7 Things You Need to Know Right Now about Towing a Recreational Trailer in BC

Trailer and Boat

You’ve got the boat and trailer (or a fifth wheel straight from heaven) and you want to hit the road…

– Wait!

Do you know everything there is to know about travelling on BC’s beautiful highways with a recreational trailer in tow? No?

Here are some helpful points to keep in mind when you head out on the highway with your RV combination.

  • Know how heavy your load is. Most recreational trailers weigh less than 4,600 kg. If your trailer weighs under 4,600 kg (fully loaded), your Class 5 or 7 licence is all you need. If your load is over 4,600 kg fully loaded and you hold a Class 4 or 5 licence, you need to get a house trailer endorsement or hold a different class licence.
  • Understand your vehicle towing requirements. Your vehicle owner’s manual will tell you the maximum weight your vehicle can tow. Do not exceed this amount as it will put you, your trailer and others at risk. Most manufacturers have trailer towing packages including: type of engine, transmission (heavy duty), cooling systems, axles and suspension, power brakes, steering, tires, mirrors, electrical system and more. Make sure your truck is equipped for the trailer you intend to tow. Have more questions? Here’s what the CVSE wants you to know.
  • Know the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the trailer including its load, and how much of that weight is on the hitch, to calculate if the truck is capable of towing the trailer. There is usually a plate or a decal on the trailer indicating the GVWR. This is the manufacturer’s recommended maximum weight of the trailer and its load.

Pre trip inspection

  • Do a pre-trip inspection. You should conduct an inspection of your truck and trailer at least daily and, when travelling, every time you stop. The inspection includes: checking under the hood, checking gauges in the cab, walking around the truck and trailer to check lights, tire pressure and mechanical components, making sure boats and other items on travel trailers are securely buckled down. The final step is to pull ahead slowly and check for brake and steering response. ICBC has compiled a detailed list of things to check in their pre trip inspection document.
  • Realize that speed and weight affect stopping power. Understand what is required of you and your vehicle combination to move and to stop. This includes giving yourself adequate stopping distance and stopping time (at least five seconds between you and vehicle in front of you). As always, inclement weather, construction zones, emergency work, and other unique situations on highways may require you to slow down or even stop with short notice. Be prepared and stay focused.
  • Keep safety in mind at all times. This is a given for all road trips you take but staying safe while travelling with your trailer ensures your journey will end well for everyone. A few things to remember:
    • Passengers are never allowed to travel in the trailer.
    • Propane appliances should be completely closed during travel and equipped with detectors to alert you of a leak.
    • Carry a fire extinguisher on board in case of fire.
    • Make sure water valves are closed, power lines are disconnected and all vents and awnings are completely closed before you take off.
    • Make sure ATVs and boats are properly secured to the trailer.
    • Regular vehicle maintenance is another important part of travelling with or without a recreational trailer; keeping your pride and joy road ready will ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip.
  • Refresh yourself on the rules of the road. It’s always a good time to refresh your knowledge of BC road signs. Take this practice test.

DefinitionsNow that you know the basics rules of the road for recreational trailers, you are ready to make the move to good times ahead.  If you have a question about your configuration – contact the CVSE directly at CVSEgeneralinquiry@gov.bc.ca

Happy and safe trails to you!

376 comments on “7 Things You Need to Know Right Now about Towing a Recreational Trailer in BC”

Leave a Reply to Dennis Cancel reply

  1. I own a 2012 VW Golf TDI with a DSG (automatic) transmission. I am thinking of getting a recreational lightweight trailer to tow with it. Here is the problem. In North America, there are no recommended towing weights for any VW Golf by VW, however in Europe and Australia, the same vehicle (Golf) can tow 1450 lbs without electric brakes, and over 3,000 lbs with electric brakes. From what I have read online regarding the Golf in Europe and Australia, it is an exceptionally good tow vehicle. Since my Golf weighs over 3,000 lbs, can I use the formula of 50% of tow vehicle weight for a trailer without brakes and 100% for a trailer with electric brakes? I am thinking of buying a trailer with no more than 2,200 lbs GVW.

    Reply
    • Hi Peter. The regulations in BC require you to not exceed the manufacturer’s ratings. We recommend reaching out to VW Canada to see if they can provide you with tow capacity information for your specific Golf. If they are able to confirm what you suspect, you are already on the right track with when electric brakes are and aren’t required for trailers. Brakes are required if the weight of a trailer exceeds 1,400 kg or more than 50% of the tow vehicles weight. Further information on towing trailers can be found here: https://www.cvse.ca/references_publications/trailer_towing_info_sheet.pdf

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  2. My understanding is that GVWR of trailer that used for commercial use must be transferred to power unit stock trailer,box trailer,deck trailer,this pushes over 5.500 Kg Wich mean you need N.S.C,fire bottle, triangles or flares,first aid kit.Log book for pre trip and post trip,getting hard to find.I never see this unforced.I feel I have over insured my truck and trailer Wich also have to be inspected yearly.I know someone with roofing company.Hes been stopped many times always over weight nothing is inspected no N.S.C,no log book and never gets charged call me an idiot telling me this B.S. So who wrong .e or him

    Reply
  3. I’m looking for direct answers to towing a fifth wheel trailer with a 1500. Can a 1500 tow a fifth wheel travel trailer in BC?

    I have been told many times this isn’t possible. Plus, I know of friends who have had issues at the Golden weigh scales with this. Waved in or pulled over and had to turn around or get a rental truck. The 1500 was well with in the towing ability but because its not HD they where told its not allowed. HD meaning, axles, brakes, transmission, frame and and and. But the truck was more than able to tow it. Its legal in Alberta but not BC. So what is the correct answer here please?

    Reply
  4. My car is a manual VW Jetta with a towing capacity of 1500#. If I get a trailer with a dry weight of 1250# and don’t add any extra weight to the trailer and keep the car’s GVW under its GVWR are we legal? I’ve been told that it is the law that a car’s towing capacity needs to be at least double the trailer’s weight but I can’t find that info anywhere. Is that true?

    Reply
    • Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for connecting with us here. The CVSE has put together a handy pdf for reference. In a nutshell:
      How much can my vehicle tow?
      Check your owner’s manual to find your vehicle’s towing capability. If you tow a load that is too heavy for your vehicle, you create a potential
      safety risk for yourself and others on the road. You may also damage your vehicle. It is important that you be able to stop both your
      vehicle and your trailer. Braking requirements for all trailers are regulated and enforced. You may receive a violation ticket if you carry more weight than you are licensed to carry.
      Q. If I am towing a trailer (or other vehicle), is the weight of the trailer considered tobe part of the load of the towing vehicle?
      No, the weight being towed is not part of the load of the towing vehicle; therefore, you do not need to include it in your calculations. You do, however,
      need to include the weight your trailer will put on the trailer hitch or 5th wheel. The weight on the hitch (known as the tongue weight) is part of the
      load of the towing vehicle.

      Hope that this is helpful!

      Reply
  5. Is BC Highway 31A from New Denver to Kaslo suitable for pulling a 30 foot 5th wheel travel trailer over, and the down 31 to Nelson.

    Reply
    • Hi Brian. It’s a steep, winding two-lane paved highway. There should be no issues if you take care. The only restricted road in that area for that type of vehicle is Highway 31 between Gerrard and Trout Lake.

      Reply
  6. Hey,

    I have seen people with a truck and camper combo (camper in the box of truck) then use a tow bar (without dolly/ trailer) for a small tow vehicle like small Toyota pickup, jeep, Suzuki side kick etc where in the regulations is this ? I see people doing it all the time but yet I can only find something saying the vehicle in tow must be less then 900kg which the ones I’ve seen are not. Are they just breaking the law or have i missed it somewhere ?

    Reply
    • Great question Cal – we have sent it to the folks in the CVSE for review and we will let you know what we hear back.

      Reply
    • Hi again Cal – here’s what we heard:

      There is some information regarding towing dollys in section 7.19 of the CTR:

      Towing dollies

      7.19 A person must not drive or operate on a highway a commercial vehicle that is towing a towing dolly if the net weight of the towing dolly plus the gross weight of a motor vehicle, one axle of which is being carried by the towing dolly, exceeds 2 800 kg.

      We suggest you contact any scale to go over any details such as proper securement. You cannot exceed any manufactured ratings of the tow vehicle.

      Scales: http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/cvse/inspection_stations.htm

      Reply
  7. If my travel trailer gvw is 11,200lbs and I load it up and drive it across the scales and it comes in under 4600kgs do I still need to get get my code 7 or is it legal to haul it without code 7? And I am a B.C resident

    Reply
  8. I am a BC resident who drives a BC licenced vehicle and ICBC insured. I have a second home in Alberta and a tent trailer licenced in Alberta (w/ a permanent plate).

    I don’t plan to use this trailer more than 2 months in BC on yearly basis. Having it parked in my Alberta home majority of the time, am I legally allowed to tow it in BC? Both are registered under my name in two jurisdictions. Thank you!

    Reply
  9. Hello,

    I was told once at a scale towing my gooseneck flatdeck trailer with my Ram 3500 that I had to switch my trailer hitch from a gooseneck ball to a fifth wheel plate/kingpin as the overall length of the trailer was over 40′. Is this true? I can’t find that law anywhere in the BC COMMERCIAL TRANSPORT REGULATIONS.

    Reply
  10. I am attempting to find out if an 18″ 2×2″ Tow Bar extension is legal in BC, my searches on-line proved fruitless. I have a 10′ flat bottom boat in the back of my Ford Ranger, so need the back down. To tow my 18′ 2-axel camper, I was told to buy an 18″ 2×2″ Tow Bar extension. So far, I’m receiving conflicting information as to legality.

    Reply
      • Hi Joe – we did hear from CVSE that it is not a requirement, but it might be needed to avoid the axles from being overloaded. For more info about your specific setup, contact email address above. Thanks!

        Reply
  11. I have a 42 foot toy hauler fifth wheel, however the overall length of the truck with the RV is under the overall limit. Can I travel in B.C.?

    Reply
    • Hi Carl,

      The max overall length of a truck and or trailer is 12.5m on its own and 20m overall for the combination of the two. Hope that this helps!

      Reply
    • Hello again Allan – the CVSE has let us know that this configuration would not be legal in BC as it is considered a 3 vehicle combination.

      Reply
  12. good afternoon,

    I was told that there is a length max for towing a toy hauler in BC. what is this maximum length and is there actually one? so truck and trailer combined length what is the maximum?

    thank you

    Reply
  13. I have recently bought a new fifth wheel trailer in BC, which according to the manufacturer’s website, has a length of 41’10” (12.750 m).
    This exceeds the 12.5 metres (41′) length as stipulated in the CVSE Recreational Vehicle Towing Fact Sheet.
    My question is how the length of a fifth wheel trailer is measured?
    Is it the dimension from the most rear part of the trailer (including the factory installed bike rack) to
    A) the centreline of the king pin,
    B) the front part of the nose cone of the trailer, or
    C) to the rear bumper of the towing truck?
    I can’t imagine a reputable RV Dealer could/would sell an illegal oversized vehicle in BC.
    But I do want to obtain this information to confirm my trailer is legal in BC and other Canadian Provinces, and to ensure there is not potential for problems arising with ICBC if I have to claim on my insurance policy, because knowing Insurers, they will exploit any loophole they can to get out of paying out on the policy.

    Reply
    • Good afternoon Martin! It sounds like the CVSE have also responded to your question, but we are going to post their response here, just in case someone else has a similar question.
      The maximum dimensions for a trailer can be found under 7.08(6) of the Commercial Transport Regulations, where it states:

      (6) A person must not, without a permit, drive or operate

      (a) except as provided in paragraph (b), a single vehicle having an overall length in excess of 12.5 m,

      (b) a trailer having an overall length in excess of 12.5 m, but not including the following as part of that length:

      (i) an air deflector, heater or refrigerator unit attached to the front of the trailer;

      (ii) the draw bar of the trailer if the draw bar articulates in the horizontal plane relative to the main load-carrying structural component of the trailer;

      (iii) auxiliary equipment or devices that are not designed or used to carry cargo and do not extend more than 30 cm beyond the front or 10 cm beyond the rear of the vehicle, including, but not limited to, air connectors, electrical connectors, hydraulic connectors, rollers, pickup plates, bumpers, ladders, glad hands, load securement devices or dangerous goods placards;

      (iv) a platform mounted on the front upper portion of the trailer if the platform is used exclusively to assist in the installation or securing or both of load securement devices,

      (c) subject to section 7.27 (1), a combination of 2 or more vehicles

      (i) if the combination contains one articulation point, having an overall length, including its load, in excess of 20 m, and

      (ii) if the combination contains more than one articulation point, having an overall length, including its load, in excess of 23 m,

      (d) a vehicle combination consisting of a jeep and low-bed semi-trailer as allowed by section 7.22 if the combination has an overall length in excess of 23 m, or

      (e) a combination of vehicles that contains a licensed booster axle assembly mounted to the rear of a semi-trailer lowbed and has an overall length that exceeds 23.0 m.

      [en. B.C. Reg. 95/2006, s. 3; am. B.C. Regs. 128/2008, s. 3; 205/2016, s. 1.]
      The CTR defines overall length as being the greatest overall longitudinal distance of the vehicle, so it would be from the front of the fifth wheel to the rearmost point. Unfortunately the bike rack would not meet the allowance under (iii) for auxiliary equipment, so it may need to be removed to help get you under 12.5 m. Permits are not available for travel trailers to exceed the maximum OAL found in 7.08 (6).

      Hope that this helps!

      Reply
  14. Hi there and thanks for all you do!

    We pull our jeep every year from Calgary to Vernon Bc. We use a very safe blu ox tow bar system and the jeeps lights are activated by the truck. The jeep has no usable brakes while in tow. The tow vehicle is a 2003 f350 diesel single rear wheel.

    The jeeps actual curb weight is 1390kgs
    The F350 weighs 3225 kgs

    The ministries act talks about only motor homes can be tow vehicles for another vehicle but does not mention towing vehicles under 1400kgs without brakes. But you can tow a trailer under 1400 kgs without brakes.

    Doing the calculations we are splitting hairs but if im good by 1 kg im going for it!

    Am I legal to enter BC

    Reply
    • Hello Darcy,

      Thanks for the comment and kind words! We shared your comment with the good folks in the BC CVSE and they informed us that theinformation you are looking for can be found in Division 5 – Brakes of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations, with 5.02 (3)(c) being the most relevant. If the Jeep’s gross vehicle weight (not curb weight) combined with the dollies net weight is below 1,400 kg’s then brakes are not required. I would advise you visit a scale in Alberta, with the jeep loaded as you intend to have it during transit in BC, to confirm the GVW before your trip in order to avoid any surprises. Hope that this helps!

      Reply
  15. Hi,
    can you please point me to a site where I can find info for a roadworthy inspection in BC. I want to get a 5th wheel ready for the road, it has been parked for a few years. Thanks

    Reply
  16. No sure how to ask. I am looking for a small trailer to tow behind my suv but nothing quite right. I have since found atv trailers are perfect but need to know if it is possible to convert it to a road legal trailer and what I would need to do? (Paperwork, inspections, changes required to be road worthy, etc) have asked others but no straight answers.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Dirk,

      We sent your question to the good folks at the CVSE and here’s what they had to say.

      It’s difficult to provide an answer with just this information. ATV trailers are not manufactured to on-highway safety standards. However, in general terms, all trailers used or operated on highway must meet all applicable mechanical safety standards as defined in the MVAR and Vehicle Inspection Manual. All components, including the hitch, tires, body and lamps must meet safety standards. Without subjecting a trailer – or modified trailer – to inspection, a compliance or acceptability statement can’t be determined. Hope that this helps!

      Reply
  17. Hi!

    I will be travelling into BC and I have a one ton dually truck towing a fifth wheel camping trailer. what my question is, is it legal for me to tow my quad trailer with my quad in it behind my fifth wheel camping trailer.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  18. I’m having a really hard time figuring out what’s allowed when trailering on a boat launch.
    ICBC’s “Towing a Recreational Vehicle” (which I THINK applies to boat trailers too) says
    “Never drive with people inside your trailer. It is illegal and unsafe. All occupants must be in the truck.”
    but I can’t find a reference to it being illegal in the BC Motor Vehicle Act and I’m not sure if boat launches are even considered “highways” in BC.

    The only thing I could find about having someone in a boat while the trailer is moving is that in Transport Canada’s BOATsmart program it says you can have someone in the boat as it’s backed down the launch (although I’m not sure if there’s some law allowing it), but do the Provincial laws take priority over what Transport Canada says? Is it really illegal to have someone in a boat while it is driven down a boat launch?

    Reply
    • Hi Terry,

      Thanks for connecting with us here. We shared your question with our traffic engineering department and here’s what they had to say:

      This is not a straightforward situation. However, ultimately it boils down to the fact that the Motor Vehicle Act and Transportation Act are written (with the exception of some small bits about ferries), in a way that applies to land based vehicle movement only. A boat has no definition or use in the Motor Vehicle Act except as possibly something which could be carried on a trailer. The use of boat launch ramps is simply not covered because that is not the intent of these pieces of legislation. A boat launch ramp is an area of transition. Areas of transition are often not included in legislation and have fewer “rules” associated with their use because it is simply not practical.

      To address your points more specifically:

      • What is a highway? The Motor Vehicle Act and Transportation Act define what constitutes a highway (see below for excerpts from the acts). Generally, a highway is land which is intended for the passage of vehicles and used by the general public. Therefore, one could argue that a public boat launch ramp is a highway if it is available to the general public. However, it is a bit of a stretch.
      • It’s illegal to ride in a boat being towed on a highway? The main (legal) reason one is not allowed to travel in a boat while it is being towed down the highway is due to the requirement for the driver and all passengers to be in a “designated seating position” (Section 39 of the MVA Regs), which includes a seatbelt. The requirement to wear seatbelts does not apply when a vehicle is being operated in reverse (such as backing down a boat launch ramp) – Section 220 of the MVA.
      • Jurisdiction? Fresh water is provincial jurisdiction whereas salt water is federal. So, there may be differences based on the body of water being accessed.

      From the Transportation Act:
      “highway” means a public street, road, trail, lane, bridge, trestle, tunnel, ferry landing, ferry approach, any other public way or any other land or improvement that becomes or has become a highway by any of the following:
      (a) deposit of a subdivision, reference or explanatory plan in a land title office under section 107 of the Land Title Act;
      (b) a public expenditure to which section 42 applies;
      (c) a common law dedication made by the government or any other person;
      (d) declaration, by notice in the Gazette, made before December 24, 1987;
      (e) in the case of a road, colouring, outlining or designating the road on a record in such a way that section 13 or 57 of the Land Act applies to that road;
      (f) an order under section 56 (2) of this Act;
      (g) any other prescribed means;

      From the Motor Vehicle Act:
      “highway” includes
      (a) every highway within the meaning of the Transportation Act,
      (b) every road, street, lane or right of way designed or intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles, and
      (c) every private place or passageway to which the public, for the purpose of the parking or servicing of vehicles, has access or is invited,
      but does not include an industrial road;

      All this being said, it seems like having someone seated responsibly and safely in your boat to help assist you down the boat launch ramp (and only on the ramp) is allowed.

      Hope that this helps!

      Reply
  19. What are the safety hook up requirements for a car dolly behind a motor-home.
    I have the basket style tie down straps for the car wheels to attach them to the dolly.
    I also have the safety chain hookup for the dolly to the motor-home hitch.
    Do I need separate axle straps to connect the car wheels with the motor-home hitch?

    Reply
    • Hi Manley,

      We asked the good folks in the CVSE who said it sounds like this is being secured correctly – the car is secured to the dolly, and the dolly has its safety chains connected to the tow vehicle. Everyone is happy! Thanks for connecting with us here to double check.

      Reply
  20. Are there any requirements for a company vehicle that has company decals to report to weigh scales when pulling a recreational vehicle in BC? The trailer is under the 4600Kg requirement and the towing vehicle has the required capacity.

    Reply
    • Hi Jason,

      Thanks for connecting with us here. We sent your question directly to the CVSE and here is what they had to say.

      Commercial Transport Regulations 7.03 (3) states: “If the vehicle(power unit) is licenced over 5,500kg regardless of what kind of trailer they are towing, must report to any open Inspection Station Scale along their route”. If the power unit is under that weight they do not have to report.

      Here is the complete regulation for your reference:

      Scales
      7.03
      (1) The driver of a vehicle on a highway, when so required by a peace officer or by any person authorized by the minister, must
      (a) stop the vehicle at the time and place specified by the peace officer or authorized person for the purpose of weighing the whole or part of the vehicle by means of stationary or portable scales, measuring the dimensions of the vehicle and load, measuring and inspecting the tires, inspecting the load carried, or for any other purpose under the Act or these regulations,
      (b) stop the vehicle if the vehicle or the load it is carrying is, in the opinion of the peace officer or the inspector, unsafe for operation on the highways and fix the defect in the vehicle or secure the load, as the case may be, before proceeding,
      (c) drive the vehicle onto the nearest public stationary or portable scales for the purpose of weighing the vehicle and load, or
      (d) rearrange the load on the vehicle or remove the whole or part of the load from the vehicle in order to comply with the provisions of the Act, regulations or permit before continuing to drive or operate the vehicle.
      (2) The driver of a vehicle on a highway, when directed by a traffic sign on the highway to report to scales, must drive the vehicle onto the scales for the purpose of weighing the whole or part of the vehicle by means of stationary or portable scales, measuring the dimensions of the vehicle and load, measuring and inspecting the tires, inspecting the load carried, or for any other purpose under the Act or these regulations.
      (3) Subsection (2) does not apply to the driver of a commercial vehicle of a licensed gross vehicle weight not exceeding 5 500 kg.

      Hope that this helps!

      Reply
  21. I read that if a house trailer (RV) has a maximum mass greater than 4,600 kg a Code 07 is required for a clas 4 or 5 drivers license,. My question is does this apply to out of province vehicles. There is no such Code in my home province.

    Reply
  22. Hello can you help me find good source links regarding flat towing in BC. I would appreciate that. My second inquiry is about towing a wagon style trailer with a class 7 or 5?

    Reply
    • Hi Dustin,

      We need a bit more information from you to get you an answer:

      How long is the trailer (without load)
      How much “hangs over” from the last axle of the trailer (this is the proper measurement) and your right – “what is the load”
      How long is the total combination – power unit and trailer

      Thanks!

      Reply
  23. Hello,
    I will be traveling from Arizona to the Yukon this spring. I am towing a fifth wheel trailer and it will be towing a small ATV trailer. The rig is under GVW and under 65′. I will be entering B.C. near Dawson Creek and traveling to the Yukon via Whitehorse. Everywhere I am towing this configuration is ok but I’m not sure about northern B.C. Do you know if highway law enforcement in upper B.C. has a reciprocity understanding for towing through this area or are they out to get me and the almighty $$$ ?
    I’ve heard from many that I’ll have no problems but I thought I’d ask here too.

    Thanks for your time, Craig From Arizona

    Reply
  24. Hi, there are rumors about getting fined for leaving a towbar/ball hitch on a vehicle without a trailer. Is this possible? If so which act and section of said act is this written?

    Reply
    • Hi Shamus – No law about leaving a towbar/ball hitch on the vehicle without a trailer. However, you can’t exceed a hitch offset of 1.8m.

      Reply
  25. I like that you suggest to do a pre-trip inspection at least daily. I can see why this would be a good way to make sure that everything is in good shape and nothing is loose. It might even be good to not only look at things, but to pull and push on them as well. Odds are if they can move around, then they will not last very long on the road.

    Reply
    • Glad to hear you found this useful Scott and you make a great suggestion about giving things a bit of a tug too. Safe travels and happy trails!

      Reply
  26. Hello, I have been advised by my RV dealer in AB that when thing a fifth wheel trailer in BC the 7 pin power cord must be connected to a socket in the bed of the truck, not the 7 pin connector on the rear tow hitch. Is this correct?

    Thanks

    Reply
  27. I have a Heavily Modified personal 1ton pickup for work and towing purposes, I would like to drive it to the lower mainland to pick up a motorcycle on the flat deck.

    Is my tuck subject to the provincial road safety’s legislation even though im completely legal in my Territory? Tire Protrusion,Exhaust,Suspension ect..

    Reply
          • Hi Scott,

            All vehicles – including vehicles licensed outside of BC – that operate on BC highways are subject to the provincial Motor Vehicle Act & Regulatory requirements. Vehicles found to be non-compliant may be subject to enforcement. Transport Canada and the BC Motor Vehicle Act – Regulations speak to the requirements that manufactured or modified vehicles must meet.

            In terms of our provincial laws, Part 3 Section 25 of the BC MVA-Regulations covers off the need for inspection.

            ICBC will be looking for the inspection certificate when they go about insuring the vehicle.

            Hope that this helps.

  28. I tow a small camping trailer with a car in Alberta. I would like to go camping with it in B.C. Everything is legal about it in Alberta but I see one rule may be different In B.C. I have heard there is a reciprocity rule where if its legal in the registered province its legal in the other provinces as well. Is this true? The trailer weighs between 1400 and 1700 pounds loaded (630 and 770kg) depending on whats in it, but is over half the weight of the tow vehicle. It has trailer brakes but In Alberta I do not need a breakaway device, do I need one in B.C? Also since it is a car it does not have a tow rating or GCWR, the total GVWR for the car is not exceeded nor is the weight rating for either car axle. The trailer axle, frame and tires are all rated above what the weight is as are the car tires and hitch. The unit easily exceeds the alberta braking distance requirements and the BC rule i found that says Vehicles must have at least 1 horsepower per 150 kg of total GVW. So Do I need a breakaway device and Would there be any other problems or changes I would have to make to tow this in B.C?
    Thank you.

    Reply
  29. My Dodge Ram has a GVWR of 12200. It has a towing capacity of 15850. These numbers are on the door frame. I just weighed my truck and trailer when they were connected. The truck was carrying 12000 on the two axles and my trailer was carrying 14000 on it’s axles. I’d say that I was in safe territory. Together I’m pulling 26000lbs (truck and trailer).

    However, someone just asked me what my GCWR is for my truck. I didn’t know there was a GCWR. It turns out that my GCWR is 23000lbs. This means that I’m over by 3000lbs!

    Does this mean that I’m travelling illegally? Or do I just need to satisfy the GVRW and Towing Capacity?

    The Gross Combination Weight Rating isn’t even on the truck. I needed to go online to find this number.

    Reply
    • Hello Mark and thank you for connecting with us here. Unfortunately, GCWR can not be exceeded. It sometimes is not on the door panel but should be in the manufacturers manual for the vehicle or online as you found. The warranty on a vehicle is void if your combined weight exceeds the manufacturers rating. Hope that this helps!

      Reply
  30. Hi.
    Re towing a 5th wheel with an SUV … is it legal … They make ‘tow dollies’ to pull 5th wheels. An example of one of the many available is this one … http://ridingmode.com/tow-all-dolly/ —- specifically designed to properly mount and tow a 5th wheel with a suitable towing vehicle such as a truck or SUV (I have a Dodge Durango AWD with 5.7 L) Assuming, all the usual things like brakes, lighting, breakaway cable, etc. Is this a legal form of towing in BC ? My question is related to private recreational towing, not a commercial towing question.

    Reply
  31. I have been told by several different people that we have to have a 3/4 ton truck to pull our fifth wheel trail through B.C. It is a 26 ft. light weight trailer and we have a heavy duty 1/2 ton 4 x 4 chevy truck. We would only be going in the summer time and I don’t want to get stopped for doing something illegal. What are the requirements for pulling a trailer. We are not exceeding the load limitations of our truck. We are presently dealing on a new truck and want to have the right one.

    Reply
    • Hello Bernice,

      Thanks for your question. As long as you don’t exceed their GVW or the Manufacturer’s Rating on the plate of the door frame you should be fine.

      Reply
  32. I just purchased a landscaping trailer made of aluminium that ahs an axle rating of 3500lbs, a box rating of 2500lbs and is equipped with electric brakes. My Santa Fe cando up to 5000lbs of towing and has a brake controller. Now, there is different opinions when it comes to speed limits when towing. Some old folks told me there is an 80km/h speed limit on highways in British Columbia when you tow, whereas the trailer place I bought from said it is always posted limit. Which fact is correct?

    Reply
    • Hello Helmut,

      The Commercial Transportation Act defines a commercial vehicle as:

      SO even a pickup truck is a commercial vehicle.

      When a highway speed limit is posted, say 100km there sometimes will be another sign saying “commercial vehicles, 80km.

      So the answer here is not that you are towing a vehicle that restricts the speed limit, it is because you are a commercial vehicle and when a sign says commercial vehicle you must go that speed limit.

      I hope that is understandable.

      Reply
  33. Hi,

    I need to tow my truck with another truck about 5 kms home. I cannot find anything clear about it in the motor vehicle act.

    Is it legal for a 1 ton truck to tow a 3/4 ton truck with a properly rated tow strap?

    A licensed driver will be in the towed truck with the engine running, for the brakes, turn signals, & steering. The towed vehicle won’t move forward on its own power when in drive but is perfectly operational otherwise, engine runs, brakes, wipers, lights, & AC works, goes into neutral, park & reverse.

    Thanks!

    Reply
      • Hello again,

        Sorry to be the be the bearer of bad news, but we spoke with the CVSE and told us that the answer to your question is no, because of MVAR
        7.07(6), listed below:

        Towing occupied motor vehicle prohibited

        (6) No person shall tow a motor vehicle if there is a person in or on the towed motor vehicle.

        [am. B.C. Regs. 69/59, s. (p); 46/67, s. 14; 343/77; 256/84, ss. 7, 8; 150/91; 103/2006, s. 1; 97/2009, s. (b) .]

        Reply
          • Things you should know for towing a trailer.
            Get a Little Help from a Friend.
            Know Your Vehicle’s Tow Rating.
            Ensure the Vehicle and Trailer Are a Good Match.
            Stop the Sway.
            Check the Tires.
            Enlist the Teens for Oversight.
            There’s no confusion about it, flatbed tow trucks are the safest and most secure way to transport an object from one place to another. It is an excellent choice for those with show cars or high-end vehicles which do not wish to use conventional transportation methods for their vehicle.