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Author Topic: Length Restrictions  (Read 4075 times)
JackConrad
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« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2009, 08:10:19 AM »

I was looking at the towing world table, and am hoping somebody can answer this question.  There are two columns I was studying. One is labeled "Combined Length", the other is labeled "Two Vehicle Length".   For quite a few states, the two numbers are not the same.  (Delaware, Maryland, DC, Michigan...)    My first thought was that it had to do with states that permitted triple towing, but that does not appear to be the case.  Can anyone explain the difference between these two columns?

Just a guess, maybe combined is a car/truck/RV & trailer and 2 vehicle is a motorhome/toad?  Jack
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« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2009, 08:13:03 AM »

As a result of Nick's recent trip to Virginia Beach, where he hooked his Hummer to the back of an H3-45, he is now a Wanted Man in several states.   Grin

I think if I were to have a problem, the bridge/port athourty at the Bay Bridge Tunnels would have said something.
I guess they would only inforce a law like that if you were either in an accident, or just plane look too obvious like,
many lights out, or unsecured items...ect.

Nick-
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2009, 08:27:03 AM »

hi Wayne,

It looks like I was Legal in VA..

VIRGINIA: Maximum RV width 102 in.; maximum motorhome length 45 ft.; maximum trailer length 45 ft.; maximum RV height 13.5 ft.; maximum combined length for two-vehicle combination 65 ft. Riding is allowed in truck campers. Overnight parking in rest areas is permitted unless posted otherwise. RVs allowed in the HOV-3 (carpool) lanes if there are three or more occupants. In the Tidewater area, RVs are allowed in the HOV-2 lanes only if there are two or more occupants and the gvw is less than 10,000 lbs. Tunnel Regulations: Maximum height 13 ft 6 in. Maximum of two approved propane gas tanks 20 lbs. each. Tanks must be turned off when going through tunnels. RV Safety Requirements: All trailers: safety chains. Trailers over 3,000 lbs.: trailer brakes, breakaway switch. Driving Laws: Right turn on red allowed, unless posted otherwise. Wipers on/lights on. Front-seat passengers are required to wear seat belts; children up to 5 yrs. must be in child-restraint safety seats. Radar detectors not permitted. More Information: Department of State Police, P.O. Box 27472, Richmond VA 23261-7472; (804) 674-2000. Emergency number: 911 or #77


Nick-
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« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2009, 09:13:40 AM »

Nick:

The Virginia regulations you are referencing say "maximum combined length for two-vehicle combination 65 feet".   But didn't you tell me in your post back on Oct 12th that the overall length of the bus, H2 and towbar equalled 67.5 feet?

Wayne
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« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2009, 11:17:27 AM »

Although there are a few states that limit width to 96", it seems that they note that 102" is okay on "certain federal roads".  It would guess that you are okay on the interstate.
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« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2009, 12:17:35 PM »


Just a guess, maybe combined is a car/truck/RV & trailer and 2 vehicle is a motorhome/toad?  Jack

That was one of my guesses too.  However, if that is the true interpretation, it makes for some pretty screwy limits from state to state.  Toad draggers in New Jersey would be limited to an overall length of only 53 feet.  I find it strange that in some states they allow combinations to be longer if you have a toad instead of a conventional trailer, while in other states it is reversed.

I'm beginning to wonder if the difference has to do with permissable lengths for commercial truckers (semis).
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« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2009, 12:22:59 PM »

I'm beginning to wonder if the difference has to do with permissable lengths for commercial truckers (semis).

That might be. However, I called the HP in the different states that had the shorter regs. In NC, for example, the officer that I spoke with said that those restrictions applied to motorhomes, and that if they caught you over, they would make you disconnect your trailer.

What I don't understand is how a 53' trailer, and a semi stay under that...Obviously they don't....

God bless,

John
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« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2009, 02:05:10 PM »

These legal questions are good for frustration, as sometimes there is no clear directive, or you need to go to case law to find precedence.

Those RV towing info sources are at best a quick overview, and as noted, full of bits and pieces that make little sence as you start thinking about it. Lots more room in the details of the legislation for your unique situation than they suggest.

The law enforcement community is trained to lay charges, not interpret the law, and I've found precious few that can say "I don't know". If they won't send it in writing, read between the lines. Not a good source of obscure legal info. No consequences to them for being wrong.

You need to read the jurisdiction's own legislation, definitions may be different between sections of the same legislation, so you must read very carefully, everywhere, as to what is and what is not included.

For instance, the aforementioned spare tire removal to get legal, in other jurisdictions, the spare tire is not included in the measurement. Was the RV even subject to that particular length law? Was the commercial rule being misapplied?

Get on the jurisdiction in question's web sites and read, read, read. Don't mix up apples of commercial regs with the oranges of a personal RV.

Oh, and remember the layering of federal/provincial/state/county/ and/or municipal law making opportunities.

Lawyers write these things, so lawyers are needed to read these things.

And lastly.

It may be easier to seek forgiveness than to get permission?

happy coaching!
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« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2009, 02:16:26 PM »

And lastly.

It may be easier to seek forgiveness than to get permission?

happy coaching!
buswarrior

BW, Thanks for your post. I agree with most of it. We must, however, stay under the 60 feet, simply because we go into so many different states. I would hate to get the wrong officer on the wrong day.

I don't think that it would be easier to ask forgiveness in this case. An officer says that he is going to make you have your trailer towed, and that you aren't moving with it on there....That is when it gets expensive (especially when you are in the heart of NC, and that happens).

We will just stay under 60 feet....

God bless,

John
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« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2009, 06:39:51 AM »

OK I maybe wrong (might wanna save that last statement you won't see it often!). But if I remember correctly a "combined vehicle" is referring to a "Fifth wheel or goose-neck style hitch" set up. Where as a 2 vehicle unit is a "bumper hitch, tow bar/draw bar" set up. 

At least that is what officer friendly once told me in MO while I was pulling a custom built  53' "lowboy moving rig". (a special rig we had built and "permitted only" in KY for the purpose of "moving empty wrecked 53' semi trailers.") With a "hot-shot rig" a custom built Ford F-450 Super Duty Cab & Chassis with Sleeper and custom aluminum bed that had 6 hitch set ups so we could tow anything with it.

Problem was the "53' lowboy rig" was a simple 2 rail set up we built to "transport" wrecked trailers that was 53" long and used a bumper hitch to allow the "trailers to swing over the bed of the truck" when cornering. With it being "permitted" in KY as a "moving rig" we were legal as a towing company using this rig. But the problem was I had slipped across the river in the weee hrs. of the AM to "avoid traffic" and deliver a wrecked trailer to Poplar Bluff, MO. Which I did. But I got caught by "officer friendly" on the way home. His exact first words to me were "Now boy, I don't know what you call this here, and what they allow over in KY. But this here rig is illegal as can be over here in the "SHOW ME STATE!"
And he was nice enough to "allow me to pull it off the highway into that there truck stop on top of the hill!" While he wrote me 7 tickets and I waited for one of our tow trucks to come "tow" it home!
Now it made absolutely no sense to me then, or even now how it was any safer, or legal hooked on a tow truck (On a trailer hitch ball on the wheel lift. Which made it longer than what it was behind the "hot shot" LOL)
Bottom line was "according to officer friendly" that if it'd been a combination vehicle he'd never stopped me as it would have been legal. (As far as length goes.)
And he would have never known it did not have a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) mainly because it wasn't a vehicle!
Or that it was "permitted only" which means it wasn't registered as a vehicle. And was only "legal in KY."
And since it wasn't registered as a vehicle, it wasn't covered under the companies vehicle liability insurance! (one of the reasons the company had built & permitted it as such was to avoid all the hassles of insuring, & registering it. Since it was only used "once or twice a yr", according to the company owner. But seems to me I pulled it roughly once a month or so! LOL!)
Then came the brakes, lights, DOT required bumper, fenders and/or mudflaps, yada, yada, yada!
All of which I got ticketed for! (Yes we had a portable light bar on it since it wasn't a "real trailer", but that was not good enough for "officer friendly"! it needed side marker, clearance lights and yada, yada, yada!)

FWIW Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2009, 06:54:41 AM »

So are you saying that if it is a bumper pull, then length restrictions don't apply?

God bless,

John
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« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2009, 07:28:14 AM »

John, the way I read what Bryce said is that if it is a bumper/rear hitch pull, the "2-vehicle" limit applies.  If it is a 5th wheel situation the "combined vehicle" limit applies. 

Sounds logical.  (so considering it involves the govt, that probably isn't it  Wink Grin )
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cody
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« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2009, 09:05:41 AM »

The michigan interpretation of combined vehicle is a fifth wheel set up, the fifth wheel is concidered to be a solid hitch and based on that michigan has begun to allow the rv double towing with a boat or simular item hooked to a bumper hitch behind a rig with a fifth wheel, a two vehicle set up is concidered to be a vehicle with a bumper hitch or reciever type mount towing another object like a trailer or toad.  The view the fifth wheel setup as a much more solid connection than a reciever or bumper setup, tho I've seen some pretty scary fifth wheels.
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« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2009, 09:09:59 AM »

Cody,

So I am assuming that the length restriction for MI would still be 65.
Quote
MICHIGAN: Maximum RV width 102 in.; maximum motorhome length 45 ft.; maximum RV height 13.5 ft.; maximum combined length for two-vehicle combination 65 ft.; pickup with fifth-wheel trailer 65 ft.


Is that correct? No matter whether you are pulling a 5th wheel, or a  bumper pull....

It isn't often that I get to ask a trooper these questions Grin.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2009, 09:13:58 AM »

So would 5th wheel type RV and tractor trailers be in the "combination" category?  Could explain why the license plates on some semis say "combination".   And then standard bumper or rear hitch type trailers and toads would be in the "2 vehicle" classification?   Might make sense. I have to see how this stacks up with info posted on the towing table and other sources.
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