Trailer buying advice


#1

I’m looking to buy a mid sized flatbed trailer to tow behind my 5000 lb. capacity Ford truck. I’ve got a pretty good idea of the features I want but have no real clue about how to tell the good models from the junk. At a minimum the trailer will need to carry a pair of ATVs or a good sized garden tractor. A useful bonus would be the ability to get a midsized car safely loaded. Perimeter stake holes and removable sides would be nice. A built in loading ramp and numerous lash down points are non-negotiable musts.



When looking for such a trailer, what should I be looking for as signs of good quality? What questions should be asked? I know nothing about trailer braking systems but I assume I’m going to want one. I have seen single axle trailer that claim this kind of capacity but it seems to me I’d be better off with a double axle. True or false?



Any thoughts welcomed.


#2

To me the two ATV size/capacity issue is the one you probably need to address. A electric brake system may be required, depending on the final load requirement, and I highly recommend it, anyway. I see a lot of folks haul two ATVs in 6x?? trailers with side rails, or two drop down ramps (side and rear) easily.

I haul a fair sized garden tractor on a 6x10 trailer with a 3500 lb single axle, and do fine, with room leftover for some implements. You might want 6x12 or so, depending your ATV requirements.

There are a lot of good trailers out there. I have purchased Texas Bragg brand, and a lot of folks like the Big Tex brand. That said, there are quite a few local manufacturers who create good products, also. I shopped around, looked at the overall frame construction and then made my purchase, mostly based on price. I have been very happy with my purchase. In my case, the heavier 3500 lb axle made sense even if I don’t use it to capacity.

If you want to load a midsized car then I think double axle for a larger capacity would be required. My 7 x 18’ trailer w/ rails holds a smaller car, but not a mid-sized. A true flat bed might change the situation a bit.

Advantage for my single axle trailer is that I use a trailer dolly to move it around. While that can be done with a double axle trailer, the double axle doesn’t suit my needs as well. On the other hand, I back my double axle 18" easier than the shorter 10’ one.


#3

At a minimum the trailer will need to carry a pair of ATVs or a good sized garden tractor. A useful bonus would be the ability to get a midsized car safely loaded

Two completely different requirements IMO. A trailer than can handle a mid-sized car will be a huge overkill for the ATVs or garden tractor. I’ve never seen a single axle car hauler but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Towing a car will require trailer brakes whereas the other stuff probably does not.

I bought a Big Tex http://www.bigtextrailers.com/. Take a look at their trailers and you’ll likely see the difference in quality right off. Always gets compliments on the quality and robustness of it. The gauge and diameter of the channels and tubes, the extra gusseting, wheel and axle size, bed material and thickness etc. IMO bigger is certainly better when it comes to trailers.


#4

IMO bigger is certainly better when it comes to trailers.

Short of overloading my truck’s towing capacity, that’s more or less my feeling as well. Car towing is NOT a big priority and possibly not even feasible. That’s fine by me. On the rare occations that I’ve has to tow one I’ve gotten by quite nicely with a U-haul rental 2 wheel dolly. I did want to explore the option and have not given up on the idea but if it doesn’t happen, no sweat.

With that being said, a 3,500 lb capacity trailer does sound about right. It’ll easily handly my ATVs with capacity to spare. I don’t see a point in buying a trailer that’s just barely big enough to handle the jobs I think I’ll need it to do. A little extra capacity doesn’t seem like a bad thing to me.

Many thanks for the replies.