Financing a cargo trailer for your powersport vehicles

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October 11, 2017 | Updated October 16, 2017


Key Points

Choosing a cargo trailer for powersports vehicles

  • Choose from single-axle or tandem trailers
  • Tilt trailers may make it easier to load vehicles
  • Choose from open or enclosed trailers

Powersport vehicles — a category that includes ATVs, UTVs and personal watercraft — are an awful lot of fun. On the other hand, you must have a way to get them to the trail or water. That’s where cargo trailers come in handy. Just load your vehicles up in the trailer, hitch it to the back of a truck, and take off.

Trailers can be expensive, however, so you may need financing to help make the purchase.

Financing powersport trailers

When you find an ATV or UTV trailer for sale that you want to purchase, how do you go about obtaining financing? What kinds of lenders offer loans for this kind of vehicle?

Your best bet may be to seek financing directly from the dealer. Many dealerships that sell trailers partner with financial institutions to offer loans for the products they sell.

Alternatively, you may use an unsecured personal loan to purchase a trailer. Because the loan is not secured by collateral, if you’re ever unable to pay the loan back, the bank won’t be able to seize your trailer. The downside of unsecured loans is that you typically pay higher interest rates than you would with a loan secured by collateral.

Finally, you may consider using a home equity line of credit (HELOC) to pay for a trailer purchase. It’s important to note, however, that a HELOC uses the equity in your home as collateral. That may earn you a slightly lower interest rate, but if you’re ever unable to make your loan, your home could be at risk.

What should you look for when financing a cargo trailer?

Single-axle vs. tandem trailers

One thing to consider when shopping for a cargo trailer is whether it’s a single-axle or tandem-axle trailer. Both can be useful under different circumstances.

Single-axle trailers are smaller, but tend to be just about the perfect size for many powersport vehicles. Tandem-axle trailers are larger, steadier and carry more weight, but they’re more difficult to navigate. If you’re only transporting one or two vehicles, a single-axle trailer may be right for you. If you’re transporting the whole family’s ATVs, however, you may want to opt for a larger tandem-axle trailer.

Tilt trailers

Some powersport trailers are “tilt trailers” — that is, one side tilts down for easy loading and unloading of an ATV, UTV or similar vehicle, rather than requiring a ramp. This design offers some advantages. For one, there’s no risk of a tire slipping off a ramp. Secondly, with ramp designs, the ramps can easily get lost or stolen. There’s no risk of that with a tilt trailer. What you decide to purchase, however, ultimately comes down to your exact needs, budget and desires.

Open vs. enclosed trailers

Another consideration is whether you should purchase an open or enclosed trailer. Each option comes with advantages and disadvantages.

Open trailers may be easier to tow, as they offer less drag and greater visibility. They are also cheaper than enclosed trailers.

The primary advantage of enclosed trailers is that they protect your vehicles from the elements. And when you get home after a long day of riding, you can simply lock up the trailer and head in for the night, without worrying about your gear. The downsides are that they are more expensive and more difficult to tow.

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