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cube
02-11-2011, 03:28 PM
a class RV what driving licence needed also recovery service and cost and recommendations, also towing, what you can and not tow thanks

Chuck v
02-11-2011, 05:36 PM
Cube,

No special drivers license is needed here in Oregon, but I know that California requires one for coaches 40 feet in length and up, perhaps other states do as well... California does recognize my Oregon license when I travel there. They have some odd limits on how far off "major highways" one can take a coach over 40 feet in length. :(

What particular class A motor home are you contemplating? The full sized diesel pusher coaches can typically tow up to 10,000 pounds, but most states also have a combined vehicle length limit, so towing a long race car enclosed trailer *might* be an issue -- I have an acquaintance that has a 38 foot GS Crescendo when he really wanted a TourMaster, but his race trailer would have been too long on the 42 foot coach. Here is a good resource:
http://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm

I am unfamiliar with your terminology "recovery service and cost and recommendations" so please elaborate/explain...

Chuck

cube
02-11-2011, 05:52 PM
hi chuck thanks for your reply but hoping for info from the uk owners cheers

Chuck v
02-11-2011, 06:07 PM
OK...guess I overlooked your location when I made my first reply. :oops:

I suppose this really emphasizes the "two countries separated by a common language" saying we hear all the time. Recovery service must be akin to vehicle and liability insurance here.

From what I have seen riding on rural roads near Colechester, perhaps my 42 foot coach would be a bit too large for comfortable driving in the UK. (Although the full size tour buses in Oslo and surrounds seem to fit the roads, I was very glad to leave the driving to the local professionals.)

Chuck

ummalterman
03-01-2011, 10:17 PM
Hi! cube, First things first...welcome to this forum, I've been registered a while now, having bought our RV just over a year ago and have found very useful info..
I think it helps forum readers if you list what kind of rig you have and I for one, jump to any posts with the same rig as me. Just a suggestion.

As I don't know if this is your first RV, or you're an old hand at it, I risk "Teaching my grandmother how to suck eggs" as the saying goes, so please forgive me if that's the case, plus any advice I give out is purely based on my own experience...I'm no expert.

I decided about 20 years ago that a big motorhome was the way to go and spent literally years trying to convert an old Ford coach, which I sold for scrap after ten years, never again! We bought our Sunvoyager DP after driving to Scotland and looking at RVs with a £10,000 difference in price, after seeing one at £16,000 then a Holiday Rambler at £26,000 we decided to go for the higher quality/heavier type chassis, no contest. However, this is the problem over here. I have a HGV (LGV) licence, (old class 3 -rigids only) now called a Class C +E, which means I can drive any weight rigid AND a drawbar trailer, but not artics.

I'm 59 now and you have to take a medical every five years to keep the licence. Although I've not driven trucks for a living for about 25 years. (We did own a 7.5 tonner for a while to use for business/convert to a camper-never came off, predictably) I've kept up the HGV licence for the simple reason I may want to drive a truck again or for the RV we'd planned for many years.

In the Uk forums there's a lot of banter about this issue, there's also a lot of RV's for sale stating non-hgv or "car licence" and a lot of this is just lies. This confusion is because you could state, "Well, this isn't a heavy GOODS vehicle...it's a private vehicle" being a motorhome, furthermore, there's also confusion about an RV's actual weight. People quite rightly go to a weighbridge, but if it's under 7.5 tons, think it's not classed as HGV- unladen weight doesn't matter, it's the Gross vehicle weight as stated on the RV's info./weight plate. USRV's are very good & specific in this, listing weights in pounds, easily converted to Kilos. Also, of course they list axle weights. If say, it's 'GVW' is 20,000lbs. that's over 9 tons metric, so HGV.

There's a definite air of "Bugger it, I'll risk it, coppers don't tend to pull RV's" (they don't, that's true) however, if they do pull you, and they sometimes have a purge, they'll take it to the nearest weighbridge, if you don't actually get pulled into a HGV weighstation, and if it's overweight they'll maybe do you for being overloaded, no licence for that class and no insurance as the licence is invalid, then they'll call the giant tow-truck and impound it there & then.

Now, you can buy a heavy RV and possibly have it "down-rated" to 7.49 tons, there's a firm near us in Leyland do that, even possible just by post, but then if you do that and your weight on the weighbridge is over 7.5 tons-highly likely, (before you fill it with half a ton of water/fuel,) you'll get done very hard for the (likely to be massive) overloading offence, this could likely, again, invalidate your insurance- (the ins.co. would certainly seek to wriggle out of any claim on this basis, further, if they did respond to police enquiries with "Nah, if it's overloaded it's not legal & therefore the policy's invalid")....the police will seize it & do you for no insurance as well!! :(

On our insurance for the rig (approx.£500 pa,)it names the wife as named driver, great you think but the small print as on all ins.docs. is "providing they hold & aren't disqualified from holding a licence to drive it" so no, she couldn't drive it legally.

If you passed a car test before 1st January 1997, you have "grandad rights" as it's known. You can drive a vehicle over 3.5 tons GROSS weight up to 7.5 tons GROSS weight legally, this is the old level for "HGV" now it's considered HGV if it's over 3.5tons for new drivers. Bummer! Most of the front-engined RV's, Damons, short Winnebagos etc, Petrol/LPG converted usually, tend to be just on the limit, but the higher-quality rear diesels (Pusher RV's or DP) are most definitely old UK HGV (Over 7.5tons GVW) level.

Our wants /choices of RV were based on what we thought was desirable, like a driver's door I wanted, plus at least one slide-out, but as our cash was limited we chose the much better equipped, heavier RV without slide or door, I also thought we needed at least a 38' rig, but after visiting many, many outdoor motorhome shows and looking inside various rvs, actually, for our needs, 33' long is fine. The level of equipment on our RV was fantastic for the money, lots & lots of toys-macerator, washer, dryer, massive solar panels, inverters, charge controllers, remote disconnect systems, surround sound etc. etc..

All the toys that can be fitted to RV's are quite expensive, and the higher quality, heavier RV's like Monacos, Fleetwoods tend to have more & better toys. 'You pays yer money & makes yer choice' but regarding licences, you'd have to settle for lesser makes/short length RV's. All this is referring to Class 'A' types, if you decide a Class 'C' type (US) RV will sufffice then you're looking at about 5-6 tons GVW, which if you or your wife! passed your driving tests before Jan1st 1997-no problem!!

If you've already bought one-oops,you must check the weight plate, on ours it's just a sticker behind the driver's seat, and check the GVW rating in pounds-convert to tons by dividing by 2.2. If you haven't bought one yet, don't believe any bullshit about "car licence only", the only way is to see the weight info.plate. Good Luck! All the best from Tom & Janet in Lancashire. :)