In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: Does Featherlite make steel trailers? We will also discuss whether all aluminium or steel trailers are better.
Does Featherlite make steel trailers?
Featherlite doesn’t make steel trailers. All Featherlite trailers have an all-aluminium frame and coating. Steel is used for the axles, rivets and the gooseneck of the trailers.
Generally, trailers can be:
- Made entirely from steel
- Have a steel frame and an aluminium coating, with other elements of steel
- Made entirely from aluminium.
Are Featherlite trailers any good?
Yes, Featherlite trailers are good. The manufacturer builds durable, reliable and lightweight all-aluminium trailers, with a few elements of steel. You can get a Featherlite trailer for about any need one may have:
- Car trailers
- Horse or livestock trailers
- Recreational trailers (for ATVs, snowmobiles or motorcycles)
- Utility trailers
- Custom made trailers ( marketing trailers, office trailers, classroom trailers, medical trailers, mobile command centres, kitchen trailers, vending trailers, and so on).
Featherlite trailers are among the best in durability on the American market, they are built to last, offer safe and secure handling, are lightweight, versatile and have a 10-year limited structural warranty.
What are the advantages of all-aluminium Featherlite trailers?
The advantages of all-aluminium Featherlite trailers are as follows:
- A weight 2 to 3 times less for the same resistance
- Increased loading capacity
- Fuel economy
- No possibility of rust
- Increased trailer life
- No maintenance required
- New appearance throughout its life
- Very low depreciation over time.
What are the disadvantages of all-aluminium Featherlite trailers?
Here is a list of the downsides of all-aluminium Featherlite trailers compared to other manufacturers’ steel trailers:
- More expensive
- More difficult repairs/welding, etc.
- Acid washing is recommended as an additional piece of maintenance
- Aluminum can stain, especially with heavy use
- Aluminum floors can dent and cannot be easily replaced.
Aluminium vs Steel trailers: what’s best?
If you are looking for a new trailer, you know there is an endless discussion on whether aluminium or steel trailers are best. In this section of the article, we will discuss and review each type.
To start, let’s see what differentiates an aluminum and a steel trailer:
- The first thing to look for when looking for a steel or aluminum trailer is the tongue of the trailer. If the tongue is painted black – it’s a steel trailer, because steel trailers have to be primed and painted so they’ll have longevity.
The aluminum product does not have to be painted; it comes out as a mill finish or an aluminum colour and it stays that way. So when you walk up to the tongue of a trailer and you look down is it black or is it an aluminum color that’ll tell you if it’s an aluminum or a steel trailer.
- When you’re towing a vehicle, what are just some things that immediately differentiate steel and an aluminium trailer is the dry weight of the trailer/ Aluminum trailers are lighter in weight than steel trailers.
- The other difference between a steel and aluminium trailer is how they are built. The aluminum trailers are completely tubular structured: they have tube structures on the roof bows, on the sidewalls, on the floor, the main rails, and tube structures within the cross members.
What structurally sets apart steel from aluminum is that you have a lot more versatility. With steel trailers, you have either a tube wall post or a Z post. On a steel trailer you can go much higher heights you can go up to stacker height which is 11 feet of interior height or you can put up to 8k axles on a steel trailer. We don’t have those applications on an aluminum frame trailer just because aluminum is a softer metal.
- The fourth difference is in the use of the trailers. Steel trailers traditionally are used for heavy usage type trailers as they have higher weight capacities. Aluminum trailers are usually made for recreational trailers.
- Another way to differentiate between steel and aluminium trailers is the cost difference and product availability. Aluminum trailers traditionally run about 25 to 30 per cent more than steel trailers. Depending on if it’s economically made or if you want a premium brand the options are more readily available and more widespread.
Aluminum trailers are traditionally a premium products line so there are limited sizes and limited options that will go on an aluminum frame versus a steel frame availability. Also, there are more steel trailer manufacturers than there are aluminum trailer manufacturers.
Choosing between aluminium and steel trailers
Now that we have made clear how to differentiate between steel and aluminium trailers, let’s see some of the pros and cons of each type of material.
|Steel Trailer||Aluminium Trailer|
|Properties: Galvanized steel trailers are durable trailers. Steel is resistant to metal fatigue, more scratch-resistant, and easier to work with than aluminum. |
Steel is also a poor conductor of heat than aluminum which means that steel horse trailers could provide a more comfortable ride when transporting live animals such as horses.
The problems with a galvanized steel trailer are that it is heavier to haul and has a shorter lifespan due to being prone to rust.
|Properties: Aluminum trailers are around 25 per cent to 35 percent lighter than steel, making them easier to navigate. |
Aluminum trailers are claimed to last longer than steel trailers as aluminum does not rust and painting and repainting is not required. Aluminum trailers are not without problems.
Aluminum is said to be weaker than steel, therefore trailers need additional reinforcement leading to an overall trailer weight similar to a steel trailer.
Aluminum is also more prone to metal fatigue and shear and tear when damaged; Anything inside the trailer becomes a risk of injury or damage.
|Maintenance and repair: Steel, even galvanized steel, is prone to rust, and therefore steel trailers require storage to prevent or minimize the formation of covered rust. |
Due to the threat of rust, steel requires periodic anti-corrosion treatment and repainting. However, despite more maintenance costs, steel trailers are easier to repair.
|Maintenance and repair: Aluminum trailers appear to be almost maintenance-free, as they do not rust and therefore do not need to be repainted. |
When aluminum trailers are damaged, however, it becomes more expensive, as they are more difficult to repair, since it is less plastic material than steel.
|Costs: Steel trailers are cheaper compared to aluminum trailers as steel is a cheaper material to work with. Repair costs tend to be lower than that of aluminum. |
However, the weight of the steel trailers combined with the maintenance costs make operations or hauls using more expensive steel
|Costs: Aluminum trailers are more expensive than steel ones. The difficulty of repairing them also makes the repair costs more expensive. |
However, maintenance and use are more economical as aluminum trailers are lighter to tow and do not require repainting or anti-corrosion treatment.
Many consider aluminium trailers better than steel, and we can see why. All aluminium trailers are made of metal, except the axles and hitch. This makes them more durable. They are more expensive than steel trailers and have a higher resale value even after years of use. Also, aluminum trailers are lighter than steel ones and can be towed easier.
On the market today there are a fair number of manufacturers and dealers who offer various solutions and price proposals. As it is known no one gives anything, we think that the search for the best quality in relation to the price is, as always, the most important factor to be taken into consideration in the choice, but always aimed at the well-being of the horse and the safety that we believe can give the purchased vehicle for it.
What do you think? Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments!
FAQ on Does Featherlite make steel trailers?
Why are aluminum trailers so expensive?
The main reason why aluminium trailers are so expensive compared to steel trailers is that they tend to be more durable, easier to maintain, rust-free, and thus have a higher resale price.
Which is stronger: steel or aluminum?
Steel will hold about 4 times more impact than aluminum. Steels: are heavier than aluminum, they are also more resistant. Raw steel has the disadvantage of rusting so it must either be protected or made stainless.
Are aluminium boat trailers better than steel?
Many consider aluminium boat trailers better than steel, and we can see why. All aluminium trailers are made of metal, except the axles and hitch. This makes them more durable. They are more expensive than steel trailers and have a higher resale value even after years of use. Also, aluminum trailers are lighter than steel ones and can be towed easier.
Do aluminum trailers crack?
Yes, the aluminium trailer can crack, if there are plenty of stress cycles put into it. Aluminum is said to be weaker than steel, therefore trailers need additional reinforcement leading to an overall trailer weight similar to a steel trailer. Aluminum is also more prone to metal fatigue and shear and tear when damaged.
Are all-aluminium horse trailers safe?
Overall, all-aluminium horse trailers are safe, but in a crash, we believe that a steel trailer would offer more protection than aluminium or fibreglass. An aluminum trailer is lighter than steel, making it easier to tow and saving fuel. And a gooseneck trailer tracks better than a tag trailer behind the tow vehicle. That is very important when transporting in windy conditions.
Other FAQs about Travel Trailers that you may be interested in.
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