Top Four Tips for Shopping for Used Semi Trailers

by TJ on January 9, 2012

Buying used trailers is a risky proposition, but if you do your homework and make the right choice, you could get a great deal. This is because a trailer, like any motor vehicle, loses about half its value the minute the owner drives it off the used trailer lot. No matter how well the owner cares for it, its value will be decreased. A trailer buyer on a budget can buy a well-cared-for vehicle for a fraction of the price, and it can still drive, look and feel “like new.”

However, when you’re buying used trailers, you might run into problems such as mechanical issues. This can be a drag whether you’re looking at Dorsey trailers, Wabash trailers, Fontaine trailers or any other make of vehicle you might want. You need to do your due diligence and follow the tips below if you want to keep from making a bad decision. If you buy a lemon, you might end up spending more money on repairs than the trailer is worth.

Read on for great tips that you need to follow if you want to make a good purchase!

* Check the Carfax Report

Go to and type in the VIN of any vehicle you’re interested in purchasing. Carfax will scan for that number through thousands of databases and provide you with a vehicle history report, complete with any breakdowns or other issues. This is a good way to tell if you’re getting a good trailer or one with a bad history.

* Hire an Expert Before Making the Purchase

Ask the RV seller if you can take their vehicle to your mechanic before you make the purchase. A reputable seller will be fine with this, as it is standard practice before any used vehicle purchase. If the seller does not want to let you have a mechanic see it, stop pursuing the purchase immediately. Have your mechanic examine the rig carefully from bottom to top and everywhere in between.

* Start Looking Well Before You Need It

Don’t make big purchases while under duress. And don’t procrastinate! If you wait until you need the trailer yesterday, you are much more likely to make a bad decision. Look through classified ads and do your due diligence with each potential trailer purchase, and don’t be afraid to step away if you feel weird about the sale.

* Ask Around on RV Newsgroups and Internet Boards

Sometimes a particular model of trailer might have a better or worse reputation. Post a question about a model you’re looking at on Internet bulletin boards, and chances are you’ll have some responses about the model’s integrity and reputation within a couple days.

Ultimately, the best way to ensure that you get a great deal on a used semi trailer is to do your due diligence, take your time and make sure that you make a good purchase. Be cautious and double-check everything before you put down the money, and you can save big on your used semi trailer.

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