Sometimes you need to tow more than just your RV. Some RVers take on “triple towing,” meaning they tow something like a jet ski, boat, or another vehicle behind their RV. Let’s learn more about what it is, where it’s legal, and what you need to know if you plan to try it.
Table of contents
- What Is Triple Towing?
- Why Would You Want/Need to Triple Tow With Your RV?
- Is Triple Towing Legal?
- What States Allow Triple Towing?
- Is it Safe to Triple Tow?
- Tips for Triple Towing With Your RV
- Triple Tow Your Trailers With Care
What Is Triple Towing?
Triple towing is also sometimes called “double towing.” It means you’re towing two vehicles behind the tow vehicle, for a total of three vehicles. This could be a fifth-wheel RV plus a boat, off-road vehicle, or jet ski.
Why Would You Want/Need to Triple Tow With Your RV?
Triple towing is a great option if you tow a fifth wheel RV and need to pull another trailer to transport something else large. You may not pull a bumper pull trailer behind another bumper pull trailer.
You may be planning to use a third motorized toy on your next RV trip. It’s common for off-roaders to tow some type of rock crawler or four-wheeler as well as their RV.
You might consider towing jet skis or a small boat behind your RV if you’re headed toward water. You could add a pair of mopeds so you can travel to and from town more easily.
Triple towing can also help if you need to accommodate both people and large animals. In these cases, a truck can pull a camper as well as a horse trailer.
Is Triple Towing Legal?
The laws vary by state. While it’s legal in some states, mainly the western states, it’s illegal in others. It’s important to know which states allow triple towing. Scout your route through multiple states and ensure that it’s legal in every state you enter.
Just because it’s legal where you started and where you’ll stop, that doesn’t mean it’s legal for the duration of your trip. There may also be specific limitations on the length of your combined vehicles that exceed some states’ laws.
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What States Allow Triple Towing?
Currently, it’s legal to triple tow in the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Vermont.
It’s important to know what the towing regulations are for states that allow triple towing. These regulations vary by state but include total towing weight and length limits. Depending on your state of residence, you might need a special endorsement on your driver’s license.
Visit the department of transportation website of each state you plan on traveling through before you set out.
Is it Safe to Triple Tow?
That depends on the competency of the driver and the limitations of the vehicles. Make sure you understand your towing vehicle capacities before you attach a second trailer. Triple towing CAN be done safely, however, you must make sure you do it properly.
First of all, your truck is going to need to be able to handle the additional load. Since many RVs already approach the limits of their respective tow vehicle, you’ll definitely need to make sure you’re not overweight on your truck.
Secondly, you’ll need to make sure that the hitch on the back of your RV is rated for the weight it will be carrying.
Third, you’ll need some special configuration of your safety equipment. Safety chains must be attached to the outer edge of your fifth wheel hitch. You’ll also need to wire in your rear trailer brake lights and turn signals into your fifth wheel RV – something it isn’t normally set up for – or all the way up to the truck pigtail.
Finally, ensure that your brakes and tire pressures are optimal for towing and stay within the weight limits. Experienced drivers should feel completely safe if they remain within the regulations and laws on the road. If you have never towed with three vehicles before, take a test drive on safe roads that you know well.
New to RV towing? Check out How To Tow an RV: A Guide For Beginners
Tips for Triple Towing With Your RV
Whether you’re a novice or an expert, here are a few tips to consider before heading out.
Use a Backup Camera Behind Your RV
It’s challenging and sometimes impossible to see behind you while towing extra vehicles. Using a backup camera will make a huge difference. If your vehicle doesn’t come with a standard backup camera, it’s simple to install one yourself.
→ Check out the 8 Best RV Backup Cameras to Make RV Driving Easier
While backing up with a second trailer is strongly discouraged, backup cameras will help with changing lanes on highways. They will also assist in watching traffic around you when going around turns or coming to stops.
In states where triple towing is legal, some areas have specific speed limits. To avoid getting a ticket, you’ll need to comply with towing speed limits. Aside from the laws, you must drive slowly enough to be safe on the road.
Since you will be heavier, braking and acceleration are going to take longer. Additionally, turning will require even more care as the rear trail will off track from the fifth wheel RV, which already off-tracks.
Don’t expect to do either action quickly. Give yourself and other drivers enough time to pull onto and off of the roads.
Avoid Bad Weather
In bad weather, you’ll have two main problems: visibility and road conditions. Slick roads are dangerous roads. If your towing vehicle loses traction, you’ll likely create a train of sliding vehicles. It’s best to wait to travel when you have full visibility and dry roads.
Know the Laws
Each state has its own laws about triple towing. These laws are in place to keep all drivers safe. Many of the states that don’t allow it contain tight, windy, and traffic-heavy roads.
For drivers who are fine risking a ticket, it’s important to remember that you could be putting yourself and others at risk.
Triple Tow Your Trailers With Care
There are plenty of occasions when triple towing will be safe and beneficial. A prepared driver can benefit greatly by utilizing their second tow hitch.
Whether you’re boating and four-wheeling, or you just want to hitch up your mopeds behind your fifth wheel, triple towing offers more options.
Have you ever tried it before?
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