Fix It Up or Give It Up?
AThe time will likely come when you’ll need to take a hard look at your trailer to determine whether you should fix it up or give it up. In making that decision, ask yourself, do your trailer’s design, size, and features still work for you? There’s no sense in fixing up your trailer if you and your horse have outgrown its usefulness. If that’s the case, then you should let it go, and invest your “fix it up” money into something better suited for your current and future needs.
However, if your trailer still works well for you, then the next step is to discern whether it’s better financially to fix it up or give it up. Here’s how.
Use this expert guide to decide whether your aging trailer is worth fixing up or whether it’s time to sell.
Are Repairs Worth It?
Before you fix up your trailer, determine whether your financial investment into the repairs will exceed your trailer’s value (what you can sell it for) after the repairs are done. Then determine its current value in “as is” condition.
Next, determine your trailer’s quality and condition, and what it would cost to make it safe and road worthy. Finally, check to see whether the trailer company is still in business, in case you need replacement parts.
Here’s a checklist to help you determine whether it’s worth it to fix up your trailer. Determine your trailer’s value. Determine your trailer’s value in “as is” condition and in “like new” condition. To do so, enter your trailer brand, model, and year into your preferred Internet search engine to find like trailers for sale. (One good resource for used trailers is The Trail Rider’s sister website, Equine.com.) By perusing these listings, you’ll get an idea of the asking price in an array of trailer conditions. Jot down your trailer’s value the way it is and what it could be if you fix it up. Get a fix-it-up estimate. Go to the nearest body shop, and get an estimate of all the work that needs to be performed on your trailer and all the work you would like to have done. Make sure this estimate includes parts and labor. Do the math. If the repair estimate is in line with your trailer’s value, then it would be worth your while to repair it. For example, if your trailer is worth $2,500 as is, but it’s selling for $5,000 in top condition, then you could spend up to $2,500 and still protect your investment.
Before you take your trailer to a body shop, make a list of its problem areas. Make this list even if the repairs will be done by a knowledgeable family member or friend.
Since a trailer is basically a box on wheels, you should be able to see almost everything that needs attention and repair. The things you can’t see are the brakes, axles, and bearings. Leave these inspections to a professional.
Following is a list of things to check before you head to the body shop. Once there, have the person doing the estimate check the bearings, brakes, axles, floor boards, floor supports, frame, coupler, and lights. Tires. Tread wear and/or age will determine whether the tires should be replaced. There’s no expiration date on a tire, but there’s a manufacturer’s build date in the code, so you can determine how old they are. If the tires are more than six years old, discard them, even if they have good tread left. In older tires, the rubber has chemically weakened and could come apart in transit. Check rims for weakness and rust. Axles. If you’ve kept your tires properly inflated every time you’ve used your trailer, then you’ll be able to use them to determine axle integrity. Run your hand over the tires to see if there’s uneven wear on the tread. If one side of the tire is wearing more than the other, your
When deciding whether to keep your aging trailer, first ask yourself, do the design, size, and features still work for you? There’s no sense in fixing up your trailer if you and your horse have outgrown its usefulness.