Can You Tow A Trailer Behind A Fifth Wheel? [ Rules And Regulations Explained]




Key Takeaways:

  • 5th wheels can tow trailers in States like West Virginia, Arizona, Hawaii, California, etc
  • Double towing can be illegal in some states, so check the rules before you hit the road.
  • There are weight limits; don’t overload, or you might get in trouble. Costs for towing can vary, around $3 per mile for shorter trips.

The 5th wheel trailer is such a beast. You can take pretty much everything, but is it enough if your friend wants to tag alone? No, it isn’t! 5th wheel may be a beast, but it still has some limits. That’s when a question pops up in mind: can you tow a trailer behind a fifth wheel?

can you tow a trailer behind a fifth wheel

In short, yes, you can. However, double towing is illegal in some states. Luckily, double towing is legal in many states such as West Virginia, Arizona, Hawaii, California, etc . But with some specific regulations.

For intense,

  • Passenger limitations
  • size limitation 
  • and some driving rules

I know all those legal talks confused the hell out of you. Also, questions like can you tow a fifth wheel camper with a semi  still pop into your mind, right? That’s why you need to keep reading to get the full picture of this topic.

Can You Tow A Trailer Behind A Fifth Wheel?

I keep saying double towing. But what is double towing? Well, double towing means a vehicle pulling another vehicle. Basically, what you are trying to do is called double towing. I hope you are clear now. Ok, so now, let’s clear up your doubts about can you tow a trailer behind a fifth wheel? Sure thing! You can totally hitch up a trailer behind your fifth-wheel RV. Or if you don’t have a 5th wheel but have a short bed truck. 

Can You Tow A Trailer Behind A Fifth Wheel

So, you are curious: can you tow a fifth wheel camper with a short bed truck or not. Luckily, you can in this case, too, but you have to be careful with the rules. As I have told you, some states don’t allow it, so check that out first. And, like, keep these things in mind:

  • Weight Stuff: The recreational vehicles, people  usually say you don’t load up more than 2,500 lbs behind the fifth wheel. Follow those rules. People tend to ignore the weight limit because the 5th wheel is big, not small, like a zero turn mower. But the 5th wheel also has a limit, and you need to follow it like you do while pulling a trailer with zero turn mower.
  • Length Matters: Watch out for the total length ’cause there are limits. Don’t go crazy for long, or you might get in trouble. So have a clear idea of rv trailer length including the hitch, then hit the road.
  • Power Play: Some trucks might struggle with the weight of a fifth wheel. Make sure your ride can handle it, or you’ll be in for a rough trip.
  • Weight limit: Your initial towing vehicle has a weight limit for everything it’s hauling. Don’t go overboard, or you might have some issues.


Even if you live in a state where double towing is legal, there still will be some rules and regulations. It is better not to ignore them.

The Rules and Regulations About Double and Triple Towing

Some stays may allow you to tow with the 5th wheel, but they have a lot. They aren’t just hesitant without any reason. They worry about safety. That’s why they have come to ensure your and your family’s safety. But take a closer look:

  1. Passenger: In some states that let you drag three trailers, they say passengers can only ride in the main tow truck. So, if your truck is pulling an RV or a toy hauler, sorry folks, but the RV is a no-go for passengers.
  1. Size Matters: Watch out for the length. In California, if your vehicle is longer than 40 feet, you need a special license or a special endorsement. Arizona’s capping it at 65 feet for two towing vehicles, and only a 5th wheel can be in the middle. Texas? Same.
  1. Drive Right: Some places have a speed limit on triple towing. Wisconsin’s one of them. Others might make you beg for a special permit and special endorsement just to roll with three trailers. Safety first, rules second!
  1. License Requirements: Some states might ask for a special license if you’re towing more than one trailer. Don’t forget to check if you need any extra paperwork.
  1. Safety First: Make sure your setup is safe. Double and triple towing can mess with your rig’s handling, so be careful on the road.

So, keep it in check, follow the local scene, and don’t forget to grab the right permits. It is better to pay a hundred dollar fine.

What States Can You Pull A Trailer Behind A Fifth Wheel?

Most states allow tow trailers, whether it is a Chevy Colorado pulling horse trailer or a 5th wheel pulling trailer. But getting confused is natural. So, here is a list of states that allow double towing

States Allowing Trailer Behind Fifth Wheel
West Virginia
North Dakota
What States Can You Pull A Trailer Behind A Fifth Wheel

What States Is It Illegal To Double Tow?

Although most of the states allow hauling doubles. However, you can’t do the double tow in a bunch of states. Such as the Atlantic coast (except Maryland), and in cool places like Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, and Delaware.

And if you’re thinking of getting a double towing license, it’s usually for the big truck experienced drivers, not the casual road tripper. Oregon keeps it simple–one trailer per towing vehicle, no exceptions. And in California, they’re strict, too–no towing more than one towing vehicle unless you’re driving a heavyweight.

Different Types Of Hitch That Can Tow A Trailer Behind A Fifth Wheel

Undoubtedly, getting the right hitch is another way to ensure safety while double towing with 5th wheel. There are many types of hitch, but not all can handle 5th wheel weight. The wrong hitch can make your 5th wheel bounce just like a truck bounces when pulling a trailer. Here is some hitch that can handle the 5th wheel:

Fifth Wheel Hitch

So, there’s this regular hitch for towing fifth-wheel trailers. It hooks up in the back of a pickup truck and has this thing called a kingpin that connects to the fifth-wheel trailer.

Gooseneck Hitch

Some folks use a gooseneck hitch to tow fifth-wheel trailers. Also, some people use a bumper hitch to pull gooseneck trailers. But not all manufacturers are cool with it. Make sure to check with the trailer and hitch makers to see if they’re on board with that.

Bumper Pull Hitch

You’ve got this everyday hitch, also known as a ball hitch, that connects to the back of your ride with safety chains. But honestly, it’s not the go-to for towing trailers behind fifth wheels because those fifth-wheel trailers are a bit special.

Different Types Of Hitch That Can Tow A Trailer Behind A Fifth Wheel

Tandem Tow Dolly

Now, if you want to tow a second trailer behind your fifth wheel, there’s a thing called a tandem tow dolly. It’s got extra wheels and a tow hitch to make it happen. This can give a rest on your safety chains, and you can tow more smoothly.

Triple Tow Hitch

There’s even a hitch for towing, not one, not two, but three trailers in a row! You hook up a second trailer to your ride and a third one to the second. Just be aware of the rules because the towing triple might have some regulations to follow.

The moral of the story-

Safety is top-notch when you’re towing. Always stick to what the trailer and ride manuals say.

Maximum Weight Of A Fifth Wheel And A Trailer

Maximum Weight Of A Fifth Wheel And A Trailer

Okay, so, like, when you’re thinking about dragging around a fifth wheel and a trailer, there are a bunch of things to keep in mind. And the weight of the trailer is one of them. Maintaining the weight limit is a must in every case. Whether you ask, can you tow a fifth wheel trailer with a short bed truck or 5th wheel? So, check this out:

Fifth Wheel Trailer

So these fifth wheel trailers come in all shapes and sizes. The little ones might be around 7,000 lbs, but if you’re rolling with some luxury vibes, those big boys can hit 17,000 to 20,000 lbs or more.

Towed Trailer

Now, the trailers you’re towing also play a part. Tiny utility trailers might be a couple of hundred pounds, but if you’re lugging around a big enclosed or travel trailer, I am talking anywhere from 3,500 to a hefty 26,000 pounds.

Towing Vehicle Capacity

Your ride has a say in this, too. It’s got a maximum weight it can handle, called towing capacity. This depends on what’s under the hood, the transmission, and other fancy stuff. Don’t forget to peek into your ride’s manual to know the deets.

Combined Weight Rating (CWR)

This one’s a big deal. CWR is the total weight your tow vehicle and the trailers can handle together. Go over this, and you might mess with how your ride performs and the safety vibe.

Pro Tip: Stick to what the manuals say, be street-smart about safety, and if you’re feeling lost, hit up a pro or your ride’s maker for advice. Stay safe, and have a blast out there.

How Does Towing A Trailer Behind A Fifth Wheel Affect Handling And Braking?

When you hook a travel trailer onto a fifth wheel, things get kind of wild with how it handles and stops. So, the whole combo gets longer and heavier, messing with how it moves around. Taking turns, especially in tight spots, becomes a bit of a challenge. Moreover, that extra weight from the travel trailer messes with the fifth wheel’s stability – it might start swaying like crazy, and that’s not cool.

Afterward, slamming on the brakes is a whole different game. That added weight puts a real strain on the brakes, making it harder to stop. You might need more space to come to a halt, and the brakes might not be as sharp as usual.

To Keep Things In View, 

Drivers have to be on their A-game, drive slow and steady, and maybe drop some cash on brakes and sway control gear.

Is It Necessary To Have A Special Driver’s License To Tow A Trailer Behind A Fifth Wheel?

So, towing a trailer behind a fifth wheel usually doesn’t need some fancy special license. But here’s the deal: rules change from place to place. Your regular driver’s license should do the trick. Just make sure the total weight of your ride and the fifth wheel stay within the limits for your license class. But, some places may require you to have a commercial drivers license (CDL) or a special endorsement.

They throw around terms like Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), but you get the hang of it. Check out your local rules because some spots might have extra stuff you need to know. Think about the total weight, trailer type, and any extra stamps on your license that the big shots want.

Still In Doubt? Then-

Hit up your local DMV on whether you need anything special to tow a trailer behind a fifth wheel in your neck of the woods. Keep it legal and stay away from trouble.

How Much Does It Cost To Tow A Trailer Behind A Fifth Wheel?

How Much Does It Cost To Tow A Trailer Behind A Fifth Wheel?

Have all those legal and technical issues gone over your head? And you don’t want to learn how to double tow two trailers. Then now worries there is a cheat code which is hiring someone to tow! It can save you from sweat, but you need to spend some dollars.

For instance, you might need to pay-

On average, you’re looking at shelling out around 3 bucks per mile for moving your trailer if the trip is under 500 miles. The longer the journey, the less you pay per mile. The tab you foot depends on where they’re picking up and dropping off your home on wheels, the condition of your RV, and how big it is.

Fifth wheels, by the way, charge by the mile, and the rates hover around 3 bucks for trips under 100 miles. Bump that up to 1,000 miles, and it drops to around a dollar per mile. So, if you’re rolling 70 miles, be ready to cough up at least 200 bucks just for the move, not counting gas and other extras.

Now, let’s talk about overseas adventures.

If you’ve changed countries but want your RV to come along, you can ship it. Brace yourself, though–it’s pricey. Shipping alone can hit around 4 grand, and that’s not including getting it to the pickup and drop-off spots, taxes, fees, insurance, and handling.

Shipping a 20,000 lbs 43-foot Class A 5th wheel across the Atlantic? That’s a cool 6 grand for shipping, and when you factor in land transportation and fuel, you might be staring at a 10 grand bill.

So, when you’re in the mood to let someone else do the heavy lifting, just know it might dig a bit into your wallet. Keep those wheels turning!

The Pros And Cons Of Towing A Trailer Behind A Fifth Wheel

Towing with the 5th wheel is fun, but not always. There are some disadvantages too. So, have a look at both sides before hitting the road:


  • Can Carry More Stuff
  • Additional Flexibility
  • Spacious Living Area
  • Variety in Layouts
  • Unhitch for Other Uses 


  • Increased Length
  • Hard to Move
  • Potential Stability Issues
  • Increased Braking Distance
  • Greater Demand on Brakes

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Happens If I Tow Too Heavy?

Towing a load that exceeds your vehicle’s towing capacity can have serious consequences. Excessive strain can lead to wear and overheating of your engine, transmission, and brakes.

Does Towing Shorten The Life Of A Vehicle?

Yes, towing can potentially shorten the life of a tow vehicle. Towing puts extra stress on the engine, transmission, and brakes as they work harder to manage the added weight.

Can I Increase My Towing Capacity?

You can’t increase your tow vehicle towing capacity without major modifications. Vehicles have a maximum towing capacity based on internal controls.

How Long Do Tires Last When Towing?

The life expectancy of a trailer tire depends on the manufacturer, but most last between 3–8 years. However, some say that trailer tires should be replaced after 3–5 years or 6–7 years.

How Much Weight Can I Pull Behind My 5th Wheel?

The weight capacity of a 5th wheel hitch can range from 17,000 to 20,000 lbs. 5th wheel hitches are commonly used for towing RV trailers and large campers. 


So, the summary of can you tow a trailer behind a fifth wheel is you can, but you have got to be aware of the double towing laws by state. If your state allows you to tow, then just maintain the safety things and take your 5th wheel wherever you want. And if you want to learn more info like this, stay with Little Anywhere.

John Little

Written by

John Little

Meet John Little, the Tiny Living Guru. With two decades of hands-on experience and an architecture degree, he’s a Sustainable Housing Innovator and Tiny Home Ambassador. John’s mission: inspire eco-conscious, mobile living. Join him on this transformative journey.

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