State Laws Can Pull You in Many Directions if You Double Tow

State Laws Can Pull You in Many Directions if You Double Tow

Our friends at Automobile Magazine have pointed out some interesting facts about trailer towing and state laws of which all truck owners should be aware. If you drive a full-size pickup, sooner or later you’re probably going to tow something behind it. You’d probably think one item, like a boat or an RV, was enough, but most states will allow you to tow two things behind your truck.

However, trailer-towing laws are inconsistent from state to state. The maximum length of a captive convoy ranges from 65 feet in Arizona and California to 99 feet in Mississippi. Licensing requirements may require a special commercial driver’s license (California) or simply taking a test, which is what Automobile Magazine in Michigan did recently to earn their “Recreational Double” endorsement. It only took $10 and a passing score on a 15-question exam -- no skills test required.

Terminology is inconsistent, too. Some states call it double towing, while others refer to it as triple towing. In general, you’ll find that every state along the Atlantic bans double towing except for Maryland. Hawaii, Washington and Oregon also make it illegal to double tow.

Best advice: If you’re going to double tow across state lines, call or check DMV websites ahead of time so you don’t find yourself paying a ticket and making two trips to get your trailers to their final destination.

Map of Double Towing States

[Source: Automobile Magazine]

Comments

It would have been nice to have been asked if you could have permission to use my picture of my rig in your article.

We've replaced it with the state of Michigan's double towing promo picture.

MARTY YOU'RE A FING CRY BABY I WOULD HAVE LIKED MY TRUCK UP THERE

Um I see doubles in WA all the time, and in OR you will see tripples... So I think your info maybe off

Just because you have seen them in your state doesn't mean it is legal.

I have a class A 35' RV, I want to tow my colbolt with a 8' trailer behind it. Can I do this? Is is safe? is it considered Double Towing or Triple Towing?
Thanks in advance for the info

can i tripple tow two bumper tow trailers in texas,arkansas,missouri,illinois and indiana?

truck towing a camper towing a boat. Is it legal in West Virginia? I have called the DMV twice and they have gave me two different answers yes it is legal no it is not. Mayb you can find out the right answer thank you

@ Eddie | Apr 24, 2012 12:12:20 AM
Eddie, that is just plain towing. Double or Triple towing is when you have two trailers behind the tow vehicle. Doesn't matter it the tow vehicle is a truck or a motor home.

Um I see doubles in WA all the time, and in OR you will see tripples... So I think your info maybe off

Posted by: David | Apr 17, 2011 11:03:11 PM

@David, he is not talking about commercial rigs.... he is talking about pulling double with a pick-up truck.

I'm going to start working with my state rep to get the law changed here in Oregon so I can tow my boat behind my 25' fifth wheel. I just retired from 38 yrs. of driving truck & have pulled everything from triple trailers to truck & trailer hauling 11K gallons of gas. If they want a special endorsement to do it that's fine I still have my CDL.

I have double and triple endorsement on my cdl
I would like to know if its ok to haul two 53" foot trailers round trip from Chicago to Anderson Indiana.
Thank you !

I have seen tractors hauling three 53" foot trailers from Buffalo- NY to NY city. Is it really against the NY law?

For those of you seeing double trailers in OR, it is not legal if oregon is your final destination. But is if you're traveling through the state.

We double towed a bass boat behind a 36 foot Holiday Rambler 5th wheel for 400 miles in the south east. It is not legal in any of those states, however no one seemed to pay any attention to us. The DMV told me that it was legal in Georgia, however a friend in law enforcement later enlightened me to the laws. If there had baan an accident, I hate to think of the liability issues that I might have faced. I had a machine shop custom build a class III reciever with an eight foot tube and six connection points to the frame. The frame was platted to increasse the strength of the unit. I changeed the trailer axles from 5K units to 7K units and ten ply truck tires. I installed electric brakes on the boat trailer, with a break-away switch, and a battery. The weight of the bass boat and trailer 2250 Lb's caused the trailer to break in two right behind the rear axle. The frame bent and dropped the floor away from the trailer body. The floor had a gap of three inches between the side walls at the rear of the unit. It took a winter in the shop and several thousand dollars to repair the RV back to as built condition, which insurance did not cover. In the end, I had a very expensive class three hitch that I could plug my bicycle rack into. I feel lucky that we only had equipment damage and no accident. I noticed in the mirror that the back of the trailer was moving up and down a lot, and we could see the boat bobbing around in the rear view camara. The boat never actually came uncoupled from the hitch, and the RV although bent, did not fully break apart. We were lucky. By the way it handled great before it begin to break into pieces.



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