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Class A

Bob & Cindy

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We have just ordered an Arctic Fox 29-5T 5th wheel

To pull it, we will order a 2016 F350 Diesel Dually when they become available.


We plan to move our domicile from Washington to Texas.


In reading here I see that if the GVWR is over 26000 we will need CDL's


5th wheel GVWR is 15700

Truck GVWR is 14000

total = 29700


Am I understanding this correctly?

What are the challenges in getting a class A

Does a class A have any costs associated with it? Insurance?


Thank You for your time,



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Welcome to the Escapee forums! We are happy to have you and look forward to you joining the club as well as becoming Texans! For current information on the driver's license requirements in TX I suggest that you read through the Texas DPS license classifications information. You won't need the CDL license but a class A(non CDL) Since there are many others on the forum who have those and I do not, I'll leave it to them to give you the details, since my knowledge mostly comes from them, since my RV doesn't require one. :)


One other thing which I believe that you will find to be helpful is to download a copy of the free booklet, How to Become A Real Texan from the Escapees RV Club website.

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One thing I will say that I hope you never need to know. IF you have a CDL in Texas and you do get a ticket for some moving violations like speeding you will NOT be able to take a defensive driving to remediate the ticket. I don't know if that applies in other states.

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Avoid getting the CDL (Commercial Drivers License) unless you are going to be driving a commercial vehicle, your RV will not require one, just as others have said the Class A licence.


Getting your Class A in Livingston seems like a decent idea as the folks there understand them and have a lot of experience. Getting one elsewhere, well the experience of the local office varies as will your experience with them.

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I agree that Livingston can be a good place to do the license. Like anywhere it can depend on how knowledgeable, effective , and busy any location is. In case you don't pass everything the first time how easy will be to return to retake. Some of the smaller more rural offices will have more limited times for the driving portion if you have to do it but conversly it may still be way easier than somewhere like Dallas where they are often swamped.

Pay attention to getting your permanent copy in the mail. Only ever happened 1 time but I renewed in Livingston once and got the temp. paperwork to show with my old license with a corner cut off and for some reason my replacement was not issued and the temp. paperwork expired and I was already out of state. I had a CDL at that time and I was concerned that it might have gone to the wrong person and if they used it and got citations I was not aware of I could end up with a warrent for arrest. It was a headache getting it reissued from out of state and didn't find out until 6 or so months later when I came back to the state that it had not been reissued but never did find out why. I did find out that if it is returned from your mail address it is supposed to be destroyed immediatly and I don't know if they try to give you notice. Maybe they think you croaked.

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Thanks to all,


It's a load off our minds knowing a CDL isn't required. After all we are supposed to be having fun!



But I believe you will need to get a Class A non-CDL license. Be sure to read through the Texas DOT link Kirk provided.

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That would influence my decision on what I buy, interesting.




A Texas Class A non-CDL driver's license isn't difficult to get. It requires a written test plus a driving test. I passed both in a town that required parallel parking with the fifth wheel attached, so if *I* can pass the test after only a brief lesson in how to back up a fifth wheel (which I had never done up to that point), anyone can pass it!


On the other hand, if you have a motorhome with a GVWR of 26,001 or more, you'll need a Class B non-CDL driver's license (as long as anything you're pulling weighs less than 10,000#...if more, you'll need to get the Class A non-CDL license).

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  • 3 weeks later...

In a couple weeks I hope to be in Livingston making the move from Illinois to TX. I have been studying the CDL Driving Manual for both IL and TX. The manuals are similar and two years ago I took the Non CDL Class A in Illinois and it was similar to car but with a longer wider vehicle but no parallel parking in IL. The big thing is Safety dealing your vehicle type, I'm hoping TX has a similar abbreviated written and Road Test.

My Illinois Driving test hard part was turning around by pulling an alley and backing out with some blind sight lines. Like all driving test a clean vehicle helps with demonstrates safety lights & such. Be prepared to answer a few odd questions about your vehicle operation.

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The manuals are similar and two years ago I took the Non CDL Class A in Illinois and it was similar to car but with a longer wider vehicle but no parallel parking in IL.


Not all places in Texas require you to parallel park in order to get a non-CDL Class A or B driver's license...Livingston doesn't. However, we took our tests in Van Horn and they did require it (we were on our way to Livingston to take the tests, but there were tornadoes happening between us and Livingston, so we decided not to continue our trek across Texas).

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