch. 130, Stats. 2007. Effective January 1, 2008.

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I sold my 45' trailer, and moved out of state


thats probably one of the best things to happen to you the laws in this state are out of control
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:07 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The class A license does not mean you are a professional driver but a commercial driver.
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