Ford F-Series towing a trailer

Should I Buy an Aluminum or Steel Trailer to Go with My Vehicle?

Pros and Cons of Trailers Made of Aluminum or Steel

One of the top reasons why our customers buy a used truck or crossover/SUV is so that they can pull a trailer loaded with supplies, livestock, or toys. Many of our customers already own a trailer or two, but if you are looking at treating yourself to a new trailer after saving a ton of money on your used vehicle from Auction Direct USA, you might be a little unsure if one made from aluminum or steel is right for you. We have looked at the pros and cons of owning trailers made of these two materials, and we are excited to share our thoughts with you.

Should I Consider What Kind of Vehicle I am Driving When I Buy a New Trailer?

Chevy Suburban pulling a camperAbsolutely! You definitely need to consider how a new trailer will work with the vehicle that you purchased. The biggest factor that you need to consider is the weight of your trailer and if your vehicle is strong enough to pull it. Aluminum is significantly lighter than steel, so it will be more appropriate for compact or midsized crossovers that offer a lighter towing capacity. Larger and more powerful models like full-sized pickup trucks or SUVs are able to properly handle the extra weight that comes with a steel trailer.

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What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using an Aluminum Trailer?

Although it is more expensive when initially purchased, an aluminum trailer typically requires less maintenance (just regular lube applications to cam openings, hinges, etc.) and fewer repairs over the duration of ownership. Thanks to aluminum’s lighter weight, you will experience an improved fuel economy with your vehicle when towing. Drivers who need to transport livestock say that their animals will enjoy a smoother ride in an aluminum trailer thanks to less impact shock. If you do transport animals, their bodily waste is very acidic and can corrode your aluminum trailer – so you will definitely want to make sure to keep it clean.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Steel Trailer?

Despite being significantly heavier than aluminum, many drivers love steel trailers because they are more rugged and rigid. Steel has less elasticity than aluminum, so it is better able to handle the stress of extremely heavy loads or towing on uneven terrain. Steel trailers are also cheaper when initially purchased. However, they require much more upkeep because they corrode and rust extremely easily (especially in regions with lots of snow and salt). Maintenance includes regular inspections for rust/corrosion spots, touching up on scratches in the paint or galvanized coating, and making sure that any repairs have been properly finished and sealed. These regular repairs can add up in costs over the duration of ownership.

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