multiple trailer towing laws

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multiple trailer towing laws

Postby Rem » Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:50 pm

what are the laws state by state concerning towing two trailers at a time. I,m having trouble finding accurate info
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Postby brian_bp » Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:42 pm

There is a table posted as State Towing Laws which includes a column for "two trailers", which might be a useful starting point. The only things I am absolutely sure of are that it doesn't cover the places I know something about (two Canadian provinces), and that it has mistakes in it. What mistakes? I don't know, but none of these summaries are ever completely correct.

For Canada, you could start from RVDA of Canada - Provincial RV Regulations. I know that one is sort of right for B.C. and Alberta... it just fails to mention a bunch of important restrictions for Alberta. See what I mean about just a starting point?

I would use the table as a starting point, and specifically check each state (and province) that I was seriously considering visiting. Sites such as the FindLaw State Traffic Laws can be a good way to find the real regulations, which probably every state publishes on an official website.
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Postby Roly Nelson » Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:44 pm

Hi Rem, we have a teardrop builder/seller here in California that tows 2 teadrops behind his 4 door monster truck. He has a Class A truck driver's license. I believe he said that the 1st trailer has to have brakes in order to double tow. His main complaint was that the second trailer would tend to fish-tail when going too fast or if cross-winds were too strong. I don't think he double-tows very often, and I'm not sure that it is really legal here in Calif. (Help, Gage, what do you think?)
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Postby G-force » Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:53 pm

I thought in California the only way to pull doubles, is the middle one has to be a 5th wheel and the rear one can be a bumper pull. And have a class A. I could be wrong.
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Postby brian_bp » Sun Apr 13, 2008 2:56 pm

You could collect opinions and guesses for weeks, and still not know. Or you could look it up.

Typical requirements to watch for, even where some double-trailer rigs are allowed:
    - commercial driver's license
    - registered combined gross vehicle weight over some specific level (which in turn likely means a commercial license for vehicle and/or driver
    - front trailer heavier than rear trailer
    - front trailer hitched over tow vehicle axle (not "tag" or "bumper pull")
    - front trailer tandem axle
    - one or both trailers equipped with brakes
    - driver-controlled trailer brakes (i.e. not surge)
    - rear trailer only for specific purposes (such as carrying a boat or other vehicles)
    - front trailer fifth-wheel hitch (not ball)
    - overall length below some limit

I'm not suggesting that all of these apply anywhere, or that any of them apply in a particular jurisdiction, but they're examples of what I have seen in regulations.

Didn't we recently have this discussion? I'm not sure... I follow more than one forum. In addition to the legal requirements, there are physical requirements for stable and safe operation.
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Postby sdtripper2 » Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:47 pm

California License and tow laws explained in chart
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/cdl_htm/lic_chart.htm
NOTE: (California)
Class C = regular drivers license
No passenger vehicle regardless of weight, may tow more than one vehicle.
No motor vehicle under 4,000 lbs. unladen may tow any vehicle weighing 6,000 lbs. or more gross. (VC §21715)


For commercial drivers in California:
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/cdl_htm/sec1_a.htm
You would have to get an Endorsement to double tow.
You would have to have a T for (Double trailer combination—T) on your commercial drivers license.
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