California is one of the states that allows towing of two trailers behind a single tow vehicle, called a triple tow because three vehicles are involved. Some drawbacks and rules apply, and it is important to know that if you intend to travel beyond California you need to check the laws of states you wish to pass through. Some do not allow triple towing, and others have regulations different from those of California.
Total combination of all trailers, including the tow vehicle, must not exceed 65 feet. That includes the front bumper on the front vehicle and the rear bumper on the last vehicle in the tow. Safety equipment attached to the outside of the vehicles must not extend beyond 10 inches.
Height and Width
No vehicle in the towing unit may exceed 14 feet in height, or 8 feet 6 inches in width. Any trailer wider than 8 feet 6 inches requires additional towing permits called the CalTrans Transportation Permit. These permits are used for wide loads, heavy loads and long loads and vary from state to state. Oversize load permits include restrictions on the types of roads used and the time of day when roads can be traveled with the tow unit.
All trailers exceeding 1,500 lbs. must have their own brakes. Any vehicle towing a trailer weighing more than 1,500 lbs. must be fitted such that the brake system can be connected appropriately.
Safety chains are required on all towed vehicles in a group. For extra stability, the proper position for tow chains is for the chains to be crossed under the tow hitch.
In California drivers need a special endorsement on their driver's license to pull two trailers behind a car, SUV, truck or RV, any trailer weighing more than 10,000 lbs. or a single motorhome over 40 feet in length.
Vehicles towing any vehicle must stay in the farthest right-hand lane. Right turns on red are allowed. RVs and tow vehicles can use a carpool lane if three or more passengers are riding in the vehicle.
The maximum speed for any RV or tow vehicle is 55 miles per hour regardless of posted limits. All RVs and tow vehicles must obey lower posted speed limits where they apply.
- N.S.A. RV Products Inc.: State Towing Laws for RVs
- Woodall's Everywhere RVers Go: Rules of the Road
- California Department of Transportation: Frequentlly Asked Questions
- 2 RV Guys: 2004 State Towing Laws
- The Fun Times Guide: RV Road Trips: Triple Towing: What You Need to Know Before You Pull 2 Trailers Behind a Car, Truck, or RV
- rv on highway image by jedphoto from Fotolia.com