How to buy a utility trailer
A utility trailer buying guide
Utility trailers are trailers that you see being pulled behind trucks and vans. They can be either covered or open, and there are many uses for them. When considering how to buy a utility trailer, you will want to consider several things.
>> What will it be used for?
The first step in determining which utility trailer is best for you is to know what you plan to use it for. There are different types of utility trailers, so you will want a small trailer if you are hauling small lawn mowers or simple equipment. However, you will need a larger utility trailer that can hold more weight if you are looking at using it for a riding lawn mower or a Bobcat. Knowing what you plan to use the trailer for will help you determine the utility trailer dimensions necessary.
>> What style is best for you?
The style describes the utility trailer design. You will want to look at the types of utility trailers and consider which is the best utility trailer for your needs. There are a few areas to consider.
Open or covered: First, when considering how to buy a utility trailer, you will want to consider whether you want one that is open or covered. Open utility trailers are often less expensive; however, the covered trailers will keep your load better protected from the elements. While open trailers are lighter than enclosed trailers, you have added security with the covered ones. Covered trailers also have a tendency to be more aerodynamic than the open trailers. There are benefits to both, and you can find all utility trailer sizes in both covered and open.
Axle type: The number of axles on your trailer will greatly affect the load capacity. Utility trailers that have a single axle will not be able to bear much weight. This is due to having only one axle to bear all of the weight. You will want to consider both trailer brakes and at least dual axles if your weight will be over one ton. Other types of utility trailers include three and four axles, but those are mainly used for heavy pieces of equipment or are very long.
Rear doors/gates: When considering how to buy a utility trailer, you will want to think of the back gate or rear door. With open trailers, these ramps will allow you to push or drive items up onto the trailer. Most closed trailers will use rear doors. There are double and single door types. If you need to drive an item into your enclosed trailer, you will want a ramp-style rear door.
Trailer brakes: If you are hauling more than one ton on your utility trailer, you will want brakes. There are several types of brakes to consider. Electric brakes are the most common, but hydraulic brakes are used as well. The hydraulic style utility trailer braking systems are more expensive, but they have an easier breakaway function. With electric brakes, you can save money, but they will require battery packs to stop the trailer if it becomes disconnected from the towing vehicle.
Tire type: Just like vehicles, the type of tire used on your utility trailer will depend on what you are hauling. You will want your tires to be fully inflated and to have the ability to withstand the load you are hauling. You will want to refer to the owner's manual to determine what tires are acceptable on your trailer, and then look at what is needed for the load. Finally, when looking at how to buy a utility trailer and considering the tires, take into consideration what the weather will be like. You will want to make sure you have tires that can handle all of the various elements you will encounter.
>> What can your vehicle tow?
Another thing to consider when looking at how to buy a utility trailer is what your vehicle can handle. Different utility trailer dimensions and utility trailer sizes will tax your vehicle in various ways. The place to start is looking at the hitch you purchase and install on your vehicle. Your vehicle's manual and the hitch manual will tell you the total weight it can tow. You will also want to look at the clearance from the ground to the trailer after it has been loaded down.
>> Consider the accessories
When looking at the different types of utility trailers, you will also want to consider the various accessories, such as trailer lights, trailer connector and other automotive supplies. When hitching and towing anything to your vehicle, it is a good idea to look at the other auto exterior accessories, including blankets and quick locks. The condition your vehicle is in will help determine which type of utility trailer you require. Be sure that whatever accessories you want to use are compatible with the trailer you are looking at.