What length RV should require a special driver’s license

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A rather long RV!

Do you ever think that perhaps the drivers of bus-sized motorhomes or 60-foot fifth-wheeler/truck combinations should be required to obtain a special driver’s license? Or do you believe things are just fine as they are, with no special license?

Is there a certain length of RV that you think is just too long to not require a special license? Now’s your chance to voice your opinion.

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Jillie

I am a school bus driver and do see how some struggle to drive these big rigs. Not just mine but the RV motor homes. I seriously know you do kneed to know how to drive one of these things. I am hearing several states are now requiring you to have a CDL. I was also told when insuring our TT what experience I had driving one of these things. That threw me. This was Progressive that asked me this question. So yes, please take a few lessons so I don’t worry when you pass me on the highway. Happy camping .

Rory

For me I think it should be a requirement before one is allowed to drive any RV, be it a towable or self-contained and any length. I see fellow rver’s driving in the #1 lane on a 8 lane interstate. I see everything from TT’s to Class A’s driving @ 80+ mph, and some are pulling toads. Not only is that dangerous, but it can be costly. It will eventually require repairs to the drive train of the toad and that is the good part. Every RVer should be required to take a safety course and a training course that will familize them with their particular rv and rv’s in general. Handling charistics, and accident avoidance, before being allowed to pull their RV out of the driveway or away from the curb. States must not use this as an unnecessary means to rake in income, it should not be about money, but safety…..

Joel Hagler

I think any RV driver should be required to have had an educational training course……and the partner (wife/husband,etc) should also have one. Very important on long drives not to be able to split the driving duties…or in case of old people (like us) having medical issues.

TexasRVer

I will start by saying I feel a license endorsement should be required to pull anything over 30 feet. It has always seemed odd to me that in Texas a CDL or a Class A license is required to operate a vehicle over 26,000 lbs or that it has air brakes. But a person that has never driven anything bigger than a Prius can crawl into a 43 foot Class A motorhome weighing over 26,000 lbs with air brakes. We workcamp in a RV park and the amount of RV’s in excess of 40 feet has doubled from last year along with damages caused to the park from inexperienced drivers.

Tom

A special test for common sense would probably be better test. I see people driving 65-70 pulling trailer or tow vehicles and swaying back and forth with the driver not having a clue. I often wonder if these are people out for a long weekend or vacation trip and have to cover the miles in a hurry.

Lisa

My husband and I are seriously considering purchasing an RV for our future travels. We are currently in the homework/ research stage, but the one comment I did make was that maybe we should get our CDLs so we are prepared for driving these machines. If nothing else, we will have more knowledge about handling something bigger than a 25 ft fleet rental.

John Yellowolf

My computer won’t load any of your polls – what am I doing wrong?

Kevin Coughlin

In the last several years I have driven in the 10 states that require their residents to demonstrate some knowledge and skill before driving a large RV. In 40+ years of driving I’ve seen my share of drivers towing badly. I feel it’s time to require a special endorsement for towing any length of trailer.
In Washington State the legal speed limit when towing is 60 mph. Earlier today I saw two trailers going at least 70 mph in a driving rainstorm (first rain in weeks) both trailers were swaying out of the lane. Knowledge might change some of those poor driving behaviors. Stats must keep the cost low. It shouldn’t be about money, it should be about education and traffic safety.

Denny wagamam

Yes one should have a license to drive an RV. Maybe all RV’s With a total length of over 30’. I have seen RV drivers that think they can drive just because they are. Some are too old at 50 or 60 or you pick an age number. Some can drive darn well at 80yrs Years, overall most drivers are good drivers or just plain lucky.

Goldie

There needs to be an endorsement, similar to a motorcycle endorsement. Then, again like motorcycles, you could have a safety foundation that establishes a driving education course that, with successful completion, waives any driving test. Those not willing to take the course could qualify via standard written and driving tests. You need a motorcycle endorsement regardless of size in most states. An RV should certainly carry at least that same requirement. If nothing else, just think how many marriages could be saved if newbies had a vague idea how to back up their unit!

Joe Schroeder

After pulling a 14,500 lb, 37 ft fifth wheel for several years with a long bed 4 door dodge I have always felt that an endorsement on the license would be a good idea. We were 53 ft bumper to bumper. This is similar to driving a semi so there should be at least a written test.

TravelingMan

And then it also makes us think about the RV Rental Companies…

Never owned one….Never drove one…”Sure, I can drive a 40′ Class A Motorhome”.

Did you ever see the movie “RV”?

Terry OKeefe

Having had a class A commercial license for years, I think that there ought to be at least an indorcement on your license that you take a simple test,like stopping distance,and back up into a space.
Nothing too difficult but just a little more than here ya go,hit the road!
Maybe it could save a life or two if everyone knew what they were doing

Richard

Over in Europe they have had a requirement for a driving test for ANY trailer for a long time now. Why people think they can safely drive/ tow an RV or large trailer safely without any training is amazing. There are a lot of drivers who think that just because they can drive a car / SUV/ pickup truck while drinking a soda and talking on the phone must be good enough to enable them to drive an RV ?
America has some of the worst driving bad habits in the world which they carry over to driving their RV’s. DUI, ” hey don’t worry man, there isn’t a cop around here for miles” . Text messaging while driving, “yes this message IS a lot more important than your life”, Speed limits ” they are just a suggestion, aren’t they?” 75 mph in an RV ? ” they must be safe at that speed or they wouldn’t sell them, would they ?” Lets not forget about the pickup truck drivers with the 30 foot long goose neck trailers loaded with a 20,000 pound backhoes !
Driving tests for anything other than an auto should be mandatory and renewable at 65 year old, 70 and 75 then with a medical at 80. Just for information, I took my USA driving test 5 years ago (62 yo) and asked to take a non commercial CDI. Was told we don’t have that test. Go figure.

Peter Morgenstern

I think that it should initially be the responsiblity of the retailer selling the rv to evaluate the owners ability to drive or haul any rv . Have a road test required before they buy and a course that will explain the things needed to safely drive or haul a rv. For instance, many people I talk to don’t realise that rv tires are rated at 65 max mph and brag about how well their rv handles at 75. I have seen many drivers who pass me on the interstate going 70-75 with the trailer swaying behind them. Even the class A drivers drive like they are driving the family sedan!. There should be some form of licensing required so that the drivers understand what kind of weapon they are piloting down the road.

Roy Ellithorpe

I’m super curious about the 30% who think no special license should ever be required.
Are they the ones who know how to drive, or the ones who know that they would never pass the test?

I think that the answer is that ALL RV parks should have ALL 100′ pull throughs, then anybody could do it.

Just so you don’t all fly off the handle at once, I am kidding.

BO

Perhaps we should be asking this question to those non-RV drivers who share the road with us?

Sherry

Length isn’t the only consideration. Driving a Class C is not as difficult as driving a Class A. Towing a trailer or fifth wheel takes different skills than driving a motorhome. Adding a tow vehicle to a motorhome changes the dynamic. And, as others have pointed out, weight matters. So there would need to be multiple classes of licenses.

Captn John

Just another money maker for states. Too much regulation on everything we do already. Dealers should have a form to sign stating they informed the buyer about safety items and items like braking, wide turns, and etc.

J. Cherry

In Texas it’s not the length, but the weight. If your RV (combined, truck/trailer/tow vehicle, etc) weighs 26,001 lb then you need a non commercial class B license. You take the computerize permit test first and then you take the behind the wheel test, and no they don’t make you parallel park.

When you study for the test study Chapter 14. I would recommend studying chapters 1, 7, 9 and 11, if my memory serves me well. This is much more helpful about how to drive safely on the highways. Chapter 14 has nothing to do with driving an RV; and therefore, my husband found the test to be bogus.

You are right, the states don’t enforce the laws. However, if you are in an accident your insurance company does not have to cover you if you are not licensed properly for your vehicle for the state you are licensed in. So give that some serious thought. Check your states requirements. The RV sales person isn’t going to give you any of that information at your sale.

We are considering a dash cam too. A few idiots have pulled out in front of us and then slow down below the speed limit. I think they were hoping to get rear ended. I heard this is a new trend nowadays.