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Author Topic: Trailer rules  (Read 2875 times)
John316
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« on: August 04, 2009, 06:50:31 AM »

I was reading that if your GCWR is over 26K (roughly), and you are pulling a trailer that is rated for over 10K, then you have to have a CDL. Do you all know if this is true? Our trailer is rated for 14K. We really like that capacity, and the large tires are great. We don't do it often, but when you have to take a curb, downtown in who-knows-where, then it avoids damage to the trailer. Also the larger tires have prevented damage to the trailer when hitting a deer.

So I wondered if you all knew whether we could pull our current trailer, with the bus.

Any input?

God bless,

John
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DaveG
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2009, 07:02:05 AM »

I did not see in your information where you are located. Different states do it differently.
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poppi
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2009, 07:16:31 AM »


 John,

    Actually what state is your bus registered in Smiley


 Skip
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kyle4501
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2009, 07:18:35 AM »

So I wondered if you all knew whether we could pull our current trailer, with the bus.


Sure you can pull that trailer with your bus. The question then becomes - How far before trouble sidelines you.
(Some have traveled several thousand mile trips with a heavy trailer, but that ain't the same as 100,000 miles.)

To get an accurate & meaningfull answer, your question can only be answered by a qualified someone who has looked at your setup.


The best answer you can get here is the one you don't want to hear & that is your bus wasn't designed to pull a heavy trailer.
If you need to pull that kind of trailer, you should be looking at something along the lines of a truck conversion.
http://www.timelinedesigns.com/kingsley/CLICK_HERE_TO_ENTER_SITE.htm


Usually it is a universal thing that over 26,000 lbs requires a CDL - with some states allowing an exception for RVs . . . .
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2009, 07:19:49 AM »

This subject comes up all the time.  The general consensus is that it is a private vehicle (as opposed to a commercial vehicle) and you will not need a full blown CDL.  

Having said that, as Dave points out, some states require an air brake certification and/or "higher level" (*NOT*  CDL) license certification.  Most states do not have any requirement above the normal driver's license.  

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2009, 07:21:20 AM »

At least in Calif., class C license can drive up to a 26,000gvw truck and pull up to a 10,000lb trailer.  Also, you can drive a 40ft 3-axle house car and pull a 10,000lb trailer behind.  
Your state maybe different.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2009, 07:27:39 AM »

http://changingears.com/rv-sec-state-rv-license.shtml

has a decent list of where to start.

Learning the CDL requirements is a good thing, regardless of wether or not they are required by law.
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2009, 07:31:36 AM »

This thread has gone two directions: license and bus towing capability.

In my previous post I talked about the license issue and you will get more input on that, I am sure.

On the subject of capability, you will get significantly differing opinions.  I have gathered a lot of my thoughts and other resource data at:  http://www.rvsafetysystems.com/Trailer%20Towing.htm.  Every time I give my somewhat "pessimistic" or "conservative" reply, I get replies that folks have towed big trailers all over this country with no problem.  Well, one of our Eagle International owners had a partial frame failure.  I have not talked directly with him, but it sounds like it could have been major.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2009, 07:35:57 AM »

Up here the dividing line as far as trailers go is 10,000 lbs requires a Class A license, same as for a tractor trailer.  Ontario brought out a restricted Class A largely for RV'ers who tow a house trailer over 10K.  The enforcement is actual weight, not registered weight (we don't have registered weight for trailers) or manufacturers GVWR.  Now, the point that I've failed to get adequately clarified is if the weight that counts is the total trailer weight (tongue plus weight on wheels) or trailer weight transmitted to the ground via the wheels (total less tongue weight).  They measure trailer weight both ways  up here, and they don't say which applies to the drivers license.

The issue is the drivers license issued by your state, and what your state requires for towing trailers, as well as what license your state requires for total combined weight.  There is by and large reciprocity between all states and all Canada provinces as far as drivers licenses are concerned, so if you are legal in your state of licence, you will be legal anywhere.  You still need to comply with all road laws as far as things like vehicle length, towing doubles, max weight on various axles, all of that, reciprocity only applies to the drivers license.

Brian
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2009, 07:44:49 AM »

In the interests of needlessly over-complicating things, in the true spirit of drivers licensing agencies everywhere   Shocked...

It's very possible that an RV (our bus) is towing a non-RV (our car trailer), then the trailer rules applicable to non-RV use would apply.  Lot's of times people create these long lists of rules assuming that the trailer is the RV, not the tow vehicle.  You know what happens when you assume...

Plus would I take the word of an anonymous person over the phone over what is written in the legislation - I don't think so...

Brian
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2009, 08:39:10 AM »

Brian,

The only reason I am answering this is my experience with U-Haul. 10,000 pounds seems to be the maximum weight of a car trailer (3500 pounds, give or take 500 based on individual design), and, say a minivan or 4x4 fully loaded (Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (empty 4100 pounds). Throw another 1/2-1 ton of "stuff" in or on the trailer(ATV and fuel?), and you are looking at around 9000 pounds. And my weights I dare say, a pretty liberal.

Doug
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2009, 10:23:34 AM »

Doug, car trailer is indeed a liberal thing... and worthy of careful scrutiny at times.  My own personal car trailer is 28' enclosed with two 5500 lb axles, for a logical weight rating of in the range of 12,000 plus, taking tongue weight into account.  Carefully ordered by me with a GVWR of less than 10,000 lbs, or the metric equivalent for Ontario use...  No way did I want a trailer rated over the magic number...  But my buddy has a 45' fifth wheel, GVWR 25,000 lbs, with a full RV section up front, and he has an A class license.  My Ontario D class license allows me to drive the bus (configured as a motorhome) and tow my trailer (which is typically loaded less than 7,000 lbs).  If it still had seats in it, I would need a C class license. a bus is defined as over 12 seats.  If I ever transported school age children with it as a bus, I would need a B class license (school bus).  I've been told that all highway coach drivers up here have to have school bus licenses for that very reason.  And Z Airbrake endorsement, naturally...


Brian
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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2009, 11:15:53 AM »

John, one thing I would suggest doing is to have an actual copy of the Motor Vehicle Code with you and the section or sections that apply to you, allowing you to do whatever it is you want to do or are doing, marked and at least be somewhat familiar with them.

It is one thing to have some Highway Patrol officer or someone at the Motor Vehicle department tell you something, but when you can refer in the code book to a specific section or more that apply...that is where the rubber meets the road!

Good luck.
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John316
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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2009, 06:38:50 PM »

Thanks a lot guys. The bus is registered in Kansas.

Here are a couple of things. I thought that the each state's rules apply. So meaning, if I am driving in Missouri, our rig has to meet their rules. Is that the case?

Second off, I will double check, but we don't need a CDL for driving just the bus. However, I thought that I read somewhere that ANY vehicle combination of 26K or greater AND pulling a trailer that is titled over 10K requires a CDL. So with our 3/4 ton truck, I can pull our 12K rated flatbed trailer, and not have a problem. But, if we have the bus, and are pulling the 14K rated cargo trailer, then that takes a CDL. I wondered if any of you guys ran into this issue?

I do think that our bus can pull the trailer. The only problem is, making sure that the engine supports are strong enough Grin. I don't doubt the power, or stopping of the bus, with a trailer that is loaded to 14K. I only will want to watch the supports....

DaveG, is the "code" book universal to all states (federal thing), or is it state to state?

God bless,

John
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« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2009, 07:03:58 PM »

Hey John
one thing to also keep in mind is that each state has their own laws on various aspects of the trailer. right before the Gator Nationals drag race in Gainsville, FL, Florida put a law in place that ANY trailer over 20 or 24 foot (I forget the exact size) had to have a travel permit to enter the state. it did not matter what vehicle was towing it. I dont know what became of that law but regardless of what any book says you will be subject to the opinion of the officer that feels like stopping you so it would work to your advantage to know what each state lays out as its rule.
good luck
steve
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« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2009, 09:14:14 PM »

John,

I pull a trailer, 3000ibs plus car 2500 lbs, ( plus Paul's 5000 lb windows.) I am running car tyres, What size and type of tyres are you running?

Thanks

John

PS I was joking Paul's windows dont weigh that much,, 3000lbs is more like it...
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« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2009, 03:58:43 AM »

John,

I pull a trailer, 3000ibs plus car 2500 lbs, ( plus Paul's 5000 lb windows.) I am running car tyres, What size and type of tyres are you running?

Thanks

John

PS I was joking Paul's windows dont weigh that much,, 3000lbs is more like it...

You must mean that all the glass is still there! Grin

Sorry for the hijack John, I couldn't resist!

Paul
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John316
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« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2009, 04:41:39 AM »

Thanks a lot guys.

Steve, that is what I figured. We have to abide by every state's rules, that we are in.

So I guess my question is whether I would be okay in all states, but I will just have to check that our myself.

John, I will check and see what size tires. I think they are....no I won't say before I check.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2009, 05:43:21 AM »

Does this help? Huh
http://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm
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« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2009, 05:47:26 AM »

Thanks Ed, That does help a ton! Thanks!

God bless,

John
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Gary LaBombard
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« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2009, 06:19:40 AM »

John,
 
I do not have anything to offer on the weight limit you can pull on your trailer etc. but I can tell you I was really nervous pulling a car trailer behind my RV and going from SC all the way up to Illinois and back and going through several states on the way.  The reason, You do not have to have your private trailer licensed here in SC and this law applies as you travel from the state your main vehicle is licensed in. 

I called the State Police in every state I was to travel in to confirm this and every state except one officer in Illinois said that if I traveled in their state and he / She saw my vehicle without a tag on it he would ticket and possible arrest me!!  I called another barricks in Ill. and the second SP officer said this officer was wrong that he recommended to  carry all your information about  the load limit and vehicle number of the trailer and your license & information about your tow vehicle load limits from the state you live in and you are good to go.  The second state police officer stated that the first police officer that would arrest me needs to read his trooper DOT manual again about inter state road rules that apply to private travelers.   Commercial transporting, well that is a different rule all together I know nothing about at all and don't care to.

I have to tell you also though that I made sure I had good tires, all my lights worked and my load was properly covered and tied down securely.  To make things worse on this trip, my load was spare 8V71 I purchased from one of our busnuts on this board.  The worse thing was my RV broke down and I had to be towed off the interstate, trailer hooked up and all.  Anyhow we made it home alright without legal incident but all the laws that pertain to your state you are living and licensed in pertain to your total trip through all states in the lower continent of USA as I see it.  Just be sure to bring all paperwork with you to prove this. 

The weight size & load size of your trailer I cannot comment on but do recommend you check and have your load weighed if you are in question.  It is worth the cost of the weight certification to also have.  If you are sure you are not over weight or even close, you look good to go from me but do all the checking you can first.

Be sure your braking system on your trailer is legally connected and operational during your trips and reduced speed will do much in making you appear to be a very safe motorist having an enjoyable trip.

I must of felt that this was important to write so darn much, sorry again as usual.
Gary
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« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2009, 06:27:36 AM »

John, you started out asking if you needed a CDL to tow over 10,000 lbs, then shifted to will the vehicle be legal in all/some States.  I'm not positive that it's been understood that the two questions are fundamentally different.  Your drivers license - if you are licensed to drive your rig, if you need a special rating, an air brake endorsement, a CDL - is purely down to your State's driver licensing requirements.  If you are legal to drive whatever you are driving with the license that your State has issued you, then all other States offer reciprocity.

Your vehicle is another story.  Your vehicle has to meet all the laws and regulations of whatever State or Province you are driving in.  It has to meet length laws, weight laws, width laws, and all of that wherever it goes.  There is no reciprocity for vehicle regulations.

Just wasn't sure if that had come out.  Example is that Ontario does not have CDL's, our licenses are purely based on  weights and purpose of the vehicle.  If the vehicle is commercial or not is irrrelevant.

Cheers, Brian
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« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2009, 07:02:22 AM »

John, I traveled all of the USA with trailers and tow vehicles behind my unit and never had a problem.
The rub comes when you are traveling with a large trailer going to shows or other events to sell out of that trailer for expample traveling with a find of mine we went through a check station and he gave the guy a card with the info of things he sold on the road at shows and events it was game over for him 1800 bucks worth of fines.
And if you can stay out of the great state of CO. I would they charged me 40 dollars to take a horse trailer across their state. 
Point is if you make any monies using your bus and trailer you better be setup with CDL and DOT inspection or the man will get you   

good luck
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« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2009, 07:58:14 AM »

Luvrbus

And if you can stay out of the great state of CO. I would they charged me 40 dollars to take a horse trailer across their state.  
good luck

   Could you explain............My friend and I hauled horses to Denver area twice a year for 3 years when his daughter was in vet school and never got stopped once.
  You were using the trailer for its designed intent weren't you Shocked

 Couldn't resist
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« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2009, 08:32:52 AM »

Skip, I bought a new 6 horse slant load trailer in OK and taking to the Idaho place at the LImon station they had a sign all dealers plate which I had so I stopped 40 bucks and 30 minutes of debate I was on my way.
If you stop at one their stations they will get you for 40 bucks.
And if you really want to get into a mess deal with those guys on the SME tag for equipment.
When I did a job in Golden in the late 80's they charged me over 15 grand to buy tags to remove my equipment from that great state.   


good luck
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« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2009, 08:39:52 AM »


 Thanks!
 Learned a new one on that.

 By the By most states have licencing issues if you are doing work in their state for more than 30 days. Biggest problem
 is if you are in and out of the state during a 30 day period........they all want money, some are just more proactive.

  skip
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« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2009, 01:31:08 PM »

Hey Clifford, Will you please bring your equipment into the state a couple of more times we need some money to build a bridge or two

Thank You for your contibution Wayne
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« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2009, 01:54:04 PM »

 Very funny Wayne coming from a guy who know all about that SME tag and pays the price every year.
No thanks on coming back to work there they made a believer out of me the first time  
 good luck and tell Lynn hi for us
« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 02:26:38 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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