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Is it legal to tow a trailer behind a caravan?

Question:

Is it legal to tow a trailer behind a caravan? If yes, are there any stipulations that should be adhered to?

Answer:

In order to tow legally and safely there are several factors you need to consider.

In terms of Regulation 222 (restriction on combination of motor vehicles) of the National Road Traffic Act, states the following:

No person shall operate on a public road any combination of motor vehicles

  • other than a drawing vehicle and one or two trailers;
  • other than a motor vehicle drawing one other motor vehicle which is not a trailer; and
  • other than a motor vehicle drawing another motor vehicle which is not a trailer, and a trailer, in the case of an emergency or a breakdown.
No person shall operate on a public road a combination of motor vehicles consisting of
  • a trailer attached to a drawing vehicle in such a manner that the combination of trailer and drawing vehicle cannot bend in a horizontal plane, if the combined length of such trailer, including any drawbar or coupling and the rear overhang of the drawing vehicle, exceeds three comma one metres;
  • a trailer or trailers attached to a drawing vehicle if the length of the drawbar of any trailer in such combination, where such trailer has more than one axle, exceeds two metres: Provided that in the case of an underslung coupling, the drawbar may exceed two metres if the distance between the two vehicles does not exceed two comma five metres.

Note that a caravan in terms of the National Road Traffic Act is defined as an enclosed vehicle which is designed or adapted solely to live in and which is drawn by another vehicle.

A trailer means a vehicle which is not self propelled and which is designed and adapted to be drawn by a motor vehicle. A caravan is also designed and adapted to be drawn by a motor vehicle thus it fits the description of a trailer and the law cited above does allow a drawing vehicle to pull two trailers. It is therefore legal to tow a caravan and a trailer.

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