Woodalls Open Roads Forum: General RVing Issues: Special alert for California RV'ers
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 > Special alert for California RV'ers

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firecapt1

Sonoma County, CA

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Posted: 09/07/12 12:07am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A word of warning to all California RV'ers:

About 6 months ago a friend of mine who, like me, has a 5er, was involved in an accident. The other driver was uninsured but my friend wasn’t concerned because he had uninsured motorist insurance as part of his policy.

His insurance company denied his claim because he was “not licensed to tow” his 5er. Indeed, he hadn’t gotten the proper endorsement on his California DL for towing a 5th wheel (see here: License requirments)

He was unaware of the law requiring this endorsement and had been towing his 5er all over the U.S. for years without it. I didn’t even think to ask him if he had this endorsement on his license... I had one on mine since I got my 5er.

As a result, he lost his 5er (it was totaled, and he wasn't reimbursed) and had to pay for all of the repairs to his TV (Ford F-350).

I checked this with DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and found the following:

In order to tow a trailer or fifth wheel up to 15,000 GVWR you need an endorsement on your license.

If you are towing a trailer or fifth wheel with a GVWR greater than 15,000 you need to get a non-commercial class A license.

If you are properly licensed in California to tow a 5th wheel, all other states have what is called “reciprocal agreements” regarding licensing and will honor California’s coverage.

So it seems that if you don’t have the proper license in California to tow your 5er, you are SOL if you get in an accident, whether it was your fault or not. Makes sense to get the endorsement or proper license.

Here’s a link to the handbook for the license test:

RV test manual

Hope this helps those of you that didn’t have this info.

* This post was edited 09/07/12 02:37pm by firecapt1 *


Frank, Martha & Ryan
2007 Ford F-250 SD Crew Cab
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Happy Trails to you, until we meet again!


opnspaces

San Diego Ca

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Posted: 09/07/12 12:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the heads up. The way I read it is if the trailer is less than 10,000 pounds then no endorsement is needed. I'm sure that many people on the forum are not aware, and have a 5th wheel that weighs over 10,000 pounds..

"A driver must have a fifth-wheel recreational trailer endorsement added to his/her Class C driver license to pull a fifth-wheel recreational trailer over 10,000 lbs., but not over 15,000 lbs. GVWR, which is not used for hire"


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firecapt1

Sonoma County, CA

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Posted: 09/07/12 12:26am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

opnspaces,

You're right, if you are less than 10,000 GVWR you are good to go with a standard license. At least from the way I read it!

johnrbd

San Joaquin Valley

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Posted: 09/07/12 12:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That's one of the reason I purchased a 5vr with GVWR just under 10,000 lbs.





Bumpyroad

Virginia

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Posted: 09/07/12 04:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

this might also apply to motor homes requiring special licensing for length,weight, etc. in other states. Good information to know.
bumpy





gotsmart

Aberdeen, WA

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Posted: 09/07/12 05:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

the first 10 pages are quite informative: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl648/dl648.pdf


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John & Angela

Full Timers in Canada, USA and Mexico

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Posted: 09/07/12 07:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Its the same in BC except it is not GVWR but loaded weight and it can not exceed 4600KG or approximately 10,000 pounds.


2003 Revolution 40C Class A. 2002 Vanguard 22 foot Class C. Diesel smart car as a Toad on a smart car trailer or pulling a 2009 Timeout Tent Trailer.

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Grillmeister

BBQ TOUR USA

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Posted: 09/07/12 07:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the info, this is the best kept secret I have ever heard of. I also like the part where they require the towing vehicle to weigh at least 4k.

May I ask what insurance company it was that used this as excuse not to pay?


Show me the GRILL and STAND BACK!!!!


Grillmeister

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Posted: 09/07/12 07:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tom N wrote:

Plus the fact that "uninsured motorist" insurance only covers bodily injury, not damage to your vehicle.

Mine does, it fixed my vehicle with no out of pocket expense and no effect on my premiums as I was not at fault. (STATE FARM)

Tom N

Sarver, PA/Crystal River, FL/Shelocta, PA

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Posted: 09/07/12 07:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Plus the fact that "uninsured motorist" insurance only covers bodily injury, not damage to your vehicle.


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