Selecting Your First Utility Trailer

You finally made the decision – you need a trailer. What you may not realize is that your decisions have only just begun. With all of the trailers to consider, how will you decide on which one will best suit your particular situation? And once you decide, think about buying used versus new.

The following guide will help you to navigate the many trailer choice possibilities.

What Are Your Needs? (And How to Meet Them)

How do you discover your needs when it comes to a trailer? The first question you must ask yourself is this: “How will it be used?”

The answer to this question should be more specific than simply “Hauling around supplies.” What kind of supplies are you going to be moving? Boards, rocks, leaves, furniture, nails, bricks? Consider all the possibilities and the needs of anyone who will be using the trailer in addition to you.

To figure out how your trailer will be used, think about the following queries:

  • How big does this trailer need to be – i.e., width (8 feet, 6 feet, 5 feet, 4 feet) and length (20 feet, 10 feet, 8 feet)?
  • Do you require a specific load capacity (i.e. 6000 pounds, 3500 pounds, 2000 pounds, 1000 pounds)?
  • How will you be unloading and loading, and will the height be a factor?
  • Does the trailer need ramps, a top, or sides?
  • Give some thought to the tailgate as well.

Let’s Talk About Towing

It’s time to think about how you were going to pull your trailer. Asking yourself these questions will assist in the decision-making process regarding trailer size:

  • Is fuel economy a factor?
  • In your area, are strong winds common?
  • How fast and how far do you expect your trailer to travel?
  • Is this trailer going to haul specific equipment or augment to your truck’s capacity?
  • What will be used to tow the trailer (an SUV, minivan, etc.)?
  • Is the trailer basically serving as a truck replacement or will it be towed by a truck (or vehicle bigger than a truck)?

More questions to consider with respect to towing, trailer size, ball and a hitch, etc. are as follows:

  • What will the trailer need in regard to brakes (if any): i.e., electric or hydraulic?
  • What is the hitch point height?
  • Considering your towing vehicle, can a hitch even be mounted onto it?
  • Also regarding the towing vehicle, what is its towing capacity?

How Is Size (Width, Length, and Height) a Factor?

If the load you will be carrying doesn’t require a specific trailer width, rule of thumb is to get a trailer that is the same width as the towing vehicle or just slightly wider. If wind drag reduction (therefore better fuel economy), maneuvering, and visibility are a concern – but you still want lots of room on your trailer – rather than going lighter, consider going longer.

Regarding wind drag, remember that, compared to your tow vehicle, trailers are usually taller. This will be a consideration when crossing gusty or heavy highway winds. It will also be a determining factor when it comes to fuel economy.

At Mickey Genuine Parts, we have an array of new and used trailers available for purchase. We stand behind each and every one of our products and have certified service centers located throughout the United States, should the need ever arise. To discuss your Mickey trailer options, contact us and speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives.

Let’s keep truckin'.

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