Are you planning to buy another trailer but can’t decide which one to choose? This comprehensive guide is written just for you. We will give you a run through of the important factors to consider when buying a trailer so that you can confidently compare your options and make an intelligent decision.
Questions to Ask
- What kinds of loads will you use it for?
- How heavy are the usual loads you carry?
- How much is your budget?
A wide range of models are available in the market and they are designed for a variety of purposes. Load capacity also differs and if you intend to haul heavy equipment, a high GVWR trailer would be a good choice. Most importantly, you need to determine your price range to help narrow down your available options.
Factors to Consider
- Open or enclosed
Open trailers are great if you need extra space for your loads. Some open trailers have a steel rail to keep the loads in place. Enclosed trailers, on the other hand, allow you to lock up your load and protect it against the elements. Open and enclosed trailers are available in different sizes and lengths and your choice will depend on the type of loads you frequently carry.
The type of frame makes a big difference in the integrity of the trailer. The most common types of frames are angle iron, channel iron and box tubing.
Box tubing offers many advantages as it can resist twisting and flexing better that the other two types of frames. You would want to avoid a trailer with an angle iron frame as it twists and flexes more. Repeated twisting and flexing cause fatigue on the welded parts, thereby cracking them overtime. Trailers with box tubing or a combination of box tube and channel frame typically cost more than those made of other types of frames but the benefits outweigh the cost difference.
Dexter axles are popular for their durability. Check if the axle is attached to the suspension system and not merely welded to the frame. The spindles should also have grease fitting for easy bearing lubrication.
Check if the fenders are securely attached or welded, otherwise, they will give in sooner or later.
- Tongue Length
Tongue length plays a vital role in the stability of the trailer. The longer the tongue, the easier it will be to steer the trailer. Shorter tongues put about 15% of the trailer weight on the ball and into the car the tows the trailer. A longer tongue puts less weight on the car while also allowing for easier maneuvering.
It is also important to check the coupler of the trailer you are buying. The coupler is what attaches the trailer to the vehicle. It is typically welded on ss that you can easily replace it in case of damage or after it has worn out. The coupler should be able to securely attach without sloppiness.
Grommet protects the wires from chafing on metal to avoid short circuit. Check if the trailer you are buying has this feature.
For maximum illumination, choose a trailer with LED taillights. Compared to incandescent lights, LED lights are also maintenance free and generally lasts longer.
- Wheels and tires
Eliminate trailers with 14.5″ wheels from your options as it is a sure sign of a mobile home axle which is of inferior quality. Tires with higher ply rating (6-ply is a good choice) are a plus as they have thicker sidewall and better capacity.
A trailer has many welded components. If the welds look ugly, it is more likely that it is poorly welded and the strength is compromised. A good weld looks consisted and properly blended.
Go for a trailer with a powder coat finish as it resists the elements better than regular paint. It also lasts longer and requires less maintenance.
The warranty shows that the manufacturer stands behind their trailer. The longer the warranty you can get, the more peace of mind you’ll have.
Some trailers are only available through dealership while others allow you to purchase a unit directly from the manufacturer, helping you save a significant amount of money. If you can find a trailer with a manufacturing outlet near your location, that is a plus.
Buying a trailer involves a significant amount of your investment so it is just right that you carefully choose your options. With the factors we have listed above, making the right choice should be easier now.
If we missed on an important factor that you feel is important as well, don’t hesitate to let us know through the comment below.