Recreational Vehicles and Trailers Handbook

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Section 1 of 16

Purpose of this Booklet

This booklet contains the information needed to qualify for a noncommercial Class A, noncommercial Class B 45′ housecar, and noncommercial Class B recreational vehicle trailer endorsement.

This booklet is also a handy reference for people who currently drive a recreational vehicle (RV), or pull noncommercial recreational trailers, fifth-wheel trailers including livestock trailers, and motorcycle trailers. It concentrates on the information needed to drive these vehicles safely.

The RV is a mobile living experience which more people are discovering. Trailers, motor homes, campers, and van conversions offer a fun way to enjoy leisure time.

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is concerned with the safe operation of RVs, recreational trailers, and all other trailers. Most drivers have experience in driving passenger vehicles. However, an RV or trailer handles differently. Some of the most noticeable differences are restricted vision and added braking time. Other differences include being aware of bridge heights, buildings with low canopies, space requirement needs, increased following distances, increased turning radiuses, and the additional space needed for lane changes.

The glossary at the back of this booklet defines terms which you may not be familiar with.

Handbooks to Study for Obtaining the Necessary Driver License

  • California Driver Handbook which contains basic driver license rules and regulations for safe driving in all situations.
  • Commercial Driver Handbook which contains the rules and regulations for Class A and Class B commercial vehicles and trailers, multiple trailers, passenger transport vehicles, and commercial Class C vehicles which must be placarded to transport hazardous materials or wastes.
  • California Motorcycle Handbook which contains rules and regulations for Class M1 and M2 motorcycle operators.
  • Various brochures entitled “Fast Facts” or “How To” which provide driver license and registration information for vehicles and trailers.

Other Study Materials

  • Owner’s manual for your towing vehicle
  • Owner’s manual for your RV or your trailer