Buying a trailer for summer fun is exciting and all, but it’s a big decision. You need to figure out the kind of trailer you need for your gear while also fitting into your budget. We get lots of questions about trailers and we know what you need to know before you buy.
What will you use a utility trailer for?
Who hasn’t daydreamed about bringing their jet ski or UTV out for a trip by the lake? Trailers can be used for all kinds of purposes, for fun and for work. From bringing powersports gear to your cabin to carrying your buddy’s couch across town, having a utility trailer can make your life much easier. Make sure you know what you need out of a trailer for moving dirt, mulch, rocks and all your gear, big or small, before you start shopping.
What type of trailer suits you?
Once you know what you’ll use your trailer for, it’s time to see what kind of features you’ll need for a trailer. Do you need an open or enclosed trailer? If you expect to carry heavy equipment, you may want a trailer with a wood floor, since it’s sturdy and inflexible. Mesh floors are cheaper and lighter, which can make them a good option for trucks with lighter weight capacities.
Another feature to consider is the height of the sides of your trailer. If you need to carry big, heavy equipment, you probably won’t need a high side height. If you have to carry lots of bags of mulch, sand, and other loose cargo, you may want to invest in a trailer with taller sides to protect your haul.
What size do you need?
There are three major sizes of trailers that you should know about. If you don’t need the biggest trailer, the 4”x8” trailer size will give you plenty of space to carry cargo without breaking the bank. These trailers can typically pull between one and two thousand pounds for most everyday towing.
The 5”x10” is a great size for jobs large and small. You can fit mowers and other heavy equipment and tow them too. Many trailers in this size cost around $1,300 to $2,000 so they will fit many shoppers’ budgets.
If you don’t want to worry about size or weight capacity, the 6”x12” utility trailers are the answer. You may not need a big trailer like this for every occasion, but it’s still nice to only make one trip. The tradeoff is that it costs more than other trailers, so you have to decide whether it’s the best investment.
How much weight do you need?
Trailers can vary in weight capacity. The lightest weight utility trailers can carry is about 1,000 pounds while other standard single axle trailers allow for a maximum weight capacity of 3,000 pounds.
If you need to carry heavy equipment around like lawn mowers, most trailers will be able to carry what you need, but if you need multiple zero-turn mowers and other gear, you’ll need a larger trailer, typically 6″x12″, that can carry over 2,000 pounds. Make sure you know your trailer’s weight capacity before loading up.
What is the tow rating on your vehicle and what class hitch do you have?
Next, you should know your vehicle’s limitations. Find out what the tow rating on your vehicle and class hitch you have also. This will help narrow your choices for trailers that will fit your truck’s towing capacity, and your truck will thank you for not overworking the engine.
Do you have the right size trailer ball?
Make sure you know you have the right size trailer ball on your truck. Most trailers and trucks come set at 2 inches. Other options include 1-⅞” or 2-5/16”. When you load your trailer, check the height of your trailer ball is at the right angle as well. If the trailer is angled too high or low, the cargo can shift and make for a less secure haul.