Trailers come in many different types and sizes. How can you pick one that’s best for you? First off, think about your needs. Are they a lot or a little? Are you looking for an open trailer or an enclosed trailer?
If it’s important to have extra space for your items, go for an open trailer. Sizes can range from 4 feet x 6 feet to 6 feet x 12 feet, or up to as long as 30 feet. Steel rails surrounding the edge can even range from 9 inches to 24 inches. This works to keep your equipment in position during traveling.
On the other hand, enclosed trailers allow you to lock up your equipment. This is a good option if you want more storage. Another benefit of using an enclosed trailer is that you know the trailer has your equipment during a load shift. Just like open units, enclosed trailers can come in widely varying sizes. Some are 4 feet by 6 feet with a single axle, going up to 8 feet by 25 feet with two axles.
Another thing you should consider is the type of hitch you’ll need. The most common are a ball hitch attached to the frame.
Inspecting Trailer Tires
The tires of a trailer are, of course, important too. In most cases, they are either 6, 8 or 10 ply. Needless to say, each of your trailer’s tires should have enough air pressure and must be able to carry the load you need it to.
Trailer Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
Get a calculator and compute the trailer’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). This is nothing more than the weight of the trailer added to its payload capacity. It’s best to choose a trailer with a GVWR that is higher than what you intend to carry.
Maximum Towing Weight
To know the trailer’s maximum towing weight, look in the owner’s manual or contact your dealer.
Loading and Unloading
Some small trailers have ramp gates that are lowered by hand, while others have side ramp gates that flip up or fold.
Licensing and Registration
It’s a must that you comply with state regulations on the licensing and registration of your vehicle. Upon buying your trailer you will get a manufacturer certificate of origin (MCO), which you need to take, together with your bill of sale, to your local license bureau before you can receive your title. Keep in mind though that laws can vary from state to state.
If you’re buying a pre-owned trailer, you should receive your bill of sale, as well as the statement of origin or title, which must now be in your name. Otherwise, you won’t be able to register the trailer, and you won’t be able to use it – at least legally.