Trailer Maintenance to Extend the Life of Your Trailer

Essential Trailer Maintenance Tips

Whether you use a trailer for work or recreational purposes, proper maintenance is crucial to ensure its longevity and reliability. By implementing regular trailer maintenance routines, you can extend the life of your trailer and enjoy its optimal performance for years to come. These trailer maintenance tips and best practices to help you keep your trailer in top condition for years to come.

Clean and Protect the Exterior

One of the fundamental aspects of trailer maintenance is keeping the exterior clean and well-protected. Here are a few tips to help you achieve that:

Regular Washes: Regularly washing your trailer helps remove dirt, grime, and road salt that can accumulate over time and cause corrosion. Use a mild detergent and a soft brush or sponge to clean the exterior thoroughly.

Waxing: Applying a coat of wax after washing can help protect the trailer’s paint and metal surfaces from the elements. Waxing also gives the trailer a shiny and polished appearance.

Rust Prevention: Inspect the trailer for any signs of rust or corrosion. If you notice any areas that need attention, treat them with a rust inhibitor or primer to prevent further damage.

Lubrication: Regularly lubricate hinges, locks, and moving parts to prevent rust and ensure smooth operation.

Antique car on a trailer in need of trailer maintenance.

Inspect Tires and Brakes

The condition of your trailer’s tires and brakes is crucial for safe and efficient towing. Follow these trailer maintenance tips to ensure that your tires and brakes stay in great shape:

Tire Pressure and Tread: Check tire pressure regularly and inflate them to the manufacturer’s recommended levels. Inspect the tread depth and replace tires that show signs of excessive wear. Properly inflated tires with good tread improve fuel efficiency and enhance stability while towing.

Wheel Bearing Maintenance: Grease the wheel bearings as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. This will ensure smooth wheel rotation and prevent excessive heat buildup that can lead to bearing failure.

Brake System Inspection: Regularly inspect the brake system, including brake pads, rotors, and brake fluid levels. Replace worn-out brake pads and have the brake system serviced by a professional if needed.

Maintain Electrical Systems

The electrical systems in your trailer play a vital role in ensuring proper lighting, signaling, and power supply. Here’s what you can do to keep them in optimal condition:

Lighting Checks: Inspect all trailer lights regularly to ensure they are functioning correctly. Replace any burnt-out bulbs immediately. Clean the connections and ensure a secure electrical connection between the trailer and towing vehicle.

Battery Maintenance: If your trailer has a battery, check its condition and charge it regularly. Keep the battery terminals clean and free from corrosion.

Wiring Inspections: Routinely inspect the trailer’s wiring harness for any signs of damage or fraying. Replace or repair any faulty wiring to prevent electrical issues and potential hazards.

Gwinnett County, GA. A man stands in his trailer while pressure washing a walk way.

Safety and General Maintenance Tips

Apart from the specific areas already mentioned, here are a few additional tips for ongoing trailer maintenance:

Hitch Maintenance: Regularly inspect the hitch and coupler for signs of wear or damage. Lubricate the moving parts to ensure smooth and secure operation.

Regular Inspections: Perform a thorough inspection of your trailer at least once a year. Look for any signs of structural damage, loose bolts, or other issues that may compromise the trailer’s integrity.

 Proper Storage: When your trailer is not in use, store it in a clean and dry environment to prevent rust and deterioration. Consider using a trailer cover to provide additional protection.

Taking care of your trailer through regular trailer maintenance practices is key to extending its lifespan and ensuring safe towing experiences. By following these tips, like cleaning and protecting the exterior, inspecting tires and brakes, and maintaining electrical systems, you can keep your trailer in top condition for many years to come. Remember, a well-maintained trailer saves you money on repairs and provides peace of mind while on the road.

For high-quality trailers and expert advice on trailer maintenance, be sure to check out Country Blacksmith Trailer Sales. We offer a wide range of trailers and accessories to suit your needs. You can shop our new and used trailers for sale at any time on our website! We can also help with any trailer maintenance, service and trailer repair at our service department. Happy towing!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is intended for general guidance only. Please refer to your trailer’s manufacturer guidelines and consult with a professional for specific trailer maintenance instructions.

Manufacturer Spotlight: PJ Trailers

All images courtesy of PJ Trailers. 

At Country Blacksmith Trailers, we consider ourselves experts on all things related to trailers and their accessories. Our dealership takes immense pride in being the go-to destination for new and used trailers in Illinois. We strive to offer our customers top-notch service and a diverse inventory to choose from. To ensure we provide the best of the best, we are thrilled to offer trailers from PJ Trailers.

We believe that they are one of the leading trailer manufacturers in the industry and are proud to have them in our dealership. In this blog, we will delve into the history of PJ Trailers, highlight some of their most popular models, and discuss why they have become a top choice for trailer enthusiasts across the country. So, continue reading to discover more about the company and explore what makes their trailers stand out.

About PJ Trailers

As one of the leading trailer manufacturers in the industry, PJ Trailers is a highly respected and well-known trailer manufacturer. Since its establishment in 1991, PJ has become a premier trailer manufacturer in North America, offering a broad range of trailers for both business and personal use.

This manufacturer certainly has an extensive selection of trailers to choose from, including flatdeck, deckover, tilt trailers, dump trailers, carhaulers, and utility trailers. Their trailers are built with the latest technology and materials to ensure maximum durability and performance. And each trailer is equipped with premium components and features a 3-year frame warranty.

PJ Trailer with ATVs

PJ Trailers at Country Blacksmith

Indeed, this manufacturer has a long-standing reputation for producing high-quality trailers that cater to a variety of needs. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular PJ Trailers for sale at our Illinois dealership!

Flatbed Trailers

PJ Trailers offers flatbed trailers with impressive features that make them stand out from the competition. Their I-beam goosenecks, which come standard on every PJ gooseneck, are stronger and more durable than the commonly used c-channel necks. Lifetime LED lights are also included as a standard feature on every trailer, offering bright lighting and energy efficiency. Their flatbed trailers are equipped with rub rails with stake pockets and pipe spools on 12″ centers, providing numerous tie-down points and increased strength. PJ Trailers also uses 3″ channel cross-members on 16″ centers for increased deck strength and tightly spaced cross-members. Additionally, the trailers have a 6″ x 2″ tube outside frame for fully enclosed wiring and lighting protection. Underframe bridging and 21″ wide flip-over ramps add extra strength and ease of use. Finally, PJ Goosenecks come standard with a front locking toolbox made of steel diamond plate, providing ample storage space for tools and equipment.

A PJ Trailers dump trailer dumps dirt in front of a house.

Utility Trailers

They also offer a wide selection of utility trailers, each designed for optimal performance and built to last. One of the standout features of PJ Trailers’ utility trailers is the patent-pending Ready Rail® system. This innovative rail system allows users to easily customize their trailer with bolt-on accessories to meet their specific needs. Whether you need to haul ATVs, lawnmowers, or any other type of cargo, Ready Rail® can be configured to accommodate your needs. This unique feature is only available on PJ Trailers, making them the go-to choice for those looking for a versatile and customizable utility trailer. See our inventory of PJ Trailers for sale.

Dump Trailers

Their dump trailers are built with durability and performance in mind. The heavy-duty 10-gauge smooth plate sides and floors make these trailers stand out from others on the market, preventing warping and deformation of the bed. With over 40 features and benefits, including two-way gates as a standard feature, these trailers are designed to make your job easier. The two-way barn door and spreader gate provide versatility when loading and unloading materials. Additionally, all PJ dump trailers over 14,000 lbs. include a scissor hoist as a standard feature, ensuring more lifting power than single or twin hydraulic cylinders. The scissor design is also more stable when raising and lowering uneven or shifting loads. Trust PJ Trailers to provide you with a high-quality and reliable dump trailer that can handle any job.

Tilt Trailers

PJ tilt trailers are designed with a focus on durability and efficiency. The car hauler tilt tails have a unique “knife-edge” design that lays flush to the ground, eliminating the need for the driver to drive over a bump when loading equipment with small wheels, winching vehicles onto the deck, or in wet/icy conditions. The cross-members on these trailers are made with 3″ channel spacing, which is closer than most other manufacturers, providing increased deck strength. Additionally, PJ Trailers use radial tires on their tilt trailers, which offer superior fuel economy, less vibration, a softer ride, and longer life due to less heat being generated. These features make PJ tilt trailers a reliable and efficient option for those looking to transport heavy equipment.

Shop PJ Trailers for Sale in Illinois at Country Blacksmith

Country Blacksmith is proud to offer a vast array of PJ Trailers, including flatbed, gooseneck, utility, dump, and tilt trailers. Additionally, we provide a user-friendly trailer customization option that lets you add almost any feature you desire. To customize your trailer, all you have to do is select the options you want online and add them to your cart. For trailer customization questions or quotes, feel free to contact us or visit our trailer specialists at our stores located in Carterville, IL, and Mount Vernon, IL.

Advice for Buying a Used Trailer

Considerations for Buying a Used Trailer

If you’re looking to buy a trailer, buying a used one from a trailer dealership can be a great option. Dealerships often have a wide selection of trailers to choose from, and they can offer financing options to make your purchase more affordable. However, there are some important things to consider before buying a used trailer from a dealership. So, we’ve put together some general advice on buying used trailers.

Determine Your Needs

The first step in buying a new or used trailer is to determine your needs. What will you be using the trailer for? Will you be towing it long distances, or just using it for short trips? What kind of cargo will you be hauling? These are all important questions to ask yourself before you start shopping.

Once you know your needs, you can start looking for trailers that fit those needs. This will help you narrow down your options and make the buying process easier.

Research the Dealership

Before you buy a used trailer from a dealership, it’s important to research the dealership itself. Look for reviews and ratings of the dealership online. This will give you an idea of their reputation and whether or not they have a history of selling reliable trailers.

It’s also a good idea to check the dealership’s website to see what kind of trailers they have in stock. This will help you determine if they have the type of trailer you’re looking for. You can find all the new and used trailers for sale at Country Blacksmith Trailers on our website!

Truck hitched to a trailer with an ATV in the back.

Inspect the Trailer

Once you’ve found a trailer that you’re interested in, it’s important to inspect it thoroughly before making your purchase. Look for any signs of damage, such as dents or scratches. Check the tires for wear and tear, and make sure the brakes are in good working condition. If you’re looking at a used cargo trailer, it’s also a good idea to check the interior of the trailer. Look for any signs of water damage or mold. Not only can these be a sign that the trailer is damaged, leaks can also cause damage to the items stored inside an enclosed trailer.

Ask for Maintenance Records

When buying a used trailer from a dealership, it’s important to ask for maintenance records. This will give you an idea of how well the trailer has been maintained over the years, and whether it has had any major repairs.

If the dealership doesn’t have maintenance records for the trailer, you may want to consider looking elsewhere. Without maintenance records, it can be difficult to determine if the trailer is reliable.

Check the Warranty

Before you buy a used trailer, check to see if it comes with a warranty. Many dealerships offer warranties on their used trailers, which can provide peace of mind and help cover the cost of any repairs that may be needed. Some trailers may also still be under a manufacturer’s warranty.

If the trailer doesn’t come with a warranty, consider purchasing one separately. This can help protect your investment and ensure that you’re getting a reliable trailer.

Close up two men shake hands at office negotiations.

Negotiate the Price

When buying a used trailer, don’t be afraid to negotiate the price. Many dealerships are willing to negotiate, especially if the trailer has been on the lot for a while.

Before you start negotiating, do your research to determine what a fair price for the trailer would be. This will give you a good idea of how much you should offer. If you’re looking for an affordable trailer, you can find cheap prices, good trailers and great deals on our discount trailers page.

Ask About Financing Options

Finally, when purchasing any trailer from a dealership, you should ask about financing options. Many dealerships offer financing to help make your purchase more affordable. At Country Blacksmith Trailers, we offer both traditional financing options and rent-to-own trailers.

Before agreeing to any financing, make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the loan. You’ll want to know the interest rate, the length of the loan, and any other fees that may be associated with the financing.

Buying a used trailer from a dealership can be a great way to get a reliable trailer that meets your needs at an affordable price tag. Before you start shopping, determine your needs, research dealerships, consider financing options and make sure you’re ready for a well-researched decision on a new-to-you trailer.

By following these tips, you can be sure that you’ll get a good deal on a trailer that will last you for years to come. If you’re ready to start shopping, you can browse the best used trailers for sale Illinois has to offer at Country Blacksmith Trailers!

Manufacturer Spotlight: Diamond C Trailers for Sale in Illinois

All images in this blog are courtesy of Diamond C Trailers. 

At Country Blacksmith Trailers, we pride ourselves on being your source for new and used trailers for sale in Illinois. From our service to our inventory, we aim to give our customers the best of the best. This is why we are happy to carry Diamond C Trailers. Read on to learn more about the company and why we are proud to provide their trailers at our dealership.

About Diamond C Trailers

Diamond C is a leading trailer manufacturer that has been operating since 1985. The company is based in Texas and produces a wide range of trailers, including utility trailers, car haulers, tilt trailers, dump trailers, and equipment trailers. Over the decades, they have built a reputation for quality and durability, and their trailers are used by businesses and individuals across the country.

What sets this brand apart from other trailer manufacturers is their commitment to innovation and quality. They invest heavily in research and development to ensure that their trailers are built to last and meet the needs of their customers. They use advanced technology and materials to manufacture their trailers, and they have a team of experienced engineers who work to design and build trailers that are both functional and reliable.

The Diamond C Difference

Another way that this manufacturer stands out is their commitment to customer service. They understand that buying a trailer is a significant investment, and they want to make sure that their customers are satisfied with their purchase.

Undoubtedly, Diamond C knows how to build a trailer that is long-lasting, heavy duty and offers all the right options. Their trailers have features like lifetime LED lights, sealed wiring harnesses, Lippert axles, radial tires, DM difference maker coating system, and a patented engineered beam frame.

Diamond C trailers also have a baked-on powder-coat finish. This finish holds up very well under high salt conditions and is, in our opinion, the best of any trailer manufacturer. They use a detailed prep process and special primer to make sure their trailers look fantastic after years of use. Beyond that, they are truly trailer pioneers with many industry-first trailer innovations. Diamond C has led the trailer industry with innovations such as the low-profile I-beam dump, I-beam equipment trailers and the Engineered Beam gooseneck.

Closeup of Diamond C name on a green trailer.

Why We Love Diamond C Trailers

Diamond C Trailers is a family owned and operated company, and they truly operate their business with a foundation of traditional family morals, like honesty, respect, humbleness, and integrity. Not only do they build one of the best steel-framed open trailers that you will find, but they have an unparalleled company culture. We truly enjoy doing business with them and are confident in their brand for this reason. The Country Blacksmith Trailers team is also consistently pleased with the quality of their products. They are leaders in the field, and we enjoy being part of their dealer network!

At Country Blacksmith Trailers, we sell more than 50 models of Diamond C Trailers and can customize them with additional features. The trailers come with tons of standard features and continue to lead the trailer industry through excellent quality and value, cutting edge innovation, and superior customer service. Shop our inventory of Diamond C tilts, car haulers, flatbed, equipment, skid steer, gooseneck, and dump trailers.

Popular Trailer Types

One aspect that we appreciate about this manufacturer is the variety of trailers they offer. Whether you need a trailer for hauling heavy equipment, transporting livestock, or moving furniture, Diamond C Trailers has a trailer that will suit your needs. Their trailers come in different sizes and designs, and they can be customized to fit your specific requirements.

Gray Diamond C dump trailer in use.

Dump Trailers

Their dump trailers are one of the most popular Diamond C trailer types. These trailers are designed to handle heavy loads and make it easy to unload materials. Their dump trailers come in different sizes and capacities, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. They are built with heavy-duty materials and have hydraulic systems that make it easy to lift and lower the trailer bed.

Equipment Trailers

Another popular trailer manufactured by Diamond C is the equipment trailer. These are flatbed trailers constructed to transport heavy equipment, such as bulldozers, backhoes, and excavators. Their equipment trailers are built with heavy-duty materials and have features like ramps and tie-downs to make it easy to load and secure your equipment.

The new Fleetneck Engineered Beam showcases Diamond C innovation. This heavy equipment trailer model is taller, lighter, and stronger than other I-Beam trailers. With an arch in the middle to help prevent sagging, this trailer is optimized end-to-end. And the tandem-dual gooseneck weights can be reduced by 300 to 1,000+ pounds, all the while able to handle a higher payload. If you have any questions about these trailers, please give us a call!

Utility Trailers

This manufacturer also produces a wide range of utility trailers. These trailers are for general-purpose use and can be used to haul anything from firewood to furniture. Their utility trailers are built with high-quality materials and have features like ramp gates and tie-downs to make it easy to load and secure your cargo. They come in different sizes and hauling capabilities. At Country Blacksmith Trailers, we carry new and used utility trailers of any size, with options that cater to any budget and preference.

Cars loaded on a trailer. Closeup on loading ramps.

Car Hauler Trailers

Another type of flatbed trailer produced by Diamond C Trailers is the flatbed car hauler. These trailers are designed to transport cars, trucks, and other vehicles. Their car haulers come in different sizes and connections, like gooseneck or bumper pull. They are built with heavy-duty materials and have features like ramps and tie-downs to make it easy to load and secure your vehicles. Moreover, we have flatbed car haulers with steel floors, standup ramps, slide-in ramps, toolboxes, and more. At Country Blacksmith Trailers we have tons of options for you to choose from!

Where to find Diamond C Trailers for sale in Illinois

Diamond C is a leading trailer manufacturer that has built a reputation for quality and durability. Their trailers are used by businesses and individuals across the country, and they offer a wide range of trailers to suit different needs. Whether you need a trailer for hauling heavy equipment, carrying cargo, or transporting cars, they make a trailer that will suit your needs. Their commitment to innovation and quality ensures that their trailers are built to last and meet the needs of their customers.

At Country Blacksmith, we have a huge selection of factory authorized Diamond C trailers including flatbed, dump, gooseneck, and equipment trailers. We also offer customizable add-on features that make trailer customization easy! You can customize your trailer online by checking the options you want and then adding them to your cart. If you have any questions, give us a call or stop by our Carterville, IL, or Mount Vernon, IL, stores to talk to a trailer specialist!

Your Rent to Own Trailers Questions Answered!

Finding affordable new trailers for sale is not always an easy search. This has been compounded by the negative effects the pandemic had on almost every industry. Supply chain delays, rising costs of building materials and inflation have made trailers and most other products much more expensive. For anyone, especially a startup or small business, rent to own trailers are the best option when you need to buy new on a budget.

Renting trailers can be costly if done over a long period of time, and you may not get the nicest model. Additionally, no matter how long you rent a trailer, you’ll never own it. Consequently, buying a nice new trailer outright comes with a hefty price tag, and may require passing credit checks, financing, and massive down payments.

A truck and trailer full of watermelons parked outside a shopping center.

What Are Rent to Own Trailers?

Rent to own programs are a great way to finance a new trailer purchase with poor credit, little cash and low risk. When the trailer is paid off within the agreed term, ownership is transferred to the renter. Unlike a traditional lease, there are no penalties for ending the contract. The only requirement is that the trailer is returned, and the current month is paid. But why lease to own a trailer? There are many reasons this is a desirable option:

  • Lower down payments compared to buying.
  • No need for a bank or financing agency.
  • Option for people with bad credit or no credit at all.
  • It’s easier to budget, especially for businesses trying to lower startup costs.
  • Early payoffs are rewarded with trailer discounts.
  • Trailer can be returned at any time during the term without extra charges.
  • Ownership is transferred to renter at the end of contract.

A trailer for rent to own is returnable if you change your mind or can’t afford it anymore. However, you will be on the hook for things like downpayments and other dealer fees which may be non-refundable. It’s important to always review the return policy and fees associated with returns.

How Does Rent to Own Trailers Work?

After downpayments and initial dealer fees are paid, the remaining cost is divided into equal monthly payments. After the final payment, you own the trailer! You can also save money if there is an early buyout opportunity in your contract. Typically, a downpayment is charged when the lease is signed, at pickup, or divided between both. If you prefer to have your trailer delivered, then some trailer dealerships will offer an inhouse or third-party delivery service and include that as part of your cost.

Some trailer dealers may include trailer insurance as part of the scheduled payments. However, it’s recommended that the customer purchase general liability insurance as well if you are using the trailer regularly for your business.

Two people shake hands over a signed contract.

As far as choosing the right contract payment structure, it always saves money to choose the shorter terms. Although a contract with a longer term may bring your monthly payment down, it can also bring the total cost up. For example, a calculated monthly payment for a 36-month term contract on a $10,000 trailer could be $480 a month, but on a 48-month term it might be $440 a month. Despite the higher monthly payment for the 36-month term, you save thousands due to lower interest and fewer payments.

What You Need to Get Started

Lease to own requirements may differ due to variables like the business and the trailer’s retail value. If you are looking to purchase an expensive or custom trailer, like a concessions trailer, the process could involve proof of income, listed assets and expenses, or more. However at Country Blacksmith Trailers, we have a simple process for our rent to own trailers in Illinois. All we need are the following items:

  • A valid driver’s license.
  • A valid vehicle insurance card.
  • Official proof of address.
  • The initial down payment.

Visit Our Rent to Own Trailers Page!

Where to Find Rent to Own Trailers

Many trailer dealerships now offer this program to customers as a flexible way to finance new trailers. However, you need to find a trailer dealer near you or that offers their rent to own program to your state. At Country Blacksmith Trailers, our rent to own program extends to the following twenty-seven states:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Whether you need a bumper pull or gooseneck trailer, Country Blacksmith Trailers has dozens of new flatbed, dump and utility trailers available for rent to own customers. You can apply online or in person at our trailer dealerships in Carterville or Mount Vernon, Illinois. Contact us today if you have any questions or wish to get a quote on one of our lease to own trailers. We’ll get you towing in no time!

How to Perform a Home Trailer Inspection

Both business owners and recreational trailer owners should complete an annual home trailer inspection to ensure their trailer is up to snuff. Just like trucks and other tools, trailers face wear and tear over time that may cause trailer safety and reliability issues. The official inspection requirements vary by state, but there are a few parts of your trailer that everyone should check – regardless of state regulations.

You can find more information on Illinois truck and trailer requirements and inspections on the Illinois Department of Transportation’s website.

Conduct an At-Home Trailer Inspection

Hitch and Coupler

The trailer hitch mounts and ball will likely be beat up after about a year of use. During a routine home trailer inspection, you should check to make sure the frame mounting bolts are tight and check that there are no cracks. Next, check the trailer coupler to ensure the jaw fits tight over the tow ball and that the safety latch is securely pinned.

Another quick trailer safety check for trailer hitches is the weight restriction. Each ball and hitch has a weight safety regulation. You can find these restrictions on the internet or in an owner’s manual. It’s important to follow these weight restrictions to safely use your trailer. At both of our Illinois trailer dealerships, you can find trailer parts for sale in store.

Trailer coupling with trailer on a car

Lighting and Wiring

The first step of a lighting and wiring check is simple. Test the brake lights and turn signal to make sure they work. Next, check the trailer plug. Examine the receptacle and plug to look for any frayed or loose wires. You can bring your trailer into Country Blacksmith Trailers for help with trailer repair and service, like replacements in trailer wiring. If everything looks good, you should still take the time to clean the plugs and wiring.

Additionally, an inspection should include checks on the trailer reflectors. Trailers built after 1968 should have red and amber reflectors on the back and side, depending on the trailer length. You can consult a professional trailer maintenance representative at Country Blacksmith Trailers to be sure your trailer reflectors meet state and federal regulations.


Tire checks are an essential part of any home trailer inspection. Over-inflated or under-inflated tires wear out more quickly and are more likely to cause accidents. To help your tires last longer, we recommend checking the tire pressure on both the tow vehicle and trailer at least monthly. You can adjust the tire pressure as necessary.

Aside from pressure, you should check the tread on your tires. If they’re worn down, you may need to look into replacements. Finally, double check the lug nuts to ensure they’re tightly secured.

Close up red and yellow classic taillight of travel trailer.

Brakes and Wheel Bearings

The next step to a home trailer inspection is checking the brakes. Brakes are an essential part of trailer safety. Though the tow vehicle brakes will be doing the bulk of the work when braking, the trailer brakes are important for emergency situations.

After you check the brakes, you should check the wheel bearings. Replace or repack them about twice a year.

Springs and Axles

Aside from the hitch and ball, the trailer’s springs and axles will take the most abuse. During a routine home trailer inspection, examine the springs and axle(s) for damage, and let Country Blacksmith Trailers repair or replace them as needed. Bent or misaligned axles will easily further damage your trailer and can lead to safety hazards on the road. Finally, check the mounting bolts for proper tightness.


The final step of a routine trailer inspection is checking the license plate. The plate on your trailer should be hung horizontally and be easy to see, even when your trailer is full. Make sure the plate is tightly fastened and illuminated, especially at night.

Once all of these steps are completed, your trailer inspection is over. Although, we do recommend bringing your trailer in for an expert inspection at Country Blacksmith Trailers. Our staff has experience with trailer safety, inspection and repair. The trailer service team can help with everything from trailer wiring to hitch installation.  We’re also familiar with Illinois trailer regulations, so we can make sure your trailer follows state and federal laws. Contact us online today to schedule your trailer service or inspection!

Trailer Insurance Explained

Trailer Insurance for Commercial and Personal Use

We all know that we need auto insurance if we drive a car, however, is trailer insurance required if you pull a trailer behind your vehicle? The answer is typically no. It’s normally only required if you haul commercial semi-trailers across certain states. However, insurance for your trailer and valuable cargo is important to consider, especially if you are a business. Some personal auto insurance policies include certain trailers, but they can be very limited.

Why Trailer Insurance and What’s Covered

Although you may have a top-notch auto insurance policy, it doesn’t guarantee your trailer is fully covered, or covered at all. Some insurance companies will allow personal-use trailers to fall under personal auto policies. However, there may be strict rules to qualify. Additionally, the coverage may extend to liability only for the trailer itself. Liability only applies if you are at fault of an accident, and doesn’t cover the following situations:

  • Weather Damage
  • Cargo Losses
  • Theft or Vandalism

To keep you, your cargo, attached equipment, and trailer completely covered, you will need to add a trailer insurance policy with a trusted insurance company.

Utility trailers for person use parked in the grass.

Personal Trailer Insurance

Your standard personal auto insurance policy may not cover your trailer or include options that are relevant to your specific needs. Comprehensive and collision coverage for your trailer is usually an extra cost and separate from your auto insurance.

Comprehensive Coverage: This is for non-collision related damages. This might include severe weather, fire, theft, vandalism, or animal damages. Things like a falling tree branch, hail, or vandalism would fall under a valid comprehensive claim.

Collision Coverage: This covers costs incurred from a collision with another vehicle or object when in motion. It would cover hitting another car or even a mailbox. It doesn’t include things like bodily injury, medical expenses, or dealing with uninsured drivers.

In addition to the above two options to add to your policy, you may also consider contents coverage which includes protection of personal items being transported in the trailer. Contents coverage is important if you carry valuable goods in your trailer or have attached equipment, like kitchen appliances for a concession trailer.

Cargo Trailer with the back ramp door open in the snow.

How Much Personal Trailer Insurance Costs

Now you know the basic insurance options to keep your trailer completely covered. The next question is how much this coverage costs. According to a survey from, the average utility trailer insurance policy is about $66.67 a month. However, insurance for a trailer can vary greatly by trailer type, size, and primary use. To get a quote specific to your trailer, here are some questions you’ll need to answer:

  • What type of trailer do you have?
  • What’s the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (or GVWR) of the trailer?
  • What’s the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the trailer?
  • What’s the primary use of the trailer?
  • What’s the vehicle that primarily pulls the trailer?
  • What equipment is attached to the trailer (if any) and how much is it worth?

Add Trailer Insurance to Commercial Auto Policies

Although trailers used for non-business purposes can be covered by a personal auto policy, trailers used for business purposes require a commercial auto insurance policy that includes trailer coverage. Trailer insurance is a necessity for businesses and some policies can even extend coverage to both the tow vehicle and the trailer.

The primary type of coverage on commercial insurance policies is liability and is required in most states for businesses. Not only do these policies cover damage and medical bills, but some also offer legal assistance when lawsuits occur after an incident.

The two types of physical damage covered for your insured vehicles:

  1. Collision loss: Damage from road accidents.
  2. Comprehensive loss: Theft, weather, and other non-collision damage.

It also includes two types of liability coverage (when you’re at fault):

  1. Bodily injury coverage: Accident-related injuries to others.
  2. Property damage coverage: Accident-related damage to someone else’s property, such as a car or house.

You may also want to consider cargo insurance to protect yourself against damaged goods in transit.

A truck hitched to an equipment trailer with snowblowers.

Determine Commercial Trailer Insurance Cost

Just like with personal insurance policies, commercial trailer insurance prices can be dependent on many things including:

  • Trailer make and model
  • Types of material carried by the trailer
  • Trailer’s annual mileage
  • Trailer travel routes
  • Drivers’ ages and personal driving records
  • Drivers’ license types

However, many insurance companies offer discounts based on these factors:

  • Hiring drivers over 25 years old
  • Hiring drivers with valid CDLs
  • Insuring a trailer with a reliable make and model
  • Driving in areas considered safe or with low crime rates

Should Trailers Be Insured?

As you can see, insurance for your trailer makes complete sense in certain situations and is required for businesses in many states. If you use your bumper pull or gooseneck trailer for personal use, you may still want to insure your trailer to guarantee protection from extreme weather, theft, or accidents. It’s always good to compare quotes from multiple providers and leave no question unanswered when talking to insurance agents. Owning a trailer is a big investment, so it is important you feel you’re getting what you pay for from your insurance. That way you won’t be disappointed if or when you need to file your claim.

If you are looking for new or used trailers for sale,  let Country Blacksmith Trailers be your trailer dealer in Illinois! We have everything from truck flatbeds to trailers for work or recreation. With two trailer dealerships located in Carterville and Mount Vernon, Illinois, we have what you need for your trailer or service truck. Browse our hundreds of new and used trailers for sale from top brands like Aluma, Bradford Built, CM, Diamond C, FLOE International, PJ Trailers, Top Hat and more! Contact us today for more information on our trailers, including our Rent to Own trailers.

Can You Park a Trailer on the Street?

Just like cars, trailers are vehicles that must follow parking rules when traveling from place to place. Because trailers are considered commercial property, it’s harder to find a spot to park a trailer. What is even more challenging is that parking rules can change from city to city. If you are unsure about where you plan to park your personal or work trailer when on the road, consult with that city’s laws by searching for “parking laws” in that location or calling the county clerk’s office, or city hall.

Where NOT to Park a Trailer

In most cases, in the city or a subdivision, these rules may apply when you park a utility, dump, enclosed or cargo trailer. To prevent problems, these rules are a good baseline to keep you on the right side of the law when parking your trailer at home or around town.

An empty utility trailer parked on the side of the road.

Where You CANNOT Park a Trailer

  • You cannot park a trailer on the street, alley, city parking lot or public right-of-way attached or unattached for more than 24 hours, and it could be towed after 48 hours.
  • Your trailer cannot be parked in front of your house or in your front yard.
  • A trailer cannot be parked on private property long term without permission.
  • You cannot park your trailer where it blocks a neighbor’s driveway.

Where You CAN Park a Trailer

  • Along the side of or behind your home.
  • In a self-contained garage on your property.
  • A self-storage facility or any private lot that allows rentals for your trailers.
  • In your driveway, if it’s not a violation of housing association rules.
  • On the street directly in front of your home. However, your trailer must be attached to a motor vehicle and cannot sit for more than 24-72 hours (depending on local laws).

A dump trailer is parked in a driveway.

BONUS: Tips When Storing Your Trailer

  • Remove Break Batteries – If your trailer has a braking system that uses batteries, then it’s important to remove those batteries if your trailer will be sitting long term. Left in place, batteries will wear faster and drain the power. Just like regular batteries, they work best if stored inside where conditions are more stable.
  • Jack Your Trailer Up – Ensure that the trailer rests suspended on jacks. This preserves the tires and suspension by keeping weight off these parts. Tires can even be removed and stored in a safe place, which not only protects the tires from rotting, but also deters thieves from trying to roll off with your trailer.
  • Grease Moving Parts – Greasing all the moving parts helps protect your trailer and allows things to continue to slide smoothly. This includes wheel bearings, especially if you don’t remove your trailer tires in storage.
  • Get a Cover – If you store your trailer outside, a trailer cover can do wonders to keep water and moisture out of your trailer and its components. Wood rots and steel rusts, but a good waterproof cover or tarp securely wrapped around your trailer will prevent a lot of that from happening. It will keep your trailer clean and pristine as well!
  • Buy a Security System – Trailer theft can happen to anyone, especially if the trailer is stored outside. Get a hefty security lock for the hitch and keep any trailer doors locked. If you have an open-air trailer, use heavy straps and locks to tie down any loose valuable items or materials. The more difficult you make it for someone to take your trailer and cargo, the less likely it is that a thief will mess with it.

An enclosed trailer parked on the side of the road.

How to Report Illegal Parking

If you are the victim of a neighbor or business intruding on your property, you can also report illegal trailer parking by contacting parking enforcement authorities. You can read more details about how to call in or file an official complaint on illegal parking in this article: “How to Report Illegal Parking.”

Should You Park a Trailer on the Street?

Parking and storing your trailer when the job is done is not always an easy task. Fortunately, alternatives exist so you don’t always have to park in the street. It’s good to be mindful of your neighbors and through traffic, which keeps you and your trailer safe and free of violations. So, if you want to be sure, don’t park your trailer on the street longer than a day.

At Country Blacksmith Trailers, we are a premiere trailer dealer in Illinois with locations in Mount Vernon and Carterville. When it comes to trailers, we have everything you’ll need. We offer new and used trailers for sale, from top brands like Aluma, Diamond C, Homesteader, Top Hat and more! We also have a variety of pickup flatbeds from Bradford Built, Cadet and CM Truck Beds. We also have trailers for rent in Illinois and offer a rent-to-own program. Browse our inventory online or contact us today!

The Total Package on Tow Packages!

Pickup trucks and SUVs are made to be more like workhorses than cars or vans. So, with this power, is a towing package necessary to tow trailer? Though you may have big tires and a hitch, it doesn’t mean you’re ready to drag five tons of boulders behind you. If you plan to use your vehicle primarily for heavy-duty trailers or commercial work, installing a factory or aftermarket tow package is a must!

What is a Tow Package?

A tow package is the upgraded features needed for your tow vehicle to pull a trailer reliably and safely. It’s not just the hitch alone. They can include supporting engine parts, improved cooling systems, strengthened suspension and more! If you’re planning on using your truck or SUV to tow trailer, then a towing package is beneficial. It gives your vehicle better handling when you pull heavier loads, and it reduces the wear and tear on the vehicle overall.

Towing Packages May Include:

  • Trailer Hitch & Assembly
  • Wiring for 4-Pin and 7-Pin trailers
  • Extended Towing Mirrors
  • Enhanced Coolant System
  • Stronger Axles (Reduced Rear Axle Gear Ratio)
  • Heavy-duty Brakes and Suspension
  • Larger Battery and Alternator
  • Towing Brake Controls on Dashboard
  • Trailer Backup Cameras

A truck towing a heavy-duty gooseneck trailer. Tow package installed.

Does a Tow Package Increase Towing Capacity?

Even though the correct set of towing elements can enhance your towing, it’s possible to install parts that are rated beyond your vehicle’s factory limitations. Your vehicle is what sets the maximum bar on towing capacity and the towing elements cannot override that.

What a Tow Package Doesn’t Do:

  • Increase Vehicle’s GVWR
  • Increase Vehicle’s Payload Capacity
  • Increase Vehicles Maximum Towing Capacity

How Do You Know If Your Vehicle Has a Tow Package Installed?

If you don’t see a trailer hitch or receiver on your rear bumper, that is a good sign you don’t have a towing package. However, what does a towing package look like? A hitch and wiring doesn’t give any clues to what else is installed for towing. This is especially difficult to know for sure if you bought or your vehicle used. Sure, there are other hints like dashboard trailer controls, however, your best bet is contacting the dealer or manufacturer. Beyond that, answering this can take a little research.

To start your investigation, check what available towing options exist for your vehicle. This can be found by checking brochures specific for your exact model. These brochures will list tow package options available on your model.

Some packages could be simple like the hitch, wiring and connectors. Others may have extra components included. When you buy preowned, you can use this research along with looking up the vehicles VIN history to know what (if anything) has been modified. Maybe a previous owner installed improved parts or upgraded the hitch. Whether you are buying used or new, check to make sure the invoice matches what comes up on the window sticker.

Close up of a ball hitch connection between a trailer and a car.

Can You Add a Tow Package If You Don’t Have One?

There is no need to worry if your vehicle doesn’t have a tow package. You can easily call your local dealership to get the part numbers for your exact model. You can also get a quote for everything you’d like to have installed. However, you may prefer to do some or all of the work yourself.

If this is the case, you can do the research to find and order the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts or the equivalent. A complete list of heavy-duty towing upgrades will include things like larger brakes, auxiliary transmission cooler, and upgraded rear shocks or springs. You may also want to purchase a “full-size” spare tire, instead of the regular spare most vehicles come with.

Are Factory Tow Packages Better than Aftermarket?

The factory tow package is composed of OEM tow parts designed to match your vehicle exactly. This makes factory installations safe and reliable. Conversely, aftermarket tow packages can vary in quality depending on the brand. Additionally, aftermarket installations may be limited to what some refer to as “trailer package.” A trailer package is simply a tow hitch and electrical wiring for trailer lights. However, this doesn’t always mean factory installs are best.

A truck with a UTV in the trailer.

If you are looking to tow lighter loads, like a couple of jet skis, on a trailer, then an aftermarket install would suffice. Although factory tow packages are more comprehensive, they are generally more expensive. Additionally, factory installs handle poorly and lose fuel efficiency when dealing with lighter loads. So go with factory pre-installed towing options when you plan to pull boats, large campers, or livestock trailers. You may want to make sure it includes heavy-duty shocks, stronger brakes, a transmission cooler, upgraded battery and a quality tow hitch.

How Much is Too Much?

Depending on your vehicle, you may not need the highest-rated towing parts. For example, if your truck’s maximum towing capacity is 10,000 pounds, then you would only need a good class 3 hitch instead of a class 5 trailer hitch. And if you are planning towing with a gooseneck hitch, know your truck’s max payload capacity so you don’t overload your wheels and rear axle. Although it takes a little effort to reference your manufacturer’s weight limits, it pays to respect these numbers. Literally! It can save you money to know when you are going overboard.

At Country Blacksmith Trailers, we know trailers and towing! Between our two trailer dealerships in Illinois, we have hundreds of trailers for sale, from top brands like Aluma, Homesteader, Top Hat and more! We also specialize in selling and installing pickup flatbeds and service bodies from Bradford Built, Knapheide, Cadet, and CM Truck Beds. Whether you are looking to purchase a trailer or towing and trailer parts, let our friendly team of experts assist you today!

Trailer Hitches: What You Should Know

When it comes to towing a trailer, one of the most important things needed is a hitch. Without it, of course, you can’t haul a trailer. Having the proper trailer hitch is crucial. This includes the correct type, strength, and hitch ball size. There are a lot of great hitches out there that can do the job, however. We’ll dive into the types of hitches and important features of each.

What is a Trailer Hitch?

A trailer hitch or tow bar is an accessory that attaches to your vehicle’s frame or chassis to allow the safe connection and towing of a trailer behind a vehicle. The only part of the hitch that may be visibly seen is the square shaped receiver tube, which the ball mount slides into. It is common to see the ball mount and trailer ball collectively referred to as a hitch as well.

Close up of a ball hitch connection between a trailer and a car.

Bumper Pull vs. Gooseneck Trailer Hitches

Bumper Pull Hitches

Bumper pull hitches are easier to hook up, and can be used with any vehicle. They’re ideal for first-time trailer buyers and those with pickups who desire truck beds clear of the gooseneck hardware. An open truck bed without the gooseneck hitch and trailer tongue increases your payload capacity without going over your GVWR. However, bumper pull hitches have limitations on the weight and size of the trailers and cargo they can haul. Additionally, there is more trailer sway with bumper pull hitches if they are not hooked up properly or if cargo is unbalanced. Lastly, there is a limited turning radius with bumper towing, so turns must be wider around corners.

Gooseneck Hitches

Gooseneck hitches provide amazing stability because the weight is placed over the rear axles of the truck compared to the bumper. This also gives gooseneck hitches the ability to tow larger trailers and heavier cargo. Additional benefits include improved maneuverability and a tighter turn radius. This means turns can be sharper than a bumper pull. The main disadvantages with pulling longer and heavier trailers with goosenecks is that you need a heavy-duty truck. You may also need a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). However, CDLs depend on the length of the trailer and the state you’re are driving in.

Enclosed cargo trailer that hitches in a truck bed. Possibly a gooseneck trailer hitch.

What is the Strongest Trailer Hitch?

Overall, trailer hitch strength breaks down into 5 classes. Gross Tow Weight (GTW) increments from 2,000 pounds all the way to 20,000 pounds. However, even if a hitch is in a particular class, it could be rated differently depending on the model and manufacturer.

  • Class 1 Trailer Hitch (GTW up to 2,000 lbs. / 1.25” Receiver Tube)
    This class is for light duty work, and you’ll find it on most compact and midsized cars.
  • Class 2 Trailer Hitch (GTW up to 3,500 lbs. / 1.25” Receiver Tube)
    This hitch is for moderate use and can be found on cars, crossovers, and minivans.
  • Class 3 Trailer Hitch (GTW up to 8,000 to 12,000 lbs. / 2” Receiver Tube)
    Most commonly installed on pickup trucks and SUVs, this hitch is strong and versatile.
  • Class 4 Trailer Hitch (GTW up to 12,000 to 14,000 lbs. / 2” Receiver Tube)
    This class is more for full-sized and heavy-duty pickup trucks towing larger trailers and heavier loads.
  • Class 5 Trailer Hitch (GTW up to 16,000 to 20,000 lbs. / 2” or 2.5” Receiver Tube)
    You’ll find these installed on heavy-duty pickups or truck flatbeds for commercial or heavy-duty work.

Trailer Hitch Safety Checks and Maintenance Tips

Use the Correct Ball Size

Most towing jobs can be done by between a 1 7/8-inch, 2 inch or 2 5/16-inch sized trailer ball (or hitch ball). However, the diameter of your ball must match your trailer’s coupler opening size. You can use a ruler or measuring tape to determine the opening size on the coupler’s head. If it measures 2 inches, your hitch ball must be 2 inches. Having the exact fit is necessary for both safety and usability.

Person connecting a bumper pull hitch.


Cross Safety Chains

A common mistake is connecting the safety chains straight across instead of crossing them. Chains should be loose enough for turns and cross over each other in an “X” shape under the trailer coupler. If the trailer should ever disconnect on the road, the crisscrossed chains will catch the trailer tongue like a safety net. Otherwise, the trailer tongue would drop directly to the ground, digging into the road. This could cause considerable damage to your vehicles and put your safety at risk.

Use Ball Grease

Hitch balls receive a lot of friction from the trailer’s coupler sliding around it as it’s pulled. Greasing your hitch ball will help extend the life of it, reducing scratches and pitting. Even though the coating painted on some hitch balls looks great, it alone is no replacement for a little bit of grease.

Check Electrical Components

When you pull a trailer, always ensure your wiring harness connects and powers it’s components like lights and brakes. This is especially important when driving at night and visibility is limited. You may not always see burnt out taillights or brake lights when on the road, so always test them out before taking off.

Trailer full of oranges being towed.

Respect Weight Limits

When you buy hitches and accessories, ensure they are rated for the weight of your trailer and the cargo you intend to pull. In addition, make sure your cargo load is balanced properly. Too much weight in the back will lighten the tongue weight, and your vehicle to fishtail more when changing lanes.  Too much weight on the front will put undue stress on the hitch and tow vehicle, which can cause excess wear and damage.

Lock-Mounted Trailer

Once your trailer coupler is connected to the hitch ball, it’s never a bad idea to add a security lock to keep anyone from stealing your trailer and potential cargo.  Vehicle and trailer theft is common in the United States, happening once every 40 seconds in 2017. A formidable lock is a small price to pay to deter thieves and keep your trailer in your possession.

If you’re looking for the best trailer hitches, quality parts or accessories, Country Blacksmith Trailers has what you need. Our expert staff members can answer any question and check if the trailer parts you’re looking for are in stock. In addition, we carry hundreds of new and used trailers for sale at our two trailer dealerships in Illinois. Contact Country Blacksmith Trailers and let us serve you today!