California Pickup Weight Fees - Fiberglass RV
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:03 PM   #1
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I know this has been discussed before but I'm still undecided which way to go. It's clear, at least to me, that California motor vehicle statutes do not require paying the extra weight fees for pickups with permanent camper (shells). Unfortunately not all CHP officers are knowledgeable or sympathetic about the exemption and that it's only a matter of time before being pulled over for not having commercial plates. You are given ordinary passenger vehicle plates in California when requesting the exemption. So, what do you guys recommend? Save the $154 and risk being hassled or cave in?
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:29 PM   #2
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Print out a copy of the statute and staple it to your registration. That should refresh the officer's memory. If you get a ticket mail a copy of the statute to the traffic prosecuter handling the case along with a letter stating that you plan to plead not guilty. Most likely step one or step two will work. If not plead not guilty, insist on a trial and present the statute to the court as your defense. If you know the statute is in effect and it should apply to you and you are found guilty then file an appeal. Make them earn the fine money. Yes that is a lot to go through for $154 but some times you just have to take a stand on general principles.
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:21 PM   #3
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Looks like I was wrong with my interpretation of the CA motor vehicle statutes. Apparently, it's not enough to have a permanent camper shell on a pickup to qualify for the weight fee exemption. According to their definition of a camper it has to be habitable with a sink, bed, etc. So, it turns out that all pickups are considered commercial vehicles according to the DMV. The additional fees are based on the weight of the vehicle. Goofy because even though a Ford Excursion weighs considerably more than a Toyota Tacoma, the Tacoma is considered a commercial vehicle and subject to additional weight fees while the Excursion is not.
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:12 PM   #4
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We always switched to the non commercial plates when we had a pickup with a shell and were never hassled.

We think the California commercial weight fees on personal pickups is ridicules for the reasons you cited plus the fact that our trucks have never been used for "commercial" purposes. Do other states do this?
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:17 PM   #5
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Interesting comments from a California state senator
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:54 PM   #6
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Note that the bill never made it out of committee and pickup owners are still paying the commercial weight fees.
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:56 PM   #7
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Do other states do this?
I seem to remember that all Pick-ups back in [b]New York were issued Commercial Plates as well. I vaguely remember my Dad complaining about this 40 years ago...
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:48 PM   #8
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Here in Texas, I think they charge you more if you DON'T have a pick-up.
2003 Casita SD 17'
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weighing, weight

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