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Triple towing with an RV is when you are towing a fifth wheel or travel trailer behind your tow vehicle and then towing something else behind that. Some people tow a smaller trailer or boat behind their RV. So, there are 3 pieces to your rig: the vehicle, the RV, and whatever else you are towing.
If it sounds crazy, it’s because it kind of is. And for this reason, there are triple towing laws in many states. Some states don’t allow it at all, and in others, there are specific regulations you have to follow.
Things to consider
Before you think about triple towing, you need to consider a variety of factors. For example, are your combined weight and towing capacity within safe and reasonable limits? If they aren’t, you put yourself and others at risk.
You should also consider your driving experience. Especially your driving experience with an RV. If you are a new RVer, jumping right into triple towing is not something we would recommend. You would be better off gaining experience towing one thing at a time before jumping into triple towing.
Also, make sure you check with your insurance company beforehand. Some do not allow this. If you were to get in a wreck because of triple towing, you might be out of luck if your insurance has rules against it.
The longer your rig, the more the risk. You will have a harder time merging, turning, and driving in traffic with your added length. Just because there are no triple towing laws in your state doesn’t mean it is necessarily a good idea.
When triple towing, you will also have increased weight, which means stopping and starting will be more of a challenge. You also must be extremely vigilant when turning to make sure you don’t clip anything. Be sure to have your RV Emergency Kit when attempting this in case of emergency!
State laws vary
Some states have triple towing laws that prevent you from triple towing entirely, or which implement restrictions that you need to follow.
Before you leave for a trip, check the regulations on your state’s department of transportation website. Also, check the triple towing laws of any states you will pass through along the way.
Some states limit the total length or weight. Some stimulate what the extra tow vehicle can be. Make sure you do your homework and follow all local regulations so you don’t end up breaking any laws.
The Following States Allow Triple Towing, but Regulations Vary:
- 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
All other states prohibit triple towing so plan accordingly.
RV Triple Towing Cons
While triple towing can be a suitable solution when you want to have just one more thing along on your trip, there are some cons. For example, it can be hard to follow all the triple towing laws since they vary so much by state. It would really put a damper on your trip to get ticketed because you misunderstood the rules.
Not only do different states have different laws, but they also have different terminology. Some places call it triple towing, others double towing. Commercial trucking terminology, on the other hand, refers to it as hauling doubles.
Another con of triple towing is that you should not triple tow in adverse weather such as heavy rain, ice, wind, or snow. And if you stumble upon poor weather, your safety can be in jeopardy. You also likely can’t back up your rig, at least not easily, so getting around on the road and in RV parks is more difficult.
Triple towing also has a significant impact on your fuel economy. Plus, the mental stress of driving such a rig may outweigh the pleasure you would get from having your additional towable along.
Tips For Triple Towing
If you proceed with triple towing, here are some tips.
- Have a backup camera so you can see what is behind you.
- Avoid bad weather. Plan so you don’t stumble upon any. And if bad weather catches you off guard, pull over as soon as possible to wait until the conditions approve.
- Decide if the added stress of triple towing is worth it. Would you have a more enjoyable trip by leaving something behind?
- Consider the added fuel costs. If you want to take your boat out, maybe you would be better off renting for a few days because of the money you would save on fuel, for example.
- Drive slowly! Be alert and eliminate all distractions. Make sure you leave extra time when pulling out into traffic and for stopping.