Open and Enclosed Car Hauler Trailer Buying Guide

Open and Enclosed Car Hauler Trailer Buying Guide

Dec 5, 2018

A common problem people have while transporting their vehicle is which trailer is best for them? You may ask, “What trailer should I buy to transport my car?” or “Should I buy an open or enclosed car trailer?” There various options available in the market when you have to select a car hauler trailer.

The real issue is that if you don’t select the right type of trailer it may create various other problems for you. That is why it is important to us at North Carolina Trailer Sales that you have a complete understanding of the types of car hauler trailers available from us before you can select the one according to your needs. Here we will give you information related to the different types of car hauler trailers for sale.

What are my options?

Before we can get started, it is important for you to understand the types of car hauler trailers available to you on the market. At N.C. Trailer Sales there are three different options for you to choose from. The trailers we sell that can assist you in transporting your vehicle are tow dollies, open car trailers, and enclosed car trailers.

All three are commonly used by car manufacturing companies to transport vehicles, tow companies, everyday people and even racers who have to take their vehicle from one destination to another.

The best thing about these trailers is that they come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. It means that you will have the freedom to select the one you like the most. So let’s help you get started on the right track to buying the correct car trailer of your choice.

So again, the trailers we sell available to you for transporting a vehicle are:

  1. Tow Dolly                                                                                                                                                                                     
  2. Open Car Trailer with Wood or Steel Floor
  3. Enclosed Car Trailer

What will you be hauling & things to consider

Before we go onto selecting a trailer you need to keep in mind the GVWR of the tow vehicle. GVWR, or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, is the total amount of weight the vehicle can safely carry or haul. To determine the GVWR please contact your vehicle manufacturer or consult one of our trailer pros to calculate how much your tow vehicle can pull. As a tip, we like to tell our customers to quickly see your vehicle’s GVWR, just take a look inside the driver side door panel and most of the time you will see a sticker with the GVWR labeled on it.

 To determine what size trailer, you will need to consider everything you’ll potentially be hauling at one time. For instance, you may have a car you’d like to haul but do you also have a couple golf carts, or ATVs you’d like to transport too? Even though we don’t offer trailers that can haul more than one car it’s important to determine the other uses for the trailer you’ll be buying. After deciding all the different types of cargo you’ll be moving, you need to calculate the total weight of that cargo plus trailer you’ll be buying. This will ensure you’ll be covered in hauling all your potential cargo and stay within a safe GVWR.

Now that we know about our vehicle’s GVWR and what type of cargo we’ll be hauling let’s go on to selecting a car hauler trailer.

Tow Dolly, Open or Enclosed?

Below, we have a complete comparison of the three types of trailers we offer to assist you in transporting your vehicle(s) and cargo

Two dolly

  1. It is light in weight and perfect for short distances
  2. The size is small which makes it easier to handle
  3. It is the cheapest option available in the market
  4. Tow dolly cannot handle heavier vehicles  
  5. May not last as long as the other options

Open Car Trailer

  1. They offer more space and flexibility than a tow dolly
  2. They don’t limit you to a confined space like an enclosed trailer
  3. Open trailers are affordable
  4. You can carry a modern sized vehicle
  5. Cargo is exposed to the elements and possible damage from debris.

Enclosed Car Trailer

  1. It is perfect for long distances
  2. You can use it in all types of weather
  3. Keeps cargo safe from debris
  4. Enclosed trailers are a popular option
  5. It sometimes gets difficult to store all your cargo depending on shape

Tow Dolly

Our first and most affordable option is the tow dolly. At the time this article was written, we have two types of tow dollies available for sale. They are manufactured with the best quality steel which makes them durable and long lasting. Tow dollies are capable of hauling small, medium, and large cars. They can also carry most trucks and vans. Just like your vehicle, the tow dolly will have a GVWR, so it is important your vehicle does not exceed the payload capacity. The interesting thing about two dollies is around half the weight of your vehicle will be applied to the back tires when towing. Please make sure you know the correct weight of the vehicle(s) you will be towing before making a purchase.

Our two different options have around the same GVWR however one comes with surge breaks and one does not. Our Stehl tow dolly for sale comes equipped with these type of brakes. Surge brakes work by a mechanism that senses your trailer pushing up against the back of your vehicle when breaking. It will sense the motion of the trailer pushing forward and apply the correct amount of braking via hydraulic fluid. This causes less wear on your vehicles brakes and allows for more stable driving conditions. If you’re not on a tight budget we recommend this option between the two choices of tow dollies.

Open Car Trailer

When it comes to buying an open car trailer the different factors to consider are GVWR, size, and wood floor or metal floor options. As always, depending on the vehicle(s) weight, size, and shape or the type of cargo you will hauling will determine the trailer you will need. For instance, if you are hauling a smaller vehicle such as a Mini Cooper or Honda Civic then it won’t require you to purchase a sturdier, lengthier and more expensive trailer but it will still suit your needs by buying one of our cheaper options. However, if you plan on using the trailer more frequently for these types of vehicles we would recommend you one of our more durable options even if it isn’t “required” of you to haul those cars. Of course, there are vehicles and cargo that will require you to have higher GVWRs and large size loading decks.

Another variable to consider when purchasing this type of trailer from us is the floor material. You have the options of wood or steel diamond patterned flooring. Wood flooring will require a little more maintenance and generally cost less but still gets the job done. The diamond patterned steel floor is more reliable, easier to clean, and creates a gripping surface for loading the vehicle(s).

The last and final option you have when shopping with us for an open car hauler is the tilt trailer. Basically, this type of trailer will tilt the trailer at an angle towards the ground assisted by gravity and a release mechanism. This gives you a different approach to loading your cargo.

Enclosed Car Trailer

When it comes to an enclosed car hauler trailer you will get various benefits while having minimal restrictions due to the enclosed space. One of the biggest attractions of this product is that you can safely transport your vehicle(s) or cargo out of the elements which means that you will not have to worry about any kind of weather damage to the vehicle that you are hauling. Buying an enclosed car trailer also means that it keeps your cargo away from any debris and theft while traveling.

If you’re considered about keeping your cargo in the best shape possible we recommend to most customers our 24ft car hauler in standard or deluxe options. Although, a lot of vehicles will be able to fit in the 16ft and 20ft options, the 24ft trailer will give you more versatility and keep weight off the tongue on your trailer. Prolonging the life of your vehicle and trailer. Below is a list of the different size variations we offer for enclosed car trailers for sale.

  1. 8.5 x 16
  2. 8.5 x 20
  3. 8.5 x 24

Also, keep in mind our 7K GVWR car trailers come in all three sizes, and our 10K GVWR car trailers are only available in the 24ft size. Each trailer comes in either black or white.


What makes our company unique is that we are able to offer you many customization options for your trailer. So if you’d like to add cabinets, E-trac, new lighting, electrical changes, electric jacks, flooring, siding, wenches, the list goes on and on. Not only can we add the desired accessories for your car trailer but we can have it made in a range of different colors! Whatever your customization needs may be, we will almost certainly be able to assist you.


At any part of this process if you get confused and it is getting hard for you to decide which type of car hauler trailer will be best for you, it is better that you talk to one of our trailer pros. Let them know your demands and types of cars you have to haul. They will let you know the exact size, shape and type of trailer will be best for you. It is important that you buy a trailer from the best retailer, so just have a look at our google reviews and be assured you are in good hands. We are here to make trailer buying easy and customer satisfaction is important to us! You can buy the trailer that fits you best at North Carolina Trailer Sales. Call us now and speak to one of our trailer pros at 336-276-0329. Thank you!