For those who travel with their snowmobiles, a quality trailer is essential for protection and ease of transport. Wintertime transport of snowmobiles can mean extreme driving conditions and plenty of road salt. Choices range from open flatbed trailers that start at about $500 to enclosed rides that can be priced upwards of $3,000. Each option has its own set of costs and benefits.
Just make sure you're covered with an affordable snowmobile insurance policy.
Aluminum vs. Steel
In recent years, aluminum construction has gained in popularity. Aluminum trailers are generally rust-free and lighter-weight than steel models. Steel is stronger and heavier, and a steel trailer may handle rough cold-weather driving conditions better. Aluminum costs more than steel, but the lighter weight means you’ll get better gas mileage and be able to haul a greater amount of weight before reaching the maximum for your car or truck.
When calculating the weight of your trailer plus snowmobile, consider your existing vehicle and trailer hitch. Trailer hitches are often labeled as Class 1 through 5, depending on the amount of weight that can be hauled.
Flatbed vs. Enclosed
Some trailer models are specifically designed for snowmobiles, while others are utility trailers that can serve more than one function. Open flatbed trailers constructed of aluminum or steel with a plywood base offer a basic way to transport snowmobiles. Tilt trailers allow you to drive the snowmobile up onto the trailer, but take some practice to load.
If you choose a flatbed trailer, a snowmobile cover is a necessity, to protect your sled from road salt and wind damage. In some areas of the country an enclosed trailer is required for transporting snowmobiles. Although this option is the most expensive, it provides the best protection of your sled and accessories.
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Do You Need Separate Trailer Insurance?
Even though your car or truck must be insured and your snowmobile should be insured, a trailer can also cost up to several thousand dollars, which means it may make sense to insure it as well. Small utility trailers are relatively inexpensive, but should you get into an accident you’ll still want to replace them. Trailer insurance can be tacked on to your auto policy or a separate policy can be issued.
Also, a small amount of coverage may be provided by your homeowners policy, so talk to your insurance agent about the details of your specific coverage. Common reasons to file a claim using trailer insurance include theft or accidents. Equipment failure like a defective hitch, broken tow bar or axel may also result in an insurance claim.
Accidents During Transport
If you have snowmobile coverage and are involved in a collision, damage to the snowmobile will be covered, but damage to the trailer may not. An auto policy will cover liability for the accident, but again, you’ll need specific coverage for the replacement cost of your trailer.
Trailer insurance can also cover theft, fire and damage resulting from severe weather, such as hail, wind or lightning. Should an accident occur, make sure to take photos of all vehicles involved and contact your agent as soon as possible.