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Length issues?


Pete Kildow

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Have a question on the total length with HDTs with beds on them? AS the way I have been told and reading up on different states. When you put a bed on anything, your total length is from 60ft to 65ft in almost all states. Even commercial you would be in the same length for legal length. As when you add the bed your able to haul something. Thus your not a semi. Then being were all private. Were stuck in the shorter length limits. Not like commercial where they can run 300" Wheelbase trucks and 53ft trailers.

I know with my 41ft RV that is from pin to the ladder on back. I can only have a truck that is 22ft from the front bumper to where the king pin is on the bed Or 264". So how long does being able to haul a smart car make most peoples HDT? Reason I ask is I want to make sure I can meet that max length limit. As I fear were going to see more county's and states filling there pockets with those easy tickets.

I know lots of the hot shot trucks in Tx are getting tickets for being over 65ft. As there using a crew cab long bed Dodge with a 40ft gooseneck. That is 48ft long from pin or ball to back of the trailer. Also seeing lots more getting tickets in Tn these days for the same issue. Neighbor told me last week, to make sure mine was not over 65ft. As he is a Tn state trooper, and was told his Crew cab Chevy Kodiak with 44ft Toy hauler was not legal. :o And he told me to watch out for so and so. As he was writing tickets for anything that he could find.

I know in Ms I can be 90ft and Ar 90 ft. But man that is longer then I care to be when pulling a Rv and having fun. Guess I can hook the 19ft boat behind mine. And then they will not have to wonder if I'm over length. :blink:

 

Guess the states are trying to find all the cash they can find.

pete

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Pete,

 

You do bring up some points to ponder........

 

We tow various medium-length (22ft to 30ft) and at times even these trailer can "tickle" the magic 65ft mark.....

 

As more and funding-sources are sought by government the RV may become more of a target-market for "funding-enhancement"...........

 

I am somewhat ashamed that our modest "Dollytrolley" sometimes measures 64 ft 2 inches total length and our TOTAL 30 ft Dolly-box is obviously not a huge RV.......

 

Our Freightliner Century with the flat bed is about just shy of 25 ft total length but often we install the Dolly-Garage (Ex-Ryder Box) and then the "Shaker" is 34 ft from front bumper to hitch ball......

 

I have a few friends with 45 ft DP motor homes that tow 30ft to 34ft stacker trailers.......(they bypass California when towing)....

 

Last year in Yuma we met a Provost owner with a huge stacker trailer that was "pinched" hard in TX but he did not become upset he just had one of his company drivers stop by and tow his trailer over to AZ and then he hitched up and drove away..........most of us do not have "solutions' like the Provost owner has......

 

Our 20ft box sure is handy for storing Dolly-horse hay, water and tack plus a full size Blazer so we are spoiled somewhat but the length can be a issue when we head out to some horse camps........We do have a odd "solution" if the roads get to twisty and confined......we can un-hitch the trailer ....unload the Blazer......then hitch the Blazer to the trailer and it handles the close twisty back country towing with ease .......at moderate speeds.......

 

Yes indeed you did read that right ....we do carry a........spare tow rig.......no wonder we are a tad-long.......LOL

 

Lots of folks get away with fairly long rigs.....for now......

 

Points to ponder.....

 

Drive on........(How long is too.....long)

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I'm also new the the length issue. However, when I've read a few State laws and the rule is generally 65 or 75 feet overall length but then I read there is no overall length for tractor trailer combination but the trailer length is regulated. This rule appears to be allowed for the National Highway Network, Interstates and National Highways. I've read this in CA, TX, ID laws. Puzzled????

I would guess if your less than 65 feet you'll be okay on most roads but you'll need to the law for the road you're traveling.

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Your length will depend on what your truck size is, where your pin is located at and how long your trailer is from pin to rear.

 

MN maximum length of a 2 vehicle combination is 75' so we are legal here at approx 65' without a smart. We have our bed configured to haul a smart and we can move our hitch back to accommodate it. We would still be under our 75' maximum. Of course we would not be legal in other states that do not allow that length.

 

To be under 65' you may need a day cab or cab over like an Argosy or use a toy hauler and load smart in there or use a smaller trailer or pull a bumper pull trailer. Many choices or just take your chances.

 

Or don't put a bed on the truck and just use ramps for the smart.

Dave

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The no length restrictions only apply to commercial rigs. Non-commercial rigs (like our HDTs and 5ers) are subject to the state by state length restrictions. Many of the HDT crowd run over length and know they are taking a chance by doing so. Very few have ever been stopped for it and even fewer have been cited. This has been discussed many times in the past. I live in CA, and know that laws tend to be more strictly enforced by the CHP so I am more cognizant of my length and won't go over 65'. But there are others who have travelled through CA with long rigs and not had a problem.

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The no length restrictions only apply to commercial rigs. Non-commercial rigs (like our HDTs and 5ers) are subject to the state by state length restrictions. Many of the HDT crowd run over length and know they are taking a chance by doing so. Very few have ever been stopped for it and even fewer have been cited. This has been discussed many times in the past. I live in CA, and know that laws tend to be more strictly enforced by the CHP so I am more cognizant of my length and won't go over 65'. But there are others who have travelled through CA with long rigs and not had a problem.

 

I had a office for too many years next to the Beaver Coaches plant in Bend, OR.......

 

Many years ago Beaver got-sideways with the State of California when........all of a sudden the CA-DMV canceled the current registrations of a bunch of Beaver motor homes that Exceeded the max 45 Foot single RV limit in California.......

 

California would NOT relent so.........Beaver actually shortened the motor homes.......Gulp!!

 

So you see the recent canceled HDT registrations are not a new trick in California...........as they say......Don't mess with California.....or was it Tx......oh well......

 

Drive on........(Size might .......matter)

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Chad I'm sure you're correct and that the general thoght dictates what said about the unlimited length rule. However, the CA law talks about "large" truck and trailer combination. I didn't read the difference being Commercial or Non Commercial. Like I said I'm new and hope I never have to test this subject with the CHP. ;)

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I had a office for too many years next to the Beaver Coaches plant in Bend, OR.......

 

Many years ago Beaver got-sideways with the State of California when........all of a sudden the CA-DMV canceled the current registrations of a bunch of Beaver motor homes that Exceeded the max 45 Foot single RV limit in California.......

 

California would NOT relent so.........Beaver actually shortened the motor homes.......Gulp!!

 

So you see the recent canceled HDT registrations are not a new trick in California...........as they say......Don't mess with California.....or was it Tx......oh well......

 

Drive on........(Size might .......matter)

You're correct ... CA also talks about "House Car" and the rules for Converted HDT. It would be an interesting to see what CA would do with a new truck that's not converted but ordered new for Non Commercial Use, Not for Hire, and Motorhome use only.
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We have a 770 with smart on back. Hitch at far back. WB 206". Trailer 38' exactly. I keep it as short as possible. Total length 64'

 

I still would run with a 42' trailer if we made a change and never look back. ??

 

We have no issues visiting CA

 

We just are not on anyone's radar. But you can beat this type of thing to death like hauling he over width Smart We do that too. Possible violation yes. Likely no.

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Guess the states are trying to find all the cash they can find.

 

 

 

As more and funding-sources are sought by government the RV may become more of a target-market for "funding-enhancement"...........

 

LOL, I can't help but laugh every time I see this silly crap posted. I just laugh in amazement that supposedly intelligent people can come up with this BS. My paycheck does not depend on the number of citations I write. I get paid whether I issue tickets or warnings. I do not make a commission nor do I have a quota. You can bet your ass that I wish I made a commisiosn, cuz I would be like Larry-ak with a 2017 Volvo instead of a 2005. As a matter of fact, due to the fact that I enforce the federal commercial regs, it is stressed (heavily enough that I must document and justify doing otherwise) that I only issue 2 citations and no more than that. Gee how does that work if they are simply trying to create revenue?

Other than possibly some dinky little tiny "Mayberry" type town, most cops on the road are not worried about funding their agency, so where exactly do you two come up with these silly theories?

 

"You are just trying to make your quota!"

 

"Yup, two more tickets today and I get the microwave."

 

Why don't you stick with the facts, rather than your fictitious conspiracy theories? Oh, and BTW: The fact is that in Texas a motorhome/trtailer, truck/trailer or any other non-commercial combination of vehicles can only be 65ft in length no matter what road you are on. The reason that more and more enforcement is occurring on RV's is because more and more of them are very obviously pushing the length limits.

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I'm also new the the length issue. However, when I've read a few State laws and the rule is generally 65 or 75 feet overall length but then I read there is no overall length for tractor trailer combination but the trailer length is regulated. This rule appears to be allowed for the National Highway Network, Interstates and National Highways. I've read this in CA, TX, ID laws. Puzzled????

I would guess if your less than 65 feet you'll be okay on most roads but you'll need to the law for the road you're traveling.

A lot of this depends on whether the truck can haul cargo (bed, box, etc.), or whether it's simply a power unit to pull trailers. If simply a power unit and registered as a truck (in some places, commercial truck only, other places a private truck may also quality), it's the trailer length that matters, and National Network/federal regs may trump state regs in those cases. If the truck can carry cargo, overall vehicle length now matters.

 

To make things more complex, if commercial, 53' trailers may be allowed, but in some states you must also control the kingpin to axle distance. Most of those states measure from the pin to the centerline of the axles, so if tandem, it'd be the imaginary center point between the axles, etc. However, CA measures from the pin to the centerline of the REARMOST axle. Featherlite trailers says that trailers used in a motorsports capacity can be 46', though I've never found any sort of law/regulation that confirms this.

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I know lots of the hot shot trucks in Tx are getting tickets for being over 65ft. As there using a crew cab long bed Dodge with a 40ft gooseneck. That is 48ft long from pin or ball to back of the trailer. Also seeing lots more getting tickets in Tn these days for the same issue. Neighbor told me last week, to make sure mine was not over 65ft. As he is a Tn state trooper, and was told his Crew cab Chevy Kodiak with 44ft Toy hauler was not legal. :o And he told me to watch out for so and so. As he was writing tickets for anything that he could find.

 

Guess the states are trying to find all the cash they can find.

 

If you want to get down to details, it does NOT matter that it's a long bed. It only matters that it's a crew cab (which adds length over single/super cab), and where the hitch is. Any additional bed length doesn't count, as the trailer's longer than the bed and the measurement is overall.

 

As far as the "...he was writing tickets for anything that he could find", there's the rub as I see it: IF the officer could find it, THEN the operator had already committed the violation. It's really simple folks: obey the law. If you don't like the law, find some sufficient research that shows that the law is "wrong", and take it to your lawmakers to get it changed. Until then, obey the law.

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I'm also new the the length issue. However, when I've read a few State laws and the rule is generally 65 or 75 feet overall length but then I read there is no overall length for tractor trailer combination but the trailer length is regulated. This rule appears to be allowed for the National Highway Network, Interstates and National Highways. I've read this in CA, TX, ID laws. Puzzled????

I would guess if your less than 65 feet you'll be okay on most roads but you'll need to the law for the road you're traveling.

Larry, here is a pictorial explanation of the length laws in Texas. The difference (in Texas) is between a "truck" and a "truck tractor". A tractor is not designed to carry a load. Once you add anything that is load bearing, even just a platform for a smart to sit on, it is no longer a "tractor" (with some specific exceptions for car and boat haulers). The same goes for how it is "registered". A "tractor" registered with personal use license plates becomes a "truck" or a "motorhome". In commercial usage a "tractor" in Texas must have commercial registration like apportioned, combination, forestry, or farm plates, etc.

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Larry, here is a pictorial explanation of the length laws in Texas. The difference (in Texas) is between a "truck" and a "truck tractor". A tractor is not designed to carry a load. Once you add anything that is load bearing, even just a platform for a smart to sit on, it is no longer a "tractor" (with some specific exceptions for car and boat haulers). The same goes for how it is "registered". A "tractor" registered with personal use license plates becomes a "truck" or a "motorhome". In commercial usage a "tractor" in Texas must have commercial registration like apportioned, combination, forestry, or farm plates, etc.

 

Believe me I will "try" to be within 65 feet. Not challenging your expertise, your TX example is where the line gets blurred when using an HDT for private use. As shown in your example the only "Commercial" mentioned is for Auto/Boat transport. The Truck/Tractor example does not mention type of use and length is unlimited, the Trailer length is the regulating factor when combination.

As a newbie, I see how the relative small group of HDT RVer's could be identified with the Commercial Trucking industry or not. Still scratching my head ;) BTW you can buy new also, it's all about budgeting. ;)

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Larry, a "truck" can be used anyway you want it. It becomes commercial based on usage, size and/or registration. A "tractor", ie :HDT, (in Texas) is always a commercial vehicle unless it has been converted to personal use. There is no grey area there.

 

• Truck-tractor conversions that have fully self-contained accommodations for human
habitation will be classified as a motor home and registered as a passenger vehicle,
provided the vehicle will not be operated for commercial purposes. Such truck-tractors
conversions may only pull a recreational vehicle (boat, travel trailer, camper)
• When converted truck-tractors are used for hire, or to pull trailers that represent
commercial entities (racing vehicle trailer, competition horse trailer, vending trailer,
etc.), they are subject to the laws for commercial vehicles, and should be registered
with the appropriate license plates.
The reason they used the word "commercial" for auto and boat haulers is because they are the only "tractor" allowed to haul a load on the tractor and still be a "tractor". Any other "tractor" that hauls it's own load becomes a truck. Auto haulers are still allowed to be registered as "tractors" and given an exemption to the length laws for commercial usage. Using those vehicles in a non commercial application they would be "trucks" and would not be allowed the length exemption.

If you want to send me a PM or an email I can provide you answers and/or documentation for any of your Federal or Texas based questions. I've been actually doing this long enough to retire, not sitting at a desk answwering questions with a canned response. I can locate the documentation for your questions.....no sense in boring the masses. Just remember that the Federal Regs do not apply to you, so other than the exemptions listed in them that specifically exempt you from them, they really don't matter.

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Larry, a "truck" can be used anyway you want it. It becomes commercial based on usage, size and/or registration. A "tractor", ie :HDT, (in Texas) is always a commercial vehicle unless it has been converted to personal use. There is no grey area there.

 

Truck-tractor conversions that have fully self-contained accommodations for human

habitation will be classified as a motor home and registered as a passenger vehicle,

provided the vehicle will not be operated for commercial purposes. Such truck-tractors

conversions may only pull a recreational vehicle (boat, travel trailer, camper)

 

When converted truck-tractors are used for hire, or to pull trailers that represent

commercial entities (racing vehicle trailer, competition horse trailer, vending trailer,

etc.), they are subject to the laws for commercial vehicles, and should be registered

with the appropriate license plates.

 

The reason they used the word "commercial" for auto and boat haulers is because they are the only "tractor" allowed to haul a load on the tractor and still be a "tractor". Any other "tractor" that hauls it's own load becomes a truck. Auto haulers are still allowed to be registered as "tractors" and given an exemption to the length laws for commercial usage. Using those vehicles in a non commercial application they would be "trucks" and would not be allowed the length exemption.

 

If you want to send me a PM or an email I can provide you answers and/or documentation for any of your Federal or Texas based questions. I've been actually doing this long enough to retire, not sitting at a desk answwering questions with a canned response. I can locate the documentation for your questions.....no sense in boring the masses. Just remember that the Federal Regs do not apply to you, so other than the exemptions listed in them that specifically exempt you from them, they really don't matter.

Thanks for the insight. As a non resident of Texas, perhaps traveling through your State is where the line blurrs. Not knowing your State would classify "Truck Tractor" as Commerical only I would be a Happy-go-lucky Camper until stopped. Because I look Commercial I could be invited to pull over by a LEO. Me being prepared would show the LEO Texas law:

 

(22) "Truck tractor" means a motor vehicle designed and used primarily to draw another vehicle but not constructed to carry a load other than a part of the weight of the other vehicle and its load."

 

No mention of Commercial Use or not??? BUT could eliminate Smart Beds????

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Speaking of "Reprosity"

Be conscientious, I comply with my Home State laws regarding length. Then decide it's time to see America and decide in those States that I "may be" to long I travel only on the "National Highway Network". remember Private Citizen, Not for Hire, and Non Commerical. It would seem there would be some form of Reprosity because I would still be in compliance with my Home State licensing and registration laws. See my dilemma with blurred lines.

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Preciosity comes in registration and licensing. Length, width, and weight restriction are a function of the state with the highway. This is due to local conditions that have an effect on those standards.

 

Now the National Network is very extensive. Remember anything you buy comes on a truck to the store. You have the Right of Access to anyplace. This means you get as close to your destination on the National Network and then proceed to your destination. The same true in leaving. Of course the final leg to your destination might have low bridges, weak bridges.

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Preciosity comes in registration and licensing. Length, width, and weight restriction are a function of the state with the highway. This is due to local conditions that have an effect on those standards.

 

Now the National Network is very extensive. Remember anything you buy comes on a truck to the store. You have the Right of Access to anyplace. This means you get as close to your destination on the National Network and then proceed to your destination. The same true in leaving. Of course the final leg to your destination might have low bridges, weak bridges.

Exactly, I think.....if I depart from the National Network I have to make myself shorter, disconnect the trailer, to comply with some State's length issues.

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Exactly, I think.....if I depart from the National Network I have to make myself shorter, disconnect the trailer, to comply with some State's length issues.

 

Is that right? I thought as an RV, we would be subject to local regulations for length on the National Network as well as local roads.

 

Jim

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