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About FL-JOE

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    Senior Member

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    SW Florida
  • Interests
    Full time RVing

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  1. FL-JOE

    Weigh Stations

    Nice try on the photo, maybe it will download on someones computer but it certainly doesn't on mine. You "enforce USDOT regulations for the State of Texas". What does that mean? Are you a Texas Ranger, are you a Texas State Trooper? Now there is some real proof of something, ask some dudes on a public forum what they have heard. I am probably wasting my time with this post if some of your buddies on here are moderators because they will just delete my answer. If you are a "real" police officer, and I doubt very much that you are, I am certainly shocked at your attitude. If a moderator wants to send me an email I will gladly provide my I.D. and photo of my retirement issued badge. I would need assurances that it will not be posted publically on this forum for reasons I will explain to the moderator (it has to do with real police work). Again, try to relax a little. You are not retired yet and if you keep freaking out at this pace you may not make it. From your signature pic you don't look like your in that good of shape anyway.
  2. FL-JOE

    Weigh Stations

    If a moderator on this forum wants to provide me with an email to send a copy of my identification from the I.S.P., then I will absolutely provide that. I guess I could include a photo of my gold badge but of course anyone can get one of those if they search hard enough. I won't publically post my retired police identification on a public forum due to the last 3 years of my career of what I did and where I was assigned. I am very much in doubt that Big5er is an enforcement officer/police officer. Just because someone has been on a public forum for a couple years and convinced folks of something doesn't make it true. I spent 34 years in a career that I am proud of, a profession that has taken some pretty good licks in the past couple of years. If Big5er and his forum buddies want to make fun of troopers and disrespect them then so be it. Again, based on his attitude I would be shocked if he is actually employed as a sworn police officer. This all started because I questioned the statement about his type of RV being a CMV just by definition. I stand by my statement that it depends on how you use that vehicle and how it is registered that determines if it is a CMV and therefore subject to the fed regs. I have been retired for several years and do not have copies of any legal statutes anymore.
  3. FL-JOE

    Remembering Those Who Gave All

    And to those that are still making the sacrifice, thank you. My cousin Gary Clem (died of Agent Orange cancer), my BIL William McLaughlin (died of Agent Orange cancer), my brother-in-arms Mark Aberly (died of Agent Orange cancer 2017), and my brother-in-arms Vernon Smith who is still in the fight with his Agent O cancer battle.
  4. FL-JOE

    New buyer looking for advice please

    Years ago there was a fiver forum I belonged to. There was a active member on there that was full time in Alaska. They had to take some pretty extreme measures to stay in their fiver all winter long. Skirting and heavy insulation underneath, plus auxiliary heat pumped into the basement area if I recall correctly was one of the required issues. Even with all that getting water was still an issue at times and all in all it was expensive. Everyone has their dream, but based on the desire to stay around $70,000 I think yours could stay just a dream. If it was me I would be looking for a barn-a-menium set up. A large metal insulated building to purchase where you could park your RV and toad inside during the winter in Canada. If it was set up correctly with heat and utilities it could be very comfortable but still less expensive than a regular home.
  5. FL-JOE

    Weigh Stations

    Commercial motor vehicle means any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property when the vehicle - (1) Has a gross vehicle weight´╗┐ rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater; or Okay, first of all it is obvious you are not an enforcement IDOT officer, or any other type of police officer. Not sure what capacity you may work with the federal regs but I suspect it may have something to do with the docks. Congratulations on what is probably a fine career and your apparently soon to be retirement. I will stick by my initial statement that just because something weighs 10,001 or more doesn't mean it is a CMV by definition. What determines that is how it is used and registered. You have a fine holiday weekend and try not to stress so much when someone disagrees with you.
  6. FL-JOE

    New buyer looking for advice please

    You are probably correct as far as the cost comparison of those two picks, fiver vs. class A, when you consider buying the truck. The only kicker may come in when you add in the cost of a toad. RVs are not insulated nearly as good as homes. To stay in cold climates for extended periods will be a challenge based on your budget and what you will probably be buying. These are just my initial thoughts, sorry I couldn't be more help.
  7. FL-JOE

    Weigh Stations

    I'm not sure how you are a "truck guy" and enforce motor carrier safety regulations all day every day, unless you are a full time state officer. In my home state and some others around me there is a handful of local police that have been certified to enforce the federal regs but they are few and far between. If you don't want to believe I have 34 years full time experience as an officer and retired from the Illinois State Police then so be it. What we are arguing about is simply this, you are wrong when you claim your truck is a commercial vehicle because it initially falls into a definition. What makes the final determination of what is, and what is not a commercial vehicle for purposes of the fed regs is how it is used and therefore how it is registered. Is it "for hire" or not. Sorry for the reference to "little" trucks. It is just that old habits are hard to break. A couple of my buddies that drove over the road refer to tractors pulling fivers as that. I don't think they mean any disrespect, just like when you see a truck hitched to 3 others making a delivery, it is "3 trucks humping", etc, etc....
  8. FL-JOE

    Weigh Stations

    Let me just back out of this whole discussion and let all you folks in your little trucks read and interrupt the federal regs however you want. I will simply stick by my opinion which is based on my formal training which qualified me as a certified IDOT inspector at the second level (Illinois State Police), which I put to practice for a whole career. Just like anything in the law, or legal system, you have to read it all and be able to understand it to apply it. So, unless you are involved in interstate commerce, or out there making a living in certain type vehicles, then you can NEVER be a commercial vehicle no matter how big a thing you think you are driving. OU812 and Big5er do yourselves a huge favor and pull into the next scale house where you see some trooper cars and get an education.
  9. FL-JOE

    Weigh Stations

    Okay, if you want to run around the country thinking you are a commercial motor vehicle and subject to all the Federal regulations then that is entirely your business, but please don't mislead others into the same thinking. Are you for hire? Are you hauling goods and/or making your living using that little tractor? No, of course not, you are an RVer and not a commercial motor vehicle. It isn't the vehicle that determines that IT IS WHAT YOU ARE DOING WITH IT. If you truly believe you are a commercial motor vehicle then I assume you keep a log book and take your required rest breaks? Also, is your medical card up to date? I'm also curious how you obtained your IDOT numbers, and what did your insurance company say when you told them you needed commercial insurance? Weight, height, and length restrictions can apply to everyone, not just CMVs. I can have a 1-ton dually and possibly be a CMV if I use it to haul new RVs from northern Indiana to dealers all over the country. By the same token, I can quit that transport job and put a set of ladder racks on my 1-ton dually and start painting houses and not I don't meet the requirements of being a commercial motor vehicle anymore.
  10. Well, there are full timers that travel then there are people that live in RVs full time. I am guessing if you live in a RV permanently parked someplace in gulf coast, or anywhere down there during hurricane season then insurance could be an expensive proposition.
  11. FL-JOE

    keeping bugs and rodents out

    Dryer sheets spread around inside and down in storage areas would probably help keep mice out about as good as anything. And don't forget your engine compartment because if stored for long enough in different parts of the country there has been stories of critters getting up in there and chewing on some important wiring. We always threw bags of moth balls around outside when we had a home in Florida because the snakes hate them. If I used them for a stored RV I would only use them under and/or around it.
  12. FL-JOE


    Lily & Nate, can't really comment on suggestions for an inspection. We never bought an expensive used RV so we never had one. The link you included for the Newell for sale was certainly a nice coach. I assume that was a few years old? I'll just throw this out there since you are still searching for the "right" coach. If your budget is up to $200,000 then don't discount a couple other new models in the Tiffin or Newmar line. With just a slight stretch you could get into a 43' with/tag axle for $230,000 to $250,000 range, even though the MSRP may reflect $340,000 and higher. With a used coach priced in the mid $350,000 range you may not make a deal for much below $290,000 if you are lucky. Of course on used coaches it varies from dealer to dealer how they price them in the first place. Just one other quick comment, since you will be full time in your coach. Most larger diesel pushers are either Freightliner or Spartan chassis. Almost all newer ones manufactured in the last several years have Cummins motors. There are a bunch of Freightliner service centers spread all over the U.S. There are Spartan service centers but just not as many. Some folks say that Spartan chassis ride a little better, some say there is no difference. These are just some other issues you may want to research further while still in the "hunt" for your dream coach. Good luck, Joe
  13. FL-JOE

    Coast To Coast?

    There are folks that love the park memberships and then there are folks that don't think much of them. We looked at TT (Thousand Trails) and a couple other ones during our first stint of full timing but never made the plunge. We need to "park" or camp someplace 365 days a year. Before with our fiver we never dry camped and went where we wanted to. Used PA (Passport America), Good Sams, and KOA annual memberships for small discounts. We were able to stay around $9,000 a year in campground fees, or about $24.00 a night average. This time around we are supplementing some dry camping here and there and staying a month at a time in a couple different places for much better rates. I anticipate our annual fee will be closer to $7,000 a year, or just under $20 a day. If we didn't stay 4 months in SW Florida every winter we could easily go way lower than that. For us I just never thought these time share type memberships would be worth the money. Everyone is different and should make their own decisions about them though. I like planning my annual travels around where I want to go and not what CGs I need to use.
  14. FL-JOE

    Weigh Stations

    Actually I believe this Penske truck had a regular truck weight plate on it (Indiana). I am guessing that anything Penske leases long term for commercial purposes would have to tag it under their own business name plus have the commercial insurance. When you lease a car instead of buying it or short term renting it you certainly don't keep a dealer plate on it. The bottom line is, 90% of the scale houses in this country do not want private vehicles coming into their scales and congesting everything.
  15. FL-JOE

    Solar Panels

    Kirk hit the nail on the head. Many larger DP (diesel pushers) will have a battery bank for the house consisting of 6 to 8 batteries, which usually are golf cart batteries. That is a bunch of dry camping power. My buddy has 6 on his Tiffin and can go 48 hours running everything but a/c. We have 8 and can stretch it to almost 4 days with everything but a/c. Sometimes you may see a very small solar panel on the roof of a large DP toward the rear. In recent years it has become popular by some manufacturers to put a 1'x2' panel there to keep the engine batteries charged.