RV life is getting more popular today as people find new and enjoyable ways to explore nature. However, a trailer is expensive, so you should consider various factors before purchasing. Read on for nine things to keep in mind when buying a trailer to make an informed decision.
1. The purpose
One of the most important things to consider before making a buying decision is how you intend to use the trailer. This helps you determine the right trailer size, towing capacity, width, and type to pick. If you plan to use the trailer for a specific purpose, you could consider narrowing your search to trailers tailored to that activity. However, consider the trailer’s weight and size if you intend to use it for multiple purposes. Be sure to consider the road you will be using, the distance, and the weight you plan to carry to ensure that you choose the right fit for your needs.
2. Ease of repair and maintenance
It is tempting to opt for modern trailers with advanced technology that improve the trucks’ aerodynamics and enhance general output. However, like other automobiles, trailers are vulnerable to mechanical issues, and it can be challenging to find qualified professionals to repair modern trailers.
For this reason, before purchasing, conduct in-depth research within your operational location to establish whether or not there are enough skilled and experienced mechanics. This prevents extended downtimes in case your trailer breaks down. Alternatively, consider purchasing from a local trailer sales corp. Most local dealers are equipped with experienced mechanics well-conversant with the recent trailer technology.
Whether you are going for a new or used trailer, it is critical to inspect the overall condition of the specific truck before purchasing it. Determine whether the wheels are rusty, the load fixing chains are on board, and have ratchet straps. You should also ensure the backlights are functioning correctly.
Be sure to also check the condition of the tires. Tires impact everything you do with your trailer, from how much you spend on fuel, weather inclement, and safety to the overall performance. You should determine whether the tires are replaced simultaneously and whether they are from the same brand. Choosing a trailer with quality tires boosts performance and productivity and reduces fuel costs.
Overloading is one of the most significant causes of trailer damage. If you decide to purchase a used trailer, be sure to inspect the spring axle for stress fractures and bump marks to determine whether or not the truck has been overloaded. You should also inquire whether the trailer has been involved in a traffic accident.
4. Tow vehicle
Unless you intend to purchase a new tow vehicle, you should select a trailer compatible with your current car. If you invest in a trailer not designed for your car, you could cause damage to your new trailer or the vehicle.
To pick the right trailer for your car, you should determine your vehicle’s tow bar type. This helps you choose a trailer coupling tailored to your vehicle. Next, consider the trailer’s load capacity to ensure that your car’s engine can support the extra weight. Picking a trailer heavier than your car’s loading capacity could strain the transmission and damage the vehicle, not to mention causing the car to fail while driving, resulting in severe injuries to you and others.
Trailers come in different styles and colors. You could choose a style or color based on your preference or match the towing car. However, ensure that you consider the trailer’s purpose and the environmental conditions it will be exposed to when choosing the appropriate style. For instance, if you plan to use the trailer for camping, you should invest in a mobile that can withstand extreme weather conditions. Opt for a trailer with water-resistant coating or a truck that can withstand heavy winds and rain if you intend to use the trailer to haul boats.
Like any other purchase, it is crucial to consider the trailer’s price before purchasing. However, avoid choosing the cheapest trailer option available. You may buy a low-quality trailer that requires frequent repairs and maintenance, resulting in spending more in the long run.
Instead, dedicate time to finding a quality trailer that will last for an extended period. While the initial price is likely at the high end of your budget, you will save more in the long run, thanks to little or no maintenance and fuel efficiency. You could even consider purchasing a second-hand trailer, which is often a more pocket-friendly option, but ensure you do your due diligence before buying. Inspect the used trailer for wear and tear and ask for a test drive to determine the mobile’s working condition.
7. Lease or buy?
A trailer is a huge investment, so you should make a well-considered decision before purchasing. Sometimes, renting a trailer makes more sense than buying a used or new one. To determine whether to buy or rent a trailer, consider:
- The purpose: If you intend to use the trailer for a single event like a camping trip or moving, leasing the trailer instead of buying it is the right option. This helps you save on initial purchasing costs. You also do not have to worry about storing and maintaining the trailer or selling it later.
- Affordability: Can you afford to finance a trailer purchase? If you do not have adequate funds, leasing a trailer may make more sense. When determining whether you can afford a trailer, do not solely consider the upfront cost. Factor in repair, maintenance, insurance, and operational costs.
Ensure the trailer has a clear title before buying to avoid any legal implications in the future. For a second-hand trailer, request your dealer to provide relevant information about the previous owners. You could also ask to see service documentation. Be sure to ascertain that the trailer’s registration is valid.
Before committing to buying a specific trailer, conduct in-depth research to find a reliable and trustworthy dealer. Read reviews online to determine a dealer’s reputation and the quality of their products. Alternatively, ask for recommendations from acquaintances, family, or friends who have bought trailers.
Buying a trailer is an excellent investment, but you must perform your due diligence to find a mobile tailored to your needs and avoid losses. Consider use, condition, style, tow vehicle, ease of repair and maintenance, and cost to buy a quality trailer. Be sure to also purchase from a reputable dealer to get a great deal.