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Starting to plan the the BIG TRIP around the country so we know where to go next...I'm struggling with California a bit.

 

All hooked up, we're right at 70' overall length and from what I can tell, the limit for commercial vehicles is 65'. That may also apply to any vehicle, commercial or not. Permitting a non-commercial vehicle is, IMHO, tantamount to asking the IRS to review your tax returns for the last couple of years. Just not a good idea even if it would work. I want to go down 101 from Washington to below Morro Bay. (I know some of that is off limits to any traffic, let alone a HDT) Failing that, we would take I-5 and then try to find a way to Forestville, CA to visit friends. Anybody got advice on length?

 

Next, we're running a 2001 Volvo 770 autoshift with a D12 engine. Pre-emissions truck. I have seen a few comments on the forum regarding this, but what's the bottom line? Are we exempted because we're an RV (registered as MH), or grandfathered in, or because we're non-commercial. Anybody got the definitive answer for that?

 

And why does all this concern me? Well, tomorrow all California chickens, under a new law, have to have room to "stand up, sit down, turn around, and fully extend their wings". Col. Sanders is having a coronary, and the chickens are wearing sunglasses and singing "you put your right foot in, you put your right foot out, you put your right foot in and you shake it all about...)

 

I can guess how most folks or a LEO in most states would react to most things. California ? not so much

 

Thanks for the info

 

Paul

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Starting to plan the the BIG TRIP around the country so we know where to go next...I'm struggling with California a bit.

 

All hooked up, we're right at 70' overall length and from what I can tell, the limit for commercial vehicles is 65'. Well, you aren't commercial, so skip all that stuff! Yes, you are over-length so live with it and take your chances (as many of us do), or your travel days are going to be pretty short. (there have been a ton of discussions regarding that, so bone up on it and know what you're doing). That may also apply to any vehicle, commercial or not. Permitting a non-commercial vehicle is, IMHO, tantamount to asking the IRS to review your tax returns for the last couple of years. Just not a good idea even if it would work. I want to go down 101 from Washington to below Morro Bay. (I know some of that is off limits to any traffic, let alone a HDT) Failing that, we would take I-5 and then try to find a way to Forestville, CA to visit friends. Anybody got advice on length? Unless the road has a length restriction - you are a motorhome, forget the HDT stuff.

 

Next, we're running a 2001 Volvo 770 autoshift with a D12 engine. Pre-emissions truck. I have seen a few comments on the forum regarding this, but what's the bottom line? Are we exempted because we're an RV (registered as MH), or grandfathered in, or because we're non-commercial. Anybody got the definitive answer for that? Some of those comments have been from people who live there, and Chad is GREAT source. Check his postings.

 

And why does all this concern me? Well, tomorrow all California chickens, under a new law, have to have room to "stand up, sit down, turn around, and fully extend their wings". Col. Sanders is having a coronary, and the chickens are wearing sunglasses and singing "you put your right foot in, you put your right foot out, you put your right foot in and you shake it all about...) I agree, most anything can happen out there and I have been through it a couple of times in the last few years without a problem. But hopefully you won't be the first one reporting back where it was a major issue. I like beef anyway!!

 

I can guess how most folks or a LEO in most states would react to most things. California ? not so much Remember, it's still how you react to them. Their just doing a job, and most are just curious about our setup, if they haven't seen many.

 

Thanks for the info

 

Paul

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Over the past 5 years with the HDT I have been thru California several times. I personally have never had any issues. Like always I never stop at the scales as they do not apply to non-commercial vehicles. Just remember the speed limit for any vehicle pulling a trailer is 55mph.

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And to stay in the far right lane unless to pass, merge or exit the highway! I have no idea where you'll be entering California but I-10 and I-8 are major speed traps at the border. Set the cruise at 55mph and make sure you do everything by the book. I've been harassed twice for speed in Blythe and had friends on I-8 ticketed for going 58-62 mph!

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My experience is a bit dated now - we were in and out of CA in '12. But for what it is worth, I emailed CALTRANS and asked if I could purchase an over length permit - given that I'm not commercial. Answer is no, because you are not commercial. They hoped we "found a solution because our travel plans sounded like fun."

 

We decided to risk it and entered the first time on I-10, went to Joshua Trees/Palm Springs then over to Death Valley spending about 2 weeks in the state. Came back about 6 weeks later over Tioga pass (I don't recommend pulling your rig this route) and through the tunnels out of Yosemite to the Escapee COOP at Coarsegold. We were there for about 3 or 4 weeks while exploring Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks - drove the truck all over and through these areas as our daily driver. When we left Coarsegold we stopped over in Tracy on our way to Sacramento where we stayed a week - again driving all over with the truck. Let Sacramento and made our way over to 101N to spend about a week in the Crescent City area before leaving CA for Oregon on 101.

 

I don't think we ever even saw CHP and certainly we were not bothered. We had a good time in CA and really enjoyed our time with the folks at Park of the Sierras in Coarsegold. I think the advice you've been given is about the best you can hope for. There are several HDT'ers who run the CA roads frequently and I don't recall any reports of issues YET.

 

PLEASE NOTE PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT A GUARANTEE OF FUTURE EXPERIENCES

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See my comments embedded in your post.

 

Starting to plan the the BIG TRIP around the country so we know where to go next...I'm struggling with California a bit.

 

All hooked up, we're right at 70' overall length and from what I can tell, the limit for commercial vehicles is 65'. That may also apply to any vehicle, commercial or not. Permitting a non-commercial vehicle is, IMHO, tantamount to asking the IRS to review your tax returns for the last couple of years. Just not a good idea even if it would work. I want to go down 101 from Washington to below Morro Bay. (I know some of that is off limits to any traffic, let alone a HDT) Failing that, we would take I-5 and then try to find a way to Forestville, CA to visit friends. Anybody got advice on length? To start with, you are not commercial, so don't look at the commercial rules. The overall length restriction for a vehicle and trailer combination is 65' in CA. At 70' feet, you are over length, but will most likely not have any issues. Commercial vehicles can be over 65' on the national network in CA, so LEO's are used to seeing rigs your size or longer and typically don't bother them. This is not to say that it won't happen, but it is unlikely, especially on the highways or interstates.

 

If you come down I5, cut over on Highway 20 in Williams. It will take you to Highway 101 and is easily passable with your rig (I drive it regularly). I live in Lake County (which 20 cuts through) so it will also take you fairly close to my place. Feel free to say hi when you are in the area. Forestville is a small town and you may have some issues maneuvering with your rig there. It depends on where exactly in Forestville you need to get to.

 

Next, we're running a 2001 Volvo 770 autoshift with a D12 engine. Pre-emissions truck. I have seen a few comments on the forum regarding this, but what's the bottom line? Are we exempted because we're an RV (registered as MH), or grandfathered in, or because we're non-commercial. Anybody got the definitive answer for that? Your Volvo is a motorhome. Motorhomes are exempt from CARB emission requirements in CA. You have nothing to worry about. There are idling restrictions though, so don't leave your motorhome idling for long periods of time when you stop.

 

And why does all this concern me? Well, tomorrow all California chickens, under a new law, have to have room to "stand up, sit down, turn around, and fully extend their wings". Col. Sanders is having a coronary, and the chickens are wearing sunglasses and singing "you put your right foot in, you put your right foot out, you put your right foot in and you shake it all about...) There are more laws than you can shake a stick at in CA. If a LEO is looking for a violation, they can usually find one.

 

I can guess how most folks or a LEO in most states would react to most things. California ? not so much. For the most part, you will be left alone. Just don't do anything to draw unwanted attention to yourself. Don't speed is the biggest one. Any vehicle pulling a trailer is restricted to 55 mph in CA. I do run between 60 and 62 usually on the interstate and have never had an issue, but I know I am taking a chance.

 

Thanks for the info

 

Paul

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I don't want to ruin you trip so I will just say - if stopped KISS A$$ and I mean get down on your knees and do it!!!!! I don't think you will get stopped for length, you need to get a CHP with a attitude or do something stupid.

I don't think it is part of the USA, they kinda do there own thing.

I like the Carson City Idea. I have kids in ca and park in Verdi, NV (500 a month) and drive over HY 80.

That said, it is beautiful country between Mexico and Oregon.

 

Ted

 

PS fill up before going into CA, new gas tax hits today I think..

 

 

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The way I read it is its only the king pin to axle length which is the restriction (on most roads), over all length I believe is just a registration type. Every long huller in CA is the same length as me (70+')........

 

http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/engineering/trucks/truck-length-routes.htm

 

I have never been hassled in CA (touch wood), and I also ways transversed the weight stations (just so they don't chase me down and waste my time that way)

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As usual, there are lot's of laws out there, and these mainly focus on "Trucks". Not a word mentioned about 5th wheel trailers (outside of commercial trailers), or anything about triple axles. Even in the motorhome section, nothing is mentioned about the motorhome towing a trailer. 45' max length on motorhome (which most all of us will qualify), but nowhere mentioned outside of semi-tractor total length, about how long you can be with your motorhome towing a trailer.

Unless we all (LEO and you alongside the road) agree that you fall under the "Green" STAA truck rules (which we don't), that is the only way we have unlimited length.

 

I know I remember seeing the new KPRA law when it came in, but again nothing was mentioned at that time about overall length! So if we fall under the KPRA, and most all of us should, then I'm not going to worry about length.

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As usual, there are lot's of laws out there, and these mainly focus on "Trucks". Not a word mentioned about 5th wheel trailers (outside of commercial trailers), or anything about triple axles. Even in the motorhome section, nothing is mentioned about the motorhome towing a trailer. 45' max length on motorhome (which most all of us will qualify), but nowhere mentioned outside of semi-tractor total length, about how long you can be with your motorhome towing a trailer.

Rocky, It is there but you just have to look a bit harder. :)

 

35400. (a) A vehicle may not exceed a length of 40 feet.

 

35400.6. (a) Subdivision (a) of Section 35400 does not apply to a

fifth-wheel travel trailer that does not exceed the following

lengths:

(1) Forty-eight feet in length from the foremost point of the

trailer to the rear extremity of the trailer.

(2) ( A ) For a fifth-wheel travel trailer with a single axle, 38

feet in length from the kingpin to the rearmost axle.

( B ) For a fifth-wheel travel trailer with two or more axles, 40

feet in length from the kingpin to the rearmost axle.

 

 

35401. (a) Except as provided in subdivisions ( b ), ( c ), and ( d ), a

combination of vehicles coupled together, including attachments, may

not exceed a total length of 65 feet.

( b ) (1) A combination of vehicles coupled together, including

attachments, that consists of a truck tractor, a semitrailer, and a

semitrailer or trailer, may not exceed a total length of 75 feet, if

the length of neither the semitrailers nor the trailer in the

combination of vehicles exceeds 28 feet 6 inches.

(2) A B-train assembly is excluded from the measurement of

semitrailer length when used between the first and second

semitrailers of a truck tractor-semitrailer-semitrailer combination

of vehicles. However, if there is no second semitrailer mounted to

the B-train assembly, it shall be included in the length measurement

of the semitrailer to which it is attached.

( c ) (1) A tow truck in combination with a single disabled vehicle

or a single abandoned vehicle that is authorized to travel on the

highways by this chapter is exempt from subdivision (a) when

operating under a valid annual transportation permit.

(2) A tow truck, in combination with a disabled or abandoned

combination of vehicles that are authorized to travel on the highways

by this chapter, is exempt from subdivision (a) when operating under

a valid annual transportation permit and within a 100-mile radius of

the location specified in the permit.

(3) A tow truck may exceed the 100-mile radius restriction imposed

under paragraph (2) if a single trip permit is obtained from the

Department of Transportation.

( d ) A city or county may, by ordinance, prohibit a combination of

vehicles of a total length in excess of 60 feet upon highways under

its respective jurisdiction. The ordinance may not be effective until

appropriate signs are erected indicating either the streets affected

by the ordinance or the streets not affected, as the local authority

determines will best serve to give notice of the ordinance.

 

Chad may correct me, but the way I read all of this, it says your 5th wheel can not be more than 48 ft from front cap to rear bumper (or 40 feet in length from the kingpin to the rearmost axle) and your combination can not exceed 65 ft in total length.

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I was in California July of this year. Had no problems towing. I did get a ticket for "commercial vehicle parked on residential street". I wrote a statement and copied my registration. They upheld it after I left. It was about money.

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So like I said when the law was passed, California has, by law, created a situation where a 48 ft 5th wheel has to be towed by a vehicle of not more that 17 ft long (ok, 19 ft if 2' overlap) which in part will mean that the tow vehicle is not the safest vehicle to be put in that position. Which of course creates danger to the general public. Great law!!!

 

Big5er, I thought that's how I read it the first time. Thanks for finding the "parts".

 

On edit: by the way, the shortest 2015 F450 is 227.6 inches. Just under 19 ft. Now of course you will be shorter than 65' because your hitch will have to be over that axle. These are all the things I looked at before I got educated at my first HDT Rally in Hutch. You won't find me towing a 48 footer with that truck! Even my 42 footer.

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Guest Lostinaz

California-yeah

One time I was going south on 101 between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara about 4 in the morning in the winter.

They have these long frontage roads along 101 on the ocean side. I pulled off the freeway to take a leak and pour a cup of coffee and wake up a little so I didn't wreck, I was there about twenty minutes. All of a sudden there was some kind of a park ranger beating on my door. There was nobody around for miles and he said that I was taking up two parking spaces and I needed to pay him 13 dollars. I told him I just stopped for a minute and wasn't staying. He didn't care about that and started to chimp out and have a fit. He said if I didn't pay him the 13 dollars he would call the CHP. I paid him cash and left.

Welcome to California.

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Big5er has it right. A regular vehicle combination of tow vehicle and trailer (something other than a commercial rig on the national network) can only be 65 feet total in CA.


California Legal Length: The 65-foot maximum length limit for vehicle combinations is codified in CVC Secton 35401 which is copied here in part:


35401. (a) "... a combination of vehicles coupled together, ..., may not exceed a total length of 65 feet."


Big5er also has the trailer lengths correct for recreational 5th wheels - 48 feet overall length (front cap to rear end) and not more than 40 feet from king pin to rearmost axle.


HERO Maker mentioned STAA rules. As HERO Maker also stated, they do not apply to us because we are not commercial, but here they are in part:


STAA Truck & Routes: The overall length and semitrailer length limits for STAA trucks, and the State and local authority to identify routes, are codified in CVC Section 35401.5(a) which is copied here in part:


35401.5. (a) "A combination of vehicles consisting of a truck tractor and semitrailer, or of a truck tractor, semitrailer, and trailer, is not subject to the limitations of Sections 35400 and 35401, when operating on the" ... (National Network) ... "or when using routes appropriately identified by the Department of Transportation or local authorities as provided in subdivision © or (d), if all of the following conditions are met: (1) The length of the semitrailer in exclusive combination with a truck tractor does not exceed 48 feet. A semitrailer not more than 53 feet in length shall satisfy this requirement when configured with two or more rear axles, the rearmost of which is located 40 feet or less from the kingpin or when configured with a single axle which is located 38 feet or less from the kingpin. ..."



The only people that will run afoul of the recreational 5th wheel trailer length limits are those who build custom trailers based on a 53 foot semi trailer (or something longer than 48 feet). I don't know of anyone with a recreational style 5th wheel trailer on that style frame that is bigger than 46 feet or so (there may be some, but I am not aware of them). I know Spacecraft and others build long trailers, but these are usually based on semi trailer style frames. There are a few 53 foot semi style conversions like cd084 has here on the forum. You can still do this legally in CA, but you would have to run commercial and follow all the commercial rules to do it legally. This would also restrict you to certain routes.


All of this still hinges on a few things though. First you would have to get stopped for some reason. Then the LEO that stopped you would have to be familiar with these rules, which unless they are a commercial enforcement officer with specialized training or an enthusiast with a the desire to do the research like me, is unlikely. Most commercial enforcement officers won't bother with anything that looks like an RV, unless they are targeting race teams or the like trying to skirt the commercial rules (like Big5er has been know to do ;) )


Just as an aside, all the LEOs that I know and work with have no idea about this stuff because they don't ever deal with it. Heck, when I point out licensing requirements related to trailer weight to the LEO's I know that have heavy 5th wheels over 15000 lbs, they have no idea they are driving out of class (until I tell them they are :blink: ).


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One thing to be aware in California is Health Certificates if your trailers rated weight is over 14.5K. I don't know the ins and outs of it but I do know that people get harassed over not having one when they have a triple axle trailer. Maybe someone here knows the specifics. My trailer is only rated at 14K so I haven't done any research on the specifics.

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One thing to be aware in California is Health Certificates if your trailers rated weight is over 14.5K. I don't know the ins and outs of it but I do know that people get harassed over not having one when they have a triple axle trailer. Maybe someone here knows the specifics. My trailer is only rated at 14K so I haven't done any research on the specifics.

I would doubt that law would apply to an out-of-state plated vehicle, but I could be wrong..... Chad???

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Geez Fellers, this was just supposed to be a couple of relatively simple questions.

 

Let me ask one more. We should be coming south out of Seattle / Portland on I-5. Looks like about 60 - 80 miles south of Portland we could take Hwy 20 west to US 101. We would follow that down to the US 101 - US 1 split. We'd stay with US-1 to Sonoma Coast State Park at RT 116 where we'd cut over to Forestville to see friends. There is a campground there we should be able to get in with a little manuevering effort.

 

However, the map makes US 1 look like it might be a little bit of a challenge with our rig. For a hobby I drive a Tri-Axle dump truck for a friend, over some stupidly narrow, steep, and curvy county roads. I'm not too concerned about the drive provided that you can actually make the turns without having to stop, backup, and re-orient the truck. Has anybody made this drive? Are there road restrictions for length, weight, width, or height other that the usual 65', 80,000#, 102" width, or 13' ? I'm not talking about the law necessarily, but driving on a road with miles of overhanging branches beating the paint off the truck is no fun. I've had to drive the dump truck over a 3 ton limit bridge when I weighed 40 tons, and I have the pucker marks in the seat to prove it. I'm looking to tribal knowledge about this route.

 

Chad? Hero?

 

Thanks

Paul & Paula

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I would not remotely consider taking our rig on Hwy1 from Leggett to the coast. We pulled a 30' pull trailer through there and it was miserable. Numerous 180 degree blind corners and we dragged the back of our trailer on one corner. Saw numerous "slow to 15" signs. VERY scenic but VERY crooked and narrow in places.

 

Immediately after turning onto Hwy 1, from 101, there was a sign about maximum recommended length but you are already committed and there is nowhere to turn around. From north of Fort Bragg towards the south it wasn't bad (but not good either).

 

Not that it directly affects you but Calif prohibits buses and motorhomes over 40' on this route (http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/engineering/bus-motorhome/bus-maps/busmap-d01.pdf)

 

Hwy 101 is very doable that whole route.

 

Walkerl

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The only medical certificate that I know of is required for CDL holders. If you do not have or need a CDL, and your vehicle is not commercial as registered in your home state, I do not believe that any other state can require you to obtain anything other than a valid license of the type required by your state.

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The only medical certificate that I know of is required for CDL holders. If you do not have or need a CDL, and your vehicle is not commercial as registered in your home state, I do not believe that any other state can require you to obtain anything other than a valid license of the type required by your state.

Hey Big;

 

Did you mean for this to go here? Maybe a different thread?

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