Trailer TypesMaddy Scheinost
What Type of Trailer Do I Need?
What Type of Work/Adventure Trailer Do You Need?
Need the best trailer to help you fully realize the outdoor adventures that make life worth living? Or could you be more productive during work hours with the right work trailer? Easy, right? But then you start your search, and you quickly discover there are a lot more types of personal, towable trailers than you realized. Open trailers, enclosed trailers, snowmobile trailers, boat trailers, utility trailers, travel trailers…it’s a long list. For that reason, the experts at Treadworld have gathered some information to help you identify the type and style of trailers that are available to help you choose the one that will best serve you and your lifestyle.
Gooseneck Trailer Connections vs. Bumper-Pull Trailer Connections
How it connects to your vehicle is one facet of using a towable trailer you’ll have to keep in mind as you make your selection of the best personal trailer for you. In a nutshell, a trailer with a bumper pull trailer connection attaches using a ball hitch on the back bumper of a truck, SUV, motorhome or other vehicle, and a gooseneck trailer connection has a long “neck” that reaches up over the back of the tailgate and slides over a ball hitch in the bed of your truck. Since bumper-pull trailers are typically smaller and lighter weight, they are often less expensive, but gooseneck trailers can allow longer trailers without destabilizing the towing vehicle, so can often carry a bigger load and are usually more stable with less sway and wobble.
With some of the trailers below, you’ll have the option of choosing the connection, while others won’t give you the option.
What Is a Fifth Wheel Trailer?
Similar to what big rigs use, fifth wheel trailers don’t actually involve a fifth wheel, but rather the name refers to a hitch that enables connection of a cargo attachment to the back of a large vehicle rather than a hitch-style connection found on other trailer types. Typically, you connect a fifth wheel trailer to your pickup truck via a fifth-wheel hitch and king pin in the bed of the pickup to provide greater stability and maneuverability, and more space.
The travel trailer category encompasses a number of style and size options aimed at providing you and your family with some variety of home away from home. Many are designed for use in campgrounds and most use a bumper pull connection. They range in size from around 10 feet long to 40 feet or more, and they can have single or multiple “slide-out” rooms that provide adjustable living space without more length. These trailers are excellent towables behind SUVs, and also trucks, which works especially well since they don’t take up space in the truck bed. Larger trailers may require a weight-distribution hitch for SUVs and lighter pickups.
You can go with an RV-style trailer generally favored for family trips where indoor space for eating, sleeping, lounging and bathroom privacy is preferred.
A pop-up trailer, also referred to as a camping trailer, is typically much smaller, which makes it easier to tow and use on tighter or narrower roads. It can also usually be collapsed when not in use, becoming basically a towable box. It’s possible to get a pop-up trailer that includes a small bathroom with toilets and a shower, a refrigerator, perhaps even an AC unit and heater, options which are not usually standard.
A tear-drop trailer, so-named because of its distinctive shape—round on one end, tapered on the other—is typically smaller than other trailers (sometimes even small enough to be pulled by a motorcycle) and usually consists of little more than a bedroom on wheels, perhaps with some storage and a kitchen under the rear hatch outside of the trailer.
A toy hauler is a type of travel trailer that’s great for getting your motorsport vehicles and other “toys” on-board thanks to a garage-type opening and space, usually 8 to 13 feet long, located on the back for access. In many cases the design results in less interior space for storage and living. The trailer’s back wall opens up and folds down into a ramp for easy loading, and furniture attached to the walls folds out of the way. Toy haulers are built on a sturdier frame, so are generally heavier than other styles.
Camper Trailers are different than travel trailers in that they are generally smaller, lighter and designed specifically for camping, made to traverse rough terrain and withstand harsh elements. An adventure trailer, a camper trailer is also designed to facilitate storage in a more compact space. Many times, camper trailers are designed to provide power and other necessities for several days.
Flatbed trailers are among the most versatile trailers available. They’re open air trailers, so don’t provide protection against dust, dirt and the elements but the combination of no side guard rails, and a large flat surface makes loading and unloading quick and easy., especially if you’re using a forklift. Depending on the size, flatbed trailers can have a single-wheel axle, or two or three dual-wheel axles. They usually connect to the tow vehicle with a conventional bumper-pull connection, though some will utilize a gooseneck or fifth-wheel connection.
Open Utility Trailers
Utility Trailers are similar to flatbed trailers, but typically they have guard rails to help stabilize the load and some also feature a loading ramp at the rear. They are ideal for items you’re loading by hand like furniture, supplies, debris or trash clean-up, or for wheeled vehicles that can be rolled or driven onto the surface platform like ATVs and other powersports vehicles, lawn mowers and the like. They are typically available with either bumper-pull or gooseneck connections.
Enclosed Utility Trailers
Similar to an open utility trailer, enclosed utility trailers provide more protection against dust, dirt and wet or snowy weather, which as you might expect, makes them heavier. They can be used for moving animals, equipment, supplies, and more. With a larger enclosed trailer, you can expect a door or gate at the rear of the trailer plus a side door to provide easier load access.
Lowboy Trailers are specialized trailers designed to be adjustable to a very low deck height to facilitate loading, unloading and carrying oversize or heavy loads like farm or construction equipment. Since they are designed so low to the ground, lowboys can carry taller items, up to 12 feet tall, plus they typically have a double-level deck rather than just one standard height, which provides loading flexibility. Lowboy trailers generally require a gooseneck connection.
The ideal option for landscaping, garbage hauling, and equipment hauling is a dump trailer because typically the front of the bed of the trailer can be hydraulically lifted while the rear pivots on hinges allowing you to unload cargo without manual labor. They typically connect to a tow vehicle with either a bumper-pull or a gooseneck connection. Some dump trailers offer rear doors that open to the sides or hinge on the top to allow easy unloading when the bed is raised, and some come standard with slide-in ramps to facilitate loading small and medium-sized equipment. Landscapers especially love this type of trailer for moving dirt, gravel or mulch, for example
At their most basic, boat trailers are a frame with wheels designed to be towed across land until you get to the body of water of your choice, right? Which works out great for small boats. But larger boats require something more complex to accommodate factors like the hull shape, the center of gravity, the engine, the length and width of your boat and more. Many boat trailers use bumper-pull hitches, though some larger boat trailers require a gooseneck connection. You can select a bunk-style boat trailer which must be submerged fairly deeply then allows drive on and off capability, or you can choose a roller-style boat trailer which allows loading and unloading in shallower waters.
Car Hauler Trailer
Just what you’d expect, a car hauler trailer is a type of trailer that has been specifically designed to transport passenger vehicles safely and efficiently., tractors, buggies and more. They usually have a wide deck that is low to the ground, with drive-over or removeable fenders available. It can be open or enclosed, and some have built-in hydraulics or winches.
Livestock/Horse Trailers are used to transport horses, cattle, pigs, sheep and other farm animals to county fairs (or processing plants). Horse trailers are available with many options, including hay storage areas, roof racks, rear ramps, interior dividers and interior padding. They can have bumper-pull or gooseneck connections, and are designed to ensure animals are comfortable when being moved, with plenty of ventilation.
Typically tilt-deck trailers are flatbed trailers with the deck fitted between the axles so the entire deck or a portion of the deck can be tilted to help with loading—either using hydraulics or a manual slide. Tilt-deck trailers can be found with either gooseneck connections or bumper-pull connections. They’re ideal for loading, hauling, and transporting heavy equipment.
We’re Treadworld, Home of the Best Trailer Tires Anywhere
Here at Treadworld, we know tires, and we have the right trailer tires for every occasion. Count on us whenever you’re looking for the perfect tires to help smooth out the ride of your travel trailer, cargo trailer, snowmobile trailer—any type of trailer. We have a large selection of the sizes and styles of high performance tires you want to get you safely and efficiently to where you’re going. Our RubberMaster brand trailer tires provide the finest in top quality, long-lasting, never-let-you-down reliability, manufactured with strict tolerances from top rubber compounds, triple-tested for quality before being X-rayed to be sure they’re perfect, then covered by our Ultimate Advantage Lifetime Warranty. Don’t hesitate to contact our tire experts via live chat or email with any questions you may have.