Cargo trailers are utility trailers that have been enclosed with walls and a roof. For this reason, they are also called enclosed trailers. Whether you need a cargo trailer for hauling motorcycles, a car, equipment such as ATVs, or a trailer you can personalize and make a camper, you are in the market for a cargo trailer.
Learn more about How to Find the Perfect Trailers to Haul ATV or SxS UTVs.
These cargo trailers tend to be inexpensive and lightweight and come in different sizes and with varying cargo trailer accessories. Modern cargo trailers are light enough to be towed by most trucks and even some cars.
Enclosed Cargo Trailers Buying Guide
It’s best to consider these six factors when looking for cargo trailers. You can also check out our Best Cargo Trailer: 3 Best Options post.
#1 Trailer Size
To determine the size of the enclosed cargo trailer you need, you will need to measure the size of the cargo you want to haul.
Manufacturers that offer enclosed trailers typically offer them in widths ranging between five and 8.5 feet. Cargo trailers are available in lengths varying from 8 feet to 32 feet and can be longer.
A smaller cargo trailer that is 5′ in width or shorter typically has a 5′ height. Cargo trailers larger than 5′ typically have a 6′ height. Besides this nuance, you must also bear in mind that if you get a V-nose trailer, some of the storage space will be lost to the V design.
If you’re specifically looking at car haulers, most standard models are 6’6″ in height and have features that aid in hauling cars. Other types of trailers do not have these features.
#2 Trailer Design
Cargo trailers come in three main front designs: flat nose, bullet nose, and V-nose. If you don’t intend to move the trailer a lot, you could get your hands on a flat-nose trailer since the design negatively impacts mileage.
But if like most customers, you need an enclosed cargo trailer to move around with, it’s best to get a bullet nose (round) or V-nose (pointed) enclosed trailer. These offer better mileage than flat-nose cargo trailers, with bullet-nose design trailers offering the best mileage.
Besides offering the best mileage, bullet-nose enclosed trailers offer slightly more room than V-nose trailers, making them the best enclosed cargo trailer design overall.
#3 Number of Axles
You can find cargo trailers with single and dual axles (tandem axles). A single-axle trailer is more maneuverable than a tandem-axle trailer of the same size. They also tend to be cheaper, lighter, easier to maintain and offer comparatively better fuel economy.
However, single-axle trailers tend to have a smaller weight capacity, and since a single axle has to carry all the weight, they don’t serve you as long as tandem axle trailers.
Getting a tandem axle trailer is the right way to go if you’re expecting to haul heavy loads over long distances.
#4 Axle Type
Axles are of two main types: leaf spring and torsion. Cargo trailers with leaf spring axles tend to be cheaper and are the most common type of axles equipped for trailers.
Torsion axles are easier to maintain and provide a better ride since the axle rides on rubber, unlike leaf spring axles that ride on steel.
Besides considering the axle type, you must also consider the weight of the axles. Axles typically weigh 3500, 5200, or 7200 lbs. The heavier the axle, the more weight it can haul, and the more expensive it is.
It is best to get a cargo trailer with a higher hauling capacity than required, and you must carefully consider your future needs when deciding which axle to get.
#5 Trailer Brand
Paying attention to the material the trailer is built out of is more important than looking for the best brand of enclosed trailers.
Often, brand-name trailers have the same design as a cargo trailer from another manufacturer, the only difference being that the well-known brand charges more for the same product.
Top cargo trailer brands include Look Trailers, Haulmark, Continental Cargo, and Continental Cargo.
#6 Trailer Frame
Since a trailer is basically a box on wheels, the frame is the most important component of a cargo trailer. Tubular steel frames tend to be the most durable, so it’s best to look at options that offer this type of frame.
Cheaper trailers have I-Beam and Z-Bar frames, but these don’t even come close to tubular steel frames in terms of strength. You will be surprised to learn that many well-known brands offer trailers with I-Beams in their frames.
Rental and Purchasing Options
Besides these six factors, you must also consider color options and upgrade options for cargo trailers. We’ve covered 3 of the best cargo trailers but you can also check out many different types of trailers here on our site. In fact, check out our best dump trailer post for more information.