Special License For Rv Drivers

Discussion in 'General Community Discussions' started by fpullanosr, May 5, 2013.

  1. HandyHank

    HandyHank
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    Having had a 'special license' for driving an 18-wheeler my wife and I have some heavy vehicle experience driving. Our CDL school lasted 6 weeks at 40 hours a week. I could see a 'special RVL (license) school pop up everywhere. Today's roads are still populated with bad truck drivers; however, they also include some of the best drivers on the road. Bad apple comes to mind. So schools and licenses don't solve the problem AND add to more government interference. Don't think we can fix the problem with more government.
     
  2. Perfecto

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    I feel that anyone pulling a large trailer or driving a motorhome should be licensed to do so. Too many people think that they can just go out and buy a pickup and fifth wheel or travel trailer and hit the road. Most of them are not aware of the many restrictions posed by many of the roads out there. Low clearances are a big one. Several years ago, a neighbor bought a camper for his pickup and took a trip with his wife and kids. He had never used one of these campers before. He went on a vacation with the family and on the way home he took a road that he was not familiar with. There was an overpass that was clearly marked but he did not pay attention. He hit it at forty miles and hour and ripped the whole top of the camper off. His youngest boy died on impact and his daughter will spend the rest of her life in a wheel chair. I think that had Mr. Curtis been trained to drive this type of vehicle, his kids may be living a different life today. People should be trained and even licensed to operate motorhomes and travel trailers/fifth wheels......
     
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  3. bankedtime

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    The jurisdiction that I live in requires drivers that pull more the 10,000 lb trailer/5th wheel to complete a written and road test/pre trip check, also any vehicle with air brakes ie: motorhome requires a special airbrake endorsement a 2 day course along with a pre check and written test
     
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  4. GA-RVers

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    This should be a "NO BRAINER", absolutely YES, anyone driving a motorhome or pulling a 5th Wheel or pulling a Travel Trailer should be required to obtain training and then apply for a special license BEFORE they can hit the road. Too many people who can marginally drive a car safely all of the sudden one day decides that they are going to buy a motorhome or 5th wheel or even a Travel Trailer and jump in and take off when they are then a menace and a danger on the highways. They do the "Volkswagen Lane-Change" and speed as if they were in a car and they cause a wreck or end up in a bad wreck and it could all be avoided with training and restrictions via a special license. I am not a male chauvinist but I see too many women jumping behind the wheel as if it were their mini van which is the biggest and most complicated thing they have ever drove. One of my best friends tells me that he has to go to the back of their coach and lay on the bed when his wife drives because she drives like she is in her little Honda and she routinely cuts people off and when they react she gives them the left hand back-at-you salute, he said that she makes him want to drink. And this is a good example of what is going on today, especially with younger drivers (under 45 or 50) that have today's youth syndrome which is "I know it all syndrome" and they think they were born with total knowledge of everything including driving big rigs or safe towing when they have never pulled a trailer before except maybe a small utility trailer to haul a lawn mower. While passing through Chattanooga Tennessee there was a motorhome in front of us and it had a full sized SUV in tow, I changed to the left lane to pass it, when the front of my coach was over half way of that coach, it started moving to the left and continued, I blew the horn but that did no good so I moved quickly to the next lane left and accelerated and blew the horn steadily as we passed and so did several cars. As we went by we saw that it was a young guy probably in his 30's and he was on a cell phone texting, and as we went by he gave us and the cars blowing their horn the hand salute and then he wrecklessly speeded up and flew past us in the far left lane blowing his horn in the process. This is a perfect example where training and restrictive license are severely needed. And all older and safer motorhome drivers would agree because we have seen the evolution and degradation of driver safety on the highways in the past 30 or 40 years and the younger dangerous drivers will be the ones who so quickly disagree.
     
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  5. BankShot

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    I've posted in this thread already but just wanted to add that I agree in most with what GA-Rvers has stated above. We have run into similar situations involving younger male and female drivers who are sitting there behind the wheel of a 12 ton plus motorhome, or hauling a 38 foot 5ver down the road, with a cellphone stuck to one hand and their eyes focused on the screen. This also applies to those same drivers in cars by the way. My point being is that they are quick to flip us the one finger salute when a horn is tapped to alert them that they are about to sideswipe us or another vehicle and yet they don't seem to have a clue as to why that horn is being tapped. This is generalizing I realize as there are both young and older drivers that are guilty of doing this so I am not singling out just the younger crowd here. I think most of us on this forum try to drive safely and be alert at all times and for sure most of us have made some pretty stupid mistakes during our times behind the wheel but I also think we learn from those mistakes and try not to allow them to happen a second time. With the sheer number of new RVers out there on the roads now as opposed to just a decade or so ago, I'd be in favor of having new operators of RV's to take a test, both written and driving, in order to obtain a special stamp or mark, much like one does to operate a motorcycle, on our DL's. In fact I would be willing to take that same test if I was asked to and I am really not in favor of more laws. But this one would maybe wake a few of these idiots up and hopefully make them better RV operators. Then again, as that old saying goes, "You really can't cure stupid"...................
     
  6. Mike McKee

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    On done if the bigger RV would be nice. The smaller ones 23" or smaller not as much.
     
  7. Steve-Sandy

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    I have a Class B Exempt (non-CDL) license because the state of Texas says I have to just like the folks who drive fire trucks.
    I agree that the driving test proves I am capable of maneuvering my coach under normal driving conditions. It does not prove that I will drive like that when the examiner is not sitting in the passenger seat.
    I would like to see some hard numbers regarding accidents caused my untrained rv drivers before I would agree that a special license for rv'ers is needed. I would probably be in favor of stricter regulations if it resulted in my insurance rates going down....way down!
    My anecdotal experience is that most RV accidents result in fairly minor non- injury accidents while trying to maneuver around obstacles. I agree common sense and situational awareness are lacking in many folks that probably can't be solved by a special license.
    According to recent data all kinds of RV's are selling like hot cakes so it is in everyone's best interest to drive with caution around any RV when you don't know the person behind the wheel just like you should around any motorized vehicle. They are all potentially dangerous.
     
  8. lcook

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    We have enough government intervention......however, some of these people who drive the "big rigs" (as they like to refer to them} should be required to have a driver who is qualified by a CDL, with a bus or passenger endorsement. Most of the people who think they can afford a rig that is 75' long including the 30' cargo trailer to carry their junk, have never driven anything larger than their Mercedes, or their Tesla....
     
  9. docj

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    Many larger MH's have air brakes. Air brakes are considered so "special" that the most basic CDL test doesn't include them. They are essentially an endorsement on the basic CDL (for those who are picky, it's an air brake prohibition if you don't take the air brake test). So if air brakes require specialized training and testing, what sense does it make for RV drivers to be allowed to drive an air brake vehicle without needing to even understand how they work?

    On my own initiative I went ahead and got a Class B CDL in advance of purchasing our 40' DP regardless of whether or not the state I was a resident of required a higher level license for driving it. I figured it never hurt to improve my skills. As part of the course we watched a series of videos that were entitled "Defensive Driving for Professional Drivers". Essentially, the message of the videos was "You're driving a large, heavy vehicle that is likely to seriously hurt or even kill someone you hit with it; the chances are that if you're in a serious accident you will get blamed for it regardless of whether or not you were at fault so you might as well know as much as possible about avoiding being in one in the first place." That didn't sound like bad advice.
     
  10. drfife

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    Best reply. I agree 100%.

    No data, just "feelings".

    Additional laws and regulations are not needed.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
  11. HollyLouise

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    What does a guy and his walker have to do with this question?
     
  12. HollyLouise

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    What does a guy and his walker have to do with this question?
    Prudent to teach oneself how to drive big rigs or pull large units, of course. Requiring a special license, I'm not keen on it. RVers don't have the same footprint as big semis and they are transporting other humans like bus drivers do. RV accidents are not common, so I don't see a need for this.
     
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  13. docj

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    Well, if his problems walking are related to other physical infirmities it might be indicative of the fact that he lacks either the reaction time or physical strength to safely drive the vehicle. That's why CDL holders are required to have a DOT medical card.

    That's an assertion, not a fact. If there was real data to discuss that would make a difference.
     
  14. Martha Bennett

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    I think that's fine, but where does one go to get this license without paying out the wazoo for it
     
  15. Infinity

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    So here in California they require I have a "Non commercial Class B" (Housecar license) to drive our coach which is over 40'; I felt it was in our best interest to get the license even though many I talked to said don't bother. When I went to take the written test, our local DMV was unfamiliar with any such license, after waiting over 20 minutes and supervisors discussions they tried to give me the Class A commercial written test; I had to inform them again that I was NOT trying to get a Class A commercial license. Finally someone in the office had heard of the Housecar Non Commercial Class B and found the necessary written test (Which by the by was an abbreviated version of the Class A). After taking the written test and passing I was given additional paperwork. In reading the paperwork it stated a "Non Commercial Class B Housecar license would be exempt from the "air brake test" which is required for a commercial license. As many stated its interesting that they require a special license but would than exclude things like the air brakes.

    As my experience continues, when I went to take the drivers test our RV could not get into the testing area due to the driveway entrance being terribly dipped and sloped. With 20 years of driving a coach I know better than to attempt such a driveway and risk damage to a very expensive rig. So here I sit with a "Non Commerical Class B Housecar" permit. I now need to schedule an appt at a different location over an hour away. To add to that they said I better not show up without a Class A / B licensed driver in the rig or they will turn me away. So it will take 3 hours and two of us to accomplish this test.

    I totally agree with requiring a test on rigs over 40' but only when the system is truly prepared to give such a test, from the written to the drivers test to a driveway that won't damage my RV and when the test truly includes the required skills of an Rv'er. Just my thoughts and my experience ;-(
     
  16. docj

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    How can anyone take the position that you "shouldn't bother" to comply with the licensing laws in your State? With that attitude, why bother to get a license at all?

    I understand that you are frustrated about the all the hoops you are having to go through, but irrespective of that, how can anyone suggest to others that it won't matter if you don't comply with the law? Does anyone consider that, in the event of a serious accident, your insurance company would have prima facie evidence to walk away from your complain because you weren't properly licensed to drive the vehicle?

    In Texas when the non-commercial Class B license law first started getting enforced there were horror stories like yours regarding taking the tests at DPS locations that weren't prepared to give it. But, over the past couple of years, the process seems to have become more routine. In CA, since it is restricted to coaches >40' not that many people will be affected so the process will continue to seem strange in many offices.
     
  17. RoadRunner3491

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    A requirement to get a license does not fix stupid!
     
  18. docj

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    Not every poor driver is stupid. Some simply lack skills and training.
     
  19. RLM

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    This particular issue is talked about across numerous RV Forums. It's one of those subjects that will linger well after we have anti-gravity devices on RVs. My comments won't have any effect on that, but I'm going to give them anyway. Opinions are like butts. The more you express of one, the more you look like the other.

    Licenses are generally just another method to collect more tax money. Otherwise, why would there be a need for a dog or barber license? Does an incompetent, non-licensed barber pose a threat to anyone excepting a bad haircut?

    You need a marriage license. Which considering the divorce rate may make for a bad hair day at some point, but you can't get legally hitched without one.

    I do not need a license to use a gun, but I need one to conceal carry it.

    Do you know that in seven states one needs a license to put things in a box and tape it? Are you aware that in New Jersey you generally can't pump your own gas? Common sense self service has been negated by a need for "licensed" gas pumpers.

    The rules vary because driver's licenses are issued by each state. There is no standard that applies to these so called Class endorsements on one's license to operate an RV. California requires one based on length. Most other states, requiring such an endorsement, use a weight figure (above 26K). What difference does it make if you get hit by by a bus that is 26K or one that is 26K plus 1 pound? Some states exempt the weight factor based on the fact that the RV is for "personal" use, as opposed to commercial.

    Anyone who has a DL from a state that doesn't require an endorsement then is privileged to drive in one that does. Does that seem equitable to those of you have jumped thru hoops and paid your money to get your endorsement? Do you feel like a safer driver because you successfully passed a written test and was able to parallel park your rig?

    My motorcycle endorsement and my concealed carry license each required two days of on-hands instruction and a subsequent passing of applicable testing. That training and licensing process was a safety enabler for me as well as the general public. The BS associated with special RV licenses are not.

    I really don't have opposition to license fees that at least partially go to preserving the resources that each of us might want to be sustained. IE: Hunting/fishing license, roads, animal shelters, etc. But I have an issue with a legislator passing a law when he/she could not recognizing an RV two out of three time.

    I support any system that mandates a realistic qualification process. But I gag at any suggestion that a current "special RV" licensing process is anywhere near reality.
     
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  20. HollyLouise

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    Both fair points, and thanks for pointing them out. However, a great many RVers are in their retirement years and many of those undoubtedly don't have the agility and reaction time of their younger selves and by my observation manage their RV rigs very well.

    As for accidents, admittedly, I do not have numbers, but in 14 years of RVing all over this country I cannot recall even one accident I've seen on the road in which there was an RV involved other than things like a flat tire. On the other hand, I have seen dozens of autos and truck accidents and overturned semis and the like during those same years. So, anecdotal as my comment is, I am not the only one making it in this thread and would guess that others who've RVed back and forth across the country as much as I have would likely give similar observations.

    I will concede there'd be some benefit in requiring basic training to drive or tow an RV, but requiring a license that is continually renewed--I do not think that is necessary.
     

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