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Old 01-23-2015, 01:59 PM   #1
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California tow dolly tail light requirements for night time towing?

I read that tow dolly's require additional tail lights on the toad, besides the two existing taillights on the tow dolly, for night time towing? Is this correct or are the existing taillights, just on my tow dolly, sufficient to meet CA code requirements?

Tim Sullivan, 2000 Country Coach Magna, C10 Cat with 2015 Toyota Prius toad.
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Old 01-23-2015, 02:04 PM   #2
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No matter what the minimum requirement by law is IMO I'd never tow on a dolly without the car tail/brake/turn signals working too. In most cases the person behind you will NOT be able to see the right hand light on the tow dolly.

2012 Journey 40U (Our Incredible Journey)
2008 Dodge Dakota
2004 Subaru Baja
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:50 PM   #3
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I'm sorry but I disagree big time. My MH tail lights that sit close to 5 feet off the ground are clearly visible from behind my MH and the toad. Additional lights behind my toad are not necessary.
Tim Sullivan, 2000 Country Coach Magna, C10 Cat with 2015 Toyota Prius toad.
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:11 PM   #4
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You're missing the point. Regardless of legal requirements, I want lights at the rearmost point of my vehicle so the Brain Dead drivers out there can figure out what to miss. And, don't forget that drivers at intersections at night need lights on the sides of your car so they won't tbone your toad when they floor it as soon as your motorhome goes by.
John McKinley
2007 Damon Daybreak 3060, Ford 16,000# Chassis,
Ford C-Max Hybrid Toad , Suzuki V Strom 1000cc
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:46 PM   #5
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IMO lights on the rear end of the back of the toad are a must. As stated above I want everyone to know where the limits of my vehicle are.

If you have ever driven at night in the rain you know how difficult depth perception is.

Even if one only has tail lights on the toad. I notice tow trucks always put lights on the vehicle they are towing, even during the day.
Gordon and Janet
Tour 42QD/inTech Stacker
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:49 AM   #6
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Let's put this to bed. I talked with the CA CHP and it works as follows.
  • You don't need brake or turn if the towing vehicle lights can be seen.
  • If any part of your towed vehicle is more than 4' past the lights you must have running lights when driving at night but nothing is required during the day.
The reason is so a following driver can judge the distance to the towed vehicle.

So all you have to do to be legal is turn on the parking lights on the towed vehicle.

That said it's always best to have more so adding turn and brake lights is prudent.

This seem to be about the same in almost all states.

John (N6BER), Joyce, Lucas (Golden Retriever mix), Bella (Great Pyrenees) and Lance (Great Pyrenees).
Tustin, CA
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