Fulltiming in an RV on a Car Licence

Discussion in 'American RV's' started by FullTimeDreamer, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. FullTimeDreamer

    FullTimeDreamer Read Only Funster

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    I spent the couple of days looking at RVs, They do look much more suited to our full time requirements, except those under 7.5t seem to have a tiny payload and unsuited to fulltiming. I have spent hours reading here and elsewhere about the licence requirements, I have had dealers tell me I am OK on my licence and another tell me I need to take a test. (don't fancy that) This seems to be a strange situation where there is no definitive answer.

    Are things changing? can I drive a Large American Motorhome on my car licence without fear of prosecution? What about insurance?
     
  2. moandick

    moandick Read Only Funster

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    Oh Dreamer - if only you knew - if only any of us knew! :Eeek:

    The answer is quite simple - today - legally - you cannot drive any motorhome over 3½ tonnes unless you have a C1 licence - and you cannot drive any motorhome over 7½ tonnes unless you have a C Licence.

    There are many dealers out there - especially those that belong to the RVDA (the Recreational vehicle Dealers Association) who will tell you that you can drive any motorhome on your car licence
    BUT unfortunately they cannot or will not supply proof of that fact in writing.

    There are some dealers who will tell you - honestly - that you do need an LGV licence because in their opinion that is what the Law says.

    Most of the people that I (and many other professional legal practitioners) have spoken to from the DVLA, the Department of Transport, The Police and all the emininet Caravanning Clubs have all of one voice stated quite specifically that you do need an LGV licence - and that they have no knowledge of any rules changes - past, present or future.

    Every single piece of legislation that we have so far scanned from the European Union concerning driving licences states quite categorically that you do need a licence relevant to the specific weight of vehicle that you intend to drive.

    If any dealer tells you different - ask for a copy of the proof (in writing) so that you can submit it to any legal vehicle licencing authority for approval. :thumb:

    You are preparing to spend many thousands of £'s on a vehicle - and possibly risk everything, if you do drive it on a car licence - simply on the word of an 'Honest John' second-hand car dealer? I sincerely hope not!

    Why won't anybody put the proof in writing - simple in my view - if you bought an RV on their say-so and were subsequently charged for driving on a 'wrong' licence - they know they could be liable, in law, for compensation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
  3. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    except those under 7.5t seem to have a tiny payload


    Size, this would my 'guess' at these things. Ebay is a wonderful tool for research, shall we say, and it never ceases to amaze me when there is some monster RV with a GVW of 7.5 tonnes. My 'guess' is some dealers/importers either, err adjust the truth when registering or possibly down plate to make them 'legal' on a car licence (pre 97) but as you noticing, no payload.

    By comparison, we have a 28ft Winne Brave, if memory serves 4.8 tonnes dry and a GVW of 6.731 (that bit sticks in my mind) therefore a serious payload even once she's 'wet', diesel, water, gas etc etc before all our clobber. All details are variously in our manual and/or on the 'plate' on the drivers door exactly as Mr Winnebago sent her out, and as I understand any decent RV should have this for all to see. Failing that, ie 'it's missing', tinternet should be able to give you the correct figures to make sure your buying a genuine vehicle.
     
  4. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    They are out there if you can live without a slide Coachmen Mirada 30 foot 1.25 tons of pay;oad:thumb:
     
  5. ginge61

    ginge61 Read Only Funster

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    a most say can you drive up to 7.5 or 3.5 depending on date test passed anything over those weights you need another class of licence so ans is no its all about weight
     
  6. mikamada

    mikamada Read Only Funster

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    Dick,

    It does not matter if the dealer puts it in writing because you are the one who would be prosecuted because as it is considered a strict liability offence.

    A strict liability offence does not require an intent to break the law just the fact that you carried out the act. It would be like getting off a speeding ticket because you did not intend to speed. :BigGrin:

    Ignorance or being encouraged or wrongly advised will not change the liability for the offence although it may have an impact on the resulting punishment for the infringement.

    Adam
     
  7. Groundhog

    Groundhog Read Only Funster

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    I am currently in the process of gaining my category C licence in order to drive a motorhome with a MAM of 9,969 kg.

    To quote directly from the DVLA information leaflet INS57P, Section - Minibuses, lorries and buses, Sub-section Motorhomes:

    "When driving a motorhome it is the maximum authorised mass (the total weight of the vehicle plus the maximum load it can carry) which is relevant to the driving entitlement you need.

    To drive a motorhome with a maximum authorised mass of between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, you need a category C1 licence.

    To drive a motorhome with a maximum authorised mass of over 7.5 tonnes you need a category C licence".

    So to be safe rather than sorry I am going to make certain I am correctly licenced according to the published requirements of the DVLA. Being uninsured in the event of an accident due to not being correctly licenced is just not an option for me.

    However, I guess it is for individuals to interpret the requirements for themselves.
     
  8. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Having it in writing won't help you in court. It will help you sue the dealer for all your money back and your out of pocket expenses if you were taken to court, or your insurance didn't pay etc.

    That said, would you ever get taken to court, somehow I doubt it. The CPS only like black and white cases, all that grey costs them too much money:Rofl1:
     
  9. olley

    olley Funster

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    hi this has been argued about for years, and until someone get taken to court will continue to be so. The DVLA say that we are an PHGV therefore you need a "C" to go over 7.5 tonnes, however if we had been classed as a Bus you would be able to drive it on an ordinary licence, assuming you passed your test prior to 1997 as you have D1 entitlement, bus licences are on seating capacity not weight.

    The DVLA as they say, don't make the law, they only interpret it, a few years back Travel World were in the process of going to court over this, as one of their drivers was being done, at the last moment the DVLA withdrew the case, indicating to me that their not 100% sure of their ground.

    Personally get a "C" however if you like taking a risk, and theirs plenty out their who are doing just that, go for it. :BigGrin:

    Olley
     
  10. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    i would like to say i know of away to get round it. ihave spent hours talking to and reading vosa info. i think you had better stick to 7.5 or take the test. i do always bring up the bus issue but its not been brought to court yet and could be along time consuming process.there was a great change in licensing laws in 1991 it has had a few changes to try and clarify the grey areas. its still not perfect. dont drive a vehicle over 7.5ookg be safe. your b+e does allow you to drive a tow unit up to 3,500kg gvw pulling a trailer of any weight so long as it doesnt exceed the train weight of the tow unit. thats why 5ers will be used more n more to allow more storage capacity. eg:iveco daily 3,500chassis cab. unit wt.2,000kg.hitch wt.1,500kg.trailer bogie wt.5,200kg.gives a total of 8,700kg this can be driven on an early car licence as its b+e. do hope this helps. there is alot of choice out there i hope you make the right one for you. have fun. alan.
     
  11. moandick

    moandick Read Only Funster

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    Whatever the outcome of this licence debacle - I just wish that an Insurance Company would stick their head 'above the parapet' and state their policy on vehicle licencing. :Eeek:

    Do they accept that a B licence driver can drive a C licence vehicle - would they still honour the policy in the event of a fatal accident attributed to the RV driver?

    Pandora's Box has nothing on this licence situation - it is an absolute minefield, in my opinion - and one where you really do need to tread carefully if you decide to go against the majority verdict of a C licence is required.

    I have always been an avid supporter of the RVDA and I have taken quite a lot of 'flack' for my unswerving support BUT in this case, I am sorry to say that it really is time to "PUT UP OR SHUT UP". If they know something that nobody else does then let everybody, including the Authorities, into the secret - because in the end it is the customer's money (and possibly their freedom) that is being put at risk.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
  12. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    We met a chap in Cornwall earlier this year and he had a large RV which the plate and all information give showed it as well under 7.5 tonnes but when he actually weighed it it was well over 8.5 tonnes - didn't matter as he had the right license but he had to go through the hassle of replating and all that that involves
     
  13. Parcverger

    Parcverger Funster - Campsite Owner

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    FYI, we have been full timing an a Georgie Boy 32ft that I drive on a car licence for nearly seven years now. Whenever I take it for an MOT the weights come up, and we are around 7 tons, fully loaded. There is plenty of room on this for full timing - just get used to the idea that you do not need to take everything you have been used to!!!! Put most of your possessions in store, and two years later you'll go back and sell it off, as you will not have needed it.

    Travel light and enjoy it.

    Bob and Di
     
  14. superk

    superk Read Only Funster

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    However, it's not the weight on the scales or what you are carrying when you consider it fully loaded but the Maximum Authorised Mass - the weight it is allowed to have fully loaded as shown on the plate. You may comply.

    :Smile:
    Keith
     
  15. ginge61

    ginge61 Read Only Funster

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    good advice that as for the bus think you will find vertually the same applies max 7.5 t over that you need a class c licence to drive a heavier coach you dont need psv if passengers are not fare paying or coach is empty fare paying passengers numbering above 8 a psv is needed but it still depends on weight coach weight up to 7.5 ok over a psv or a hgv is needed hgv ok on class c with no fare paying passengers otherwise psv needed its all in croners road transport ref book intresting reading if you hold a cpc you should know this ohh and not a drivers cpc a managers one so you can run your own haulage company
     
  16. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi ginge . if you have d1 or d1+e with restriction 119 weight limit does not apply. my partner has it on hers. i use david lowes transport managers handbook ,used to use the freight transport association road transport law book as well. there is no weights on buses they seem to work only on seats . although psv, doesnt cover trucks ,hgv does allow drivers to drive buses going to a place of repair. all seems daft as big is big. i do have c+e and d+e and managers cpc. thats why i have spent so long talking with the authority,s. common sense doesnt come into rules or laws and its allways been like it. we actually could do with re writng the licensing / driving system from scratch. there are alot of folk out there driving the wrong vehicles on the wrong licence ,also vehicles over weight etc. i do know our local testers spend lots of there time in summer on roadside checks. have fun but dont let your eyes get too bleary reading the books you probably do (like me).cheers alan.
     
  17. ginge61

    ginge61 Read Only Funster

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    yep same as x trucker owner driver etc etc and they do want re writeing ye untill someone gets used as a scape goat it will just carry on i think may be some one like d lowe could work this one out but personly would not drive one unless i had the relavent licence as you say its a mine field a large rv coach etc should need some sort of training etc as you know thats why we spent a fortune getting licences etc some one will sort it sometime
     
  18. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    I would have thought contacting the DVLA the most logical approach, not only to get the precise infomation but also avoid a lot of confusion!

    I once bought a vehicle where on the V5 under the the taxation class it was stated as "disabled". I was about to post it off to get ownership registered etc when fortunately i decided to contact DVLA to clarify what this 'disabled' was all about as i'd never had it on any other V5.

    Good job i contacted them as it turned out i could not change it over as normal (by post), but had to physically attend the nearest DVLA centre with all the relevant documentation.

    So my advice would be.......contact the DVLA.
     
  19. hereford bull

    hereford bull Read Only Funster

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    Thers nothing that gets a forum going than the licence issue how many times have we been down this road i have the right licence but i also think the wording on my old red book licence might have let me drive a m/home .i have a letter somewhere from the RHA from there legal beagles saying that they think i can drive an rv on my old licence but it says on there with the dvla"s approval [no chance then ] ,but ialso remember reading an interesting article by a fella with the initials DH who drove large monaco on a car licence and he had his solicitor challenge them on it and i presume is still driving ,another point who says the story of the TW driver is true i know its repeated a lot of times but who knows if its true ?
     
  20. hereford bull

    hereford bull Read Only Funster

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    Contact the dvla not if my dealings with the dvla are anything to go by
     
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