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

Double Towing State Laws

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]


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.


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.

I live in New Mexico can I pull a utility trailer behind a tongue pull camping trailer

Is bumper double tow allowed in New Mexico?
Utility trailer pulling a wood chipper to be specific.

New York State does not allow Commercial Triples however double (53'Foot trailers are allowed on the interstates). If you did see a triple it was only by a special permit.

We do get some people in New York hauling a recreational combination of trailers however these are almost always from out of state and or country.....more frequently then not they are from Canada....

Im in New Mexico and have a 28 foot bumper pull camper. Is it legal to pull a trailered ATV behind the camper? What about safety concerns?


Was told by ST.police that U CAN't tow tow or 3 trailers at the same time " don't let us catch you". ?? What up there??

Can't tow 3 trailers at the same time or two don't let us catch U!

I live in Washington State and have been having a debate with the State Patrol for some time now. I contend that the RCW does not state anywhere that I can not tow my boat behind a 5th wheel trailer. I have a CDL but they say no I can't. WA law is based on British law that is based on the premise that if it is not stated that you can't then you can. I don't own a 5th wheel or I would test this. There is no where in WA state law that says no you can't. At least not that I have found. Only people at the State Patrol and they can't tell me where to find the statutes.

So according to this, I can tow my two International Scouts 800 behind my GMC pickup from New Mexico through Texas at the same time. I am not even close to the 68 feet limit.


I once read a persons post on an RV forum that said "In the early 1980's it was legal to tow two bumper-pulls, as long as the second trailer was set up like a semi trailer with a pup. In other words, the second trailer had to be supported by a set of wheels and not by the hitch on the rear of the front trailer. I'm guessing the guy meant to use a device like a Trailer Toad, where the Toad supports the tongue weight of the second trailer like the bumper of the tow vehicle supports the first trailer. I called and asked the state police about this rule, and they told me that Michigan law has been "fifth wheel only" for around 20 years or so, and that, even with the Toad supporting the tongue of the second trailer, bumper-pull doubles are illegal, I jhave searched for more info on this for years, Has anyone else heard about this law? And what di d the guy mean when he said "set up like a semi-trailer with a pup"?

Oh, and this person also said that, his friend was a state trooper, and he was a horse trailer builder, and he had told him about coming home with two trailers in tow, and the state trooper friend told him that, it was illegal, and when he asked why he saw so many illegal doubles, the trooper friend said that "Generally they did not stop people for it, but it was there for them to use if they felt they needed to.

Sorry about my first post, I did not mention which state I am in. I am in Michigan, and supposedly the double bumper-pulls were legal in Michigan, as long as the tongue weight was supported by a set of wheels, and NOT the rear frame or hitch of the first trailer. Sorry I left the state out.

Article is from 2009... About time for an update don't you think?

You can pull two trailers in New York first trailer must be fifth wheel and trailers can not be over 28 feet each from furthest point foward to furthest point in the rear (ex a boat would be measured from the front of its trailer hitch to the very end of the motor

I have a 2015 chevy Silverado that is rated at towing 11,300 lbs, my question is, I also have a 2016 bumper tow RV trailer and a small bumper tow utility trailer that I want to tow behind the RV, is this legal in California and bordering states?

My 3/4 ton pick-up pulls my 44' 5th wheel with a 10' trailer behind it. Sometimes it has a golf cart and others my Ultra Limited. Most of my driving is in Florida, has the law changed? Thank you

Yeah but how do you back up?

We pull a 16' boat behind our 29' fifth wheel.
They say you can do it in states where they tow triples like Ca, Ut, Az, tx etc.
We see triples ( big rigs ) in WA and we just got back from there.
We were told by a very Rude HP person. That they would take our boat from us.
Husband has non-comerical ClassA licence ,which all those people with 40' + motor homes pulling 20' trailers should have to have, we see them Pulling them through Ore and WA.
Yet they say we cannot tow our boat behind our fifth wheel.
Rude HP male said we are towing Triples. Last time I looked up triples it means 3. Our truck is towing a fifth wheel and a boat.
I count 2.

Does anyone know if you can tow a motorcycle on a Slick Wheelie behind a camper trailer? I have tried to google it but can’t find any info. Our camper trailer is a Terry and is 29’ long.


So, if I have a dually truck that's pulling a gooseneck race car trailer, and I have a camper being pulled behind that, would that be legal in the green states?

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