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Trailer Buying Guide
There are a few things to consider before buying your trailer, check out our guide to make sure that you buy the perfect trailer for the job.
What's Right for You?
1. How Big?
Check the load capacity of trailer and match this with the weight of what you're going to be towing.
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 removable cage.
2. How Much Can My Vehicle Tow? Do I Need a Braked Trailer?
Brakes on a trailer will increase safety. For braked models, the weight of the trailer plus the load, must not be more than the towing vehicle's mass weight.
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.
Below is a guide to let you know the approximate towing capacity of common motor vehicles. Be sure to contact your vehicle's manufacturer for actual towing capacity, or have a look online.
Vehicle Towing Capacity (approx):
- Ford Ranger 2.5 1000 Kg
- Ford Ranger 3.0 1800 Kg
- Landrover Defender 3500 Kg
- Landrover 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?
Caged trailers are perfect for bulky items like beds, furniture, small and ATVs, Make sure to check that their weight doesn't exceed trailer load capacity.
Non-caged trailers are excellent for general purposes, especially for landscaping supplies like pebbles, compost and sand because of easy tray access.
4. Tandem Axle or Single Axle?
• Better stability and smoother riding.
• Carry up to 1500kg.
• A decrease in turning radius causes the turning motion to be harder on the tyres.
• A less powerful vehicle will struggle with the weight and friction of tandem axles when carrying large loads. Check there's even weight distribution over both axles otherwise there can be too much stress on a single axle.
• When attaching, the vehicle often needs to be moved to the trailer.
• Front and rear closing doors.
• 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.
• Better gas mileage.
• Easier to manoeuvre and less stress on tyres when turning.
• One person can move the trailer around to hook up to vehicle.
When loading a single axle, balance weight over the axle and secure the items to avoid sliding.
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
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 is on the road, refer to NZTA's Guide to Safe Towing.
Still need more help?
Either send us an email or give us a bell during office hours on 0800 800 880.