Trailer Towing Requirements in Oregon

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To tow a trailer in Oregon, you must meet certain requirements. For example, trailers must have lights and safety chains, and many need brakes. These requirements apply to all sizes and types of trailers, regardless of whether or not a towing vehicle's lights can be seen past the trailer. Before you tow a trailer in Oregon, be sure to review the details of the law.

Lights

  • In Oregon, all trailers must have their own lights, even if the lights of the towing vehicle can be seen through the trailer. Trailers all require two red tail lights, two red brake lights, two red or amber turn-signal lights and two red reflex reflectors incorporated into the lens of the light. These lights must be mounted as far to the outside edge and to the rear of the trailer as possible. The trailer must also have side marker lights with reflex reflectors.

Safety Chains

  • Chains strong enough to support the weight of both the trailer and its load are required. The chains should be installed by crossing them under the tongue of the trailer to prevent the trailer from contacting the ground if the towing ball should fail.

Brakes

  • Your trailer may need brakes. To determine if this is the case, make sure that your vehicle can stop within specified limits. For vehicles under 8,000 pounds, the law specifies that they be able to stop within a travel lane in 25 feet from 20 miles per hour. Vehicles over 8,000 pounds, must be able to stop within a travel lane in 35 feet from 20 miles per hour. It's also a good idea to check the towing vehicle's owner's manual for suggestions on when to use trailer brakes.

Multiple Trailers

  • Private vehicles are not allowed to tow more than one trailer in Oregon.

References

  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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