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 > New to RVing, GVWR and multiple State DL

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FreeSpirit10

Florida

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Posted: 05/31/20 01:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello everyone! New to the forum, RVing and looking forward to the adventures that open up with RVing. Right now, my local DL office is swamped and not answering this question so I searched the forums and cannot find what I am looking for. I am sure this is a repeat question, so please forgive me but I can't find the answer anywhere. I am in the market for a Class A RV, I am trying to stay under 26,000 lbs GVWR. Apparently, the market is pretty limited on that (right now) and there are some wonderful 36' to 38' that are 26,500 - 29,000 lbs GVWR that would work beautifully for my needs. Even a 34' diesel pusher is over 26,000 lbs GVWR. In Florida, I don't really need to worry about weight of the vehicle but I am looking to make a trip to Oregon (once) then twice a year to Indiana. I am asking a few questions, one about traversing the mountains and the other is about Driver License Classification over multiple state lines.
Knowing the mountains, would any of you recommend a size or weight limit for a Class A? Anything you would recommend to have added to the vehicle itself that makes it safer for handling the mountains? I would not be driving in winter at all, I've never experienced driving in snow and have no desire to cut my teeth with a huge vehicle on a highway.
The other question would be about driver license classification. Please correct me if I am wrong - the research I have done indicates that if your vehicle is under the GVWR of 26,000 lbs you are OK to drive through multiple states without a special drivers license. My question is do I need a Federal CDL to drive a vehicle that is over the GVWR of 26,000 lbs, such as a 38' Day Break that has a GVWR of 29,000 lbs? Do other State's honor the State that your Driver's license is in or is getting a CDL paramount when crossing multiple state lines? If anyone has a Federal CDL how long is the process and have you had any issues with State Troopers even though you have a Federal CDL? Thank you so much! Can't wait to be a part of the RVing community.

enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 05/31/20 01:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CDL are not required for RVs.
The state in which you have your drivers license s issued in is the determining factor. All states have a reciprocal agree for license.


Bud
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Horsedoc

Dixie --- N. Georgia

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Posted: 05/31/20 01:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are some Bounder MH out there with the Chev engine that can be bought worth the money. Not the strongest or fastest but will get the job done. Select what you tow carefully. That is what kills your power on steep hills and mountains.
I-24 at Monteagle, Tenn is the place I have found that tells me if I have enough power. A 300 Cat engine in a 36' Winnebago was OK. A 425 Cummins in a 40' Damon was more than adequate. Haven't crossed in the present gas V-10 Newmar 40 footer but I am pretty sure it will get across, but I may get passed a lot going up.

rgatijnet1

Florida

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Posted: 05/31/20 01:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look on the back of your Florida driver's license. It will say that it is good for any non-commercial vehicle up to 26,001 pounds or ANY RV. You are legal in any State with any RV.

Lwiddis

Owens River Road, California

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Posted: 05/31/20 01:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“Knowing the mountains, would any of you recommend a size or weight limit for a Class A?”

No limits. Drive carefully within the speed limit and accept that the bigger you go the fewer places you can fit. But the bigger you go generally the longer you can dry camp/boondock.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watts solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560)


FreeSpirit10

Florida

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Posted: 05/31/20 01:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Horsedoc wrote:

There are some Bounder MH out there with the Chev engine that can be bought worth the money. Not the strongest or fastest but will get the job done. Select what you tow carefully. That is what kills your power on steep hills and mountains.
I-24 at Monteagle, Tenn is the place I have found that tells me if I have enough power. A 300 Cat engine in a 36' Winnebago was OK. A 425 Cummins in a 40' Damon was more than adequate. Haven't crossed in the present gas V-10 Newmar 40 footer but I am pretty sure it will get across, but I may get passed a lot going up.


Horsedoc,


I know exactly where your talking about. As a Florida native that was my first introduction to hills and when the semi next to me used the emergency off ramp - the whole thing was quite an eye opener. I really wanted to go with a diesel because of that area, better to have more power and not use it than less and have issues. Thank you for the information, that's perfect and help a lot.

FreeSpirit10

Florida

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Posted: 05/31/20 02:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rgatijnet1 wrote:

Look on the back of your Florida driver's license. It will say that it is good for any non-commercial vehicle up to 26,001 pounds or ANY RV. You are legal in any State with any RV.


Rgatijnet,

Thank you, that's what I needed verification on from people more experienced than myself. I just saw so many RV's that were being pulled over in GA that I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. I mean, they were 40' with a toad or a huge 5th wheel but none of them were driving reckless or speeding. I just wanted to verify and avoid an issue before I even start.

DrewE

Vermont

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Posted: 05/31/20 02:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As others have said, an RV used for personal noncommercial use does not require a CDL. (Other situations, such as delivering RVs from the manufacturer to the dealer, may require a CDL depending on the weight of the RV.) The definitions of what vehicles require a CDL are determined at the federal level, so they are the same for all states. Some states do require different classes of non-commercial licenses for certain vehicles including large RVs, but apparently Florida is not one of them. At any rate, if you're legally licensed to drive your vehicle in your home state, you can drive it anywhere in the United States with that license.

I don't see how an out-of-state policeman would even know what sort of a driver's license you have based on seeing a vehicle traveling down the road. Even in state, it's hard in as much as they have to make the assumption that the owner of the vehicle is actually the one currently driving it. The RVs were presumably being pulled over for other reasons; maybe they were suspected of being overlength or having other equipment-related violations, or were double towing, or were on a road or in a lane where such vehicles were not permitted. It's hard to say.





rgatijnet1

Florida

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Posted: 05/31/20 02:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In Florida I can drive a 45' Prevost RV with my standard FL driver's license BUT I have to have a motorcycle endorsement to drive a little 100cc motorcycle. Kinda weird but that is the way it is. [emoticon]

Executive

California/Arizona/South Dakota

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Posted: 05/31/20 05:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rgatijnet1 wrote:

In Florida I can drive a 45' Prevost RV with my standard FL driver's license BUT I have to have a motorcycle endorsement to drive a little 100cc motorcycle. Kinda weird but that is the way it is. [emoticon]


But in California a special class license is required for 45' coaches......Dennis


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