Embrace the Adventure: Mastering Triple Towing
Welcome to the exhilarating world of triple towing! Imagine cruising down the open road, your trusty truck leading the way, pulling not just one but two treasures behind it – maybe your cozy camper and your shiny boat or a toy hauler packed with all your adventure gear.
Triple towing opens up a realm of possibilities for road warriors and adventure seekers alike. But before you hitch up and head out, let’s dive into some essential insights and tips to ensure your journey is as smooth and joyful as the destinations you’re exploring.
Understanding Triple Towing
Triple towing, also known as tandem towing, is the art of connecting three rigs together: your vehicle, a trailer, and then another trailer or towed vehicle. It’s like a road train, carrying your home-on-wheels and your playthings, all in one go.
Where It’s a Go: States That Welcome Triple Towing
Not all states share the same enthusiasm for triple towing, but many do! The freedom to triple tow is granted in states such as Arizona, Alaska, California (with restrictions), Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, and more. Each state has its unique set of rules regarding length, weight, and sometimes even the type of cargo you can carry. Always check the latest regulations of the states you plan to travel through to ensure a hassle-free adventure.
Tips and Tricks for Triple Towing Success
1. Know the Law:
Before you embark on your journey, it’s crucial to dive deep into the legalities of triple towing in each state you plan to visit. Regulations can vary widely, from maximum allowed lengths and weights to specific equipment requirements such as additional side mirrors or brake connections on each towed unit.
Some states may require a special endorsement on your driver’s license. Investing time in research or consulting with local authorities can save you from fines and ensure your setup is compliant, making your journey smoother and more enjoyable.
2. Gear Up Right:
The cornerstone of a successful triple towing experience is a towing vehicle that’s up to the task. This means not only having a powerful engine but also a vehicle equipped with a heavy-duty transmission, an enhanced cooling system, and a robust braking system.
The right hitch setup is equally important; opt for a weight-distributing hitch for the first trailer and ensure the secondary connection is secure and rated for the additional load. Upgrading your vehicle with aftermarket suspension systems or brake controllers can also enhance safety and control.
3. Practice Makes Perfect:
Maneuvering a triple tow setup is an art that requires practice. Start in a spacious, empty parking lot to familiarize yourself with the unique handling characteristics, including wider turns, increased stopping distances, and the effects of wind and passing vehicles.
Practice backing up, even though it’s challenging with a triple tow and often avoided; knowing how to manage in tight spots can be invaluable.
The more comfortable you become with driving, turning, and parking your setup, the more confident you’ll be on the road.
4. Safety Checks are Key:
Diligence in performing safety checks before and during your trip cannot be overstated. This includes verifying that all connections are secure, checking that brake and signal lights are fully functional, and ensuring that tires are properly inflated and in good condition.
It’s also wise to inspect the suspension and bearings of each towed unit. Regular checks can prevent accidents and breakdowns, making your trip safer and more enjoyable for everyone on the road.
5. Plan Your Route:
Careful route planning is essential when triple towing. Not all roads are friendly to longer convoys, and some may have outright bans or restrictions on triple towing. Look ahead for low-clearance bridges, tunnels with width or height restrictions, and roads that prohibit triple tow setups.
Use GPS and trucking apps designed for larger vehicles, which can help you navigate around potential obstacles and keep your journey smooth.
6. Stay Alert:
Towing one trailer requires vigilance; towing two demands even more. Your vehicle’s handling will be significantly affected, and reaction times for stopping or avoiding obstacles will be longer. Keep a constant watch on your mirrors to monitor the trailers’ behavior and traffic around you. Taking regular breaks will help you stay alert and focused, reducing the risk of fatigue-related mistakes.
7. Weight Distribution:
Pay close attention to how you distribute weight across both trailers. Aim for a balanced load to maintain stability, with heavier items low and near the center. Improper weight distribution can lead to swaying, making the setup difficult to control.
8. Communication Devices:
Consider using walkie-talkies or a similar communication device to stay in touch with others traveling with you, especially if they’re driving behind your triple tow setup. This can be invaluable for navigating through traffic, making lane changes, or dealing with emergencies.
9. Emergency Preparedness:
Have an emergency kit in your towing vehicle, including tools, spare tires for each trailer, a first-aid kit, and flares or emergency lights. Being prepared for the unexpected can significantly reduce stress and downtime in case of an incident.
10. Consider Roadside Assistance
While not all RV’ers consider using roadside assistance, when you are triple towing, you should consider it. There is a lot more of a challenge in getting your 3 pieces (tow vehicle and the two trailers etc you are towing) to safety if you are met with mechanical issues or something becomes untowable. You will want to ensure that your chosen service will cover what you are towing too. Some will only cover the tow vehicle itself, or will only cover certain things on one you are towing, such as flat tire fixes only.
Which US States Allow Triple Towing?
In the United States, the laws governing triple towing vary by state.The states that allow triple towing include:
- California (with restrictions on total length and specific roads)
- Michigan (with restrictions)
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
It’s important to note that while these states may allow triple towing, there are often specific requirements or restrictions regarding the total length of the vehicles combined, the types of trailers that can be towed, the need for additional mirrors, braking systems, and sometimes special endorsements, licenses, insurance or permits.
Additionally, regulations can change, so it’s advisable to check the current laws of the states you plan to travel through before you start your journey, just in case you discover regulations changed since the year before when it was fine.
Embracing the Adventure
Triple towing isn’t just about bringing along more stuff; it’s about expanding your horizons and making every trip an unforgettable adventure. By embracing these tips and tricks, you’re setting the stage for a successful and joy-filled triple towing adventure.
The key is preparation, practice, and patience, ensuring that each journey is not only safe but filled with the pleasure of exploring with all your favorite things in tow. With the right preparation, a thorough understanding of the rules, and a dash of practice, you’ll be paving the way for epic stories and memories. So, gear up, hit the road, and let the adventures begin!