Smart Tips for Buying a Cargo Trailer for Your Automobile

Updated March 29, 2014

When you need to frequently transport bulky cargo or equipment for your business or perhaps transport a sporting vehicle or livestock to far-off venues, a cargo trailer can be a cost-effective idea to get the job done. Buying a large trailer to hitch to your existing vehicle can be much cheaper than buying a whole new cargo vehicle.


A cargo trailer design can be as simple as an open flatbed that can transport a strapped-down car or as sophisticated as a fully climate-controlled cabin on wheels that can be anything from a mobile laboratory to a restaurant or personal living space. Manufacturers design trailers in dozens of configurations for every need. To make a successful purchase, you need to know what exactly to look for.

What size should you get?

Manufacturers design cargo trailers in every size you can imagine. The biggest ones are vast 32-foot gooseneck designs that are as big as small houses. The simplest ones are heavy-duty pintle hitch open flatbed systems that you could transport a vehicle on.

You just need to think about the kind of cargo you have. If you need to haul perishables, for instance, you might need an enclosed climate-controlled system. Manufacturers make special models to haul cars or boats, to carry special equipment and for specific businesses. Special models exist for landscaping businesses that need to carry bulky equipment and for food vendors, for instance.

Whatever model you buy, it needs to be right for your cargo needs and a good fit for your vehicle’s hauling capacity.

How many axles?

Cargo trailers usually come in single and twin axle varieties. Single-axle models are limited to small capacities. You can expect enough space to haul two motorcycles in a 5’x8’ enclosure. Cargo trailers with tandem axles are for larger loads – they make good car haulers, for instance.

Should you choose an open deck trailer or an enclosed one?

Open deck trailers are a good idea for general purpose vehicle hauling. These are good for single or multiple cars. Depending on how much protection your vehicles need, you may choose an enclosed design, too. Purpose-built enclosed designs exist for livestock transportation and for recreational vehicles like snowmobiles or ATVs.

Do you buy new or used?

If you find a quality, used cargo trailer that fits your needs, you shouldn’t pass it up. You need to remember that car trailers add benefit to your auto, though. You buy them to serve an important purpose. If you allow yourself to be swayed by the savings possible in the used market, you could end up with a model that doesn’t serve your needs very well. New or used, the cargo trailer you buy needs to be a perfect fit for the purpose you have in mind. It wouldn’t make sense to spend a great deal of money purchase that didn’t adequately meet your needs.

You need to consider your financing options

If your budget won’t allow a new trailer, you could consider looking for financing options. Just as with cars, you have financing options at dealerships, banks and credit unions.

Melissa Rudd is a secretary for a large car, truck and recreational vehicle dealership. When she has the time, she likes to relax by blogging online.



Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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