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GVWR questions

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RockyMountain ride
Posted 2018-05-13 11:49 PM (#171598)
Subject: GVWR questions


New User


Posts: 4

So, I have a LQ with a GVWR OF 14,000. I absolutely love my trailer. It is everything I could ask for. But, I just learned that California DMV and CHP is exceeding the Fed DOT requirements and because they license the LQ with a PIT license, they view it as a utility trailer greater than 10,000 lbs so therefore require a Commercial Class A license to drive it, even though my total GVWR is far less than 26,000 lbs that DOT has as a limit. Of course if you come here from out of state, you get by with whatever your state requires. This. Does. Not. Make. Sense. But... it’s California.

So, sadly, I may not be eligible for a Commercial license due to some health issues, and am now in a quandary... even though i drive fine, have not had any accidents, tickets, etc... my question is:

Does anyone know of a make and model LQ that has a GVWR of less than 10000 lbs? My current LQ is a 3 horse, with a 12 s/w, so I’m wondering if I reduce my s/w size (although I’d love to still have my 6 cf fridge), and I could even go to a 2 Horse, if I had to although I love using that first stall for my stuff, would that be enough to reduce the GVWR to under 10,000 lbs? If I can find a LQ that is under 10,000lbs I can continue doing what I love, because now I am feeling totally sunk.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions, and yes, I wish I could move from California but it’s not in the cards for now.

Thanks.
Karen
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Cutter1999
Posted 2018-05-14 8:28 AM (#171600 - in reply to #171598)
Subject: RE: GVWR questions


Regular


Posts: 62
2525
Location: Waaaaay back Slaughter Hollow
From my understanding, which may or may not be correct, GVWR has to do with the gross vehicle weight rating. In other words, the maximum weight the vehicle is made to carry.

If you have a trailer with two 7,000 lb. axles, the GVWR is 14,000 lbs. due to those two axles. Personally, especially with an LQ trailer, I would not want less than the 7,000 lb. axles. With the weight of the LQ, contents, horses, etc., the more heavy duty the axle, the better off you are.

As far as going smaller, I have a 16’ Featherlite gooseneck stock trailer. Very basic with just a center cut gate and calf gate, no dressing room or any extras. The GVWR on it is 14,400 lbs.

I also have a 3 horse Elite, 8’ wide with mangers, and a 6’ shortwall. This trailer is a total of 20’ on the floor, with two 7,000 lb. axles, and a GVWR of 14,280 lbs.

Downsizing might not solve your problems.
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horsey1
Posted 2018-05-14 8:42 AM (#171601 - in reply to #171598)
Subject: RE: GVWR questions


Elite Veteran


Posts: 633
50010025
Well, I googled California PIT LIcense and got lots of info on licensing my Pit Bull, or getting a Pot growers license. But I didn't learn anything about trailers....:). Thus I do not know what a PIT license is.

Seriously- There are several ways to calculate GVWR for the same exact trailer, and all of them be completely legal and meet generally accepted standards. It may even by possible for the manufacturer of your current trailer to de-rate it under 10,000# and issue a new VIN tag (may depend on age). BUT- I would then be concerned you might be overweight. A 12' LQ is likely in the 9,000# range empty. So loaded you may be close to limit when the combined GVWR of your truck and trailer are compared with the actual scale weight. Don't know about Cali, but I have seen cases where folks de-rated trailers, and then got overload tickets from your neighbor AZ.

Having studied trailers for many years, you'll not find a LQ rated under 10,000 without something unique having been done with the rating. Actually, it is rare just to find a GN under 10K.

But- why can you not claim the RV exemption? A true LQ should have a certification sticker on it, generally from RVIA or TR Arnold. So with that, I believe I'd fight that way just like the rest of the larger travel trailers are exempted. In fact several brands of RVs are in the NADA RV book, yet another argument point.
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beeoerdog
Posted 2018-05-14 10:26 AM (#171602 - in reply to #171598)
Subject: RE: GVWR questions


Extreme Veteran


Posts: 431
10010010010025
Location: Los Angeles, Ca.
Two points:1. You can get a license class that allows you to tow an rv trailer up to 15000 pounds by taking a simple test at the DMV. I have not heard of anybody getting cited if their trailer has living quarters. CVWR has to be less than 26000.
2. If you want to go further, you can get a non-commercial (assuming you are) class A by taking a written test...not hard... and taking a driving test with the trailer you intend to tow.
A lot easier and cheaper than changing trailers
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horsey1
Posted 2018-05-14 1:24 PM (#171603 - in reply to #171601)
Subject: RE: GVWR questions


Elite Veteran


Posts: 633
50010025
In fact several brands of RVs are in the NADA RV book, yet another argument point.

Meant to say- "several brands of LQs are in the NADA RV book".     

Edited by horsey1 2018-05-14 1:26 PM
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PaulChristenson
Posted 2018-05-15 10:38 PM (#171604 - in reply to #171598)
Subject: RE: GVWR questions


Expert


Posts: 3825
2000100050010010010025
Location: Vermont
RockyMountain ride - 2018-05-14 2:49 AM So, I have a LQ with a GVWR OF 14,000. I absolutely love my trailer. It is everything I could ask for. But, I just learned that California DMV and CHP is exceeding the Fed DOT requirements and because they license the LQ with a PIT license, they view it as a utility trailer greater than 10,000 lbs so therefore require a Commercial Class A license to drive it, even though my total GVWR is far less than 26,000 lbs that DOT has as a limit. Of course if you come here from out of state, you get by with whatever your state requires. This. Does. Not. Make. Sense. But... it’s California. So, sadly, I may not be eligible for a Commercial license due to some health issues, and am now in a quandary... even though i drive fine, have not had any accidents, tickets, etc... my question is: Does anyone know of a make and model LQ that has a GVWR of less than 10000 lbs? My current LQ is a 3 horse, with a 12 s/w, so I’m wondering if I reduce my s/w size (although I’d love to still have my 6 cf fridge), and I could even go to a 2 Horse, if I had to although I love using that first stall for my stuff, would that be enough to reduce the GVWR to under 10,000 lbs? If I can find a LQ that is under 10,000lbs I can continue doing what I love, because now I am feeling totally sunk. Thanks for any advice or suggestions, and yes, I wish I could move from California but it’s not in the cards for now. Thanks. Karen

CA has NON-Commercial Licenses as well... https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/dl648/dl648pt2 
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RockyMountain ride
Posted 2018-05-17 1:00 AM (#171612 - in reply to #171598)
Subject: RE: GVWR questions


New User


Posts: 4

Each of you that answered are all correct. That is why I was initially told, and got, the CA fifth wheel endorsement because my LQ does have a RV certified sticker from the manufacturer. However, our top CHP person is saying, as is the official DMV Manager, that because CA does not license the LQs as a RV (even though they have that certification) and they license it as a ‘utility trailer’, because it “can carry livestock”, they issue a PTI license (permanent trailer identification). They say they won’t change that license to an RV because their opinion is it’s primary purpose is to carry livestock. Very frustrating. And far exceeds the Federal DOT requirements, which primarily look for total GVWR that exceeds 26,000 lbs. In the time that I’ve confronted this problem, I have found a few very small LQ trailers with a GVWR of 9995lbs, but they appear to be a significant step down in quality and features...
I will continue to fight this case, but sadly, I’m faced with the bureaucracy of the state, and apparently risk major fines and possibly having my trailer and Horse impounded if ‘caught’ driving without a commercial license in California.
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PaulChristenson
Posted 2018-05-17 11:10 PM (#171618 - in reply to #171598)
Subject: RE: GVWR questions


Expert


Posts: 3825
2000100050010010010025
Location: Vermont
Even if it is designated an RV...you'd still need a CLASS A Non-Commercial license to haul it...Read Page 2

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/28423ba0-bba6-4347-9e21-db274e970772/dl648.pdf?MOD=AJPERES 


Edited by PaulChristenson 2018-05-17 11:11 PM
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hornet
Posted 2018-05-20 8:59 AM (#171619 - in reply to #171598)
Subject: RE: GVWR questions


Extreme Veteran


Posts: 378
100100100252525
Location: Missouri
Just another reason not to do buisness with California.
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RockyMountain ride
Posted 2018-05-23 12:22 AM (#171622 - in reply to #171618)
Subject: RE: GVWR questions


New User


Posts: 4

Paul, you would think that should be correct, but the CHP limits the non commercial license for a farmer to haul livestock within 150 miles of home. It’s crazy, and California is horrible with its regulations. This has hit so close to me, I am trying to find a solution but may end up with a small trailer.
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PaulChristenson
Posted 2018-05-23 2:12 AM (#171623 - in reply to #171622)
Subject: RE: GVWR questions


Expert


Posts: 3825
2000100050010010010025
Location: Vermont
RockyMountain ride - 2018-05-23 3:22 AM Paul, you would think that should be correct, but the CHP limits the non commercial license for a farmer to haul livestock within 150 miles of home. It’s crazy, and California is horrible with its regulations. This has hit so close to me, I am trying to find a solution but may end up with a small trailer.
You might want to contact an attorney...because the CA DMV laws seem to be at odds with itself...since with  just With a Basic Class C License: 
a 2-axle vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or less. 
a 3-axle vehicle weighing 6,000 pounds gross or less. 
a motorized scooter. 
any housecar 40 feet or less. 
A farmer or employee of a farmer may also drive: 
any combination of vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,000 pounds or less if used exclusively in agricultural operations and it is not for hire or compensation.
 

So the highlighed part implies the farmer can run pickup and trailer whose GCWR is 26000 pounds or less...10000 lb rated pickup and a 15000 rated trailer and that farmer doesn't need a non-commercial Class A...


Edited by PaulChristenson 2018-05-23 2:17 AM
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beeoerdog
Posted 2018-05-23 10:50 AM (#171624 - in reply to #171598)
Subject: RE: GVWR questions


Extreme Veteran


Posts: 431
10010010010025
Location: Los Angeles, Ca.
from the calif. dmv: A driver must have a fifth-wheel recreational trailer endorsement added to his/her Class C driver license to pull a fifth-wheel recreational trailer over 10,000 lbs., but not over 15,000 lbs. GVWR, which is not used for hire. This endorsement is not required if the driver has a commercial or noncommercial Class A driver license.
There is a question whether a lq horse trailer is a recreational vehicle.
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HOUSE
Posted 2018-05-23 12:38 PM (#171625 - in reply to #171598)
Subject: RE: GVWR questions


Veteran


Posts: 124
100
Location: riverside ca
Living in California and hauling horses qutie a bit for some time, I would not really worry about it unless you drive through Santa Barbra area often, that is the only place I personally know of a person in recent history who has had that issue.  To the point of someone who said get a non commercial Class a, this really does not help you as all it does is allow you to haul 5th wheel trailers(non gooseneck) trailers that weight more the 10K but less than 15K and there is still a required to have a health test.  and just to be clear these requirements are pretty much nationwide, california is not really being that different that any other state, because just about every state maxes out a regular Drivers license at 26000 lbs GCVWR,  so you average dually has a GVWR of 14000, your gooseneck trailer of any size is going to have a GVWR of 14000. so basically any dually you see going down the road with a gooseneck trailer is techincally a class A rig in any state, which also means you qualifiy for ELD requirements. 

Personally I would risk it, I know so few people who have had issues, I know many people who are far from compliant, and it does not seem, at least in my expereince in the Western region that LEO are interested in persuing it, this could change.  But for now that is my feeling.  There are a few caviats to this, one assumes that you have a pickup bed, not a flatbed.  This means that you dont pull into the scales unless crossing state lines.  if you are crossing state lines make sure that you understand what DOT considers commercial and use the correct terminaliogy to reflect your purpose for hauling horses.  realize that showing is considered a commercial venture for the most part while exhibiting is not.   


Edited by HOUSE 2018-05-23 12:42 PM
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beeoerdog
Posted 2018-05-23 1:18 PM (#171626 - in reply to #171598)
Subject: RE: GVWR questions


Extreme Veteran


Posts: 431
10010010010025
Location: Los Angeles, Ca.
To obtain an original noncommercial Class A license -
Adults must:
Complete an application for a driver license (DL 44).
Pay the application fee.
Submit a Health Questionnaire (DL 546) dated not more than two years prior to the date of your application.
Pass the basic Class C law test, unless you renewed your Class C license within the past 12 months.
Pass the Recreational Vehicles and Noncommercial Class A Trailers law test.
Pass a vision test.
Pass a pre-trip inspection test.
Pass the skills test.
Pass a driving test while towing the type of vehicle you wish to be licensed for.

You May Drive... And You May Tow...
With a Noncommercial Class A license:
Any vehicle under Class C.
Travel trailers weighing over 10,000 lbs. GVWR, not used for hire.
5th-wheel travel trailers weighing over 15,000 lbs., not used for hire.
If the towing vehicle weighs 4,000 lbs. or more unladen, you may tow a: Livestock trailer exceeding 10,000 lbs. GVWR but not exceeding 15,000 lbs. GVWR if the vehicle is controlled and operated by a farmer, used to transport livestock to or from a farm, not used in commerce or contract carrier operations, and is used within 150 miles of the person's farm.

The question whether the trailer is a recreational vehicle or not relies on the judgement of the law enforcement officer. Technically, the lq horse trailer is not, it's primary purpose is to carry horses, thus the "carrier" designation on the title.
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Matt Zap
Posted 2018-06-03 3:13 PM (#171641 - in reply to #171626)
Subject: RE: GVWR questions


New User


Posts: 1

Extreme Veteran is correct. I went though this last week and it was very easy. Renewed my license, took the RV written test (very easy for anyone who has ever pulled a trailer), filled out the health questionnaire, took the eye test. Now all I need to do is take the skills (driving test) which is basically just to make sure you swing wide and are safe while driving. Common sense !!!

It is needed to pull any trailer with a GVWR over 10,000 lbs and less than 15,000 lbs. Bumper pull or Gooseneck - It doesn't matter !

The major issue is that you are involved in an accident, your fault or not, you will be cited for "Operating a Vehicle Out of Class". Your rig could be red tagged and you will have to get towed until a properly licensed driver shows up to move it. Hopefully a friend. Also, horses could be sent to Animal Control for safe keeping if you are away from home.

It's not a big deal....Just do it....Non Commercial Class A with an RV Endorsement.
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