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Moresmoke

Definition of an RV

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Now this is getting entertaining! The clash of the self proclaimed internet expert vs. the guys who do this for a living.

I used to get irritated when the internet tried to tell me I didn't know my profession, but now I just laugh at the stupidity.

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6 minutes ago, CrazyCooter said:

Now this is getting entertaining! The clash of the self proclaimed internet expert vs. the guys who do this for a living.

I used to get irritated when the internet tried to tell me I didn't know my profession, but now I just laugh at the stupidity.

LMAO..now that was funny. Almost (I said "almost") made me spew some Dr. Pepper.

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So apparently I started something (unintentionally) and then went on with my life and missed the fall out.  I don’t have time to respond right now (camping with friends and limited internet).  I’ll be back home tomorrow and respond then.  Reading through the thread has been entertaining though. ;)

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2 hours ago, Chad Heiser said:

So apparently I started something (unintentionally) and then went on with my life and missed the fall out.  I don’t have time to respond right now (camping with friends and limited internet).  I’ll be back home tomorrow and respond then.  Reading through the thread has been entertaining though. ;)

Oh sure....stir the pot and leave! :P

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Ok, so more digging and I think I have answers in regards to IRP and IFTA.

IRP's definition is:

RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
―Recreational Vehicle‖ means a Vehicle used for personal pleasure or personal travel and not 
in connection with any commercial endeavor.
Official Commentary
The term ―Recreational Vehicle‖ refers to vehicles such as campers, house trailers, motor homes, 
and mobile homes when used exclusively for personal pleasure and travel by an individual and his 
family. In order to qualify as a Recreational Vehicle, the Vehicle must not be used in connection 
with any business endeavor.

IFTA's definition is much the same, (I couldn't figure out how to link correctly) with three main tests to determine commercial or private use:

1:  Is the vehicle registered to an individual (or couple)?

2:  Are there any business names/sponsor logos indicating business use?

3:  Is the vehicle depreciated for tax purposes?

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My CPA wanted to get greedy last year and depreciate our "motorhome", but I told him no way I was going to chance the fines or losing the my title to save a few dollars....His thought was who would ever find out anyway.That #3 rule is what I was thinking of at the time.

Edited by CrazyCooter

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Getting back to the original question of what is a motor home ... as I read the quote of the ND definition of of a motor home it mentioned any vehicle that was reconditioned or manufactured as a motorhome so I would say that if your HDT was modified to be a motorhome it would qualify under the definition. 

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Question for Chad - California scales...

So from the information above, if I were traveling in CA with my F350 and travel trailer, I would need to stop at the scales?  Unladen weight is - 8800 lb.

 

 

 

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On 12/2/2017 at 3:47 AM, Shifted said:

Actually, the site that you quoted specifically says "However, all California weigh stations have signs stating: "No Pickups."" Here is the site for other people to read for themselves:

http://www.dot.ca.gov/trafficops/trucks/weigh-stations.html

Obviously, there is a lot more to it than you're implying.  I'm not an expert on California law.  So, unless you are, and can reference the specific code/law that applies to privately owned and operated Class 8 trucks used for non-commercial purposes in California, within full context and understanding, then we may want to wait for someone who does have that level of familiarity to comment on it.  If I had more time this morning, I would look it up, but I've got a few other things on my plate :)

My original point was that in general, being registered as a truck versus a motorhome does not put you into a different use class with respect to interstate commerce, so it does not affect whether or not you are required to pull into a commercial vehicle weigh station.  Obviously, there will be exceptions, like when there is signage saying "All vehicles over X GVW, including RV's".  Or, potentially in CA where they have very different requirements and definitions for vehicles, even privately owned ones that are not used for commercial purposes.

There are so many blanket statements made on here about the legalities of operation that it's important for us to be specific and accurate for the sake of the new owners who are trying to figure out the truth, not an internet commando's belief system.

 

Well, I am an expert on California law.  In fact I enforce those laws and run the traffic bureau at the police department where I work.  You got one thing correct in your above statement.  Most CA scales have signs that state no pick ups.  I never said all pickups have to stop at scales.  I said SOMETIMES pickups have to stop at scales in CA.  I then listed the exact times that must occur in my post.  I would quote the code section that I referenced above, but Big5er beat me to it (see below).  I don't want to confuse this thread with talk of pickups though, I only mentioned pickups in specific circumstances because you said this:

On 12/1/2017 at 5:39 AM, Shifted said:

 By your advice, someone with a light duty truck would have to pull into the scales on their daily commute to work just because their license plate says "Truck" on it.  I can't imagine the DOT officers at the scales being amused by that daily exercise :)

 

 

On 12/2/2017 at 5:44 AM, Big5er said:

LMAO :D This oughta be good. Go for it Chad....just remember, you are the nice one. I'm the asshole and bully (I'm sure they have posted other names, I just don't care and therefore I have forgotten).

 

Shifted, did you even bother to read the link you posted? Anything other than "No pickups"? Like maybe the part that says  "If the pickup has a GVWR of 11,500 pounds or more, an unladen weight 8,001 pounds, not equipped with an open-box type bed not exceeding 9 feet in length, or the pickup bed has been removed and a utility body or flat bed has been mounted, then it no longer meets the definition of pickup in CVC Section 471; it is then a "motor truck" under CVC Section 410 and required to stop at the weigh stations."   Isn't that what Chad posted?

Oh yeah, and by the way...... A Class 8 truck is NOT a pick up and most of us, in this forum, don't drive pick ups.

What I wanted the OP to understand and what I originally said was there is no functional difference between an RV registration and a private truck registration for our usage.  They both take us out of the commercial realm.  However, private truck registration may have some additional requirements - like having to stop at scales because as a private truck your HDT would meet the definition of a motor truck. 

States vary on the weight ratings that put you into the definition of a motor truck, but any HDT registered as a private truck is going to have sufficient GVW ratings to qualify as a motor truck (whether singled or especially if still tandem) pretty much everywhere.  When you drive by a scale and the sign out front says all trucks must stop, it is referring to motor trucks and truck tractors not pick ups.  If you are driving an HDT registered as a private truck, you should stop or risk being run down by the state patrol (or whomever is manning the weigh station).  Once they see you are a private vehicle hauling your personal RV, they will most likely wave you on through with no issues.  If they run you down, you will then have to explain on the side of the road why you didn't stop when directed to do so by the signs.  This extra effort to contact you may result in some extra effort on the officers part in other areas (like writing a ticket).  This is especially true if you are running bobtail.  When you are bobtail, the officers will have no way to distinguish you from any other commercial motor truck/truck tractor.  It is less likely when pulling a recreational 5th wheel, but still possible.

I bring this up simply to educate the OP.  Not all scales have signage saying "All Trucks Must Stop".  Many scales just have signage saying "Open" or "Closed".  In this case, I would bypass them if registered as a private truck and pulling my personal 5er.  I may still get chased down and stopped, but I could play dumb and say I didn't stop because I am not commercial and her is why I am not commercial ...

There are many members on here who are registered as private truck and never stop at scales.  There are also members on here who have bypassed scales and been stopped for doing so (me included).  You are much more likely to get stopped for bypassing the scales when you are bobtail than when you are towing your 5er, but it could happen either way.  Just be ready to explain why you didn't stop and have some documentation with you to back up your explanation.

Edited by Chad Heiser

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On 12/2/2017 at 5:19 AM, Moresmoke said:

This illustrates my question in the first place.

With the CA numbers above, my one ton plus TT are over 11500 GVW. I have never stopped at or been given a second look at a scale. Because a 1ton and TT are considered a normal RV.  As most of you know, a HDT and TT is not a "normal" RV.

The only time I see me using the truck bobtail would be local to home. I know where all the scales are and don't plan on visiting them. Yes, there are the mobile patrols, but around here, for the most part, you have to be doing something stupid to get pulled over.

The scale rules vary by state, anywhere from 10000 to 26000 GVW. Some are signed, most are not.

You are confusing GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) with GCVWR (gross combined vehicle weight rating).  Your one ton and TT will be over 11500 lbs, but that is GCVWR which is not what will force a pickup to have to stop at the scales in CA.  The weight ratings for a pickup that force it to have stop at the scales are only for the weight of the pickup alone (GVWR), not the pickup and what it is towing (GCVWR).  I'm sorry for the confusion on that.  I only brought up pickups to address what Shifted said, I did not mean to confuse the private truck registration issue with HDTs and pickups.  Sorry about that.

Edited by Chad Heiser

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12 hours ago, Moresmoke said:

Question for Chad - California scales...

So from the information above, if I were traveling in CA with my F350 and travel trailer, I would need to stop at the scales?  Unladen weight is - 8800 lb.

Again, sorry I confused the pickup issue here.  No you would not have to stop at scales with your pickup and travel trailer as long as your pickup still has a factory pickup box on it.  

Here is the FAQ from the Cal Trans website regarding pickups and when they must stop at weigh stations in CA (which is what I quoted from originally):

PICKUP -- It depends on the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), unladen weight, and bed of the truck.

GVWR under 11,500 pounds, unladen weight of less than 8,001 pounds, and open box-type bed not exceeding 9 feet in length -- NO.
GVWR 11,500 pounds or more, unladen weight 8,001 pounds or more, or not equipped with an open box-type bed not exceeding 9 feet in length -- YES.

Discussion: According to CVC Section 471, pickups are a motor truck by definition, which is required to stop at the scales per CVC Section 2813. However, all California weigh stations have signs stating: "No Pickups." So, if a vehicle meet the definition of pickup in CVC Section 471, it is not required to stop at the scales because of the signs stating: "No Pickups." If the pickup has a GVWR of 11,500 pounds or more, an unladen weight 8,001 pounds, not equipped with an open-box type bed not exceeding 9 feet in length, or the pickup bed has been removed and a utility body or flat bed has been mounted, then it no longer meets the definition of pickup in CVC Section 471; it is then a "motor truck" under CVC Section 410 and required to stop at the weigh stations.

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On 12/2/2017 at 7:06 PM, CrazyCooter said:

Oh sure....stir the pot and leave! :P

I wasn't stirring the pot. :ph34r:  I was busy in the real world, now I've got some time to spend back here in this virtual world.  :lol:

 

Edited by Chad Heiser

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9 minutes ago, Chad Heiser said:

Again, sorry I confused the pickup issue here.  No you would not have to stop at scales with your pickup and travel trailer as long as your pickup still has a factory pickup box on it.  

Here is the FAQ from the Cal Trans website regarding pickups and when they must stop at weigh stations in CA (which is what I quoted from originally):

PICKUP -- It depends on the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), unladen weight, and bed of the truck.

GVWR under 11,500 pounds, unladen weight of less than 8,001 pounds, and open box-type bed not exceeding 9 feet in length -- NO.
GVWR 11,500 pounds or more, unladen weight 8,001 pounds or more, or not equipped with an open box-type bed not exceeding 9 feet in length -- YES.

Discussion: According to CVC Section 471, pickups are a motor truck by definition, which is required to stop at the scales per CVC Section 2813. However, all California weigh stations have signs stating: "No Pickups." So, if a vehicle meet the definition of pickup in CVC Section 471, it is not required to stop at the scales because of the signs stating: "No Pickups." If the pickup has a GVWR of 11,500 pounds or more, an unladen weight 8,001 pounds, not equipped with an open-box type bed not exceeding 9 feet in length, or the pickup bed has been removed and a utility body or flat bed has been mounted, then it no longer meets the definition of pickup in CVC Section 471; it is then a "motor truck" under CVC Section 410 and required to stop at the weigh stations.

Am i misreading something here Chad? By the rules above moresmoke "should" be stopping at the scales due to the unladen weight of his truck putting him out of the definition of a pickup. Also, depending to the model year of F350, GVWR could be as high as 14,000lb.

Fyi, you can now order a SRW F350 with gvwr's of 9,900, 11,400, and 11,500 and my findings have found that all are equipped equally except for the door sticker. In Ca, one would want the 9,900 if he was engaged in doing business with that truck, 11,400 for a personal pickup, and avoid the 11,500 GVWR like the plague!

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3 hours ago, CrazyCooter said:

Am i misreading something here Chad? By the rules above moresmoke "should" be stopping at the scales due to the unladen weight of his truck putting him out of the definition of a pickup.

I went back and reread his post and realized he wrote 8800 lbs.  The first time I read it, I saw it as 8000 lbs.  I see where you might think this.

CVC 471 states the following:

A “pickup truck” is a motor truck with a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating of less than 11,500 pounds, an unladen weight of less than 8,001 pounds, and which is equipped with an open box-type bed not exceeding 9 feet in length. “Pickup truck” does not include a motor vehicle otherwise meeting the above definition, that is equipped with a bed-mounted storage compartment unit commonly called a “utility body.”

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 652, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 1998.)

(Here is the link if anyone cares.)

His pickup’s unladen weight alone doesn’t drop it out of the definition of a pickup.  It would also have to have a GVW of 11500 or more AND not have a pick up box.  Notice how the section is worded, “...less than 11500 pounds, an unladen weight of less than 8001 pounds, and which is equipped with an open box-type bed...”

The AND is important, meaning all three conditions have to be met.

The code then goes on to say all bets are off if it has a utility body installed.  This is why, in CA anyway, it is best to stay with a pickup box on your pickup rather than switching to a tow body (which would be considered a utility body).

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Thank you for the responses Chad. While the pickup discussion was not part of the original question, it is still important to the decision process of deciding to buy a HDT.  It also highlights the issues of complying with the rules of 49 different states and 8 Canadian provinces.

Places like Minnesota that have road signs stating "road closed to over 9 ton" that would have you think that 18000 lb is the max weight allowed, when really it's per axle.

I understand that a bobtail HDT would want to stop at weigh stations. In my use, I would only see that happening relatively local, and there are roads to pick from that don't have scales. Currently, at times I fall into the need to stop category with the F350, but for some reason have never driven past a weigh station. ;)

Anyway thanks again for the discussion, I have found it worthwhile. Who knows I may feel the need to visit CA someday.

 

 

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On 12/1/2017 at 5:09 AM, Moresmoke said:

This is the reply I got from the state:

This converted vehicle cannot be titled and licensed as a motor home.  The North Dakota Century Code definition of a motor home is a vehicle that has been manufactured primarily for private use as a temporary or recreational dwelling, s semi-tractor off the manufacturers assembly line is not intended to be used as a recreational dwelling or private use, a semi-tractor is intended to be manufactured to be used as a commercial hauling vehicle.

 

Thank you

Motor Vehicle Division

I am trying to figure out what the legal difference would be between a 1 ton pulling a camper and a hdt pulling the same trailer.  Both are over 10000 gcvw, the 1 ton is treated as a rv no questions asked.

By the way, ND is open to converting a school bus to a motor home, obviously intended to be a school bus by the original manufacturer.

I was kinda surprised by the response I got due to the pretty lax nature of the other motor vehicle laws here.

The answer from the state seems to have left out the word, "reconstructed".

Under their definition, there are several RV's that are sitting on Camping World/RV dealer lots that can't be titled as RVs in ND because they weren't manufactured primarily for private use as a temporary or recreational dwelling.

Reconstructed is the magic word because that's what allows the body builders to get vans, trucks, buses, and semi's and reconstruct them as commercial RV's. Otherwise, their primary use off the assembly line isn't as temporary or recreational dwelling because they don't have bodies...just cab and chassis'.

I'd be curious as to what they would say if you wrote them back, pointed out the omission, and asked them to define the term "reconstructed". If they drag it out, pictures of high-end RV's that have obviously been reconstructed/modified will probably change their minds....I would hope at least. 

How can they wrap their minds around allowing a converted school bus to become a motor home, that's about as contradictory as it gets.

Edited by Black

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3 hours ago, Black said:

I'd be curious as to what they would say if you wrote them back, pointed out the omission, and asked them to define the term "reconstructed". If they drag it out, pictures of high-end RV's that have obviously been reconstructed/modified will probably change their minds....I would hope at least. 

How can they wrap their minds around allowing a converted school bus to become a motor home, that's about as contradictory as it gets.

Some days its easier to figure out how to work the system, then to figure out how to get the system to work.

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46 minutes ago, Moresmoke said:

Some days its easier to figure out how to work the system, then to figure out how to get the system to work.

 

"I fought the law and ...  "

Back a government bureaucrat into a corner and see what happens.  Sometimes it's better to work within the bonds of the screwed up system, than try and change it.  No matter how righteous you are.

If you have to register as a private truck and need to stop at a weight station once ever 5 years, whats the harm?

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definition of gov. beauracrat-  someone doing a job that needs to be done.  some good - some bad including firefighters, cops, military,  dmv employees and even the hated politicians. Not picking at Av8r400 just thinking about how so many people want to berate them.

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2 hours ago, Av8r3400 said:

 

"I fought the law and ...  "

Back a government bureaucrat into a corner and see what happens.  Sometimes it's better to work within the bonds of the screwed up system, than try and change it.  No matter how righteous you are.

If you have to register as a private truck and need to stop at a weight station once ever 5 years, whats the harm?

As a federal worker I guess I qualify as a government bureaucrat so from my perception in the workplace, some of my co-workers refuse to believe they could ever be wrong. Others are enlightened enough to realize that you never stop learning and don't mind being taught a new trick. 

I would hope there's at least one enlightened person at his local DMV that when shown a handful of common RV's that are actually reconstructed, will be smart enough to realize, "Hey, those ARE actually RV's and not private trucks". 

Tips on how to find that guy/gal; Look for the one that's disinterested in the work but not necessarily in the people. He's the one that could care less about the TPS reports but is still genuine with the customers. Go a few hours in advance and scope the place out...if you hear someone say "it can't be done" more than twice, then that's not the teller for you. Also, if they have the self-service stickers, pull one every few minutes (doesn't work if they're successive). That way, if you get the "it can't be done" person, stuff that ticket in your pocket and wait for the next one. 

All that rambling to say, I don't think you're fighting the law/gov as much as making them take a step back and think for a minute. I've seen those go both ways, usually in favor of the person who has visuals or has a slow, deliberate manner that lays everything out. You might be unlucky though and still get a lazy "this is what it says, this is what i must do, I cannot compute" robot...

Your local folks are going to be key, not the state folks. It's harder to say something obviously erroneous/borderline stupid when the person is standing right in front of you. Those state/federal folks just type of what's easiest and hit send, common sense be darned sometimes:(

Edited by Black

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I've found that if you ask for help, it goes a long way towards accomplishing your goal.  If you approach the person in charge with a plea to help you through the process, and present them with evidence that it can be done, they might actually try to work with you.

But if you try to bully them into doing what you believe is right, they're just gonna shut down and tell you it can't be done.

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I don't disagree with what you guys are saying.  Unfortunately I won't know for certain until I am standing at the counter with a title and receipt in hand.  The system here is based on regional offices, its not like walking into your local town or county clerks office and having a nice chat. I just want to be sure I have a plan whichever way it goes.

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1 hour ago, rickeieio said:

I've found that if you ask for help, it goes a long way towards accomplishing your goal.  If you approach the person in charge with a plea to help you through the process, and present them with evidence that it can be done, they might actually try to work with you.

But if you try to bully them into doing what you believe is right, they're just gonna shut down and tell you it can't be done.

So , you really do 'catch' more smiles with honey than with vinegar ? ;) 

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