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Enclosed cargo trailers come in many different sizes and configurations. To be sure that you get the best trailer for your needs you should carefully consider how you are going to use your trailer. It’s best not only to consider how you will be using the trailer currently but how your needs might change over time. If there is a possibility that you might need to haul heavier loads in the future, it’ll probably make more sense to get a trailer that might be a bit more than you need currently.
One of the first things you’ll want to think about is how large of a trailer you need. The most popular trailer widths are 5’, 6’, 7’ and 8.5’. Lengths typically range from 8’ to 32’ and longer. Smaller trailers (5’ in width or less) are typically 5’ in height while wider trailers are typically 6’ in height. When ordering a custom-built trailer you can add additional height in 6” increments easily for a small additional construction fee. If you are purchasing a V-nosed trailer you should keep in mind that a small part of the trailer’s storage area is lost due to the space taken by the V.
Auto carriers, also known as car haulers are typically 6’6” in height and have additional features beneficial to hauling cars that standard trailers typically won’t have.
The shape of the front of your trailer can make a big difference. The best trailer shape for you depends largely on how you are going to use your trailer.
If your trailer will mostly be stationary and seldom moved then gas mileage is not a big concern, so you’ll likely be best off with a flat nose trailer. If like most people you plan on moving your trailer regularly then a bullet nose (rounded) or a V-nose (pointed) will likely be a better choice because you’ll get much better gas mileage than with a flat nose trailer.
Most of our customers purchase a bullet nose trailer because it gets the best gas mileage of the three choices (yes, even better than the V-nose because it’s more aerodynamic) and it has a bit more room than a V-nose trailer.
Of course, what’s the best trailer shape for you may come down to personal preference. If you just like the way a V-nose trailer looks then there is nothing wrong with getting a V-nose trailer.
Bullet Nose V-Nose
How Many Axles?
The next thing to consider is how many axles you should have. We have a detailed article on how to choose between a single axle trailer and a tandem axle trailer here. The main factors in determining whether you need a single axle trailer or a tandem axle trailer include your budget, how much weight you are hauling and what kinds of roads you will be hauling on.
Tandem axle trailers cost more than single axle trailers but they can haul heavier loads, are safer and more stable at high speeds. If you are hauling heavy loads on rough roads a tandem axle may be a better choice as if you have a blowout there will still be three good tires on the road. For more details about choosing between a single axle trailer and a tandem axle trailer we recommend that you read our article on the subject.
What Type of Axle?
The next thing you will want to consider is what type of axle you will want. There are two main axle designs, leaf spring and torsion axles. We have a detailed article about the differences between leaf spring and torsion axles here. Leaf spring axles are less expensive than torsion axles and are also more common. Torsion axles are lower maintenance and will typically provide a better ride as the axle rides on rubber rather than on steel springs as leaf spring axles do. For more information about the differences between leaf spring axles and torsion axles please check out our article on the subject.
Another thing to consider is the weight of the axles of your enclosed cargo trailer. The most common axle weights are 3500#, 5200# and 7000#. Of course, the heavier the axle the more expensive it will be and the more weight it can haul. A tandem axle trailer will typically have around three times as much hauling capacity as single axle trailer. As always, it is best to have more hauling capacity than needed and you should carefully consider your future needs when selecting your axle’s weight.
Torsion Axle Leaf Spring Axle
While you might think that you want to get the best brand of trailer, it’s much more important to focus on what materials your trailer is built out of. In many cases, a brand name trailer will be more expensive than a similarly built trailer from another manufacturer. A trailer is essentially nothing but a box on wheels, so the frame will be the most important part of your trailer. To get the strongest trailer possible, you should specify that your trailer be built with tubular steel. Many manufacturers, even well-known brand names, use I-beams in their frames instead of tubular steel.
Your trailer’s frame is probably its most important component. We recommend all tubular steel frames for their strength and durability. Many less expensive trailers will use I-Beams and Z Bar for the frame components to save money. Neither I-Beams or Z Bars are close to the strength of tubular steel. You should insist on an all tubular steel frame for your next trailer.
While white and black are the most common trailer colors, when ordering a custom made trailer you can have your trailer made into any number of different colors for a small additional construction fee. Unless you have a good reason to choose a color, we recommend that you make your next trailer a white trailer as white trailers are the most popular and have the best resale value.
Your Trailer as a Marketing Tool
Your trailer can also serve as a marketing tool. Today there are many companies that specialize in vinyl wrapping. Using this technique, you can add your company’s logo, colors, and marketing message to your trailer at a reasonable cost. Your trailer can become a very effective marketing tool for your business.
If you do plan on adding graphics to or wrapping your trailer, we recommend that you get your trailer built with a screwless exterior as your trailer will look better and won’t have screws to mar your trailer exterior.
Customizing Your Trailer
How you will want to customize your trailer will depend on how you use it. Trailers can be outfitted with custom floors, walls, and ceilings. You can add electrical outlets, lighting and even an air conditioner and use your trailer as an office. You can use your trailer to haul car, motorcycles or any other kind of toy and have your trailer equipped to do so.
You can also configure your trailer as a concession trailer and use it to sell food and other items. Concession trailers are becoming more and more popular and can provide the opportunity to start a profitable business with a low initial investment. Whether you use your trailer to haul cargo, cars or motorcycles, as an office or as a concession trailer, there is almost no limit to the number of ways you can have your trailer customized.
Price and Quality
A final consideration is price and quality. All trailers are not made to the same level of quality and prices for the same type of trailer can vary widely. The internet makes it easy for you to learn about a dealer’s trailers. You should pay close attention to the price of the trailer, its construction details, and the manufacturer’s warranty. A good dealer should be able to assist you in getting the best trailer for your needs.
A trailer is a long-term purchase. It is better to pay a bit more for quality than it is to get the cheapest trailer available. Our final advice is to do your homework and to ask a lot of questions before purchasing your next trailer.
If you are looking for a great trailer at a low price, click on the type of trailer you are looking for on the bottom of the page. Visit our Enclosed Trailer Shop to see our top quality trailers.
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