Finding the Right Snowmobile Trailer

Enclosed Trailers

Winter is coming fast and for the avid snowmobiler, this means loads of thrills and spills. It is time to get out there and have some fun. But backyard snowmobiling isn’t an option for most enthusiasts. Unless you live on a mountain slope, or out in the deep woods, getting to the best spots can be challenging and travelling for hours in pursuit of snow has become common practice.

A snowmobile is an expensive piece of equipment and you want a trailer that can transport it safely and securely. There are almost as many different trailers on the market as there are brands of snowmobiles. This can make choosing the right one difficult, and there are a number of factors you need to consider before buying your snowmobile enclosed trailer.

Open Flatbed vs. Enclosed Trailers

Let’s get the first big decision out of the way. Open flatbed or enclosed snowmobile trailer? If you want your snowmobile to arrive at your destination clean and dry then it is best to tuck it away safely in an enclosed trailer while you’re on the road. Transporting your snowmobile on an open flatbed, even if it is covered by a tarp, exposes it to salt and gravel that coats the road and is kicked up by the tow vehicle.

Don’t just think of your enclosed trailer as a means of transport, think of it more as a garage. It is a safe, secure, weatherproof place to store your snowmobile year round. You can also store other gear, like helmets and tools, safely while you’re on the road. You can even install some unique features, like a small drop down bench inside your trailer, giving you a warm place to sit or change out of your wet gear. Once you’ve had an enclosed trailer, you’re not likely to go back to the open option.

Steel vs. Aluminum

There are two main choices when it comes to decking for your enclosed trailer, aluminum or steel. For snowmobiles, aluminum is often the preferred choice. Not only is it lighter, and therefore places less stress on your truck, it will also last longer and does not suffer as badly from weather or road chip damage. Aluminum is also naturally rust and corrosion resistant, a significant factor when you consider it will be exposed to water and road salt tracked in by your snowmobile.

Ramp Choices

There are a number of loading options for trailers. There are rear tilt trailers, where the rear of the trailer tilts down and you simply drive right on. This is convenient but it can be a hassle if you store or transport other things alongside your snowmobile as they will come sliding out when the trailer tilts. The second option is removable ramps that you store inside or underneath the trailer. These work well but it is essential to lock them in place before loading or unloading your snowmobile. Probably the most convenient option is the drop down ramp. In this case, the back door of the trailer, which is hinged at the bottom, drops down and you just drive right in.

Know Your Specs

When you buy a trailer, you need to know that it can do the job. What you tow, and what you tow with, are an integral part of your snowmobiling experience. You need to familiarize yourself with terms such as axle rating, carrying capacity, and maximum trailer weight. You also need to be familiar with the Gross Axle Weight Rating, Gross Combination Weight Rating and Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of your truck or tow vehicle.

Trailer Classifications

Trailers are basically classified according to size, deck height and width.

  • Size – Snowmobile trailers various shapes and sizes. You need to decide if you want a 2 place, 3 places or 4 place trailer – the number indicates how many snowmobiles you can transport.
  • Deck height – There are three different deck heights:
    • Lowboy – as low to the ground as possible  
    • Mid-deck – raised for some ground clearance
    • Highboy – the deck is above the wheels
  • Width – Most standard enclosed trailers are either 7 or 8 feet wide

Choosing the right snowmobile trailer can be a daunting task, but with a bit of research and assistance from McFarlane Trailers, you will be able to make the right choice.