A car trailer makes the perfect way to haul a car you want to avoid driving on the road, such as older, antique cars or cars that are not street legal. The biggest decision when using a car trailer is whether to buy or rent a trailer. The answer should be based on you plan on using it. You must also determine the type of car trailer you need in order to haul a car around and protect it from bad weather. Here’s an overview of the different types of car trailers, where to rent a car trailer, and the steps of how to buy a car trailer.
Types of car trailers
When searching for a car trailer to buy or rent, first decide on the type of trailer you need. Base your decision on the amount of weight your towing vehicle can handle and the type of connector you have, a ball and hitch or a fifth wheel. The section below describes the different types of car trailers in more detail.
- Single car trailer: A single car trailer usually has at least a tandem axle to help distribute the weight along the body of the trailer. This type of trailer also commonly utilizes a ball and hitch connecting mechanism. While this type of connection can limit the amount of weight a trailer can handle, they do offer better handling capabilities over a gooseneck trailer.
- Gooseneck car trailer: Called a gooseneck trailer due to the design of the front of the trailer, these trailer types connect via a fifth wheel located in the bed of the truck or SUV. With the location of the connecting point over the axle of the towing vehicle, a gooseneck trailer can haul more weight than a standard ball and hitch trailer.
The gooseneck also makes the trailer harder to maneuver, especially when backing up. A gooseneck trailer makes a perfect hauler for larger vehicles.
- Tilt car trailer: Tilt car trailers are helpful to haul a car when you do not have ramps to load the vehicle with. When loading, the tilt car trailer tilts back to allow you to drive the vehicle onto the trailer, tilting forward, via a tilt cylinder, once you have the vehicle positioned.
Open car trailers vs. enclosed car trailers
In addition to determining the type of trailer you need, you also must decide if you want to use an open or enclosed trailer. You can find a description of the difference between the two trailer types below.
- Open car trailer: Lighter than an enclosed trailer, an open car trailer is generally easier to use and can haul larger vehicles if necessary. You can find open trailers as single, gooseneck, and tilt car trailers.
- Enclosed car trailer: Enclosed car trailers help protect your vehicle from bad weather. Heavier than an open car trailer, this trailer type adds to the total weight of the trailer, limiting the size of the vehicle you can haul.
The enclosed space of the trailer also limits the dimensions of the vehicle you need to transport. These trailers come in stationary trailer types only, requiring ramps to use when loading a car.
Where to rent car trailers
If you only need a car trailer every now and then, you should consider renting one instead of buying a trailer. When renting a trailer, you have a few options you can use to find a trailer near you, including:
- Online: You can search online sites to find a trailer for your needs. Once on the rental site, determine the type of trailer you need, enter your personal information, and set up payment to reserve a trailer for pickup. Just make sure to determine the maximum load your towing vehicle can handle and that you have the right connector for the trailer type you want to rent. Some trailer rental companies even offer the appropriate towing vehicle if needed. Some of the more popular car trailer rental companies include:
- Physical location: You can also visit a rental location to set up your trailer rental in person. This represents a great way to rent a truck if you have any questions about the type and size of trailer you need. The company agent can also let you know what type of equipment you need to hook up the trailer and if you need one of the company’s towing vehicles if they offer them. To find a location near you, do an online search for locations that rent car trailers from companies such as U-Haul, Penske, or another company listed above.
How to buy a car trailer
If you plan on using a car trailer on a regular basis to transport a vehicle, you should consider buying a trailer. When buying a car trailer, keep the following steps in mind:
Step 1: Calculate towing capacity. Just like when you rent, you need to determine how much towing capacity you need when buying a trailer.
You must also take into consideration how much weight the towing vehicle can handle when making a decision on which trailer to buy.
Step 2: Determine trailer type. The type of connecting equipment your towing vehicle uses determines what type of trailer you should buy.
If your vehicle has a ball and hitch connector, then you should buy a single or tilt car trailer.
Trucks with fifth wheels require a gooseneck trailer, though they can also come with a ball and hitch connector.
In addition, taking the car you want to transport and the hauling capacity of the towing vehicle into account, determine if you want to buy an open or enclosed car trailer.
Step 3: Search for trailers. Once you have determined the type and size of trailer, you need to search online or through your local want ads for trailers for sale.
Some popular online sites where you can find car trailers include:
Car trailers allow you to easily and safely haul your car where you need to go. Just make sure that you get the appropriate-sized trailer for your need and that your towing vehicle can handle the weight.