Can You Pull a Boat Behind a Travel Trailer?

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Last Updated on November 9, 2020 by Ted Mosby

Pulling a travel trailer behind your tow vehicle is easy, and there is no problem when it comes to state laws as well unless your vehicle’s weight or size is surpassing the limits defined by the authorities. But what if you want to bring your boat along? Can you tow a boat behind a travel trailer?

It is an exciting idea to spend your day on the water when you are commuting outdoors. And for that, having a boat is a must. Unlike towing a travel trailer only, towing a boat behind a travel trailer is something tricky and involves many factors to consider. It is more than towing a travel trailer alone.

Combining both and towing them at the same time is something that requires you to have more skills and, of course, advance planning. Before digging any further, you should know that deciding whether or not you can pull a boat behind a travel trailer heavily depends on where you live.

When considering pulling a boat behind an RV or motorhome means it is double towing. It is a risky task if you are just a beginner and have never done that before. And that is why it is considered illegal in some US states. You have to be extra attentive while also considering the safety precautions.

Can You Pull a Boat Behind a Travel Trailer?

In contrast, it is called triple towing when it comes to pulling a boat behind a travel trailer. This means you have to pull your trailer behind your tow vehicle and your boat behind the trailer. When doing this, you have to be extremely cautious to make sure the safety of yourself and others. Moreover, before doing triple towing, make sure that it is legal in your state or states you are planning to travel through.

So, Can you tow a boat behind a travel trailer?

Yes, you can tow a boat behind a travel trailer but there are some safety concerns and states laws to be looked at before towing a boat behind a travel trailer. It is legal to tow a boat behind the travel trailer in the majority of the states in America.

Safety Tips to Pull a Boat Behind a Travel Trailer

Before hooking up the boat to your travel trailer or motorhome, you must know the risks involves in pulling such an extreme load. You should also consider the length of your loads you are planning to pull.

As I have just mentioned that you should check the state laws to determine if it is illegal or legal to tow double or triple weighs. Once you have figured it out and it is legal to do that, below are some important safety tips to make you sure your safety.

  • Make sure its double or triple pulling is legal as per the state(s) laws you are traveling in or through. This can be done by calling the Department of Motorway Vehicles. It will also help you to know about length and weight defined by the state.
  • Besides complying with rules, the second most important factor to consider when planning to pull a boat behind a travel trailer is the vehicle’s capacity. You have to make sure that your trailer is powerful enough to pull a boat. Moreover, you’ve to consider the weight of both your trailer and boat as well. If the hauler is heavy, there is a chance that it might snap the hitch. Furthermore, the weight of the bought also impacts the pressure of the brakes.
  • While driving, make sure to maintain the distance between your vehicle and others on the road. You don’t want to get closer to other cars, which could be dangerous. You have to keep the heavy you are pulling in your mind. The boat trailer could propel you forward due to its mass if you push too hard on the brakes. Moreover, do not change your lane unless it is absolutely necessary, as it could cause the trailer to swerve.
  • Getting your vehicle insures is a wise decision. If you haven’t insured your trailer yet, do it before you decide to pull a boat behind it. Sometimes, bad happens to good people, so regardless of how skillful you are, accidents happen. So, get insurance.
  • The availability of a rearview camera is also helpful. It becomes even more essential when you plan to double or triple tow. Without a rearview camera, you won’t be able to see what is going on behind your travel trailer. It will be hard to determine if there is a vehicle coming behind you when you want to change your lane. In this regard, installing a camera behind your trailer and linking it to your phone or tablet would help.
  • Rather than traveling continuously, you should pull over your trailer at rest stations. It will allow you to examine the trailer. Keep checking the hitch to ensure it is well intact as well as air pressure in the tires.
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All the above tips are incredibly helpful, and you should follow them when pulling double or triple loads to prevent any mishap.

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So, what states allow you to pull double or triple loads?

Laws and Regulations Regarding Pulling a Boat Behind a Travel Trailer

Even before knowing whether you are able to pull a boat behind a travel trailer, you have to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations regarding double and triple towing. If you are traveling in any of the below-listed states, you are allowed to pull a boat behind a travel trailer.

The US States That Allows Double and Triple Towing

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • Illinois
  • Idaho
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Iowa
  • Indiana
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Kentucky
  • South Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • New Mexico
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Nebraska
  • Utah
  • Tennessee
  • Texas.

All of these US states allow double and triple towing, and the reason is wider roads and expansive landmass. Smaller states with busy highways don’t allow you to pull a boat behind a travel trailer. Moreover, it is also worth noting that some states require you to have a commercial or special driving license, while others have the requirement to pass a test to pull double or triple load behind your vehicle.

boat behind travel trailer

Towing Regulations

Although most US states allow you to pull a boat behind a travel trailer (or double and triple load), it doesn’t mean that you are free to tow whatever and however you want. Each US state has its own regulations that are must follow. That said, if you are planning to travel through different US states, it could be an arduous task for you to figure it out.

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Some US states allow you to pull a full weight staying within the maximum length, while some measure the individual hauls. Moreover, there are also speed limits that you have to consider when towing double or triple loads. It means you have to drive considerably slower than your usual drive.

Furthermore, only some US states allow you to pull a boat behind a travel trailer, while it is illegal in other US states. What’s more, some states only allow for pulling a watercraft behind a fifth-wheel.

 However, by any chance, if you surpass certain weights or lengths in some certain US states, you are required to apply for a special permit first that will enable you to legally pull such heavyweight and lengths.

How to Safely Drive While Pulling a Boat Behind a Travel Trailer?

As I said earlier, towing a boat behind a travel trailer is a dangerous job, and if you have decided to do that, you have to be extra careful while driving to make sure of your safety. However, in such circumstances, you have to think about things that are not in your control, like the weather. Here are some life-saving tips that you should take into consideration,

1. Take a Driving Test

You can assess your skills to determine if you are comfortable towing heavyweight by taking a driving test. You should drive the trailer around while the boat is attached behind it. The toughest task is backing up the trailer when towing double or triple loads. Practice reversing the trailer smoothly without letting the boat go in the opposite direction.

2. Weather

You don’t have the power to control the weather, and it is the most important factor to consider when pulling heavy loads. Besides pulling loads, driving in a rainy or windy is already a tough task. So, it is possible to have an idea of how tough it will be when you are pulling heavy loads behind your trailer. You should abandon your plan to tow double or triple loads if the weather is not appropriate.

Moreover, before you hit the road, make sure to update yourself regarding local and other weather reports that you will travel through. However, if you are in the middle of the road towing heavyweights and the weather becomes windy or starts raining, slow your speed and not attempt to change your lane unnecessarily.

While it’s raining, roads become slippery, and it could cause your trailer sway, making it uncontrollable.

3. Turn Carefully

Make sure to don’t let yourself caught when there is a tight turn. Ensure that your trailer has plenty of room when you are taking a turn. In this regard, taking wide turns could help you to avoid the risk of scratching your trailer with the boat. Moreover, wait patiently before taking the turn and make sure all the road is clear. You should know that the load behind your trailer will take time to complete the turn.

4. Use Safety Chains

Safety Chains

Using safety chains is a good option for safety. They will make sure that the attachments between the trailer and boat are secure. They are two chains and cross each other to go through the hitch. They become even more essential when you are towing double loads. Even if you are trailer hitch gets broken, safety chains will keep the loads attached to your trailer.

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5. Hook Up Signals and Lights

The cars behind you will not be able to see what is ahead of your travel trailer. The availability of brake and signal lights are great to prevent any collision. They are even more vital when you are towing triple loads. If your trailer is already equipped with brake lights, make sure they are in working condition.

Wrapping Up

Can you tow a boat behind a travel trailer? I have discussed everything in detail to give you the best and more comprehensive answer to this question. I hope this post will deliver you all the information related to pulling a boat behind a travel trailer that you want to know. However, by any chance, if you have something more to talk about regarding travel trailers, you are very welcome to post a comment below. Safe Traveling


Is it legal to tow a boat behind a travel trailer in California?

California state is one of the most popular US states that has an expansive landmass and wider roads. So, it allows us to tow a boat behind a travel trailer. It is also legal to tow double or triple weights as well.

Is it ok to pull a boat behind a trailer in Michigan state?

No! according to Michigan authorities, you cannot tow two travel trailers in tandem. For instance, it is illegal to tow a trailer and a boat trailer. Moreover, a driver is required to have an R endorsement to tow a boat trailer behind a fifth-wheel trailer.

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About Ted Mosby

I am Ted Mosby from Cleveland, Ohio. I am a Freelance Architect. I live in New Jersey, USA right now and I take my RV every alternate weekend. I own a Forest River Berkshire XLT Diesel 45A Class A Motorhome. As I am a Freelancer I can work anywhere so most of my work is done inside my camper remotely.