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Is It Legal to Double Tow?

Is It Legal to Double Tow?

Is It Legal to Double Tow?

What does double towing an RV and juggling have in common? Despite appearing to be completely unrelated, they have more in common than you might realize.

This is a feat that many RVers are too timid to try. In fact, in many states, you may be arrested for it.

Today we’re giving you the low-down on double towing.

Let’s dive in.

2021 F-Series Super Duty

What is Double Towing?

Double towing is what professional semi-truck drivers call, “hauling doubles.” This refers to towing two trailers with a single tow vehicle. It involves pushing your tow vehicle, and your skills, to the limits.

This is found in the RVing community when a tow vehicle is hauling an RV, but also an additional trailer. This additional trailer is often used to haul ATVs, kayaks, or boats.

Who wouldn’t want to bring their toys with them while camping?

Pro Tip: Double towing is also called triple towing, depending on who you’re talking to…confusing, I know!

Double towing, while sounding completely absurd, is legal in more than half of the United States. The entire east coast of the United States prohibits triple towing, but as you move further west it becomes more triple tow-friendly.

The east coast is not known for being extremely friendly to even regular towing due to the older infrastructure and road systems. The wide-open spaces found out west provide much more room for handling and maneuvering.

While a majority of the states allow double towing, regulations can and do differ from state to state.

Just because your specific double tow setup is legal in one state does not mean you are legal in another state, even a neighboring state.

It is your responsibility as the driver to verify and follow all state regulations when double towing.

What States Allow Doubler Towing

Twenty-eight states in the United States allow double towing in some capacity.

These states include:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iow
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio, Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah

It is important to note that restrictions vary from state to state. Here’s more in-depth info.

Some states have regulations set for combined vehicles and trailers and other states even have special permits that are required for double towing. You’ll want to verify the legality and requirements of double towing in any states you plan to double tow.

The Benefits of Double Towing

Testing and improving your towing skills are not the only benefits of triple towing. Double towing allows individuals to bring additional gear, supplies, and machinery to optimize their camping experience.

An example of when double towing is beneficial would be if you’re wanting to take a trip to your favorite fishing spot. You can not only bring your camper but enhance the experience by double towing your boat as well.

That weekend camping trip to the dunes is going to be a weekend your family will always remember. But what about if instead of just camping, you were able to double tow your camper and ATVs? Instead of just camping at the dunes, now you’re able to soar over the dunes in your ATVs.

Double towing requires experience and skills but allows for almost limitless possibilities when it comes to adventure.

Pro Tip: Here are the best 3/4 ton trucks for towing.

The Biggest Challenges When double Towing

Many new RVers are initially intimidated with towing their RV, let alone triple towing. As we’ve stated, double towing requires a tremendous amount of experience and skill. It’s not recommended for RVers to jump straight into double towing.

Double towing, as to be expected, does come with some challenges.

Knowing your tow numbers is always a challenge whether it’s towing a single trailer, or double towing. You’ll want to verify that not only your tow vehicle can handle the load, but also that hitches are rated for the towing capacity and set up correctly.

Double towing creates another point of connection that must be inspected and properly set up for safe and optimal towing.

It’s not only important to know your towing numbers, but also to be aware of your length. Double towing greatly extends your overall length. This will greatly affect stopping distance and also your ability to change lines while in traffic.

If triple towing regularly, many individuals choose to install an after-market camera to assist with keeping an eye on things behind them. 

Would You Double Tow?

Double towing is an exercise of your towing skills and abilities. Being able to multi-task like a juggler will be important. Being knowledgeable of all applicable laws and regulations is the first step, but you should also know your mechanical limitations as well.

Do you see yourself ever being a double-tower?

If so, what would you tow behind your RV?

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M Bruce Parker

Monday 13th of December 2021

I have been teaching mortals car control at racetracks for 30+ years. I keep thinking of towing 2 cars behind my Sprinter - to run one low maintenance motor rather than two high maintenance motors, and also to share driving and camaraderie. The patchwork of laws and physics interpretations is complex. I have no illusion that I could tow 2 [light] track cars, but would often need to drive around some states [Wisconsin] to arrive legally at Mid-Ohio. I'm still thinking about this. In europe, my 2500 Sprinter is spec'd for towing 8800#, but here the same vehicle is limited to 5000#. The difference: stopping specs with and without trailer brakes.

M Bruce Parker

Saturday 6th of November 2021

I have been teaching high performance driving clinics for 30 years. I wish it were legal to tow one car on a trailer followed by another [FWD] on a tow dolly. Advantage: run one low maintenance motor rather than two high performance motors. Camaraderie & shared driving. Everyone always gets home. I have found the state laws confusing and poorly understood by DMV and highway patrol officers. Bruce Parker / Motorsports Safety Foundation Level 2 certified instructor

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Towing

Monday 12th of July 2021

Nice information about double towing. For me I don't do double towing for safety purposes. If I would double tow the momentum of the 2 vehicles will hardly be stopped and possible explode th brakes and it will result to crash. So, towing vehicle one at a time would be better.

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