The Do's and Don'ts of Buying a Used Car Trailer

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The Do's and Don'ts of Buying a Used Car Trailer

Cars and other vehicles have undoubtedly changed the way that society travels and transports goods. From the smallest two-door vehicles to huge pickup trucks, there are countless ways to get where one needs to go, but even the wide range of vehicle sizes is sometimes not sufficient for cargo that varies in size, as well. On any given day, a person may need to transport anywhere from just a few small boxes to an entire load of equipment. For this reason, buying a truck or van is not cost-efficient, as some days the extra space and extra gas used would be a waste.

In situations like this, car trailers may be the perfect solution. These detachable mechanisms are significantly cheaper than upgrading a small car to a large vehicle and can be put to use as needed or stowed away whenever the owner desires. Used car trailers offer even greater cost savings and can be purchased at trailer dealerships and some auto and RV dealerships. Online marketplaces like eBay typically have a range of sellers offering car trailers for sale, as well.

There are many different factors to consider when purchasing a used car trailer, and they should each be given careful thought. By understanding the do's and don'ts related to the different sizes, models, and weight capacities involved in the decision making process, any shopper can successfully find the appropriate used car trailer.

Do Decide on an Open or Enclosed Top

The first step in choosing the right used car trailer is determining whether an open top trailer or an enclosed trailer is needed. This is one of the first factors that should be considered when buying a used car trailer, as the distinction allows the available choices to be narrowed down quickly. There are benefits and disadvantages to both types of used car trailers.

Open Top Trailers

Open top used car trailers are some of the most versatile options on the market. These trailers, as their name describes, are uncovered. They typically have four walls that can range anywhere from a few centimetres to a metre or so high, and they often have a back wall with a hinge that opens like a gate. Some types of open top trailers may not have any walls at all, in which case they would simply be considered a flatbed trailer.

Open top trailers are best used in locations where unpredictable weather is not a great concern. Given that there is no overhead protection for any cargo or equipment on the trailer, a sudden storm could cause damage to the trailer's load. However, if the items on the trailer are not susceptible to weather damage, such as most cars or gardening and lawn equipment, an open top car trailer is a perfectly acceptable choice to make.

Enclosed Trailers

Enclosed used car trailers are essentially the opposite of open top models. These particular trailers are completely covered on all four sides, usually with a door or gate that opens on the back wall. Unlike open top trailers, enclosed versions have walls that are much taller. The walls can range anywhere from less than a metre to a few metres high. An obvious advantage of enclosed car trailers is the protection the covering offers the load from the elements. However, enclosed trailers are also especially useful for owners who need to take the trailer over particularly bumpy surfaces. An enclosed top keeps the load contained within the trailer and helps prevent possible loss or damage to the cargo.

Do Differentiate Between Types of Vehicle Trailers

The next step in finding the proper used car trailer is deciding on which type of trailer is best for the intended use. The details of trailers, such as wall height, weight capacity, and size can vary, although their capabilities are essentially the same. However, some trailers are made for specific uses.

Boat Trailers

As the name indicates, boat trailers are made specifically for towing boats behind a car. These trailers have special mechanisms to firmly attach boats to the trailers so that transport can happen successfully and safely. Boats should never be transported using a trailer that was not manufactured specifically for boats. Other trailers do not have the necessary components to properly attach and hold the boat in place, and this could result in dangerous travel if used in an incorrect manner.

Camping Trailers

A wide range of trailers fall under the camping trailer category. The typical camping trailer is around 2 metres long with walls that are between a half metre and a full metre high. These trailers can be either enclosed or open top, and they often have two wheels. They are generally used to hold a wide variety of camping equipment, from tents to portable stoves and grills. However, some shoppers purchase camping trailers without the intention of transporting camping equipment. The simplicity of camping trailers also makes them perfect for the basic transportation of everyday items.

Car Trailers

Much like boat trailers, car trailers are intended specifically for the transport of cars. These trailers are significantly larger than most other trailers, as they are designed to move a large load. They connect directly to the back of a vehicle in order to move the trailer with another car on it. Car trailers have at least two tyres, but often more. There are individual car trailers and also trailers that can hold more than one car. However, it is important to note that the vehicle that will pull the trailer must be capable of hauling the entire weight of another car.

Do Consider Size and Weight

One of the most important steps in deciding on a used car trailer is choosing what size is desired. No matter what type of trailer one has in mind, there are typically several different variations in size that are available. An important factor of sizing that also must be considered is the weight capacity of a trailer. Although the length of a trailer and its weight capacity typically correlate to one another, it is still in a shopper's best interest to check what weight limit a trailer has, as it is one of the strictest limitations that is placed on any given trailer in terms of the load a trailer carries. Weight capacities can span a very large spectrum. Before purchasing a used car trailer, a shopper should always consider what exactly he or she plans to transport with the trailer and how much those items weigh.

Don't Go with the Smallest Size

One of the worst mistakes a shopper can make when it comes to buying a used car trailer is to purchase one that is too small for the shopper's towing needs. Although small trailers with low weight limits are typically cheaper in price, the money spent is wasted if the trailer cannot support the intended load. It may be tempting to save money on a smaller trailer, but overloading a trailer can be dangerous to the owner and other drivers on the road. When in doubt, it is always best to purchase a larger used car trailer.

Don't Buy a Rusted Trailer

When in the market for a used car trailer, it is especially important to be on the lookout for trailers that are in good working condition, despite having been used. One factor that can greatly affect the functionality of a used trailer over time is the level of rust. Given that most trailers are made of metal, some rust is inevitable. However, rust can be extremely detrimental to a trailer's lifespan, often shaving years off its time spent on the road. This makes it crucial for a shopper to be aware of how rusted a trailer is before buying it. Rust around critical areas, such as the wheels and axles, can affect the trailer's usage in dangerous ways, as the erosion can lead to breakage when the trailer is towing a heavy load.

How to Buy a Used Car Trailer on eBay

Buying used items can be a tricky process, and the process can become even more difficult when a person is in the market for a used car trailer. The number of factors that must be considered before purchasing a trailer is long and tedious, and this can be frustrating for buyers. However, shopping for a used car trailer on eBay may eliminate these problems. eBay allows shoppers to efficiently search through numerous available options and use filters and categories to quickly narrow down the search results until the perfect used car trailer is found. The search for such a trailer can begin by entering specific information into the search bar on eBay's homepage.

eBay eliminates any and all mystery that may shroud a particular product, and this makes shopping for used items especially easy. Shoppers have the ability to contact sellers directly by using the 'Ask a question' option that is available on each product's page. This allows buyers to clear up any lingering questions they might have about an item before purchasing. Access to the seller's feedback information is also available from the listing page.


Transportation is one of society's biggest industries, and any modern person undoubtedly knows how important and inevitable travel is in everyday life. However, the transport of a vehicle or other cargo cannot always be dealt with by simply using a pickup truck or a large vehicle. For some people, the movement of heavy loads is recurring, but not frequent enough to merit purchasing an expensive, large vehicle. This is when a car trailer could provide the perfect solution. From the transport of a boat, car, or other vehicle to the shipment of boxes and equipment during a move, used car trailers can assist in the movement of virtually any types of items. These simple yet versatile devices provide a world of help at very little cost.

However, the number of factors that go into choosing the right used car trailer can be difficult to navigate, which may make shopping on a large Internet site like eBay easier for many people rather than shopping locally at trailer or auto dealerships. By fully understanding the basic do's and don'ts of the decision making process for buying a used car trailer, consumers can successfully find the right used car trailer for their needs.

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