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Question- I searched various forums with not many answers. If hypothetically; I were to get pulled over by CHP to verify my trailer weight, what number would they check? The max GVWR? The reason I am asking, is am going to buy a bigger trailer for the growing family. I want to keep my current license and get the RV 15000 max endorsement (CA). So do I shop for a trailer with a sticker @ 15000 or something less? I can't see CHP telling you to drive to the scales to get a actual weight?
 

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Don't they have portable scales like everyone else? I would think if the hypothetical CHP pulled you over "Because you looked overloaded" they could look at GCWR and trailer weights on mfr label.
I think for a visual que to weigh someone they would need probable cause; like a half-ton pulling a 35 footer with its ass draggin and nose in the air!
 

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Question- I searched various forums with not many answers. If hypothetically; I were to get pulled over by CHP to verify my trailer weight, what number would they check? The max GVWR? The reason I am asking, is am going to buy a bigger trailer for the growing family. I want to keep my current license and get the RV 15000 max endorsement (CA). So do I shop for a trailer with a sticker @ 15000 or something less? I can't see CHP telling you to drive to the scales to get a actual weight?
CHP can be a stickler, if they want to be. But for sure, you'd better not be over either of your axle weights, or the carrying capacity of your tires. Of course, to determine if you're overweight, they have to be able to weigh you, either with portable scales or at a scale location along the highway. Also, you have to have the proper 1)registration for your truck, 2)and for your trailer, 3)and your driver's license, and all of those can depend on the weights of your truck and trailer.

Personally, I would go to the CHP with your paperwork, weights of truck and trailer and ask them if they see any problems. Tell them you don't want to violate the laws, but they are complex and you get different answers depending on who you ask, so you need an expert. And you can ask how much more weight you would be allowed if purchasing a new trailer. The reason I say this is that at the local DMV offices, they don't understand the laws in the same way as do those enforcing the laws. And it's the people enforcing the laws that are the most important.

I had an experience with the KS registration people telling me one thing, but the law said something different. I sent the registration people a copy of the law from the Kansas Legislature website and pointed out what the law actually said. The gal said that she had been there for 24 years and they had never done it that way and that the law was wrong, but, just because I was being so nice to her, she would call SGT. X at the KHP and ask him. Well, she did, and SGT. X told her that what she had been doing for 24 years was wrong. So the moral of the story: go to the law enforcers, not the administrators in the offices.
 

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Basically don't exceed any of your limits and you will be fine.
For the truck:
-GVWR
-GAWR (front and rear)
- Tires

For the trailer:
-GVWR
-GAWR
-Tires

For both:
-any hitches involved


As long as you don't exceed any of those you will be good to go. However, when in doubt, do what Mr. Nielson said above and talk to those who enforce the law. Whatever you do don't trust any RV dealer!
 

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AFAIK, the cruisers don't carry scales, only the truck enforcers in the pickups. I think it depends on why you get pulled over. If for speeding, as long as you have the RV endorsement, you'll probably just get the ticket and be on your way. If you look overloaded then who knows. Depends on the chippy. I run all over at ~18K with the 15K endorsement. It was such a hassle to just get the endorsement at the DMV (they had never heard of it) I won't even try to get the over 15K license which requires a driving test.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sounds good. I absolutely hate dealing with the DMV. Like you guys stated, different answers every time. I don't have a problem towing safe and being responsible; its paying this stupid state every time I want to do something with my family.
 

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As an out of stater, do I need to be concerned if I visit CA with my RV?
 

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I dont think they would require you to obtain a different licence than your home state
requires, as for weight restrictions they would be the same for all drivers, regardless
of what state you are registered.
 

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When it comes to licenses, reciprocity applies here. Whatever you are required in your home state, you are fine to drive in any other state with. Example, as a CA resident, you need a non-commercial Class A driver's license for any 5th wheel over 15,000 GVWR. However, if you're from say, AZ, and they do NOT require that, you are still fine to drive with whatever license AZ issues you, as long as your legal under AZ laws.
 

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If you aren't doing anything to draw attention, the CHP will leave you alone. If you are in an accident they will certainly take note of your equipment but for the most part, they don't really hassle RVs.
 

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When it comes to licenses, reciprocity applies here. Whatever you are required in your home state, you are fine to drive in any other state with. Example, as a CA resident, you need a non-commercial Class A driver's license for any 5th wheel over 15,000 GVWR. However, if you're from say, AZ, and they do NOT require that, you are still fine to drive with whatever license AZ issues you, as long as your legal under AZ laws.
While that is true, I can point you to a thread on a RV site where a guy from Missouri (IIRC) was cited in Arizona for not having a plate on the rear of his truck. His state requires them on the front, but the AZ azzhole that pulled him over refused to listen and wrote him a ticket. He appealed to the Chief of Police and was basically told he could pay the $75 fine or stick around and fight it in court. He paid it and dropped the matter, rather reluctantly. I would have gone to the AZ Attorney General's office.
 

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If you have a trailer attached to your truck they go by the gross axle weights, if you don't exeed them and tires are appropriate for the weight you are golden. You also have 10% variance on axles also. I tow to Kalifornia commercial several times a year, if you look safe and drive with the appropriate license you will likely have no problems. Their is always the ahole you can't do anything about.
 

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When it comes to licenses, reciprocity applies here. Whatever you are required in your home state, you are fine to drive in any other state with. Example, as a CA resident, you need a non-commercial Class A driver's license for any 5th wheel over 15,000 GVWR. However, if you're from say, AZ, and they do NOT require that, you are still fine to drive with whatever license AZ issues you, as long as your legal under AZ laws.
Please quote statute.

I have heard this over and over again. From what I have read of the statutes, you must obey whatever laws apply to the state you are in, no matter where you are from (assuming you don't have diplomatic immunity). All the compact states is if it is not an offence in your home state, your home state takes no action (read no points). If whatever state you are in fines you - you must pay the fine. Whatever points that state would assign don't amount to a hill of beans, as that is up to your home state.


I was pulled over for doing 55 in the right lane (the speed limit while towing in California). The only thing I was doing was driving. All the officer (CHP) wanted to see was my license, and the registration on the truck and trailer. After I handed him my CDL, he lost all interest. Your guess is as good as mine, but a 40' toy hauler is enough to draw interest on the Grapevine at least.
 

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And you probably had CA plates. I've worked with law enforcement for over 20 years, and ran this by CDL enforcement, motor units, traffic units, etc. reciprocity applies here. Otherwise you would need to to a driver's test and get a license from each state.
 
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