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Old 02-03-2010, 02:01 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Hudsonville, Mich
Posts: 52
additional trailer towing behind 5th wheel

I was on my way back to our campground when i spotted a large 5th wheel pulling a small enclosed trailer with the 5th wheel. I went back and had a talk with the owner. He has a dodge duelly pulling a 37 foot 5th wheel and a 10-12 foot enclosed trailer with the 5th wheel.. I asked if he had problems with any law enforcement people and he said no , for in Michigan he is legal. He stated that as long as legal in your own state then you can pull it in most any state without problems. He had a special home made hitch for his trailer and he had been thru most states in the country with the combination. Has anyone installed a hitch on a MS or ES trailer ? I would like to have a golf cart to use in our park, but have no way now to transport it.

Jim & Ruthann
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:48 PM   #2
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Location: Bradford, TX
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We're in Tx and on the way to the RGV this winter, we got stopped by a trooper who usually works commercial trucks. He measured us and gave us a ticket for overlength, but we have TX plates and our state is 65'. We measured 73' with the extra trailer--he told us that TX is a reciprocal state and the legal limit is whatever your state is. We think we need Montana or Wyoming plates, just don't know how to get them! We have been everywhere pulling this combination and never been bothered, just got this guy this time who proudly told us he had given 6 other tickets that day for the same offense. Since we are fulltimers and it's our lifestyle, I don't think we'll be changing anything, but just may not travel as much since we do have a little farm in east TX.

Steve and Layne Wilhoite
Ford F550, 07 Elite Suite TK3 # 3523, towing either 14' v-nose trailer with trike, or VW bug on tow dolly
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:04 PM   #3
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I think with a bit more research you will find laws for double towing is a State by State deal. With respect to these issues, you have to abide by each states laws no matter what your state regs are same goes for length. If you chose to tow over length or doubles in states that don't allow it you may get by no issue, but maybe not.

This has been discussed at length on the escapees forum on the HDT section. If you go there you will find a lot of answers. Try a search or post there.

Here is a thread that discusses this very thing

Also mentioned is the options to towing double.
Bill and Joan
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:01 PM   #4
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Layne, what was the outcome. Did you have to unhitch the extra trailer. How much was the fine. Sometime just paying the fine and moving on is the best answer. I double tow with a 38 foot Elite and a 12 foot enclosed trailer which is 16 foot from the knob hitch to the rear. I have brakes on ever axle on the ground and have all trailers with the correct inspection sticker. The enclosed trailer is a tool trailer which we use in volunteering building churches. Just wondering if I would have to unhook.
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:03 PM   #5
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ontheroad: The trooper didn't make us unhitch though he said he could if he wasn't so nice! We had to pay a $170 fine and got a deferred adjudication that only means that if we don't get another fine in 30 days, it won't go on the driving record. In case we get another fine, we didn't want that one on the record. If Steve didn't have a CDL, he could have taken defensive driving and not paid anything, but he wants to keep his CDL. The trooper got our a tape measure and measured us from the front bumper of the truck to the back bumper of the motorcycle trailer. He is the one that told us if a state is reciprocal, the law goes by what is legal in your home state. Since we are registered out of TX and our law is 65' that's what they go by. This was not a regular DPS trooper, it was one that we refer to as a DOT officer--he usually just messes with commericial vehicles and he was driving a black and white SUV. Even the judge's office and his sargeant that I talked to at first thought I was calling about a commerical vehicle so I think it was unusual to be ticketing RVs.
Steve and Layne Wilhoite
Ford F550, 07 Elite Suite TK3 # 3523, towing either 14' v-nose trailer with trike, or VW bug on tow dolly
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:10 PM   #6
Carny Bill
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From my personal experiance towing doubles I would say as a rule 90% of police and state troopers even have a clue as to the rules for towing doubles. Only the DOT officers are up to speed on the ruling. Never had a problem (mostly in Illinois) . Approx 8 years ago my son got a $75 ticket (and it was not a moving violation)
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:51 AM   #7
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Also, stay away from the eastern states(east coast) when double towing.
Huck & Dodie
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:06 AM   #8
terry and jo
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Here is a valuable link regarding double towing. From the different things I've seen online, this one gives the most detail, including the last column which regards reciprocity for each state.

Keep in mind, that the legislatures of the various states can change their laws at any time. Thus, it would still be advisable to verify each state that you plan on towing through. The last thing you want is for some policeman to inform you that you will have to drop the second trailer until you get the RV out of state and then return for the second unit.


Terry and Jo

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Old 02-04-2010, 03:44 PM   #9
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If you talk to an actual DOT enforcement official, I think you will find that weights, axle bridge, over all length and widths are established and enforced by each states statutes, just like the speed limits are set and enforced by the state you are in at the time, no matter what your home states regulations are.

You may have skated this time without a greated expense and inconvience.
Keith and Penne
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:38 PM   #10
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DOT official told me that Illinois is reciprocal with the state the vehicle is licensed in. Does that mean that IL troopers know the DMV laws of every state? I dont think so.

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