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getting a law changed


runaway parents

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So here is food for thought. How about getting the law changed to allow hdt owners pull another trailer behind there fifth wheel.In Washington State. What would it take. Seems like an out dated law. This could be very interesting .Don't know where to begin. But I would like to give it a shot. Any body got any ideas ? What do ya think can it be accomplished .Or would I be spinning my wheels. And wasting my time.

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Runaway, just my opinion.....it's hard to fight city hall but it all depends on who you can convince that your idea is a good one. It takes considerable time, influence and hard work to bring about changes in law. Nothing is impossible but some things may mot be worth the time. money and effort required. Talking to legislators about this might give you a pretty good indication of what would be required to make this change in the law. A big bag of money to contribute to politicians war chests might make them think your idea is a good one. Remember......just my 2 cents worth. Be safe, Charlie

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In some states, the head of the Department of Transportation can generate regulations. They also can submit new legislation for the legislature to consider. Usually, you need a legislator to take on your cause and submit a new bill.

 

Two things drive most state legislation: safety and revenue. Double towing doesn't fall into those categories.

 

Another point of interest for legislators in tourism, which becomes revenue.

 

Before states go very far on new vehicle type legislation, they check with the other states to see what is going on. The DOT meet at least once a year on changes in the vehicle world.

 

You could build your case by determining which other states allow double towing and what limitations they have. Then find your local representative and meet with him.

 

Michigan allows double towing and has bumped they total RV length to 75' The length issue i probably as important as the second trailedr.

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I'd also think there is some risk involved. When politicians find out normal people are pulling big trailers with Class 8 trucks and it doesn't require a CDL they might see that as a loophole that needs closed. You might get your double tow but they also might require that any HDT driver have a CDL.

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Seems like an out dated law.

Outdated? Say What? Everything's getting built up all around us. I can't see how roads today have more space for the turning radius needed for double trailers than roads of yesteryear.

 

At a bigger level, what are you trying to accomplish? Something even longer than 65' as a double-trailer rig? In WA, forget about it right away. There's already room in the law on the commercial side for an AB train, which is a semi-trailer (A) with its own fifth wheel hitch, and a second trailer (B) can be hitched to the first. Still has to fit within length laws, so it really only exists for weight and/or logistics. But hey, just upgrade to a CDL with the T endorsement for double/triple trailers, and put your rig into a commercial setup.

 

Ever been behind a set of doubles, those 28' trailers with a converter dolly in between? The whip effect at the back from any sort of steering input up front is more than if it was a 53' trailer. Even with a traditional commercial hitch position over/before the drive axles, the axle position on a 5er will make the whip effect on a second trailer that much worse than 28' doubles. Really, it's not outdated, it's there for a reason. Have two trailers? Make two trips.

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Peety, apparently you have not followed an RV set of doubles. There is no converter between the trailers eliminating one connection point, and with my little 28' fiver when I put my 16' boat on the back if the first trailer clears the second one will clear also due to the swing on the fiver. I have had friends follow me and they said the second trailer is about as steady as you can get. The second trailer has a solid mount to the first, no different that hooking the second to a truck. Pulling two trailers is really quite easy. The only thing to watch for is making sure you don't have to back up.

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How could we be considered commercial? I, we get 0 dollars for towing our homes.

Obviously you have never read the legal definition of a commercial motor vehicle. RV's (used strictly for personal and recreational use) get an EXEMPTION from the laws governing CMV's because we (HDT RV's) already fit the definition. Plus, to force us to have a CDL doesn't mean that we are "commercial" in the sense that we make money, it just means we are driving vehicles that fit the definition. Some day some politician will notice that we are driving the same type and size of vehicle, pulling trailers that are roughly the same size and we are, for the most part, totally unregulated. And he will decide that we need to be as regulated as every other large truck. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon or a brain scientist to see the writing on the wall. One day, as our hobby grows, it will happen. We will all be required CDL's, log books and medical certificates, etc.

 

Peety, apparently you have not followed an RV set of doubles. There is no converter between the trailers eliminating one connection point, and with my little 28' fiver when I put my 16' boat on the back if the first trailer clears the second one will clear also due to the swing on the fiver. I have had friends follow me and they said the second trailer is about as steady as you can get. The second trailer has a solid mount to the first, no different that hooking the second to a truck. Pulling two trailers is really quite easy. The only thing to watch for is making sure you don't have to back up.

Well I have followed several RV's towing doubles. And Peety is absolutely right. Most of them are so obviously unsafe it makes you cringe. Your set-up may be just fabulous but many more are not. You are an exception. You do not see "sway control" units being marketed to commercial vehicles pulling a second trailer with a towdolly, but you see them all the time being used on RV's. Why? What is the need for this aftermarket set up for small bumper pull trailers?

 

We already have RVers here knowingly towing over length with one trailer. We have had many towing doubles, knowingly over length also. You mention a 28ft trailer and a 16ft boat which may be all fine and wonderful (and legal in my state), but we have (some past tense) members here towing 38ft+ trailers towing 12ft+ vehicles behind that. I'm with Peety on this one.

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Stan asked that we might have to get a cdl for law changes. That is why I asked the question. There is nothing commercial about us, we tow our homes. This is purely recreation/personal.

Glenn, As I stated, we already fit the definition. Your reply was "There is nothing commercial about us". That is a statement, not a question. If you want to question my statement I will spell it out for you. You could have looked this up yourself if you had tried.

 

Straight from the FMCSR's (and most states echo the Federal definitions):

Commerce means (a) any trade, traffic or transportation within the jurisdiction of the United States between a place in a State and a place outside of such State, including a place outside of the United States and (b ) trade, traffic, and transportation in the United States which affects any trade, traffic, and transportation described in paragraph (a) of this definition.

Hmm, aren't we engaged in "transportation"?

 

And

Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle:

 

(1) Has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more), whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds), whichever is greater; or

2) Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of 11,794 or more kilograms (26,001 pounds or more), whichever is greater; or

(3) Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver;

 

Isn't your trailer "property? Isn't towing your trailer (property) down the roadway considered "transportation"?

And don't our trucks have a gvwr of more that 26,001 lbs?

 

Congratulation!!! You are driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle !!!!!

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...Some day some politician will notice that we are driving the same type and size of vehicle, pulling trailers that are roughly the same size and we are, for the most part, totally unregulated. And he will decide that we need to be as regulated as every other large truck. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon or a brain scientist to see the writing on the wall. One day, as our hobby grows, it will happen. We will all be required CDL's, log books and medical certificates, etc.

 

Stan asked that we might have to get a cdl for law changes. That is why I asked the question. There is nothing commercial about us, we tow our homes. This is purely recreation/personal.

 

I wasn't looking at it from a commercial standpoint. Big5er said it well. Earlier Mark Bruss said legislation is normally driven by safety and revenue. Truckers pay a lot of fees that we don't. Truckers have to have a CDL and the required driving training that goes along with it. We don't. Politicians might see us as a source of untapped revenue and potentially unsafe since we are officially 'untrained'.

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In Cali, if a truck, even a LDT has a GVWR of 10,001# it must be registered as a commercial vehicle. In addition, if that vehicle has some type of bed that indicates that it is used in a commercial enterprise(utility bed) then the truck must also carry CA #s, which provide the state with cause to charge for weight fees depending on the use fo that vehicle. In my case, I used to tow a 20' enclosed trailer with concrete tools and supplies. That trailer caused my GVWR to be 20K#. After my father got sick and I had to reduce my workload, I no longer could afford the fees, so sold the truck and trailer, but the last registration I got for it charged me over $400/YR for weight fee and $357/YR on the registration for the truck. The trailer was an additional fee. And this was on a 5 year old truck!!

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Glenn, As I stated, we already fit the definition. Your reply was "There is nothing commercial about us". That is a statement, not a question. If you want to question my statement I will spell it out for you. You could have looked this up yourself if you had tried.

 

Straight from the FMCSR's (and most states echo the Federal definitions):

Hmm, aren't we engaged in "transportation"?

 

And

Isn't your trailer "property? Isn't towing your trailer (property) down the roadway considered "transportation"?

And don't our trucks have a gvwr of more that 26,001 lbs?

 

Congratulation!!! You are driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle !!!!!

My dually was according to that.

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My dually was according to that.

Your HDT alone fits the definition, your dually probably would not. But depending on the weight of your dually and your trailer, then it is very possible for the dually/trailer combination to qualify.

 

So, while we technically fit the definition, we are given exemptions based strictly on our usage. There is no need for complicated legislation to create new laws to cover our "RV's", they only need to remove an exemption from the existing regulations and all that takes is for the director of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to say "make it so". It is actually a bit more complicated than that but not much more. The FMCSA board holds a few conferences, and some in-formal hearings and they vote on it...and then it is law.

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Out here on the edge of Death Valley it has cooled down to only 106 f today.........but whenever the thread pops up regarding CDL's, or commercial trucking the temps seem to make the temps in Death Valley seem darn right freezing.........

 

The only time I ever double tow is when Dolly-the-paint-horse is tied to the hitch ring on the back of the Dolly-hauler (only then do we exceed 64 ft by Dolly's 7 ft .....unless her 3 ft tail is sticking out......(watch your step)).......

 

Flame away folks .......I have frozen Dr. P cubes that lowers the temps of Death Valley just fine.......

 

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

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In Cali, if a truck, even a LDT has a GVWR of 10,001# it must be registered as a commercial vehicle. In addition, if that vehicle has some type of bed that indicates that it is used in a commercial enterprise(utility bed) then the truck must also carry CA #s, which provide the state with cause to charge for weight fees depending on the use fo that vehicle. In my case, I used to tow a 20' enclosed trailer with concrete tools and supplies. That trailer caused my GVWR to be 20K#. After my father got sick and I had to reduce my workload, I no longer could afford the fees, so sold the truck and trailer, but the last registration I got for it charged me over $400/YR for weight fee and $357/YR on the registration for the truck. The trailer was an additional fee. And this was on a 5 year old truck!!

 

 

10,001 GVWR ??

 

EVERY 'truck' in CA is REQUIRED to have commercial plates

 

The '65 El Camino (purchased in 1966) required commercial plates.

 

Same for ity-bitty imports - like a Datsun.

 

NO private trucks - or non-commercial.

Doesn't matter if you only carry a bag of *your* groceries in the bed.

 

With minor exceptions (most gone now), In CA - every 'truck' is required to have commercial plates.

 

Exceptions were few and far between, (mostly gone now) Ex: a permanently mounted shell on a pickup.

 

Remove the bed from any size pickup and replace with a utility body or a stake bed - and you are now *required* to stop at scales!

 

Think REVENUE

 

BTW - sorry Glenn, LOL!

 

.

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Peety, apparently you have not followed an RV set of doubles. There is no converter between the trailers eliminating one connection point, and with my little 28' fiver when I put my 16' boat on the back if the first trailer clears the second one will clear also due to the swing on the fiver.

Change up the configuration all you want...it's not about the presence/absence of the converter dolly, it's the fact that RV trailers have far more tail overhang than commercial trailers used in any sort of double-tow configuration. Maybe you're lucky that your rig doesn't amplify the whip effect, but simple math suggests that it will, regardless of configuration.

 

Configuration aside, in my eyes, it's simple: go get the T endorsement before you consider pulling two trailers behind one power unit. Anything less is illegal. Stay within the length laws as dictated for your particular combination. Anything less is illegal. If you choose to drive an illegal combination, and you happen to wreck into me, your wallet is the least of your worries...

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I still don't understand why you expect a whip effect. The only time that would happen is when I would whip the steering wheel. My fiver trailer absolutely does not sway and therefore the second trailer does not sway tail swing or not. I highly doubt my set up is an exception but is more the norm. However, if you feel they are unsafe, then you are certainly welcome to your opinion and I will go by my personal experience. Considering I pull my two trailers in northern Minnesota I highly doubt there is any possibility of me crashing into you and will continue to pull my two trailers with the State of Minnesota's approval.

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I am TOTALLY not worried about any of the HDTers on here causing an accident with their double tows. What I am worried about is the 3/4 ton LDT pulling a 35' 5r and a 16' cargo trailer that whipped by me at 75+ MPH down in FL. OR...the single axle trailer pulled by a little VW, that was whipping all over, bouncing from wheel to wheel, scattering stuff all down the road....

 

IMO, its not the rig so much as the operator who controls safety. Unfortunately you can't have a Law that says "Can only be operated by a thinking individual with safe driving skills". So they make laws to "control" the more obvious "problem children". Then they move to the next worst, then the next worst....and finally there is no kids left "free". Just another case of "zero tolerance" in the beaurocracy.

 

And I don't see any problem with this thread...good discussion. Helps us all understand how laws work and get more info.

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I am TOTALLY not worried about any of the HDTers on here causing an accident with their double tows. What I am worried about is the 3/4 ton LDT pulling a 35' 5r and a 16' cargo trailer that whipped by me at 75+ MPH down in FL. OR...the single axle trailer pulled by a little VW, that was whipping all over, bouncing from wheel to wheel, scattering stuff all down the road....

 

IMO, its not the rig so much as the operator who controls safety. Unfortunately you can't have a Law that says "Can only be operated by a thinking individual with safe driving skills". So they make laws to "control" the more obvious "problem children". Then they move to the next worst, then the next worst....and finally there is no kids left "free". Just another case of "zero tolerance" in the beaurocracy.

 

And I don't see any problem with this thread...good discussion. Helps us all understand how laws work and get more info.

 

In Euro land to put a trailer of any type with any vehicle you have to have an endorsement. And their equipment standards are a lot tougher than ours here in NA. May not be all that long before we find ourselves in the same spot.

I don't tow double for personal reasons because I don't have any trailer short enough. But I do push the RV/Commercial line alot. I have a 36' flatbed trailer I haul grain and straw with. Each trip is twice a year and 700 miles round trip. Feeds my hobby farm. No product is sold. But i'm sure it would be hard to prove that fact on the side of the road when I tell CMVE why i'm hauling 12,000 lbs of grain and 8 round bales of straw and hay with my "RV".

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