How to Buy a Trailer
There are so many options of trailers around. How can you pick one that’s best for you? First and foremost, what are your needs? Do you have many or few? Do you need an enclosed trailer or an open trailer?
If you need additional space for your items, open trailers are great. Sizes can range from 4 feet x 6 feet to 6 feet x 12 feet, or up to as long as 30 feet. There are even 9-inch to 24-inch steel rails that surround the edge. This works to keep your equipment in position during traveling.
On the other hand, enclosed trailers allow you to lock up your equipment. If you want additional storage, this is a good option. Yet another advantage of an enclosed trailer is the assurance that the trailer has your equipment during load shifts. Additionally, the size of an enclosed trailer can vary widely, just like open-style units. They start at 4 feet by 6 feet with a single axle, and move up to 8 feet by 26 feet with dual axles.
The type of hitch you’ll need with your trailer is another point to look into. Many trailers you’ll find use a ball hitch that is 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
There are small trailers with ramp gates that can be lowered by hand, and there are those that have folding or flip-up ramp gates on the side.
Registration and Licensing
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. Take note, however, that laws may differ 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.