Trailer Life Magazine Open Roads Forum: Actual federal weight law rules, some questions and answers
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 > Actual federal weight law rules, some questions and answers

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Posted: 05/01/17 01:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wadcutter wrote:

Once more, this forum is about towing trailers, 5ers, etc. FMCS regs don't apply. ...

What is it about people that they simply can't get it through their heads that FMCSA doesn't apply to RVers????? I know nothing of this topic and I freely admit it. But for God sake read and understand the name vice spewing the FMCSA acronym. They are the "Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration". Then read their "Who We Are" page. Unless you're a MOTOR CARRIER they don't apply to you and endless quotes of their regs are pointless.

As I learned during my time as a teacher/instructor some students have steep learning curve (meaning they learn quickly) and some have flat learning curves (meaning they don't ever learn). I think we found the flat liners.

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Posted: 07/13/17 10:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What I would recommend ....

Call the DOT of the state(s) you're going to be driving in and ask. The laws for RV's in each state are varied and across the board.

For Idaho (where I am) you're exempt from weight when pulling an RV, and can pull an RV with regular car plates. The kicker is you can pull doubles (RV plus a boat and trailer, or ATV/UTV and trailer. However, if you pull only a trailer they enforce the GCWR, which in my mind is dangerous and stupid.

I have what we call "T" plates, which are the Idaho plate/tag with a "T" as the last character. I'm registered for 14 thousand pounds, which I believe is the minimum.


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Posted: 09/19/17 06:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The citation in the OP, "para f of FMCSA" is completely worthless, it tells you nothing about where to find the referenced text. The quoted text is found at 23 CFR 658.17(f). It's not part of the FMCSA, but the Federal Highway Administration act.

I find nothing which limits the quoted part to only commercial vehicles. Some sections, like the definitions and length sections, specifically reference "commercial motor vehicles," but not the quoted section, which references simply "vehicles."

But, it really doesn't matter, because the OP's interpretation is wrong. The section prevents states from imposing unreasonable roadway axle weight limits (I think most have seen axle weight limit signs, common on bridges) on Interstate highways in general. It's not there to force states to allow you to tow an RV with 20000 lbs on an axle/tire combo rated for 3500.

Referring to the enabling legislation makes that clear - it penalizes any "State [which] does not permit the use of [Interstate Highways] within its boundaries by vehicles with a weight of twenty thousand pounds carried on any one axle...". It's there to insure consistency within the Interstate system.

You can disagree. Come back after you successfully fight an overweight ticket in federal court.

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