Things to consider before buying a trailer

19 October 2016

Buying a trailer is quite a big investment so there are many things to consider before making your purchase. These days there are many manufacturers and plenty to choose from, so we thought we would highlight some things you should consider before making your purchase.


The type and size of trailer you need is determined mainly by how you intend to use it, the type of load and the weight of the load you will be carrying.

Depending on what you will be carrying will determine whether you need a box or cage trailer. If you only intend to carry sand, garden materials or rubbish a box trailer would be perfect. A caged one is more suitable if you need to carry taller loads or want to protect the load, such as equipment and furniture. The great thing about buying a cage trailer is you can actually remove the cage, giving you the best of both worlds.

Also consider the weight you intend to carry; light loads only need a single axle trailer and don’t require brakes, they can carry loads up to 750kg. Heavier loads require a tandem axle or a braked single axle.


Before making your purchase it’s important to find out the towing capacity of your car. Your car’s maximum towing capacity is set by its manufacturer and you can find this information in the vehicle handbook or online. Using a trailer that exceeds your car’s towing limits or is too big can cause damage, be dangerous and is illegal. There are legal requirements you must follow when towing and all new trailers are required to have a plate listing that shows the ATM, Tare weight and GTM. For more information on these regulations check out the National Towing Guide.


For safe towing you need to make sure your trailer has adequate braking. Whether you need to have brakes is once again determined by the weight of the load you will be carrying. Here is an overview of the regulations:

  • Trailers with a GTM (Gross Trailer Mass) of 750kg or less do not need a braking system.
  • Trailers with a GTM that exceeds 750kg and under 2000kg must be fitted with brakes on at least one axle.
  • Trailers over 2000kg GTM must have an electric brake system that operates on all wheels and that can activate if the trailer becomes detached from the car.


There are loads of trailers in the market at the moment so it can be hard to decide which one to buy. Like anything there are good quality products and ones you should avoid buying. It’s important to buy a quality product as they last longer and are more durable. But how do you know which ones are quality? Well here are some features that you will find in a quality trailer:

  • Hot dipped galvanised – these coatings are more durable than steel/painted trailers and protects them from rust and Australia’s harsh weather.
  • New light truck tyres – you will be surprised that many manufacturers use second hand tyres, so make sure you ask if the tyres are new before buying.
  • LED lights – LED’s are better than conventional bulbs as they have a longer life, are more energy efficient and are more resistant to shock and vibration.
  • Jockey wheel and Spare wheel should be included in the price.

When buying a trailer cheaper isn’t always better. It’s important to do your research beforehand and choose a quality built one that fits your purpose. Taking your time will to choose the right one will pay off in the long run.

If you would like any further advice feel free to call us and our sales staff will be happy to assist. You can contact our Adelaide showroom on 08 8281 6696 or our Perth showroom on 0447 901 977. Eagle Camper Trailers have many years experience in the trailer industry and produce top quality products. We also have the skills and experience needed to build custom trailers to suit your individual needs.