13 Questions to Ask Before You Buy an Enclosed Cargo Trailer!

Leonard has both open and enclosed trailers. We offer steel. Enclosed trailers are available throughout the United States. Leonard covers NC, SC, VA, WV, and Eastern TN. There are a few items and general build tips that should be discussed and research before buying a trailer. Below are 13 questions you need to ask before buying a trailer.

  1. Steel or Aluminum?

  2. Does the thickness of the outer skin matter?

  3. How important is floor cross member support centers?

  4. Torsion Axle or Leaf Spring?

  5. Radial or Bias Ply Tires?

  6. V-Nose or Flat Nose?

  7. Standard Height, Lowered Height, Extra Tall?

  8. Flat or Rounded Roof?

  9. Screws or Screwless?

  10. Ramp or Barn Door?

  11. Do I need to upgrade my driver’s license?

  12. Do I need to upgrade my vehicle registration?

  13. Do you need an experts help? If so contact us either by email: Contact Us or phone (877) 458-1001  


Steel or Aluminum

Most of the time steel will be cheaper than aluminum. Most of the time people think that aluminum has a great weight saving. However, it depends on the trailer and manufacture. A second argument that can be made is that aluminum trailers will not rust. That is true. However, is a steel trailer is properly coated it can last as long as an aluminum trailer. Aluminum trailers have to be checked to cracks and require maintenance to keep their shine. Steel will most definitely can rust, crack, and be heavier than an aluminum trailer.

Does the thickness of the outer skin matter?

Most companies have entry level products all the way up to their premium trailer lines. The entry level trailers are for the casual users or the customer worried about price. Our premium brand is for the working man or women who use it for their business. Entry level trailers come with a {.024}. Our premium comes with {outer skin}. Does the outer skin matter? Darker color trailer tends to warp from heat. As you have probably figure out the thicker the skin the more durable and let likely it will warp from temperature change.

How important is floor cross member support centers?

The industry standard is 24” on center. Any tandem axle trailer will benefit to upgrade to a 16” on center.  You may want to upgrade your support to 12” on center if you are transporting a zero turn lawnmower or if you are going to transport scissor lift. Also, consider you may need to update your floor to double thick or put down some diamond plate.

12” on center – 2”x3” tube, 16” on center – 2”x3” tube, 24” on center – 2”x3” tube

Leaf spring or torsion axle?

EZ Lube Spring Idler

Pros: Cheaper, Rides Smoother Empty, Easier to repair or replace

Cons: Slightly Higher ride height

Torsion Axle

Pros: Slightly Smoother Loaded Ride Quality, Independent Tire/Wheel Movement

Cons: More Expensive, Lower Ride Height

Radial or bias ply tires?

The answer is simple, radial tires. All of our trailers come with radial tires which provide a better ride, better durability, and longevity.

V-Nose or Flat Nose?

You may be surprised to hear that there is not a huge increase in fuel mileage between the two. What hurts a trailer with fuel mileage is the flat back. Choose which trailer makes you happy. The v-nose with help with handling and has marginally better mileage.

Standard Height, Lowered Height, Extra Tall?

Ultimately this decision is up to you. We recommend choosing the lowest height. The reason behind that is that you want to minimize drag. The ideal situation is to match trailer and truck height.

Flat or Rounded Roof?

The flat roof has a lower interior ceiling and round roof adds 3-6” of headroom. The rounded roof is beneficial in the area that gets a lot of snow. Good maintenance is always helpful in maintaining the integrity of your trailer no matter the option.

Screws or Screwless?

Either option will work if you are buying from a reputable dealer. The screwless looks nicer and is easier to wrap with graphics. If you think you may want to resell the trailer, then screwless is the way to go. If you need a cheaper trailer go with screws. It makes for easier repairs if you need to replace a sheet.

Ramp or Barn Door?

These two options really depend on your needs. Do you need to drive equipment up in the trailer? Or do you plan to take it to the flea market, festival or show? Barn doors could be more beneficial if you are tight on space because it takes an extra 6’ to open a ramp door.

Do I need to upgrade my driver’s license?

In some states, you are required to upgrade your driver’s license if the total GVWR is greater than 2601lb.

Do I need to upgrade my vehicle registration?

Your vehicle could determine if you need to upgrade your registration. If you have a diesel truck it could limit the trailer you could pull due to GVWR. However, you could have an F250 and you could be rated to haul the exact same trailer without having to upgrade your registration. Check your local laws and check the surrounding states if you plan to drive across state lines.

Do you need to an experts help?

If you need help. You have three options. You can stop by your local store, email or call. We would be happy to answer any of your questions.

Phone: (877) 458-1001

Contact Us

ATP = aluminum tread plate (aka aluminum diamond plate)

SA = single axle trailer

TA2 = tandem axle trailer (2 axles x 3,500lb capacity = 7,000GVW)

GVW = gross vehicle weight (empty weight of the trailer and carg0 the trailer can haul together)

on center = distance from one support to the next (floor, wall, & ceiling)