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Did California change its towing laws?

azdryheat
Explorer
Explorer
I was in CA heading to San Diego on I-8 last Friday and saw a truck doing a double tow (truck pulling a 5th wheel pulling a boat). All three vehicles had CA license plates. My understanding is this setup is illegal in CA or has the law changed?
2013 Chevy 3500HD CC dually
2014 Voltage 3600 toy hauler
2019 RZR 1000XP TRE
19 REPLIES 19

dedmiston
Moderator
Moderator
Cummins12V98 wrote:
dedmiston wrote:
Enforcement in CA is inconstant.

I see people towing in the wrong lanes all the time, and nobody even tries to obey the 55 mph limit. The worst is when I see people pulling trailers in the HOV lane and slowing everyone down.


In WA it's legal to tow in the HOV lanes up to a certain tonnage.


In CA it's not even legal to get over to the HOV lanes if you're towing. Trucks and cars towing trailers are required to stay in the two far right lanes.

2014 RAM 3500 Diesel 4x4 Dually long bed. B&W RVK3600 hitch • 2015 Crossroads Elevation Homestead Toy Hauler ("The Taj Mahauler") • <\br >Toys:

  • 18 Can Am Maverick x3
  • 05 Yamaha WR450
  • 07 Honda CRF250X
  • 05 Honda CRF230
  • 06 Honda CRF230

Cummins12V98
Explorer III
Explorer III
Kinda depends where you are. More rural areas the truckers bump it up. Many RVer's simply speed no matter!!!
2015 RAM LongHorn 3500 Dually CrewCab 4X4 CUMMINS/AISIN RearAir 385HP/865TQ 4:10's
37,800# GCVWR "Towing Beast"

"HeavyWeight" B&W RVK3600

2016 MobileSuites 39TKSB3 highly "Elited" In the stable

2007.5 Mobile Suites 36 SB3 29,000# Combined SOLD

Thermoguy
Explorer II
Explorer II
Having just driven through parts of CA watching and following RV's and Semi's, no one is going 55. The commercial drivers are the fastest, some as fast as 70 in a 55... I was not towing so I saw lots of towing vehicles as I passed them.

Cummins12V98
Explorer III
Explorer III
When in CA if you are towing anything the MAX speed limit is 55. Towing 60 I have been slowly passed by CHIPS without a second look many times.
2015 RAM LongHorn 3500 Dually CrewCab 4X4 CUMMINS/AISIN RearAir 385HP/865TQ 4:10's
37,800# GCVWR "Towing Beast"

"HeavyWeight" B&W RVK3600

2016 MobileSuites 39TKSB3 highly "Elited" In the stable

2007.5 Mobile Suites 36 SB3 29,000# Combined SOLD

mkirsch
Nomad II
Nomad II
Cummins12V98 wrote:
I tow in the right lanes at 60mph in posted 55 zones with ZERO issues.


I tear the tags off my pillows and mattresses with no issues.

5MPH over the speed limit is more likely to get you a ticket for "impeding traffic" than "speeding."

Putting 10-ply tires on half ton trucks since aught-four.

Cummins12V98
Explorer III
Explorer III
dedmiston wrote:
Enforcement in CA is inconstant.

I see people towing in the wrong lanes all the time, and nobody even tries to obey the 55 mph limit. The worst is when I see people pulling trailers in the HOV lane and slowing everyone down.


In WA it's legal to tow in the HOV lanes up to a certain tonnage.
2015 RAM LongHorn 3500 Dually CrewCab 4X4 CUMMINS/AISIN RearAir 385HP/865TQ 4:10's
37,800# GCVWR "Towing Beast"

"HeavyWeight" B&W RVK3600

2016 MobileSuites 39TKSB3 highly "Elited" In the stable

2007.5 Mobile Suites 36 SB3 29,000# Combined SOLD

Cummins12V98
Explorer III
Explorer III
I have towed "DOUBLES" in CA for the last 6 winter months being licensed SD as CA recognizes SD. CA it is legal to "Double Tow" if you have the proper endorsement.

I tow in the right lanes at 60mph in posted 55 zones with ZERO issues.

I also tow the same in WA and OR along the I-5 corridor twice a year.
2015 RAM LongHorn 3500 Dually CrewCab 4X4 CUMMINS/AISIN RearAir 385HP/865TQ 4:10's
37,800# GCVWR "Towing Beast"

"HeavyWeight" B&W RVK3600

2016 MobileSuites 39TKSB3 highly "Elited" In the stable

2007.5 Mobile Suites 36 SB3 29,000# Combined SOLD

dedmiston
Moderator
Moderator
Enforcement in CA is inconstant.

I see people towing in the wrong lanes all the time, and nobody even tries to obey the 55 mph limit. The worst is when I see people pulling trailers in the HOV lane and slowing everyone down.

2014 RAM 3500 Diesel 4x4 Dually long bed. B&W RVK3600 hitch • 2015 Crossroads Elevation Homestead Toy Hauler ("The Taj Mahauler") • <\br >Toys:

  • 18 Can Am Maverick x3
  • 05 Yamaha WR450
  • 07 Honda CRF250X
  • 05 Honda CRF230
  • 06 Honda CRF230

CA_Traveler
Explorer III
Explorer III
License are recipocal. Driving laws are not for speed limits, double tow, length, brakes, etc.
2009 Holiday Rambler 42' Scepter with ISL 400 Cummins
750 Watts Solar Morningstar MPPT 60 Controller
2014 Grand Cherokee Overland

Bob

JRscooby
Explorer II
Explorer II
Cptnvideo wrote:
I THINK Californicate-ya has reciprocal rules.
Non CA licensed drivers don't have to have a non-commercial Class A to tow over 15,000 lbs (I think).
Doesn't matter to me since I plan to never be in the state again since having to work there often before retiring.


Driver license is reciprocal, all states. OTOH, a vehicle or combination of vehicles, can be legal in one state, but not in another.

Cptnvideo
Nomad
Nomad
I THINK Californicate-ya has reciprocal rules.
Non CA licensed drivers don't have to have a non-commercial Class A to tow over 15,000 lbs (I think).
Doesn't matter to me since I plan to never be in the state again since having to work there often before retiring.
Bill & Linda, 2019 Ram Laramie 3500 dually 4x4 diesel, Hensley BD5 hitch, 2022 Grand Design Solitude 378MBS, 1600 watts solar, Victron 150/100 MPPT controller, GoPower 3kw inverter/charger, 5 SOK 206AH LFP batteries for 1030 ah

jjj
Explorer
Explorer
Not to hijack this post but it is legal if under 65 ft. and need a class A also if you pull a fifth wheel over 15000 lb. You need a non commercial class A that is why they are targeting big toy haulers.
2002 F-350 Crew-Cab Dually
V-10-4.30 gears Mag-Hytec diff.cover
w/Amsoil-6.0 trans cooler Curt Q5 20K hitch & bedsaver
2005 Keystone Challenger 34TBH-Fifth Airbourn

ktmrfs
Explorer
Explorer
time2roll wrote:
ktmrfs wrote:
Then there is the definition of a passenger vehicle.....A 3/4 ton truck is still designed and sold to carry passengers? And/or are there passengers on board? so how does California define passenger vehicle? probably varies from state to state. I could see pickup, especially a crew cab or extended cab being legally classified as a passenger vehicle.
Virtually all trucks are registered as trucks with a different number sequence and an additional weight fee on the annual registration. Can register a PU as a car and skip the weight fee but then if anything is carried in the bed there can be a citation.


registration is one thing. traffic regulations another. Vehicle mfg classification yet another. For instance, is your pickup, as a "truck" required to follow truck speed limits? In most states the answer is NO! In fact my SUV is classified by mfg as a TRUCK, but state registration is as a passenger vehicle and likewise for following traffic regulations.

In oregon the "truck" speed limit only applies to comercial vehicles even when towing. A truck (pickup) is considered a passenger vehicle even when towing regarding speed limits, not a truck UNLESS it is towing comercially. If the tow vehicle is something designed for twoing and not normally carrying passengers, then you must also follow truck speed limits. For example towing a 5th wheel with a converted class 8
.
Our son works for state parks and went through lots of training regarding traffic regulations while driving for the state especially since he is often towing a trailer with his work "truck".

Other states require someone towing, no matter what the configuration is to follow truck speed limits.

Then there is california's "3 axles or more" such that most motor homes follow car speed limit, but if you have a tag axle, 55

My pickup is indeed registed as a truck, but at least here there is NO additional fee vs. a passenger car, nor any "weight" based fees.
2011 Keystone Outback 295RE
2004 14' bikehauler with full living quarters
2015.5 Denali 4x4 CC/SB Duramax/Allison
2004.5 Silverado 4x4 CC/SB Duramax/Allison passed on to our Son!

time2roll
Nomad
Nomad
ktmrfs wrote:
Then there is the definition of a passenger vehicle.....A 3/4 ton truck is still designed and sold to carry passengers? And/or are there passengers on board? so how does California define passenger vehicle? probably varies from state to state. I could see pickup, especially a crew cab or extended cab being legally classified as a passenger vehicle.
Virtually all trucks are registered as trucks with a different number sequence and an additional weight fee on the annual registration. Can register a PU as a car and skip the weight fee but then if anything is carried in the bed there can be a citation.