Top 10 Things To Consider When Buying A Boat Trailer
There are many instances in which people will be shopping for a new boat trailer. Sometimes their small boat trailer just can’t handle their new boat, and other times their old boat needs a new trailer. Of course, there are also the times when someone has saved up for years and are purchasing a new boat and trailer at the same time.
No matter your situation, you’re probably pretty excited about getting a new boat trailer. While it might not be as exciting as getting a new boat, a new boat trailer is a necessity that most people don’t mind getting. After all, your boat isn’t going to do you much good if you don’t have a trailer to get you to Canada’s lakes and rivers.
As you start your search for a new boat trailer, we’d like to offer up a few things to think about as you’re looking online and testing them out in person. Here are 10 things to consider when buying a boat trailer.
#1: What Kind of Boat Do You Have?
Of course, the boat you have (or are considering purchasing) will play the biggest part in determining the size and shape of the boat trailer you’re looking for. One boat trailer does not fit all, so it’s import to your safety, and that of your boat, that you purchase one that’s the right size.
Small Boat Trailers: The most common boat trailers are small boat trailers, as most people have boats that are less than 20 feet long and under 3.600 hundred pounds. These are boat trailers with a single axle and two wheels, meaning that they require a little less maintenance than a larger boat trailer. And speaking of larger boat trailers…
Large Boat Trailers: If you have a bigger boat, you never want to try to get away with using a smaller boat trailer. The bigger the boat, the heavier it is; this often requires the two or three axles that you’ll get with a large boat trailer. The carrying capacities of our large boat trailers start at 5,200 pounds and go all the way to monstrous 15,000-pound boats. If your boat falls into the 21-foot to 36-foot category (congratulations, by the way), you’ll want to be sure to search for large boat trailers.
Pontoon Trailers: The unique design of pontoon boats means that the matching pontoon boat trailers have to be equally unique. Our galvanized boat trailers handle pontoon boats large and small, from 2,500 pounds all the up to 5,000 pounds. These can carry pontoon boats that are between 18 and 26 feet long, which covers just about all of them out there. Single- or double-axel, we have one for your pontoon vessel.
Jet Ski Trailers: Are jet skis boats? These small watercraft are indeed individual boats, and in most places you’ll need a license in order to operate one. The jet ski trailer you need will mostly depend on the number of them you have. We have both single and dual jet ski trailers so that you can have some fun at the lake. Depending on your interest, you can pick from either galvanized or aluminum jet ski trailers.
#2: How Much Will A New Boat Trailer Cost You?
While a boat trailer certainly doesn’t cost as much as the boat itself, it’s still something that you need to budget for when you’re about to purchase a new watercraft. When budgeting for your future water excursions, remember that the right boat trailer will tend to be 10-20% of the cost of the new boat itself. Here are some points to think about.
Don’t Buy Used: It can be tempting to purchase a used boat trailer, but problems can arise. You can’t always tell if a used boat trailer has been in an accident or not, and you don’t know just how hard the previous owner was on it. Consider this: if they put a boat on it that was too big, there’s a good chance that the frame has become bent or has stress fractures. You might be able to tell until the trailer gives out prematurely.
Get the Best One You Can Afford: Trust us, buying the best boat trailer you can afford is worth it. After spending so much money on a boat, you don’t want to drive it around on a junky boat trailer. Not only will they not hold up as well over time (making them a less-than-wise investment), they also won’t handle as well on the roads.
Always remember: most-expensive and best don’t always go together. There are a lot of very expensive boat trailers out there that aren’t any better than one from LoadRite Canada. But you want to make sure that you don’t buy a discount boat trailer and regret it down the road.
#3: Where Will You Be Using It?
It’s important to consider where, how often, and under what conditions you’ll be using your boat trailer. After all, not everyone is using their boats for the same purpose.
Saltwater or Freshwater: For the longest time, the type of water in which a person used their boat was the primary determiner of which type of trailer they’d get. After all, you don’t want to use an untreated steel boat trailer in saltwater. But with most boat trailers being either aluminum or galvanized, it really doesn’t matter much which type you get. With most of our customers favoring the local freshwater lakes or the St. Lawrence River, it’s not really a concern anyway.
The Road Conditions: More important than the freshwater/saltwater debate are the type of roads you’ll be using your trailer on. Most people will be just fine on city streets, but what about when you take your boat on the highway to one of the Great Lakes? Or maybe your favorite camping spot is at the end of a very bumpy and hole-filled dirt path? It’s important to get a high-quality boat trailer that can handle every situation you might put it though.
How Often You Use It: At first you might think “only people out on their boat every day need a high-quality boat trailer.” Do you really need a great boat trailer if you’re only taking it out once a month during the summer? Yes, because in reality you use your boat trailer every day.
Whether it’s speeding down the road or sitting beside the house, you’re using it The only time that a boat trailer isn’t in use is when the boat is actually on the water; at all other times the trailer is under stress from carrying the boat. A boat trailer is in use much more than it isn’t, so be sure you get one that will hold up to sudden stress as well as constant stress.
Getting a top-tier boat trailer means doing the research on the how well they’re put together. We’ll take a look at construction next.
#4: Investigate The Construction
Boat trailers are getting better, there’s no doubt about that. But just because one manufacturer is making all the right changes doesn’t mean that they all are. Here are some things to watch out for when looking for a new boat trailer.
Check the Frame Materials: A good boat trailer will be made from either aluminum or galvanized steel. The aluminum in aluminum boat trailers doesn’t rust, and a galvanized steel boat trailer has been dipped in zinc so that it doesn’t rust. Most boat trailers today are made from one of these two types of metal, but you still want to check.
Research the Company: We’re quite proud of the high-quality framing materials we use in our LoadRite Canada trailers, but we’re equally proud of their modern design and the people who construct them. Make sure the company from which you’re getting your boat trailer is open about the methods they use to create their trailers.
The design is a great start, but next we’re going to take a look at other parts of a boat trailer and why they’re so important.
#5: Quality of The Non-Frame Materials
It’s not just the frame that you have to worry about. It’s also important to take a look at every other aspect of the trailer to make sure it’s one of the best. This includes the design and placement of everything beyond the metal frame, so be sure to check out the following to make sure they meet your needs in a boat trailer.
Rollers and Bunks
When you’re investigating boat trailers, you’ll often have the decision between rollers or bunks. While many people’s first inclination is to go with rollers, LoadRite tends to favor bunks because they hold up better. Remember, even if rollers make it a little easier getting the boat onto the trailer, the boat is exerting pressure on them constantly. Bumps in the road can cause the rollers to bend or fail prematurely. Bunks can be supported along multiple points, which is why large boat trailers always use bunks.
Brakes are, of course, incredibly important to your trailer. They have to be powerful, because brakes aren’t just stopping the trailer itself…they’re also dealing with the forward momentum of the boat. Make sure the boat trailer you buy has a good reputation when it comes to brakes, and make sure you get proper instructions for taking care of them before you drive the trailer home.
Tires are nearly as vital to your trailer as the brakes are. You really want to get a trailer with top quality tires. After all, every ounce of your multi-ton boat is riding on the few inches of tire that are touching the ground at any given time, so you want to make sure you can brake with ease. Good tires will also get you out of mud faster.
Historically, lights have been a weak spot on trailers of every kind. Incandescent bulbs rely on fragile filaments which didn’t always hold up well to the constant jostling that occurs on roads. Boat trailers have been especially prone to failure, for the simple fact that they are often submerged in water. A hot bulb hitting cold water thanks to a failed watertight seal meant that the bulb would burst or the wiring would fry.
Thankfully, most trailer manufacturers have found ways to fix these problems. LED lights don’t get hot like incandescent bulbs do, which means they’re less likely to suffer from temperature shock in the water. Watertight seals also hold up longer than they used to, protecting bulbs and wiring from the water in which they become submerged.
When choosing a boat trailer, you might want to find out how the wiring for the brakes and the lights are attached. Sometimes wiring can be found in the frame, which can protect it from weather and damage. Other times the construction doesn’t allow for this. If this is important to you, make a note of it.
As one of the few moving parts on a typical boat trailer, it’s important to find a high-quality winch to help pull your boat out of the water. A winch should be easy to use; when you’re visiting a boat trailer manufacturer, make sure to put the winch through its paces before you decide on a trailer. Not every winch is created equal, and you want to make sure that it accommodates your needs.
#6: Check the Resale Value
It might sound strange that we’d be talking about resale value before you’ve even decided on which trailer to purchase, but hear us out. When you pick a boat trailer, you want to make sure it will sell for as much as possible when you choose to sell it. In fact, a high historical resale value is usually indicative of a high-quality product in the first place; there’s a reason why used Hondas and Toyotas are worth so much more on the secondary market than lesser vehicles are.
So that invites the question: if you’re picked a quality boat trailer, why would you ever want to get rid of it? One word: upgrades! There’s a good chance that the small boat you buy today is just a step to getting a bigger boat in the future. So when you sell that small boat, you’re going to need to move from a small boat trailer to a larger one. You might as well get as much money out of the old one as possible.
#7: How Good Does The Trailer Look?
How important are looks in a boat trailer? Don’t worry, we won’t judge you either way. We understand that some people simply don’t care about the look of their boat trailer. Others making it a priority, decorating both the boat and trailer wraps. People who keep their boat in a garage might not care what the neighbors think of the look of their boat trailer. Those who keep their boat trailer in the driveway might care a lot.
If looks are important to you, you might choose an aluminum boat trailer over a galvanized one. Aluminum boat trailers tend to look a bit more stylish and refined thanks to the clean look of the joints and their ability to hide wiring. In fact, for the largest and fanciest boats we exclusively built aluminum trailers.
#8: Investigate the Drivability
As nice as trailers can look when carrying a new boat, it’s important to remember that looks and solid construction aren’t the only factors you have to consider. It’s also important that the boat trailer handles well on the road.
How well a trailer handles mostly comes down to the computer-aided design, something that LoadRite excels at. As we mentioned above in Question 3, any boat trailer can handle pretty well when it comes to standard city streets. But it’s even more important to make sure you’re getting a trailer that handles well on the highway. That’s why it’s so important to go with a trusted boat trailer manufacturer, on that has a great reputation in the industry.
#9: Check The Boat Manufacturer’s Reputation
In the past, finding the right boat trailer was much more of a gamble and took a lot more time. A person would pick up the phone book, find the section on boat trailers, and then spend a half-dozen Saturdays driving all over Quebec trying to find the perfect boat trailer. Unfortunately, driving so far to look at just a couple of boat trailers in the wrong size ended up wasting a lot of time.
The internet makes it a lot easier to find out the boat trailer options that are available, and you can mark many of them off your list without even stopping by. You can also make the most of your time by checking online to see what people are saying.
Trust the Testimonials: We’re pleased to say that people who end up going with a LoadRite Canada trailer are almost always happy they did. If you’d like to find out what our customers are saying about us, we’ve collected a bunch of testimonials for you to take a look at.
Read the Reviews: There are reviews all over the internet for different kinds of boat trailers. We’re happy to send you out looking for them, because we know you’ll find good stuff. If you’re unable to find reviews regarding our Innisfil or Monkland trailers, reading reviews about any LoadRite trailer in North America should give you a pretty good idea of what people think about them.
Ask Around: Here’s something that you won’t find on the internet. When you’re at the lake or river dock, ask around; boat people love to talk about their boats. And they’ll be more than happy to tell you how they feel about their boat trailers, how they drive, and how they hold up. Invite the guy with the LoadRite trailer over for a grilled hotdog and he’s sure to be happy to tell you what he thinks. Simply being around a large group of boat trailers and the people who are driving them around might be your best bet on finding out the most honest information.
#10: Get a Great Warranty
It’s important to make sure you’re getting a good warranty on your boat trailer. While boat trailers might not have as many moving parts as a car, they’re certainly carrying a lot of weight. You want to make sure that it’s going to be fixed if something goes wrong.
How much do we believe in our boat trailers? We offer just about the best warranty in the industry, because we know that you won’t be disappointed in a LoadRite trailer. Find out more about our warranty right here.
We want you to get the best trailer available, and we’re pretty sure that we build it whether you’re looking for a small boat trailer or something considerably larger. We can help you get your boat, pontoon, or jet ski right where you need it. Check out LoadRite Canada’s selections today!