From vehicle compatibility to build quality, choosing a trailer isn’t always as straightforward as we’d like. You’ve likely realized there are a ton of things to consider. Let’s go over what you need to know when buying a new trailer so you aren’t stuck with buyer’s remorse.

Things to Know Before Purchasing a New Trailer

If you’re in the market for purchasing a trailer, we’ll assume you’ve narrowed it down to one of the many types of trailers such as a boat, camper, flatbed, or other recreational trailer. This is typically the easy part dictated by your needs and lifestyle. In rare cases, you might be looking for a versatile trailer that can tackle multiple tasks and adventures. The next logical question buyers face is whether to buy new or used. Budget reigns supreme when it comes to this decision, and many choose to search for a used trailer to save some coin. Fortunately, everything we’ll cover is critical to know whether you’re looking for a brand new trailer at dealers or you’re scouring used trailers for sale online.

Vehicle Requirements

Before diving into the details of the trailer itself, it’s just as important to understand the towing vehicle you’ll be using. Specifically, you want to know the towing capacity and the gross vehicle weight rating. Likewise, you’ll need to have an idea of the approximate weight of the new trailer to ensure it’s less than the weakest component of your towing system. If you’ll be adding heavy cargo to the trailer, don’t forget to add that since a loaded trailer often weighs significantly more, depending on what’s being towed.

It’s also key to know the towing accessories your vehicle has, such as rear cameras, wiring harness, trailer brake controller, and tow mode. Most trucks made today have those features so you’re ready to tow a trailer; however, cars and SUVs often require adding aftermarket accessories. Of course, always test accessories before towing to ensure they work properly.

Build Quality

For the trailer itself, it’s important to invest time into understanding what makes a solid trailer, which varies based on the type of trailer. For example, you’ll have more build details to examine with a travel trailer instead of a basic steel or aluminum boat trailer.

You’ll have to investigate the finer points of build quality – this provides peace of mind knowing you purchased a trailer to endure the elements and serve you well in the long run. It also might mean paying more for a welded aluminum trailer instead of a cheaper steel trailer that’s bolted together. As you continue to shop around, never be afraid to ask questions about what factors contribute to some of the price differences you’ll see. A trusted friend or family member is often a great source of information. There’s also a ton of information available online, but be careful who you listen to.

Storage & Maintenance

A trailer is often a significant upfront investment, but don’t overlook maintenance costs once ownership starts. Always have a plan regarding where you can store the trailer, and expect to spend time with inspection and maintenance as needed. Again, the more you pay upfront typically results in less maintenance costs on the back end. However, proper storage can reduce a lot of those concerns for the savvy trailer owner.

One common mistake made by new trailer owners is that they tend to underestimate storage requirements. Even if the trailer fits into a garage, they often become a burden on family members and everyday tasks. What was once a convenient storage area along the side wall or in the corner becomes inaccessible thanks to the hefty new trailer. Worse yet, you plan on keeping it outside only to find out there isn’t space for vehicles, or it’s not allowed by an HOA or city ordinance.

Research and planning is the first step in avoiding those headaches. Perhaps paying for storage is the best solution, which could include RV lots, indoor storage with climate control, or marinas for boats. However, you can also make life easier with the right tools whether at home or in a storage location.

The Trailer Valet movers and dollies are ideal for moving heavy trailers with precision in tight quarters. Our drill-powered trailer dollies offer a simple, affordable way to move and position your trailer exactly where you want without frustration. Plus, there’s a good chance you already have a suitable drill at home.

The RVR series uses a remote control so you can move your trailer from up to 40 feet away without breaking a sweat. Both the drill-powered dollies and RVR series can move trailers up to 12,000 lbs. – no more squeezing into tight quarters or having to convince friends and family to help. These are both game-changers whether you store your trailer at home or pay for storage.

Don’t forget the weather either. If you live in a humid environment with hot summers and cold, wet winters, the lifespan of your trailer is significantly reduced without the right storage. Additionally, trailer wiring and lights are notorious for needing repair, especially after consistent exposure to rough weather. You’ll want basic knowledge about how to troubleshoot and fix these issues or set aside extra money to have a professional take care of it.

While we’re on the topic of repairs, the best medicine for handling all maintenance issues is information. All the tools and replacement parts are useless in the wrong hands. Consistently seeking a better understanding of your trailer and how it functions is one of the wisest choices you can make.

Without a doubt, the right trailer can be the piece of equipment that makes life easier and transforms adventures from good to great. Finding the right trailer can be intimidating, but starting with these factors in mind eases the process.