So, you have done all the required research needed. You’re going to commit and buy a trailer. You have a budget, you’ve checked out all the legalities, you are happy with the car that will be towing it. So now’s the exciting bit, choosing your trailer! With so many on the market it may seem overwhelming, so let’s look at some specific elements to ensure you make the right choice for you, and your family.
It is vitally important that you keep your wits about you when purchasing a second hand trailer. If you rush into it, only checking the basics, you could end up buying a whole load of trouble. The first thing you should check is that the trailer meets the full legal requirements. All trailers should have an ID plate. On this plate should be all the information about the trailer’s manufacturer number, weight details and date of manufacturer.
The next thing to check is that the person who sold you the trailer is the legal owner. If you end up buying some dodgy stolen vehicle you won’t have it long, it will get confiscated by the police. So ask to see a receipt, or document, that proves you are buying from the registered owner.
Always thoroughly check the specific parts that make a vehicle safe: tyres, brakes, chassis, lights, suspension. If you are buying from a reputable seller, then they should have done a full safety check and service before you arrive. But this isn’t guaranteed, so make sure you double check this has been done. Again they may have receipts as proof.
Ensure tyres are the correct type. You should receive a handbook for the particular make and model you are buying, it is good to check what type of tyres are recommended and make sure they are being used. Tyre pressure is also important because of the extra weight that a trailer has. If the pressure is too high, it will put pressure on the tread, and won’t be very economical. Underinflated tyres are dangerous and more likely cause a problem at high speed. So, make sure these issues are fixed before driving off with your trailer.
Depending on the make and model of your purchase, not all trailers need/have brakes,but if they do make sure you inspect the pads, shoes,drums,rotas and magnets.
Good Suspension guarantees a nice smooth ride, however if the suspension is faulty the whole experience will be compromised. Be sure to check what type of suspension your trailer has in the handbook and check that it feels right when you take it for a test drive. If it feels bumpy and uncomfortable, it is likely there is a problem with the suspension and will need further investigation.
If you decide that buying second hand is way too much of a risk, and your budget allows, then buying new is the best option. So how can you navigate your way around the plethora of available trailers on the market? Firstly, let's look at some key features. If your future adventures involve going off grid, then investing in a trailer especially designed for rugged terrain is the perfect choice. Choosing a customized option, gives you the flexibility to add exactly what you want, Caravan Woods offer a variety, whether you want off grid or just pure luxury there is much to choose from with added extras aplenty.
The advantage of off road trailers is the opportunities it opens up. Being able to explore remote locations with a trailer that was built for purpose, opens up the world in a wonderful way. Obviously the ideal trailer is the one that combines luxury with durability and all the key features to enable you to deviate from the open road. So what specifically does a good trailer have:
- Good solid base (aluminum for durability)
- Good access in and out
- Washing facilities
- Cooking facilities
Many trailers will have the above elements as standard. Obviously there may be some that are more important than others, so the customizable option is ideal so you don’t waste unnecessary money on things you don’t need, and you are confident that you have everything that you do.
Being able to get in and out of the vehicle is important for safety. Some are deceptively large and will need some stairs for access, especially if you take small children or pets with you.
Inside and outside showers are available in most trailers, depending on your preference. If you want to save space, opting for an outside shower makes sense, but if the thought of washing outside on a dark chilly morning or evening doesn’t excite you, best leave the rubber duck indoors.
Kitchen appliances are essential for some families, even on holiday. If you are planning on never setting foot into a gourmet restaurant on your travels then the addition of fridges, microwaves, dishwashers etc will be most welcome for feeding time.
Sleeping arrangements are essential to get right. If, like me, lack of sleep makes you pretty grumpy, then you’ll want to ensure everyone gets a good night's sleep. Most trailers come with bespoke sleeping options. Double bed, sofa bed, bunks and convertible beds can all be added to your customized plan. Think about space, and the maximum amount of people that would be travelling with you, to inform your choice.
Depending on you and your families desires, many trailers have TV and integrated DVDs for your comfort. In a world driven by technology having this addition helps one keep up to date, and provides a relaxing activity after a hard day exploring! Not to mention keeping the kids happy, a very important consideration.
As well as all the main things, many trailers have lots of little ‘extras’ to create that ‘opulent’ feel: air con, mirrors, sofas, cabinets, storage areas, soft furnishings to name a few, are all extras that can be added to your order. Make sure you talk in depth with the supplier about how all these features work together, and what you need to know.
I am sure that armed with the right information, and a clear idea of everything you want from your trailer,that the perfect getaway vehicle is just around the corner, so to speak. Happy shopping, and enjoy the adventures, the world is your oyster!