Anyone who gets deep enough into the automotive hobby will eventually need a car hauler. Whether you're transporting a classic muscle car to shows across the country or bringing a race car to the track, choosing a trailer that can safely get your investment from point A to point B is crucial. However, choosing the best automotive trailer isn't always as simple as picking the first one off the lot.
If you're about to purchase a new car hauler, you'll want to keep these three feature considerations in mind before deciding on the most suitable option for your needs.
1. Open vs. Enclosed
While open car trailers are the most common option, enclosed trailers have numerous advantages worth considering. An enclosed trailer protects your vehicle from both the elements and road debris. These trailers are often suitable for high-value cars, such as classic restoration projects, or any vehicle where it's critical to maintain a flawless exterior appearance.
Of course, open trailers are more common for good reasons. These trailers are typically cheaper and easier to load. An enclosed trailer also has less clearance, limiting your options for transporting a larger vehicle. Open trailers also tend to weigh less, which can be a significant factor if you're towing with a less powerful vehicle.
2. Wood vs. Steel Deck
Wood vs. steel decking is a debate that's been raging for almost as long as people have used car haulers. Unfortunately, there's no single correct option for every buyer. Steel decks typically cost more and weigh more but offer more durability and options for finish. On the other hand, steel decks can get hot in the sun and typically make more noise over rough road surfaces.
On the other hand, wood decks tend to be lighter, which means more of your towing capacity can go to your load instead of your trailer. These decks can also last for a while if treated properly, although you'll likely need to replace the wood eventually.
Weight is an unavoidable factor when choosing a trailer. Your decking material and choice of enclosed vs. open top will influence the overall weight of the trailer, but these aren't the only factors that matter. For example, a trailer with an aluminum frame in addition to a wood deck will typically weigh less than a steel frame and wood deck trailer.
When choosing a car hauler, you always want to ensure that the weight of your trailer and the vehicle you're transporting don't exceed your towing vehicle's rated capacity. When possible, you want to leave some weight overhead to help protect your towing vehicle's suspension, engine, and transmission. While other considerations are important, always ensure you're selecting a trailer you can tow safely.
For more information, click here.