For complete information about licensing and insurance speak to your ICBC agent in advance of towing or operating an RV.
Towing an RV
Most recreational trailers weigh less than 4,600 kg, and may be driven by a driver with a Class 5 or 7 passenger car driver’s licence. An air brake endorsement is required if either the truck or trailer has air brakes.
The class of driver’s licence or licence endorsement you need to tow a trailer depends on its weight. For driver licensing purposes, trailer weight means its actual weight at the time it is being towed. For example, your RV trailer may weigh 4,000 kg when sitting empty in your driveway and not connected to your pickup truck. You may tow the trailer empty with a Class 5 or 7 driver’s licence because it doesn’t exceed 4,600 kg. But when it’s equipped with furniture, stored water, food and other items, the trailer will weigh more. A Class 5 or 7 driver’s licence doesn’t allow you to tow the trailer if it weighs over 4,600 kg.
Towing an RV of more than 4,600 kg
If you want to tow an RV that weighs more than 4,600 kg and neither the recreational trailer nor your truck has air brakes, you need: a Class 1, 2 or 3 driver’s licence, or a Class 4 or 5 driver’s licence with a heavy trailer endorsement (code 20), or a Class 4 or 5 driver’s licence with a house trailer endorsement (code 07).
Note: The code 07 house trailer endorsement permits towing house trailers only. Other types of trailers over 4,600 kg, such as horse/house trailers (trailers with living quarters for people along with space to carry horses), boat trailers, horse trailers, utility trailers, etc. can’t be operated with a house trailer endorsement.
To get a heavy trailer endorsement (code 20), you need to: pass a Class 3 knowledge test, meet commercial driver vision and medical standards, and pass a Class 3 road test while towing a trailer weighing more than 4,600 kg.
To get a house trailer endorsement (code 07), you need to: pass a recreational trailer knowledge test, meet driver vision and medical standards, and pass a road test while towing a recreational house trailer weighing more than 4,600 kg.
Few recreational trailers exceed 4,600 kg. Most that exceed 4,600 kg are over nine metres (28 feet) in length. If you aren’t sure of the weight of your RV trailer, take it to a weigh scale and have it weighed. Most fifth wheel RV combinations don’t have air brakes.
It is your responsibility to ensure you have the appropriate driver’s licence and driving skills for the trailer you’re towing. If you don’t have the proper licence, you may be in breach of your insurance policy in the event of a crash. Your insurance claim may be denied, including claims for your own injuries, or damage that you might cause to your vehicle, or to other people or property. You may then be responsible for paying these costs.
Need more information? Call 1-800-950-1498 or go to icbc.com.
Statement of Limitation: ICBC has prepared Towing a Recreational Trailer to assist individuals studying for a British Columbia driving licence with a house trailer endorsement. Towing a Recreational Trailer is not intended to take the place of professional training and ICBC does not make any representation or warranty that any individual who studies Towing a Recreational Trailer will be successful in obtaining the desired licence. ICBC is not responsible for any consequences that may result from the use of Towing a Recreational Trailer. Throughout this guide, references are made to acts and regulations that govern driving in British Columbia. This guide reflects the law in British Columbia as set out in these acts and regulations as of August 1, 2011. These references are written in plain language to help you understand their impact on individual drivers. In the event of a difference between the material included in Towing a Recreational Trailer and any of these acts or regulations, the acts and regulations shall apply.