What Are The Restrictions For Towing A 5th Wheel Recreational Trailer In The USA?

by Robert
(Norther Ontario)

What Are The Restrictions For Towing A 5th Wheel Recreational Trailer In The USA?

What Are The Restrictions For Towing A 5th Wheel Recreational Trailer In The USA?

We live in Canada and are looking forward to buying a trailer. I like the layout of 5th wheels.

I am told if you want to use a fifth wheel camper in the USA you must have a double axle truck (four wheels in the back) - you are only allowed in certain states (nobody could tell me which ones) and it will soon be a law to have an AZ License. Is this true? I love camping in the US of A and there are so many wonderful places I do not want to limit us.

Can you help? What are towing regulations for towing a 27-30 ft. 5th wheel vs. towing a 27-30 ft. travel trailer?

Much appreciated

Hi, Robert let me see if I can answer your questions.

1. I am not aware of any law requiring you to have a dual rear wheel truck to pull a 5th Wheel Recreational Trailer.

2. I am not aware of any state that bans 5th Wheel Recreational Trailers. Some states may have local road restrictions depending on weight and length of the truck and 5th Wheel Recreational Vehicle combination.

3. As far as Driver License Requirements, I know that California Residents that own 5th Wheel Recreational Vehicles and that have Class C Driver licenses must get a Fifth-Wheel Recreational Trailer Endorsement to pull 5th Wheel Recreational Trailers weighing between 10,000 to 15,000 lbs.

If the California Resident has a Commercial or Non-Commercial Class A license, they are not required to have this endorsement. As far as visitors to California, there are no special endorsements required.

For the most part all of the states in the United States are very RV Friendly. I don't foresee you having any problems towing your 5th Wheel Trailer in the US.

If I have missed any important information, I am sure that our visitors will take a moment to add it.

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Happy RVing

RVing Al

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problem. Wheel
by: Anonymous

My wife and I have a 42.5 ft fifth wheel with 5 slides, and a f250 crew cab with single rear wheels. We have never had a problem driving on roads. State parks are hard to find to fit in but they are there. There are so many great camp grounds available. I have a regular driver's license and the rig took a little get used to drive, but after a little practice its.no preblem.

46' 5th wheel
by: Anonymous

How can states that only allow 40' 5th wheels, sale 46' 5th wheels?

Website with length restrictions.
by: Anonymous

There are so many individual needs and requirements that there is no right or wrong answer in what is the best rig.

We bought a 28ft travel trailer and we are very happy with it and live in it full time. We chose a travel trailer and a four wheel drive pickup truck combination because we are outdoorsy and like going into rural and remote areas and don't always choose a full hook up.

The truck is great for getting around once we get there. We wanted to be able to go virtually everywhere. We have been all over the USA (except Alaska) and we have found our smaller rig made much more of the "old USA", i.e. the original 13 states more accessible. Vermont, Massachusetts, Delaware, New York and Rhode Island have a lot of low bridges and train trestles where at 11.5 feet high total we can easily fit but a fifth wheel cannot.

Those states also have some length restrictions. We are "handy" (I am a farm girl) and we had less funds so we have done a lot ourselves including installing a full solar panel electrical system. We had our trailer leaf springs upgraded for rougher roads by professionals but everything else we did ourselves at very substantial savings after a lot of research. Don't let anyone talk you into anything as "right" or the only way to go. Research everything yourself. For specific road restrictions you can search on line at sites like, http://www.readybrake.com/state_laws.html

Where you want to go and what you want to do should govern your needs and choices in a rig not opinions of people trying to sell you something. The RV world is full of self appointed experts. Listen politely, do your research, and decide for yourself. We spent six month researching rigs before we made our choice.

carefully consider your wants and needs
by: Anonymous

My wife and I have trailered and driven RVs for over 30 years. I have always suggested to folks that they truely think through the difference of the wants and needs. Depending on your philosophy and funds you will come up with the right answer.

The more time you expect to stay in one location, the larger your living space - will be appreciated. The more road time you expect to spend the more important consideration of size makes.

There is now absolute answer. In 5th wheels the length tends to dictate the general selection of floor plans and other ammeneties available. Yes, some campgrounds will be off the list of your available choices typically because of the physical limitations of the geography within which the campground is located. 28 feet is a great mid-range length but dont let that limit your vision.

Everything is a trade off; the longer the rig, incrementally the fewer the campgrounds that can handle it but to be sure, INCREMENTALLY is the operative word. In Minnesota, I have found that the State parks tend to favor less in length but, since we like full hook-ups at this point in our lives, we tend not to seek out those campgrounds since that is not their target market.

I hope this helps. Enjoy your ride - I am sure you will!

Buying a 5th wheel
by: cellarmaster49

We are empty-nesters with four grandchildren (ages 4 mos to 7 years). We have a 32 ft (total vehicle length)towed with a F-250 Super Duty (long bed) and a Reese 16K witha a rocker-lock. Our towed length is 53-feet overall. All I can say it's the perfect combination.

We did it the right way...bought the RV we loved and then bought the truck that would more than handle the weight and had it set up with the best equipment. The brake controller is really important as well. don't go cheap here.

Have everything professionally installed and set up. We also took professional RV driving lessons which were worth every penny ($500 for 12 hours in our own rig). The message is: buy the coach you love that fits your needs and then buy the truck and equipment to match it, not the other way around.

INVEST in the best equipment and keep it serviced. Understand how each piece works and what it does. Make sure your tow vehicle is a long bed. Yeah, I know they make all the special equipment to tow with shorter beds, good luck. Getting the dents out of a cab is expensive, plus you look stupid (and are).

A short-bed is the least safe way to tow a 5th wheel no matter what the compensation equipment manufacturers profess. As an option, we just spent $6000 for auto-levelers (the best of course). What a great investment (one-button, 3 minutes) bingo it's level! If you are a senior, I highly recommend them.

Bottom line you will get the enjoyment out of your equipment proportional to the investment you make. RV'ing with a 5th wheel can be a wonderful experience or a nightmare...your choice.

5th wheel length suggestion
by: Mark

My wife and I are shoping for a 5th wheel. We are wondering what size to purcshase? We would like nothing less than a 28 ft. however we understand there may be restrictions to most RV parks regarding max. length. Any suggestions for a good size 5th wheel for two?

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