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Saving time and money by registering as a Recreational Cargo Trailer or Recreational Trailer (Camper)

Thanks to the changes made with Act 138 amending Section 4942 relating to registered gross weights, subsection (c) was amended to exclude the requirement to register in combination for vehicles consisting of a motor vehicle towing a recreational trailer or recreational cargo trailer.

There is a new class registration for Recreational trailers, something commonly referred to as a camper, and Recreational Cargo Trailers. Recreational Cargo trailers are used for hauling things like ATV's, motorcycles, race cars, horse trailers, and the like.

Saving time and money by registering as a Recreational Trailer or Camper

For years, the problem with buying any trailer over 10,000 pounds meant that you had to register your towing vehicle in combination. What does that mean? OK, say you have a camper that weighs 16,000 pounds. The truck that is towing the trailer MUST combine at least the empty weight of the truck plus the weight of the trailer. Say the truck gross vehicle weight rating (truck + cargo) is 11,500. The calculation would be 11500 + 16,000=27,500 is the total.

Why is this combination registering an issue? There are two issues with having to register in combination. The first is cost. The cost of a truck that is 11,500 pounds is $220 and the trailer is $37 for a total of $257. When it is changed to combination, the cost is $651 for the combination weight of 27,500 pounds PLUS the trailer registration of $37. It is easy to see how much the cost jumps when in combination. The second issue is the Driver License requirements. When driving a vehicle in combination of 26,001 pounds or more, you are required to possess a non-commercial Class A license. You have to test for this license just to pull your camper. All that has now changed with this new classification.

How does this affect you? If you have a camper or a recreational cargo trailer, there is no need to register in combination or get that Class A non-commercial license saving you time, money and lot's of aggravation. Just get in and go. Can there be a caveat to registering your trailers this way? Yes, and this is very important, so pay attention.

You cannot use these vehicle for any commercial use or for making money. If you are hauling a race car and could win money, that is considered making money, even if you are a lousy driver and never win. One suggestion is that you race for trophies or just for fun. You get the idea, right? The same goes for your camper. If it is used for a mobile business operation, this option is not allowed. It must be used for recreation only. Please keep that in mind before you register your trailers.

You can save a bunch of money by re-classifying your trailer. Here are the annual costs:

  • 8000 pounds or less: $12
  • 8001-13000 pounds: $35
  • 13,0001 or more: $90 OR a Permanent one time fee of $425

Thanks for reading and be sure to read our other articles to save money and aggravation when dealing with PennDot.

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