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Trailer Buying Guide: Picking the Right Trailer for Your Cargo

For the most part, the cargo you haul determines the type of trailer you need. This trailer buying guide is meant to help you discover the right type of utility trailer, with the right options, to meet your needs.

Whether you need a trailer for a bobcat or skid steer, lawn mower, classic car, or your ATVs, we have you covered. TP Trailers is a massive dealer of trailers, offering competitive prices and the option of designing and ordering custom trailers.

What Cargo Are You Hauling in Your Trailer?

Since we have sold more utility trailers than anyone, we know the best trailers for the most common types of cargo and specialty cargo. We’ve put together this trailer buying guide to help you find the right trailer — with the right options — to meet your cargo hauling needs.

The most common types of cargo we see are:

  • ATVs
  • Lawn Mowers
  • Cars
  • Equipment
  • Skid Steers
  • Bobcats
  • Pavers
  • Backhoes
  • Motorcycles

Open cargo trailer for equipment


You might get tired of riding your ATV around your backyard, so transporting it (along with your friend’s ATV) becomes a necessity. Our trailer buying guide highlights the right sizes and the right options for hauling an ATV.

  • When hauling ATVs you have fewer requirements for protection and safety than for other types of cargo. After all, ATVs are built to get dirty.
  • Open trailers are ideal for hauling ATVs, since they will be less expensive.
  • Unlike hauling motorcycles, wheel chocks are not required. The only option your trailer needs to secure an ATV is tie downs.
  • Whether it’s a friend’s ATV or part of your collection, most people will need to transport more than one at the same time. We recommend buying a trailer to accommodate two or three.
  • Easy loading onto the trailer is a MUST when you’re transporting something for fun. Depending on your situation, the most popular ATV trailers are a drive-on, drive-off trailer. Without that, you need to manually turn the vehicles sideways to haul more than one at a time — unless the trailer is long enough to load them straight on.
  • Steel Single axle 12 foot and 14 foot trailers — with rear ramps and side ramps — are the most popular budget options. These trailers are also available in longer lengths as tandem axle trailers.
  • Aluminum Tandem axle 16 foot and 18 foot trailers are good options for people looking to have a lighter trailer that offers the ease of loading ATVs with side load ramps.
  • We often sell landscape style trailers to customers looking to haul ATVs — because it gives the ability to haul other equipment as well, such as lawn mowers. The option of side ramps on a landscape trailer makes it very versatile.

Lawn Mowers

If you’re looking for a trailer to haul a riding lawn mower, chances are that is how you make your living. Zero-turn mowers and riding tractors have only gotten bigger over the years, so you need a durable and sizable landscape trailer to do the job.

  • Open or enclosed are both popular among landscapers — just for different reasons.
  • If you and your company are budget conscious, you want to opt for an open landscape trailer — they are across-the-board less expensive and tough enough to handle the job.
  • On the other hand, enclosed trailers can reduce your time commitment. Plenty of landscapers lock their mowers in the trailer and call it a day, no need to unload the mower into the garage. With an open trailer, you need to unload your trailer every night. Enclosed trailers offer protection and security for your lawn mowers and equipment.
  • Whether you choose open or enclosed, you’ll want to purchase a large enough trailer. Like we said, riding mowers are getting bigger. If you want to haul more than one at a time or bring along edgers and walk behind mowers, you’ll welcome the extra space.
  • 16 and 18 foot tandem axle trailers are some of the most popular sizes of landscape trailers we sell.
  • Custom lawn mower trailers are available, offering larger sizes and expanded options. TP Trailers is always willing to help you order a custom trailer. We also offer a full line of parts such as backpack blower racks, weed eater racks, and more to outfit both open and enclosed trailers.


A trailer for a car is one of the most important types to include in our trailer buying guide. From our experience, if you’re hauling a car in a trailer, it’s your pride and joy. Whether it’s your track car, a classic beauty, or a show car, you want to make sure the trailer that hauls it is as reliable as your car.

  • Wondering what size trailer you need to haul a car? That answer depends on the size of your car.
  • Enclosed trailers are popular because the full-coverage protects the car from rain and the hazard of chipping from stones flying off the road. Plus, when your car costs as much as $50k, you tend not to spare expense with your trailer. See our recommendation for the best enclosed trailer.
  • Open car trailers are available with ramps and tilting decks.
  • If you do select an open trailer, buy one with a stone guard or air dam, which will help protect your car while traveling down the road.

Power Equipment (Skid Steers and Bobcats)

Unlike an ATV or a ’69 Mustang, this isn’t your hobby or your passion — you’re hauling this cargo to work. Since you’re buying this trailer for your business, you need a trailer that is durable and a reasonable price.

  • Weight and size of the cargo are particularly important here. When hauling power equipment like this, the towing capacity of your vehicle and its hitch must be considered.
  • One option to gain towing capacity is a weight distribution hitch, which disperses weight from the truck onto the trailer. This increases how much your vehicle can tow and is an important option in some cases.
  • An option for wider equipment is a deckover trailer. With a deckover trailer, the whole deck of the trailer is over top of the wheels, allowing for a wider hauling surface.
  • Open trailers are the preference when hauling power equipment for two reasons: open trailers are less expensive and this type of equipment is made to withstand tough conditions and heavier loads.
  • Due to the weight of most equipment, a tandem axle is a good option when buying a trailer for a bobcat or skid steer. However, some smaller equipment will do well on a heavy single axle trailer.


The slim size and light weight makes hauling a motorcycle relatively easy. With a few modifications, any trailer can become a motorcycle trailer. Choose your motorcycle trailer based on what else you can see yourself needing to haul in the future. Almost any trailer we sell can be set up to haul motorcycles.

  • Trailers used for hauling motorcycles require a wheel chock, which keeps the front wheel straight allowing the bike to be tied down properly, so it won’t fall over. D-Rings and e-track are two popular options for motorcycle tie downs.
  • Open motorcycle trailers are also available with stone guards that offer more protection for your bike.

TP Trailers for All of Your Trailer Needs

law enforcement standing next to an enclosed cargo trailer

As much as we hope this trailer buying guide got you thinking about your trailer needs and wants, the next step is a conversation with the trailer experts at TP Trailers.

We can find the perfect trailer to match not only your needs, but the truck or SUV you’ll be using to haul it. We have one of the largest trailer inventories on the East Coast and we are happy to work with you to customize a trailer to meet your exact needs.

Start the conversation today!

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