Buying a Used Trailer? Ask These 6 Important Questions First

Buying a used trailer

Sometimes you have to do specialized hauling, in which case custom made enclosed trailers may be the right choice. However, even if you require a trailer that is custom made, it does not necessarily have to be a new trailer. You may be able to save money by purchasing a used trailer that has already been customized to specifications similar to yours.

While you can get a good bargain this way, shop carefully and do your homework first. If the trailer ends up to be poorly suited to the task, or in poor repair, it could end up costing you more money in the long run.

When purchasing a used trailer, you have the choice of buying online or purchasing from a dealer. The latter choice may be preferable as you may have the opportunity to inspect the trailer in person and determine if it is a good buy. In either case, however you choose to purchase, you should ask the following questions of yourself and/or the seller beforehand.

What Is the Trailer’s Purpose?

There are many types of trailers available, including utility, flatbed, open, and enclosed. The type of trailer you need depends on the type of hauling you intend to do. In other words, you need a trailer that is well suited to its purpose. Once you have determined what purpose the trailer will serve, it will help you narrow down your search options. This is important in the interest of saving time because there are many used trailers available for sale.

How Much Weight Will You Be Towing?

Before purchasing a trailer, you must ensure that it can handle the payload that you intend to haul. Otherwise, this could pose a serious traffic hazard. It can also strain the vehicle unnecessarily that you use for towing. It is better to purchase a trailer with slightly more towing capacity than you will need. This way, you can avoid damaging the axles by overloading them.

How Will You Connect the Trailer to Your Truck?

The answer to the previous question can come to bear on this one. For a load between 2,000 and 10,000 pounds, you may be able to attach the trailer via a hitch at the vehicle’s bumper. However, heavier loads may require a fifth wheel or a gooseneck trailer hitch that attaches in the pickup bed.

If you already have either type of hitch installed in your truck, you may narrow down your search by looking for trailers that match. However, if necessary, it is possible to convert a gooseneck hitch to a fifth wheel and vice versa.

Is the Trailer in Good Condition?

If possible, you should perform a thorough inspection of the vehicle before purchasing and check the following components:

  • Brakes
  • Bearings
  • Floor
  • Hitch
  • Suspension
  • Tires

If you cannot perform the inspection yourself, you should at least ask the seller for a history of the trailer’s maintenance and obtain pictures if possible to conduct a virtual inspection. Be on the lookout for sellers who may be looking to pass off a problem vehicle onto someone else.

Does It Have the Proper Weight Stickers and Serial Numbers?

The trailer should have proper weight stickers and manufacturing serial numbers intact. If not, it is possible that the vehicle may be stolen. If so, steer clear; buying a stolen trailer can get you in trouble with the law.

Is the Title Clear?

You should be able to track the ownership history with the cooperation of the seller. For the purchase to be valid, the title must be clear. Be proactive in making this determination, or it could cause you trouble in the long run.

Where Can You Find Custom Made Enclosed Trailers and More?

McFarlane Trailer Sales & Service offers new and used trailers of all types for sale. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding a purchase.