California Residents! Non-Commercial? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum

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post #1 of 23 Old 06-07-2012, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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California Residents! Non-Commercial?

Was going to post this in the Cali section but the lack of activity there pushed me back here. Anyone in Cali running a camper shell and registering their trucks as non-commercial? I am hearing mixed reviews about whether this is a good idea or not. Guy who just came into my office showed me the reg. on his dodge (2006) and he only paid $148 for the year. Mine was $450... Pretty tempting.

Also hearing hwy patrol likes to hassle people who "work" the law in their favor... I.e. they will pull you over if you have passanger plates with a camper shell and tell you to prove you're non-commercial. Anyone have more experience with this?
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post #2 of 23 Old 06-07-2012, 11:25 AM
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My grandpa does this, he has an 02 gmc 2500 and it is a lot cheaper. The proof that its non commercial is your license plate. So if you have a non commercial plate on a truck without a camper, they should know. Not sure why they would hassle you much unless you weren't compliant

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post #3 of 23 Old 06-07-2012, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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My grandpa does this, he has an 02 gmc 2500 and it is a lot cheaper. The proof that its non commercial is your license plate. So if you have a non commercial plate on a truck without a camper, they should know. Not sure why they would hassle you much unless you weren't compliant
They say that a camper shell is boarderline, the law is really meant for slide-ins so cops hassle people who are "challenging the law" so to speak. The plates make your registration compliant but if you were to take the camper off and get caught i hear the fines are huge. One guy I knew got busted for having tires in the back of the camper as that is not a passenger vehicle duty. Think I'm going to keep my truck as is so i don't have to mess with all this.
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post #4 of 23 Old 06-07-2012, 06:23 PM
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They say that a camper shell is boarderline, the law is really meant for slide-ins so cops hassle people who are "challenging the law" so to speak. The plates make your registration compliant but if you were to take the camper off and get caught i hear the fines are huge. One guy I knew got busted for having tires in the back of the camper as that is not a passenger vehicle duty. Think I'm going to keep my truck as is so i don't have to mess with all this.
My father in law just tried with his tundra and a campershell and the DMV flat declined him saying the camper shell does not make it non commercial use and said they wouldnt grant a non commercial plate

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post #5 of 23 Old 06-07-2012, 06:36 PM
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I have a friend that did this and his buddy who is a cop said he better not get caught with something in his bed taller than a camper shell or it's a hefty fine
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post #6 of 23 Old 06-07-2012, 08:12 PM
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I was living in CA when I got my 00, had non commercial plates due to a shell that was removed by the PO. Took about a year before I got pulled over. I played dumb and got a fix it ticket. Still cost me registration and about $40 processing at the court. About a year after that, I bought the shell off the PO for $50, changed back to non commercial then proceed to break the glass 6 months later. At that point I had had enough with CA and registered out of state till I moved.
What you will gain is removing the weight fees from your registration which brought mine down to about $100. Didn't have any issues at the DMV, they just looked at the shell from the outside and filled out the paperwork. I have heard that the shell needs to be bolted down, then it's basically the same as a bronco.

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post #7 of 23 Old 06-07-2012, 08:47 PM
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Years ago I had a room mate with a Blazer, He would get pulled over by the local cops whenever he would remove the top.
But they told him it was ok without the top as long as he kept the rear seat bolted in.

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post #8 of 23 Old 06-08-2012, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCVeloMan View Post
They say that a camper shell is boarderline, the law is really meant for slide-ins so cops hassle people who are "challenging the law" so to speak. The plates make your registration compliant but if you were to take the camper off and get caught i hear the fines are huge. One guy I knew got busted for having tires in the back of the camper as that is not a passenger vehicle duty. Think I'm going to keep my truck as is so i don't have to mess with all this.
so you can't carry tires for personal use in a passenger vehicle?

my god California is a cluster
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post #9 of 23 Old 06-08-2012, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by drunk on diesel View Post
so you can't carry tires for personal use in a passenger vehicle?

my god California is a cluster
I think that's one of those "Cop having a bad day" write ups. I said the same thing. i.e. I could easily toss a bunch of tires in the back of an ecursion, why not my truck bed? At that point it becomes about having provisions for passangers as the law really isn't about camper shells, more slide-in campers so you're operating on a loop-hole anyway. He then said I was basing my argument on the law being about a shell, but would i throw a bunch of tires in the back of a slide in camper for which the law is actually intended? If that makes sense.

Essentially, I found out I would be arguing around a loop-hole in the law so prepared to be hassled if you ever cross the line as cops seem to enjoy pestering those who dance their fine lines. Same deal with open-carry laws in Cali, you can do it but you're going to get hassled. I would rather pay the additional $100 per year than deal with all the BS. Appreciate all the input either way!
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post #10 of 23 Old 06-12-2012, 11:16 PM
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Ya you just save on weight fee. You can't take it off either. And I belive Ca. got rid of the open carry law this year unless during hunting season while hunting.

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