Buying a Used Trailer For Your ATV

Looking to buy a new or used trailer for your off-road vehicle?  Its winter in Lake Havasu City, which means it’s time to hit the desert hard with your off road toys and perhaps your trailer from last year just isn’t going to get you through another year. You’re going to want to save some money so let’s put the new trailer on the back burner for another year.  If you’re going towards the used trailer then you’ll have to put in some time with research and inspection to make your buy the best deal for you.

What it takes to get the best deal

By not taking some time and making the best, most informed decision you may end up spending as much as a new trailer. A well-researched purchase on a used trailer can get you much less, even half, of the sticker price of a new one.  So provided you diligent with the research you can end up with a smoking deal that you are very satisfied with.

You’ll want to start by allocating a budget and a firm top price that you’ll pay.  Then make a list of all the qualities you want your used trailer to have.  What needs should be met?  Do you want electricity?  What should the wheel size be?

Here’s a good checklist

Check the title: A trailer’s title must be “clean.”  This means there are no liens against it.  It also means that the trailer has never been salvaged or damage claims against it.   Even if the seller has the papers for it, it may have been stolen.   If the seller is hesitant to show you the original title this should be a big red flag.

You can run the VIN of the trailer thru the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS).   The NMVTIS is a national consumer protection database that provides title information from states across the country.  You can access this information online from several sources.  You can even check on your phone while you’re out looking at the trailers. Knowledge is power!

“The NMVTIS database gives you the vehicle’s title history, which includes whether the vehicle was ever in the possession of a junk or salvage yard or declared a “total loss” by an insurance company.”  Texas DMV

Trailer floor: Your inspection of the vehicle must start from below. Check out the trailer floor for to ensure that it is not rusting and is solid and stable and not rusting.  Looking underneath is important because this is where the problems with the chassis can begin.  Don’t be afraid to get in the dirt and look things over.

Tires: You don’t want to see any cracks or plugged holes.  Nor should there be any bulges in the tire or dry rot.

Bearings: Make sure that the wheel bearings are seated properly and that they are well lubricated..  There should be no up and down or side to side movement with the bearings.

Hitch:  The latch on the hitch open and close properly with no missing parts!

Brakes: Are the axles’ brakes working well?  Inspect the brake pads, shoes, drums, rotors, and magnets. Do not hesistate to question your seller on any of these items if you see something you don’t like or question.

Suspension: Check the springs and spring hangers for cracks, breaks, and repairs.

Also examine the frames and electricals before you purchase.  If you have any questions you can bring your trailer to Britton before you buy and we will help inspect it for you.  Call us with any questions at (928) 768-9825

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