Laws Of Personal Use Trailers
A personal utility trailer is not the same thing as a lowboy, drop deck or platform trailer, it is not the same as a mobile trailer home either. A utility trailer is a non-motorized trailer that attaches to your vehicle in order for you to haul large items. It can be left open with sides to keep the items from falling out, or you can enclose it to protect the things you plan to load it with, they can be on the smaller side or larger side if you expect to have longer loads to transport often.
There are many uses to a personal utility trailer; if large enough you can tow your own vehicles from one place to another. A more common use would be carrying bikes, motorcycles, snowmobiles, boats and ATVs around, pulling them out when the season is ready and putting them away when not in use. If you work on or live on a farm or similar area you can use trailers to haul lawn mowers or snow blowers, or even enclose them and use them to haul horses from one place to another. Other purposes for personal trailers include moving furniture and appliances, maybe you tend to move often, or you have 2 homes or maybe you just love to shop and there is no way to carry those new couches.
The laws for owning a utility trailer may vary from state to state, some say it is necessary to insure them others it is not a law. If you are using your trailer for work purposes it is a law everywhere to insure it, if it is for 100% personal use then check your states regulations. But in the end, if you plan to register it, which maybe that is a good idea, you will need to insure it, plus, what happens if you get into an accident, you want to know you are fully covered. Because it does not drive itself some home, renters, or automobile insurances will cover it without getting a separate insurance, some all you need is an add on and you are all set. You will not know until you call so either call and find out all the information before you make the purchase, or as soon as you own it, call your insurance company to find out what you need to do legally.
Some common laws for personal utility trailers in Texas are that the maximum height of a trailer is 14 feet; they also must have lights attached. Including turn signals, break lights and tail lights and them must be checked regularly to be sure they are working when driving on the highway. Also, if the trailer weighs over 4,500lbs then it must be equipped with electric breaks, you want to be sure that when you come to a full stop so does the trailer.
Trailer insurance is very affordable, and registering and insuring your trailer keeps it save on the roads. Call your insurance company, find out your local laws and get a quote, tell them what you plan to use the trailer for, the type of trailer it is, the length and width. Also, let them know the make, model and serial number, and price you paid for it, be sure to tell them if you will use it for towing horses, for business use, or personal use.
by: John Christianson