How Do You Know You’re Using the Right Size Trailer?

Whether you tow a trailer on a regular basis, or if you’re hauling a trailer with your vehicle for the first time, it’s important to be assured that you’re using the right size trailer. To make this determination, there are some basic factors to consider.

GVWR – Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

Understanding and knowing your GVWR is the first step. Whether you drive a CUV, SUV, pickup truck, or full-size car, there is a certain amount of weight that you can safely carry. This applies to passengers and cargo combined. The weight of the cargo, fluids, fuel, passengers, and the vehicle itself all combine to make up the total GVWR. No matter what you tow, your vehicle is engineered so that the GVWR always remains constant.

When you’re towing a trailer, figured into the GVWR is the tongue weight. This is something that people sometimes forget. When you are determining what kind of trailer hitch and trailer to get, the major determining factor will be your vehicle’s GVWR. And since you probably already own your vehicle, this is something that you should know and always keep in mind.

Trailer Size and Type

Depending on what you’re carrying on the trailer, the size and type of trailer you use may seem obvious. But this is not necessarily so. Trailers can be sorted into several classifications. Most commonly used are the open/utility trailer and the enclosed/cargo trailer. Both of these trailers come in a vast array of sizes. Your number one consideration, obviously, would be the weight and dimensions of the heaviest, biggest cargo that you will be hauling.

By taking a look at all available utility and cargo trailers, and the various sizes in which they are available, you will better be able to make an informed decision. Some trailers are more popular than others, regardless of the size of the cargo – people just seem to use them most frequently. For cargo trailers, the top three sellers (according to size) are as follows:

  • 6 x 10
  • 6 x 12
  • 7 x 16

When it comes to the popularity of utility trailers, the most popular sizes are the following:

  • 6 x 12
  • 5 x 10
  • 5 x 8

Payload Capacity

Every trailer has a maximum weight allowable (or a GVWR), just like your vehicle. If you still have the owner’s manual for your trailer, you will likely find the maximum weight that your trailer can carry contained within the manual.

It is important to note here that not only do trailers have a maximum weight capacity, but axles have a weight rating as well.

How does one calculate the payload capacity? Take the weight of your trailer when it is empty and subtract it from the GVWR.

Vehicle weight ratings and hitch weight ratings also play into the determination as to whether or not a load is too heavy for a trailer. As you can see, it’s not as simple as just grabbing a trailer that looks good, hitching it up, loading it up, and away you go.

At Mickey Genuine Parts, we have a multitude of trailers – both new and used. If you’re not sure what kind of trail you need, call one of our knowledgeable representatives and ask for assistance. At Mickey Genuine Parts, we stand behind our service and our products. Contact us today for a trailer, parts, accessories, and more.

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