What Is the Pop Up Travel Trailer Law in Tennessee?

By Tara Dodrill

Tennessee's Attorney General's Office regulates the laws governing the use and transportation of pop-up travel trailers. A dealer must have a valid license to sell or work on travel trailers. Tennessee law defines pop-up travel trailers as recreational vehicles that are used as recreational living quarters. Owners of travel trailers must purchase a permit and consent to an inspection before lawfully transporting the trailer on the road.

Trailer Weight

Pop up travel trailers, which weigh more than 3,000 pounds, must have working brakes on all four wheels. Trailers weighing between 1,500 to 3,000 lbs. are required by law to have breaks on at least one axle. Tennessee Travel trailers, which weigh less than 1,500 pounds, are not required to possess breaks.

Break Laws

The break lining on all trailers must be replaced if it deteriorates to less than 5/16 of an inch at the center. Break lining or break pads, which become saturated with grease or break fluid, must be cleaned or replaced. Break drums with more than a small hairline crack from repeated exposure to heat must be replaced in order to pass the required safety inspection.

Fines and Inspections

Spring assembly on all travel trailers are inspected by the Tennessee Department of Motor Vehicles or law enforcement officers during a routine inspection. All springs must be securely attached and in good working order to prevent a traffic violation fine or loss of transportation permit. All trailer suspension assembly mechanisms must be securely attached. Vehicle u-bolts must not be broken or loose.

Tire Guidelines

Tires are also inspected when securing a license or during a motor vehicle stop. All tires must have tread measuring at lest 2/32 of an inch groove depth when inspected. Tires cannot be intended or marked for off road or farm use only.

Safety Laws

Tennessee law requires two safety chains be attached to the trailer hitch. Any modifications to the frame of the travel trailer frame most conform to standard use and safety requirements for highway transportation. The owner assumes all legal responsibility for alterations to the frame, if a certified dealer or mechanic does not complete the work. The body mount must be in good working order, without deteriorated rivets or bolts.

Reflectors and Lights

Reflectors and lights are inspected when applying for a vehicle permit, and during traffic stops. At least two taillights must be present on the rear of the vehicle, be red in color and appropriately visible. Two break lights are also required to be located on the rear of the vehicles, be visible and red in color. Six reflectors are required on any size travel trailer. All reflectors must be visible and yellow on the front, and red on the rear. Travel trailers larger than 32 feet long must also have reflectors on the side panels. Maximum trailer length is 48 feet long.

About the Author

Tara Dodrill began writing professionally in 1990. She is a travel writer and photographer working for print and online media, primarily covering Florida, ecotourism and off-the-beaten-path destinations. Her writing credits include RUMBUM, Yahoo News, Visit South magazine,and North Carolina Coastal Guide. She studied journalism and education at Ohio University and real estate at Hondros College.

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