6 Questions To Ask Before Buying An Enclosed Trailer

February 28, 2022 by

6 Questions To Ask Before Buying An Enclosed Trailer

At a first glance, purchasing enclosed utility trailers seems easy enough. You pick the size you need, choose from the available colours and then you’re on your way. This sounds great on paper, but when you arrive at the dealership, you’ll find that you have a lot more options than you think. Familiarizing yourself with these six questions can reduce decision fatigue, so you can easily and quickly pick the right choice for you.

1. Steel or Aluminum

More often than not, you will pay less for a steel trailer than an aluminum one. However, while aluminum costs more upfront, the lighter weight means it costs you less at the gas pump and on wear-and-tear for your vehicle. Aluminum trailers also tend not to rust, while steel trailers do. However, with the right coating, steel trailers can last for as long as aluminum trailers. It’s worth noting that a lot of modern manufacturers have moved toward using aluminum.

2. Does Thickness of the Outer Skin Matter?

The first factor to consider when looking at the thickness of the outer skin is cost. If you need to spend as little as possible on your trailer and only need it for light or casual use, thin skin works fine. The colour also makes a difference. Darker trailers look sleek, but they attract more heat and begin to warm. An outer skin helps to maintain the original form. Skin thickness of .030/.040 or .050 means better durability.

3. What About the Height?

When it comes to trailer height, owners have two main questions in mind. Will it fit in the garage and can they stand inside? In some cases, one negates the other. A standing-height trailer is unlikely to fit inside a standard garage. Lower heights also minimize wind resistance, which can improve fuel efficiency and towing stability. Ideally, you should match the height of the trailer with the height of your intended tow vehicle. Thankfully you can customize to whatever height you want or need. 

4. Flat or Rounded Roof?

If you plan to use your trailer in the winter, the rounded roof is better for shedding snow. The slope also provides some additional headroom. If you have a flat roof, you may need to manually remove the snow when snowfall is heavy to prevent roof damage. Some owners also claim the less boxy shape of a rounded roof helps to minimize drag, but the effect is likely minimal compared to the effects of choosing a trailer with a lower height.

5. Ramp or Barn Door

Ramp doors are excellent if you need to wheel anything into the cargo trailer. This could range from lawnmowers to ATVs and also work great for loading skids and pallets. If you use your trailer in tight spots and don’t need to wheel anything into the space, ramp doors could be more trouble than they’re worth. They do require an extra six feet or so to open whereas barn doors take up very little space.

6. Do You Need To Upgrade Your Vehicle Registration?

The only way to determine whether you need to upgrade your vehicle registration is to check with local laws. Keep the following in mind:

  • Ontario law treats trailers as separate vehicles, so they must be registered before you can tow them.
  • When you register your trailer, you receive a license plate for it and a permit that you should carry with you when towing.
  • You may need to upgrade your license if you tow a trailer more than 4,600 kg.
  • You may need to upgrade your insurance to cover the trailer.

Once you have all the answers to the questions you need, you can visit your local McFarlane Trailer Sales with peace of mind. Our experienced sales team will point you to the trailer that best suits your needs. Check out our current inventory online.