When owning your own go-kart, probably the biggest thing on your mind will be transport. How are you going to lug the kart, all of your gear, tools and extra things for race day without a trailer?
Before you start searching online or browsing selections in stores, there are quite a lot of things to consider that you might not even think of as a first-time buyer. After all, there’s nothing worse than buying something which just doesn’t work way you want it to!
So, let me help you by going over a lot of key things to remember when picking out and operating that perfect trailer, and you’ll thank me after the purchase is all said and done!
I’m not going to know exactly which trailer is the right one for you, but I can certainly narrow things down for you and help with a collection of things to consider before firing up your web browser.
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When I was competitive in the world of go-karting, I was lucky to have my dad around to make all of the important decisions for me. He was the kind of guy with forward vision it felt like, so he knew exactly what to look for when we went trailer shopping.
At the time, we were only running one go-kart, but it proved to be a life-saving choice that he picked a trailer with space for two or even three rigs, because we often ended up helping out some of our karting buddies on long race weekends.
And luckily, he imparted some key nuggets of information while we were picking out the trailer that would transport our rig to every race after I turned 15, so here’s a collection of things to consider:
- Trailer Size: Are you transporting a single kart, or multiple? That very fact will drastically change the sizes of trailer you’ll be looking at. It won’t end well if you snap up a cheap one-horse box to be converted if you need to cram six go-karts into it, after all!
- The Tow Vehicle: Perhaps the most important thing to really keep in mind is what vehicle you have in your arsenal to pull that heavy trailer around. If you already have a hulking truck with a tow-bar, then you’ve got no need to worry. But if you don’t, get shopping for something that can handle the load! A trailer is no use to anybody stranded in your garage.
- Storage: Does the trailer you’ve been eyeing have a storage box inside to lock and store your gear? If not, I’d beg you to reconsider. You need somewhere to safely put your race suit, crash helmet, and other track essentials, else you’ll become a pack mule carrying it around with you in big bags.
- Spare Wheel: A simple question, but does the trailer have a spare wheel that comes with it? This may seem like something that’s a none-issue, but that trailer has to deal with a heavy load. The last thing you need is a tire blow-out and not having the means to change it!
- Stability: If the trailer doesn’t come with a jockey wheel, your kart and everything inside the trailer won’t remain level. You’ll risk everything crashing against the doors and causing all kinds of problems, even if you tie everything down! Honestly, a jockey wheel for extra stability is an absolute must.
- Second–Hand Check: Buying something pre-loved is a no-brainer in almost every situation, but make sure to be extra vigilant when doing so. Check out the tire tread depth on all of the tires to make sure you won’t be buying a liability on the road.
- Roadworthy: Even if you’re buying a brand-new trailer, make sure to inspect every part of it when you go to have a look. Check for any weld defects, rust collection and anything else that might betray future problems for you as the new owner. Also ask the seller for proof of the trailer’s Safety Certificate, an essential thing which marks it as being roadworthy. If it doesn’t have one, you should look elsewhere.
Attributes Of A Good Go-Kart Trailer
It’s very common for trailers to start their lives as horse transportation, and this is simply because purpose-made trailers for go-karts are worth a pretty penny.
Don’t worry if you can’t afford something like that! There are a lot of go-kart enthusiasts out there who re-purposed horse boxes, and remodeling isn’t something only for rocket scientists to do.
If you check out online forums, you’ll find stories of people picking up a beaten-up old trailer that they transformed into something amazing, something you’d expect to have rolled off a production line made for karts. As long as the trailer you buy lines up with the following points, you don’t need to worry too much:
- The trailer should be light-weight, preferably made of aluminum. This means that your car/truck that’ll be doing the towing won’t be bogged down by extra material weight after you add your kart, tools and everything else inside! And not only is aluminum very light, it’s sturdy stuff.
- It’ll have a storage box inside, perfect to lock up all of your gear securely. You can make a facility like this, of course; especially if you’re already re-purposing a trailer to carry karts. Most enclosed trailers will have a storage box inside, however, and it’ll grant you extra security for any loose tools and the like while travelling.
- It’ll also have a jockey wheel. It’s a huge hassle to buy one separately and attach it, so keep your search limited to trailers that come with one as standard. A jockey wheel is an essential component to ensure that your trailer is stable and safe!
- And lastly, the trailer should definitely come with a spare wheel. Would you buy a new car that didn’t come with a spare? If the answer is no (which it should be), you’ll know exactly why this aspect is so important.
Trailer Safety: A Checklist
So, you took the plunge and bought the right trailer for the purpose you need it for after reading and considering the above points mentioned in this article! Amazing!
Now, another hugely important part of owning a trailer is remembering how to operate one safely. If you don’t, you’ll not only risk the integrity of the gear you’re transporting to races, but also the safety of other drivers on the road. You’ll also risk damaging the shiny new trailer you just bought, so when you drive with that beauty attached, remember the following essential tips:
- Make sure the go-kart(s) are tied down securely! The last thing you want is a wayward kart, not only because it’ll get damaged if it comes loose, but it’ll unbalance your trailer which can lead to the whole thing flipping over.
- Replace any old tie-down equipment! This point links closely to the above one in regards to keeping your trailer level and will stop breakages of the tie-downs themselves. And truly, new straps are pretty inexpensive in the grand scheme of things. Better to be safe than sorry!
- Go out and get the right insurance! Even if you aren’t anywhere near a renewal for your insurance, start calling around to add trailer cover to your policy. It’s also essential to ensure that this insurance covers the contents of your trailer, just in case any damages do happen in transit.
- Pay out that extra cash to get a good, solid padlock to secure the trailer to your tow-bar! After spending a good chunk of cash on buying a trailer in the first place, you need to make sure that it’ll stay secured to your vehicle.
As I said at the beginning of this article, making sure you buy the right trailer for the purpose of go-karting is absolutely essential.
Not only that, but there are a lot of things to think about in order to save yourself headaches and more money being spent, and that isn’t even mentioning the essential safety aspects to consider whenever you hook it up to drive out to the track.
After a while, a lot of what is written here will become second nature, and you’ll soon become the person that everybody goes to whenever they buy trailers for their own go-kart career! Making sure that you maintain your trailer and keep it in good condition will become a labor of love above all else, and you’ll find yourself spending time to keep it just as shiny and impressive as the karts you drive.