Towing a trailer can seem daunting to first-timers. But with the proper preparation and knowledge, hauling cargo or vehicles alone doesn’t have to be stressful. The first step is finding the right equipment to rent locally. With many options, you can find the perfect trailer to match your needs and towing capacity. This guide will explore the trailer hire process to help make your towing experience smooth and successful.
Assessing Your Towing Needs
Before starting your trailer search, take time to identify your towing requirements. This will help narrow down the style and size of the trailer that’s right for the job.
Vehicle Towing Capacity
The vehicle you plan to use for towing has a maximum trailer weight capacity set by the manufacturer. This is typically listed in the owner’s manual or available from the dealer. Exceeding the tow rating risks damage and unsafe driving. When searching for a trailer to rent, ensure it remains within your vehicle’s rated towing limits.
Cargo Weight and Volume
Consider the approximate weight and size of items you need to haul. A closed trailer protects cargo, while a flatbed openly carries anything from lumber to vehicles. Match the trailer capacity to your cargo needs, so you have plenty of room without overdoing it.
Terrain and Distance
Are you travelling locally on primarily flat roads or headed cross-country over mountainous terrain? Long distances and steep grades put more strain on your tow vehicle, so consider this when selecting a trailer.
Choosing the Right Trailer
With your towing needs in mind, you can start exploring trailer options available to hire a trailer locally.
There are many styles of trailers for rent to suit different purposes:
- Enclosed trailers protect gear from weather and theft. Common for band equipment, furniture, and other cargo.
- Car trailers allow for transporting vehicles. They come in open and enclosed styles.
- Flatbed trailers have an open platform for versatile hauling needs.
- Utility trailers offer both open and closed options for lightweight hauling.
- Specialty trailers such as bike, concession, and animal trailers are designed for specific cargo needs.
Features to Consider
In addition to the trailer style, consider convenience and safety features:
- Brakes: Electric or surge brakes provide stopping power adjusted to the trailer load.
- Ramps: Look for a low ramp angle for easy loading and unloading.
- Tie downs: Internal tie downs keep cargo from shifting during transport.
- Lighting: Proper signals, brake lights, and reflectors are legally required.
- Fenders: Keep dirt spray off your tow vehicle with tire fenders.
- Ball receiver: Matches the ball size of your hitch for a snug fit.
Finding Local Trailer Rental Companies
Once you decide which trailer best fits your needs, the next step is finding companies in your area that offer rentals. Search online directory listings and maps to discover rental businesses with the proper inventory nearby.
National Rental Chains
Major nationwide companies offer one-way and local trailer rentals through their extensive network of locations nationwide. Their selection includes all standard trailer types. Rates may be consistent from one store to the next.
Independent Trailer Dealerships
For a more specialized selection, look for local trailer and hitch dealers. Many partners with rental fleets offer various trailer types and brands for short-term rentals. Their knowledgeable staff can provide towing guidance as well.
Websites allow owners to rent out their trailers. This opens up more variety and convenience for finding a trailer nearby. However, quality varies more than with commercial fleet rentals.
Preparing for a Smooth Tow
Once your rental trailer is hitched up, checking the proper setup will give you confidence on the road.
Confirm Hitch and Wiring
Ensure the trailer ball size matches the coupler and locks securely. Check all lights are connected and functioning, including turn signals and brake lights. Consider adding a hitch stabilizer for more sway control.
Balance cargo weight evenly over axles and secure all items tightly. Too much weight in the back can cause fishtailing.
Set tow mirrors to extend your rearview and see past the trailer sides. Verify you have good visibility before pulling out.
Find an empty parking lot to practice turning, backing up gradually, and parking with the extra length. Take it slow.
Mind Speed and Stopping Distance
Travel at moderate speeds, allow extra stopping room and maintain extra following distance. Use lower gears downhill to control speed.
Towing a rental trailer is simplified when you understand essential factors like hitch requirements, load capacities, brake features, and practice maneuvers ahead of time. Exploring local trailer and auto rental companies will provide all the necessary equipment for a safe, successful trip.