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ASK A TROOPER: RV combinations

Question: Can you give me the current information and requirements for a recreational vehicle combination? We use to call these “Iowa Combinations.” Thanks.

Answer: To summarize: Minnesota State Statute states that a recreational vehicle combination may be operated without a permit if: (1) the combination does not consist of more than three vehicles, and the towing rating of the full-size pickup truck or recreational truck-tractor is equal to or greater than the total weight of all vehicles being towed; (2) the combination does not exceed 70 feet in length; (3) the operator of the combination is at least 18 years of age; (4) the trailer is only carrying watercraft, motorcycles, motorized bicycles, off-highway motorcycles, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, motorized golf carts, or equestrian equipment or supplies, and meets all requirements of law; (5) the vehicles in the combination are connected to the full-size pickup truck or recreational truck-tractor and each other in conformity with the trailer hitch and chains law and (6) the combination is not operated within the seven-county metropolitan area during the hours of 6-9 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays.

Also, a quick look at the statute’s definition of a recreational vehicle states: (a) “Recreational vehicle combination” means a combination of vehicles consisting of a full-size pickup truck or a recreational truck-tractor attached by means of a kingpin and fifth-wheel coupling to a middle vehicle which has hitched to it a trailer; and (b) For purposes of this subdivision, a “kingpin and fifth-wheel coupling” is a coupling between a middle vehicle and a towing full-size pickup truck or a recreational truck-tractor in which a portion of the weight of the towed middle vehicle is carried over or forward of the rear axle of the towing pickup. Portions of statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes.

If you have any questions for future columns concerning motor vehicle traffic in Minnesota, please send your questions to: “ASK A TROOPER” c/o Sgt. Curt S. Mowers MN State Patrol P.O. Box 644 Brainerd, MN 56401 or email questions to with Ask A Trooper in the subject line. Questions are edited.