RV Driving Tips

The California Non-Commercial Class B License

There is SO much misinformation about who needs a Non-commercial Class B License and what is involved that we thought it’s time to clarify the process. What follows is ONLY for California.

WHO NEEDS A NON-COMMERCIAL LICENSE?

Anyone driving a 45' Motorhome (Greater than 40' up to 45')

By definition, a 45’ Motorhome refers to a single-unit motorhome that is longer than 40 feet but no more than 45 feet. (Note: A vehicle combination, e.g. a motorhome towing a vehicle or trailer, may be up to 65 feet in length. If the single-unit motorhome is 40 feet or less in length, the combination is NOT subject to the route restriction for the 45’ motorhome and the driver DOES NOT require a special license)

class b license truck 1Motorhome: A motorhome is a noncommercial passenger vehicle defined in the California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 465 as a “house car” and commonly referred to as a recreation vehicle, “a motor vehicle originally designed, or permanently altered, and equipped for human habitation, or to which a camper has been permanently attached.” A motorhome should not be confused with a bus or a tour bus, also called “motorcoach” which is used for commercial passenger transportation and requires a commercial Class B driver’s license to operate.

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HOW DO I OBTAIN A NON-COM CLASS B LICENSE?

Note: For the noncommercial Class B license you are NOT required to present your Passport, Birth Certificate and Proof of Residency, this is only required for the full Class B license.

To obtain an original noncommercial Class B license – you must:

1. Pass the Driver's Examination for 45' Housecars law test. You must pass the law test based on the information contained in the Non-Commercial Handbook. The test may be taken at any DMV field office. You may make an appointment online at www.dmv.ca.gov, or by calling 1-800-777-0133.
2. Vehicle safety check. Before the skills test, you must demonstrate that the turn signals, brake lights, horn, emergency flashers, and brake system are working. This is not part of your pre-trip test. However, if any of these items are not working properly or are missing; your driving test will be postponed.
3. Skills tests. Skills tests are designed to demonstrate your skill in stopping, backing in a straight line, completing a right turn around a cone or marker, and backing into a camping space.
4. Driving test. The driving test includes entering and exiting a freeway, freeway driving with lane changes, right and left turns into one-way and two-way traffic, railroad crossings, driving on a grade or steep hill, etc. You may make an appointment by calling 1-800-777-0133. Online appointments are not available for this type of driving test.
5. Physician's Health Report. A Physician's Health Report (DL 546A) (PDF) form signed by your physician is required and must be given to DMV for review and approval before your license is issued and then every two years after that. The Health Report expires two years from the examination date. Failure to maintain a valid Health Report form with DMV will mean that your license is valid only for Class C and, if endorsed, for Class M1 or M2 vehicles. Health Report forms are available online at www.dmv.ca.gov.

45' Housecar with Air Brakes

You are not required to pass an air brake law test or to perform an air brake system check if your housecar is equipped with air brakes. You will be asked to perform a Vehicle Safety Check by the DMV examiner.

Be aware that you may get a blank stare when you go to your neighborhood DMV office asking to apply for the noncommercial license as this is NOT something most offices process every day. For this reason you will find it less frustrating to go to one of the DMV’s Commercial Testing Centers to begin the process.

RV Basic Training can help and will be happy to provide you with the forms you require to get started. Once you have your permit, your Housecar Boot Camp will get you ready for your California Housecar License.

Gary the RV Guy

We LOVE Training Groups!

If your organization has added a trailer to your fleet and some of your drivers are NOT comfortable with backing, maneuvering and driving the combination in urban traffic, we
have a program just for you!

uso team boot campThere are many situations where a driver is NOT required to have a CDL but given the length of the combination of your truck or van and trailer, your drivers should understand the rules of the road for large vehicles.

If some of your drivers require more knowledge to get comfortable behind the wheel and if our goal for you of ZERO DAMAGE is important to your organization, we have a program for you called TEAM BOOT CAMP.

honest tea team boot campRecently we had the honor to provide Trailer-Towing Boot Camp to two Great Organizations, the USO and Honest Tea. Both organizations have a number of new drivers with NO towing experience and needed to know what to do to keep safe.

If your Team could use Trailer-Towing Boot Camp, give me a call, we’ll come to you and we’ll make it happen!

Gary the RV Guy

An RVer’s New Year’s Resolution:

BEFORE MOVING MY RV:

1. I WILL DO A PRE-TRIP CHECK

 pre trip 2017

2. I WILL SET MY MIRRORS

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3. BEFORE BACKING, I WILL - GET OUT AND LOOK!

 

4. I WILL WATCH FOR OFF-TRACK & TAIL SWING

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5. I WILL NOT DRIVE DISTRACTED

 

From everyone at RV Basic Training, to RVer’s everywhere,
“Have a Safe and Fun-Filled 2017!”

If You’re Renting An RV You Need RV Basic Training

Congratulations on the decision to follow your wanderlust under your own steam by traveling in an RV! As you probably already know, this experience can be extremely rewarding and a wonderful way to bond with your partner or family.

You’re about to make memories that will last a lifetime, but, before you do, you want to ensure these memories will all be wonderful and free of any hangups or safety concerns.

You wouldn’t operate most heavy machinery without some training and practice, and an RV is no different. There are many things that the experts can prepare you for which you may not be aware of.

Knowledge is power, and whether you have purchased an RV or are just renting one for your trip, RVBasicTraining.com is here to empower you for the vacation of your dreams.

Choosing the Right RV

If you haven’t secured your rental already, RVShare.com is a great resource to lead you to the best options for your RV renting needs. It is the largest community driven RV rental website, which means it has the largest selection for you to choose from.

Would be adventurers can choose a peer-to-peer rental from owners in the RVshare community or find an RV rental dealer in their local area to do business with.

Renters make all of their arrangements right through the site and simply pick up their keys when it’s time to hit the road, whether the rental is from a community member or a dealer. Refill the gas tank and return the RV when your trip is over- it’s really that easy.

Renting through RVshare.com automatically engages their secure payment protection. Renters also get free roadside assistance with every rental through the site. You’re never alone with 24/7 assistance just a call away.

Safety Is The Biggest Priority

Once your rental is nailed down, you have to learn how to drive it safely. Trust the experts when we tell you, there are things about driving an RV that you just can’t know until it happens.

That’s a big part of why we created the RV Basic Training Course. We want to walk you through potential problems and show you how to handle them with confidence.

Driving a vehicle as large as an RV is much different than operating a car. The vehicle responds differently and is engineered differently than a car. Understanding these differences could save a life.

We don’t want to sound extreme or alarm our students, but we would be remiss if we downplayed the potential for danger. We find that our students often come in with questions about the very things that are covered in the course, and we want to give you an overview of what you will learn with us in our training.

The size of the vehicle itself is important, and we will educate you on the footprint of your vehicle and how to operate it accordingly. We will also discuss the dangers of attempting to fit the vehicle into spaces it isn’t meant for.

This seems simple, but is easy to overlook in the moment. Mirror position, maneuvering in traffic, tail/swing and off/track procedures and more are all covered in our course, as well as pre-trip safety checks to be sure everything is in proper working order.

Braking

Braking in a large vehicle like an RV is a bit of an art, especially if you are towing a vehicle behind you on your trip. We will explain the ins and outs of auxiliary braking devices for towed vehicles so you understand how to operate these systems.

The braking system of the RV itself is often not powerful enough to handle the additional weight of a towed vehicle, and we’ll go into some detail explaining that, and the types of auxiliary braking systems available to assist in this regard.

We will cover braking assistance for diesel powered motorhomes as well, which often need such assistance when traveling uneven or steep terrain. These types of braking devices include exhaust brakes, engine brakes, driveline retarders, or transmission brakes or retarders. Don’t worry if that sounds like a foreign language to you- that’s exactly why we offer the course.

We will also provide an overview of some conditions that may require breaking fast or evasive maneuvers and how it is best to handle that. Slamming on the brakes when driving an RV may seem like a good, instinctual reaction, but it can be dangerous to the stability of the vehicle.

The tips that we provide could literally stand between you and an accident. That is the kind of souvenir you do not want from your trip.

All About Tires

Proper tire maintenance is another essential component to a safe RV trip. We will review the proper procedure and conditions in our course so you understand what to do to avoid problems and what to do if problems arise. This instruction includes an overview of maintaining the proper weight load in the RV, which directly relates to tire pressure.

Fire Safety

The prospect of a fire while on the road in your RV is rightly terrifying, but with a few safety precautions you’ll not only be able to avoid most dangerous situations, you’ll know what to do in case of an emergency. We recommend you obtain your own fire extinguishers to keep in the RV and any vehicles you are towing behind you.
Understanding Your Vehicle

Each RV is a little bit different, and we will advise you on the proper procedure, quirks and differences that exist. We want you to understand the power your vehicle has, how best to stop it when it's in motion, and what its limitations are.

Other Essential Safety Tips

There is much more to the course than we can discuss here, but we want you to have an idea of what else to expect. We recommend that any passengers along for the ride also learn to operate the vehicle in case of emergency or just to take the load off of the trip’s Captain.

We will discuss with you the importance of getting proper rest and listening to your body to avoid fatigue related incidents. We have some knowledge on state RV laws, which do differ from location to location, and we want to share that with you so you are aware of the potential that things can change as you cross state lines.

Insurance Discounts

If saving money on your insurance costs is what brings you in the door, that’s ok too! Whatever factors into your decision to learn all that you can about driving an RV is good news to us. There are many insurance providers who encourage temporary drivers or new RV owners to complete a safety course in the same way a similar course can lower the insurance on your family car.

Check with your insurance company to see if you qualify for a discount after completion of our course. We will provide you with whatever materials you need to satisfy their documentation requirements.

More About RV Boot Camp

Every driver and RV is different, and every travel circumstance is as well. Because of this, we have developed several Boot Camp programs to address specific situations and conditions. At RV Basic Training you can choose from courses focused on:

  • Individual One on One Driver Training
  • Corporate Driver Training - Safety Training
  • Mobile Medical Driver Training
  • Fifth Wheel Driver Training
  • Trailer Towing Training
  • Housecar License Training 40+ Feet
  • Group Driver Training and Special Events

Courses often fill up quickly, so make your arrangements as soon as possible to ensure your spot in the class. We truly look forward to meeting you, educating you, and helping you to have a wonderful trip in your RV.

With a little preparation from us, you’ll feel confident and prepared as you embark on your travels across the country.

To sign up for the RV Basic Training Boot Camp go here.

Driver Training for Everyone!

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Various Types of Boot Camp for Everyone!

  • Individual One on One Driver Training
  • Corporate Driver Training - Safety Training
  • Mobile Medical Driver Training
  • Fifth Wheel Driver Training
  • Trailer Towing Training
  • Housecar License Training 40+ Feet
  • Group Driver Training and Special Events

If you don't see the type of driver training you need in the list above please call us;
1-951-852-4785

Vehicle Pre-Trip Check List 2017

RV Basic Training Pre-Trip Check List
Download - PDF File

free download pre trip check list

RV Driving Course Manual

rv motor home driving manual j

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RV Headsets for Safety

New Headsets - Modern High Tech
New Stock -  New Model Available!

SPH10 Section4

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You receive a pair of RV Headsets for $398.00 One for the Driver and one for the Spotter!
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We are looking for Trainers

If you have a passion for RVing, have a CDL in good standing with a valid
instructors permit and would like to be part of our growing team.
Contact Gary today.

Contact Gary