Is flat-towing illegal in Texas?

By Product Expert | Posted in Community, FAQs, Texas, Tips and Tricks on Saturday, March 7th, 2020 at 9:14 pm
A cartoon Texas landscape with the text, "Can I flat-tow in Texas?"

Texas Flat-Towing Laws and Requirements

Flat-towing, also known as dinghy towing, is a popular way to take an extra vehicle along on a journey. The method is often performed with an RV by individuals who want to bring their own ride along on their camping journey.

However, each state has different regulations regarding flat-towing, and they should all be followed when one drives through that state. What are the flat-towing laws in Texas? Is the practice even legal?

Flat-towing is legal in Texas. However, there are certain regulations one should be sure to follow.

Texas flag against a sky.

Do you need a trailer brake for flat-towing in Texas?

The maximum towed vehicle weight or stopping distance allowed without a trailer brake is capped at 4,500 pounds in Texas. For weights higher than this, a trailer brake is required. This limit varies from state to state.

While towing in Texas, do you need to worry about snow?

Texas Towing Regulations

There are also regulations regarding the drawbar/connector used in pulling the drawn vehicle. The connector:

  • Must be strong enough to pull all the weight drawn
  • May not exceed a length of fifteen feet between the vehicles, except for when it’s a connection between two vehicles transporting poles, pipes, machinery or other objects of a structural nature that cannot be easily dismembered
  • When drawing another vehicle and using a chain, rope or cable to connect the two, the operator must display a white flag or cloth not less than 12 inches square
  • A motor vehicle may not draw more than three motor vehicles attached to it by the triple saddle-mount method

What is the triple saddle-mount tow method?

The triple saddle-mount method of towing refers to the practice of mounting the front wheels of the trailing vehicle onto the bed of another vehicle, while leaving only the rear wheels of the trailing vehicle in contact with the road.

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Is your flat-towed vehicle considered a trailer?

The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard defines a trailer as a motor vehicle, with or without motive power, that’s designed for carrying persons or property, being drawn by another motor vehicle. By this definition, we’d say that yes, the flat-towed vehicle is a trailer.