How to Select the Right Trailer Dolly
Choosing the right trailer dolly is all about knowing and understanding the specific situations in which you'll be using it. It's not enough to choose a trailer dolly with great reviews if the product can't do what you need it to.
As with any big purchase, understanding a new market and finding a high-quality product that you can rely on can be daunting. You want to be sure that the dolly you buy is the right choice for your trailer and your circumstance.
Below is a list of the most important factors to consider to help you decide which trailer dolly is the right one for you.
3 things to consider when choosing a trailer dolly
The three main points to consider are: the size and weight of your trailer, the hitch-connection, and all potential scenarios in which you will need to use the dolly.
Size: How much weight can it take?
The first thing that you will need to consider is the tongue weight and the gross weight of your trailer. Trailer dollies come in a whole range of sizes and weight capacities.
For manual trailer dollies, such as the MaxxHaul 70225, the maximum capacity is generally around 600 lbs gross weight. These are a great choice if you only plan to use them for smaller towing jobs on hard, level ground.
Once you begin to exceed that weight limit, however, you will want to consider motorized dollies.
Motorized trailer dollies can carry a heavier load and prevent pain and injury. If you want to work less and move more, an electric trailer dolly is a great option.
For trailers weighing up to 5,000 lbs., these are a couple of the top motorized dollies currently available:
- Parkit360’s Force ISC 5k: an electric trailer dolly with up to 900 lbs. tongue weight capacity
- Trailer Valet 5X: a compact motorized trailer dolly for easy maneuvering
- Mophorn Trailer Jockey Wheel: a single-wheel electric-powered jockey wheel
For more heavy-duty moving requirements between 5,000 to 12,000 lbs.:
- Parkit360’s Force ISC 10k: the same size as the base model, but twice as powerful
- Trailer Valet XL Pro: Trailer Valet’s most powerful model with a capacity of 12,000 lbs
- Safer Wholesale 10,000lb Trailer Dolly: a four-wheel, heavy-duty motorized trailer dolly
If you want to move a trailer that is much heavier than 12,000 lbs, you will find very few consumer-grade options available. Aside from Parkit360’s Transformer 15k, there are not many trailer dollies on the consumer market that can move that much weight. Luckily, this powerful, remote-controlled machine has options for fifth wheel and gooseneck trailers, making it adaptable for use on numerous large trailer models.
If you need something heavier still, you will want to look at the industrial dollies from DJ Products.
When deciding on what weight capacity you need for your trailer dolly, think about what you may end up needing to move in the future. You might only have a small trailer now, but is there a possibility you might upgrade later? Or perhaps you will have to help a neighbour move their much larger trailer someday. Whatever the case may be, make sure that your dolly has the power and capability to get the job done.
Hitch: Is the hitch-connection compatible?
The next thing you need to know is whether the trailer you are interested in is compatible with your trailer hitch. It may seem like an odd question, but some hitches pair better with certain dollies than others.
Rear receiver hitches are the most common and easiest to use with trailer dollies, for example. Some dollies may have options to add an adapter for a certain hitch, which you need to know if your trailer uses a less common type.
The other thing to pay attention to for hitch connection is what hitch ball size the dolly uses (if it uses a ball-mount). Double-check that the ball size matches the hitch for your trailer so that you can properly secure it on the dolly.Use case: what do you need it to do?
Where and how you plan to use the trailer dolly is the final thing you need to consider.
Trailer dollies today come with a variety of features and functions for all different situations. To help determine which trailer dolly is right for your use case, ask yourself these questions:Will you have access to a plug?
Some motorized trailer dollies use a cord, and plugging it in may not always be convenient or possible. If you plan to use the dolly for jobs where you cannot plug it into a power source, then you will want either a manual or battery-powered model.What kind of terrain are you moving on?
Not all dollies are designed for off-road operations. Some are only good on smooth, solid ground – trying to use them on grass is simply a nightmare. You need a trailer dolly that can keep traction on whatever terrain you will be moving on.Will you be moving over bumps or inclines?
If there is a possibility that you will need to move your trailer on bumpy or inclined ground, make sure you choose a dolly with brakes. You will also want to ensure that your dolly can get enough speed and power to pull the trailer over any bumps. Electric dollies often move at too slow a speed to be able to lift a large load over a big bump.
Making the Final Decision on Your Trailer Dolly Selection
Now that you know what to look for in a trailer dolly, you'll be able to narrow your choices down to a few selections.
But how do you determine which one is the best one for you?
First, look at what the warranty is like. This may depend on personal preference, but a product that comes with a good warranty is always a safe choice.
Second, think about whether you might want something with a wireless control. Believe it or not, that is an option, and it could make parking your trailer a breeze.
Lastly, take a look at customer reviews. Knowing what kind of experience other people have had with a company or a particular product can never hurt the decision process. In fact, it can tell you a lot about how much of a risk you might be taking in choosing a specific trailer dolly.
Ultimately, the choice comes down to what you feel will improve your trailer parking experience the most. Take your time to do some research and consider what you need, and you'll be happy you did.