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Enclosed vs. Open Trailer [Decision Guide]

enclosed vs open trailer

Whether you’re buying your first trailer, making an upgrade or adding an extra piece of equipment to your fleet, this is a choice you’ll need to make. Choosing between an enclosed vs. open trailer is more complicated than you’d think as both can do most jobs — and there are different advantages to each one. To help you with this decision, we’re highlighting both options and what you can expect from each one.

At TP Trailers & Truck Equipment, we’re one of PA’s leading trailer dealers and equipment headquarters. Since we offer a wide range of both open and enclosed trailers for sale, we can provide an honest evaluation of each style. Keep reading to learn more about an enclosed vs. open trailer — or reach out to our team for more information and prices!

Pros and Cons of Enclosed Trailers

Enclosed trailers feature full walls and a roof making the inside of the trailer a storage option — as well as a transport solution. Enclosed trailers see use in a wide range of professional applications and for different hobbies as well. These are the pros and cons of enclosed trailers to keep in mind when considering this style:

  • Serves as a Shed or Garage — Not only will an enclosed trailer protect your cargo in transit, but it can serve as a semi-permanent storage space, too. If you don’t have extra garage space to spare, your trailer can protect your equipment from the elements as well as direct sunlight. This is a particularly popular choice for expensive and beloved equipment such as track cars or motorcycles. See more about the best motorcycle trailers!
  • Can Advertise Your Brand — This is an advantage that will mean a lot more to business owners compared to hobbyists. An attractive enclosed trailer branded with your logos and messaging builds your brand as it travels over your service area. Consider it like a billboard that you don’t need to pay for every month!
  • Extra Protection During Transportation — Here’s an important benefit to keep in mind when considering pros and cons of enclosed trailers. During a long trip across a large area, an enclosed trailer keeps your stuff safest from unexpected weather conditions. Plus, an enclosed trailer protects your equipment from stones or other debris flying up off the road.
  • Can Be Used for Luggage and Gear — When it comes to hauling smaller items that may be harder to secure, an enclosed trailer is the best option. When you want to haul boxes of valuables or bring your luggage on vacation, the added protection of the roof and walls makes an enclosed trailer the best choice for this job.

  • More Expensive — The main downside of enclosed trailers is that they will be more expensive than a comparably-sized open trailer. This is primarily due to the extra material and extra labor used in building the walls and roof.

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Pros and Cons of Open Trailers

The backbone of so many businesses and hobbyists, an open trailer packs a ton of key benefits that make it easy to own and use. When comparing an enclosed vs. open trailer, here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • An Open Trailer is Lighter — Since an open trailer just features the cargo bed without a roof or walls, it will be significantly lighter than any enclosed trailer. Since the trailer weighs less, this may increase fuel efficiency and even allow you to haul it with a lighter-duty vehicle.
  • Less Expensive — When considering the pros and cons of enclosed trailers or open trailers, price is always a factor. Since an open trailer takes less labor, material and design work, the price tag is lower. You can expect an open trailer to cost 30% to 50% less than a comparable class of enclosed trailers. Check out our choice for budget trailers that perform well!
  • Less Maintenance Required — Regular trailer maintenance is key to getting the best performance and longest lifespan out of your equipment. Since an open trailer doesn’t have walls or a roof, there is less to wax, wash, and maintain!

  • Leaves Cargo Open to Elements During Travel — While there are many practical benefits to an open trailer, there is one downside. By being open to the air, your equipment and cargo are less protected than in an enclosed unit. This can mean getting hit with an unexpected rainstorm or being at risk for getting hit with road stones or many other small issues.

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Shop for Your Open or Enclosed Trailer

We’re able to provide you with a 100% unbiased look at the enclosed vs. open trailer discussion because we endorse and sell both. If you know what type of trailer you want to buy, reach out right now to get prices! However, if you’re still deciding, our experienced sales staff can provide you with more insight and help you make your decision.

Contact us today to get started!

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