For people born here, it is confusing enough. And we know well enough, that anyone who comes to visit us here in Edmonton, Canada, from anywhere else in the country – let alone from the States – can find it difficult to know what the rules are about towing a load are.
One thing we would advise, to anyone wanting to bring a trailer or a caravan onto Canadian soil, is to pay careful attention to exactly where they are going!
With three territories, ten provinces and two languages, it is fair to say that no one really agrees with each other in Canada! And that goes doubly for rules of towing loads within the country.
Just about the only thing that we do agree on is that the trailer on the rear of your vehicle cannot exceed eight feet and five inches in width.
After that, it is all up for grabs!
Let’s start in the Rocky Mountains, British Columbia. Here, you will find that if you are pulling a load greater than 3000 pounds gross, that you will need brakes. This means adding in the weight of the trailer, when it is empty and then adding all its contents in.
Easy enough? But this is not all. If your trailer and its’ load are more than half of your tow vehicle’s weight (also gross) then it must also have brakes.
In other words, for your 3000 pounds of load you need a towing truck or vehicle of at least 6000 pounds in weight.
In other words, this is the average weight of a Ford F 150. Say you are using a Toyota Tacoma to pull with, then you are going to need brakes fitted on a trailer that only weighs 2000 pounds.
Confused? You are going to be.
What else might you need to know about towing in British Columbia?
Well, EdmTowing.ca advises that you will need an electronic breakaway to be fitted on your trailer with brakes. You will need a brake on every axle of your trailer, unless you have a three axle trailer. Then you only have to have brakes on the first two axles.
If your trailer exceeds a weight of 6160 gross, then brakes of the surge variety are not permitted.
Any other strange rules? Yes, regarding tow mirrors. They shouldn’t be more than eight inches out of the trailer side.
And then for all the other regions of the land – you’ve guessed it, they are all different and each area should be read up about carefully, before you go and visit it.
Max heights? As if they are all going to agree with each other! Here we have the lowest height, in Alberta, coming in at thirteen feet and one inch and a trailer brake requirement at the lowest end also, of 2000 pounds.
Move down to Newfoundland, which is not in love with the rule book, it must be said, and you will be permitted to pull a load of up to 9923 pounds, before it needs a brake – as long as it has a single axle.
Safety chains are another bone of contention. Some provinces say one – most others say two.
Triple hook ups are legal in some places, and not in others, so need to be checked carefully.
Oh, and a word of warning when you do check them. Make sure you are on an official Canadian government website – because if you’re not, it is possible the information you are looking at is out of date or somehow otherwise wrong. And this is not the sort of thing that you can afford to be wrong about!
We hope you enjoy your Canadian road trip – don’t get too confused!!