Can You Pull A Boat Behind A Travel Trailer? Avoid Legal Issues With These Tips!

can you pull a boat behind a travel trailer

A few people often ask themselves, “Can you pull a boat behind a travel trailer?”

The answer is not always quite straightforward. In fact, there are many things involved that can impact your decision.

For instance, there are some areas where this type of activity is considered as illegal. This is why you need to be in the know before you make a decision to pull a boat behind your travel trailer.

Here is everything you should know about towing your boat while avoiding any potential issues. Let’s investigate!

Can You Pull A Boat Behind a Travel Trailer?

The short answer is yes… But it’s complicated.

Basically, pulling a boat behind a travel trailer is classified as a double tow. While it is common in several areas, it is not always safe or legal in some locations.

In fact, double towing is a dangerous thing, especially for inexperienced folks. This is why it is considered as an illegal activity. There are extra precautions you need to take to avoid any accidents while on the road.

Hence, it is important to check with your state rules and regulations involving double towing. You should contact the Department of Motor Vehicles of your state and inquire about double towing.

Safety Practices When Pulling a Boat Behind a Travel Trailer

safety practices when pulling a boat behind a travel trailer

Aside from making sure that double towing is allowed in your state, you also need to make sure that your vehicle can handle all that weight. The RV must be powerful enough to carry the massive load of your boat.

Keep in mind that if the weight is beyond what your RV can handle, this can cause the hitch to snap. When this happens, it can be a huge problem and a major safety hazard on the road. Moreover, the brake’s pressure can be negatively impacted by the tremendous weight of your boat.

Make sure that you keep distance from other vehicles on the road. Avoid driving too close beside or behind another vehicle. Pay close attention to the boat you’re towing, which means that driving too fast and too close can put other motorists in grave danger.

Be mindful of the amount of pressure you put on the brakes. If you push too hard and too fast, it can propel your boat forward.

Additionally, try not to change lanes unless really necessary. When you change lanes, do it as slowly and as carefully as possible. Otherwise, the trailer may end up swerving to the other lane and badly hit another vehicle.

Most importantly, make sure you have insurance before you head out. Driving a travel trailer without insurance is already a bad thing and it is even worse when you have a boat in tow.

So, be smart and practical by purchasing the right insurance for your needs.

Next, take as many stops as possible. From time to time, you need to check on the hitch and be sure it is still intact. Inspect the tire pressure and be sure it is still at the right gauge. Always be responsible not just for your own vehicle but be aware of the responsibility you have towards other motorists on the road.

What You Should Know About Double Towing Regulations

We have mentioned earlier that not all states allow double towing, which is exactly what pulling a boat behind a trailer is.

For your reference, double towing is allowed in the following states:

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

Do keep in mind that even if the state allows double towing, you still need to follow certain regulations. There are certain limits on the dimensions and weight of your haul. Speed limits are also in place, which means that you have to drive slowly to comply with these regulations.

In case you need to exceed the designated lengths and weights, you have to secure a special permit for pulling these heavy loads. Inquire at the DMV in your local state to learn more about the regulations in place.

Read More: How To Change A Tire On A Single Axle Travel Trailer Like an Expert!

Additional Things to Keep In Mind When Pulling a Boat Behind a Travel Trailer

It is one thing to know more about the state’s regulations when it comes to pulling a boat behind a travel trailer.

And it’s another thing to practice safety while doing so.

With this in mind, make sure the weather is ideal when doing a double tow. Avoid towing your boat in windy and rainy conditions, as this will make it harder and more dangerous to pull such weight.

You will have to drive very slowly in the wind or rain. Moreover, you should avoid changing lanes frequently. Swerving uncontrollably is highly likely to happen when you change lanes on a slippery road… And with a heavy boat in tow!

Purchase good-quality safety chains to hook up your boat with your RV. This is a great backup to your hitch in the uneventful moment that it disconnects or breaks unexpectedly. Hence, you have an extra security in place to prevent unwarranted accidents on the road.

Lastly, make it a point to make a test drive prior to heading out on the main road. Drive with the boat hooked up on your vehicle and check if you are confident about it. Practice backing up, as it is usually the most difficult thing to do when double towing. Reverse as smoothly as possible while making sure the trailer is not heading to the wrong direction.

Final Thoughts

So, can you pull a boat behind a travel trailer?

For the most part, it is possible to do so but with some complications involved. There are legal aspects to take note of and safety practices to implement before you double tow on a busy road.

After learning more about these tips and advice, you should be ready to head out with your boat on the back of your travel trailer. Just be sure to be always mindful of your safety, as well as the safety of the other motorists on the road.

Do your homework, firmly secure your boat, and the whole trip should go as smoothly as it should!

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