If you’ve ever seen a truck hauling a trailer pulling a boat and wondered what’s up, that’s triple towing, baby!
This method might help you get all your toys to your vacation destination, but it could also be a huge mistake. So how can you decide if this tactic is worth it?
We have all the details to help you make this critical decision.
What is Triple Towing?
Double towing, triple towing, hauling doubles. Whatever you call it, this is when you pull two vehicles behind your truck or RV. You may have a fifth wheel connected to your hitch and a toy hauler attached to your fifth wheel. Or you have a toad on your motorhome and a boat hooked to the car.
Maneuvering so many axles at once is tricky and isn’t even legal in some places. However, many consider triple towing an art. It takes skill, practice, and daring bravery few possess.
Is Triple Towing Legal?
Regarding the legality of double towing, it all boils down to the laws in each state. Some places ban the practice outright, while others strictly dictate how it happens. Jurisdictions may control this by length, weight, or what you’re pulling.
Even more confusing is that people refer to the practice by many different names.
If you’re traveling through multiple states, having an itinerary in place and knowing the laws before you hit the road is important. You can check each region’s Department of Transportation website for specific details.
What States Allow Double Towing?
About half of all US states allow triple towing. You’ll probably be alright if you’re only traveling in the country’s center. Of course, just because the practice is legal doesn’t mean your setup meets each location’s regulations. So do your homework beforehand.
Most states that ban the practice outright are Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and just about everywhere along the eastern seaboard. So don’t plan to double up from Florida to Maine.
Make sure you check with each destination’s regulatory board before taking off. A ticket and having to look over your shoulder the whole trip will really put a damper on your good time.
Is Double Towing Safe?
Many factors affect the safety of triple towing. Driving skills, vehicle specifications, weather, and more can have an impact.
It should go without saying that if you’re uncomfortable hauling a single vehicle, you probably shouldn’t add another axle to the mix. Unexpected weather conditions could spell disaster if you’re already on edge.
Tow capacity is another big factor. RVs are heavy on their own, and exceeding the weight limit is easy. Then you need to consider what your camper is capable of hauling.
Of course, you’ll need safety chains and the ability to wire the third vehicle. After all, other drivers must be able to tell when you hit the brakes. If your RV doesn’t have the correct wiring, you’ll need to run them up to your truck.
Slowing down while hauling one vehicle is hard enough, but it’s even tougher with two. To safely triple tow, your brakes must be well-maintained. You’ll also need to closely monitor your tire pressure since the added weight can cause an issue.
Pro Tip: Make sure you know these 10 Unwritten Rules for Towing before you hit the road.
Tips for Triple Towing
This practice can be beneficial if you’re comfortable with your towing abilities and want to take the plunge! We have a few tips to help you stay safe and travel with confidence.
Avoid Sketchy Weather
Towing a single vehicle in bad weather is dangerous. But adding another rig to your lineup will only make it worse. Decreased visibility and slick or icy roads combine to spell disaster.
Most folks who double tow respect this fundamental law of the road. But those who don’t may as well be a cartoon slipping on a banana peel.
If you decide to haul doubles, have a flexible schedule to allow for unexpected weather. After all, you don’t want to be stressed out by your safety or a deadline.
Install a Backup Camera
Let’s be honest. Reversing while triple towing is a bad idea. It’s hard enough to back up while hauling one vehicle. With two, the chances of hitting something go from possible to probable.
But backup cameras are handy while going forward. Merging in traffic, taking turns, and coming to a stop are all less stressful when you have a view of your surroundings.
If you’re going to double tow, do yourself a favor and install a backup camera before hooking up that extra axle. It’s not even hard to install!
Here’s another given. You’ll need to drive slowly when triple towing. First, it’s against the laws of physics to get up to speed as quickly as you would without the extra cargo. But it’s also for your safety and everyone around you.
You won’t be able to slow down as quickly either, so keep plenty of space between your hood and the vehicle ahead.
Turning is also precarious since you’re dealing with additional axles. The most important thing is to drive slowly so there’s plenty of time to assess your surroundings and react cautiously.
Pro Tip: Never commit any of these 7 Deadly Sins of Trailer Towing.
Is Triple Towing Worth It?
Triple towing can allow you to travel with all your toys. And having fun is the whole point! But if you hook up that boat, be sure you’re comfortable behind the wheel and prepared for anything.
After all, it isn’t just your investments at stake. It’s your life. Hauling doubles doesn’t have to be dangerous, but it certainly can be. It’s up to you to know your limits and drive responsibly.
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