If you are thinking about purchasing a utility trailer, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by just how many types and styles of ones that are available. There are just so many choices. How do you pick the one that is best for you?
To best decide which trailer will work the best for you, you need to evaluate what your needs are. What will you be using it for? If you will only be using your trailer to randomly transport objects or your personal possessions only on fair-weather days, then a flatbed trailer or open topped trailer may work well for you. Flat bed and open trailers are light weight, so that you don’t use as much gas pulling them or place more wear and tear on your vehicle. These are also the least expensive (around $1000-$25000).
However, if you plan to use your trailer often and there is a chance you may find yourself, and your possessions, suddenly caught out in the rain or other bad weather, you may want to consider an enclosed style. An enclosed trailer will be more expensive (around $1500-$5000), but probably not more expensive than replacing your possessions if they become damaged by the weather. They are also heavier and less aerodynamic, which means more strain on your vehicle and increased gas usage to haul them.
Next you should think about what you are likely to be hauling. Will your cargo be fairly lightweight or will it be heavy? If you plan to only haul cargo that weighs less than 3000 lbs, then you can probably make due with a single axle model. These use only one central weight bearing axle and usually do not have breaks (though single axle trailers with breaks are available).
On the other hand, if you plan to transport loads in excess of 3000 lbs, then you most certainly need a tandem axle trailer. These have two load bearing axles and almost always feature breaks. In fact, many areas legally require that tandem axle varieties be equipped with independent breaks.
Finally, you should think about loading and unloading. Trailers come with a variety of rear doors and gates that facilitate different types of loading and unloading. Ramp doors are probably the easiest for loading and unloading, especially if you are hauling large objects that require the use of a dolly, or are transporting a motorcycle or automobile. Ramp doors fold down to provide a ramp that can be used for loading and unloading.
However, ramp doors can be a hassle if you use the trailer to regularly carry items that you keep on the trailer long-term, such as tools for a contractor. If your use will require you to be in and out of the trailer often to get and return various items, then you may find that it is inconvenient to have to wrestle with a cumbersome ramp door. For this type of use, a trailer with a double or single door is much more practical.