Triple Towing-What to Know

Mar 20 2017

It’s common to see a toy being towed by an RV while you’re out traveling the open road. Really, unless you’ve got a toy hauler, how else are you going to get that jet ski to the lake on your next RV trip? Those who push the laws of physics and dare to bring not only a vehicle and RV, but maybe also a toy along too, are known as “triple towers” or “double trailer towers.” But hold up a second! Before you get started hitching up that trailer to your fifth wheel, take a look at some of the things you’ll need to know while hauling that beast of a load.

What Is It?

Triple towing is when you are towing a trailer (like a fifth wheel) behind a towing vehicle and then attach another trailer to the fifth wheel for a third vehicle. An example could be a snowmobile or equipment trailer. Triple towing is legal in about half of the United States (in general, all except the east coast and northwest). It’s acceptable in parts of Canada and Mexico as well but can require additional licenses or permits. Knowing which states and territories allow triple towing can save you headaches and lets you plan your route around states that might not allow this type of towing.

Towing Laws State To State

Sometimes it’s easy to forget when traveling over a large country that each state is unique and has its own laws. Do you need breakaway brakes? What is the maximum width your trailer can be? How fast are you allowed to go? Especially when cruising down the road with two trailers, it’s good to be able to rest assured that you won’t be stopped for violations. This table gives great, easy-to-understand insight to what you can expect when you’re traveling across state lines.

Deciding to Triple Tow

Sometimes, you just have to do it to get all of your equipment there. With this in mind, there are a few things to remember when you decide to triple tow. The first is that backing up really isn’t a thing anymore. Let’s be real: it’s tough when you’re towing just your rig. It’s nearly impossible when you’ve got two trailers on your backside. This can be a challenge when you’re trying to find places to park or pull in since you’ll need to be able to pull through to get out.

It’s difficult (and stressful) to tow a fifth-wheel during windstorms, rain or snow. When you add another trailer to the mix, you’re in for an adventure. It’s difficult to maintain control over your rig, and you’ll likely end up pulling off to wait out the storm. In addition to being difficult to maintain, don’t expect to get great decent gas mileage. Adding the extra weight and surface area will drag your numbers beyond low, so expect to spend a little more time and a few more dollars at the pump.

Safety

Even if some states allow triple towing, these laws may be applicable only to commercial vehicles, like semi-trailers and exclude recreational vehicles. Other states have restrictions based on weight, length or other parameters. Check on the laws in the states you’ll be traveling through before you leave so you know whether or not it’s acceptable to travel with two trailers. You don’t want to get there and be surprised when you see red and blue in your side mirror.

Tricky Towing

Towing can be a nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be! With some planning and preparation, you’ll know exactly what to expect on your adventures. If you decide to triple tow, be sure to check to that you’re covered under towing laws to make a smooth sailing experience for you and your guests. It’s your Good Life. Enjoy it the way you want, and tow safely!