Double Towing a 5th Wheel: Is it Legal?

Double Towing a 5th Wheel: Is it Legal?
Double Towing a 5th Wheel: Is it Legal?

Fifth Wheel Double Towing

You may have seen this on the road; a big pickup truck towing a 5th wheel towing another trailer (or a car).  It looks dangerous, and you may wonder, is it legal?

Is Double Towing Dangerous?

Towing anything has an element of risk, and double towing is very risky. If you want to double tow a small trailer with an ATV or motorcycle, ask yourself, would it be better to trade in my current 5th Wheel for a toy hauler? If you want to tow a small car to save on gas once you’re parked, is the extra gas you’ll burn up double towing worth it? If you want to bring along a car, would it be better to simply have your partner drive it?

If you do decide to double tow, it’s important to keep your speed down and give yourself plenty of room on the road. Don’t be overconfident, and stay in the slow lane.

Things to Consider Before Double Towing:

  • It’s not legal in every state
  • Your fuel economy will be horrible
  • You absolutely will not be able to back up
  • Finding a gas station where you can fit will be even harder
  • You easily could exceed your truck’s weight and towing capacities
  • Bad driving conditions like rough roads and rain will affect your handling even more

It’s Not Legal in Every State

If you’re planning to stay out West, double towing might be OK, but if you want to do all 50 states, it won’t be. Furthermore, even the states that allow it has different regulations concerning double towing. Many of the restrictions concern the overall length of the double tow. The length is the combined length of your truck, the fifth-wheel, and what you are double towing.

Another common double towing regulation stipulates that the second thing being towed can only be a recreational item such as a boat, or another trailer with an ATV, motorcycle or jet ski. You plan on double towing something relatively small, like a motorcycle, jet ski or an ATV, getting a toy hauler 5th Wheel might make more sense.

The only way to know for sure about the laws in each state is to research the RV towing laws for every state you’ll pass through. You can start by visiting every state’s department of transportation website.

Consequently, you may find that double towing isn’t worth the hassle, risk, or driving stress. You may also decide that it’s too big of a load on your tow vehicle. While double towing is often legal, there may be safer options you should consider.


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