Total length: 55 feet (65 feet for travel trailers and boat transporters); trailer length: 35 feet; motor home length: 40 feet (45 feet on interstates); width: 8 feet 6 inches (excluding retractable awnings, and safety equipment and energy conservation devices up to 3 inches); height: 13 feet 6 inches.
All trailers must be equipped with parking brakes adequate to hold the vehicle on any grade on which it is operated.
All trailers with a registered gross weight of at least 10,000 lbs. must be equipped with brakes on all wheels.
Trailers not exceeding 3,000 lbs. need not have brakes on all wheels, provided that the total weight of the trailers does not exceed 40% of the gross weight of the towing vehicle when connected to the trailer and the combination of vehicles is capable of complying with braking performance requirements.
Trailers between 3,000–10,000 lbs. need not have brakes on all wheels, provided that the trailer has 2 or more axles, is equipped with brakes acting on all wheels of at least 1 of the axles, and the combination of vehicles is capable of complying with braking performance requirements. Brakes shall be capable of remaining applied for at least 15 minutes on breakaway from the towing vehicle.
Every full trailer shall be equipped with a tow bar and means of attaching the tow bar to the towing and towed units.
The tow bar and means of attaching the tow bar to the units shall be structurally adequate for the weight drawn; be mounted properly and securely, without excessive slack, but with enough play to allow for universal action of the connection; and have a suitable locking device to prevent accidental separation of the towed and towing vehicles.
The mounting of the trailer hitch of the towing vehicle shall include sufficient reinforcement or bracing of the frame to provide sufficient strength and rigidity to prevent undue distortion of the frame.
Every trailer and semitrailer equipped with a tow bar and any special mobile equipment being towed shall be coupled directly to the frame of the towing vehicle with 1 or more safety chains or cables, and the chains or cables shall be connected to the towed or towing vehicle and to the tow bar to prevent the tow bar from dropping to the ground if it fails.
Every trailer shall be equipped with at least 2 rear tail lamps that emit a red light plainly visible from at least 1,000 feet to the rear.
Trailers manufactured before June 1, 1971 shall have at least 1 tail lamp that emits a red light plainly visible from a distance of at least 300 feet to the rear.
On a combination of vehicles, only the tail lamps on the rearmost vehicle need actually be seen from the required distance.
Every trailer shall have either a tail lamp or separate lamp that illuminates the rear license plate with a white light from a distance of at least 50 feet.
After July 1, 1971, every trailer shall carry on the rear, either as part of the tail lamps or separately, 2 or more red reflectors visible from all distances between 100-600 feet behind the vehicle.
Before July 1, 1971, every trailer shall carry on the rear, either as part of the tail-lamps or separately, 1 or more red reflectors visible from all distances between 100-600 feet behind the vehicle.
Every trailer manufactured after July 1, 1971 shall be equipped with at least 2 stop lamps shaded either red or amber and visible from a distance of 300 feet to the rear in normal sunlight, while vehicles manufactured before that date must have at least 1 stop lamp.
Every trailer manufactured after July 1, 1971 shall be equipped with electric turn signals on the rear of the vehicle of the vehicle and shall emit a red or amber light.
Trailers and semitrailers 80 inches or more in overall width shall have: on the front, 2 clearance lamps, 1 at each side; on the rear, 2 clearance lamps, 1 at each side, and after June 1, 1971, 3 identification lamps grouped in a horizontal row, with lamp centers between 6 and 12 inches apart, and mounted on the permanent structure of the vehicle as close as practicable to the vertical centerline; on each side, 2 side marker lamps, 1 at or near the front and 1 at or near the rear; and on each side, 2 reflectors, 1 at or near the front and 1 at or near the side.
Rear reflectors on pole trailers may be mounted on each side of the bolster or load.
Clearance lamps shall be mounted so as to indicate the extreme width of the motor vehicle, not including mirrors, and as near the top of the vehicle as practicable.
When rear identification lamps are mounted at the extreme height of the vehicle, rear clearance lamps may be mounted at an optional height.
When mounting of the front clearance lamps at the highest point of a trailer results in those lamps failing to mark the extreme width of the trailer, they may be mounted at an optional height, but must indicate the extreme width of the trailer.
Front, side, and rear clearance and identification lamps shall be capable of being seen at all distances between 500 and 50 feet from the front and rear, respectively.
Trailers and semitrailers 30 feet or more in overall length shall have on each side, one amber side marker lamp and one amber reflector, centrally located with respect to the length of the vehicle.
Front clearance lamps, identification lamps, and those marker lamps and reflectors mounted on the front or on the side near the front of a vehicle shall be amber. Real clearance lamps, identification lamps, and those marker lamps and reflectors mounted on the rear or on the sides near the rear of a vehicle shall be red.
Where the view through the inside mirror is obstructed, 2 outside rearview mirrors are required.
If a trailer is towed by a Class E truck, it must have a GVW of 20,000 lbs. or less.
If a trailer is towed by a Class A passenger vehicle or a Class M multipurpose vehicle, it must have a GVW of 10,000 lbs. or less.
Class A and Class M vehicles may only tow the following: boat trailers; camping trailers; travel trailers; house trailers; or utility trailers.
Trailer Other Provisions
Passengers are permitted in mobile homes but not travel trailers.