Choosing the Right Trailer
This guide details the questions you should ask before purchasing your trailer. Once you're done, browse our trailers.
1. What do I need to tow?
Check the load capacity of trailer. Match this with the approximate weight you intend on towing.
We discuss the benefits and deficits of tandems and single axles further on, but generally speaking - for heavy loads of up to 1,000kg, choose a tandem axle. For lighter use (up to 500kg), a single axle is more appropriate. If there is a chance you could be towing heavier and bulkier loads in future, look at a tandem axle with cage. The next step is to find out if your motor vehicle can handle this load.
2. How much can my vehicle tow? Do I need brakes?
Check your motor vehicle's handbook, which will list the following:
- - The maximum weight of laden trailer, without brakes, that can be towed by the motor vehicle.
- - The maximum weight of laden trailer, with brakes, that can be towed by the motor vehicle.
Brakes on a trailer will increase safety. For braked models, the GVM of trailer (weight of trailer plus load) must not exceed the towing vehicle's mass weight.
Here's an indicative guide specifying the approximate towing capacity of common motor vehicles. Be sure to contact the vehicle manufacturer for actual towing capacity.
Vehicle Towing Capacity (approx):
Ford Ranger 2.5 1000 Kg
Ford Ranger 3.0 1800 Kg
Landrover Defender 3500 Kg
Laondrover Discovery 3500 Kg
RangeRover 2500 Kg
Nissan NP300 1400 Kg
Nissan Navara 2950 Kg
Nissan Patrol P/U 2500 Kg
Nissan Patrol 3500 Kg
Mitsubishi Pajero 3000 Kg
Mitsubishi Pajero 1500 Kg
Toyota Hilux 2.7 1500 Kg
Toyota Hilux 2.5 1650 Kg
Toyota Hilux 3.0 1590 Kg
Toyota Fortuna 2020 Kg
Toyota Landcrusier 70 P/U 1500 Kg
Toyota Landcrusier GX 3500 Kg
3. Cage or No Cage?
With a cage you can stack items higher and contain the load safely. Caged trailers are perfect for bulky items like beds, furniture and even small vehicles such as ride-on mowers and ATVs - check their weight doesn't exceed trailer load capacity. If in doubt select a tandem.
Non-caged trailers are excellent for general purposes, and especially for moving landscaping supplies like pebbles, compost and sand because of easier tray access.
4. Tandem Axle or Single Axle?
- - Better stability and smoother riding.
- - Safer if you have a tyre blowout.
- - Will carry more weight - up to 1000kg
- - Added tyre friction and drag makes tandems more costly to maintain and run.
- - Less turning radius. Also, turning is harder on tyres.
A less powerful vehicle will struggle with the increased weight and friction of tandem axles with large loads. Check there's even weight distribution over both axles otherwise there can be too much stress on a single axle.
Single Axle Trailers:
- - Lighter to tow due to reduced friction from tyres
- - Tend to bounce and sway more.
- - Can take less weight than tandems.
- - Better gas mileage.
- - Easier to manouevre and less stress on tyres when turning. One person can move trailer around to hook up to vehicle. Tandems require the vehicle to be moved to the trailer.
When loading a single axle, balance weight over the axle and secure the items to avoid sliding.
Hopefully this gives you some clarity over which trailer to choose. If you are towing small vehicles like ride-on mowers or motorcycles, be sure to buy a loading ramp. Now you can browse our trailers.
Ok, I've got my trailer, now what?
Once we've delivered it to you, you'll need to assemble the trailer and license it for road use.
1. Trailer Assembly:
Here are instructions for assembling your trailer, it will take you approximately 2 hrs.
These are the tools you'll need:
- - Ratchet set
- - Crescent
2. Trailer Registration and Licensing:
Registering and licensing your trailer for road use is approximately $135 for 12 months. You can do this at a VTNZ station. There are VTNZ stations all around New Zealand. Find a vehicle registration station near you.
3. Safety Information
Once your trailer's on the road, refer to NZTA's Guide to Safe Towing.