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Author Topic: going to California,  (Read 3477 times)
bigjohnkub
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« on: January 07, 2010, 12:32:48 PM »

I have the privilege of going to Sunny California in June for my Granddaughters high school graduation. Very exceptional in that she was not supposed to live over 3 years.
 The question is would I have any problems with taking a Texas bus,Licensed as a motor home in to California. Would it have to be inspected as to pollution ,etc.

  I would appreciate any info or advice.
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Big John  Tyler Tx PD 4903-188 & 4107
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2010, 01:04:23 PM »

There is no problem John but if you are blowing a great amount of black smoke they frown a little.
There is no inspection only for fruits and nuts they have enough of those ,I live 4 miles from the CA line and it has never been a problem for me traveling in CA. 



good luck
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2010, 01:06:27 PM »

I have seen many buses moving around Northern California, licensed in other states and do not see the highway patrol causing issues.  You may want to contact a commercial bus company in Reno to find out what they are facing when traveling into California. Granted, I do not hang out at the truck scales or agricultural inspection stations to validate my random observations.

Good luck!
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Grant Goold
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2010, 02:01:19 PM »

I've never had a problem going into CAl. They ask if we have any produce, we say no, and on we go. I did have a problem trying to go see the Hoover dam though. Homeland Security made us unpack the entire bus, went through all our belongings because they were convinced we were carrying explosives, and then told us after the fact that we had to use the truck route anyway because of our lenght and could come back with our toad if we really wanted to see it. By that time it was night and we just took the truck route into LV. Some people do not have a sense of humor. Will

Note-after reading what I just wrote, I should probably explain why we got singled out. Partly because of my off-kilter humor to their questions (I not only have an authority complex but I work ocasionally for the Feds) and partly because we don't have a permanant address. Our DL's just state 'Continuous Traveler' and that made them suspicious. hehe (Like I could seriously consider blowing up this beast after all the money and time we've invested in it-idiots)
How do I go about deleting this post? Grin
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 02:09:36 PM by PP » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2010, 02:14:54 PM »

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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2010, 02:58:10 PM »

Good story Will!

BigJohn,

I've never had a problem either, just make sure you don't have any nuts on board! Grin

Paul
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2010, 03:05:09 PM »

I had a situation like PP's reply; we were trying to go over Hoover Dam and was stopped.  We were packed from stem to stern and up (moving).  They gave us a choice to pull everything out or taking a route around the dam.  Guess which one we chose?
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2010, 03:39:47 PM »

I go through parts of ca and never seen any problem. also have crossed hoover several times with no problems. Jerry
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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2010, 04:04:00 PM »

Paul, would Blu be able to gothrough check?
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Big John  Tyler Tx PD 4903-188 & 4107
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« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2010, 04:19:54 PM »

I'll let you answer that one! Roll Eyes
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« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2010, 04:23:11 PM »

Christi and I are on an ext. stay in Ramona, CA (SD) and we have had no problems coming or going. AZ plates. All the Best, M&C Grin
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« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2010, 04:59:53 PM »

Man, does California really have this bad a rap!  Being a fourth generation Californian and having lived here most of my life, please it is not all that bad! 

There are many reasonable people who live here, even bus nuts!  Please come and enjoy our wonderful state, just don't think that Los Angeles is really all there is to California (no offense TomC, my daughter lives in Long Beach), but in our extensive travels throughout the USA and Canada we tell everyone that we live in a town with 270 population.  They think L.A. and Hollywood is all there is to our state. 

Come and enjoy, there is still much open space, quiet rural areas, beautiful coast line, mountains, desert, you name it.  So, please come.  We won't bite!!
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Gary D

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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2010, 05:04:29 PM »

BigJohn,

I went through California in 2008. No problem aside from the Border Patrol car chase about five miles inside California. That was equally troubling since there is a max 55 speed limit for our size vehicles on the Interstates and the perp passed me on the right side shoulder while the Border Patrol vehicle passed me in the number one lane. I told my wife what was coming at us. She still jumped when the perp flew past on the shoulder. My only comment to her was, "Welcome to California!"

Yes they do confiscate, not just inspect, any citrus fruit in the vehicle. The did not inspect any of my "nutz" at the checkpoint. I did have the opportunity to speak with a CHiP and was advised as long as I stayed in the far right hand lane and kept the needle at the posted I would not have any unscheduled meet and greets with his associates.

So good luck and safe journey. Tell your Granddaughet great job getting that degree and keep on going after more.
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Will Garner, Jr
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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2010, 05:11:03 PM »

Gary, I love the Shasta area and I try to go there once a year now the southern the part of the state ? about the 55 mph speed limit with trailers no one could ever tell me if that applied to a tow vehicle behind a RV do you know

 good luck
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« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2010, 05:17:40 PM »

John,

If you are going to CA, detour through Carlsbad Caverns. It was AWESOME! The self guided tours were great, and the ranger guided tour, or the lower cave was incredible! It was well worth the detour for us. So if you haven't been there...you should.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2010, 06:06:41 PM »

I have the privilege of going to Sunny California in June for my Granddaughters high school graduation. Very exceptional in that she was not supposed to live over 3 years.
 The question is would I have any problems with taking a Texas bus,Licensed as a motor home in to California. Would it have to be inspected as to pollution ,etc.

  I would appreciate any info or advice.

John, I'm currently leaving California after being here for about 7 weeks with our Bus and Car registered in Texas.  Not a single problem other than funny looks from the locals.  LoL

=)

Matt & Liz
Boron Ca for the time being
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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2010, 06:32:59 PM »

Clifford, i was just talking to a guy today that just got a ticket in Ca. in a motorhome towing a car and going over 55 mph.  Cop gave him a break , $240, said it could have been $500.
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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2010, 06:55:29 PM »

Sorry to possibly ruin your trip, but many ordinary things common to Texans on or about their persons and especially inside their primary residence while on the road may be FELONIES in the Great State Of Commiefornia.

Yep; crazy but true.  You have a choice of practically strip searching your person and coach before you enter California, or just hope and pray that you are not stopped for something silly and they search you or your coach.

Every time I drove from SW Oregon (where I live) to Southern California, (where I did) I had to remove all tracer and AP ammo, blowguns, potatoe guns, "nun-chucks", hi cap firearm magazines, large knives, most firearms, (for me)...

ANY fresh fruit and veges, (even for Thanksgiving) your legally concealed handgun, vintage wine, (I think) strange pets, so on and so on.  Don't mean to scare you away, but Californians have pretty much done it to themselves.  HB of CJ (old coot)

...
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« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2010, 08:00:59 PM »

Matt,

Did you get the bus painted?

Bryan
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« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2010, 08:13:08 PM »

Visiting California really isn't any different than visiting any other state.  Generally, your home rules for your driver's license still apply even in California.  If your license allows you to drive your vehicle at home, you can drive it legally in pretty much every state due to reciprocity.  The last time I drove into California on I-80 the agricultural inspection was closed.

You do have to obey local laws like the 55 MPH speed limit and the overall length limit.  If your bus is over 40 feet you are limited to which roads you can travel on, but unless you have a fairly new bus this won't apply.
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« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2010, 09:52:35 PM »

Here is what I've observed in SoCal...

No official agency seems to be interested in out of state plates.  Doesn't matter if you're from Canada, Mexico or Oregon.  If the police stop you it will be about another infraction and if stopped you will be asked about residency.  It really is no big deal.

As to towing it is my understanding that any vehicle that tows is subject to the 55 MPH limit.  I've not seen the 55mph strictly followed but again I seldom see vehicles with trailers going over 65mph.

A couple of rules that must be enforced are towing in the left and HOV lanes.  I can't remember the last time I saw a tow vehicle in the left 2 lanes or HOV.  Buses without trailers are allowed in the left lanes and some but not all HOV lanes.  If you are impeding traffic you are will be told to move over.  I know from experience the loudspeakers on the police cars are loud.

Changing lanes without signalling is a bigger no-no than speeding.  Your more likely to be stopped for not signalling than speed even if you're given a speeding ticket.

While the law says the vehicles on the highway have the right-of-way over vehicles merging onto the highway; that is not how the highways work in and around LA/SD.  Cars on the highway will generally adjust speed to the point of stopping to allow merging traffic access.  Completely different than less populated areas.  I drive at least one lane off the slow lane because of this behavior.

Hope you enjoy California!

Mike   
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« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2010, 11:44:58 PM »

John -

What part of CA are you headed for?  Lots of busnuts in various parts of the state, perhaps you'll get a chance to visit with a few of us during your stay. 

Regardless, coming in June, unless you're going to Eureka, make sure the AC is working!

Now, on to your questions:  As long as you and the coach are properly licensed, reciprocity agreements prevail.

Are you bringing a toad?  If so, speed limit will be 55 mph (altho the CHP usually doesn't bother you until you exceed 60) on the freeways and most rural highways.  Even out in the deserts. . .  While towing, you are also restricted to the two RH lanes, unless you see an overhead black & white sign that says "Trucks OK" on multi-lane freeways (mostly in LA area).

Also, with a toad, maximum overall vehicle length is 65 feet.  If you're in the 4903, check your length before leaving home.

If you do not have a toad, buses are allowed to run the same speed limits as cars.  You can also run in any lane you choose, but can be cited for "impeding traffic flow" if out in the #1 or #2 lane and holding up traffic.  Stick to the two RH lanes except to pass, and you'll be ok.

Back in my charter bus days, I used to run in the diamond/carpool/HOV lanes all the time, and never got stopped, both in Northern & Southern CA.  This was obviously in a "revenue service" vehicle.  In most states, TTBOMK, RVs may also use the HOV lanes, as long as they have the required number of people on board, and they maintain proper speeds (no 55 mph in a 70, for example).

However -

On the older freeways around LA and SF, many of the HOV lanes are narrow and quite bumpy - something that will toss a stick 'n staple around quite a bit, but would simply be a minor annoyance to a coach.  Translation:  it requires WORK to maintain the speed limit on an older HOV lane while behind the wheel of a bus.  BTDTHTS.  For those who don't have professional experience, it can definitely be a white-knuckle ride.  Does keep you moving when LA freeways become big parking lots during peak times, tho.

Changing lanes can be a challenge, so plan ahead.  A good GPS that gives you a 1 mile warning can be helpful.  So is doing your homework with a plain old paper map.

Avoid "S" or "button-hook" RH turns on city streets - you can create accidents this way.  Use the "square corner" technique, even if you have to wait for the side street's traffic to clear before you can finish your turn w/o curbing the rear duals.  If the side street you have to turn onto is too narrow to "take your half out of both sides", then continue straight and go around the block making three lefts.  (If you don't know what I mean by "S", "Button-hook" or "Square Corner" techniques, please ask.)

Above all, come and enjoy yourselves.  And give that special graduate a big hug from the busnut community for her accomplishment!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink

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« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2010, 06:49:31 AM »

There is no inspection only for fruits and nuts they have enough of those ,I live 4 miles from the CA line and it has never been a problem for me traveling in CA. 



good luck

WARNING: They really do a thorough inspection for nuts (and fruits), and most of us are.  Grin

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« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2010, 10:43:56 AM »

California is a great place to drive and drive quickly.  Problem is that statistic that says one in three cars from out of state will have an accident within ten days of arrival, or some such stupid number.  Another is that twenty percent of all serious accidents involve a driver that has been in state for less than 90 days....again, or some such stupid number that boggles your mind.  Here is the problem and it ain't that Californians are poor drivers or reckless.  The problem is that there are RULES of the road and some are not definably posted.  Like when you get on the freeway and do a merge.  They are NOT SUPPOSED TO SLOW FOR YOU>>>>>>YOU IDIOT!!!!  You are supposed to speed up to faster than the flow and gently slide in "behind" your target vehicle like a fighter Ace sliding in on a Zero's tail.  YOU DO NOT PULL INTO TRAFFIC IN F R O N T  OF YOUR TARGET VEHICLE.  That requires you to merge looking FOR FRIGGFEN SAKE B A C K W A R D S.  Why would that make sense to anyone?  The car in the slow lane makes no adjust....only watches you slip in with inches to spare....and is not unperturbed.  Can you see where there might be a problem if the guy "on the Freeway" or the guy making the "merge" didn't know how to do this?  In Pennsylvania they used to have STOP signs at the end of the off ramps and right where you merge.  Why don't I live there?Huh  Anymore.  Pa drivers were a lead pipe cinch to cause a multiple car pileup when they STOPPED....WHY DID YOU DO THAT?...on the on ramp.  That is where everybody has their foot deep in the loud pedal for the merge  coming up and is glancing back to spot their spot coming up.  Everybody!

In all fairness, I recently visited San Diego and a friend picked me up at the airport.  It is way more crowded now, the speeds are  way up and those few inches have shrunk.  I told him I didn't think I could do this anymore.  He gave me a surprised look and just said YOU???  I guess that his was a compliment but I was serious. 

Be careful and remember that when people down there seem to be all doing something stupid or dangerous....you are missing a seriously important point.  It certainly ain't all them "Romans".

John
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« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2010, 04:33:31 PM »

John didn't mean to touch on your hot button.  I've found slow lanes slowing for mergers in many heavily populated areas not just SoCal.  While you are correct most trucks and buses doing 50 or so don't slow the cars in slow lane will and have stopped in front of mine.

It is not hard to understand why.  The drivers already on the highway understand how hard it is to get on the highway.  I only mentioned it because there are friends of mine from less populated areas who were unprepared for the behavior.

Mike

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« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2010, 07:30:10 PM »

Mike,

It isn't a hot button.  I just sound that way.  It is a concern to me though and I always had an eye peeled for an out of state plate.  I slowed for people getting on every day and many times.  They had run out of ramp cause the prixk from New York sped up like a demon to fill the guys last possibility.....  I am not, I say NOT, a cut throat narcissistic SOB.  And you didn't accuse me of anything so don't think....  I did the Freeway for 20 years and enjoyed it.  It was like a well choreographed dance where everybody knows their part....till the uninformed injects himself without provocation.  Actually I loved it a little and I think some days I woke up, finally, on the on ramp.  I drove sports cars that performed and as I would start down the on ramp I would cast a glance down at the speeding traffic, spot my spot below, mutter Tallyho, wing over and join the fight.  Good old days.  Like they say in Florida "watch out for the blue hair, man.  The blue hair will kill ya."  We all have issues.  Take this to heart when you are down there and remember LA is the worst. 

John
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« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2010, 07:59:03 PM »

I lived in SoCal for three years, and you better have eyes in the back of your head. Hands on the wheel, no texting or talking on the cell phone. You are plenty busy watching out for everyone else. It's not that hard, but in a bus you better be in the correct lane if you want to exit! Grin

Best weather in the country, at least for right now! Wink

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« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2010, 09:36:32 PM »

Hey -

Angelinos are the absolute master of the "five-lane freeway off-ramp dive" - where the four wheeler goes from the #1 lane all the way across five lanes to the off-ramp, and not a single pair of brake lights come on!

The main point about driving in Southern California, or the SF Bay Area, is to PAY ATTENTION!  (Even if you're too broke. . .)

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2010, 10:55:47 PM »

RJ,

That's CLASSIC.  I've seen it done more than once and the very most important thing was that there was not a single brake light.  And they do that using their turn signal I kid you not.

I always got a smile on my face when I saw a maneuver.  Ca does have the best drivers, even if I can't even get cross town anymore.

Thanks fro the memories...er...bringing up the memories.
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« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2010, 11:20:03 PM »

The funny part about laws in other states is they basically can do whatever they want. The officer writing the ticket can interpret the law as he sees fit. You are left to either pay the fine, go to jail until the court date, or pay the fine. Huh What are you going to do. Hire a lawyer to fight it and travel all the way back if need be? That's why I installed a 50 caliber machine gun on the roof of my bus and have an Obama bumper sticker on the bumper. Just covering all the bases!!  Grin
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