what is triple towing

A Guide to Navigating Triple Towing Safety and Legality

Ever thought about towing a camper and a boat at the same time? It’s called triple towing or double towing, and it takes some serious skill and planning if you want to do it safely. 

We’ll break down what triple towing entails, see where it’s legal and not, and give you some expert advice on how to do it right. 

What Is Triple Towing?

When you’re triple towing, you’re pulling not one but two extra vehicles behind your RV or truck. 

Some common setups are towing your camping trailer behind the truck, and your boat connected to the trailer. Or you may have a motorhome pulling a car on a dolly platform, with your jetski perched on a trailer pulled by the car. Another option is hauling a 5th wheel attached to your truck, with a UTV or pickup tucked in behind on its own trailer hitch.

There are several possible combinations and they all involve stringing three vehicles together into a line. And it allows you to bring a whole lot of toys and transportation with you when you go camping or take an RV trip. 

A triple tow rig can get pretty long, so you must know what you’re doing to handle all that extra length and weight behind you. It takes some practice to get the hang of backing up and navigating corners with your rig and vehicles on the tow. 

Is Triple Towing Legal?

The rules are different for triple towing, depending on where you go. The laws vary widely between states, so you should research before heading out with an extra rig in tow.

Your best source of info will be visiting the department of transportation website for each state you’re passing through. On there you can find details like whether triple towing is even allowed to begin with.

Some states that give the green light include: 

  • Alaska 
  • Arizona 
  • Colorado 
  • Montana 
  • Vermont 

These places let you pull off a three-vehicle combo. Other spots, like California, Indiana, and Kentucky, permit it too but with some restrictions. For example, California says your whole triple towing setup can’t exceed 75 feet long.

And some states, including Virginia or Pennsylvania, are strictly against it. You’ll have to leave that extra trailer behind before crossing into those areas.

Length limits are common regulations. Even where it’s legal, you’ll need to stay under the maximum combined length, usually around 60-65 feet. Some states, like California, require a special driver’s license endorsement if your rigs are over 40-feet long or cross the 10,000 lbs weight limit.

So, do your homework before putting that third vehicle in tow. The best resource is visiting the DOT (Department of Transportation) website for each state. Always follow the local laws and tow safely within regulations.

The Correct RV and Trailer Setup for Triple Towing

It’s important to make sure all your vehicles are actually equipped to handle three in a row. Your RV or truck needs to have a receiver hitch mounted on the rear that’s rated for the job. And don’t forget that whatever’s getting hitched last also needs its own hitch.

In addition to getting the correct hitch setup and other equipment, you’ll need to be careful about:

Weight Distribution and Load Capacity

Once you’ve got the hardwares in place, attention turns to weight. Proper load distribution is key between the three rigs to maintain stability at higher speeds. 

Check each vehicle’s capacity and don’t go over. Don’t forget to account for passengers and gear as well.

Braking Systems

Adding braking systems to the last trailer in line will be a good decision. Having multiple foot brakes lets you stop that long string of vehicles gradually and safely. Converting a trailer or using one with an electric brake controller does the trick.


Triple check if all the lights are working properly. Taillights, signals, and brake lights need to shine clearly along the whole length. 

Working lights are one way to signal the traffic about your intentions, no matter how spread out your setup becomes.

Hitch Types and Tow Bars

As for hitches, match each connection with a tow bar rated for the job. Weight distribution styles can help prevent sway between vehicles too. Safety chains are a must, as is routine maintenance on all.

Taking the time to equip and balance your triple tow rig will make your trip much smoother down the road.

Some Safety Tips for Triple Towing

Triple towing is completely different from driving a motorhome or towing a trailer behind a truck. It needs better skills and much more road awareness. 

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when triple towing:

1. Maintain slow speeds and brain distances

Take it slow, especially at first. Triple towing requires more space and takes longer to get going or stop. Give yourself extra room between cars and maintain lower speeds, so you can handle anything that comes up.

2. Take help from a spotter

Designate one person as your “spotter” to help guide you. Backing up or turning corners is tough with that long rig, so let your spotter direct you via walkie talkies. They can see what you can’t from the driver’s seat. 

3. Set up backup cameras and towing assistance tools

Invest in some tools. A backup camera shows you what’s behind and a side camera helps see down the length of your tow string. Some two assistance tools even come with auto-braking features for extra reassurance.

4. Be careful when turning around intersections

Be especially careful at intersections or taking turns. Do a practice runthrough before heading out onto busier roads. Make sure to swing wide so you don’t end up in another lane by mistake. 

5. Do fatigue management on long hauls

Pay attention to fatigue. Driving “three vehicles in one” takes extra focus. Take regular breaks on long hauls so you don’t lose concentration, especially towards the end of the day. 

Triple towing may be convenient for carrying an extra rig, but it requires more skill. Go slow, use help whenever possible, and listen to your body. Safety first makes the whole trip more enjoyable.

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