A Case for Enclosed Trailers

A Case for Enclosed Trailers

Why buy an enclosed trailer? If you regularly haul heavy equipment or large amounts of cargo, a trailer could be one of your most vital assets. Enclosed trailers keep cargo safe and secure across great distances on the road.

What Are Enclosed Trailers?

An enclosed trailer is an unpowered vehicle that attaches to a car or truck and is used for additional hauling space. It’s distinguished by its closed structure, which seals in hauling contents. Whereas an open trailer leaves contents on display, an enclosed trailer serves as a roof and barrier for any large objects or property that you wish to carry across great distances.

Enclosed trailers are often used to haul furnishings and appliances between different houses and apartments during a move. An enclosed trailer could also be used to haul camping equipment out to the woods during a summer trip. Depending on the length, width and height of the enclosed trailer, you could even use it to haul a vehicle from one location to another. If you have a vehicle that’s currently inoperable, you could simply load it into an enclosed trailer and haul it off to a garage or storage space.

What Are the Benefits of Enclosed Trailers

What Are the Benefits of Enclosed Trailers vs. Open Trailers?

Successfully purchasing an enclosed trailer requires knowledge of the options at hand. Depending on your intended use, an enclosed model may or may not be your best option. Enclosed trailers and open trailers both have their own advantages in the following categories.

1. Security

One of the biggest advantages of enclosed trailers is the security they offer to the contents in tow on a given trip. With an enclosed trailer, the contents are protected from wind, rain and the elements across the length of a ride. Whether you haul a load across town or over state lines, the contents will be protected wherever you go.

What’s more, with an enclosed trailer, no one will know what you have inside. If you use it to haul a high-priced piece of furniture or art, it won’t attract the eyes of potential thieves. Moreover, you can use the enclosed trailer as an indefinite storage space once you arrive at your destination.

An open trailer is more suitable for hauls on camping trips and during moves. If you’re taking a pair of motorcycles out to the tracks for some weekend fun, an open trailer could serve as a convenient vehicle on which to load and unload the bikes. Likewise, if you’re hauling crates of empty bottles and cans out to a recycling center, an open trailer will make it easy to reach over, lift and carry the crates to the drop-off site.

2. Flexibility

When it comes to flexibility, enclosed trailers and open trailers both have their strengths. In an enclosed trailer, you can store all kinds of different items in various compartments. While you might reserve the main floor space for vehicles or large stationary objects, you could also have drawers and cabinets to store smaller items like tools, silverware and other small belongings.

With an open trailer, you’ll generally have more height allowance for the items in tow because you won’t be limited to the dimensions of the trailer. If you need to haul an item with a part that exceeds 10 feet in height, you could easily tow the item in an open trailer. There’s also a little more leeway for width in open trailers. If you need to carry an item with sections that exceed the width of most enclosed trailers, an open trailer could serve as an alternative, providing the object is not too wide for the roadways.

3. Brand Promotion

One of the unique benefits of enclosed trailers is how the outer sides and back can be used for signs and decals. If you run a business, you could use an enclosed trailer as a big traveling billboard sign. Regardless of the market you serve, if you have a business logo, it could be emblazoned on the sides of an enclosed trailer, complete with your business contact information and a website URL. Wherever you travel, your brand name could make hundreds of daily impressions on the people that see the trailer.

Granted, you could also place a logo on an open trailer, but you’d be more limited as far as the size and dimensions of the sign are concerned. If your logo is horizontal, you could have a cutout sign affixed to the bars along the sides of an open trailer. That said, you’re unlikely to make as many impressions with such a sign because it won’t have a solid background to help it stand out visually.

Additional Enclosed Trailer Benefits

Here is a case for enclosed trailers on this infographic.

A Case for Enclosed Trailers

What’s the Difference Between Single- and Dual-Axle Enclosed Trailers?

Enclosed trailers are generally equipped with either one or two axles. On a single-axle trailer, the axle is placed across the underside at the center, providing the trailer with two wheels. On a dual-axle trailer — alternately known as a tandem-axle trailer — two axles are placed side-by-side at the center of the trailer’s underside, providing the trailer with four wheels. Each type of trailer has its own advantages and disadvantages.

1. Pros and Cons of Single-Axle Trailers

Single-axle enclosed trailers weigh less than tandem axles and therefore offer greater fuel economy. On trips that involve narrow roads, sharp angles and parking lots, single-axle trailers make it easier to change lanes, navigate turns and slide into parking spots. Since there are only two tires on a single-axle trailer, the cost of maintenance is lower because there are fewer tires to replace on a periodic basis. Moreover, single-axle trailers generally sell for less than tandem-axle models.

On the downside, single-axle enclosed trailers are incapable of carrying as much payload as dual-axle models. If you regularly load a single-axle trailer to its limit, the tires are liable to wear down more rapidly than they would if a second axle were present. Since there’s no suspension on a single-axle trailer, you could have a rockier ride with one in tow if you drive on gravelly roads and over speed bumps.

2. Pros and Cons of Dual-Axle Trailers

Dual-axle enclosed trailers are generally safer to haul thanks to the increased stability that four tires provide on high-speed roadways. When you drive over cobblestone streets and bumps, a dual-axle trailer will ride smoother due to the enhanced suspension. Larger tandem-axle trailers are usually equipped with brakes, giving increased safety on hauling trips. If you have a flat tire, it won’t necessarily sideline the trailer like it would on a single-axle model. In fact, you could possibly change the tire without using a jack. Overall, dual-axle trailers offer a more balanced, sway-free ride.

On the downside, dual-axle enclosed trailers weigh more than single-axle models, resulting in a weaker fuel economy. When it comes to maintenance, a dual-axle trailer will generally require attention on a more frequent basis, since you’ll have four tires to replace at any given time instead of two.

How Do Enclosed Trailers Protect Cargo And Equipment

How Do Enclosed Trailers Protect Cargo/Equipment?

Enclosed trailers offer superior protection because the contents within are protected from the elements throughout the course of a given trip. In an open trailer, your cargo could be exposed to rain and kicked-up roadside debris.

Depending on the types of items that you tow, exposure could be problematic under inclement weather. For example, if you need to take a piano or a sofa from one house to another, you wouldn’t want those items exposed to rain along the way. Likewise, if you carry food or paper products, they would need to be covered if you tow them on days where rain is either expected or possible.

In an enclosed trailer, there are more ways to stabilize your load. Straps can be placed along the interior walls to brace down your cargo and prevent it from swaying or shaking in response to turbulence along roadways.

What Applications Can Enclosed Trailers Be Used For?

Enclosed trailers can be used for a range of utilitarian, recreational and business purposes, including the following:

  1. Moving: If you need to move your belongings into a new house or apartment, an enclosed trailer could serve as an alternative to a U-Haul rental truck. Instead of paying some high rental-truck fee, you could use your own trailer to move your furnishings, appliances and other belongings.
  2. Camping: If you plan to go camping, an enclosed trailer would be the perfect vehicle in which to carry your tent, burners, sleeping bags, coolers and other equipment. Alternately, you could use the trailer as a tent. An enclosed trailer will provide you with a safer way to stay warm and comfortable during overnights away from civilization.
  3. Mobile office: In an enclosed trailer, you could set up wireless computer equipment and use the space as a mobile office. If you run a one-person business that requires you to travel from town-to-town, the trailer could serve as your portable workspace, complete with a desk, computer and power generator.
  4. Storage: An enclosed trailer could serve as extra storage space during times when you run out of other options. If you’re currently in a living situation where space is at a premium, you could use the trailer to store old boxes that might otherwise go in an attic or basement. You could also use the trailer to store your essentials until you find a more suitable place.
  5. Landscaping: If you run a landscaping business, an enclosed trailer could give you ample space for all the tools and machinery you need to haul from one location to another. Unlike most vans or trucks, an enclosed trailer can easily accommodate a wheelbarrow, a lawnmower and other big landscaping tools.

What Should Customers Consider When Choosing an Enclosed Trailer

What Should Customers Consider When Choosing an Enclosed Trailer?

You should always know what to look for before buying an enclosed trailer to ensure that your final choice will meet your needs as a user. Consider the following factors.

1. Steel or Aluminum

Steel and aluminum both have their benefits when it comes to trailer bodies. Steel is a stronger metal and generally lasts longer, though it’s susceptible to rust if it’s exposed directly to water. If coated, steel can withstand water and avoid rust. However, a layer of coating can get damaged if scratched, leaving the surface vulnerable to water exposure. Once rust takes hold, it can spread rapidly and damage the body of a trailer, causing holes to form on some of the more heavily affected areas.

An aluminum trailer enclosure will generally weigh less, allowing you to go easier on your wheels and fuel. However, aluminum is a weaker metal that can easily get damaged if it’s subjected to blunt force. The greatest advantage of aluminum is its rust-proof quality. It has natural anodes that regenerate and resist the effects of rust and corrosion.

2. Outer Skin Thickness

Enclosed trailers are manufactured with different levels of skin thickness. For the casual user, a basic thickness of .024 will generally suffice. If you plan to use the trailer for business and heavy-duty purposes, an outer-skin with a thickness of .030 would be the ideal option. Another thing to consider is the color of the skin. If the trailer is black or dark-colored, temperature changes could cause the skin to warp between the hot and cold seasons.

3. Cross-Member Support

Enclosed trailers usually feature 24” on center. If you buy a dual-axle center, you could boost its support by upgrading to 16” on center. If you intend to haul heavy equipment for business purposes, 12” could be a useful upgrade. If you do upgrade the cross-member support, you’ll also need to upgrade the trailer floor with thicker plating.

4. State Laws

In certain states, any vehicle that exceeds a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds is required to have a special driver’s license. Check the laws in your state to find out whether this requirement will apply to you. Depending on your type of vehicle, you might also be required to upgrade your registration if you add a trailer.

5. V-Nose vs. Flat Nose

The nose shape of an enclosed trailer makes no difference in terms of fuel economy, so this feature is a stylistic choice. Choose the style you prefer from an aesthetic standpoint.

6. Flat vs. Rounded Roof

Both types of roofs require periodic maintenance, but the rounded roof offers several unique benefits. An enclosed trailer with a rounded roof is more resilient during times of rain and snowfall, which slides off without puddles or buildup. A rounded roof can also add up to 6 inches of additional headroom.

7. Screwed vs. Screwless

As long as the enclosed trailer is securely fastened, it won’t matter whether the enclosure is screwed or screwless. The difference is simply a matter of aesthetic preference.

8. Ramp Door vs. Barn Door

A ramp door is necessary if you plan to drive vehicles into the trailer, but not if you plan to use the enclosure for hauling merchandise or supplies for a mobile business. A ramp door can also require up to 6 feet of additional space, whereas a barn door can be opened in tighter spaces.

9. Leaf Springs vs. Torsion Axles

Leaf springs are stronger and more supportive of heavy payloads but also heavier to tow. Torsion axles are made of rubber and are therefore lighter yet don’t offer sufficient support for maximum payloads. Your best option could all come down to how you use your trailer.

10. Dimensions

Enclosed trailers are generally between 5 and 8.5 feet wide. As far as length, enclosed trailers can be anywhere from 8 to 32 feet. For custom-built models, height increases are restricted to 6-foot increments. Ideally, an enclosed trailer should not exceed the height of your truck.

Buy an Enclosed Trailer from All Pro Trailer Superstore

Buy an Enclosed Trailer From All Pro Trailer Superstore

At All Pro Trailer Superstore, we have enclosed trailers for sale in a range of dimensions and designs. Explore our pages on enclosed trailers for more information about particular models.

 

How to Replace a Trailer Tire

How to Replace a Trailer Tire

As the proud owner of a trailer, you know it requires diligent upkeep. And although you can do some of the necessary care and maintenance tasks yourself, in the comfort of your lot or driveway, others require a professional touch and call for you to bring your trailer into the mechanics to get it checked out.

While there’s certainly a time and an occasion for the professionals to get involved, however, there are several tasks responsible trailer owners should know how to perform themselves. One such task is knowing how to change a trailer tire. If you’ve never done that before, don’t worry. It’s more straightforward than it sounds, and is something anyone can quickly learn how to do.

Today, to help you learn this new skill, we want to walk you through the process from start to finish, as well as discussing how to recognize when to change a trailer tire and realizing when it’s time to call for a little professional assistance.

Table of Contents

Why Do Tires Need Replacing

Why Do Tires Need Replacing?

The most common reason you might need to replace a trailer tire is when you get a flat. Flat tires happen to all of us at one time or another, and there isn’t always a way to prevent them. Maybe you caused the flat by making a mistake somewhere along the line, but it might also result from circumstances beyond your control. The most common reasons for flat and damaged tires include the following.

  • Gradual air loss: All tires are slowly losing air. Even if a tire is sitting idle in a shed, it’s still slowly leaking tiny amounts of air. Given enough time, this will cause a tire to go flat if you don’t reinflate it.
  • Punctures: Let’s say you happened to drive over a nail in the road. This nail might stick into your tire, punching a tiny hole and leaking air until the tire becomes flat. The obvious advice here is to try to avoid sharp objects, but of course, no one drives over a nail on purpose. These types of tire wounds are usually just the result of unfortunate accidents, and there’s little anyone can do to prevent them.
  • Low air pressure: Uninflated tires that are not at their maximum internal pressure will overheat faster — especially if they’re carrying heavy loads, as they might be in the case of a trailer. If they overheat too quickly, this will cause them to fail and need replacing. Prevent this by always making sure you have fully inflated tires before taking your trailer on the road.
  • Weathering: If you keep your trailer outside, parked in a lot or a driveway, those tires are going to be baking in the sun for hours on end every day. This sun exposure isn’t a problem in the short term, but over time will lead to weather-related cracking, which can cause tires to fail. Prevent this by storing your tires out of the sun.
  • Incorrect usage: Sometimes, people may think they’ll cut corners by using ordinary car tires on trailers. However, this is a poor plan, as these regular tires are not designed to carry-trailer sized loads, and will wear out quickly.
  • Aging: Just as too much sun can crack your tires, so too will the passage of time. Trailer tires don’t last as long as car tires, and even under the best circumstances, they will only last about four years. After this time, they’ll start to show cracks and you’ll know it’s time to replace them.

How to Tell When It’s Time to Change a Trailer Tire

Sometimes, it’s easy to know when you need to change a trailer tire. For example, if you’ve broken down on the side of the road with a flat tire, there’s usually no mistaking the problem. If it hasn’t quite come to this yet, however, you can still realize your tires need changing by looking for the following.

  • Punctures: Maybe something cut a small hole in your tire, and you didn’t notice. If it seems like your tires are always running low on air, check for any small puncture wounds. Even if you don’t find any, the frequent need to add air to your tires is a sure sign they’re on their last legs.
  • Cracks: These might be from the sun, or they might be from age. Either way, if you start to see cracks appearing along your tires, it’s probably time to swap them out for replacements.
  • Age: If you’ve had your tires for four or more years, it’s time to replace them. Even if they haven’t started giving you trouble yet, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you don’t replace them in the safety of your driveway, you never know what kind of trouble you could find yourself in on the road later.

How to Choose New Tires for Your Trailer

How to Choose New Tires for Your Trailer

So you’ve determined you need to replace your tires. The next step? Figuring out how to find new ones. Here are some of our best tips for completing this process.

1. Replicate What You Have

The easiest solution is to write down the details about the tires you already have on your trailer, or take a picture of the tire designation. Then, head to your nearest tire center or online store and search for this same model. By doing this, you’ll ensure you get the right tire for your trailer, since you’ll be getting the same ones you had on it before. The only drawback to this technique is that it isn’t the best choice for situations where you didn’t like your last pair of tires, and you’d prefer to get a different brand.

2. Look for the ST Designation

Everyone will have differing opinions about which tires are the best. However, as long as you’re choosing designated trailer tires instead of passenger car tires, you’ll be in good shape. To make sure you buy the correct type of tire, always look for the ST designation. If the tire in question has this mark on it, you can be sure you’re on the right track.

3. Do Some Research

Do you have any friends who use trailers like yours? Ask them what tire make and model they prefer. Call up your mechanic and ask what they’d recommend. You might even ask the tire company what tires they recommend for your specific trailer. You shouldn’t feel the need to follow these recommendations to the letter, but they can be a great jumping-off point for you to decide.

How to Jack up a Trailer

Once you’re armed with your replacement tire, jacking up the trailer is your first step in the process of how to change trailer tires. Before doing this, however, take the precaution of loosening the lugs ahead of time.

You can also loosen the lugs after you have the wheel jacked up, but doing so will leave the tire free to spin while you try to unscrew the nuts. By completing this step while the tire is on the ground, you ensure the tire will stay still. Use a lug wrench to partially unscrew the lug nuts, but don’t remove them yet. Leave them in the wheel, loosened to the point where they’ll be easy to remove once you’re ready.

When you’re finished loosening the lugs, place the jack under the trailer’s frame, at the back side of the damaged tire. On the other side of the trailer, slide a wheel chock under one of the tires to keep it from sliding around. Then, steadily jack up the trailer until there’s enough room to take the tire off the bolts and get a new tire on again. Keep in mind that if the old tire is flat, you’ll need to jack the trailer higher than you might think. A flat tire doesn’t need much room to slide off the bolts. A new tire will be larger and need more space.

How to Replace Your Trailer Tire

How to Replace Your Trailer Tire

Once you’ve safely jacked up your trailer and you have all your tools ready to go, it’s time to get started on the process of changing the tire itself. Follow these steps, and you can’t go wrong.

1. Remove the Tire

With the tire safely in the air, reach in and remove the lug nuts you loosened earlier. These should come out easily, after which it will be a simple matter to slide the used tire off the lug bolts. Keep the nuts nearby, as you’ll need them again. You can now put the old tire aside, as it has served its purpose.

2. Inspect the Wheel Hub

Once you’ve removed the tire and the wheel hub is bare, this is a perfect time to glance at it and make sure everything still looks normal and functional. Check that the studs and bearings are in good working condition, and reassure yourself that nothing is cracking or buckling. This inspection isn’t necessary to the changing of the tire, but it is a rare opportunity to see the wheel hubs laid bare, so it makes sense to give them a quick once-over while you’re at it.

3. Put the New Tire in Place

It’s time to grab that shiny new tire and lower it into place on the lug bolts. If you see anything that seems off — maybe you somehow bought the wrong size or type — now’s the time to notice that and head out to buy the correct tire this time. Give the tire a thorough look to ensure everything seems ordinary before proceeding.

4. Add the Lug Nuts

Grab those lug nuts you removed earlier and put them back on to secure the new tire in place. You can do the first few turns by hand. You won’t be able to tighten them all the way yet, since you’re only using your hands and the wheel is probably trying to spin in circles. For now, get them as tight as you can, to make sure the tire isn’t going to fall off.

5. Lower the Tire

Once the lug nuts are as tight as you can get them with your hands, it’s time to lower the jack until the tire rests flat on the ground. Pull this out from under the trailer and set it aside, and don’t forget to remove the wheel chock from the other side of the trailer as well.

6. Tighten the Lug Nuts

With the added pressure of the tire against the ground, you should have the resistance you need to finish tightening the lug nuts the rest of the way. Grab your lug wrench again, and use this to tighten the lugs to the fullest extent, until they positively won’t move anymore. The last thing you want is for the lug nuts to come loose and the tire to go flying off as you’re driving down the road.

7. Clean Up

Congratulations, you finished the job. The new tire should be securely in place, and shouldn’t need any more maintenance for a long while. All that’s left to do is clean up the tools scattered around and dispose of the old tire. To get rid of a used tire, wait for a bulk trash collecting event in your community and dispose of it then. You might also visit your local mechanic’s shop and ask if they recycle tires. You can even recycle your tire yourself by turning it into a tire swing, a garden planter or even a compost bin.

If you do decide to recycle your tire yourself, make sure to remove the rim and wheel weights before you put your tire to its new use. Cutting the rim away from the tire can be dangerous, however, so don’t attempt this unless you have experience with power tools and feel confident you know what you’re doing.

Call in the Professionals

Call in the Professionals

Sometimes, no matter how many tutorials you read, you may not have the confidence and skill to change a trailer tire yourself. This is entirely natural, and nothing to feel awkward about. Plenty of people seek professional help with their tire replacements every day, and if you choose to do the same, you’ll be in good company. If you’re ready for new tires and you don’t feel up to replacing them on your own, we want to help. Our team here at All Pro Trailer Superstore has years of experience in replacing tires on all kinds of trailers, and we’d be delighted to work with you on your trailer.

Tire replacement isn’t the only service we offer, either. Whether your trailer needs inspecting, repairs or some extra customization, we’re glad to help. What if you don’t yet have a trailer, but are thinking of taking the plunge and buying one? We sell trailers as well. Although our headquarters is in Pennsylvania, we’re proud to serve trailer owners, renters and buyers across the Mid-Atlantic and New England area.

Are you ready to get your tires fixed and prepared for your upcoming trip? Bring your trailer into Trailer Superstore today and learn why so many people trust us with their trailer maintenance needs.

Preparing to Trade-In a Trailer

Preparing to Trade In a Trailer

As trailer owners, we all love our trailers, but we’ve also always got our eye out for something that’s just a little bit better. No matter how faithful our current trailers are, it’s perfectly natural to keep watch for something that’s step larger, a touch more efficient or even a bit more technologically advanced.

Or perhaps you’re looking in the opposite direction. Maybe you’ve got your hands full with a trailer that’s decked out with all the bells and whistles, and you’re looking to downsize to something a little simpler. In either of these cases, what’s the savvy trailer owner to do?

The answer is simple. While you could sell your old trailer, give it away or even just park it in your garage for years, there’s a better way. Trailer trade-ins are the perfect solution that lets you get rid of your old trailer while at the same time grabbing that other trailer you’ve been eyeing. It’s a convenient swap, and it saves you plenty of trouble along the way.

Of course, just because it’s convenient doesn’t always mean it’s simple. If you’ve never completed a trade-in before, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the process and confused about the right way to handle it. That’s why we’re here to walk you through the process of trailer trade-in preparation as you get ready to perform the perfect trade.

Table of Contents

Why Trade In Your Trailer

Why Trade in Your Trailer?

Technology is continually improving across every arena of our lives. Just as a smartphone today has far more capabilities than one produced 10 years ago, so too is a modern trailer far more advanced than the model you’ve had for the past 10 years. Sometimes, making the upgrade is a no-brainer. If you’re not quite convinced, however, here are a few more good reasons.

1. Save Money

If your unit is over 10 years old, there’s little point in continuing to sink money into it by repairing it as it continues to age and break down. Buying a new trailer costs more money up front, certainly, but it will save money in the long run as you aren’t forced to make constant repairs on equipment that will continue to break no matter what you do.

2. Save Time

Caring for an aging trailer is a time-consuming and frustrating process, in addition to being expensive. Before you can go anywhere, you’ll often need to complete a dozen tune-ups, delaying your trip for hours as you make sure the trailer is in working condition before you hit the road. New trailers have none of these worries. Simply hook it up, and you’re ready to go.

3. Save Stress

There’s nothing more aggravating than having the trailer you just fixed, break down yet again. Between trying to diagnose the problems yourself and constantly running back and forth to the mechanic, at some point, you have to say enough is enough. Spare yourself the trouble and frustration and make the upgrade to a newer model.

How to Prepare Your Trailer for the Big Trade

Once you’ve decided to take the plunge and go for the trade-in you’ve been thinking about, it’s time to dive into the practical planning phase of this trade. First on the list? You’ll need to get your trailer in the best possible shape it can be in before you even talk to a dealer or seller.

1. Evaluate Your Trailer

The best way to get started with the process of shining your trailer up for sale is to complete an evaluation. It’s important here that you do your very best to be objective during this process. We know you’ve had your trailer for years, and it’s only natural to be a bit sentimental about it. But try to view things through the eyes of a potential buyer. They won’t see that crack in the floor and think fondly of all the memories it conjures. All they’ll see is a floor that needs replacing.

As you make your way from one end of the trailer to another, there are just a few categories to evaluate. While you complete this study, you might even come up with a ranking system, giving every category on this list a grade of poor, good or excellent. Keep in mind that every trailer model is different, and your trailer might not feature every category listed here.

  • Paint: Is the exterior paint chipping or fading? Or does it still look as pristine as the day you bought your trailer?
  • Roof: Exterior roofs face plenty of weathering over the years. Has yours held up well? In a rubber roof, check for stains, discoloration or cuts. In a fiberglass roof, keep an eye out for cracks as well as other obvious signs of damage.
  • Wheels: Check to see if the wheels are shiny or rusted, clean or flaking away paint.
  • Tires: How old are these tires? If they’re over four or five years old, it’s time to think about replacing them. They also need replacing if they’re damaged, excessively worn or cracked.
  • Windows: Check for stains, cracks or pits on each of the windows in your trailer. Keep in mind that some cracks can be hard to see, so pay close attention for even the thinnest hairline cracks.
  • Interior walls: Are the inside walls stained, rusted or discolored? What about warping, flaking or fading? All of these factors may lower the value of your trailer.
  • Interior ceiling: Leaks are a major factor for ceilings, so be certain to check for those. It isn’t enough to look at your trailer on a sunny day and assume there are no leaks. Wait until it’s raining and then look to make sure no water is coming through the roof. Other things to look for include staining, peeling, warping and rusting.
  • Interior floor: If the roof has leaked, it’s possible this has created soft or rotten spaces on the floor. Check that everything is sturdy, and look for signs of rust, mold and discoloration.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the main signs of damage you’ll want to check for. Make sure everything still works, is not broken or in danger of breaking and looks its best. It’s that simple. The more clean and functional your trailer’s condition is, the more likely it is that you’ll be offered a trade.

If a potential buyer or dealer notices one or two of these problems, it might not be a total deal-breaker and might not affect the price. If they encounter problem after problem, however, they’re more likely to step back and evaluate whether or not the deal is still worthwhile for them.

2. Decide What to Fix and What to Leave

In an ideal scenario, you could fix every problem your trailer has before selling it. By putting in this work, you can ensure you’ll get the maximum value for your trailer, without losing a few dollars due to a peeling paint job or cracked tires. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. Whether you’re dealing with a lack of time, resources, skill or interest, sometimes you need to trade-in your trailer while it still has a few issues lurking in it. The important thing is to decide which bugs are the most important to fix, and which ones you’ll want to leave for the next owner.

One of the best ways to approach this question is to go back to the list you made while evaluating your trailer and look at all the items that require attention. Then, divide these problem items into three separate categories:

  1. This is a minor problem, and I’m confident that I can quickly and easily address it myself.
  2. This is a bigger problem, and I can’t fix it myself, but I have a reliable service professional who can. I have a good plan of action in place to fix this issue.
  3. This problem is more significant than I’m capable of handling. It would be so expensive or difficult to fix that it isn’t worth it to me.

Category one is a no-brainer. These are easy to fix and can be done without any trouble at all. There’s no reason not to fix these problems. Category two items are where you’ll need to exercise your judgment. Ask yourself how much it would cost to fix these items versus how much they might affect the trade-in value of your trailer and decide if it’s worth it to you. For category three, it’s likely that most of these items will be out of your reach. In most cases, you’ll realize repairs aren’t worth it and that those problems are an issue for the next owner.

3. Clean up the Trailer

If you were going to sell some of your clothes, you’d wash them first. If you were going to sell your house, you’d clean it before the first open house. A trailer is no different.

If you want to get the best value for your old trailer, your job is to get it looking as sparkling and fresh as possible. This means cleaning the interior, the exterior and the windows. It may mean giving it a new coat of paint. If any odd smells are lingering inside, do your best to air these out. The goal here is simple. You want to make your trailer look as appealing as possible, and a good cleaning can increase your trailer’s trade-in value.

How to Determine Your Trailer’s Trade-In Value

How to Determine Your Trailer’s Trade-In Value

You might think you have a pretty good idea of your trailer’s value. Unfortunately, your opinion isn’t the only one that matters when it comes to your trailer’s trade-in value. To get an objective view of your trailer’s worth, it’s important to seek a professional opinion.

1. Get an Appraisal

Find a mechanic, dealer or manufacturer near you who does appraisals and have them evaluate your trailer. Make sure to show them all the records you have on the maintenance you’ve performed on the trailer over the years, as these are proof that you’ve taken care of the trailer. At the end of it all, the appraiser will quote you a figure that they believe your trailer is worth.

2. Do Some Research

If getting an appraisal isn’t an option, or even if it is, you can also browse used trailer listings across the internet, looking in particular for listings similar to your trailer. You can then use these listings to arrive at an estimation of what your trailer might be worth.

3. Head to a Dealer

With this appraisal quote, it’s time to head to the dealer you’re planning on trading to. Set up an appointment and ask for their quote. In other words, how much do they think your trailer is worth? Again, don’t forget to have those service records on hand for quick and easy reference. If they’re interested in acquiring your trailer, they’ll also quote you a price. Remember that they don’t have to trade with you, and if your trailer is excessively run-down or broken, they may not offer a quote.

If they do make an offer, however, and if their quoted price is far below what the appraiser told you, don’t panic. Show them the quote from the appraiser and open a discussion about this price. They may reconsider their position, or they may not, but either way, it’s valuable to have that first quote in hand so you’ll have a reference for whether the dealer’s quote is especially high or low.

In some cases, the dealer may not budge on the value of your trailer, but they may be willing to bump down the value of the trailer you’re trading in for. It all depends on the dealer and the trailers in question and is impossible to predict. Your negotiations may result in a change or they may not. Either way, however, don’t be afraid to negotiate.

Making the Final Decision

Making the Final Decision

A dealer may have made you an offer in terms of the trailer you’re turning in and the trailer you’re receiving in return, as well as any additional costs. In the end, however, the decision is yours. You can take the deal immediately, no questions asked. You can try a different dealer instead. You can think about it for a day and then accept the deal, or you can simply walk away. It’s up to you, and no dealer can force you into any decision you don’t want to make.

But if you think you are ready to make that big decision, then we encourage you to go for it. You’ve put in the work to get your trailer looking as bright and shiny for this moment. So hand over those keys, enjoy taking home your new trailer and watch as all that hard work suddenly seems worth it.

Trade-In Your Trailer at Trailer Superstore

Trade in Your Trailer at Trailer Superstore Today

Have you been sprucing up your old trailer and getting it ready to move on to the next phase of its life? If so, a trade-in might be the right option for you. This allows you to get your old trailer off your hands while allowing you a simpler way to purchase that new trailer you’ve been eyeing. If you’re considering trading in your trailer, then we hope you’ll consider trading it to us here at Trailer Superstore.

Trade-ins aren’t the only business we do here. We are a full-service center for trailers of every size and shape, helping you with everything from changing your tires to customization requests. We’re also a trailer dealership, and while we’re based out of Pennsylvania, we’re proud to serve the entire Mid-Atlantic and New England regions of the United States.

If you think a trailer trade-in is right for you, then we encourage you to learn more about our trade-in process today to get started.

Tips for Driving With a Large Trailer

Tips for Driving with a Large Trailer

Always prepare for any situation whether you’re towing a single item or several machines. It’s imperative to be proactive and think ahead when you have a towing device behind you.

Performing a routine check before each haul is your first consideration for a safe drive. Start by checking your owner’s manual as well as your state’s driver handbook. Different rules and regulations apply to each state. Some may require you to stay in the right lane or adhere to specific speeds.

Certify that your equipment is safe to operate and that it can withstand your estimated load. Check your trailer’s lights and signals along with making sure the hitch and tongue of the trailer are together. Confirm that the locking mechanism is in place and two chains crisscross between the attachment and truck to form an X. Checking your trailer also involves inspecting the clearance connection and that the trailer wheels are in the up or drive position. Connect the electrical wires and make sure the license plate is visible.

Expect the trailer to sway back and forth. Depending on the situation or if there was improper installation of the trailer, it may sway enough to interact with other lanes and vehicles. To avoid any significant fluctuations, check your connections before departing. Small changes can make a substantial difference in the towing capabilities of your truck and trailer. For instance, when you add or subtract weight, or even rearrange the load distribution, your vehicle and trailer can handle differently.

As a final consideration, you don’t want to overload your truck because your equipment will become too tricky to handle. Again, reference your owner’s manual to see what weight your vehicle and trailer can endure.

Driving with a tow of equipment involves consideration and foreseeing the outcome before changing lanes, backing up or making turns. Always be aware of your surroundings when operating with an extra load and extended length in the back.

Table of Contents

what to expect when driving with a trailer

 

How to Attach a Trailer to Your Vehicle

Step by step, you can hitch your trailer with the highest safety standards and hauling capabilities. First, make sure you’re working with the correct equipment by looking at your owner’s manual to know how much weight your vehicle can manage. Two numbers to be aware of are the gross trailer weight (GTW) and the maximum tongue weight (TW). There are five different hitch classes available based on weight:

  • Class 1: 200 pounds TW and 2,000 pounds GTW
  • Class 2: 350 pounds TW and 3,500 pounds GTW
  • Class 3: 500 pounds TW and 5,000 pounds GTW
  • Class 4: 750 pounds TW and 7,500 pounds GTW
  • Class 5: 1,000 pounds TW and 10,000 pounds GTW

Choose one that matches your truck’s TW and GTW even if you plan on towing less than what the hitch can handle. Don’t forget to factor in the weight of your trailer and its contents for accurate readings.

After you determine a hitch that matches your application, select a drawbar and hitch ball. Drawbars come in two sizes — 1.25-inch and 2-inch options for lightweight and heavy-duty project respectively. Hitch balls are available in three different dimensions including 17/8, 2 and 25/16 inches. As you may guess, the size of the ball indicates how much weight it can handle. Make sure both the trailer’s ball and hitch match in size and meet the minimum gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).

how to attach a trailer to your vehicle

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to hook up a large trailer to your truck:

1. Attach the Ball Onto the Drawbar

Once you connect the ball and drawbar, crisscross the chains. They act as a last resort in situations where the trailer becomes unhitched. The X formation keeps the trailer from hurdling forward or to the side, and in more severe situations, the hitch will land on the crossed chains as opposed to the pavement. Chains will also not be strained while you make full turns.

2. Test the Vehicle’s Wiring

Check the plug and socket wiring, then connect the system to your truck’s wiring harness. Spray the connections with dielectric grease to avoid corrosion.

3. Check out the Battery

Examine the battery’s condition, and charge it if it has little power left.

4. Calibrate the Tongue Weight

If you increase the tongue weight of your trailer, you will boost your rig’s stability. It also helps prevent swaying. When you have little to no pressure on the tongue, it will result in no balance and the center of gravity will move between the contact patches of the tires. Therefore, you want more weight toward the front of the trailer opposed to the back.

More weight on the back can swing the vehicle and cause it to drive out of control when an outside force hits the trailer or if you make sudden movements. Move your cargo forward onto the trailer, so the center of gravity transfers to the front of the tire contact patches. The recommended tongue weight is about 10 to 12 percent of the total trailer weight.

5. Equalize the Hitch

Finding the right tongue weight may also affect the amount of pressure on the hitch. Think about attaching an equalizing bar to create a rotational force around the hitch. As it pivots horizontally, the bar transfers some weight from the tongue to your car’s front axle.

6. Consider the Hitch Height

Set the rig on flat pavement and maneuver the tongue jack until it is level. Measure the distance from the ground to the top of the ball socket, then from the bottom to the top of the hitch receiver. To consider the height of the ball, add 3 inches. Once you’ve loaded everything onto the trailer, check again and make drawbar height adjustments as needed.

7. Load Your Trailer

The best way to know the exact weight of your operation is to take weigh it on a scale at a local truck stop, feed and gravel yard or a feed store. Often, the weight listed on your registration leaves out components that you or manufacturers add after construction like ramps, batteries or tie-downs. Load up your equipment and fill the water and propane tanks if necessary.

Get the weight of the trailer by disconnecting it from the vehicle and leaving the wheels and tongue jack on the scale. Then, find the tongue weight by hitching up the equipment, but leaving the tires on the scale. Seeing both weights allow you to know if you need to rearrange any cargo to get about 10 percent of the total load on the tongue.

8. Check the Tires

Inflate the trailer’s tires to the recommended PSI along with those on your vehicle. Also, be aware of overheated wheels and any blowouts while traveling.

tips for towing large trailers

How to Hitch a Trailer to Your Vehicle

Here’s a quick look at how to hitch up your equipment before rolling onto the road:

  1. Back your truck up to the trailer.
  2. Lower the jack, secure the tongue latch and insert the safety keeper.
  3. Ensure you made a secure connection by lifting on the trailer using the tongue jack.
  4. Raise and secure the tongue jack so you can begin towing.
  5. Cross and hook the safety chains to your truck.
  6. Connect the lights by running the cords through a safety keeper.
  7. Make sure your trailer is level.
  8. Check the lights, brakes and signals.
  9. Drive with caution.

Tips for Towing Large Trailers

As with pushing your friend during a wheel barrel race, towing a large trailer is not as simple as you may think. Driving a car on the road is light work compared to controlling an extension that can move like a tail. Here are our top tips on how to control a large trailer:

  1. Never underestimate how difficult it is to drive a trailer. It takes practice and patience. It’s a smart idea to practice pulling in out of driveways and other locations. You can navigate through back roads before launching into heavy traffic and execute wide turns in a parking lot. For some, it may be easy to pick up, but practice makes perfect and increases your safety.
  2. The size of your trailer affects how many adjustments you need to make as a driver. For example, a small trailer may not give any noticeable changes or difficulties. But pulling a boat or heavy rig is different. A bigger rig requires enhanced driving skills, increased attention on the road and knowing how your truck handles in various conditions.
  3. Increase the distance between you and other vehicles. Compared to normal driving without any extended loads, you will want more of a safety net. Because you’re moving extra weight, it is more difficult to stop, especially when traveling at high speeds. Your trailer will need additional stopping distance.
  4. Perform wider turns. Take your time and swing your truck to make full turns to avoid hitting other cars, curbs, telephone poles or fences. Being excessive when turning with a large trailer will also help prevent you from running off the road. Because your vehicle can be up to double in length, overshoot every move. When you start to cut corners, you run the risk of damaging your trailer and truck. You also increase the chance of causing an accident.
  5. Check the clearance of your trailer. Adhere to your state’s regulations and be aware of your equipment’s height when driving through tunnels or under bridges. Make sure to fasten everything down and that the weight of your trailer is equal to or less than your truck’s towing capacity.
  6. Try to avoid small parking lots. Park where there is plenty of room or use several parking spaces. You want to make sure there is adequate space for your trailer and that it’s not obstructing traffic. Parking in a remote section of the lot is a smart move too.
  7. Inspect your rig each time you stop. Tighten up the straps every chance you get because they can loosen from the constant vibrations from the trailer contacting the pavement. While you’re checking the tension, also examine the hitch and wiring system. Make sure the tires are inflated and that the wheel bearings aren’t hot because that could indicate failure.
  8. Take your time. Since you’re operating a massive load, there are more components to consider. Drive slower when you’re in traffic. Remember that while acceleration takes longer with a hefty load in your trailer, it also takes longer to stop.

Maintaining control over the vehicle and trailer is crucial for safe transportation. After you complete your haul, shut off the auxiliary battery, propane tank and water pump if applicable. You may also want to consider sliding blocks behind your trailer wheels as an extra safety precaution.

trust the trailer experts

Backing With a Large Trailer

Driving forward has its challenges, but reversing with a trailer or camper takes further expertise and proficiency. Practice in open areas with no obstructions in the way. Take your time and feel how the trailer responds to each movement. And remember, you can always start over if you’re struggling by straightening out the rig. It may take time and several adjustments to back up a trailer, but here are a few tips to get you in the right direction.

Backing up a trailer involves more exaggerated movements to get the hitch ball in the correct position. Focus on the direction of the hitch ball and not the trailer. Turn left to go right and right to go left. Be cautious that the tongue of the trailer doesn’t collide with the bumper of your vehicle because it can cause damage and create dangerous situations.

In fact, too sharp of a turn can cause the trailer to jackknife, meaning it turns too far in one direction and the angle between the trailer and truck reaches 90 degrees or less. Moving in a straight line is excellent, as well as a near-L shape when backing up. When it hits a V shape, it can become hazardous. Avoid jackknifing by never letting your trailer pass the L shape or 90 degrees.

Trust the Experts When Driving With Extended Equipment

All Pro Trailer Superstore is one of the top full-service trailer providers in the nation, here to support any towing job from landscaping, construction and racing to hunting, farming and mulching operations. As a one-stop provider, our team offers 10 supplementary services on top of delivering top-tier trailer solutions. We carry an extensive inventory of trailers, accessories and towing products.

If you are new to towing a trailer or need further support with your equipment, reach out to our team of professionals online. We strive to remain committed, reliable, efficient and educated specialists in every aspect involved with our products. Trailer Superstore’s team will help you decide which trailer you need and how it will fit into your experience, application and budget.

Things to Know About Trailer Inspections

Things to Know About Trailer Inspections

Each year, you take your truck or car in for inspection to ensure it’s up to par with safety regulations. Whether you rely on your vehicle for daily commutes or to haul massive loads, it’s never an option to skimp on making sure your brakes, tires and other components are in top condition — and these rules apply equally to trailers and campers. When it comes to inspections, you not only have to think about different parts of your car, but you also have to examine the various workings of your extended equipment.

You could be hauling anything from heavy machinery and construction materials to ATVs and antique cars. Or, if you’re an avid traveler who loves an adventure, you could be taking your RV on cross-country trips. No matter how you use your trailer or camper, you always want to make sure this essential add-on to your vehicle doesn’t fail. It could leave your possessions damaged or have you stranded on the road.

When you need a team of professionals that perform trailer inspections, Trailer Superstore is an official Pennsylvania state trailer inspection station you can trust. We execute checks on different makes and models of trailers to keep you safe during your travels.

Trailer Inspection Laws in PA

Inspection regulations vary across different states. If you’re wondering how often to inspect trailers, it’s a good rule of thumb that any trailer with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 3,000 pounds needs annual examinations. Different states uphold various laws regarding internal, external and underneath inspection.

According to Pennsylvania laws and regulations concerning trailer and RV inspections, you should first verify ownership, along with proof and legality of financial responsibility. You can attest to each by having a registration card, manufacturer’s statement of origin or certificate of title.

The general criteria for utility and recreation trailers include suspension, brakes, door operation, tires, wheels, electrical system, the body, chassis, lighting and glazing. If you’re wondering what to expect when it comes to assessments, there are three main categories — internal, external and underneath tests.

Internal means the professionals from Trailer Superstore examine the flooring of your trailer to make sure it can support different loads of cargo. External checks consist of analyzing the door and tailgate operation, inspecting the window glazing for cracks and broken glass and testing the lenses and lamps. The underneath analysis is when we get into the nitty-gritty details of what you’re hauling.

Professionals check the vehicle frame, braking system and air suspension system and make corrections if it’s deflated or leaking. The experts scrutinize the tires and wheels for damage and wear, making sure your tires have a 2/32-inch tread as a minimum measurement.

Other inspections include looking at the ply or cord to see if it’s exposed, checking for bumps, separations or bulges in the tires or the tires having other purposes such as racing or for the highway. An analysis will also determine if the tires contact the body or chassis, if they extend past the body line, if the tire is smaller than the recommended minimum size or below the suggested load rating or if tires on the same axle aren’t the same type. When it comes to tires, we also search for missing bolts, wheel nuts or improper threading, as well as missing tires or rims on the axle.

trailer inspection laws in PA

Trailer Inspection Requirements

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV, the following requirements apply to trailers from 1967 and up.

1. Body

Fenders that have sharp edges are prohibited, along with hazardous projections from any surface of the trailer or camper that don’t latch correctly. Experts check for attached doors to the frame, and the floor of an RV must withstand its intended load. On boat trailers, the guides, pivots and rollers must be secured. When it comes to ramps on flatbeds, they must also be fortified if they don’t flip all the way back.

2. Brake Equipment

Any trailer that has a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 3,000 pounds should have a braking system on all four wheels. When set, the system should hold the trailer in a stationary position and control the movement. Electric or air brakes are required on pieces that are more than 8,000 pounds. Either system must be operable at the driver’s seat of the towing vehicle via a person’s hand or foot. If you have a non-commercial trailer, it can have surge brakes that have a gross weight of under 8,000 pounds.

You can also have surge brakes if you have a commercial trailer, but only if the equipment is not subject to intrastate and interstate limits. If you own an RV with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more, the commercial trailer also requires an emergency breakaway device. Inspectors often take your trailer or camper for a road test to see if it can halt within its maximum stopping distance. The test will help validate that the equipment or RV doesn’t swerve out of control.

3. Number Plate

The number plate on your extended equipment should be in a horizontal position, tightly fastened. It should be illuminated with a white light and fully visible when carrying a load.

4. Fenders

Your trailer or RV will need fenders if the rear area of your equipment doesn’t provide adequate protection from the spraying of water and dirt. The fenders you have in place must cover the tread width of your tires. But how do you determine if it provides enough protection? The height of the rearmost portion should be about one-third or less than the distance from the center of the rearmost axle. However, this doesn’t apply to farm trailers.

5. Frame

The frame of your apparatus should support its intended load without flexing. Whether you’re loading on hiking gear, heavy equipment, other vehicles, junk or anything else you can think of, you need to make sure the frame can withstand its specific weight. Fish plates are required as reinforcements at stress points, which should be parallel to the ground.

6. Hitch

The hitch is the part that’s securely mounted to your towing vehicle. It should be adequate for the specific weight you are drawing. Commercial hitches have markings on the balls to see if they are compliant with weight. If no markings are present, refer to the Society of Automotive Engineers ratings to establish the maximum weight as follows.

  • 1 and 7/8-inch ball: 2,000 pounds
  • 2-inch ball with a 3/4-inch bolt: 3,500 pounds
  • 2-inch ball with a 1-inch bolt: 5,000 pounds
  • 2-inch ball with a 1-3/8-inch bolt: 10,000 pounds
  • 2 and 5/16-inch ball with a 1-inch bolt: 5,000 pounds
  • 2 and 5/16-inch ball with a 1-1/4-inch bolt: 7,500 pounds

7. Identification Lamps

Trailers that are more than 80 inches in width need three red identification lamps in the center. The center of each light should be no fewer than six inches and no more than 12 inches apart.

8. Reflectors

You should mount the reflectors on your trailer at heights between 15 and 60 inches.

When you take your equipment in for inspection, there are also regulations about trailers that are less than 80 inches wide, according to the DMV. For example, homemade trailers should have two red reflectors at the rear and be mounted as far apart as possible.

Trailers built after 1968 should have two red reflectors at the rear and two red side reflectors, plus two amber reflectors on the sides if it’s more than 61 inches long. Trailers that are more than 10,000 pounds require white and red reflective tape on each side and the rear. Then, for pieces that are 30 feet or more, they need one amber reflector in the center of each side.

trailer inspection requirements

9. Side Markers and Clearance Lamps

Trailers that are less than 80 inches and that were manufactured after 1968 need two red side lamps near the rear. If your equipment is more than 61 inches long, you need two amber marker lamps near the front. Pieces that are 80 inches or more must display the same side marker and clearance lamps as the manufactured trailers made after 1968. If it’s more than 30 feet long, it requires one centered amber side lamp on the left and right.

10. Stop Lamps

There should be at least two red stop lamps mounted at a height between 15 and 72 inches on your trailer or RV.

11. Turn Signals

Your turn signals should be operating with red or amber lights at the rear with a height between 15 and 83 inches. If your equipment is less than 30 inches wide, it’s exempt from the stop lamp and turn signal regulations listed above. You will only need one of the following devices located near the center of your camper or trailer — a reflector, stop lamp or tail lamp lit with a white marker light.

12. Safety Chain

If you are using a tag-along, drawbar or coupler hitch to attach your camper to your tow vehicle, it also needs to be coupled to the frame of the car or truck via safety chains or cables. The cables control your trailer while in motion or in the event of failure. Two chains or cables are necessary unless there is a trailer tongue.

13. Suspension

Trailers with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 1,000 pounds have a suspension system, as opposed to an axle.

14. Tires

The extended piece on your vehicle should have a 2/32-inch center tread with no bulges, cuts, exposed cords or dry rot.

15. Wiring

The wiring within your RV or trailer should be insulated, supported and secured, and the maximum distance between each wiring session is 18 inches.

If you’re looking for a more in-depth list of trailer equipment inspection and regulations specifically for Pennsylvania, refer to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s online guide.

how to prepare for a trailer inspection

How You Can Prepare for Inspection

For you to maintain your camper or trailer before any trip, there are a few things you can do that don’t require a full-scale inspection. Starting from the ground up, you can check components such as tires, brakes and suspension.

  1. Check your tires for condition and pressure. Examine each tire for tears and the appropriate amount of air pressure. Off-road equipment will have different working pressures compared to touring versions, and the pressure will also depend on how much weight the trailer can carry.
  2. Analyze the bearings, trailer axle and wheel hubs. Begin this step by jacking up each wheel. If you feel movement from side to side, tighten your bearings. If you spin the wheel and it rumbles, replace the bearings. And, as the last task, check that the axle is straight and centered to the spring.
  3. Inspect the brake system. Make proper adjustments and look for wear and tear on the pads or shoes. You should also check the hydraulic fluid, if relevant.
  4. Look at the suspension. The components may vary from trailer and RV, but several items to keep an eye out for are cracked leaves, leaf separation, loose bolts, leaking shock absorbers, split bushes and wear marks on bolts.
  5. Review the chassis for cracks. Cracks can appear in the steel, welds or other areas prone to rust. Also, tighten any loose bolts in the frame.
  6. Consider the lights and wiring of your equipment. Clean out any dust from the lenses for a higher intensity of light for increased visibility. Make sure the globes and all wires have strong and clean connections.
  7. Look over the tow hitch. Make sure to lubricate the tow hitch and inspect the pin. Check for excessive wear. If your equipment has a ball mount, ensure each part is greased, and adjust the mechanical override brakes if necessary.

After you finish your inspection, you can travel with a back full of tools or a lot of gear for your hobby. When you reach the point of needing a thorough review to keep you in line with state regulations, call on the pros at Trailer Superstore.

What We Perform at All Pro Trailer Superstore

While there are general guidelines for trailer examinations, our team of specialists at Trailer Superstore perform the following inspections.

  • Check tire pressure
  • Inspect tires and wheels
  • Look at safety chains
  • Adjust brakes
  • Grease all fittings
  • Torque wheel lug nuts
  • Check breakaway system
  • Inspect coupler
  • Examine light system
  • Look over brake magnets
  • Check suspension parts
  • Inspect brake lines
  • Examine brake cylinders
  • Review brake linings and wiring
  • Check hub/drum

After we complete our analysis, we will issue you a PA state inspection sticker. We encourage you to get your camper or trailer checked each year to stay up to date with current laws and regulations. Keeping your extended equipment in check is just as important as testing your vehicle. No matter if you tow heavy machinery every day or you use your RV for a few yearly trips, inspection is vital to ensure your safety. If you need additional repairs or answers, we are here to keep you on the road.

get a trailer inspection at all pro trailer superstore

Start Your Yearly Inspection With Trailer Superstore

As one of the top full-service trailer providers in the nation, All Pro Trailer Superstore not only has a massive inventory of trailers to match your application and budget, but we also offer other services most of our competitors can’t live up to, such as repairs, customization, delivery, financing and tagging.

Whether you use your trailer for race cars, hauling sand, hunting, transporting your surfboards or moving furniture, our team can inspect your equipment. Our representatives are product-oriented, committed and efficient. We strive to remain a leader in the industry to help keep you safe and up to par with Pennsylvania’s laws and regulations.

Reach out to a Trailer Superstore representative online for support or fill out a trailer inspection form to get started.

Tips for Hauling Heavy Equipment

Tips for Hauling Heavy Equipment

Transporting heavy equipment can be a challenge — or a breeze if you prepare with a well thought-out plan and equip yourself with the proper trailer. All Pro Trailer Superstore experts know you need to keep each machine in place whether you’re moving over-sized loads to different locations or need to transport several engines at a time. Fleet managers expect efficiency and safety. Therefore, you will need the appropriate equipment, securement, driver, routes, permits and licenses.

And let’s not forget about adhering to the correct regulations since rules can change from state to state. Whether you have a mixed fleet of backhoes and forklifts or have a single piece of machinery to haul, rely on our guidelines to get an idea of how to achieve a smooth move.

Table of Contents

Quick Tips to Help You Transfer and Secure Heavy Equipment

When you need to get your heavy machinery from one destination to the next, you want to work with a safe load and keep the heavy equipment in place. You can lessen the risk of damage during sudden stops, accidents and high-speed turns by following a few simple steps.

Every year there are thousands of violations regarding load fastening. As one of the most vital components in conducting a massive move, you need to be aware of checks such as:

  • Secured vehicle equipment
  • Strong tie downs
  • Proper heavy equipment and machine protection
  • Correct cargo, systems and devices protection
  • Ideal securing procedures from the front and rear portions of the vehicle
  • Immobilized equipment

Driving on the road, plus maneuvering through different conditions such as tight turns and various road environments, may cause accidents unless you keep your heavy equipment in place. It’s crucial to work with the right tools to make hauling easier. You simplify the process when you adhere to several steps, including strategic planning and precise execution:

  • Prepare ahead of time
  • Work with the proper trailer
  • Secure the load with the right tools
  • Rely on trained and experienced drivers
  • Obtain the correct permits
  • Understand the towing requirements for different states
  • Run the driving route in advance

tips for securing heavy equipment

The Pros and Cons of Different Trailer Types

The first thing on your preparation list is to find the best trailer that suits your application. There are various types of towing extensions such as a flatbed, lowboy, drop deck, gooseneck and extendable drop deck.

1. Trailers With a Low Deck Height

Extensions to your truck with a low deck height are the most popular trailer for hauling heavy machinery. Because the detachable equipment offers the lowest deck height, it creates a small center of gravity and keeps your machines under various height restrictions. Trailers with low decks are vital if you’re transporting tall equipment, and they make loading easy, especially for track-type engines.

Double-drop detachable extensions are also common to work with whether you’re moving several skid steers or a grader. The trailers have a low angle and loaded deck height which helps it carry almost any equipment. Double-drops are great solutions for over-width machines or for engines that may have an overhead clearance issue. The only disadvantage of a detachable is the lack of deck space. You can often only haul one engine at a time.

2. Hydraulic vs. Mechanical Trailers for Loading Machinery

As the name implies, a hydraulic trailer uses hydraulic cylinders to lower and raise the deck as opposed to manual movements. The gooseneck versions are more forgiving with hydraulics and are excellent at keeping the trailer’s center of gravity low to the ground. Many construction workers depend on detachable hydraulic gooseneck trailers because they are easy to load and help decrease the overall height of the system.

Hydraulics are also versatile, allowing you to add a beavertail option to the trailer for boosted flexibility. Pneumatic systems are helpful when you’re in tight areas where removing the gooseneck proves too difficult. The only disadvantage of a hydraulic trailer is the weight.

When it comes to a mechanical system, several different versions exist. Each offers a simple design, and none of them require hydraulics. However, no hydraulics means they can be a bit trickier to operate. They are also harder on the driveline of your towing vehicle, and you always have to make sure you’re on a solid surface for good traction. Mechanical systems are a great solution for companies who operate with loads on the trailer for several days at a time.

3. Working With a Sliding Axle Trailer

A sliding axle trailer doesn’t need ramps to load equipment, which makes your life easy. The hydraulic axle tilts forward to lower the bed and offers an excellent load angle. Having the deck low to the ground also increases safety measures.

For example, pavers require a six-degree angle for loading. With a sliding trailer, you can load pavers at low angles. This trailer also offers maximum deck space since the deck is above the tires. The trailer has the versatility and flexibility to handle several pieces of machinery at once. It can transport about 80 percent of all construction equipment without compromising height restrictions too. However, a sliding axle trailer is not ideal for permanent loads because of its weight and center of gravity.

4. Adding Beavertail Options to Your Trailer

Beavertails are an economical solution that have simple-to-use manual ramps. They are better on hard ground, they have a steeper angle of approach, and the deck height is often higher than a detachable lowboy. However, beavertails are outstanding for off-terrain loading. The system can deliver up to 20 inches of ground clearance under the chassis, which can help you traverse over boulders and other obstacles.

pros and cons of different trailer types

Best Practices for Hauling Heavy Equipment

Now it’s time to get down to the details of hauling equipment with trailers. As with many things in life, there is a before, during and after phase — and it holds for carrying heavy machinery to each job site.

1. Before Loading Your Machines

Before placing your equipment onto the trailer, adjust what you need according to the next few phases:

  • Make sure your vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating is in line with what you’re hauling. Anything that exceeds the truck’s weight limit can cause accidents.
  • Find out if you will need a permit for over-width or over-sized equipment.
  • Refer to any loading guidelines for your engines such as brakes, locking pins, transmission gear, deck wideners and outriggers.
  • Figure out where you will place the heavy equipment on the transport trailer to distribute the weight as evenly as possible.
  • Check your equipment’s specified securement points to ensure there is no damage.
  • Friction devices may be necessary if there will be low friction between your vehicle and the machine, such as metal crawlers on a metal deck.

2. During Loading

Driving your machines onto a trailer is a straightforward process when you consider the following:

  • Only operate equipment you’re familiar with and know how to work safely.
  • If applicable, place your machines against the vehicle structure to prevent forward shifting unless the weight distribution doesn’t allow.
  • Be aware of hydraulic or brake hoses and cylinders when attaching your securement system to keep each component intact.
  • Install edge protection to your trailer to keep your equipment and tie downs in excellent condition.
  • Follow the equipment manufacturer’s attachment point suggestions.
  • Adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations when it comes to securing your heavy machinery.
  • Work with the appropriate attachment points that are strong and suitable to withstand specific levels of weight.
  • Use chains if you can as they are the preferred tie-down method for heavy machinery.
  • Always use direct tie downs when possible.
  • To prevent your trailer, as well as the equipment, from rolling away, use chocks, wedges, cradles or other tools to prevent the system from shifting.

3. After You Set Your Equipment

Once you have your engines in place, take one more sweeping look at your load to ensure safe, reliable and efficient transportation:

  • Lower every mobile accessory of your heavy equipment such as plows, hydraulic shovels, booms and crane arms.
  • Secure each to the trailer using tie downs as necessary. If the accessory has a locking pin to prevent extra movement, it doesn’t need additional securement.
  • Lock the machinery to prevent articulation if it has components such as a pivot or hinge.
  • Secure other items that aren’t attached to the equipment to the trailer by adhering to cargo securement rules.
  • Confirm the final height and width of the towing vehicle and trailer.
  • Inspect your trailer and truck to make sure they conform to towing regulations.

why effectively transporting heavy equipment matters

Different Tie-Down Requirements

Sometimes you may wish you could throw a rope around your load and call it a day. Maybe a few ratchet straps at the front and a few at the back. Although it sounds like an easy solution, tie-down systems are the epitome of a safe haul. Without the right tools and technique, you and your equipment could be in for a rough ride.

  • You need at least four tie-down points to prevent side-to-side movement as well as vertical, forward and rearward movement, especially if your trailer has wheels or crawler tracks.
  • A single tie down, which is an indirect method, includes one that goes through an anchor point and attaches to both sides of the trailer.
  • You can use a chain to count as two tie downs if you attach it to two anchor points with two binders and slack in the middle.
  • The total working load limits of the tie down scheme must be at least 50 percent of the cargo weight.
  • Tie downs are either as close as possible to the rear or front of the equipment or at the proper mounting points on your machinery.

As you can see, there is a method to all the madness. When you conform to the proper tie-down procedures, you can rest assured that your machinery is in place and ready for the trip.

Why Effectively Transporting Heavy Equipment Matters

Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best — while breaking a few laws at the same time — secure your heavy equipment the right way to maximize efficiency as well as increase safety. Adhering to our short guideline can simplify the moving process between job sites. Fleet safety is a combination between man and machine where both are essential.

You have to know the weight of your machine, how much the trailer can handle, how much your truck can pull and other workings such as how to load various cargos, how to put the equipment on the trailer, facts about load distribution and how to chain your engines.

Driver training is also an essential piece of the puzzle. Everything from securement training, keeping the right distance between other vehicles, operating around hazardous objects such as bridges and wires and communicating with your escorts makes the perfect combination for a safe haul. Drivers need to review and update their truck-driving skills each year, and they may require extra training before taking on large projects. Always make sure you and your operators are aware of safety rules and regulations.

One of the essential parts of undertaking a heavy equipment haul is making sure your load is secure. The second is how to haul your trailer. Over the years, technology has made it easier with GPS, hydraulics and even truck ergonomics for a fast and efficient process.

find the right trailer with All Pro Trailer Superstore

Finding the Right Trailer Starts With Us

Now that you know the best way to haul your heavy equipment without damaging a trailer or your machines, it’s time to consider which solution is best for your application and budget. Trailers for heavy equipment aren’t one-type fits all deal. All Pro Trailer Superstore is here to help you buy an equipment trailer that suits your hauling needs.

As one of the essential components in transporting equipment, the right trailer has to meet your precise requirements. You will want to make sure to consider the various axle and trailer types and how each can benefit you.

Trailer Superstore is a full-service trailer center that offers extended equipment for everything from hauling stone and transporting cars to moving heavy machinery for those who work in construction. Our team of professionals is here to support you in finding a trailer that fits your budget and application. We are also here to help you learn the best and safest loading and hauling practices.

On top of our massive inventory of trailers, All Pro Trailer Superstore also provides 10 additional services including trade-ins, financing, customization and delivery. We are a leader in the industry, and our knowledgeable sales force is committed, educated and dedicated to being a customer-service-driven team.

Routine Trailer Maintenance Tips

Routine Trailer Maintenance Tips

Buying a trailer is a smart investment. Long-term trailer ownership compared to short-term renting has enormous returns, particularly when you use your trailer regularly. When you purchase a trailer, you now have a valuable asset. The best way to protect your investment is through routine trailer maintenance. For that, you could use some helpful tips.

Just like any other type of equipment, a well-maintained trailer will perform better and last longer than a neglected one. The amount of time and money you spend maintaining your trailer investment can have a return on investment in the long run. You can delay or prevent expensive repairs, as well as keep your trailer in continuous service.

You can take on many trailer maintenance tasks yourself, including routine jobs like lubricating moving parts and checking tire pressure. Washing and cleaning your trailer is an ongoing process, and replacing light bulbs is something you can easily do. However, for bigger and more complex undertakings such as brake repairs and spot welds, you need professional help.

It’s also essential to keep in mind that the larger the trailer, the more parts will need maintenance and the more complex the mechanics may become. You might wonder what maintenance tasks you should do yourself and when you should turn to a trailer maintenance specialist. To help you decide, here are some valuable trailer maintenance tips. You’ll also get a clear picture of why trailer maintenance is so important.

Table of Contents

making small trailer repairs

Making Small Trailer Repairs and Maintenance Tasks

Smaller trailer repairs and maintenance tasks are probably things you can accomplish by yourself. You don’t need technical or expensive tools to make small trailer repairs. Most minor repairs and maintenance requires more work with your hands than with tools. The same applies to skill. However, for repairs requiring high skill like replacing brakes or repairing wiring, you’re wise to leave that to licensed mechanics. Here is a step-by-step trailer maintenance checklist of small repairs and maintenance tasks you can take on yourself.

Washing and cleaning: If there’s one simple maintenance task that really pays off, it’s washing and cleaning your trailer regularly. By regular, that means every time it needs attention. That might be seasonal when nature deposits material on your body or chassis. It’s also after you’ve towed your trailer through muddy or dusty terrain.

A simple solution of household detergent and water is usually all you need for most cleaning tasks. As well, you need a hose, bucket and decent brush. A word of caution, though: Be careful with stiff-bristled brushes if you have an enclosed trailer with an automotive finish on the body. And be very cautious if you’re using a pressure washer. You could do more damage than good with a high-pressure spray.

LubricationAnother simple, but essential, trailer maintenance chore is lubricating moving parts. Every moving part on your trailer creates friction. Properly lubricating those components reduce friction, which, in turn, cuts down on wear and tear leading to part failure.

There are two crucial steps in lubricating your trailer: One is properly applying lubricant, and the other is the type of lube to use. Sealed components like your wheel bearings require grease applied under pressure from a grease gun. You should only use an automotive-rated axle and bearing lubricant like LMX Red Grease, which is specially designed for wheel bearings.

Light-duty lubrication tasks like door and gate hinges require a lighter, oily lubricant. Your best product is a spray application of graphite or white lithium. It doesn’t attract and trap road grime as regular grease does. When you spray your hinge points, take time to move the joint back and forth so the lubricant works inside.

Bearing BuddiesIf there’s one simple maintenance task that reduces the risk of costly repairs, it’s using Bearing Buddies. They make axle lubrication easy and effective. Bearing Buddies are a proprietary brand name of an ingenious device you install on the outer flange of your trailer axles to replace the factory cap.

Bearing Buddies have a spring-loaded inner mechanism that places your grease supply under slight pressure. They deliver a constant stream of lubricant to your axle bearings and races. These aftermarket pieces have grease nipples that attach to a regular gun. They take away the old time-consuming, axle-lubing process of disassembling your hubs and repacking your bearings with fresh grease.

Because Bearing Buddies keep your axle’s inner workings under pressure, that prevents ingress of foreign dirt and moisture. Bearing Buddies are invaluable for water conditions like what boat trailers experience. That’s especially so around salt water.

making larger trailer repairs

Light bulbs: Replacing light bulbs is another simple repair and maintenance job you can easily accomplish. To start with, you should periodically check all the lights on your trailer. It’s particularly important that your taillights, brake lights and turn signals all work. Not only can burned-out lights be dangerous, but you could get pulled over or even fined for having faulty lights.

It’s helpful to have an assistant when inspecting trailer lights. Have your helper sit in your towing vehicle and operate the brakes and signals while you watch for defects. If a light’s not working, it’s usually because the bulb or lamp is dead, as opposed to a wiring issue.

There are two primary trailer bulb types: bayonet and push-in. Also note that there are three styles of trailer light bulbs —incandescent, halogen and light-emitting diode. Take care when handling new bulbs. The oil on your fingertips leads to early burnout.

Trailer wiring: If your lights aren’t operating and there’s nothing wrong with your bulbs, you’ll have something wrong with your wiring. Usually, this is just a dirty connection a simple cleaning can fix. You might also have a loose connection you can rectify by crimping or tightening. If those two main problem-solvers don’t work, you might have a severed wire.

You can test your wiring harness yourself with a probe-style test light. You can buy these circuit testers at any automotive supply store. Test lights look like an awl with a wire attached that clamps to a ground source like your trailer frame. Once you’ve grounded the tester, poke the sharp probe end onto the wire connection or through the plastic insulation. As long as you have the wiring harness energized, you’ll see the test device light up.

If it doesn’t, there’s an interruption to your power. Your next step is working upstream toward your battery supply, using a trial-and-error process, until you find the break. Don’t worry about electrical shock, as your trailer’s electrical system is 12 volts. If you can’t locate your power failure source, it’s best to take your trailer in for professional service.

Tires: The most crucial trailer maintenance task you can do is keeping your tires serviceable. You do that by ensuring your tire pressure is within the manufacturer’s specifications. You’ll see the recommended pressure printed on your tire’s sidewall. It’ll be rated in pounds per square inch, or PSI. You can also find your tire pressure rating in your trailer’s owner manual or on the tire manufacturer’s website.

Checking tire pressure is simple. There are three common tire pressure gauges on the market — stick, dial and digital. You can get any of them inexpensively at an auto parts store. To get an accurate reading, make sure you check pressures when your tires are “cold.” A good rule is three hours after you’ve parked your trailer. Recently run tires become “hot,” and your inflated air will expand to result in misleadingly high readings.

Tire wear is another thing to keep an eye on. Worn tires can be a disaster if a blowout happens at high speed. It’s far better to be safe than sorry and replace your trailer tires when their normal life expectancy is over. Watch for two wear signs. One is outer wear, which indicates under-inflation. The other is center wear, which is a clear sign of overinflated tires.

Be careful about rotating or swapping your trailer tires from one side to the other. Most modern tires are designed to rotate in specific directions. If you take your correctly mounted right-side tires and change them to the left, you’ll have installed them backward. Rotating or swapping tire sides is still an acceptable way to extend tire life. However, if you do change them around, you’ll need to reverse them on the rims. For that, you should always involve a professional trailer service and repair facility.

Frame and bodyYou’ll likely be able to make straightforward repairs to your trailer’s frame and body. Often, that will be a simple matter of tightening bolts or fasteners. You’ll find obvious signs of loose parts by visually examining your trailer from top to bottom and end to end. Hearing squeaking or rattling sounds while you are under tow might also forewarn you of problems.

For routine tightening, you’ll normally require a set of combination and socket wrenches. All American-made trailers use Imperial sizing, which works on fraction-of-inch measurements such as ¼”, ½”, ¾” and so forth. Be aware that foreign-made trailers tend to use the metric measurement system of millimeters. You’ll see common trailer fastener sizes of 10mm, 14mm, 14mm, etc. If you have a metric-based trailer, it’s not worth the expense of investing in expensive wrenches for home repairs. You’re best leaving that to the professional trailer service and repair folks.

You’re also wise to have professionals perform more complicated repair and service work if it involves your trailer frame’s suspension and coupling systems. These are serious components that require specific knowledge, skills and tools to get the work done right. Coupling devices like trailer tongues and hitches are vital safety components. Suspension systems are under tension and can be dangerous to inexperienced people.

trailer repairs not to attempt yourself

Making Larger Trailer Repairs

For larger trailer repairs, it’s not worth the time and trial of do-it-yourself work. There’s a return on undertaking simple tasks like cleaning, lubricating, testing lights and pressure, as well as routine bolt tightening. However, for bigger and complicated trailer repair jobs, you’ll definitely benefit from professional help.

You shouldn’t make any repairs, alterations or customizations on your trailer that would affect its road safety or legal compliance. Professional trailer service and repair people know what modifications are allowable and how to make repairs that conform to regulations. Top trailer dealers like All Pro Trailer Superstore are government-certified to make trailer inspections and verify your trailer complies with licensing rules. That certification extends to supporting your insurance, as well.

Trailer Repairs Not to Attempt Yourself

Knowing which repairs to conduct yourself is a great way to save money and protect your investment. However, it’s equally as important to protect your investment by knowing when to get professional help. While there are some repairs you can make, there are some you definitely want professionals handling. Here’s a list of trailer repairs not to attempt by yourself.

  • Brake repairs: DIY brake repairs aren’t only dangerous. They might be illegal, depending on your jurisdiction. Most trailer brakes are a combination of electric and hydraulic systems. There’s a lot to know about trailer brakes. There are also specialized tools involved. Make sure to get professional brake repairs done on your trailer.
  • Suspension repairs: Most trailer suspensions use a leaf spring system. These are spring steel components and they’re under tension. You could get seriously injured by unwinding trailer suspension parts. That’s also a job for professionals who understand suspension systems and have the equipment to safely repair them.
  • Coupling repairsYour trailer tongue and hitch components keep your rig safely attached to your towing vehicle. The last thing you want is your trailer suddenly detaching when under tow. You also want to unhook your trailer when you’re not using it. Professional coupling repairs make sure your trailer stays on and comes off safely.
  • Breakaway repairsBreakaway switches are vital for trailer safety. Many jurisdictions legally require certain trailer sizes to have breakaway systems that automatically activate if your trailer suddenly detaches from your tow vehicle when underway. These are serious safety devices. You should never attempt to repair your breakaway components. Instead, contact trained and competent professionals like those at All Pro Trailer Superstore.

Contact All Pro Trailer Superstore

Contact All Pro Trailer Superstore for Trailer Sales and Repairs

All Pro Trailer Superstore is your one-stop shop for all types of trailer repairs, servicing and maintenance work. Our professional trailer technicians have the experience and equipment to handle all types of trailer repairs. We are also capable of complete trailer customization.

Since 1985, All Pro Trailer Superstore has served America with superior trailer sales and repairs. We handle all types of new trailers and used trailers, as well as supplying trailer accessories and providing service work. At All Pro Trailer Superstore, we also have an impressive and attractive line of new trailer clearance models.

We’re centrally located near Harrisburg, Pa., where our 14,000-square-foot facility situated on a 10-acre property houses the largest trailer inventory selection you can find. To find out more about how All Pro Trailer Superstore can help you with professional trailer repairs, or find you that perfect new or used trailer, call us today at 800-622-7003. You can also reach us through our online contact form.

Troubleshooting Trailer Wiring Issues

Troubleshooting Trailer Wiring Issues

You rely on your trailer day in and day out whether you use it for landscaping, construction, farming, hunting, racing or your favorite hobbies. Hauling things like heavy equipment, tools, sports bikes, hunting gear and anything you can put in the back relies on not only a durable trailer but also one that functions safely on the road.

But what happens when you start experiencing trailer light wiring problems? What if your brake lights aren’t working, or your turn signals are dim? Or maybe the lights work under some circumstances but aren’t 100 percent reliable. No matter the problem, you always want to make sure your utility trailer is in top condition.

At Trailer Superstore, we understand trailer wiring can be frustrating, and you may not know where to begin troubleshooting. Our team of professionals is here to help you learn how to locate the problem and understand how to perform different tests. It’s crucial to diagnose a trailer wiring problem early on to get you back on the road in the safest way possible.

If your light wiring has a few small complications, you can diagnose the issues and fix the lights on your own. But for glitches that are more detailed, you can refer to the professionals at All Pro Trailer Superstore.

Table of Contents

The Importance of Trailer Light Wiring

Imagine driving down the highway at night when your trailer’s lights don’t work. Other drivers and pedestrians won’t know your vehicle has extended equipment on the back, which can lead to hazardous situations. When others aren’t aware of your location — whether you’re turning or slowing down — your safety and the safety of others becomes compromised.

To be an aware and careful driver on the road, you need functioning trailer lights. They’re crucial for the utmost safety. Because everything wears out over time, it’s best to check your trailer light wiring every time before driving.

Typical Trailer Wiring Problems and the Necessary Tools to Fix Them

The lights on your trailer can be a bit dim or not work at all. There could be a burned out bulb, corrosion, broken wires or even a lousy light ground wire. But all these issues are easy fixes, and you can make the appropriate repairs. While wiring grounds are often the most typical problem, other common light wiring glitches with trailers include the following:

  1. One function of the trailer light system doesn’t work, like the brake lights or left turn signal.
  2. None of the light functions work.
  3. The lights worked at first but have stopped over time.
  4. Switching on one turn signal causes both sides of the trailer to turn on.
  5. Turning on the vehicle’s headlights causes the trailer lights to stop functioning.
  6. One or more of the trailer lights remain on, even with the ignition turned off.
  7. The harness functions until you connect the trailer.
  8. The trailer’s reverse lights aren’t working.

importance of trailer light wiring

With each common problem, there are several possible issues that you can detect within your trailer lighting. For example, if only one function of the wiring system isn’t working, it could be because the harness wires aren’t connected to your car. Take a look at the following potential wiring faults that correspond to the complications listed above:

  1. The harness wires aren’t connected, a set of connectors isn’t making a strong connection, a fuse blew, the brake wire isn’t connected or there’s an insufficient ground.
  2. The 12V power wire isn’t linked to the car’s battery, the harness has a factory tow package and the vehicle doesn’t, there’s a blown or missing relay or fuse, the harness has a poor connection to the ground or there was a harness overload.
  3. There’s a loose or weak ground connection, the harness experienced an overload because of an excessive draw or there’s a short in the wiring.
  4. The brake wire on the harness isn’t grounded, or there’s an insufficient ground.
  5. There’s an inadequate ground on the truck or trailer side or an overloaded harness because of too many lights.
  6. Improper connection to the truck wire exists, there’s an insufficient ground or the trailer has LED lights powered by the 4-way plug.
  7. There’s an insufficient ground or a harness overload when the trailer connects to the vehicle.
  8. The fifth wire isn’t attached to the reverse circuit on the car, or there’s an insufficient ground.

As you can see, the most repeated problem when it comes to trailer light wiring refers back to poor ground connections. You can fix most wiring issues by following a few simple steps, but for full wiring replacements and more complicated jobs, we recommend you rely on the experts at All Pro Trailer Superstore.

Always avoid rewiring the entire system until you’ve checked all the possibilities. Depending on the type of maintenance you need to complete, refer to the following list of necessary tools:

  • 12V battery
  • Additional wire
  • Continuity tester
  • Dielectric grease
  • Dowel
  • Electrical contact cleaner
  • Electrical tape
  • Jumper wire
  • Light bulbs
  • Nut driver
  • Power drill
  • Sandpaper
  • Screwdriver
  • Tow vehicle tester
  • Wire fasteners
  • Wire stripper
  • Wiring kit

If all you need to do is a simple light bulb switch, you have it easy. But sometimes your trailer wiring involves a bit more than unscrewing and screwing. Corrosion can build up in challenging-to-reach places, or you may need to replace part of a wire. If you’re unsure of how to troubleshoot your trailer light wiring system, the specialists at All Pro Trailer Superstore are here to help.

typical trailer wiring problems

How to Fix Common Trailer Wiring Problems

First things first — start by testing the vehicle and the trailer separately to eliminate common issues. You have to determine if there’s a problem with the tow vehicle or the trailer by analyzing the separate wiring systems in manageable sections as opposed to all at once. If you begin testing when the truck and trailer are attached, you won’t know where the problem stems from.

The following step-by-step guide will help you troubleshoot your trailer wiring. Whether you have a 4-way plug, need to analyze the ground connections or have an overload situation, there’s a resolution. Small fixes like these are easy to perform and don’t require anything but time and a few tools. Once you begin to experience more elaborate problems, that’s when you should allow us to step in and help.

1. Testing for Proper Functions

For a 4-way plug, use a 12V circuit tester to check the function of your vehicle’s lights. Ask someone to help engage different lights so that you can focus on observing in the back. But before you perform any tests, remove the fuse on the power for several minutes, then reinstall it. If any light functions do not have the right power reading, test the wiring that goes into the converter box. If the light wiring functions are correct, you can examine the trailer wiring system.

Behind the converter box, check that the signals go to the converter box from the truck or car. A green and yellow wire should indicate turn signals and brake lights for a two-wire vehicle. On a three-wire car, red wires carry brake lights and yellow and green are for turn signals. If any of the light functions don’t have the proper power, look for the following:

  • Loose connectors or wires and missing fuses or relays on a plug-in harness
  • Weak or loose ground connections on a hand-wired harness
  • Wires that are attached to the incorrect places on the truck

2. Confirming Accurate Wire Connections

For a hard wire installation, confirm that each wire connects to the right location. Standard wire colors exist, but make sure to check connections according to their functions if your system varies. If your vehicle has combined brake lights and turn signals, your brake wire will be grounded with the color white. A 12V power wire should connect to your car’s positive battery terminal, and if your trailer has a 5-way harness wire, make sure the truck’s fifth wire connects to the reverse light circuit.

When it comes to a plug-in installation, take a look at the following inspections you can make:

  • Secure the connection between the 12V power wire and vehicle battery while checking for blown fuses.
  • Make sure your vehicle has a tow package if you’re working with a factory tow package harness.
  • Certify that the part number aligns with the correct make, model and year of your truck.
  • Confirm that the harness connectors are on the proper side of the vehicle, with green wires on the passenger side and yellow on the driver’s.
  • Make sure the connectors click together by removing and connecting them again.
  • Inspect the connectors for loose or damaged wires, loose or bent pins and broken locking tabs.

You can also perform a continuity test. To troubleshoot your trailer wiring, connect a jumper wire to the connector pins and the continuity tester to the system’s sockets. A continuity test helps you see if there are any broken wires. Select a color of wire in the socket, and find the same one on the connector front. Clip one end of the jumper wire to the connector pin, and clip the other to the continuity tester.

Probe the tester inside the socket. If your trailer lights are failing, trace the wire and check for breaks. Cut anywhere you see a fault, then solder on a new connection, and repair the insulation with heat-shrink tubing.

how to fix trailer wiring problems

3. Inspecting Ground Connections

On your truck, check the ground region for corrosion and paint buildup. Clean the area as necessary until you reach a clean metal surface or can replace any corroded ground screws.

If you have a factory ground screw, make sure additional ring terminals aren’t stacked below the ground. If they are, move the ground for the harness to a different location or toward the bottom. Finally, disconnect the ground wire and attach it to a piece of wire that runs to your car’s negative battery terminal. If it solves your light wiring issue, you can keep the cable in place.

When it comes to your trailer, checking your ground system is critical. Ensure the ground wire connects to the trailer frame. If the trailer has a tongue fold, make sure the connection is behind the tongue on the structure. You can also shift the ground wire to the frame if it’s attached to an aluminum area.

4. Looking for Overload Conditions

An overload occurs when a circuit experiences more electricity than it can handle, which can cause overheating and melting. Be aware of the maximum amperage rating of the harness, and compare it to the draw of your trailer lights. In some cases, you can reset the unit by removing the fuse and leaving it for several minutes. Use a circuit tester to check the 4-way plug function, remembering not to plug in the trailer before testing.

Your trailer may have a short if each function is present after the resetting process. If the trailer lights draw more amperage than the harness can handle, remove the bulbs from the extra clearance lights and connect the trailer. If the harness works without any bulbs, it indicates an overdraw from the number of lights on the trailer. Remove the clearance lights, and replace them with LED versions to draw less power.

5. Other Possible Trailer Light Wiring Issues

Over time, the elements can overtake your trailer and create a buildup of corrosion in different areas. Make a note to check for corrosion, which can look green or white. Either replace the plugs or clean them with battery terminal cleaner. You’ll want to complete this step after you’ve checked the car’s lights and if the trailer’s lights still seem dim or aren’t working. You can also spray the connector with electrical contact cleaner and use a fine wire brush to clean each contact pin. It will help to create a stronger connection between the wires too.

When corrosion reaches the wiring socket, it can cause your light to not work. Another cleaning method includes the removal of corrosion by using 220-grit sandpaper. If you can’t reach your fingers into tiny spaces, hot glue a strip of sandpaper to a 3/8-inch dowel. Clean each point by spinning the wooden dowel and forcing it side to side. After that, put a tiny bit of dielectric grease on the contacts, and replace the light bulb. If your lights still aren’t working, check the mounting bolts to make sure they have clean contact with the trailer frame.

You should also ensure that the non-aluminum mounting area is clean and paint-free if the lights ground through mounting hardware. If the surface is aluminum, connect a wire from the ground and a light stud to the frame. Last but not least, check light bulbs for proper functioning and replace as needed. Screw off and screw back on — it’s that simple. If any of your light bulbs on the trailer break or the bulb goes out, remove the old and install a new one. It can happen to any light, including the running, blinker and stop light.

In the case that your trailer has more advanced wiring issues, you can rely on trailer experts from All Pro Trailer Superstore. Our team can redo the entire wiring system if the corrosion is too much to sand off or you need a whole new wire harness, which includes connectors, lenses, lights and other specifics.

Rely on Trailer Superstore for Solutions to Trailer Wiring Problems

Rely on the Experts for Challenging Wiring Problems

After you’ve troubleshot the light wiring system on your trailer, you may find that you need a bit of extra support. For more advanced issues that you can’t fix on your own, bring your trailer into Trailer Superstore. Our representatives form a team of reliable, efficient, educated and committed professionals who stand as leaders in the industry. All Pro Trailer Superstore provides maintenance services and will work with you to ensure our efforts fit your budget and application.

As a full-service trailer provider, we also sell, finance, inspect, customize, trade-in, title and tag, store, wrap and deliver trailers nationwide. We provide a line of trailer accessories and towing products within our massive inventory. When your trailer wiring system needs a complete rewiring, contact Trailer Superstore online to set up an appointment or speak with a specialist.

Buying vs. Renting a Trailer

Buying vs. Renting a Trailer

When you’re in the trailer market, you’re faced with a lot of options. The biggest challenge is getting exactly what you need for precisely what you can afford. The trick is to think long term — consider the entire time you’ll be requiring your trailer.

Take a step back and analyze your situation. Is acquiring a trailer something you see as a capital venture and expect a return on investment? Or, are you acquiring a trailer for a short-term purpose and are prepared to look at it as a one-time expense that you’re not worried about recovering?

Like most decisions, there are benefits of renting trailers and benefits of buying trailers. It comes down to making an informed and educated decision. The wise choice weighs the overall ownership cost against the rental option and then decides what the best investment is. Let’s look at both avenues of renting and purchasing.

Table of Contents

Types of Trailers

Setting aside the rent vs. buy question for the moment, your first consideration will be what type of trailer you need. There are many trailer styles available. Each trailer category has a number of individual options, as well. These are the main trailer styles that you have a choice of buying or renting:

  • Utility trailers for small jobs like hauling renovation supplies or yard waste.
  • Car trailers for transporting vehicles like recreational vehicle auxiliaries.
  • Enclosed trailers for construction tools or show vehicles needing security.
  • Landscape trailers for heavy-duty hauling including dump capability.
  • Equipment trailers for pulling skid steers or mini-excavators and accessories.
  • Dual purpose trailers for hauling ATVs one day and household goods the next.
  • Custom trailers for any purpose you can think of or dream up.

Deciding the type of trailer you need is your first step. Once you know the trailer style you require, then it’s time to pick the exact size. There are many factors you need to weigh before you can move on to the buy vs. rent choice.

As a rule of thumb, it’s better to choose a larger trailer than a smaller one. While a larger trailer might cost more to purchase or lease, it’ll be far more beneficial than a small trailer that won’t fit your equipment. Here are the primary consideration points to take in when sizing both rental and purchased trailers:

  • Load weight: That includes dry or net trailer weight, which is an empty trailer, and gross weight, which is the trailer’s maximum capacity.
  • Pulling power: This is how large and powerful a vehicle you need to pull the trailer under all conditions.
  • Hitch compatibility: Different trailers have different hitches, and you need to make sure your vehicle can connect to the trailer.

These are the main decisions to get out of the way before weighing the benefits of buying or leasing a trailer. Depending on your trailer type and size, this can be a big investment. You now need to have a realistic assessment of your budget and see how it applies to ownership benefits, or if you might be better off to rent your trailer short-term.

Types of Trailers

Benefits of Owning Trailers

Why buy a trailer? Trailers are an excellent asset. That’s regardless if you’re a professional earning your livelihood with a trailer as a business tool. Or, you might be a serious hobbyist who pulls a trailer full of recreational toys. Either way, if you plan to use your trailer often, you’ll want to look into the benefits of buying a trailer.

1. Capital Investment

If you purchase a trailer rather than rent one, you have a capital investment to show for it. In other words, your money goes into a hard asset. You’ve acquired a tangible commodity that’s yours, and you have a valuable possession that you call your own. A bought trailer becomes part of your overall portfolio whether you’ve made it as a business investment or consider it a personal asset.

2. Return on Investment

When you’ve bought and paid for a trailer, you can expect a return on your investment. Unlike a rental arrangement where your money is gone after using the trailer, purchase agreements allow you to gain a return on your investment. That can be from using your trailer as a business venture or tool where it makes you money. Or, it can be a return in the way of having a valuable commodity to your name that you can use to leverage other options like borrowing collateral.

3. No Hidden Costs

When you buy and own a trailer, you have no hidden costs. With rental trailers, you’re subject to the fine print in the terms and conditions of your agreement. Many trailer companies charge by time and distance, which is a fair arrangement. But, you have to watch for hidden costs like drop-off and late fees, additional insurance and deductible charges for wear and tear on the trailer. You don’t have these hidden costs when you own your trailer.

4. Availability

An owned trailer is an available trailer. It’s there when and where you need it, rather than having to contact a rental company and source a trailer when necessary. Having your trailer always available is a tremendous convenience. You have little or no downtime spent traveling to a rental agency and picking up a trailer. You also have the convenience of leaving your trailer loaded between uses which saves you more time.

5. Flexibility

By buying a trailer and owning it outright, you have the flexibility to use your trailer as you see fit. You’re not bound by terms and conditions that a rental company fixes. You can loan or sub-let your trailer to another party, which you can’t do with a rental unit. You have the flexibility to convert your trailer into another configuration to serve a purpose you never anticipated. You also have the flexibility with ownership to sell your trailer if the right opportunity arises.

6. Taxability

If you use your purchased trailer for business, you have some attractive tax benefits available. Whereas a rented trailer is considered a one-time business expense, a purchased trailer is a business asset. You’re allowed tax deductions for depreciation which offset the initial purchase cost. This adds to your return on investment and makes taxability an attractive benefit rather than something to avoid.

7. Overall Use

How many times you’ll use your trailer is a critical factor in tipping the ownership benefit scale. There’ll be a point where the number of times you use a trailer will make buying one the only sensible and logical option. That number of overall uses will depend on your specific situation. It also takes in the previous benefits and makes the total ownership package your only viable choice.

Benefits of Owning a Trailer

Benefits of Renting Trailers

Owning a trailer is often the best option for people. With all the attractive ownership advantages, you might wonder why people would ever rent a trailer.

There are times when renting a trailer does make sense. You have to take in the pros and cons of buying trailers vs. renting trailers to finally arrive at the right decision. Here are some of the benefits of renting a trailer:

1. Duration of Use

If you only need a trailer for a short duration or a one-time event, then yes, it makes sense to rent it. You have the convenience of getting in and out fast. You don’t have the hassle of arranging for financing, and you don’t have all the licensing, registration and insurance paperwork to fill out. With short-term renting, you also don’t have upkeep responsibilities that you do as an owner.

2. Financial

Renting a trailer is a good idea if you have financing issues. Most financial institutes require a substantial down payment, and that dips into your cash reserves. You might also have a significant existing debt-to-service ratio which makes financing a challenge. You don’t have those problems with rental trailers. But, then again, you have no retained capital asset when renting as you do with owning.

3. Storing

Where you store your trailer when not in use might be a challenge if you own it and have the trailer around permanently. Trailers take up parking room. That could be a premium, depending on your location. If you rent a trailer, you can pick it up and drop it off at the rental company rather than trying to store it where you have little or no room. However, by renting, you’re sacrificing availability which turns into time spent getting a trailer and sending it back.

4. Maintenance

Rental companies have the responsibility to maintain their inventory. Reputable rental companies keep their fleet well-maintained because it makes good business sense. Regular maintenance costs money, and you can be sure it’s built into your rental agreement. There’s some peace of mind here. However, you’re paying for it with no guarantee that you won’t have problems on the road. When you own your trailer, you’re in control of maintaining it. Now that can give you real peace of mind.

Customization Options for Trailers

The True Cost of Trailer Ownership

When you weigh the benefits of owning your trailer compared to renting one, you need to look at the big picture. That’s what the true cost of ownership is. When you add it all up, you get a real sense of value. That way you’re assured you’re making the right decision at your time of purchase or rental.

Total ownership costs take in every expense associated with having your own trailer. That includes your cash outlay, financing costs if you have any, licensing and insurance fees as well as your operating costs like maintenance and repairs. These all add up. It amounts to how much you’re going to be using your trailer and what depreciation you experience.

Depreciation is the calculated decline or decrease in your trailer’s value due to age, wear and tear, market forces and general value calculation. Fortunately for trailer owners, these assets don’t depreciate anywhere near what cars, trucks and other motor-powered implements do. There’s no “Blue Book” or “Black Book” standard in the trailer business. Each trailer gets assessed on its own perceived value within the marketplace.

If you keep your trailer in top shape by caring for it and maintaining it, you’ll experience very little depreciation. That’s provided your trailer is a popular model or if you’ve done some interesting and appealing custom work to it. You certainly won’t experience this if you choose the rental road.

Customization Options for Trailers

Customization simply isn’t an option when you rent a trailer. With rental trailers, you’ll have a limited option of trailer types and sizes. That’s all. You’re not going to be able to modify or deck-out your trailer the way you’d truly like. You’re only going to get that luxury when you buy your trailer from a dealer that specializes in customization.

Reputable trailer dealers like All Pro Trailer Superstore specialize in customizing your trailer. No matter what style or trailer size you choose, All Pro Trailer Superstore works with you to build exactly what you need and what you want. We start with top brands including:

  • American Hauler
  • ATC
  • Big Tex Trailers
  • Bri-Mar
  • CAM Superline
  • Car-Mate
  • Cargo-Pro
  • Carry-On
  • Homesteader
  • Premier
  • Sno-Pro
  • US Cargo

Then we work with you to include customized options such as:

  • Bike locks and wheel chocks
  • Cargo management systems
  • Checkerboard and diamond plate flooring
  • Custom wheels and tires
  • LED lighting
  • Open and enclosed trailer accessories
  • Tie-downs and mounts
  • Tongue toolboxes
  • Trailer cabinets and couches
  • Trailer jacks, hitches and coupler locks
  • Trailer shelving and racks

At All Pro Trailer Superstore, you get every customized option we offer as well as accommodation for every custom idea you have. We help you design your trailer from Point A — picking a standard trailer type and size — through to Point B — where you want to go. You’re in total control when customizing, so the result reflects who you are and what you’ve always wanted in your own customized trailer.

Buy a Trailer at All Pro Trailer Superstore

Buying Trailers at All Pro Trailer Superstore

All Pro Trailer Superstore is located in Central Pennsylvania with a 14,000 square foot sales facility situated on over 10 acres. Our massive inventory includes a vast assortment of trailer types in a wide size range. Since 1985, we’ve supplied new trailers and customized trailers across America. We also have an excellent selection of top-quality used trailers as well as clearance trailers for those looking to buy a trailer without breaking the bank.

Buying trailers and trailer accessories is easy at All Pro Trailer Superstore. We work within your budget to find the perfect fit, no matter what size, style and custom trailer options you want. Call All Pro Trailer Superstore today at 800-622-7003 and discuss your next purchase of a new or used trailer.

How to Measure Trailer Axles

How to Measure Trailer Axles

When you need to select a new trailer axle, measuring it properly so you can either give the salesperson the correct dimensions over the phone or order it correctly online is essential.

Table of Contents

There are three axle types.

  • Straight axles: These types of axles are nothing more than a straight square or round bar.
  • Drop axles: Drop axles possess offset spindles and drop slightly lower than a straight axle.
  • Torsion axles: Torsion axles resemble a rectangular or a square straight axle, but their bars contain moving parts.

When you select an axle, you need to determine its capacity required for your trailer, based on all the components of your trailer and their lowest capacities. In other words, you’re looking for the chain’s weakest link. These components include:

  • Frame
  • Axle
  • Spindles
  • Bearings
  • Hubs
  • Tires
  • Wheels
  • Springs
  • All the necessary hardware to keep the above components in place

Measuring Trailer Axles

When you select an axle, you should keep the following specifications in mind.

  • Load capacity: The axle’s load rating needs to support the maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW) rating. If your trailer has multiple axles, you need to divide the GVW by the number of axles to help you determine each axle’s minimum load capacity.
  • Track length: You determine this by measuring the distance between the center of one tire to the other center, which is also called the axle hub face. You can obtain a more precise measurement by calculating the distance from one hub mounting flange to the other flange, which is the mounting surface. It’s where the wheel studs are.
  • Drop: This measures from a spindle’s centerline to the main axle tube’s bottom. Remember, straight axles have no drop.
  • Spring center: This measurement is crucial. If you don’t get it correct, or do it badly, you may bend the axles. It’s difficult to do alone, so it’s a good idea to get a friend to help. The measurement is between the center of one spring to the center of the other spring. If you can’t find a friend to give you a hand, you can cheat by hooking a tape measure to the outside of one spring and pulling it out the inside of the other spring.
  • Axle spring center pads: These are located at the top or bottom of an axle’s main beam. They are either loose or welded on. It is extremely important not to drill holes in the beam if you’re not going to use spring pads. Drilling will create stress points that will weaken the axle beam, and will also allow water to enter.
  • Total length: Determine this measurement by taking the distance between the two ends of an axle’s spindle.
  • Type of axle: You need to determine what kind of axle you are using — see above for the three main types of axles. It’s vital to decide if you are reusing your current or refurbished mounting hardware, and also helps determine the correct clearance.

Measuring Trailer Axles

Understanding What an Axle Does for Your Trailer

Axles are essential, because without them, there would be no trailers. We don’t see them very often. They are not like the headlights, the windshield wipers or even the tires. You probably don’t even think about them very often. But they are one of the most important components involved when it comes to keeping your trailer on the road. Knowing your axles are reliable means a great deal if you use your trailer to make a living.

While axles are essential parts of any kind of trailer, let’s look at how they work for one particular kind of trailer: the utility trailer.

  • Axles for utility trailers, which include trailers like dump trailers, equipment trailers or landscape trailers, fall into two different types: the straight axle — also called the spring axle — and the torsion axle. They perform the same function, but the way they do it is quite different.
  • Straight or spring axles on trailers usually have the axle slung over the springs, which increases load stability on a lower trailer and makes them easier to load or unload. They are the preferred option for trailer suspension systems, especially for multi-axle trailers, because they are inexpensive and easier to maintain. They usually get manufactured and shipped with pre-attached curve spring plates so they are ready to install, which also helps reduce the cost.
  • Tension utility trailer axles don’t use any metal springs. Instead, several long rubber cords are inside the square tube. They have an inner core piece attached and secured to the tension arms. If you’re transporting your trailer across uneven or bumpy ground as the wheel moves up and down, the inner bar compresses the rubber cords. The corners and edges of the center support become the only contact points. Tension trailer axles are quieter, adjustable for ride height and are more corrosion-resistant because they are totally galvanized. Their major drawback: If you need to make any major repair to them, you are going to have to cut the axle off.

Regardless of their functions, however, you can see why it is so important to measure your axle properly. Whether you need to replace a straight/spring axle that has become worn or corroded over time, or you have a damaged tension utility axle that needs some form of major repair, measuring the axle properly means you will get your utility trailer back on the road quickly, allowing you to resume your work in no time.

Why Measure Trailer Axles?

When you realize you need to order a new axle, you may be able to get the measurements from the axle’s original sticker. In most cases, however, wear and tear will have obscured this information over the years. When ordering a new axle from a professional trailer salesperson, you should let them know the following information.

What an Axle Does for Your Trailer

1. What you are currently using on your trailer

The axle you want to buy should be just the same as the axle you are currently using on your trailer. Again, look above to see the three kinds of axles. Getting the same type will help you avoid problems with clearance. After all, if you’ve been using a straight axle and you order a tension axle by mistake, your clearance factor might not be the same with the loads you haul regularly. Make sure you tell the salesperson if the springs are over or under the axle when you select your part numbers.

2. Track measurement

This measurement is also called the track length. Remember, only measure hub face to hub face to determine this measurement. If you measure from the back of the hub or the brake flange, you will end up with an incorrect measurement.

3. Spring center measurement

As we mentioned above, this is a key measurement, because if you get it wrong, you will end up bending or even breaking your axles. Again, measure from one spring center to its opposite counterpart, which tells you where your springs will connect on the axle.

4. End-to-end spindle measurement

To get this measurement, you need to take the wheels off both sides of your trailer. Then, place your tape measure on the outside of one spindle and pull it to the same point on the opposite spindle. Tell the salesperson taking your order you are giving them a tip-to-tip spindle measurement. If you’re taking this measurement for a boat trailer, you need to subtract five inches for trailers weighing 2,000 to 3,500 pounds. This will give you your hub face measurement.

If you’re not exactly sure how to measure a trailer axle, or if you want to know if you’re doing it the right way, your salesperson will be able to help answer all your questions.

Why Measure Trailer Axles

What to Do If Your Axle Is Broken

If your axle is broken inside your springs, you could be in rough shape. But if it’s broken outside the spring, you can still get the measurements you need to order a new axle if you can still do a spring center measurement, or if the axle remains intact on one side.

In either of these two conditions, you can take the spring center measurement as detailed above. You can then get your hub face length by measuring from the spring center to the outside of the hub face. Double this measurement, then add it to your spring center measurement to get your hub face length.

How Do I Keep My Axle in Good Shape?

All axles wear out over time, but you can keep yours in better shape with a little bit of prevention.

  • When at all possible, avoid hauling your trailer over bad roads. Bumps and potholes do more damage to your axles than you can imagine.
  • Sometimes, it’s impossible to avoid poorly maintained roads and inclement weather conditions. Over the years, a lot of grease and dirt will accumulate on your axles. People will often clean the visible parts of their trailers, but totally forget about the undercarriage. Wash you trailer regularly — if not by hand, take it to a good car wash every month or so, depending on how often you use it.
  • Take a few minutes before you hit the road, especially if you’re taking a long trip, and inspect for rust or cracks, especially where the spindles meet the axle tubes. Wear and tear could be the first sign you are going to need to replace your axle at some point in the near future.

Keep Axle in Good Shape

Why Is It Important to Measure Your Trailer Axles?

If you need to replace the old, worn or broken axle on your trailer, it’s vital to take proper measurements so you can be sure to order the exact replacement you need. If the measurements are incorrect, you’ll end up with the wrong axle for your trailer, which will lead to many other, more expensive problems.

The other benefit to taking measurements ahead of time is that when you call to order your new axle, you’ll be ready with all the information the salesperson needs to assist you. If you haven’t done the measurements, trying to order a new axle based on what you think you know about your trailer and what it needs could result in the wrong axle for the trailer.

Take time to do it properly. As we mentioned above, it might be a good idea to have a friend help you. Even if they’re not helping you take any actual measurements, you can call out these measurements to them, and they can write down the numbers for you.

When you call the Trailer Superstore to order your new axle or place your order online, and if you’re not sure you’ve done your measurements correctly, you can either speak to a salesperson or open a chat window. The person you speak to or chat with will be able to help you determine if you’ve done everything correctly or otherwise help you understand why your measurements may not be correct, and what you need to do to get the proper ones.

Axle From Trailer Superstore

Order Your New Axle From the Trailer Superstore

Family-owned and -operated, Trailer Superstore started by servicing the trailer needs of its customers in the Pennsylvania area. But over the past 30 years, as we have grown, so has our customer base, and we now help many clients around the world.

We carry an extensive line of trailers to satisfy every need, vehicle or budget. Whether you want a new, used or custom trailer, you’ll find what you need here at Trailer Superstore. We also carry many trailer accessories and components. If you need to order a new axle, please contact us, and one of our experienced sales team members will help you.

You can either call us toll-free at 800-622-7003 or visit our online contact page, where you can let us know the details of what you’re looking for and one of our staff will get back in touch with you as soon as possible. No matter where you live in North America, Europe or even South America, the Trailer Superstore will help you find what you need, quickly and at a great price.