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!

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

  1. Turk Clan on September 19, 2019 at 2:05 am

    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!

    • tranbceditor on September 19, 2019 at 11:32 am

      Hi there!

      We’ve sent your question to our staff in the CVSE – stay tuned.

    • tranbceditor on September 19, 2019 at 11:56 am

      Hi there Turk Clan,

      We shared your question with our folks in the CVSE, and they replied that this question is best directed to ICBC.

  2. Justin on May 27, 2019 at 12:00 pm


    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.

  3. James on May 6, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    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.

  4. Joe BOYLE on March 14, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Are you required to have a weight distribution hitch when towing a travel trailer?

    • tranbceditor on March 18, 2019 at 4:56 pm

      Hi Joe,

      Thanks for your question about a weight distribution hitch when towing a travel trailer.

      Please contact CVSE directly, for the answer: CVSEgeneralinquiry@gov.bc.ca

      Safe travels!

      • tranbceditor on March 19, 2019 at 1:22 pm

        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!

  5. Laura on March 2, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    Pre trip inspection is key! After each pit stop a good walk around inspection is a good idea too. Driver with Delta Towing I’ve seen a few highway mishaps.

  6. Carl Bradshaw on February 25, 2019 at 8:37 am

    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.?

    • tranbceditor on February 25, 2019 at 12:45 pm

      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!

  7. Allan Higgins on February 19, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    Hi. Would this be considered illegal in BC? https://freedomhauler.com/ Not technically triple towing?

    • tranbceditor on February 20, 2019 at 9:45 am

      Hello and thanks for your question! We have sent it forward to the good folks in the CVSE for review. Stay tuned.

    • tranbceditor on February 20, 2019 at 9:54 am

      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.

  8. Vanessa on January 25, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    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

  9. RJ on May 18, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Is it legal to leave the ball hitch in the receiver of the vehicle all the time with out towing?

  10. Martin on January 31, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    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.

    • tranbceditor on February 1, 2018 at 11:18 am

      Hi there! We have sent your question to the CVSE for review. Stay tuned!

    • tranbceditor on February 1, 2018 at 4:11 pm

      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!

  11. Rick on April 11, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Am I required to have a plate on my quad to transport from one place to another in BC on a licensed trailer????

  12. Rick on April 11, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Am I required to have a plate on my quad to transport it from one place to another on my licensed trailering BC ??

  13. Darcy on April 9, 2017 at 8:43 am

    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

    • tranbceditor on April 11, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      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!

  14. Peter Loedden on April 5, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    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

  15. Dirk on April 5, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    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

    • tranbceditor on April 11, 2017 at 1:28 pm

      Hi Dirk,

      We have sent your question forward to the CVSE. Stay tuned.

    • tranbceditor on April 13, 2017 at 10:32 am

      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!

  16. Cash Krywcun on April 2, 2017 at 4:23 pm


    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.


  17. Terry on April 2, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    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?

    • tranbceditor on April 4, 2017 at 10:27 am

      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!

      • Terry on April 6, 2017 at 9:33 am

        I appreciate the response and having somewhere to ask these kinds of tricky questions – Thanks so much for your help!

  18. Mnaley McLachlan on March 28, 2017 at 10:37 am

    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?

    • tranbceditor on March 29, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      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.

  19. Jason on March 24, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    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.

    • tranbceditor on March 28, 2017 at 11:49 am

      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:

      (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!

  20. Tim on March 6, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    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.

  21. Jeremiah on February 22, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    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?

    • tranbceditor on February 24, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      Hello Jeremiah,

      We suggest you check out the CVSE webpage and if you have any other questions, the folks there are great at answering questions!

  22. Dustin winter on February 22, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Can I stick about four feet out past my trailer

    • tranbceditor on February 23, 2017 at 9:27 am

      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


  23. Craig on February 2, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    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

  24. Shamus on January 31, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    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?

    • tranbceditor on February 1, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      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.

  25. Scott on January 26, 2017 at 8:37 am

    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.

    • tranbceditor on January 26, 2017 at 11:27 am

      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!

  26. Richard on January 9, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    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?


    • tranbceditor on January 13, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      Hi Richard,

      We spoke with our contact in the CVSE who said they are not aware of any such requirement. Hope that this helps!

      • Richard on January 14, 2017 at 11:52 am

        Thanks for the advice. Looks like the RV dealer is trying to pull a fast one on me.

  27. Scott on December 13, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    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..

    • tranbceditor on December 13, 2016 at 1:13 pm

      Hi Scott,

      Is your vehicle configured and legal within BC?

      • Scott on December 13, 2016 at 2:53 pm

        No, it is with in the Yukon Territory

        • Scott on December 13, 2016 at 3:13 pm

          Basicly, im asking if the vehicle laws that apply to BC residents are enforced on out of province registered Motor Vehicles.

          • tranbceditor on December 20, 2016 at 5:44 pm

            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. Ryan on December 3, 2016 at 11:01 am

    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.

    • tranbceditor on December 5, 2016 at 5:14 pm

      Hi Ryan,

      We have sent your question to the CVSE for review. Stay tuned!

      • Ryan on December 8, 2016 at 12:02 pm

        Thank you.

      • Ryan on December 13, 2016 at 10:00 pm

        Does it sometimes take a few weeks to hear back from them?
        Sorry to bother you if it takes a while, I just want to be sure my question wasnt lost or forgotten about. Thanks.

        • tranbceditor on December 14, 2016 at 10:33 am

          Our apologies Ryan,

          We did get a response for you from the CVSE in the form of an attachment. We are sending it directly to you via email at the address you provided here. Hope that this helps and thanks for following up.

  29. Mark on November 29, 2016 at 1:19 am

    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.

    • tranbceditor on November 29, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      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!

  30. ron poulter on November 23, 2016 at 11:38 am

    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.

    • tranbceditor on November 29, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      Hello Ron,

      Unfortunately we do not recognize this dolly as legal on BC highways. We consider it a vehicle and with the other two vehicles, it becomes three vehicles going down the road and we do not recognize a three vehicle combination that weighs under 11,000 kg.

      • Ron on November 29, 2016 at 8:46 pm

        Ok…. no dollies with a SUV/5th wheel … is it ok to modify the front of a 5th wheel so there is a trailer hitch in place of the normal 5th wheel PIN. Similar to what is shown in these pictures. Is it legal, do mandatory inspections need to be done, if yes, for what, and where. ?

        • tranbceditor on December 7, 2016 at 10:21 am

          Hi Ron,

          We asked the CVSE your question and here is their response:

          As this is a design change from the manufacturer, it might fall under Part 3 of Motor Vehicle Act Regulation Division 25, however, we believe that would be quite a stretch as it is just a different hitch.

          So, if the only question is would this require inspection, the initial answer would be ‘no’ unless the person declared to ICBC that the vehicle is modified and then they might request an inspection.

          Hope that this helps!

  31. Bernice Weatherby on November 18, 2016 at 7:54 am

    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.

    • tranbceditor on November 23, 2016 at 10:50 am

      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.

  32. Helmut Straner on November 15, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    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?

    • tranbceditor on November 16, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      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.

  33. Lawrence on November 2, 2016 at 7:58 pm


    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.


    • Lawrence on November 2, 2016 at 7:58 pm

      Forgot to mention that both trucks are empty except for the driver.

      • tranbceditor on November 3, 2016 at 11:03 am

        Hi Lawrence,

        We have sent your question forward to the CVSE for review. Stay tuned!

      • tranbceditor on November 3, 2016 at 11:29 am

        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) .]

        • Lawrence on November 3, 2016 at 6:07 pm

          Thank you for the quick reply!

  34. Corey Muncaster on September 25, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Hello. I have a truck with a GVWR of 7200 lb and a curb weight of 5677 lb. with a published payload capacity of 1180 lbs. The same truck in the U.S GVWR is also 7200 and curb weight 5670 lbs. (only 7 lbs lighter) with a published payload capacity of 1530 lbs. A 350 lb difference. The U.S. published payload capacity is exactly GVWR minus Curb Weight. Why would the Canadian calculations be different? Is some set weight for passengers already included etc?? I’m baffled. For safety and enforcement considerations, should I just concern myself with the GVWR minus curbweight when considering payload when hauling or towing? Thanks

    • tranbceditor on September 26, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      Hi Corey,

      We have sent your question forward to the CVSE. Stay tuned!

    • tranbceditor on September 28, 2016 at 10:24 am

      Hi Corey,

      We spoke with the CVSE who told us Canadian and American calculations should be the same, that passengers are not included in the GVWR and that you are correct – the GVWR minus “curb weight” is the weight of the vehicle empty, will tell you what weight you can haul. Hope that this helps!

  35. Dominique on September 24, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    We’ll be moving from Alaska to Colorado in October. We have a Dodge Ram 2500 4WD that will be towing our 37ft 5th wheel. What are the Canadian laws for snow tires/chains along the ALCAN? Are chains required on the 5th wheel? What about the tow vehicle since it’s 4WD? Our other vehicle, a Chevrolet Trailblazer 2WD will be towing a 12 ft flat-bed tilt-trailer with an ATV on it. Even though the current tires are rated for snow, we planned on putting our studded tires on before we hit the road, but would chains be better? I just want to make sure we’re adhering to all the laws and making our long trek south as safe as possible during the start of winter. Anything else we need to know?

  36. Mike on September 20, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    If I have a private plated tractor for personal use not for hire and a 9 wide low bed trailer and pick up my owne mini excavator and my new pickup
    Would that be an issue its a five Axle unit and what kinda permit would I need if I need any

    • tranbceditor on September 21, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      Hi Mike,
      I’ll check into this with our people in Commercial Vehicle Enforcement and Safety, and get back to you here.

    • tranbceditor on September 22, 2016 at 4:19 pm

      Hi Mike,

      Because 8’6” is a legal width, anything over that width personal or for business, must buy a permit. It is $15.00 a trip or you can buy a term permit for a month(30.00 or year for 360.00) by calling the Provincial Permit Center at 1-800-559-9688.

  37. Bill Stepney on September 17, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    can I reduce the GVRW of a fifth wheel so as it will be under the 4600 KG The trailer is now registered at 4739KG Thks Bill

    • tranbceditor on September 19, 2016 at 9:56 am

      Hi Bill,

      We have sent your question forward to the good folks at the CVSE for review. Stay tuned!

    • tranbceditor on September 19, 2016 at 10:34 am

      Hi again Bill,

      A person can not change that rating, however, you could go to the manufacturer and if they change it and mark it on the vehicle that would be allowed. Hope that this helps.

  38. Phil carl on September 17, 2016 at 7:17 am

    Hi I’m traveling to Bc this October with my travel trailer, it does not have tires that are marked m/s. My new 1500 series gmc has tires marked with the mud and snow symbol and new tread less than 5000km on truck. Just became aware of snow tire requirement for bc highways. I would like to know if I meet the winter tire requirements, before I leave Ontario to visit Nanaimo.

  39. BlaineB on September 12, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Hi there.
    Not sure if I missed the response, but if I am towing a heavy 12,000+ lb 5th wheel holiday trailer (registered in Alberta), into BC for holidays, do I need to worry about those special license requirements? (I’m an Alberta driver and all vehicles are Alberta registered).

    • tranbceditor on September 12, 2016 at 11:10 am

      Hi Blaine, Sorry if we missed your enquiry earlier. I am checking now with CVSE on the answer to your question.

      • tranbceditor on September 12, 2016 at 3:44 pm

        Hi Blaine, I am told that we honour all the rules of Alberta licencing for RV travel in British Columbia – so nothing special required. Happy RVing!

  40. scott herron on September 2, 2016 at 8:32 am


    I need to trailer a sailboat though BC to Yukon. The boat is 30′ in length and max width is 9’3″ (2.8 meters). I recognize that I need an oversize permit as I am over the 2.6 m limit.

    What sort of conditions can I expect? Will I require a pilot car? Do I need municipal permits as well?

  41. Bob on August 27, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Hello, I have a vehicle that is rated for zero towing capability. But the exact same car in Europe is rated to tow 2200kg.
    Q1 Class1 hitches are commercially available for purchase on N America, can I legally install them?
    Q2Can I install european hitch and legally tow here?
    Q3 can I make my own hitch for the car and legally tow here?
    Q4 what would be the max weight I could tow?

    • tranbceditor on August 30, 2016 at 11:18 am

      Hi Bob,

      Thanks for your questions. We have sent them forward to the good folks at the CVSE for review and will let you know as soon as we hear back. Stay tuned!

      • Vero on October 4, 2016 at 3:02 pm

        Seconding the question by Bob about european tow ratings! If its true that the manufacturers manual rating is supplied for warranty and liability reasons, does that mean the true towing capacity can be found by comparing the gross combined weight and…? The GVWR?

        • tranbceditor on October 6, 2016 at 1:11 pm

          We’ve asked the CVSE directly. Stay tuned.

        • tranbceditor on October 7, 2016 at 2:21 pm

          Hi Vero,

          The manufacturer’s rating is: GVAWR – gross vehicle axle weight rating
          GVWR – gross vehicle weight rating
          GVWCR – gross vehicle weight combination rating – for towing purposes
          All on the door panel of the vehicle and none of these can be exceeded. You also can not exceed the GVW that you pay to ICBC for insurance.

          If this isn’t enough or the right info, let us know and we can connect you with the CVSE directly.

  42. Brandon on August 25, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Is there any regulation that states what the maximum tongue length on a trailer can be? I have a small utility trailer that I would like to transport kayaks on and require a longer tongue to accommodate the length of the kayak.

    • tranbceditor on August 25, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      Hi Brandon,

      Thanks for your question about transporting kayaks. I’m checking in with our CVSE folks to get the answer to your question about a tongue for your trailer. Will get back to you here, when I have the answer.

  43. John on August 14, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    I need to move a 3500 GVWR car, Uhaul rents tow dollies within that weight class, but their tow dollies do not have brakes.
    Total weight of the dolly is 750 lbs + vehicle 3500 lbs = 4250 lbs total. Would I be able to tow this combination to Alberta with a truck equipped with a 5000 lbs hitch, GVWR of 7200 lbs, 8300 lbs max towing capacity, and a GCWR of 14000lbs?

    Also what would the fines be if that is not legal?

    • tranbceditor on August 22, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      Hi John,

      We asked the folks at the CVSE and here is their reply:

      A trailer shall be equipped with brakes at each end of each axle, but brakes are not required
      (a) on one axle of a house trailer that is equipped with more than 2 axles,
      (b) on any axle of a trailer other than a towing dolly if the licensed vehicle weight of the trailer
      (i) is 1 400 kg or less, and
      (ii) is less than 50% of the licensed vehicle weight of the vehicle by which it is being towed,
      (c) on any axle of a towing dolly towed by a motor vehicle where
      (i) the aggregate of the net weight of the towing dolly and the gross vehicle weight of the motor vehicle one axle of which is being carried by the towing dolly does not exceed 1 400 kg, or
      (ii) the motor vehicle towing the towing dolly has a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of the aggregate of
      (A) the net weight of the towing dolly,
      (B) the gross vehicle weight of the motor vehicle one axle of which is being carried by the towing dolly, and
      (C) the gross vehicle weight of the motor vehicle towing the towing dolly,
      (d) on any axle of a motor vehicle one axle of which is being carried by a towing dolly

      We hope that this answers your questions. Something to keep in mind is: GVWR is a rating amount for the vehicle, not necessarily what the vehicle weighs.

  44. Chris on August 12, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Hi, great resource you have here. I’m looking at buying an older 5th wheel. I have found two models. Both have been converted or built into toy haulers. The first one is an early 90’s and has a serial number and a gvwr of 6400lbs.The trailer now has 3 7000lb axles instead of two 3200lb axles it came with.
    Axles have electric brakes and 16″ load range G tires and the rear frame has be strengthened. The other 5th wheel trailer is basically the same thing but with three 6000lb axles but the trailer has no vin number as it was home built.
    My question is can the first trailer i taked about be recertified with i higher gvwr somewhere? And can the second trailer be certified at all? I think I can get a vin for it but will it have a gvwr given to it as well when vin is applied?
    I am in Alberta but plan to travel all over B.C with what ever I decide to buy.

    • tranbceditor on August 17, 2016 at 11:37 am

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for connecting with us here. We shared your question with the CVSE and they have the following response for you.

      We are not sure what Alberta allows in this situation. If you are legal in Alberta, we do honour Alberta decisions while travelling in BC.

      Ist question – A higher GVWR can be applied to a trailer (in BC) with an engineer’s inspection to certify it when heavier axles and rear frame have been added.

      2nd question – Home built trailers can be certified (in BC) given a serial number and the axle(which isn’t home built) will have a rating on it to determine the weight allowed on that axle.

      Hope this helps!

  45. Mel on August 10, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    I was intending on building my own truck camper and am looking for regulations I should be following.

    Where can I find this information

    • tranbceditor on August 10, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      Hi Mel,

      Good question. We have asked the folks in the CVSE. Stay tuned!

      • tranbceditor on August 15, 2016 at 9:38 am

        Hi again Mel,

        We don’t regulate campers as it is not a vehicle. The size would have to be legal (2.6 m) in width and secured in a way to meet standards of load security. Also if propane is involved it would need to be inspected by the safety authority.

        Also keep in mind that the building products do not cause the vehicle to exceed the GVWR of the manufacturer’s rating.

        Hope that this helps!

  46. Ted on July 17, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    65.6 is the max length for rv can u permit for longer occationly i see toterhomes with race cars that appear to be longer
    Is there afine or what trouble do u get if your over

    • tranbceditor on July 18, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Hi Ted,

      Thanks for asking about toterhomes that exceed the maximum legal length for an RV to be towed. I’m checking with our Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement folks and will get back to you on that.

      • tranbceditor on July 19, 2016 at 1:59 pm

        Hi Ted,

        I have heard back from Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement that the overall allowable length for an RV and trailer is 65.6 feet or 20 metres. There are no permits or exception allowed. Exceeding that length would be illegal, and a fine could be possible, with an order to not proceed.

  47. acehardy on July 3, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    I am looking at buying a 5th wheel it says on the tag gross vehicle weight of 5218KG. I have a class 5 what does getting a code 7 consist of?. My truck can easily haul it F350 dually

  48. Mike on June 29, 2016 at 12:16 pm


    I would like to tow my car(2001 Jeep) with a school bus that I’ve just bought. Is this legal in BC? The school bus will have an in transit permit from Alberta to BC.

    Thank you

    • tranbceditor on June 30, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      Hi Mike,

      We have sent your question forward to the good folks at the CVSE, so stay tuned.

    • tranbceditor on July 5, 2016 at 10:42 am

      Hi Mike,

      There is not a problem towing a jeep behind a school bus, as long as the school bus is not operating as a school bus, ie. children being picked up and dropped off. Also the towed vehicle must be licenced.

  49. JUSTIN on June 28, 2016 at 9:07 am


    I have one for you, I have a alberta registered toy hauler (43′ triple axle 14000LBs) I bought it while working away. I plan on bringing to bc to do some camping.

    I know bc has that “heavy trailer” endorsement.. how does this work for albertans that do not have that (because it is not reqired in alberta) coming into bc?

    • tranbceditor on June 28, 2016 at 1:05 pm

      Hi Justin,

      We’ve sent your question to the good folks at the CVSE, so stay tuned!

    • tranbceditor on June 30, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      Hi Justin,

      We do honour another province regulations for drivers licence conditions for recreational travel. However, we only allow a trailer with a hitch (other than a fifth wheel) to be 12.5 m in overall length. That is 41 feet. You mentioned your trailer is 43 feet, which would not be allowed.

  50. Darin fiscus on June 20, 2016 at 9:28 am

    I have heard that your wiring harness that plugs in to the bumper for a fifth wheel trailer that the connection has to be in the box of the truck to travel into bc. is this true?

    • tranbceditor on June 23, 2016 at 11:28 am

      Hi Darin,

      Thanks for your comment and patience while we looked into this for you. Nothing in the CVSE inspection manual or regulation specifies that the plug must be in the truck box. Hope that this helps.

  51. Sara on June 14, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    We are looking at buying a travel trailer in Alberta (the model was not available in BC – sold out). The dealer in BC advised us to be wary of the trailer not being certificed for BC. Is that true? What should we be looking out for ?

    • tranbceditor on June 20, 2016 at 11:13 am

      Thank you for your inquiry regarding a fifth wheel travel trailer from Alberta. British Columbia does not require a fifth wheel travel trailer to have a Commercial vehicle inspection, it only applies to “motor vehicles”. Hope that this helps!

  52. Danny Fehr on June 12, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    I bought a new 2015 3500 Dodge Ram with a factory built in fifth wheel/ gooseneck ball….. I have a 40 foot fifth wheel trailer. My question is, can I pull my trailer in British Columbia with the gooseneck ball an is my length gonna be within the legal limit?

    • tranbceditor on June 13, 2016 at 11:49 am

      Hi Danny,

      Thanks for connecting with us here. We spoke with the CVSE and they informed us that the legal length for a pickup and trailer is 20m (65’6”) regardless of which kind of hitch you use. Hope that this helps!

  53. Ryan on June 8, 2016 at 9:03 am

    We recently purchased a new boat with tandem axle trailer.
    The combined dry weight of the trailer and boat is about 6300 lbs. Then fuel and accessories.
    The trailer is equipped with surge brakes on both axles and has a GVW rating of 7500 lbs.
    Is this setup legal for towing in BC?

    • tranbceditor on June 8, 2016 at 10:40 am

      Hi Ryan,

      Thanks for your question. Do you know the allowable GVW on your truck? The licensed GVW of your truck must include the weight of the loaded trailer. Hope that this helps!

      • Ryan on June 9, 2016 at 3:18 pm

        Combo – 15000 LB GCWR
        Truck – 7000 LB GVW

        • Ryan on June 9, 2016 at 3:27 pm

          Combo – 15000 LB GCWR
          Truck – 7000 LB GVWR
          Truck – 5600 LB

          • tranbceditor on June 10, 2016 at 10:39 am

            Hi Ryan,

            CVSE has confirmed that with your supplied GCVW you are within legal load requirements. You will need to licence your truck for 15,00lbs or 6,800 kg to ensure you are licenced to haul this combination. Hope that this helps.

  54. Tyler on June 5, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    I have a travel trailer with one of those swivel wheel trailers (http://smarttrailers.com/) behind it. It is more like an extension than a trailer as it does not have a pivot point. Is this legal in bc?

  55. Daniel on May 31, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Hi there,
    Im thinking about building a “tiny cabin” at a place i have near Princeton that is designated as “RV” lots. Meaning no permanent structures. I have a trailer that was a dual axle travel trailer before with 2 3500 pound axles and my idea was to build a “cabin” on top of it. It wouldn’t be towed around unless the lease went south for some reason. The idea would to build onto it a 10×21 foot structure. If i followed the height guidelines would there be any issues with this setup as long as i stayed below the weight rating of the trailer? I know i would need a permit to tow because of the load being 10 feet.

    • tranbceditor on June 1, 2016 at 11:41 am

      Hi Daniel,

      The CVSE has responded directly to you with their answer to your question, but we wanted to share their response here, just in case anyone else has the same question.

      “We get a lot of inquiries regarding tiny homes and there has been research on tiny homes by our department and decisions on allowances are under construction.

      The challenge if we are to offer permits for oversize tiny homes is to know that they are built to some sort of criteria. The alternative and our current practice is to limit them to legal dimensions. 2.6 m wide, 4.15 m high, 12.5 m long including axles, hitch, etc. Unlike more typical manufactured homes they do not move under Mobile Home Registry permits and we are not aware of any CSA standard that applies. We hope you find this information helpful and are able to build your tiny cabin to legal dimensions.”

  56. David on May 27, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Are there special speed limits while towing a trailer in BC? I know in Alberta you are limited to 100kph.

    • tranbceditor on June 1, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Hi David,

      Great question! We spoke with the folks at the CVSE who confirmed that commercial vehicles are required to travel 10 km per hour than the posted limit. But because you are not a commercial vehicle driver, those rules do not apply. Our best suggestion is to contact the BC RCMP and travel at the speed you feel most comfortable at. Hope that this helps!

  57. Jeanne on May 24, 2016 at 5:29 am

    I pull a horse trailer and the dealer is telling me that in BC I have to have trailer tires on it and my friend is telling me to buy the same size tire in a truck tire, my dealer says truck tires on a trailer is illegal in BC. Any truth to this?

    • tranbceditor on May 27, 2016 at 9:34 am

      Hi Jeanne,

      We have sent your question forward to the CVSE, stay tuned.

    • tranbceditor on June 1, 2016 at 9:47 am

      Hi Jeanne,

      The only rule we have around tires is: their condition, can’t be bald, must use chains in winter etc. AND
      Can not exceed 100kg per centimeter in width for weight.

      Perhaps the manufacturer has an issue with the axle of the trailer they manufacture that requires a certain tire.

      Hope this helps.

  58. Merlin Thompson on May 23, 2016 at 8:30 am

    I am planning a trip to Alaska. I have a 5th wheel that is set up to pull an ATV trailer. I have spoken with the RCMP and they said that this would not be legal….
    I have a question about a trailer like device that attach’s to the back of my 5th wheel using to 2″x2″ square stock and the trailer would be attached by bolts to the back of the 5th wheel.
    There is no tongue involved and the trailer has two wheels at the back that would pivot and carry wait.
    Would this be legal????

    • tranbceditor on May 24, 2016 at 4:00 pm

      Hi Merlin,

      We have sent your question forward to the CVSE. Stay tuned.

  59. Jack on May 16, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Is it legal to install car tires on a ubilt utility trailer?

  60. Terence on May 5, 2016 at 8:18 am

    I just wanted to know if based off of the house trailer endorsement requirement, what applied to people from Alberta vacationing in BC. I have a one Ton truck and my trailer could be over the 4,600KG, but almost always it is under. So does anything apply to out of province people that we need to be aware of. With trucks or RV’s other than being within our rated capacities?

    • tranbceditor on May 5, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      Hi Terence,

      The good folks at the CVSE have sent you a response via email. Hope that this helps!

  61. Heather on April 26, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    We own a 2007 Salem travel trailer, purchased new in 2007 in Grande Prairie AB. when we lived there. We have since moved to B.C. two years ago. We just brought our trailer here this year but seem to have lost the original bill of sale and the registration slip for the Salem. How do we go about registering it here now in B.C.?

  62. Steve on April 24, 2016 at 7:34 am

    I have conflicting information. I have an 1998 SUV that has a tow rating of 680kgs, GVWR 1791kgs, GAWR FRT 910kgs, RR 990kgs. It uses all the same wheel, brake and suspension components as the V6 version that came out as few years later with a 1580kgs tow rating. I want to use it tow a trailer that weighs 1360kgs that is equiped with brakes. I see there are rules that apply to vehicles manufactured after 2001 that say the trailer must not exceed the tow vehicle ratings. But there used to be a document that said vehicle tow ratings were for warranty purposes. I assume that this was for older vehicles and that new rules came into effect in 2001. I have tried towing this trailer and vehicle handling is not compromised. No axle weights are exceeded. Stopping distances are easily much shorter that required. Mechanically my vehicle is capable of towing the trailer with only normal increased wear one would expect from working components working harder but for the few times a year I want to tow this trailer 20kms, its not significant. What are the laws that apply to my situation?


    • tranbceditor on April 25, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Hi Steve,

      We have sent your question directly to the CVSE for review. Stay tuned.

    • tranbceditor on April 28, 2016 at 2:01 pm

      Hi Steve,

      The CVSE has already responded directly to you with an answer, but we wanted to share the answer here as well, in case anyone else might have the same question.

      “It would appear that if you do not exceed axle weights on your motor vehicle and trailer you are compliant on British Columbia highways.

      The CGVWR of the power unit and trailer is a manufacturers number for warranty purposes. Keep in mind, it is best not to exceed this number as you risk transmission trouble and other warranty issues. You also want to verify the hitch rating by manufacturer.”

      Thanks for connecting with us here!

  63. Stephen Stahley on April 23, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    I am looking at building a new aluminum boat and want to know where to find information on trailer licensing relative to width of boat. I am looking at a 9 1/2 foot width, but it will be only 24 feet long and weigh about 6000lbs. Trailer is not an issue but I need to know how to legally license for width as I plan on towing it 5-6 times a year.

    • tranbceditor on April 26, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      Hi Stephen,

      We’ve sent your question forward directly to the CVSE, so stay tuned for an answer.

    • tranbceditor on April 28, 2016 at 10:21 am

      Hi Stephen,

      The CVSE has responded directly to you, but we wanted to share the response here just in case anyone else has a similar question.

      You will just licence your trailer as normal, utility trailer plate. What you will have to do is buy a permit for over width. Legal width is 2.6 m or 8’ 6”.

      You can purchase this permit by phoning the Provincial Permit Center when you are ready to transport. The cost is $15.00 a trip or you can buy a term permit in which you can make as many moves as you like for $30.00 The permit center phone number is 1-800-559-9688.

  64. chris on April 21, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I have a registered utility trailer that I recently added a small structure to sleep in while camping. Is there anything I need to do in terms of re-registering it, or any modification I need to complete that will keep it legal?

    • tranbceditor on April 21, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      Good question Chris,

      We have sent your question forward to the CVSE. Stay tuned.

  65. Jordan on April 14, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Can I tow a fifth wheel with a short box truck into B.C if using a sidewinder hitch?

    • tranbceditor on April 14, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      Good question Jordan! We have sent it forward to the good folks at the CVSE for an answer. Stay tuned!

    • tranbceditor on May 5, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      Hi again Jordan,

      Thanks again for your question. The folks in the CVSE have confirmed that the sidewinder hitch is currently not legal for use in BC. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact the CVSE directly: http://www.cvse.ca/contacts.htm

  66. Edward on April 3, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Can a person who has moved to BC with a vehicle that now has BC lic and Insured Plates, tow a utility trailer that is registered in Albert,a which is being brought into BC from a home in Alberta to be sold in BC as part of a move

    • tranbceditor on April 4, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      Hi Edward,
      Thanks for your question about towing a utility trailer that is registered in Alberta, within B.C. As this has to do with licencing and registration, you will need to contact ICBC. ICBC has a toll-free number as well as an email where you make your enquiry. See: http://www.icbc.com/about-icbc/contact-us/Pages/default.aspx Safe travels (and towing)!

  67. Kris on April 1, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Hi. I bought a 17 ft single axle travel trailer for a reno project and Im wondering if I m able to roll up to highway scales to check the weight of my Ram and trailer before and after completiion. Could you help?

  68. Pat Pollon on March 30, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Does a Fifth wheel travel trailer bought in Alberta but being registered and insured in BC need an inspection? The trailer dry weight is 8142

    • tranbceditor on April 1, 2016 at 9:41 am

      Hi Pat,
      The good folks at the CVSE have just sent you a response directly, but we wanted to share their response here just in case anyone else has the same question.

      British Columbia does not require a fifth wheel travel trailer to have a Commercial vehicle inspection, it only applies to “motor vehicles”. The requirements you listed below for electrical or gas systems is not in our jurisdiction.

      Sounds like you are doing a great job of investigating your requirements. I hope you enjoy your travels in British Columbia.

  69. cody on March 21, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    hello I have a 31 foot travel trailer with a gvwr of 11290 , its dry weight is 7702 so that means I can carry 3116 of gear water ext ext , I have herd I need a special licence if im over 10000 lbs ? . my question is as long as I don’t load my trailer 100% im fine with a regular licence ? there is no way ill ever need to be even close to full capacity on my trailer . I would be surprised if I had 1500lbs of stuff including water propane batterys food cloths , and what not . my truck is a 2010 f 350 so im good that way. thanks for your time

    • tranbceditor on March 24, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Hi Cody,

      We have sent your question directly to the good folks at the CVSE for clarification. Stay tuned.

  70. Mike on March 21, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Hello, my father in law has a large boat he tows from central bc to Prince Rupert, it does not exceed the 8’6″ width, but is heavier than 4,600kgs loaded on the trailer. Why does he need a commercial heavy trailer license for this, it is strictly recreational, no air brakes. His tow vehicle has more than enough capacity for the weight. It’s quite puzzling why recreational “house” trailers have a simple strategy for licensing, but a recreational boat owner has to deal with commercial training, annual checkups and reporting with a physician once 66 years old, etc. thx.

    • tranbceditor on March 24, 2016 at 9:59 am

      Hi Mike,

      We have sent your question directly to the good folks at the CVSE for clarification. Stay tuned.

  71. Andrew on March 6, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    I’ve seen these in the USA while traveling and am wondering if they’re legal in BC? http://www.trailertoad.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/IMG_3224.JPG

    The idea behind them is that this ‘hitch extension’ can take the weight of the tongue when a vehicle is nearing it’s payload capacity but still within GCW. Example would be an F350 with a cargo capacity (GVW – tare) of 3600#, currently loaded with 3000# of stuff and wanting to tow a 8000# trailer. Tongue weight of 800# (10%) would put the vehicle over despite the F350 having a GCW allowing t5he trailer.

    I know they are sold in Alberta & Ontario, so what is BC’s rules?


    • tranbceditor on March 7, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      Hello Andrew,

      Thanks for connecting with us here. Unfortunately, a hitch extension is not allowed in British Columbia. The reasons are:

      As per section 7.07 (d) of the MVAR, only a motor vehicle (not trailer) is allowed to be towed behind a “towing dolly”.

      Also, as per section 19.10 (a) (i) of the MVAR, “an axle or axle assembly”, i.e., pony trailer cannot be fitted to the towing dolly.

      • Andrew on March 8, 2016 at 5:51 am

        For my knowledge sake then, when does such a device become legal? Minimum GVW? Air-brakes? etc?

        I ask because I see large commercial trucking firms (let’s pick on UPS) that run double 20/23ft trailers (and now 40/53ft on the Coq) with a tow dolly between the pair. I’m assuming air-brakes are required as they, unlike electric/hydraulic, apply automatically if the trailer separates from the tow rig.

        • tranbceditor on March 8, 2016 at 1:54 pm

          Hi Andrew,

          We are going to connect you directly with the CVSE on this to carry on the conversation.

  72. Emmett McCannell on February 19, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    Hey there, I live in Alberta and I’m owner & operator of my commercial light duty hotshot and transport business. I only stay within Alberta for my commercial hauling at this point in time, but I am curious. My tow vehicle is an F350 SRW 4WD, Crew Cab, Long Bed. I generally haul my tandem axle equipment/car flatbed trailer which weighs roughly 2000 lbs empty. The Tare weight of my F350 is 7400 lbs with my toolbox with tools etc in it. My trailer is rated for 10,000 lbs GVWR and my F350 has a GVWR of 9900 lbs. I am just curious really if I would ever have an issue going through BC with my truck & trailer set up commercially with my Business name, Tare Weight and my registered commercial GVW weights decaled on both sides of the vehicle (Alberta’s transport laws) I also run a Commercial Class 1 License plate on the truck. Both my truck & trailer have Alberta Registered plates. The trailer is a pintle hitch trailer. Like I said before, I don’t conduct business in transporting commercially outside of my home of Alberta at this point in time, but my question is this. If I was on vacation/holidaying in BC, would I have any issues or criteria to be aware of driving my commercial labeled truck and or trailer through BC? Such as if I was hauling my own ATVs or picking a car up from BC to bring home with me, granted I am purchasing the car etc? Is there any form of paperwork, or permits I would need to do so because I am commercial? My registered GVW is under the 11,794 KGs mark. I have it registered at 11,500 KGs GVW if that makes a difference. I appreciate any info you can give me. Thank you for your time.

    -Dynamo Transport.

    • tranbceditor on February 22, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Hi Emmett,

      Thanks for connecting with us here. This sounds like a question for the good folks at the CVSE. We have sent your question directly to them. Stay tuned for follow up.

    • tranbceditor on February 23, 2016 at 11:54 am

      Hello again Emmett,

      Given your weight and vehicle combination, you are classified as a commercial vehicle in BC. If you are entering BC for business purposes, you will need to have either BC pro-rated on your Alberta registration or call the permit centre at 1-800-559-9688 for a non-resident permit. If you are not travelling in BC for business purposes, you will need paperwork showing the purchase of the vehicle you are transporting or paperwork that shows the ATVs are yours and you are only holidaying in BC.

      Also, your registered weight will require you to stop at any open inspection station, at which time you will have to produce this paperwork.

      Hope that this helps!

  73. Dave on February 19, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Hi, we have a travel trailer that has a dry weight of 6200lbs. GVWR of the trailer is 9600lbs. If I have a tow vehicle rated to tow 9100lbs, will this be an issue in BC? There is NO way I would ever have 3400lbs of additional items/weight in the trailer

    • tranbceditor on February 19, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Dave,

      We have sent your question forward to the good folks at the CVSE. Stay tuned!

    • tranbceditor on February 23, 2016 at 11:34 am

      Hi Dave,

      Our contact at the CVSE tells us that based on the information you provided this combination would be alright for weight. However, hitch hook up and brakes need to be considered as well. Here is a link to an RV Fact Sheet for your review.http://www.cvse.ca/vehicle_inspections/PDF/MV3230.pdf If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Jill.Powers@gov.bc.ca

      Hope that this helps

      • Rob on April 22, 2016 at 3:15 pm

        Similarly, if I have a utility trailer that has a dry weight of 900lbs and a GVWR of 3500lbs, and secure a 600lb ATV inside it for a total weight of 1500lbs, would it be OK to tow if my vehicle is rated to tow 2000lbs? The vehicle weighs about 4000lbs and has a GCWR of 7000lbs.

        • tranbceditor on April 28, 2016 at 2:00 pm

          Hi Rob,
          As long as the axle weights and combined weights fall within the limits shown and the hitch is rated by the manufacturer for this weight, you are good to go.

  74. Ron Namchuk on February 9, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    I live in Alberta and own a piece of property in BC. I have constructed a garden shed for my lot and want to know of any restrictions during transportation. the shed is less than 2000lbs and the trailer will be rated for 7000lbs (car hauler) with brakes on two axles and I have a one ton dully which I am way under its towing capacity. As for height it is lower than my 5th wheel so I assume that is ok but is there a width restriction and if I am over what do I need to do to be compliant?

    • tranbceditor on February 10, 2016 at 8:27 am

      Hi Ron,

      Could you let us know the width of the shed? That will help us make the call on whether you will require an over-sized permit. Thanks!

      • Ron Namchuk on February 12, 2016 at 6:13 am

        I have measured my shed and the body is 8 foot 3 inches but the eave is 9 feet 0 inches. If I need a permit please advise any other requirements it would be appreciated.

        • tranbceditor on February 12, 2016 at 4:10 pm

          Thanks Ron,

          We’re relaying the details to the CVSE folks. Stay tuned.

        • tranbceditor on February 12, 2016 at 4:29 pm

          CVSE says yes, you need a permit. Legal width is 8’6”, so because the eaves exceed legal, you will need a permit.

          The fee for oversize permit is $15 and can be ordered by phoning the permit center at 1-800-559-9688.

          • Ron Namchuk on February 13, 2016 at 4:48 am


  75. jordon on February 5, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    I own and alberta insured and registered truck. Would I have an issue towing a utility trailer with bc plates? I’m moving to bc and don’t have a bc vehicle yet.

    • tranbceditor on February 5, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      Hi Jordon – There’s no problem as long as both vehicles are licensed and insured.

  76. Peg on January 29, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    We have a dodge ram one ton pick-up and would like to haul a 5th wheel and a boat behind it. Is this legal?

    • tranbceditor on February 1, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Peg,

      Unfortunately BC does not allow the operation of three-vehicle RV combinations, as explained in section 5.4, Chapter 5, of the Commercial Transport Procedures Manual. Hope that this helps!

  77. Tony Goguen on January 17, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    is it legal to tow a fifth wheel with a single rear wheel or dose it have to be dually ??

    • tranbceditor on January 20, 2016 at 9:23 am

      Hi Tony,
      If the manufacturer`s rating indicates you can tow a certain weight using a single axle and that is the weight of your trailer, you would be ok. If you have a heavy trailer and the 2 tires on your single axle is not capable of towing that weight, you would need a “dually“ which is 4 tires on a single axle. Hope that this helps!

  78. wyatt bridger on January 14, 2016 at 6:01 am

    HI, I am planning to tow an auto trailer with a 15 uhaul truck. The total trailer weight is within specs, but as it is over 6160 pounds it seems I will need a device so I can operate the trailer brakes independently. This seems like a good safety precaution, but I can’t seem to find any information about these devices and uhaul doesn’t seem to know much either.
    Do you know where I could find some information about these? I know you can’t recommend a dealer but i”m just thinking about if they are easily installed. Thanks.

    • tranbceditor on January 15, 2016 at 10:03 am

      Hello Wyatt,
      While we can’t recommend anyone specifically we did research the BC MVA regarding requirements. We found that the regulations don’t specify a specific device, only what the expectation and requirements are. See below:

      Trailer brakes
      (4) Brakes with which a trailer is equipped shall
      (a) when applied be adequate to maintain control of the trailer,
      (b) when applied not affect the direction of travel of the trailer, and
      (c) where the licensed vehicle weight of the trailer exceeds 2 800 kg, be capable of being applied by the driver of the motor vehicle towing the trailer from his normal seated position.

      If the vehicle or vehicle combination does not meet this requirement or is unable to, it would be considered non-compliant when operating on highway. Hope that this helps!

  79. Lea on November 18, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    I am clueless in regards to trailer distribution of weight,etc My bf’s thoughts is that he can move the trailor fully loaded from Washington to California. Is this possible? I do not intend to have my nickers all over the road. I would like to save by moving everything from the storage into the
    trailer and taking it down like that. What should I do?

    Weight is 7,500lbs. Hitch only. His truck pulls 7,500 lb

    • tranbceditor on November 18, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      Hi Lea,

      Just to clarify – are you travelling across the border from Canada to the U.S.? Or in the U.S.from Washington to California?

  80. Jeff Carter on November 7, 2015 at 2:12 pm


    We will be traveling from Oregon to Penticton, BC this summer for vacation. I have a boat that weighs 3500lbs and 5000lbs with the trailer included. It has surge brakes. My question is that sufficient or do I need actual brakes for the trailer? I was told by my Yamaha dealer that it shouldn’t be a problem since I have Oregon plates but I wanted to make sure before I tow it all of the way up there. Will they stop me at the border to look at the rig set up? I have never been up to BC before so I want to make sure everything is compliant.

    • tranbceditor on November 9, 2015 at 10:15 am

      Hi Jeff,

      We have forwarded your question to the good folks at the CVSE. Stay tuned!

    • tranbceditor on November 10, 2015 at 11:49 am

      Hi again Jeff,
      The CVSE responded directly to you, but we wanted to share their reply here in case anyone else was wondering the same thing: Yes, surge brakes are allowed up to 2,800kg or 6,173 pounds.
      Thanks again for connecting with us here. Hope that this helped.

  81. Clint C. on November 5, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Is it legal to flat tow a vehicle in BC? I have gotten conflicting answers. If the vehicle I am towing is less than 50% of the weight of the vehicle doing the towing, it does not require brakes, so can I tow smaller vehicle with a tow bar? My tow vehicle is 6500Lbs and the vehicle I want to tow is 2500Lbs. I know RVS can do it, can smaller trucks do it as well as long as the towed vehicle is less than 50% of the weigh?
    Thank you

    • tranbceditor on November 9, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      Hi Clint,

      The good folks at the CVSE have replied to you personally but we wanted to share their response here just in case others were wondering:

      When towing a vehicle the law looks at it as a trailer. You are right that if the “trailer” is less than 50% of the vehicle doing the towing AND is less than 1400kg (3000lbs) you do not need brakes.

      You would also want to check the manufacturers rating of your motor vehicle to insure it is able to do the towing. Also the vehicle being towed must have licencing on it.

    • scott on January 16, 2016 at 2:56 pm

      The limit works like this. Say you have a truck and it’s Tow Capacity is 2,000lbs. If you go over 50 percent of that capacity you require brakes. If you haul something 999lbs your fine but hit the 1000lb mark. It’s tow capacity not weight. So if your truck is rated 10,000lbs towing you have to be 5,000lbs and above. The tow rating is set on the engine, transmission and braking system installed meaning if they say it can tow it also means it can stop it.

  82. Carol Dominic Langelier on October 26, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Is it legal to travel in British Columbia with a trailer hitch that is not being used to tow a trailer

    • tranbceditor on October 28, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      Hi Carol.
      Yes. BUT if the size of the trailer hitch is quite large, there might be a situation where the hitch has to be treated as rear projection itself, when no trailer is attached. In that case, the vehicle including hitch could likely not exceed 12.5 m long, per section 7.08(6) and Appendix B of the Commercial Transport Regulations, and two sections of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations would be relevant: 4.20(2) and 19.02(3).

      Lamps or flags on front and rear projections
      4.20 …
      (2) A vehicle on a highway must not carry a load or have an integral part of the vehicle which projects more than 1.2 m to the rear of the load-deck or body of the vehicle unless,
      (a) during the time specified in section 4.01, the extreme tip of the projection is lighted with a lamp that is capable of displaying only red light visible from a distance of 150 m to the rear of the vehicle, and
      (b) at any time other than that specified in section 4.01, a red flag or cloth that complies with section 8.05 (c) of the Commercial Transport Regulations and which is visible to the driver of a vehicle to the rear is attached to the extreme tip of the projection.

      Provisions of Commercial Transport Regulations adopted
      19.02 …
      (3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Division, no person shall, without a permit issued pursuant to section 19.06, drive or operate on a highway
      (a) a combination of vehicles consisting of more than 2 vehicles,
      (b) a vehicle or combination of vehicles so loaded that the load extends more than 1 m beyond the front wheels thereof, or, if equipped with a front bumper, more than 1 m beyond the front bumper,
      (c) a vehicle or combination of vehicles any part of which, or the load upon which, extends more than 4.5 m behind the centre of the last axle of the vehicle or combination of vehicles,
      (d) a vehicle or combination of vehicles the load of which extends more than 185 cm beyond the back of the vehicle or combination of vehicles, or
      (e) a vehicle so loaded that any part of the load extends beyond the sides of the vehicle.

  83. Mike Johnson on October 14, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    Hi there. I want to build my own car hauler to haul a typical 3,500 lb. car. Obviously has to have brakes with an arrestor. I am wanting to make my own axle because no one has the right size for me. I want it to be a single axle 6,000lb with a 3″ drop – going to use pre-made spindles and brake backing plates and 3″ diameter 1/4″ thick mild carbon steel for the axle itself. Is this allowed? I know I have to show receipts for the trailer parts when I register as well. For the axle it will show the purchase of the items. Thanks.

    • tranbceditor on October 15, 2015 at 9:36 am

      Thanks for the question, Mike. We’re consulting our CVSE folks on this one. Stay tuned.

    • tranbceditor on October 15, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      Hi again, Mike. There are many specific details here, so Senior Area Vehicle Inspector Collin Nemeth is happy to discuss with you directly. Please feel free to connect with him. He is available via:
      Email: Collin.Nemeth@gov.bc.ca
      Office phone: 250-371-3857
      Cell phone: 250-318-2083

  84. Travis on September 10, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    I am looking to do some camping in B.C. next year. Am i able to tow my brothers travel trailer that is registered and insured in B.C., with my truck that is registered and insured in alberta?
    Thanks in advance

    • tranbceditor on September 14, 2015 at 11:20 am

      Hi Travis,
      This is courtesy of one of our CVSE Commercial Transport Advisers: “Thank you for your inquiry regarding camping in British Columbia. As long as both vehicles are registered and have valid insurance it is not a concern that one is British Columbia and the other is licenced in Alberta.
      I hope you have an enjoyable camping trip.”

    • tranbceditor on September 14, 2015 at 1:07 pm

      Hello Travis,

      We asked ICBC about your question and here is their reply:

      You are OK to tow a BC registered trailer in BC with your AB registered truck, as long as it’s for personal use (non-commercial) for up to 6 months (touring/vacation). You should check with AB to ensure they have no concerns but as long as AB is fine with him towing a BC registered trailer, BC has no concerns.

      Hope that this helps!

  85. David on September 8, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    We are planning to bring an 8′ utility trailer into BC to carry our inflatable pontoon boats. This trailer weighs about 600# and I do have a title to it. However, Oregon does not require a license for this trailer and it is not licensed. Will we be allowed to bring it in for a two week trip?

    Thank you, David

    • tranbceditor on September 8, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      Hello David,

      That sounds like a question for the good folks at the CVSE. We have shared this with them – so stay tuned for a response!

    • tranbceditor on September 9, 2015 at 9:25 am

      Hi David,

      While the CVSE has responded to your question directly, we are posting the response here as well in case anyone else has the same question.

      Thank you for your inquiry regarding travel in BC.

      Your trailer, while not required a license in Oregon, does need to have coverage in BC. We do sell a temporary operators permit, but it is from A to B and as I understand you would like to travel around for two weeks? If you are just going to one place you can order a permit by phoning our permit center at 1-800-559-9688.

      I would also recommend contacting your licencing department to see if they could put a binder on your insurance to cover your trailer while out of state.

      I hope you are able to enjoy your holiday with your pontoon boats.

      Hope that this helps!

  86. Rick on August 30, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    We have just purchased a 4 horse gooseneck trailer (2006 Silverlite). Can anybody tell us if we need to get an inspection done on the trailer before we can insure it to bring it home? We are picking it up on Vancouver Island and bringing it back to Langley. If we so need an inspection first, can we just get an A to B permit without inspection and them have it inspected in Langley?

    • tranbceditor on September 1, 2015 at 11:51 am

      Hi Rick,
      The requirement for a trailer inspection depends on usage and trailer weight. The definition in the Commercial Transport Act reads as follows:
      “trailer” includes a vehicle without motive power designed to be drawn by or used in conjunction with a motor vehicle and constructed so that no appreciable part of its weight rests on or is carried by the motor vehicle, but does not include
      (a) a trailer having a gross vehicle weight of less than 1 401 kg that is licensed under the Motor Vehicle Act,
      (b) a trailer that is
      (i) designed, constructed and equipped for human habitation, or
      (ii) designed, constructed and equipped for human occupancy for industrial, professional or commercial purposes, or
      (c) a boat, horse, snowmobile, automobile or motorcycle trailer that is not used for business purposes or financial gain;

      As you will note under subsection (c) “Horse” trailers are note included as part of the commercial trailer definition and thus would not trigger for inspection. Purchasing a Temporary Operating Permit from ICBC is an option which excludes the requirement for inspection anyways and would allow the vehicle to travel from A to B. The cost and whether ICBC will issue it to this specific vehicle is at their discretion as we don’t have all the details about the vehicle.
      Hope this helps.

  87. Dale on August 9, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    I have heard conflicting opinions on this subject, I would like to ask once again.
    I have a swivel wheel trailer that I use to haul my motorbike behind my fifth wheel, I purchased this so I could travel through the US in the states that will not allow pulling behind a fifth wheel, all states have approved this method of hauling my bike behind the fifth wheel.
    I am planning on going through BC down into the USA, and wanted to know for sure if this is not legal.
    I am leaving within the week, I just need to know if I have to bypass BC on my travels.
    thank you,


    • tranbceditor on August 10, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      Hi Dale,

      We have sent your question forward to the CVSE and hope to get an answer for you as soon as possible. Stay tuned.

    • tranbceditor on August 10, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      Hi again Dale,

      Here is the official word:

      These configurations are not allowed in BC, in fact they are prohibited in a number of ways:

      First, Section 7.12 of the Commercial Transport Regulations prohibits the operation of “self steering” axles such as these swivel wheels.

      Second, BC does not allow the operation of three-vehicle RV combinations, as explained in section 5.3.14, Chapter 5, of the Commercial Transport Procedures Manual.

      Third, if one says instead that this is a frame extension on the second vehicle (and therefore it is not a three-vehicle combination), then the fifth wheel trailer would require certification from an approved secondary manufacturer, certifying that the modified vehicle meets Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS). And it would still be equipped with “self steering” axles.

      Sorry it’s not the news you were hoping to hear.

  88. Dennis on August 7, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    I have a truck that is allowed to haul 17100lbs. My proposed trailer a GVWR of 18000lbs. If I maintain an ACTUAL weight on the trailer below my truck limit am I legal? My main concern is what is used to determine if I’m legal. Actual weight or GVWR weight on decals?

    • tranbceditor on August 10, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      Hi Dennis,

      We have sent your question forward to the CVSE – stay tuned!

    • tranbceditor on August 10, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      Hello Dennis,

      The answer to your question is “yes”, but there is more to it. There are three kinds of weight limits on trucks and trailers (and their component parts), and you can’t exceed any of the three.

      1. Manufacturers’ ratings: The GVWR is the weight rating, from the manufacturer, stating the maximum weight that that piece of equipment is built to support. Lots of different components have manufacturers’ ratings on them (such as the axles, the tires, the hitch), in addition to the overall rating on each of the two vehicles. A manufacturer may also provide a specific maximum ‘towing capacity’ for a vehicle. None of those ratings can be exceeded.

      2. Licensed weight: In BC, pickup trucks, which have a cargo-carrying body style, must be licensed for at least 1.5 times their empty weight, but the vehicle owner can request that the vehicle be registered for more. Except for tiny utility trailers (under 1400 kg and for non-commercial use), the registered weight on the truck must be high enough to include the weight of the trailer and any load. However, it is pointless to request a registered weight that is higher than the manufacturers’ ratings – see the paragraph above.

      3. Regulation (or permit) weights: Commercial vehicles that are large enough that the limits in the Commercial Transport Regulations apply to them also can’t exceed the maximum weights set out there, on tires, axles, axle units, vehicles and vehicle combinations, unless they are a vehicle/load that is eligible for and travelling under a permit for additional weight.

      We are not sure what you mean when you say your truck is ‘allowed’ to haul 17,100 lbs. You may have already done some of the calculations explained above. In any case, there is no reason you cannot tow a trailer that is rated for more than you need, provided you are within all the other equipment ratings and the insured or registered weight on your truck, and the regulation or permit weights for your vehicle combination, if they apply.

      Hope that this helps!

  89. Vania on August 2, 2015 at 6:33 am

    I’ve been told that if you have a tri-axil (6 tires) on your fifth wheel the the vehicle you are using to tow it also needs to have 6 tires, so a dually or something larger would be needed. Is this true? Cause we would like to get rid of the dually but can’t if we need it for moving our fifth wheel.

    • tranbceditor on August 5, 2015 at 9:37 am

      Thank you for your question, Vania. We recommend checking your owner’s manual for towing capabilities of your particular vehicle. In this case, if you need a dual single axle on your truck, it would depend on the weight of your trailer, not the fact that it has a tri-axle.

  90. Erika on July 22, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    I would like to clarify. Can you put a fifth wheel hitch on top of a wooden boxliner if you make sure it is tightened regularly in case the wood compresses? If not, can you install it with tube spacers so it is still metal to metal or do you have to remove the boxliner (or cut around the rails). And is a plug in the truck box mandatory in BC?
    Thank you,
    Erika =)

    • tranbceditor on July 23, 2015 at 9:09 am

      Hi Erika,

      We have sent your question forward to the CVSE on your behalf, please stay tuned for more information.

    • tranbceditor on July 27, 2015 at 10:05 am

      Hi Erika,
      It is recommended that the hitch be installed and attached to an integral part of the vehicle. Further, the installation of the hitch should be based on the manufactures instructions. Any variance from that, is not recommended. Hope that this helps!

      • Erika on July 27, 2015 at 12:12 pm

        So if it is on top of the wooden box liner is it legal to tow in BC? And do you need an extra plug in the box or can you plug in over the tailgate to the bumper plug?

        • tranbceditor on July 27, 2015 at 3:43 pm

          Hi again Erika,
          Because we can’t know for certain that your wooden box liner is an integral part of the vehicle, we can’t say yes to your question in certain terms. We can say that there is no specification required for wiring, only that vehicle lights must function as required. We hope that this helps. Let us know if you have any other questions, or you can connect directly with the good folks at the CVSE here: http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/cvse/contacts.htm Hope that this helps!

  91. Dennis on July 21, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Not quite on topic but I’m not sure who to ask. I would like to haul a canoe or kayak in the back of my pickup for personal use, not commercial. I know about the red flag being necessary.
    But what length of a canoe or kayak can extend over the end of a pickup with the tail gate down? i.e. pickup bed is 8 feet with tailgate down. What length can extend past that?
    Thanks for your help.

    • tranbceditor on July 22, 2015 at 8:49 am

      Hi Dennis,

      We sent your question forward to the good folks at the CVSE. Stay tuned!

    • tranbceditor on July 22, 2015 at 11:52 am

      Here’s the response from the CVSE: The Motor Vehicle Act 4.20 refers to 1.2m beyond the rear deck of the vehicle needing a flag or a light if travelling during darkness. The MVA has adopted the Commercial Transport Regulations which states in section 7.31, appendix B, that you are allowed a 4m rear overhang from the last axle, which is probably a lot more than you need. Hope that this helps!

  92. Steve on July 4, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Does BC Transportation have any restrictions on the use of the Andersen Ultimate hitch in lieu of a 5th Wheel.

    • tranbceditor on July 6, 2015 at 11:32 am

      Hi Steve,
      Jan Lansing, our Commercial Transport Policy Advisory, has followed up with an email. To summarize, in BC, a fifth wheel coupler is specifically defined in our Commercial Transport Regulations, in this way:
      “fifth wheel coupler” means a device that is mounted on the vehicle chassis and that consists of a skid plate, associated mounting brackets and latching mechanism that couples or connects to a kingpin located on the other vehicle or component; The device pictured at the web link you provided would be considered a ‘ball hitch’, not a ‘fifth wheel’.”

      The next step is the process to have a piece of new technology, such as the one you mention, reviewed for potential acceptance in the province.

      • Steve on July 6, 2015 at 3:38 pm

        OK. So this hitch is more akin to a gooseneck ball in a truck bed. Where it differs is that it is not on the floor of the bed but, rather, raised on a support structure in order to meet the ball to kingpin conversion block. Are goosenecks legal in some part of the code? The next question is whether a “raised” gooseneck pin meets the regulations.

        p.s. Can you provide a link to the code addressing the hauling of fifth wheels and trailers.

        • tranbceditor on July 7, 2015 at 1:20 pm

          Hi Steve,
          The trailer you’re talking about would be considered a ‘pony trailer’ in our regulations, and it is fine to use in BC as long as he does not exceed any of the manufacturers’ ratings on his axles, trailer or hitch, and has appropriate insurance, registration and driver license in his home jurisdiction.

          Our general dimensional limits would apply to this combination, and those maximum dimensions are:
          • 2.6 m wide
          • 4.15 m high
          • 12.5 m long for the trailer, and 20 m long for the trailer and pickup together

  93. Shannon on June 25, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    I have purchased a 29′ toy hauler with a 50 liter factory installed fueling station. I am told we are not allowed to carry gas in this tank on an inland ferry. It must have diesel. I have been told to empty my 50 litres of gas into 2 x 25 liter Gerry cans and put 10 liters of diesel in the tank instead. Can you verify this?

    • tranbceditor on June 26, 2015 at 1:14 pm

      Hi Shannon,
      I checked with our CVSE folks (who also checked with our ferry contractors) and it is correct.

  94. Scott on June 24, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    I Have An Older Dodge quad cab 4×4 Dually 5 Speed Manual Diesel with Pretty Good Power But I am about to possibly buy A pretty Big Boat with a fifth wheel trailer. Loaded The Trailer is 14.600 lbs with the boat and While I have the Power to pull it i need to know if I am Legal to pull it. Also the boat is 9 foot beam so over 102 inches what kind of permits and sigs will i need to tow it?

    • tranbceditor on June 25, 2015 at 10:50 am

      Hi Scott,

      We have sent your comment forward to the CVSE. Stay tuned for an answer!

  95. Corey on June 15, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Is it legal to travel in BC with a trailer hitch in the receiver while not towing?
    Thank you

    • tranbceditor on June 17, 2015 at 11:01 am

      Hi Corey,

      We asked the good folks in the CVSE about this and here is what they had to say: We are not aware of any specific prohibition stating that it is illegal or a violation for having the ball hitch in the vehicle receiver when not towing. Only other regulation that comes to mind, depending on what the enforcement officer is saying, would be Motor Vehicle Act Regulation Division 7 section 11 under the schedule of approval of a motor vehicle, where it states: “No part of a vehicle may have a sharp or ragged edge which could injure persons or objects.” – This would be at the discretion of the officer and would be a far stretch from what the intent was of this statement. Hope that this helps.

  96. GREG on June 3, 2015 at 8:39 am

    i have an 18 travel trailer in bc. What type of tires do I need for my trailer?
    Can I use passenger car or light truck tires? Or is it required by law
    To have trailer tires? Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

    • tranbceditor on June 4, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      Hi Greg,

      We have sent your question forward to the good folks at the CVSE. Stay tuned!

  97. Terry on June 1, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    I am having a problem understanding why another small trailer like a car trailer or dolly for example is not allowed behind a fifth wheel. I know it is not legal, but do not understand the logic behind it. This would be the exact same configuration as a B train on a commercial tractor/trailer with another trailer behind. this is a common combination on lumber carriers and I have also seen logs hauled this way. So if you had a commercial vehicle licence and you were within you weight limitations, Why not? I bought my 36 foot Montana in Southern Oregon and I saw several combinations like in Washington.

    • tranbceditor on June 2, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      Hi Terry,
      Thanks for connecting with us here and sharing your feedback. We have shared it forward with the good folks at the CVSE.

    • tranbceditor on June 3, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      Hi again Terry,
      We have shared your comment forward with the good folks at the CVSE and they will send you an answer directly to your email.

  98. Daryn Pottinger on June 1, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    I have a 1993 3/4 ton Chevy truck and it has a bumper hitch which states the maximum trailer weight is 3500lbs and maximum tongue weight is 350lbs. I have recently purchased a 1978 tent trailer which is almost exactly like my neighbours 1980 tent trailer which he ran through a scale when it was loaded and he mentioned that the tent trailer was 1900lbs loaded. My question is are these bumper hitches legal to use to tow my tent trailer. I don’t know what the tongue weight of my tent trailer is but I can lift it off the ground so it cannot be too heavy. Any suggestions or clarification would be greatly appreciated

    • tranbceditor on June 1, 2015 at 1:29 pm

      Hi Daryn,

      We are sending your question forward to the good folks in the CVSE for an answer. Stay tuned!

      • tranbceditor on June 3, 2015 at 2:18 pm

        Hi Daryn,
        Thanks for connecting with us here. We have just confirmed that the CVSE will send you an answer directly to your email. Hope that this helps!

  99. Melodie on May 28, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Restoring a 1969 13 foot triple e travel trailer and want to tow with my 2007 canyon. Any foreseeable problems. I cannot find the trailer weight but exoect that it is no more than a boler.


    • tranbceditor on May 29, 2015 at 9:24 am

      Hi Melodie,

      You can always take your trailer to a weigh scale to confirm your travel trailer weight. Hope that this helps!

  100. Phillius Thomas on May 14, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Indeed, know the weight of your load. You need to be sure your vehicle can handle it. Knowing how the weight is positioned is good too. If you have most of the weight at the back, the back end will swing farther.

  101. Ken S on April 25, 2015 at 11:06 am

    I have bought a 1995 Chevy Suburban and am planning on going camping in BC this summer (I am an Alberta residence). My question is two-fold:

    1. As per a previous post, I am planning on towing an older 24′ trailer with a GVW of 6500 lbs, but the manufacturer specifies a maximum tow weight of 6000 lbs. I will be weighing the trailer at a commercial scale before embarking to ensure compliance with manufacturer limit, but will the trailer GVW result in non compliance?

    2. I am looking at upgrading drive train to 2005 suburban (engine, transmission, rear differential, brakes) with tow rating of 8200 lbs (same vehicle GVW). Given that I have proof of origin of components, will this allow legal towing at the donor vehicles capacity?

  102. Steve on April 24, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    I understand that I cannot tow a trailer behind my fifth wheel but what is your definition of “trailer”? Please be very specific.

  103. Stacey H on April 24, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    We will be purchasing a 18ft travel trailer this weekend. I know we go to ICBC to register it, do they also provide insurance? If so, does anyone the ballpark of how much this costs? Someone told me that it’s insured under the towing vehicle?
    Thanks for the help.

  104. Mike Arthurs on April 8, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    I have a Ford 350 dually registered in Ontario. We plan on cruising acrross Canada, ending in BC for 4 months, which includes the annual inspection date. Does BC have a reciprocal arrangement which would preclude returning to Ontario for inspection?
    Many thanks.

    • tranbceditor on April 8, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for connecting with us here. If your vehicle was here (in BC) and required an inspection, the owner of the vehicle would be able to get a BC inspection and it would be valid while operating on highway.

      If Ontario has insurance requirements that the vehicle must have a Ontario inspection, then they should be contacting someone in Ontario because we would not know the specifics.

      Hope this helps. Safe travels and enjoy your trip – sounds like a great one!

  105. Randolph on March 22, 2015 at 6:49 am


    I have read through all the posts on this blog, and found lot of helpful information.

    I would like to verify one thing.

    We are towing a 31′ trailer with a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel. The towing capacity of the trailer is 7500 lbs.

    The GVWR of our RV trailer is 7600 lbs, but we never get close to that, it just has a lot of capacity. We usually weigh in around 6500 lbs. Would this setup be legal, or would we automatically get a ticket for having a trailer with a higher GVWR then the tow vehicle is rated for?

    Thanks, and thanks for this great resource.


    • tranbceditor on March 27, 2015 at 9:18 am

      Hello Randolph,

      Since your example was so specific, the good folks at the CVSE have replied directly to you. Should you have any other questions or concerns, please let us know!

  106. Harold on March 10, 2015 at 11:08 am

    What kind of vehicle is required to tow an RV with a dry weight of 4900 lbs. in BC.Have heard of people being told their vehicle is not sufficient for towing even when GVWR has not been exceeded.Is there a factor for braking capacity or something else that comes into play here?…would appreciate any advice or input on this subject…..thanks

    • tranbceditor on March 11, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      Hi Harold,

      The good folks with the CVSE have sent your email inbox a bit more information on this. Thanks for connecting with us here.

  107. Bob on March 2, 2015 at 9:17 am

    I’m going to be towing a small U haul trailer across bc. Do I need trailer breaks?

    • tranbceditor on March 2, 2015 at 10:19 am

      Hi Bob,

      MVAR3.b.i.ii states if a trailer is less than 1,400kg and is less than 50% of the licenced vehicle weight of the vehicle by which it is being towed ” no brakes on the trailer are required.

      Hope that this helps!

  108. DesignerDog on March 1, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    We would like to tow a 45 foot trailer (vintage 1956 ABC Supercoach) from Montana into BC. What do we need to do to accomplish this due to the trailer length?

    • tranbceditor on March 2, 2015 at 11:37 am

      Hi Designer Dog,

      Thanks for connecting with us! We have sent your question forward to the CVSE for reply. Stay tuned!

  109. Dale on February 26, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Question about putting a truck camper on a truck. The length of the box is 6 foot 6 inches with the tailgate down its length is 8 foot 5 inches, is it legal to put on a 9 foot camper on this truck with those dimensions and overhang of the tailgate.

    • tranbceditor on February 26, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      Hi Dale,

      We have sent your question forward to the good folks at the CVSE, stay tuned!

      • tranbceditor on March 2, 2015 at 10:30 am

        Hi Dale,

        Here’s the scoop:

        The Motor Vehicle Regulations state that you can have a legal rear overhang of 4m measured from the center of the last axle. At over 1.2m rear overhang from the body of the truck you require a red flag. If you need further help and are close to an inspection facility, it might be helpful to have your truck and camper weighed, as the more rear overhang you have can negatively affect the weight on the rear axle.

        I hope this helps!

  110. P. Cummer on February 23, 2015 at 7:53 am

    We camp in a 1968 Boler weighing 1000 lb. fully loaded. It was manufactured without brakes. Our tow vehicle is a 2014 Honda Odyssey. Is this combination legal in BC?

    • tranbceditor on February 23, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      Good question! We have forwarded your inquiry to the good folks at the CVSE. Stay tuned for an answer!

    • tranbceditor on February 26, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      MVAR3.b.i.ii states if a trailer is less than 1,400kg and is less than 50% of the licenced vehicle weight of the vehicle by which it is being towed ” no brakes on the trailer are required. Hope that this helps and happy travels!

  111. Dennis on February 22, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    At what weight do you need a dual rear wheel vehicle for pulling an rv and is this the same canada wide? Thx in advance. Dennis

    • tranbceditor on February 23, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      Hi Dennis,

      We have sent your question forward to the good folks at the CVSE, please stay tuned for an answer.

    • tranbceditor on February 26, 2015 at 5:12 pm


      The Commercial Transport Regulations allow 9,100kg on a dual axle (4 tires) If you have 2 tires on the axle you are only allowed by regulation, 100kg per centimeter of tire width. It would be helpful to weigh both vehicles to determine if you need a dual axle based on the gross weight. I am not certain of the regulations in other provinces. Hope that this helps!

  112. Randy on February 12, 2015 at 9:59 am

    I’m considering purchasing a 5th wheel that has a “dry weight” of 11835 lbs. The GVWR is not available until next month as the owner has the trailer in for servicing. My 2500 GMC duramax has a towing capacity of 12,000 lbs according to the owners manual. The pin weight of the trailer of 1950 lbs (taken from spec sheet) is less than my 2500 lb truck capacity so I’m good there I think. If I purchased this 5th wheel and towed it “dry” i.e. all tanks empty, would I be legal in BC? I’m from Alberta. I guess I need to know if I have to use the GVWR of the trailer to see if I’m in compliance. Or perhaps I can get a weigh scale weighing if that’s acceptable.

    • tranbceditor on February 16, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      Hi Randy,

      The basic weight rule for commercial style vehicles that are smaller than full size commercial vehicles (meaning pickups and trailers) is that you cannot exceed the manufacturers’ ratings on the axles or on the vehicle overall.

      That’s from Section 19.11 of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations. The wording there is that you can’t exceed the manufacturers’ ratings without a permit, but in fact, there is no permit available for weight on those vehicles.

      You will need to know the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the trailer as well, because it cannot be exceeded, whether or not the towing unit has enough room in the towing capacity for it. It is concerning that the dry weight of the trailer you are describing is so close to your towing capacity, as it makes it very likely you would be over as soon as there was any load on the trailer at all.

      Another thing to consider is insurance. You will need to have enough insurance on the truck to include the weight of whatever you are towing, up to the maximum (the manufacturers’ ratings.)

      Finally, because you are coming in from Alberta, and this sounds like a vehicle combination intended for working, you may want to have a look at the information about the non-resident commercial vehicles in section 1.2, Chapter 1 of the Commercial Transport Procedures Manual, especially the sub-section on the Canadian Agreement on Vehicle Registration (CAVR).

      You are very welcome to call our contact with the CVSE (if you still have questions, or would like a hand working with this information.
      Jan Lansing
      Commercial Transport Advisor | Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement
      Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
      Phone: (250) 953-4026 | Fax: (250) 952-0578

  113. Mark on February 4, 2015 at 4:31 pm


    I am a resident of Washington. I would like to vacation in BC with my truck and fifth wheel Toy Hauler. The truck/RV combination is within prescribed weight limit and is legal in WA state without special permit or Driver’s license endorsement. Will I be allowed to operate in BC while on vacation or is a special permit/endorsement required?

    • tranbceditor on February 5, 2015 at 11:48 am

      Hi Mark,

      Just to confirm – your truck and rv combination is within 4,600 kg (as outlined in the blog?) If so, you will not require a special permit to travel on BC highways.

  114. Jim on February 3, 2015 at 11:40 am

    How wide of boat can you tow on a B.C highway legally?
    Thanks Jim

    • tranbceditor on February 4, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      Hi Jim,

      The maximum legal width allowable on BC highways is 2.6 m. To be clear – when we say ‘maximum legal’, we mean ‘maximum without an oversize permit’. If you wanted to haul something beyond this width, you would be required to get a permit before you travelled. Hope that this helps!

  115. Aaron on January 14, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Just wondering if I can tow an occupied car (with a person steering the car) behind a truck?

    • tranbceditor on January 16, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      Hi Aaron,

      Is the truck you are speaking of a tow truck? Or a standard pick up? You might be able to pull someone, who is helping you steer with a winch but a tow truck pulling a vehicle cannot have a passenger occupy the towed vehicle.

      • Aaron on January 16, 2015 at 3:52 pm

        I have a jeep that will run, but a bottom end bearing is broken so I can’t drive it to the shop of my choice, as it doesn’t have enough power.
        Can I pull it with a standard pickup, or do I need to pay for a tow truck? I know in other countries you can do this with a rope between vehicles.

        • tranbceditor on January 20, 2015 at 9:56 am

          Hi Aaron,
          Unfortunately, you will need to hire a tow truck for your jeep. Thanks for checking with us!

  116. Megan on January 8, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Hi I am moving from Saskatchewan to BC this winter and I know winter tires are a must on my truck which I do have but I am renting a 5X8 U-Haul trailer and I was wondering if the trailer needed snow tires or chains on them?

    • tranbceditor on January 9, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      Hi Megan,

      We spoke with the folks in the CVSE and they told us that the expectation is that the power unit is equipped with winter tires, but the trailer is not specifically required. Thanks for connecting with us here!

  117. eric on December 23, 2014 at 8:16 am

    HI, re trailers, what is the maximum distance from the rear lights to the back of load?
    I realize logging truck loads are well back of the lights and they have a flag.

  118. dave hogarth on September 3, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    would like to know if there is any regulation concerning trailer hitch length. I have a 10 ft. camper on a 350 hd. would like to tow a 93 tracker behind . the trailer hitch would have to be under the tail gate approx. 20inches. the trailer hitch receiver is commercial grade and could take that length to the hitch ball. any thoughts ..thanks ….Dave. P.S all done for B.C.

    • tranbceditor on September 4, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      Hi Dave,

      We are looking into your question. Stay tuned.

  119. Mike on August 22, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Can I tow an Alberta licensed and insured trailer with my vehicle registered in BC? In either BC or the rest of Canada? Am I covered in case of an accident on my tow vehicle?

    • tranbceditor on August 25, 2014 at 9:45 am

      Hi Mike,

      We have sent a message to the folks at the CVSE. Stay tuned.

      • Abby on July 6, 2015 at 10:33 pm

        Is it legal for me to pull a BC travel trailer with a US truck? My father has loaned me his truck, which is registered in the US, to use to pull my BC registered travel trailer on a trip from BC to Michigan. I’ll bring the trailer back home to BC and then the return the truck to my father. I’ve just recently be told I may not be able to do that. Could you shed some light in this? Thanks!

        • tranbceditor on July 9, 2015 at 1:23 pm

          Hi Abby,
          As long as the trailer and truck have valid licensing in their home jurisdictions, and there is no commercial use at all (strictly touring), there is no vehicle licensing issues for BC. We have full reciprocity with the US for vehicle licensing.

          That said, in BC
          If the trailer weighs:
          • 1401 kg up to 2800 kg it will need functioning:
          o brakes at each axle
          o break-away device
          o safety chains attached to an anchor point on the tow vehicle
          • 2801 kg – 4600 kg
          o All of the above plus
          o Independent braking in the truck
          • 4601kg and over
          o All of the above plus,
          o the driver will need the heavy trailer endorsement (or class 3 minimum) on his/her driver’s license to pull it.
          All axles on the truck and/or trailer weights (regardless of weights above or use) must be not exceed any:
          • axle rating
          • tire capacity
          • hitch rating
          • safety chain rating
          These ratings are on the doorpost of the truck and/or on the devices themselves.

  120. Ian S. Lee on August 20, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    A friend of mine has an older boat and trailer which is equipped with hydraulic surge braking system. We replaced all the bearings and seals, brake shoes, master and slave cylinders and machined the brake drums and also replace all the brake fluid.
    He was told by someone else that surge brakes are now illegal and has to change them over to electric over hydraulic.

    The boat fully loaded with fuel, water and everything else that seems to end up in a boat and trailer weighs in at 7300lbs (3300kgs)

    Is the information he was given true and has to convert his trailer to electric over hydraulic?

    • tranbceditor on August 21, 2014 at 8:34 am

      Good question Ian, we are going to share this forward with the good folks at the CVSE. Stay tuned.

    • tranbceditor on August 21, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Hello again Ian,

      Trailer brake requirements become a requirement at 1,401kgs. Surge brakes are permitted up to 2,800kgs. If the trailer is heavier then 2,800kgs surge brakes are no longer acceptable.

      Hope that this helps~!

      • Ian S. Lee on August 21, 2014 at 3:16 pm

        Thank you very much now I have to inform my friend that he has to spend money on a new braking system after doing a complete overhaul on the old!

  121. Mike on August 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    So, the tow vehicle GVWR is applied to the combination of truck and trailer rather than the combined axle ratings? Does this not eliminate many half ton tow vehicles on the road since the GVWR of the half ton is comprised mainly of handling, stopping and acceleration characteristics under loaded conditions for a single vehicle without trailer and can be overcome very readily by a number of modifications including heavier suspension, improved brakes etc? I believe the requirements for any other jurisdiction I have travelled have only been axle ratings and tire ratings, the former not being able to be upgraded at all.

    • tranbceditor on August 15, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      Hi Mike,

      Let’s share this with the good folks in the CVSE and get an answer for you.

    • tranbceditor on August 21, 2014 at 10:21 am

      Hi Mike,

      We asked the folks in the CVSE and here is what they had to say:

      A vehicle GVWR is related to the maximum weight that the vehicle by itself is allowed to have.
      The manufacturer’s Gross Combination Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR) is the combined maximum gross vehicle combination weight allowed by the tow vehicle’s OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) for the tow vehicle and trailer as a vehicle combination.

      Half-ton pickups may have a wide range of GCVWRs, depending on the engine size, braking capacity, and Final Reduction Gear Ratio (for traction purpose). Owners of pickup trucks needed to
      inquiry about the GCVWR of their equipment via the truck’s OEM.Aftermarket modifications do not come into consideration on the OEM’s GVWR or GCVWR.

      • Mike on August 26, 2014 at 10:06 pm

        That’s an interesting response. But here is an interesting snip from that response which is what has me confused:

        “A vehicle GVWR is related to the maximum weight that the vehicle *by itself* is allowed to have.
        The manufacturer’s Gross Combination Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR) is the combined maximum gross vehicle combination weight allowed by the tow vehicle’s OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) for the tow vehicle and trailer as a vehicle combination.”

        The reason that is interesting is because by definition, the truck and trailer combo is no longer a vehicle by itself. The tongue weight of a travel trailer applies forces on the receiver, rear of the frame, and rear axle. Each axle is designed to run up to and including it’s GAWR safely, the frame and associated mounting points, even with OEM equipment, are designed to run at full axle load at any given time. Braking, cooling, all of the above. It is truly a strange rating.

        At any rate, I appreciate your reply- it’s unfortunate we are unable to travel to BC because of this. There are many vehicles *without* trailers in tow that exceed the GVWR, so it’s a little confusing.

        • tranbceditor on August 27, 2014 at 1:43 pm

          Hi again Mike!

          Sorry about the confusion. Here is a response to your response. If you have further questions after this, let us know or you can connect directly with the CVSE (http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/cvse/index.htm)

          The truck OEM’s GVWR and GCVWR ratings are not arbitrary settings: these limits were tested rigorously by the OEM to ensure safety and performance. GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating) is predominantly confined by the axle’s bearing strength and brake’s retardation force. The sum of the GAWR must be lower than the GVWR to account for the total braking capacity (sizing of the air-brakes reservoir, air-brakes line size and brake timing etc.) of the vehicle as a whole. It is against the law to have a truck running with axle weights exceeding the GVWR. We welcome you Mike to visit British Columbia with a compliant and safe vehicle or vehicle combination.

          • Mike on August 31, 2014 at 7:55 pm

            We are certain to visit Fairmont as we do every year, just a shame we have to leave the trailer behind until the two oldest kids are out on their own in a couple years. I do appreciate you takin the time to clear the confusion up though.

  122. Mark on August 8, 2014 at 8:29 am

    It’s great to read the emphasis on safety. There are way too many people towing travel trailers and 5th wheels that do not understand the inherent dangers and take the task too lightly. I’ve seen fatal accidents involving RVs and it was driver error that caused these accidents. When towing a trailer of any sort you need to check your ego at the door and error on the side of safety.

    • tranbceditor on August 8, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      You’re right, Mark — safety before ego. Driving with an RV in tow is a whole different dynamic…

  123. Ron Heppner on August 7, 2014 at 5:17 am

    I would like to attach a swivel wheel tote to the back of my 5th wheel rv trailer, it is attached on 2 points on the bumper and has a single swivel wheel. Is this permissible in BC.

    • tranbceditor on August 8, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      Hi Ron,

      Under the Commercial Transport Act Regulations 7.18, three vehicle combinations are very restricted. I have been told that the arrangement you are talking about would likely fall under 7.18 (1) (b) — a combined weight under 11,000kg. This would not be legal in BC.

      Here is an excerpt from the legislation (http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/30_78):

      Three-vehicle combination
      7.18 (1) A person must not drive or operate on a highway a 3-vehicle combination of vehicles
      (a) consisting, in part, of a semi-trailer and pony trailer, or
      (b) having a gross combined weight less than 11 000 kg.
      (2) Despite subsection (1), a person may, without a permit, drive or operate on a highway a 3-vehicle combination of vehicles if the combination consists of
      (a) motor vehicle,
      (b) a towing dolly, and
      (c) a licensed motor vehicle, one axle of which is carried by the towing dolly.
      (3) A person must not, without a permit, drive or operate a 3-vehicle combination consisting of a truck and 2 trailers, or a logging truck combination that includes 2-pole trailers.
      [en. B.C. Reg. 95/2006, s. 3.]

      If you want to confirm that this applies to your situation, or gain greater clarity, here is a link to the inspection stations contact numbers: http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/cvse/inspection_stations.htm (You may want to be equipped with a photo of the setup you are considering).

    • Steve on April 24, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      Did you ever get a reply to your question about your tote?

  124. jason on July 4, 2014 at 9:22 am

    I’m thinking of getting one of those new dodge ram 1500 Ecodiesels. Towing capacity is 9,200 pounds and I wanted to tow an Arctic Fox (7500 pounds) through the Rocky Mountains. I’m worried about not having enough power in the higher elevations with the little 3.0L, although I have not read anywhere on the internet that these trucks are not enough… but at the same time, it’s the Rockies so I’m a bit worried.

    • jason on July 4, 2014 at 9:24 am

      also, can I tow a small seadoo behind it? That will add another ~1000 pounds…

      • tranbceditor on July 4, 2014 at 12:51 pm

        Hi Jason, in regards to the three-vehicle combination (truck + Arctic Fox trailer and small seadoo), this combination of three vehicles is prohibited in B.C. under the Commercial Transport Regulations 7.18 Three-vehicle combination. Info here: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/30_78#section7.18

        As far as the Dodge towing vehicle, the stated manufacturer’s towing capacity of 9,200 pounds exceeds the stated weight of the Arctic Fox trailer and therefore the truck would have sufficient power to tow the trailer in the Rocky Mountains.

        • jason on July 4, 2014 at 7:51 pm

          how about a 5th wheeler + seadoo? I would keep reading that link but it’s too much political mumbo jumbo..

          • tranbceditor on July 7, 2014 at 9:49 am

            Hi Jason. Unfortunately, this still falls under a three-vehicle combination as mentioned in the regulations.

  125. Don on May 31, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Terry,
    When determining if my rv trailer does not exceed the weight limits for my truck/trailer combination, do I use the actual weight of the units as measured at a weigh scale, or the manufacturer’s GVWR and GCWR? ie, my truck weighs 6000 lb and the trailer 7500 lb. The total of 13500 lb is under the GCWR of 15,000 lb. However the GVWR of the truck is 8200 lb and the GVWR of the trailer is 8400 lb for a total of 16,600 lb which is over the 15,000 lb GCWR.

    • tranbceditor on June 3, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      Hi Don,
      You will need to use the actual measured weight (from a weigh scale) and then compare that to the manufacturers gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr). If the actual weight is under the gvwr and gcwr then you should be good to go.

  126. Terry on May 20, 2014 at 9:12 am

    We are purchasing a 5th wheel and are installing a fifth wheel hitch. We were told that the wiring box needed to be mounted inside the box instead of plugging it in where the wiring is originally below the tailgate?

    • tranbceditor on May 20, 2014 at 11:57 am

      Hi Terry,

      We have sent your query on to the great folks in the CVSE, we will reply back here when they have an answer for you.

    • tranbceditor on May 27, 2014 at 9:56 am

      Hi Terry,

      Motor Vehicle Act Regulation (MVAR) does not prescribe where and how the mounting of the wiring box is, MVAR Division 4 – Lamps – specifies the appropriate lighting devices and how they must function. Hope that this helps. Thanks for connecting with us here!

  127. Angie on May 14, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Is it allowable to install a fifth wheel hitch on top of a wooden liner?

    • tranbceditor on May 15, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      Hi Angie,
      We are looking into a response for you. Stay tuned.

    • tranbceditor on May 20, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      Hello again Angie,

      We spoke to the folks in the CVSE and they informed us that no, a fifth wheel hitch cannot be installed on wood. Any vehicle hitch must be attached directly to structurally adequate frame components and must be installed in compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

      Hope that this helps clarify it for you.

  128. Jim on May 13, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Hello I’m from Alberta. A friend told me that my half ton pickup cannot tow my 28ft travel trailer into BC even though my vehicle is well within its limits just because the trailer is too long. I’ve had it weighed and am well under the vehicles limits for all weights. Is this true? This length limitation is something I’ve never heard of and is disappointing since I did alot of research before buying this combination tow vehicle and trailer.

  129. Ken Paton on April 24, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Have a 69 sportcraft tent trailer.. only came with tail lights… do I need to add side reflectors or marker lights before traveling to bc?

    • tranbceditor on April 24, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Hi Ken,

      Yes, you will require both as well as signal lamps and brake lamps. Thanks for connecting with us, we hope this helps.

  130. John on February 11, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    I understand a heavy trailer endorsement is needed on a BC class 5 license to tow a holiday trailer in excess of 10,000 lbs. How does this apply to out of province drivers? Is this just an ICBC thing or is it BC gov regulation? If so, what is required by an Alberta driver visiting BC with a holdiday trailer > 10K?

    • tranbceditor on February 12, 2014 at 11:13 am

      Hi John,

      We sent your question to the good folks in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement department and here is what they had to say:

      “A visitor from out of province that is here for pleasure use can operate in BC with their vehicle combinations legally as long as they are licensed appropriately in their home jurisdiction. Basically, if John’s DL is legal in Alberta for his truck and travel trailer then he is ok to operate here while on vacation. Reciprocity is granted.”
      Hope that this helps, if you have any other questions, let us know or send an email to the CVSE at: http://www.cvse.ca/contacts.htm

      • Bill Montgomery on July 2, 2015 at 1:24 pm

        I just want to be sure we are legal for our upcoming BC visit as I am with Law Enforcement. In your Feb 12, 2014 response to John you indicated that there is reciprocity for out of province visitors. We are legal to tow in Colorado and have a 2012 Ram 2500 diesel with a GCWR of 22000 lbs., a curb weight of 7711 lbs., and a 39′ trailer with a GVWR OF 10500 lbs. The trailer weight slightly exceeds the provincial regulations of 4600 kgs. Does reciprocity apply to US visitors?

        • tranbceditor on July 7, 2015 at 1:17 pm

          Hi Bill,
          The restriction that occurs at 4600 kg trailing weight in BC is on the driver’s license. We’ve consulted with the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC) and they confirmed that if you are properly licensed in your home jurisdiction for the vehicle combination that you’re operating, then you are good to drive in BC.

          By the way, ICBC publishes a great guide that’s full of safety tips and useful information for towing recreational vehicles. If you’re interested in having a look, you’ll find that guide here: http://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/types-licences/Pages/Towing-a-recreational-trailer.aspx

  131. Kim MacKinnon on October 1, 2013 at 9:20 am

    I will be trailering a boat that weighs more than 4600 kg. Do I need a heavy trailer endorsement or would a house trailer endorsement suffice?

  132. chris on August 17, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Being a long haul driver of 25 years..

    I always see these rv’s pulling trailers etc.. and they always have a flat tire.. CHECK YOUR TIRES!!!

    • tranbceditor on August 19, 2013 at 10:39 am

      Thanks for the comment Chris. And a good reminder!

  133. Margaret Upshaw on August 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    We tow a 5th wheel with a closed motorcycle trailer behind. Is that permissible in BC?

    • tranbceditor on August 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm

      Hi Margaret,
      Sorry, this configuration isn’t legal in BC. Straight from our Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement branch, this could post significant operating concerns and therefore not legal. No permitting is available for this either. For more info, check the Commercial Transport Procedures Manual under 5.4 Recreational Vehicle Combinations. Reference: http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/cvse/ctpm/Chapter_5.pdf
      Thanks for the question.

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