Towing a Second Trailer Behind a Fifth Wheel: A Complete Guide

Fifth wheels are great additions for carrying equipment and bringing a comfortable living space with you on the road. But even with the extra space a fifth wheel provides, some people want to haul an extra trailer, boat, or car behind it.

This practice is called triple towing and it has a wide range of rules and regulations. About half of all U.S. states allow it (within certain limitations) but there are some that forbid it. If you’re planning on crossing state lines with your triple tow setup, be sure that you know and follow the laws of each area.

State:Triple Tow Allowed:
AlabamaNo
AlaskaYes
ArizonaYes
ArkansasYes
CaliforniaYes
ColoradoYes
ConnecticutYes
DelawareNo
FloridaNo
GeorgiaNo
HawaiiYes
IdahoYes
IllinoisNo
IndianaYes
IowaYes
KansasNo
KentuckyYes
LouisianaYes
MaineNo
MarylandNo
MassachussettsNo
MichiganNo
MinnesotaNo
MississippiNo
MissouriYes
MontanaYes
NebraskaYes
NevadaNo
New HampshireNo
New JerseyNo
New MexicoYes
New YorkNo
North CarolinaYes
North DakotaYes
OhioYes
OklahomaNo
OregonNo
PennsylvaniaYes
Rhode IslandNo
South CarolinaYes
South DakotaYes
TennesseeYes
TexasNo
UtahYes
VermontYes
VirginiaNo
WashingtonNo
West VirginiaNo
WisconsinNo
WyomingNo

Below is a list of some of the specific triple towing laws of each specific state, as well as some advice on safe towing practices.

Alabama

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 57 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 55 mph

Alaska

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 75 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 55 mph

Arizona

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Arkansas

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 53 feet, 6 inches
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

California

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 55 mph

Colorado

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 75 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Connecticut

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 55 mph

Delaware

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 60 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 55 mph

Florida

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Georgia

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Hawaii

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 55 mph

Idaho

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 75 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Illinois

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 60 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 55 mph

Indiana

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 60 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Iowa

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Kansas

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Kentucky

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Louisiana

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Maine

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Maryland

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 35 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 55 mph

Massachusetts

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 55 mph

Michigan

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Minnesota

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Mississippi

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 40 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Missouri

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Montana

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Nebraska

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Nevada

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 70 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

New Hampshire

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 53 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

New Jersey

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 55 mph

New Mexico

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

New York

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 60 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 55 mph

North Carolina

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 60 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

North Dakota

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 75 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Ohio

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Oklahoma

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Oregon

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Pennsylvania

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 55 mph

Rhode Island

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 53 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 55 mph

South Carolina

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 53 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

South Dakota

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 75 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Tennessee

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Texas

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 60 mph

Utah

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Vermont

  • Triple Towing: Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 75 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Virginia

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 55 mph

Washington

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 75 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 60 mph

West Virginia

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 65 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Wisconsin

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 70 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 mph

Wyoming

  • Triple Towing: Not Permitted
  • Maximum Vehicle Length (Including All Add-ons): 85 feet
  • Maximum Speed Limit for Towing Vehicles: 65 feet

Attaching a Second Trailer

When you want to tow a second attachment behind your fifth wheel, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First off, not every fifth wheel is built with attachments to haul additional items. Whether it’s a gooseneck hitch or a ball hitch, make sure that your second trailer has the right setup to correctly attach to your fifth wheel.

Second, the size and weight of your second trailer matters. Almost every state has limits on how heavy your total hauling weight can be. Whether it’s a boat, car, or trailer, your second attachment cannot weigh more than your fifth wheel’s weight when it is unloaded. This is called the UVW, or the Unladen Vehicle Weight.

Once your hitch is set up and you know that the additional trailer is within the proper weight limits, you should be free to attach it as your normally would.

To get a proper feel for driving your lengthened vehicle, I’d recommend taking a few test drives before you commit to a long trip. You don’t want to try to figure it out in an unfamiliar area or have something break right off the bat. Practice navigating neighborhoods, stoplights, and highways (especially entrances and exits).

Dangers of Triple Towing

Triple towing can be great for people who have lots of equipment to haul. But with the added length and weight come certain dangers and risks. The added weight will put extra strain on your brake system, requiring more checkups and maintenance. The extra strain on your engine will also require more refueling stops, which can make a dent in your wallet after a while.

It will also take you longer amounts of time to speed up and stop. This can be dangerous if you’re driving in hazardous weather conditions or need to react to unexpected circumstances on the road. You can get better at spotting dangers before they get close, but the risk of a slow stopping speed should always be in the back of your mind.

Wind, slick roads, and bad weather will be even harder to drive through with a triple towing setup. With a greater amount of surface area comes a greater risk of being pushed around by bad weather.

In addition, the extra long setup of your triple towing can make it hard to navigate tight spaces and narrow roads. There’s a greater risk of property damage, both to yourself and others. It’s going to take a lot of careful practice to avoid scraping off paint jobs!

Backing up will also be more difficult, if not impossible with a triple towing setup. It’s not easy with just one trailer! You’ll need a lot of space plus a good spotter every time you need to back up.

And finally, your visibility will be limited on the road. It can already be hard to see cars behind your fifth wheel, and the added obstruction of an additional trailer limits this even further. You’ll need to be very careful when you want to turn or make lane changes.

Double and triple check your mirrors to help avoid any accidents. With your extra large and heavy vehicle, you have the power to cause some serious damage at high speeds.

Safety Measures to Take when Triple Towing

Special Permits:

Some states, such as Michigan, require drivers who want to triple tow to apply for a special permit. This is signified with a mark on your license and shows that you have permission to triple tow in that state.

There is usually a small fee of some sort for this permit, and there may also be a test to demonstrate that your setup and driving skills are fit for the road.

Turn Signals/ Brake Lights:

These are absolutely essential for any vehicle, and especially for triple tow rigs. These need to be hooked up prior to driving, and both sets of lights need to be fully functional. Because people won’t be able to see in front of you with a triple towing setup, it’s vital that you alert them to any potential stops or hazards ahead.

License Plate + Light:

All of your towable vehicles should have a place for a license plate attachment. Make sure everything is properly registered and that your license plate is clearly visible from behind.

Safety Chains and/or Breakaway Brakes:

Safety chains help provide an additional anchor between your vehicle and any trailers. These cross each other in an X shape, attaching at two diagonal angles on each attachment. If your connecting hitch breaks or comes loose, these chains can help keep the trailer secure.

Breakaway brakes perform a similar purpose, but they attach to the trailer wheels. If your trailer should happen to detach while you’re driving, these brakes will activate and keep it from rolling all over the road.

Ideally you should use both of these precautions when you’re triple towing, but be sure that to use at least one. With such a large setup, it might be hard for you to notice if your back trailer comes off. To keep your equipment and fellow drivers safe, make sure you use these safety precautions.

Reflectors:

These small, reflective strips or panels should be attached to every trailer or attachment that you’re towing. When it’s dark outside, it might be hard for other drivers to see just how long your vehicle is. These reflective panels will help them avoid getting too close to you, or, even worse, running into you.

Apply these along the back and sides of each attachment. Make sure that they’re clearly visible at eye level and that they form a clear outline of your entire rig.

Flares:

This last item is more optional than the others, but it’s still good to have on hand. Road flares are helpful for accidents that happen at night. Use these to outline a section of road where an accident or equipment malfunction has happened.

If you need to pull onto the shoulder at night, flares can also be a good way to signal that you need space. Most cars will definitely want to avoid your large vehicle when it’s close to the edge of the road, and it’s courteous to mark dangerous sections of the road. You don’t want to cause an additional accident by not properly marking it!

An Alternative to Triple Towing

If all these risks, rules, and state restrictions feel like too much for you to manage, you might want to reconsider triple towing in the first place. It’s not something that’s safe for everyone to do, and can be stressful and risky for even the most experienced drivers.

If you still want to haul additional equipment without resorting to triple towing, you might want to consider a toy hauler. There are a lot of floorplans and options for these trailers, and some of them can double as living space and storage for your large items.

Many toy haulers offer a ramp for loading large equipment, as well as a spacious and enclosed interior that can be up to 20 feet long! When you’re thinking about hauling a lot of gear, toy haulers are an option to keep in mind.

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