TIPS ON PURCHSING A TRAILER

So you want to buy an Enclosed Trailer?

   

So you want to buy an Enclosed Trailer?

Things to consider

   

Size: This is where most people start. What width and length do you need to fit your cargo? Do you have any height requirements for the inside of the trailer? Additionally, do you have any requirements for the rear door size to fit your cargo in? 

Trailer Body Style:  The first thing to consider is if you want steel or aluminum. 

  

Steel   Advantages:
  - Most Common
  - Less expensive
  - Stronger


Aluminum   Advantages:
  - Aluminum does not rust
  - No electrolysis
  - Slightly lighter weight

 

Steel   Disadvantages:
  - Heavier than Aluminum
  - Can have electrolysis when the barrier between steel and aluminum   deteriorates.
  - Steel Rusts


Aluminum   Disadvantages:
  - Aluminum is weakest at the welds
  - More expensive
  - Only slightly lighter than steel due to using more material 

 Trailer Body Style (continued):

Next, is determining if you want a cargo trailer or some type of specialty trailer (i.e. Snowmobile, Motorcycle trailer, Concession trailer). 

The two major top styles are Flat Top or Round Top. Round tops include a fiberglass cap in the front but provide better run off for snow or rain. Flat tops have lower clearance(2’’ or so), a sharper V-front and don’t have any fiberglass parts. Almost every Stealth trailer can be converted from its standard top to the other at a charge if the customer wishes. 

Weight: A trailer’s max towing capacity is the GVWR minus the trailer’s empty/curb weight. Once you are sure you have chosen the right axle rating another factor to consider is the floor cross-member spacing. You can either get 12’’, 16’’, or 24’’ on center cross-member spacing.  12’’ is recommended for heavy loading, 16’’ is standard for regular use and 24’’ is to be used for light duty. 

Coupler and Jack: With a few exceptions, single axles use a 2’’ ball and tandem axles use a 2 5/16’’ ball. We can order trailers with a gooseneck, but it is important for us to know if you will be pulling it with a short or long bed truck as this will affect the length of the gooseneck. 

The standard jacks have a 2k lift and 3k static limit. This will work for either light or regular duty use. However if you intend to put a lot of weight in the front of the trailer you may want to upgrade the jack to ensure it continues to work as you want it to. If you upgrade the jack, you can get a drop leg jack which is handy if you intend on hooking up the trailer frequently. This will reduce how much you have to crank the jack each time. 

Electrical Connection and Brakes: Most commonly trailer brakes are electric. If a trailer does not have brakes, it will have a 4-way connector. If a trailer has brakes it will have a 7-way connector. We sell adapters if your vehicle does not have the correct set up. It is worth mentioning that if you buy a trailer with brakes, you will need a brake controller in your vehicle to supply power to the trailer brakes. We carry and can install brake controllers at Zephyr. 

Accessibility: This pertains to the door options of a trailer. The most common rear door styles are double door or ramp door. Most trailers come standard with the double doors. Curbside doors are standard on most trailers (except 5’ wides). You can upgrade your curbside door to be larger, or add additional doors if you wish. There are many door options, but these are the most common. 

Axles and Suspension: For most trailers, the standard is spring. Torsion axles are also offered, however they are an upgrade and will add to the price. 

  

Spring   Advantages

- Suspension   is external, easier to replace

- Less   expensive


Torsion   Advantages

- Rides   Smoother Empty

- Believed   to be tougher

 

Spring Disadvantages

-Suspension   can be rigid when trailer is empty
  - Trailer stands a bit taller due to suspension (several inches)


Torsion Disadvantages

- More   Expensive

- If there   is a suspension problem, whole axle needs to be replaced.

   

 Tire and Wheels: Your tire and wheel size will depend on the axle rating. Steel trailers come standard with steel rims but you can upgrade to aluminum if you wish. Not all aluminum trailers come with aluminum wheels, so it’s worth your while to check the build sheets to see what type of rim your trailer will come with. We carry aluminum rims on hand, however it is less expensive to order a trailer with them from the get go. 

Flooring: The flooring on most trailers is ¾’’ think Advantech Rainblock. This has become a standard in the industry and it is a composite material of wood pieces and glue polymers. It stands up better than plywood against water, salt and gasoline/oil. We can paint the floors, cover it with Scorpion liner (similar to Rhino Lining), or put vinyl flooring on top of it if you wish. 

Walls Posts: If you intend to hang a lot of weight on the wall, it is recommended that you go with a trailer that has tubular steel posts. Some of the trailers have Steel Z-Posts which works great for normal use but shouldn’t have heavy weight hanging from them. 

Exterior Lights: Most of our trailers have all LED lighting, which is minimal maintenance and brighter than incandescent. Other exterior lighting options include adding clearance lights to comply with DOT, loading lights and job site lights. 

Interior Lighting: The standard lighting in most trailers is classified as cargo light. It requires your vehicle be on and connected to the trailer for them to work. There are lighting packages available which offer interior lighting that is stand alone. 

Color: Our trailer manufacturers offer a variety of colors. Many of them are offered at no extra charge. There are several other colors that will require a charge, but they are not shown in the literature. 

Spare: When you purchase a trailer from us we offer a spare at a discounted price. We carry on hand and can install spare tire mounts.

Cargo Control: The two main options for tiedowns are D-Rings or E-Track. If you want E-Track recessed into the floor the trailer would be considered a special order and we would need to order it that way from the manufacturer. We can however install E-Track on top of the floors and/or walls. We have E-Track on hand as well as the D-Rings. Lastly, we can make steel ladder racks to fit your trailer at our shop. We also carry an assortment of aluminum ladder racks.

Other Options: 

Obviously this summary doesn’t cover all of the options but hopefully it has assisted you in the
process of figuring out what kind of trailer you need. Once these details are figured out one of our salespersons can assist you with checking on availability of other options you are looking for. 



Downloads

The following sheet breaks down all of these aspects of the trailer into a checklist format to assist you with note taking on your decisions, providing this sheet to the salesperson will help them get a better idea of what you are looking for.

CHECKLIST PURCHASING A TRAILER (docx)

Download