legalities

Discussion in 'Beginning RVing' started by bags, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. bags

    bags New Member

    Considering buying a motor home. One web site reports that motor homes over 40 feet long and 98 in wide are illegal in some states. Same site maintains that motor homes are about as safe as a convertible corvair (and shares some chilling stories about accidents). Another source maintains that motorhomes over 35 feet won't fit in the camping sites at most government run parks. I'm starting to un-consider motor homes. Anyone have any comments?
     
  2. rjf7g

    rjf7g Senior Member

    Re: legalities

    Don't believe everything you read.
     
  3. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: legalities

    That makes us rare birds! We're still alive against all odds! We should get a raise! :laugh:
     
  4. elkhartjim

    elkhartjim Senior Member

    Re: legalities

    I drove a Corvair for some time but you wouldn't catch me dead in a convertible one. I still feel safer in my 38 ft fuel sucking not going very far very often DP MH.
     
  5. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: legalities

    I have a 37 footer motor home and have only found one place I could not get into and that was a campground in the mountains made for the old tents and small camper types. I have never heard of any law in any state that says you cannot drive a motor home in it. There are length limits as in 60 feet max in Calif for example that when you have a 44 foot motor home pulling a 20 foot trailer with car and atv's in it is too long and they will ticket you. Only place in US I know that to have happened. And believe me if I could afford a 40+ footer I would have bought it in a heart beat. Maybe someday when I get old and rich. lol
    PS my wife drives our rv all the time and we also pull a dolly with a car on it and she will tell you its not a problem at all.
     
  6. H2H1

    H2H1 Senior Member

    Re: legalities

    Well if you know the states that prohibit 40 ' RV let us know. I want be going in that state, Would that include your tow vehicle as well? if SO THAT PUTS ME WAY OVER THAT RESTRICTION.
     
  7. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: legalities

    http://www.hitchemup.com/statetowinglaws.htm Here are the states laws or towing for all the states. The length the talk about in the first column is the length of the truck itself, max length is truck and trailer. You have to remember they are talking truck length there, if they were talking buses and motor homes too than we would have to shut down greyhound as well and one hell of a lot of motor homes. Most buses are 40 feet plus and if you ever see the ones that have a accordian middle they can be 60+ feet long.
     
  8. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: legalities

    If diesel/gas gets much higher how big will be too big? Will big gas/diesel guzzling RV's go the way big gas guzzler cars?
     
  9. DARLING

    DARLING New Member

    Re: legalities

    What is it that they say You can never be too rich or too big????
    We met a couple with a 42' & they were planning on trading up to a 45'.
    They can give me their hand me downs. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
    Darlin :cool:
     
  10. bags

    bags New Member

    Re: legalities

    According to woodall's 2007 rules of the road the motor home length and width requirement varies by state. For example New Jersey and Maryland limit motor homes to 96 inches in width and 40 feet in length. Some like Louisana allow more width if you're on a federal highway.
    Mostly the limits are 102 inches and 45 feet. I guess you have to plan your trip around those states if you're more than 96'' or 40 ft. Seems screwed up considering the number of large motor homes out there. Also I'm told that MH loading is a big factor in stability/ handling; does anyone have a technique for measuring wheel weights when loaded? Does anyone calculate center of gravity before traveling and while using fuel and water? Also I guess there are no safety air bags and only belts for the front two seats? I also can't seem to find any rollover protection in the ones I've looked at. Is it common for people to be moving inside the coach while traveling? Thanks, Bags.
     
  11. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: legalities

    Bags my wife and I both have been known to walk around in our RV while traveling. Not at the same time mind you. I dont think any state is going to give people problems about the size of their rig. Except calif. I have never heard of anyone having a problem with traveling in New Jersey or Maryland. And I have seen many many many motor homes in Maryland that were over 40 foot when I was there three years ago. SO is this a new thing in Maryland? As for motor home loading, I just try to equalize my left and right sides so one does not get more loaded than the other. Have only weighed my motor home once for the record and I was fine. Keep thinking one day I am going to weigh it with the toad and trailer connected just for the record. Honestly me thinks you worry too much. Please dont take offense at that, a wise man will always look at every side before it jumps in.
     
  12. PattieAM

    PattieAM New Member

    Re: legalities

    I looked at the 05 Directory I have, and did see the length limit for MD to be 40', but have never seen an officer pull an RV over and I travel Route 301 daily. It may be more of a concern for tunnel usage.

    There is a publication or maybe even a web-site for 'big rigs' and it tells the specs of the various campgrounds. Can't remember it's name, so maybe someone else will chime in.

    It is true that some state parks and federal parks have never been upgraded (site length) for the big rigs, but usually there are several sites in each park that will meet the need.

    It makes me curious to find out what web-site is anti-motorhome?!

    As to the safety factor - somehow I don't see a motorhome participating in drag racing or oval track....and tip over concerns would most likely be limited to interstate exit ramps and rural ungraded turns....which are generally well marked. I probably have to be more careful on turns in my Durango than you would in your motorhome.

    You'd mentioned the weight distribution....the literature on each model will tell you approximately your safe total weight, and even have hints as to what can be stored where. I only have a Popup, but things of weight, I will load over the axle or slightly before it. I do kinda try to even out the weight side-to-side to help avoid any sway in towing. I never tow with full water tanks - that's too much weight for my set up as well as the sway potential when the water would slosh side to side on the road.

    As to moving around in a moving vehicle - one should exercise some caution when retrieving a beverage for the pilot, or using the potty -- kinda like riding a bus....better to be seated, safer, but can be done. Some motorhomes have safety belts on the sofa's too.
     
  13. bags

    bags New Member

    Re: legalities

    Hi Pattie and thanks for the reply. The website is RV.org. They represent themselves as a consumer advocate for motor homes -- there are some pretty damming charges there -- look for yourself under class a motor homes. (ie length to wheelbase ratios are unsafe. Slides are weakening the crash safety of coaches etc, etc). In their accident summary it seems most rollovers are initiated through a rapid swerve and correction. By the way I teach uncontrolled flight in aircraft so I have a sense of this sort of thing. Thanks again, Bags.
     
  14. PattieAM

    PattieAM New Member

    Re: legalities

    Thanks bags, will check it out (website).
     
  15. PattieAM

    PattieAM New Member

    Re: legalities

    Somehow this double posted, but on edit I will say - gee what a bunch of doom/gloom predictors (web-site). They've cited an accident, but do not openly indicate the percentage of accidents vs. coach owners (probably have to spend money and join if they have the info available). While I am sure they have good information (somewhere), I'd be more inclined to first get an idea of the unit I'd want, the solicit the owners of those units as to any issues, and maybe then check the rv.org statistics. (In reading the article about the accident, I could not determine the speed at impact, etc., but didn't like reading of the cabinets leaving the walls, walls separating from frame, etc. - but, in an accident, 'something has to give' and with an impact at great speed I could see that happening). Heck when my parked car rolled down a hill (it got rear ended lightly on ice) it hit a telephone pole - front end damage, but, the backseat popped off.

    Anyway, the point I think I'm making is that the website may have good info, but, you might do better to solicit information from unit owners... the vast majority of owners must not have had a problem as the units are still in production, being sold, and being bought!

    Just because I own/drive a Durango, doesn't mean it's going to flip over....

    I don't think that the information I read was indicative of the vast majority of motorhome owners. I suppose if I really wanted stats, I could contact an insurer. I wouldn't let the information provided for free on that website deter me from buying a motor home (if I were able to afford one).

    I hope you won't be negatively affected by that sites information....solicit real-life owners -- gotta be a few out there that are satisfied with their units and are not having accidents, etc.

    Best wishes in your motorhome selection.
     
  16. DARLING

    DARLING New Member

    Re: legalities

    WE travel to Northeast MD every other year & have never had any problems with the RV, just the car. Because we are in Fla we had the windows tinted legal dark for the uv. Well we were outside Belair & was stopped for our windows being too dark under MD law. Honey said LOOK at the tag it says FLA & it is legal there.(Basicaly kiss this) So he gave us a written ticket of a verbl warning. Go figure. No points. No fine. Honey just crumbled it up & tossed it in the back seat. Personal Satisfaction.
    What will they think of next :question: :question:
    Darlin :cool:
     
  17. PattieAM

    PattieAM New Member

    Re: legalities

    Yes, I've heard of the tickets for window tinting, and understand the issue. As to the length of a unit, it might attract attention when making a turn where you have to make a 'wide turn', or run over the curb!
     

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