Saturday, February 6, 2010

Utility Trailers

Yesterday my blog was about roof racks. One little aside was that a good set of roof racks can save you the expense of a utility trailer. This post is about utility trailers. What gives? There are times when a good utility trailer is just the thing for the job.

It can save someone the expense of buying and maintaining a truck. A lot of people own a big truck because a few times of the year they do things like haul compost. 99% of the time, they don't really need a truck. Driving a fuel efficient car that occasionally pulls a trailer would save them an awful lot of money. True, there is the expense of installing a trailer hitch and buying a trailer. It can be done on the cheap.

I bought a second hand trailer for $50. Spent another $100 for plywood, new lights, and paint. How good a trailer is it? I took it on a 5000 mile trip and it didn't give me any problems. It can hold about a 1/2 cord of firewood. I hauled firewood for three different households. The trailer is still in good shape. New tires are all it need before taking it on another long trip. Wore out the old ones.

Since utility trailers are fairly light, a cheap class III hitch is probably good enough. Many vehicles come with factory installed hitches. While I have bought a few hitches over the years, most of mine have been welded up from scrap steel. Most light kits can be installed by reading the directions on the back of the box. It's not that hard to do. Your average mechanic can do a nice job fairly quickly, so it's not that expensive to hire out.

A friend of mine has a trailer he keeps loaded for camping. All his gear is packed in waterproof boxes. Before he goes on a camping trip, it's just a matter of loading up the cooler, clothes and dry goods. Everything else is ready to go. It's a great bug out vehicle. In a pinch, he could be loaded up and gone in minutes. That's the key to beating the crowd. By the time the average person finds their suitcases, he's in the next state.


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