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Everything posted by Steven@146

  1. Great! Congratulations! Now on to the fun! HAHAHA! When I took my driving test we were driving the streets of Austin, 4 lane divided street elevated grass median with concrete curbs. We came upon an auto accident and they had the street closed. We just sat there with the 4 way flashers on. It was going to be awhile, We were the first vehicle in line, the testing instructor ask me if I thought I could move up to the first crossover and use it to make a U turn into the southbound lanes. He said don't worry I'm not going to grade you on a U turn. With a 53 foot rig I took up all the Northbound lanes, made the turn, took up all the Southbound lanes and didn't even touch the concrete curbs with the tires. Didn't need to use a 3 point turn. He said nice turn! We had a good laugh about it. Super nice testing instructor!
  2. I was a little concerned about it too in the beginning. Yes there are some Texas DPS testing locations that do not see this RV issue all that often so there is some confusion at some of the DPS testing facilities. Turns out I didn't have anything to be concerned about. I used two different testing facilities. The local small office DPS where I took the written test, it was easy, the driving test at the Austin / Pflugerville DPS mega center was just as easy, 20 minutes tops. You have to lose 32 points in the driving test to fail. You have to be a real klutz to lose that many points. Don't be concerned, don't worry about it, its not that difficult, just have all your paperwork ready for them to look at. You can renew the Class A or B non-CDL drivers license online. My truck GVWR is 14,000# and our 5th wheel is 16,800#. Yes there is a learners permit available for the time between taking the written test and the actual driving test, but it cost extra and is only good for 2 weeks IIRC. The written testing facility offered it to me, I didn't need it. I scheduled the driving test online as soon as I could. Using the learners permit to drive the rig, you must have a Class A or B licensed driver with you. Steve, Texas Class A Non-CDL licensed
  3. My .02. Looking for our 5th wheel we took a year to pick one. We had Montana, Jayco and Solitude in mind. After reading Trailer Life for over a year, rarely did we see any complaints about the Solitude. Reading as guests the forums for Montana, Jayco and Grand Design Solitude, weeding out the BS from the truth we narrowed our list to Jayco and Solitude. Well at the Austin Texas RV show we fell in love with the Solitude S Class. It had everything we wanted and did not want. We ended up with 30% off MSRP and bought the 2019 Solitude S Class 3350RL in February of 2018. That model is now discontinued and we are glad we bought it when we did. It has been great and have had no problems since purchase. Its never been back to the dealer yet for repair. At 37 feet, its not real heavy but is at 16,800 # GVWR but cargo capacity of 4,478#. Everyone is different, get your must have list together, research, research, research, then make your pick.
  4. Steven@146

    block heater

    I am new around here but just an FYI for the Ram Cummins, when we bought our 2019 3500 here in Texas it did not have the plug in cord for the block heater. From what I read all Ram Cummins engines have the block heater installed, they just don't give you the plugin cord. For our travels up to Northern Indiana for the holidays, Instead of paying the dealership a high price for the option (which is the cord), I got one off Amazon for a few dollars and just plugged it into the block heater and ran the cord out through the grill. Works great! And yes I usually leave it plugged in all night or if you want like he said, just plug it in an hour or so before you start it. Or don't worry about it, "Wait To Start" then turn on the seat warmers!!!
  5. Well Hello Class of 2020. The Wife and I will be joining ya'll next year. Currently we live 8 miles from Bastrop Texas near Austin. I am retired, Wife will next year in Sept. We will put the house on the market in spring and hope to have it sold before May. Still have to get rid of a lot of stuff yet but we are working on it. We are not new to RVing just will be new to the fulltime lifestyle. We purchased in February a new fulltime living capable 37 foot 5th wheel and new 1 Ton truck to pull it. We will live in the RV here till Sept then travel up to Northern Indiana and Ohio where the rest of the family lives. Just after the Holidays 2020 will come back to Texas for the winter. Most likely winter in the Bastrop area since we have lived here 17 years, have lots of friends here and there are now some 30 RV parks in and around this area. Winters here are not bad cold wise. Last night got down to 29* but this afternoon its supposed to get up to 62*. We really also love the Gulf Coast and Galveston Island and will probably share winter time there also. We will keep our Texas residency. Have the Class A Non CDL Texas drivers license already. We recently made a camping trip to Livingston to check it out and got the grand tour of the mail facility. Also did the SmartWeigh while we were there. We will get the paperwork done and transition our residence to Polk county. We are members of the Escapees Alamo Texas Chapter and attend their Rally's. Our Rally's are centered around the Texas Hill Country. They are great fun and we have made some good friends with this group. We have Escapees membership stickers on our truck back window, if you see us stop by and say hello. Steve & Tami Cass
  6. I am new to the forum but thought I would relate my experience since I just received my Class A Non-CDL Exempt. Yes there is still confusion at the different DPS offices but I got through it with a little problem that was resolved quickly. My rig 2018 Ram 3500 GVWR 14,000#, RV 2019 5th wheel GVWR 16,800# March 2019 - I had all the forms filled out a head of time. Paid $11 and took the written test at the DPS office in Bastrop. The Special Requirements and the Combinations test were both required and passed. They gave me a form and instructions how to schedule the Skills Test online before 90 days. I scheduled the Skills Test at the Pflugerville (Austin) DPS Mega Center for a couple weeks later. Drove my rig to the testing center. Upon checking in for the Skills Test the confusion started. They thought I had a Motor Home towing a Pickup Truck and was taking the test for a class B license. Once I explained to them I had a pickup truck towing a 5th wheel trailer and that I applied for a class A, they looked at the rig and said ok. The checked the truck license plate and windshield sticker for being current which includes the safety inspection. You can not renew the truck plate without the passing the safety inspection. Then they checked truck insurance card. Next was the RV, they went looking for the trailer safety inspection sticker they used to put on the tongue of trailers, but they don't issue those stickers anymore. They are like regular vehicles now, you can not renew your trailer license plate without first passing a vehicle safety inspection. I had the safety inspection report given to me by the RV dealer and it stated the trailer passed inspection, they accepted it and then looked at the insurance card for the trailer. The Test- checked lights and horn. Had me back up in a straight line for 50 feet. Then on the road we went making turns, changing lanes, stopping at lights, lasted all of 30 minutes and they got me in before my appointment time. Piece of cake! Really nice people at the DPS Pflugerville office! I found out you can take the written tests and pass them, then pay for a learners permit that will allow you to drive your rig on a class C license BUT you must have a Class A or B licensed driver with you. The permit is good for 14 days and is renewable but you must pass the Skills test before 90 days. When I took the Skills test they asked if I had a learners permit, I said no I didn't think I needed one since my last truck/ trailer combo was under the 26,001 and now my new truck/trailer combo was over the limit. Nothing more was said.
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