Fifth Wheelin'
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Can You Triple Tow?

RV owners with fifth-wheel trailers sometimes ask: Is it legal to tow something behind my fifth-wheel? Our first "run in" with the concept was an older couple who pulled a fifth wheel, and behind it pulled their "toad car." It seemed totally out of whack to us, but in the years since, we've seen a lot more "triple tow" action.

According to TowingWorld.COM, the some 30 states do allow you to pull a trailer behind your fifth wheel. There are some "fine print" details on the matter, so we urge you to check out the full list before you hitch up and go. Here's the list of states allowing "triple tows:"

Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Mexico
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Wisconsin
Wyoming

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25 Comments:

  • So if I can just figure out how to get from Manassas, Virginia, down route 66 and I-81 to Tennessee, I'll have a clear shot to Texas with my toad and my trailer carrying my golf cart behind my RV!!

    By Blogger Michael, at 5:53 AM  

  • With so many USA RV travellers visiting Canada, why not post Canadian information too?

    By Blogger Frank & Lucy Spence, at 6:05 AM  

  • There are folks who tow doubles and get away with it. However, the problem may not be with the state laws but, with those who enforce the laws.

    While it may be legal to pull doubles in the state your in, it may only be legal on the Interstate Hwy system. Once you leave the Federal hwys, you may be forced to break apart the second tow. That's if the officer is being nice.

    Some officers will break you apart even if you're legal. If they don't understand what's allowed, you'll get ordered to break it up or, a ticket.

    Another issue would be the remaining states. Having to break before entry in the remaining states adds to the hassle of traveling. If you're on vacation, maybe not such a big deal (depends on the folks). Full-timers may have to deal with it more often - depending on travel patterns.

    Personally, I'll leave the "interpretation" factor out of it and stick with what works everywhere.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:19 AM  

  • There is no harm in double towing. I will soon retire and be a full timer. I plan to towing behind my 40 motor home a vehicle and a boat or utility trailer.

    Al RVer's should contact each state that does not allow double towing and get this law changed until all states allow double towing.

    Remember, there is no harm in double towing...

    Of course each driver should be mindful of when you can convienently double tow.

    Don't get into tight spots and have to waste other folks time while you un-hook and get re-situated.

    Know what I mean...

    By Blogger Full Timer Soon, at 7:10 AM  

  • I'm sure glad to get this information. We just bought a boat and are towing it and the car behind the motor home . But only on the Interstates. We want to be safe, safe, safe! Brake Buddy in the car and brakes on the boat trailer. 10,000 lb. capacity on the Blue Ox, and an extra heavy duty hitch on the car. And we travel at 55 mph.

    So far the state police have just passed us by. But it only takes 10 minutes to break us apart.

    By Blogger Carol, at 8:21 AM  

  • what happened to Alabama on the list
    Oh Well the name of the game
    Mr sensative

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:30 PM  

  • Also be sure to check on the legal size limits in the states you'll be towing in. Some states limit the length you can tow.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:37 PM  

  • DID I MISS SOMTHING YOU WERE TELLING ABOUT TOWING DOUBLES WITH A FIFTH WHEEL,AND READING THE COMMENTS MOST WERE ABOUT RV(MOTOR HOMES)PULLING DBLS ?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:52 PM  

  • I'm missing something here too. Are we talking about doubles or triples? Was the original question to each state asking about triples because of the TV, 5th wheel, and additional trailer (boat, ATV, etc.)If I'm pulling my 5th wheel with my ATVs trailered behind it, I'm pulling doubles. IE: two trailers. This can make a big differance to the states answer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:51 AM  

  • The way I understand things is: If you tow a 5th wheel and something on a trailer behind that, you have 3 'things' with wheels, which is a triple. If you have a motor home towing a car and behind that something on a trailer, that's 3 'things' with wheels, which is also a triple.

    In either case, this information is very useful.

    By Blogger Carol, at 10:26 AM  

  • I live in Ontario and tow a fishing boat behind our 5th wheel here it is lenght that I understand could be a drawback 75ft or less in total.I have never been stopped but only use the boat in Ontario.
    Bert And Shirley

    By Anonymous Bert, at 11:37 AM  

  • I think if you ask any truck driver to define doubles and triples, they'll tell you if their pulling doubles, they have two trailers and triples their pulling three. At least that's what the endorcements on my CDL says.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:01 PM  

  • I met a fellow in the Florida Keys last April with a fifth-wheel towing a jet ski from Georgia. Said he'd never been stopped in GA or all the length of FL.

    By Anonymous doorman, at 5:49 AM  

  • Just because the state law may allow it, how safe are you? I wouldn't consider triple towing to be safe anywhere. My home is more important to me than having to triple tow a toy. We travel/fulltime in a big rig 5th wheel, and I drive the Jeep behind--much safer. We stay in contact by walkie-talkies and/or cell.

    By Anonymous Marci, at 5:56 PM  

  • I have a question. If you have one of the single wheel platforms which mount to a vehicle at two or more points, would this be considered towing a "double" if attached to a 5er.

    By Anonymous Jeff, at 6:34 AM  

  • Jeff, I'm sure it would be considered double towing.

    By Blogger Carol, at 4:56 PM  

  • I wasn't sure about the laws concerning double and triple tow with a RV, but with a 18 wheeler, the tow vehicle (tractor) isn't included in the count. So if you are towing a 5th wheel with a trailer (or) vehicle connected to the RV...then you are towing double.

    By Anonymous Richard B, at 10:37 AM  

  • I gave up my California Class A Drivers license when I retired thinking I would no longer have a need for it. Boy was I wrong, I would love to be able to tow a trailer behind my 5th wheel. So after reading this article I thought, oh good maybe I still can. Living in California I went to the CA DMV website. And I finally found the answer at: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl648/dl648.pdf.
    “Recreational Vehicles and Trailers Handbook”
    Under “Noncommercial License Classes”.
    It states, “No passenger vehicle, pickup truck, or RV may tow more than one other vehicle without a Commercial Class A license, with endorsement.”

    By Anonymous rtkville, at 2:27 PM  

  • I sent an email to Cal Highway Patrol asking about a "Dolley" (a platform with a single wheel) attached to the rear of a 5er. I received a very polite reply from the Commander of the Commercial Vehicles Division. He said in CA it is considered "triple towing" and included the codes which apply. Also a CDL with endorsement would be required.
    Guess I won't get a "quad".

    By Anonymous Jeff, at 7:03 AM  

  • As I understand it, in CANADA [Manitoba] you may tow a second trailer behind a fifth wheel ONLY! Just one bumper hitch is allowed in the combination and it must be the rear vehicle.
    Does anyone have a list of Canadian provinces allowing double towing this way
    Jim

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:35 AM  

  • can you triple tow using a goose neck trailer pulling a pop up camper. I don't have the money for these big 5th wheel trailers and I want to carry my motorcycles on a flat bed 20 foot goose neck pulling my pop up.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:55 AM  

  • IT LOOKS LIKE ONLY CA. HAS SPECIFICALLY DEFINED WHAT YOU CAN TOW, WITHOUT ACTUALLY DEFINING WHAT DOUBLE OR TRIPLE TOWING IS. AND WHAT THE LICENSING REQ. IS. APPARENTLY, WHETHER YOU ARE TOWING DOUBLE OR TRIPLE DEPENDS ON WHAT KIND OF D.L. YOU HAVE, CDL OR JUST A REGULAR NON COMERCIAL ONE.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:15 PM  

  • Ok, I live in the state of MO, and there are a lot of people (including myself) that pull a boat behind a 5th wheel, and it IS LEGAL! Now as for me, With a long bed 4 door Ford f-350 dually, pulling a 39' Tahoe Transport (toy hauler for the bikes) and a 23' twin engine jet boat behind that, I am 83' long total, but I make at least 2 trips to south FL each year (through AR on hwy 63,& I-55, TN on I-55 & hwy 78, MS on hwy 78, Al on Hwy 78, I65, & hwy 231, FL on 231, I-10, I75, & the FL turnpike) I have never been stopped or questioned by any one. I have even been through GA on back roads to visit people in Brunswick before going down to FL with no problems at all. THIS IS NOT TO SAY AT 83' I AM LEGAL, IT IS JUST TO SAY THAT I HAVE NOT BEEN STOPED IN 4 YEARS OF DOING IT AT LEAST TWICE A YEAR!

    By Anonymous Scot Milburn, at 2:40 PM  

  • One word you guys are forgeting... Reciprocity - Most states will honor your registered states licence and laws. I have a drivers licence from my state, do I need a drivers licence for each state I drive in? of course not.... the other states accept my resident drivers licence. MOST states alow Reciprocity of the registerd states "Double" towing. Michigan can only tow a trailer behind a fifth wheel, and must not exceed total GVW of towing vehicle, and there are length restricions.

    As for you people that think it is unsafe, well you should not do it. Just because you think it is unsafe, should not stop anyone else from doing it. I have a licence that says I know what I am doing. Flying is safe and there are alot of people that believe it is not safe, should we not let anyone fly? Oh planes crash, so maybe we should not fly? Should we let you, a non licenced person fly a plane? I dont think so, you may crash it because you dont know how to fly, should I be alowed to tow 2 trailers, as a licenced driver with proper endorsement and proper equipment, of course I should.

    People need to start THINKING before speaking...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:36 PM  

  • We kive in the state og Georgia, we go camping alot. But it takes two vehicles to get our popup camper and our boat to the lake. Does anyone know if it is legal to double tow behind our pickup truck, in the state of Georgia? I have researched, but not found my answer.

    By Blogger Curious, at 10:12 AM  

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