Selecting an Enclosed Cargo Trailer – Features

These are only some of the many different features available .

V-Nose or Flat Front

Do you require the aerodynamic V-nose front that gives you extra space, or a Flat Front that offers a little more clearance on the tongue of the trailer? Often people believe they have more room to turn with a flat front; however this is not true because the tongue of the trailer is still there! If you need to have a generator box on the tongue, you will want to extend it to accommodate the box or frame & still be able to turn the jack.

Ramp or Barn Door(s)

Will you require a single or double Barn Style door(s); which may be easier when using a forklift, or a Ramp for rolling items into trailer? Barn Door(s) may also be more desirable in confined spaces. Keep in mind that Ramps have weight limitations and we have light, medium and heavy duty versions available. You may also consider a bottom or top flap extension on the ramp for rolling heavy or small wheel items that get caught on the ramp? Doors & Ramps are available for all sides of trailers; however certain placement may be an issue from an engineering perspective, so ask your sales rep.


As you can see from the Trailer Size section, you may want to increase the axles on your trailer? Trailers typically come with 2000lb – 3500lb axles as an industry standard; however you may want 5200lb or 7000lb? You may also want Torsion axles over leaf spring axles. Most axles are 4” Drop Leaf Spring axles which are more desirable than straight axles, because that would make the trailer sit higher in the air. You want to try and size the axles based off the combination of the actual trailer weight & your anticipated load /cargo. The idea is to have about 10 to 20 percent extra capacity. Anything more than 20 percent will result in a stiff suspension and cause the trailer to ride hard & be bumpy, which is bad for cargo & trailer! Tires will typically wear abnormally as well.


Typically a single axle non-commercial trailer does not require brakes, while double & triple axles do. You may want to consult your DMV if you are not sure about your State requirements. It is estimated that a trailer with brakes can stop in half the distance! Not only that, it saves on wear of your vehicle brakes, makes it easier to get control of swaying vehicle and typically comes with a brake away kit. Like everything, adding electric brakes will increase the cost of the trailer. In Florida the requirement is that a trailer over 2,990 lbs requires brakes. This also means that the vehicle pulling it requires a brake controller to activate & utilize the brakes! Yes the trailer can hook up, plug in & still roll without the controller; however it doesn’t make it right and you will not be able to take advantage or use the trailer brakes without a controller in your vehicle. These controllers are typically less than $200 to have installed!

Tires & Treads

The first thing I want to cover is the writing or nomenclature that is written on the side of the tire. A typical trailer tire will be ST205/75D15. The ST designates “Special Trailer” not LT- light truck or P- passenger vehicles. The 205 designates the width of the tire in millimeters from sidewall to sidewall. This number will be higher on some trailers, which is good. The 75 designates the aspect ratio of sidewall height to width in fractions of an inch, in this case 0.75, so multiply by width of tire to get the height. The “D” designates Bias Ply or “R” for radial tire. The 15 designates the diameter of the wheel or RIM as many people call it. Trailer tires have stiffer sidewalls than car tires, because they have no torque axles and it helps keep them from swaying. Trailer tires will also have a Load Range of C, D or E stamped on them to specify how long the tire can go at the specified inflation pressure. It’s never a good idea to over inflate a tire to increase load capacity! Radial tires will give longer wear, ride smoother & typically are stronger tires. It is always a good idea to periodically check the lug nuts for proper torque. Wheels that have a 5- 6 lugs on 4.5 thru 5.5” bolt pattern with ½” studs require 80-90 ft.LBS of Torque. Make sure they are tightened in sequence based off bolt pattern. Many people will purchase a spare tire already mounted on a wheel when they get their trailer. There are mounts available for inside or outside the trailer.


Trailers actually seal up relatively tight. Smaller trailers typically do not have ventilation; however it is an option. Trailers 6’ wide and larger come with passive side ventilation or manual crank roof vents. The passive vents are good for trailers that have vehicles or fumes, because air is forced into & out of trailer as it moves down the road. Manual crank roof vents are nice & can have a 12 vdc fan to add some flow. They also have a metal frame that they are attached to that can be used to mount a RV style air conditioner at a later date, or when you order the trailer. Air conditioners can be added as an option. They do require the metal frame & a wire that runs from the vent frame down the sidewall of the trailer to hook up the A/C electrical. Often time’s customers add a full 50 AMP electrical package when selecting this option; however some people install the required connections themselves. Optional windows that open with or without screens can be added to your custom trailer on walls or doors when you place your order.

Exterior & Colors

Colors other than white are typically more money due to the fact so many trailers are white, so supply is the highest. Often times a color will also be thicker metal. Matching color screws is more desirable not only because it looks better, but the extra layer of paint that is on the self-taping screw is less likely to rust in years to come. Not all models have all colors available. Some clients add Mirror Finish or ATP (aluminum tread plate /diamond plate) down the sides & rear of the trailer. This is commonly referred to as a touring package. There is always some ATP on the front bottom and nose of a V-nose trailer as a stone guard. Fenders are also available in ATP; however seldom ordered. The roof is typically Galvalume with seams every 4’ or one piece aluminum. Aluminum is not subject to rust; however it is not as thick or strong as steel. Trailers roofs are secured around the top outer edge with galvanized steel self taping screws and also any roof vents. These are then covered with either adhesive caulk or one sided stretchy tape. The adhesive caulk is better; however not available from all manufacturers. If you notice and leaks during the life of the trailer, you must address them right away!


Trailers typically have a ¾” plywood deck that is supported with cross-member studs at 24”, 16” or 12” O.C. (on centers). If heavy or concentrated loads will be in trailer, then closer cross-members are better. Walls are either 3/8” to 7/16” plywood or OSB (oriented strand board). The wall studs are at 24”, 16” or 12” O.C.; however 24” is acceptable for most non-commercial use trailers that don’t have heavy loads. Ceilings are typically 24” O.C. with a LUAN ceiling liner to prevent roof sheet metal from rubbing against steel cross members while driving & due to thermal expansion. The are many options like insulation, vinyl & metal walls, finished ceilings, ATP, RTP (rubberized tread plate) or vinyl floors, cabinets, electrical packages. See options for complete lists, or contact your sale rep.


Back to Selecting an Enclosed Cargo Trailer

Previous Section Selecting an Enclosed Cargo Trailer – Budget

Next Section Selecting an Enclosed Cargo Trailer – Availability