Towing Equipment (Hitch Violation)

California Vehicle Code (CVC) § 29003

A Towing Equipment (Hitch Violation) ticket will cost you $196 and Up in fines plus $1,000+ in insurance hikes and penalties.

Officer issuing Towing Equipment (Hitch Violation) in California

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Towing Equipment CVC 29003

Keep your eyes open on the roads

How many times have we driven on the road or the highway and look to our left or right to see a vehicle towing something improperly? It’s important to know the right and wrong method and how to tow before engaging the open roadway. It is essential for the operator of any tow devices to check the electrical components such as the break-away systems, trailer lights, and brakes to make sure that they are functioning properly.

What Trailer Hitch suits your towing needs?

Determining the correct class for the items that we wish to carry helps assist drivers when utilizing trailer hitch and coupling devices. The maximum weight capacity rating and the receiver opening size determine classification of hitches. Classes sizes vary from I to V depending on the size of the item being towed. Each class is a little different depending on the application and capacities of each trailer.

The proper hitch receiver and ball mount are vital to correctly tow an item. Once a driver has selected a hitch, it is important to get the correct ball mount to balance the trailer. A driver does not want to make assumptions when using hitching devices or accessories while towing. If ever in doubt, ask questions from a certified class A driver.

  • Our first class consists of light-duty receivers that are generally installed on smaller SUV vehicles or passenger cars. Class I maximum gross trailer weight for towing is 2,000 lbs. with a tongue rate of 200 lbs. The hitches for Class I require a 1-1/4” x 1-1/4” receiver tube for the ball mount. We typically see these hitches used for light towing moderate cargo i.e. motorcycles, boats, and small utility trailers.
  • Class II consists of moderate-duty receivers that largely are connected on small trucks, minivans, or mid-sized sedans. Class II maximum gross trailer weight for towing is 3,500 lbs. with a tongue rate of 350 lbs. The hitches for Class II require a 1-1/4” x 1-1/4” receiver tube for the ball mount. Generally these hitches used for moderate towing on snowmobiles, small campers, and mid-sized boats.
  • Class III trailer hitches provide versatility when towing. They are normally fitted on minivans, full-size SUV’s and pickup trucks. The third class maximum gross weight ranges from 3,500 lbs. to 6,000 lbs. with a tongue rate from 350 to 600 lbs. Hitches that use 2” x 2” receiver tube with the ball mount are suitable for towing mid-sized boats, utility trailers, and mid-sized campers.
  • In Class IV, we have the heavy-duty hitch receivers that carry our large SUV’s and heavy-duty trucks. This class also uses 2” x 2” receiver tube with the ball mount. Class IV hitches have a gross trailer weight for towing ranging in between 6,000 to 10,000 lbs. with a tongue weight between 600 to 1,000 lbs. Typically these hitches are used towing boats, toy haulers, and large campers.
  • Class V is for our heavy hitters carrying the heaviest of models that are mounted on the back of a tow vehicle. Commercial trucks and heavy-duty trucks commonly receive these hitch receivers. Carrying the heavy hitters, the gross trailer weight ranges more than 10,000 lbs. with a tongue weight from 1,000 lbs. to 1,200 lbs. Class V hitches increase to a size of 2-1/2” x 2-1/2” receiver tube for the ball mount. In Class V, we find towing of heavy loads including equipment size trailers of all sizes, full-sized campers, and large boats.

What does the California Code say about CVC 29003?

(a) Instruction from CVC 29003 educates drivers that the proper weight drawn on every hitch or coupling device for the purpose of towing must be structurally sound and be properly and securely mounted. Adequate reinforcement of the mounting and hitching device ensures an appropriate strength and durability to prevent any unnecessary distortion or damage to the frame towing items.

(b) Accessories such as the tongue, drawbar, and other correct connections amongst the towing and towed vehicles must be securely fastened and structurally safe for the weight drawn.

(c) When the raised end of a motor vehicle is being towed by another vehicle with the assistance of a tow dolly, another means of reinforcement and secure attachment is required by the use of two separate cables, chains, or similar devices to avoid unstable or parting of the towed vehicle and tow dolly.

Have you received a California Traffic Ticket for CVC 22400?

Are you carrying a heavy load because you recently received a violation under CVC 29003? Improperly assembling a hitch and coupling device results in a minimum fine of $196 and a point on your license. A one-point violation of CVC 29003 noted on your driver’s licenses can result in insurance premium rate increases up to three years.

Our team may be able to assist. Reach out to learn more about your options with your citation or submit your ticket for a free review.