Questions about Hauling into Ca with an old Pete

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by MJuneAk, Dec 3, 2020.

  1. MJuneAk

    MJuneAk Bobtail Member

    Dec 3, 2020
    I have been searching all over and no matter what, I can not seem to find the answers to my questions, or simply do not know how to search it and hoping you can help.

    I am an Alaska resident and will very soon have my Class A license here - I have held one prior but it was 15+ years ago. I am also an Alaska resident. The truck in question is registered in Alaska.

    I have been gifted a really cool 1989 PeterBuilt 379 - it is only a two axle and is a short rail (forget the measurements). It's right at about 16K pounds empty I believe, I will get it weighed this week. I would be hauling my own personal 4 horse gooseneck horse trailer, with my own personal horses, or my own personal 20K lb flatbed trailer with my own personal vehicles (a model T speedster, random car projects etc), or hay, on it. So I would not be for hire in any way shape or form.

    I currently haul things with my 3500 Duramax and I haul back and forth a couple of times a year from Alaska to Ca, as well as to my daughters house in Carson City Nevada. Sometimes I leave my truck parked at my fathers house in Ca, for a month or two, as I leave my horses there if I am not going to be home with them here in AK. Sometimes I leave my truck and trailer in Nevada and leave the horses with my daughter as she enjoys having them home.

    I understand Alaska completely - what I can not figure out is will I be ok in Ca with not following all of their crazy engine and filter laws if I am hauling privately and just would prefer to have an awesome peterbuilt rather than a boring duramax?

    There are times when the truck will sit, like I said above, for 1-2 months and I fly home rather than drive. Of course parked on private property etc.

    Will I have issues in scale houses etc because my truck is old and I don't have their filters and 50K dollar engine? Also, can I just run on a log book - I heard/saw that now everything is electronic logs? Not sure how that works down there..

    Thank you in advance for any help or pointing me in the right direction to figure it all out and please be kind, this all came about today and I am still processing and weighing options lol - what a pain!
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  3. The Crossword Trucker

    The Crossword Trucker Medium Load Member

    Feb 21, 2015
    My understanding is that if you are not for hire, its the same as an RV as far as logbooks and scales go .
    No reason you should have to pull into a scale.
    In most states I dont think you even need a CDL
    Emissions is quite another thing though , not sure how that one will play out.
    I dont think california allows you to have any vehicle in the state for more than a month without plating it there.
    I think you will need to send the DMV a long email, this is a tricky one.
    MJuneAk Thanks this.
  4. MJuneAk

    MJuneAk Bobtail Member

    Dec 3, 2020
    And, of course I went to the main Ca website and to their fact sheet pages and it's all documents in Spanish, whether you click the English or Spanish button. Sooooo frustrating.

    I will need my CDL, the new weight limit nonsense applies - of course if I was driving an RV like a road jerk, like most RV people do, I would be exempt but heaven forbid I safely haul my animals and my personal belongings LOL.
    Badmon and RubyEagle Thank this.
  5. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    0 can answer your questions.
    Interesting thread though. Haven't heard of anyone needing a CDL that uses a truck as an RV, is the truck is registered as an RV.
  6. dclerici1

    dclerici1 Medium Load Member

    Aug 1, 2012
    You might find your answers (as far as running the older truck) on the CARB website.
  7. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Light Load Member

    Howdy MJuneAK,

    It sounds to me like the easiest solution to your problem is do what is nessisary in your HOME STATE, to register and title your 379 as an RV. Most States do NOT require a CDL, to drive an RV, check with YOUR State to see if it is required or not.

    Many years ago I jammed gears for a living, haven't done so in over 30 years. However I have been driving an HDT, as an RV for the last 6 years. First one I built 6 years ago was a Freightliner Columbia, did what my home State of Washington required to convert the truck and then legally register and title it as an RV, in my State no CDL required to drive an RV. Three years ago I found a very nice 2001 379 and converted it to an RV, sold the Freightliner and have been driving the 379 into, through and out of commiforina as an RV for the last 3 years.

    If you convert your 379 into an RV, it is NO LONGER a commercial vehicle and unless and until they change the laws concerning "RV's" to have to meet commercial truck emissions standards if have converted your truck into an "RV" your legal even in commiforina. Here's my "RV" completely LEGAL even in commifornia.

    Started with this.

    Converted it into this.

    Use as this, when traveling.

    What we do each winter to escape from the Nor-Wet gloom.

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2020
    Reason for edit: Added information.
    Tall Mike, RubyEagle, rachi and 7 others Thank this.
  8. abyliks

    abyliks Heavy Load Member

    May 2, 2010
    ludlow MA
    Farming is considered commerce/ commercial unless you have an actual farm plate, then that’s when the grey areas start (as long as it is for the farm) unless you are towing an actual camper it is not an rv
  9. AKDoug

    AKDoug Light Load Member

    Mar 21, 2018
    As a guy that owns both a 379 and a modern diesel pickup.. I'd far rather tow 20K behind my old Duramax or my newer Ram, than sit in 35+ year old Pete going down the Alcan, but that's just me. If it's a day cab, even less so.

    Your best bet is to contact Alaska Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. I've never had any problems talking to them. Secondly you can talk to the Alaska Trucking Association. They are also a DMV contractor and can issue plates. I had ZERO issues with them issuing private plates for a bus I was converting to an RV. I just had to show them pics of the seats removed. However, I had a hell of a time insuring it and nobody would cover it reasonably for full coverage. I have a $600 a year liability only policy on it.

    Finally, I would skip the scales once you are privately plated in Alaska. Let them come to you. What you are doing is not illegal in Alaska and you can travel the U.S. with that exemption as long as you are an Alaskan resident. No different than if I took a 10K+ RV trailer into Texas for a visit, while they require TX residents to have a class A license for that if they live there.

    As for CARB requirements, once again it's not commercial. You need to look at their private side of things to determine legality.
    Tall Mike, tommymonza and MJuneAk Thank this.
  10. MJuneAk

    MJuneAk Bobtail Member

    Dec 3, 2020
    Thank you - it is not an RV, it is a day cab truck, but it is not for hire, I would just rather drive it than a pic up lol.
    MACK E-6 and James j Thank this.
  11. MJuneAk

    MJuneAk Bobtail Member

    Dec 3, 2020
    Thank you - I have E mailed them actually because everything on their website has to do with actually registering in Ca but I am not registered in Ca LOL. Thank you!
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