Buying a go-kart trailer is key if you need to transport your kart between races every weekend. You’ll need a trailer to move your safety gear, tools, and other bits and pieces as well. However, it’s important that you consider a few key things before you buy a go-kart trailer.
The 7 key things to consider before you buy a go-kart trailer are:
- The size of the trailer
- The tow vehicle
- Available storage space
- Does it have a spare wheel?
- Stability of the trailer
- Consider buying second-hand
- Ensure it’s roadworthy
As you can see, there are many things to keep in mind when you’re purchasing a go-kart trailer. However, it doesn’t have to be a long, difficult choice when you know what to look for. Below, I’ll go through each of these considerations in more detail, before also discussing some alternative ways to move your go-kart around.
7 Key Things To Consider Before Buying A Go-Kart Trailer
1. The Size Of The Trailer
Will you be transporting a single kart or multiple? The answer will drastically change the size of trailers that you should be looking at buying. Consider whether you plan to add another go-kart rig to your collection in the near future or if you will occasionally help tow other people’s rigs. If you believe you only need to haul one go-kart, you can opt for a smaller (and generally cheaper) trailer.
2. The Tow Vehicle
Another important thing to keep in mind is what vehicle you will be driving to pull the heavy trailer load. If you have a hulking truck with a tow bar or trailer hitch, you don’t need to worry. However, if you don’t, you will need to find a vehicle that can handle the weight. A go-kart trailer is no use to anyone if you can’t move it around!
3. Available Storage Space
Storage space is obviously a must for the kart itself, but you also need somewhere to safely put your race suit, crash helmet, and other track essentials so that you don’t become a pack mule carrying it around with you in bulky, heavy bags. Therefore, I’d recommend finding a trailer with a storage box, preferably one that locks.
4. Does It Have A Spare Wheel?
This may seem like common sense, but some trailers do not come with a spare wheel. Go-kart trailers are handling a heavy load and the tires will be exposed to lots of wear and tear. Therefore, it is necessary to have a spare tire on hand. The last thing you need is a tire blow-out on the way to a race without the means to change it.
5. Stability Of The Trailer
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. Therefore, a jockey wheel for extra stability is an absolute must when buying a kart trailer.
6. Consider Buying Second-Hand
Buying a go-kart trailer second-hand can be a cheaper option, but make sure to be extra vigilant when doing so. Ensure that you check out the tire tread depth on all of the tires to make sure you won’t be buying a liability on the road. You should also check all other aspects of the trailers for damage or wear.
7. Ensure It’s 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, and anything else that might cause future problems for you as the new owner. Ask the seller for proof of the trailer’s safety certificate, which marks it as being roadworthy. If the trailer doesn’t have one, you should look elsewhere.
How To Choose A Good Go-Kart Trailer
Be Wary Of Repurposed Trailers
When you’re looking to buy a go-kart trailer, you may come across many second-hand or repurposed trailers. For example, it’s common for trailers to start as horse transportation trailers and be made into a go-kart trailer. Many people choose to repurpose because trailers specifically made for go-karts are expensive.
With second-hand and repurposed options available, there are many great trailers to choose from. However, you need to ensure that the trailer is in good condition and is safe to use.
What To Look For
The trailer should be lightweight and preferably made of aluminum. This is so that your towing vehicle will not be weighed down by extra material weight after you’ve added your kart, tools, and other items inside. Not only is aluminum very light, but it is also durable.
You will want a trailer with a storage box inside, perfect for locking up all your gear securely. You can add a feature like this, of course, especially if you’re already repurposing a trailer to carry karts. However, most enclosed trailers will already have a storage box inside and it’ll grant you extra security for any loose tools and gear you bring with you.
Pick One With A Jockey Wheel
You should also look for a trailer with a jockey wheel. It’s an extra 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 that ensures your trailer is stable and safe.
Go For One With A Spare Wheel
Lastly, the trailer should come with a spare wheel. You probably wouldn’t buy a new car that didn’t come with a spare, and it should be the same for trailers. A spare tire is important for ensuring you do not have to leave your trailer stranded in the event of a blow-out or flat.
KEY POINTS• There are many things to consider when buying a trailer for your go-kart
• Ideally opt for one with a jockey wheel and a spare wheel
• Ensure the trailer is roadworthy and that it’s big enough to haul everything you need for a race
Another important aspect of owning a trailer is knowing how to operate it safely. If you cannot do so, you not only risk the integrity of the equipment you’re transporting, but also the safety of other drivers on the road. You also risk damaging the lovely new trailer that you just put so much thought and money into. Therefore, when driving with a trailer, remember the following information.
Tie Everything Down
Triple check to ensure your go-kart is tied down securely in the trailer. Not only could it become damaged if it is loose, but it will unbalance your trailer, which could lead to the entire thing flipping over.
Replace Old Ties
You should frequently replace any old tie-down equipment. This point links closely to the one mentioned above about keeping your trailer level and preventing damages. Replacing the tie-down equipment will prevent unexpected breakages. New straps are typically inexpensive, and it is better to be safe than sorry.
Do your research and invest in the right insurance. Even if you aren’t close to a renewal for your current insurance, you should start calling around to add trailer coverage to your policy. It is essential to ensure that insurance covers the contents of your trailer in the event of damages occurring in transit.
Keep It Secure
Lastly, you should invest in a solid padlock to secure your trailer to your tow bar. After spending so much money on purchasing the trailer in the first place, it is worth the extra cash to ensure it stays secured to your vehicle. This will help prevent theft anytime you are away from the trailer.
Tips For Setting Up Your Go-Kart Trailer
First of all, remember that bigger trailers are usually always better. The bigger your trailer is, the more stuff you can fit in it. This ultimately means that you can transport everything your kart needs in the trailer, rather than having to pack some items in your car and make your journey more uncomfortable.
Unfortunately though, it’s not always easy to find bigger trailers. Plus, you’ll need to factor in the trailer’s size and weight for the car you’ll be using to tow it to the track, so you may be limited in this respect.
Build A Shelf
Building a shelf in your trailer is an easy way to add some additional usable storage space without having to invest in a bigger one. All you need is a thick plywood sheet cut out in the measurements of your trailer.
You can then build struts to support the plywood and keep it suspended. Make sure that your struts and plywood are strong enough because the kart needs to go on top of it. Of course, you could also build the plywood higher up and put the kart underneath it, with the rest of your gear going on the top shelf.
Many drivers and parents have also used this trick to expand the space of their trailer to make space for an extra kart. One kart goes on top of the plywood shelf, and the other goes underneath the plywood shelf. This creates a huge amount of usable space, and it’s very easy to get it set up, so it’s highly recommended to try it out with your own trailer.
With this additional space, you’ve got a lot more freedom to load up your trailer with even more cargo. Whether it’s your racing gear, your tools, or even foldable worktables, you can fit far more into a trailer that has this division in the middle. However, this will require you to have a fairly vertically spacious trailer for your kart in the first place.
You should always look to prioritize space inside your trailer. One area that is often overlooked is the roof of the trailer. You can build your own shelves, hooks, and storage bins on the roof and upper corners of the trailer to house just about anything. You can hang your race suit and helmet, create a storage bin for tires, or even create a cupboard for tools.
As long as your trailer has some space above the kart, you can create a lot of extra space with some DIY shelving. This extra space can be a lifesaver if you’re on a long trip and need extra space for your karting gear.
If you’ve got a big trailer, one of the main concerns is having stuff move around while you’re driving. The best solution for that is to install E-tracks in your trailer. E-tracks are metal strips that have slots in them. This allows you to use cables and ropes to tie everything down and prevent it from moving around while you’re transporting it.
Most people install their E-tracks on the floor and the walls. This allows you to tie down your kart as well as your toolboxes, generators, tire racks, and anything else that could be damaged if it moves around while driving.
You could also consider installing E-tracks on the roof of your trailer if you want to create more space. For example, you could tie a tire bag to the roof above the kart to transport an additional set of tires. E-tracks can be an incredibly useful and simple tool when it comes to creating additional space.
Is A Trailer The Best Way To Transport A Go-Kart?
Buying a trailer for your kart can be a big expense, especially considering the price tag that comes with the trailer, the maintenance and upkeep of the trailer, and the storage requirements on top of that. Overall, having a trailer makes a lot of sense for kart owners, but there are some other ways that you can transport your kart to the race track and back.
Before we get into that though, it’s important to keep in mind that a trailer is the easiest and safest way to transport a go-kart. If you have the budget for it, and you have the space needed to store the trailer, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use a trailer for transportation. A trailer will keep your kart safe and secure while making it much easier to transport and offload the kart.
If you don’t have a trailer and you don’t have the budget for one, then you might want to consider hiring a trailer. The only problem is that you most likely won’t find a kart-specific trailer for hire. Just always make sure you get an enclosed trailer with a lock to prevent theft and tampering on your kart and to protect it from the elements.
While you could use an open trailer, you need to make sure that your kart is secure at all times. With an open trailer you need to cover to keep it safe from weather and debris. You also need to make sure that it is properly tied down and fastened to the trailer to prevent it from moving around while it’s being transported.
It can sometimes be difficult to rent a trailer, especially if your car doesn’t have a trailer hook. If that’s the case, you will need a backup plan to get your kart to the track. Luckily, there are some ways to do it.
Alternative Go-Kart Transportation Methods
Inside Your Car
It might seem unconventional, but you may be able to transport a kart inside your car. It’s a challenge to get the kart into your car and to get it back out again, but if you don’t have a trailer then it might just be your best option. You will need help to lift the kart up and get it positioned perfectly inside of your car, so it’s not ideal if you’re a lone racing driver.
You simply need to detach the wheels and bumpers to fit it in your car. If you have an SUV or a pick up truck it might be easier, but even something as small as a Volkswagen Polo could transport a kart. All you need to do is fold the rear seats flat and lay the chassis down on top of them (make sure to cover your seats with a plastic tarp first). It’s definitely not the best way to transport a go-kart, but it can work!
If your car has roof racks, then securing your kart to the roof of your car is also an option. However, this method of transportation does come with some serious risks. You need to make sure that your kart is tied down properly to prevent it from moving around or even falling off when you accelerate, brake, or turn your car.
On top of that, you also need to make sure that you don’t scratch or damage the roof of your car, so it’s best to get a blanket or other protective material to put underneath the kart.
Then there’s also the issue of getting the kart on top of the roof in the first place. It’s a real challenge, especially if you don’t have a lot of people around that can help you. SUVs are much more suitable for transporting karts on their roof, but they’re also typically quite tall, which means that it’s even more difficult to get the kart into position and tie it down properly.
While driving with a kart on the roof of your car (especially in an SUV), you need to make sure that you always check the clearance space that you’ve got. Some circuits can only be accessed through tunnels or underneath an overpass, and the last thing you want is for your kart to be damaged by driving underneath something while transporting it on your roof!
Another way to transport your go-kart is by using a pick up truck. Go-karts can often fit perfectly into the bed of a pickup truck, which makes it an incredibly easy and convenient way to get your kart from one place to another. It’s also a much safer and more secure way to travel with your kart than putting it on your car’s roof for example.
But if you want even more protection and security for your kart, you might want to consider getting a cover or a canopy for your pickup truck. This will protect your kart from the elements such as dust and rain, ensuring that it arrives at the track all clean and in race-ready condition.
The only challenge you might have with a pickup truck is that you might not have space for your tools, tires, trolley, and any other things that you’re bringing with you to the track. A pickup truck with a back seat could provide you some extra space, but you might still not have enough if you’re bringing a lot of accessories (and other people).
Finally, combo vans (delivery vans) are another way to transport your kart from race to race. These vans have front seats, but they’re completely empty at the back, which leaves you with a lot of space for your kart and any extras that you need to bring with you to the track.
This might be the best alternative to using a trailer, but the challenge is still the fact that you can’t usually transport more than one passenger in a combo van. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for the most secure and convenient alternative to using a trailer, this is definitely it.
Ensuring you buy the right trailer for transporting your go-kart is essential. Consider factors like size, storage, stability, roadworthiness, and towing compatibility when buying one. Once you get your hands on one, be sure to follow all of our tips to safely get the most out of your go-kart trailer!
I created and have been writing on this site since 2019, collaborating with drivers, coaches, engineers and manufacturers to provide you with the most reliable information about motorsport. Find out more about me here.