Trucks and trailers keep getting bigger and heavier. Every new model year and generational update seem to constantly be pushing those limits. This is a trend that is obviously welcomed because RVers keep buying them. With this in mind, I think it’s a good time to do a quick refresher on the Highway Traffic Act rules that govern weights and licensing, just to make sure we are all still compliant.

The licensing rules that I’ll quote here apply in Ontario. However, while minor variations exist from province to province, in general, these rules are the same. You can, of course, check your own provincial HTA online – and I encourage you to do so.

In Ontario today, you may tow a Recreational Vehicle (RV) weighing more than 4,600 kg with a Class “G” driver’s licence if:

  • The towing vehicle is a pickup truck equipped with the manufacturer’s original box, with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) that does not exceed 6,000 kg, equipped with no more than two axles, and not currently in use for commercial purposes;
  • The combined weight of the pickup truck and RV does not exceed 11,000 kg total gross weight;
  • The RV is hitched to a pickup truck by means of a fifth wheel hitch assembly; and
  • Only one towed vehicle in used in combination.

The key number to remember is 11,000 kg total – if your truck and trailer weighs in above that number, you need to move up to a Class A licence (condition R).

The restricted Class A (condition R) licence is meant for drivers operating smaller truck-trailer combinations, such as a recreational, horse or utility trailer.

You can also drive:

  • A car or light truck covered by a Class G licence; or
  • A heavy truck covered by the Class D truck licence.

With a restricted Class A licence, you cannot:

  • Pull a trailer equipped with air brakes;
  • Drive a full-size tractor-trailer;
  • Drive a vehicle pulling a double trailer; or
  • Train another driver on a vehicle that requires full Class A privileges to drive.

The requirements for a person to apply for a restricted Class A licence (condition R) include:

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Hold a valid Ontario licence other than G1, G2, M, M1 or M2;
  • Pass an eye test;
  • Submit a medical report;
  • Pass a knowledge test about operating large trucks and tractor-trailers; and
  • Pass a road test.

So, in Ontario, you must hold either a full G license or a Class A (Restricted). As for what’s considered legal on the road, keep reading to find a condensed version of the most important towing information as it relates to tow vehicles and trailers in each province and territory. Please use this information as a guide. However, you are strongly advised to verify this information personally: Rules are constantly changing across the country.

 

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Max. Height: 4.15m (13 feet, 6 inches)

Max. Width: 2.6m (8 feet, 5 inches)

Max. Length (Single Trailer): 12.5m (41 feet)

Max Truck/Trailer Length: 20m (65 feet, 6 inches)

Trailer Brakes required over: 1,400 kg (3,087 lbs.)

Triple Hookup allowed: No                             

Max Length train combination: N/A

Max MH Length: 14m (45 feet, 9 inches)

Reciprocity: Yes

Trailer speed limit: 80 km-h

 

ALBERTA

Max. Height: 4m (13 feet, 1 inch)

Max. Width: 2.6m (8 feet, 5 inches)

Max. Length (Single Trailer): 12.5m (41 feet)

Max Truck/Trailer Length: 20m (65 feet, 6 inches)

Trailer Brakes required over: 909kg (2,000 lbs.)

Triple Hookup allowed: Yes (on fifth wheel only)

Max Length train combination: 16.7m (55 feet)

Ride in Truck Camper: Yes

Max MH Length: 14m (45 feet, 9 inches)

Reciprocity:  Yes

Trailer speed limit: Posted limit

 

SASKATCHEWAN

Max. Height: 4.15m (13 feet, 6 inches)

Max. Width: 2.6m (8 feet, 5 inches)

Max. Length (Single Trailer) 12.5m (41 foot)

Max Truck/Trailer Length: 23m (75 feet, 4 inches)

Trailer Brakes required over: 1,350 kg (2,977 lbs.)

Triple Hookup allowed: Yes (on fifth wheel only)

Max Length train combination: 23m (75 feet, 4 inches)

Ride in 5th Wheel Trailer: Yes

Ride in Travel Trailer: Yes

Ride in Truck Camper: Yes

Max MH Length: 14m (45 feet, 9 inches)

Reciprocity: Yes

Trailer speed limit: Posted limit

 

MANITOBA

Max. Height: 4.15m

Max. Width: 2.6m (8 feet, 5 inches)

Max. Length (Single Trailer) 12.5m (41 feet)

Max. Truck/Trailer Length: 21.5m (70 feet, 5 inches)

Trailer Brakes required over: 910 kg (2,007 lbs.)

Triple Hookup allowed: Yes (on fifth wheel only)

Max Length train combination: 23m (75 feet, 4 inches)

Ride in Truck Camper: Yes

Max MH Length: 14m (45 feet, 9 inches)

Reciprocity: Yes

Trailer speed limit: Posted limit

 

ONTARIO

Max. Height: 4.15m (13 feet, 6 inches)

Max. Width: 2.6m (8 feet, 5 inches)

Max. Length (Single Trailer) 12.5 m (41 feet)

Max. Truck/Trailer Length: 23m (75 feet, 4 inches)

Trailer Brakes required over: 1,350 kg (2,997 lbs.)

Triple Hookup allowed: No                     Max Length train combination: N/A

Ride in Truck Camper: Yes

Max MH Length: 14m (45 feet, 9 inches)

Reciprocity: Yes

Trailer speed limit: Posted limit

 

QUEBEC

Max. Height: 4.15 m (13 feet, 6 inches)

Max. Width: 2.6 m (8 feet, 5 inches)

Max. Length (Single Trailer):12.5m (41 feet)

Max Truck/Trailer Length: 23m (75 feet, 4 inches)

Trailer Brakes required over: 1,300 kg (2,867 lbs.)

Triple Hookup allowed: No                     Max Length train combination: N/A

Ride in Truck Camper: Yes

Max MH Length: 12.5 m (41 feet)

Reciprocity: Yes

Trailer speed limit: Posted limit

 

NEW BRUNSWICK

Max. Height: 4.15m (13 feet, 6 inches)

Max. Width: 2.6m (8 feet, 5 inches)

Max. Length (Single Trailer):12.5m (41 feet)

Max Truck/Trailer Length: 23m (75 feet, 4 inches)

Trailer Brakes required over: 1,500 kg (3,308 lbs.)

Triple Hookup allowed:  No                     

Max Length train combination: N/A

Ride in Truck Camper: Yes

Max MH Length: 12.5 m (41 feet)

Reciprocity: Yes

Trailer speed limit: Posted limit

 

NOVA SCOTIA

Max. Height: 4.15m (13 feet, 6 inches)

Max. Width: 2.6m (8 feet, 5 inches)

Max. Length (Single Trailer): 12.5m (41 feet)

Max Truck/Trailer Length: 23m (75 feet, 4 inches)

Trailer Brakes required over: 1,800 kg (3,969 lbs.)

Triple Hookup allowed: Yes (on fifth wheel only)

Max Length train combination: 21.9m (72 feet)

Ride in Truck Camper: Yes

Max MH Length: 12.5m (41 feet)

Reciprocity: Yes

Trailer speed limit: Posted limit

  

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

Max. Height: 4.5m (14 feet, 7 inches)

Max. Width: 2.6m (8 feet, 5 inches)

Max. Length (Single Trailer): 12.5m (41 feet)

Max Truck/Trailer Length: 25m (82 feet)

Trailer Brakes required over: 1,800 kg (3,969 lbs.)

Triple Hookup allowed: No        Max Length train combination: N/A

Ride in 5th Wheel Trailer: Yes

Ride in Travel Trailer: Yes

Ride in Truck Camper: Yes

Max MH Length: 16.2m (53 feet)

Reciprocity: No

Trailer speed limit: Posted limit

 

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

Max. Height: 4.2m (13 feet, 7 inches)

Max. Width: 2.6m (8 feet, 5 inches)

Max. Length (Single Trailer): 12.5m (41 feet)

Max Truck/Trailer Length: 23m (75 feet, 4 inches)

Trailer Brakes required over: 4,500 kg (9,923 lbs.)

Triple Hookup allowed: No       Max Length train combination: N/A

Ride in 5th Wheel Trailer: Yes

Ride in Travel Trailer: Yes

Ride in Truck Camper: Yes

Max MH Length: 12.5 m (41 feet)

Reciprocity: Yes

Trailer speed limit: N/A

 

YUKON

Max. Height: 4.2m (13 feet, 7 inches)

Max. Width: 2.6m (8 feet, 5 inches)

Max. Length (Single Trailer): 16.15m (52 feet, 9 inches)

Max Truck/Trailer Length: 26m (85 feet)

Trailer Brakes required over: 910 kg (2,007 lbs.)

Triple Hookup allowed: No       Max Length train combination N/A

Ride in 5th Wheel Trailer: Yes

Ride in Truck Camper: Yes

Max MH Length: 26m (85 feet)

Reciprocity: No

Trailer speed limit: Posted limit

 

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

Max. Height: 4.2m (13 feet, 7 inches)

Max. Width: 2.6m (8 feet, 5 inches)

Max. Length (Single Trailer) N/M*

Max Truck/Trailer Length: 21m (68 feet, 9 inches)

Trailer requires Brakes over: 1,360 kg (2,999 lbs.)

Triple Hookup allowed: No       Max Length train combination: N/A

Max MH Length: 12.5m (41 feet) *(under review)

Reciprocity: N/M

Trailer speed limit: N/M

 

NUNAVUT

Max. Height: 4.2m (13 feet, 7 inches)

Max. Width: 2.6m (8 feet, 5 inches)

Max. Length (Single Trailer): N/M*

Max Truck/Trailer Length: 21m (68 feet, 9 inches)

Triple Hookup allowed: No       Max Length train combination: N/A

Ride in Truck Camper: Yes

Max MH Length: 12.5m (41 feet) *(under review)

Reciprocity: N/M

Trailer speed limit: N/M

 

*N/M – Not mentioned

*N/A – Not applicable

*MH – Motorhome

 

So, what else should you know before you go, so to speak?

 

  1. Know your weights. Be able to point out the weights displayed on the fixed inspection plates of your trailer and vehicle if asked.
  2. Wherever you travel, know or learn the local towing laws. Your driver’s licence might be covered by reciprocity, but your truck and trailer combination still are subject to local laws.
  3. When searching towing information on the internet, beware. Unless you are on a government-supported website, it’s possible the info fine is out-of-date. Towing laws are constantly being reviewed to reflect changes in the world of trailers and trucks. Look for dates – and double-check with the Ministry of Transportation for each province.

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