Week after week we talk about horse trailers, horse vans, horse riding and horse racing among other things.  With all this horse talk going on we couldn’t believe  it when we realized we had completely missed one of the most important “horse” items.

It doesn’t matter how snazzy your enclosed trailer, toy hauler or RV may be, you’re not going anywhere without horsePOWER.  And where do you find horsepower if not in a horse?  The internal combustion engine of course.

From weed-whackers and lawn tractors to motorcycles and everyday automobiles internal combustion engines are everywhere.  But what exactly happens inside that hunk of steel and which is better…diesel or gasoline?

At the core, all internal combustion engines are the same.  Dating back to 1876 when Nikolaus August Otto invented and patented a machine that converted chemical energy to kinetic energy through a contained explosion that drove a piston connected to a crank-shaft to create rotary motion.  This rotary motion is then transferred to the moving parts of the machine and voila.

We don’t really need another history lesson so for the sake of this article let’s focus on the massive four-stroke powerhouses found in full size pick-up trucks, SUVs and in the case of the Phoenix Sprinter…2 horse vans.

Diesel and gasoline engines are about as similar as they are different and at this point we will describe these differences and highlight the benefits and the potential short comings of each.

Gasoline engines function using a four-stroke combustion cycle that includes an intake stroke, a compression stroke, a combustion stroke and an exhaust stroke.  Automobile engines contain 4, 6 or 8 cylinders that draw fuel and air from a carburetor or fuel injector that is premixed and ignited by a spark-plug at the end of the compression stroke.  Gasoline engines are more common and in many ways simpler and require less maintenance (or at least the maintenance is less complex).

Rudolf Diesel discovered that higher compression resulted in higher efficiency and more power (a gasoline engine compresses at a ratio of 8:1 to 12:1 while a diesel engine compresses at a ratio of 12:1 to as high as 25:1).   Diesel fuel also has a much higher energy density than gasoline and as a result is much more efficient and packs a bigger punch per gallon (1 gallon of diesel contains approximately 155×106 joules equaling 147,000 BTU whereas 1 gallon of gasoline contains 132×106 joules equaling125,000 BTU).  Diesel also contains more carbon atoms in longer chains making it easier to refine which is why it used to be cheaper than gasoline.  But increased demand for diesel fuel has forced an increase in price.

Diesel engines use the same four-stroke combustion cycles (intake, compression, combustion and exhaust) however there are slight modifications.  As stated above, it’s really a matter of compression.  Gasoline engines have compression limits due to the risk of air being compressed too much and creating “knocking” within the engine.  With diesel engines, the fuel is injected directly into the cylinder and combusts as a result of the massive compression exerted on it.

Both gasoline and diesel engines can be fine-tuned and modified to increase overall horsepower and efficiency using a variety of methods such as cold-air intakes, super chargers, aftermarket exhaust systems and turbo chargers (we may elaborate on these modifications at a later date).

This is all great to know but the question in the minds of many is which one is better?

The truth is it’s a preference thing.  Just like Coke and Pepsi, McDonalds and Burger King or Ford and Chevy…people like what they like for a number of reasons.

Diesel engines may be more powerful and fuel efficient but they tend to be more expensive to buy and maintain.  The cost of fuel is also significantly higher.  Diesel engines do not emit nearly as much carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide as their gas guzzling buddies and in the age of the global warming and ozone deterioration these are things worth considering.

Whichever you prefer, both are excellent sources of the kind of power you need when  you decide to hitch-up and hit the road.  Now when it comes to what frame, body and manufacturer you choose…that’s something we’d rather not get into as the Ford, Chevy and Dodge lovers of the world tend to get a little heated in that debate.  Not to mention the slew of other auto-makers that have thrown their lot into the ring of contention (Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hummer, etc.).

We hope that you found this article helpful or at the very least interesting.  Though we do not dabble in engine repair, we pretty much do everything else here at Phoenix Coach Works and if your ‘everything else’ needs a little attention please don’t hesitate to contact us.

History must wait for another day.  On June 8th, owner J. Paul Reddam and trainer Doug O’Neal announced that the chestnut colt they call I’ll Have Another would not be running the Belmont Stakes due to a swollen left tendon.  In fact, the heavy favorite and winner of both the Preakness Stakes and Kentucky Derby was retired from racing entirely the day before he would sprint for history.

With history and sprinting on the mind, perhaps this is the perfect opportunity to disclose and discuss the Phoenix Sprinter Two-Horse Euro-Van.  Only recently introduced to our line-up, this two horse van is not only compact, fuel-efficient and stylish but also has in interesting history that aligns perfectly with the standard of quality that we hold dear at Phoenix Coach Works.

The Mercedes Benz 3500 series chassis is the product of innovative evolution dating back to 1896 when Gottlieb Daimler created the first truck.  That same year, another German engineer named Karl Benz created the first van which he dubbed a “combination delivery vehicle.”

To make a long story short, in 1926 the two merged to form Daimler-Benz AG and began producing commercial vans, trucks and busses under the name Mercedes Benz.  Add to that the corporate purchase of the U.S. based Freightliner Corporation in 1981 and you end up with the Sprinter Van chassis introduced in 1995.

The modern Mercedes Benz 3500 series Sprinter Chassis is available in 144” and 170” wheelbase models and comes complete with:

–          2,987cc 6-cylinder turbo diesel engine that delivers 188hp at 3,800 rpm and 325lb-ft torque between 1,400-2,400 rpm.

–          Rear-wheel driven 5-speed automatic transmission.

–          Rack and pinion steering for increased responsiveness, control and maneuverability.

–          Independent front suspension with reinforced leaf springs.

–          4-wheel disc brakes.

–          Streamline cabin that comfortably fits 3 people.

Using this chassis as a foundation, we take the reins and finish the job by constructing a spacious cabin with a 10’x7’ rear-facing two-horse stall, a spacious 3’x7’ tack area, 6’ spring assisted side ramp, four 24”x30” drop down windows and two 24”x30” slide windows.

With a total length of approximately 22’, the van has a turning diameter just under 55’ and in the case that you plan to haul additional cargo, this unit comes equipped with a hitch to pull a trailer.

Keep in mind that as with all our creations, you always have the option to customize your Phoenix Two Horse Van.

If you have any questions at all regarding any of our services or products (toy haulers, 4 horse trailers, 6 horse trailers, Phoenix Sprinter 2 Horse Van or enclosed trailers) please feel free to contact our team to schedule a consultation.  We look forward to speaking with you.

Not long ago, we decided to have a little fun with our blog by sharing a few little-known facts about the history of thoroughbred horses in light of the Kentucky Derby.  As it turns out, the 2012 race for the Triple Crown has been one for the history books as a 3-year old colt named I’ll Have Another and 25-yeard old jockey Mario Gutierrez  prepare for the Belmont Stakes having won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.  If they finish first on June 9th they will become the 12th team in history to win the Triple Crown and the first in 34 years.

Horse-racing updates aside, we would again like to delve into the archives and provide a little insight into something that we at Phoenix Coach Works know very well.

Whether we are building a new 2 horse van or 4 horse trailer or repairing and remodeling an existing trailer into let’s say…an enclosed toy hauler RV, it’s safe to say with over 60 years of combined experience among our staff, we know a thing or two about bonding, fastening and repairing metal.

While there are many ways that metals can be bonded, fastened and repaired (such as riveting, brazing and soldering) one such method reigns supreme…welding.  Knowing how to weld both properly and safely can provide job security in any market not to mention produce quality products and services to those in need.

A lot of people know how to weld and a lot of people do it well.  But what most people DON’T know…is how welding works and the history behind its succession.  For that reason, we would like to offer this brief expose on welding.

To fully understand why welding reigns supreme, we need to understand all methods of bonding metal.  Riveting is merely joining two pieces of metal by pressing fasteners into holes drilled through both while brazing and soldering introduce a bonding agent with a lower melting point that acts as an adhesive between the bonded surfaces.  Welding on the other hand, is the physical bonding of two pieces of metal ultimately creating a solid seam.

The origins of welding are found as far back as the Bronze Age when metal would be forged using heat and pressure.  Forge welding occurs when a blacksmith heats two pieces of metal just shy of melting and pounds them together using a hammer and anvil.  Forge welding has many limitations in that only soft metals can be forged and the process is very labor intensive.  Fortunately this ancient technique has not gone the way of the dinosaur as it is still used in places without electricity.

Forge welding dominated for hundreds of years before the tools for simpler yet stronger welding techniques were put into place thanks to the industrial revolution.  Using electricity, welders discovered they could bind metals much more efficiently using less physical exertion.  This technique became known as arc welding.

Using electricity to alter metallic properties and more easily bond metals has allowed for stronger fusions and more precise techniques.  As welding has evolved a great deal beyond the forge technique of the past and even the arc method of today, welders can now work in extreme conditions including underwater and outer space.  Modern welding methods include MIG, TIG, resistance, electron beam and plasma welding and are explained in detail using diagrams on WeldingEngineer.com.

As always this presentation would not be complete without a safety reminder.

While welding may be interesting and even cool it can also be dangerous and is most definitely hot (welding generates temperatures up to 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit/5,538 degrees Celsius).  A welder should always wear heat resistant gloves and a protective welding mask.  Proper ventilation is also important as welders may be exposed to harmful substances such as lead, mercury and carbon monoxide.  If ever you are near a person welding, resist the urge to watch without proper protection.  Watching a weld without protection can result in what’s known as arc eye, a painful inflammation of the cornea that feels like you have sand in your eye.

As with any topic, there is much more to learn if you wish to do so.  Welding is an important part of most industrial jobs and is something we use every day at Phoenix Coach Works.  In our opinion good welding is important but great welding is an art.  Here at Phoenix we approach every job, whether it’s a custom build or a simple repair, as our canvas and we are the Van Goghs, Rembrandts, Picassos and Michelangelos of our industry.

So if you notice some rust on the fenders, a crack in the frame or any type of damage to the structure of your trailer or vehicle, please contact Phoenix Coach Works and we will safety and efficiently get you back on the road.

We take absolute pride in everything we do and treat every job as if it’s a precious piece of art.  If we didn’t, we’d be out of work and you’d be out of luck.

Upon reading our blog, discovering our services and contacting our office for consultation you may find yourself wondering how we came to be known as Phoenix Coach Works.

Our name is a tribute to Phoenixville Pennsylvania, an old steel-mill town 35 miles northwest of Philadelphia where we began our company 28 years ago.  Though we have since moved to our current location in Pottstown, Pa, the name Phoenix Coach Works still  conveys relevance to the type of services we provide.

A Phoenix is a mythological bird with vibrant plumage and a tail of gold.  Every 500 years the Phoenix builds a nest where it wildly bursts into flames and crumbles to ash.  From these ashes a new Phoenix will emerge to soar the heavens for another 500 years.  Due to its perpetual life-cycle, the Phoenix has come to represent immortality, rebirth and renewal.

That is precisely what Phoenix Coach Works provides for our customers.  We build our custom trailers using the highest quality standards and perform a variety of other services that will renew your vessel.  Our sole purpose in business is to ensure that the trailers we build and service remain on the road for years to come.

Tow-vehicles can really take a beating while on the road so if you currently own a 4-horse trailer, 2-horse van, utility trailer or toy hauler that is need of repair or restoration, let Phoenix Coach Works immortalize your rig.  And while your unit is being pampered by our experienced staff, make it a true Phoenix with a custom design.

Just storm your brain and create a wish-list for your trailer.  Anything you’ve ever dreamt would make towing and traveling easier, just let us know and we can help resolve your concerns.  If safety is your top priority, you’ve come to the right place.  Our staff has over 60 combined years of experience in the industry and if there’s something to raise a brow about, we’ve probably seen it before.

Regardless of your needs, Phoenix Coach Works has the ability to satisfy them.  We have been going strong now for 28 years and look forward to 28 more.  Even in the face of a depressed economy we will thrive and continue to provide the highest standard of quality service available in the industry.

So if you’re looking to purchase a new 2-horse van, toy hauler or enclosed trailer or simply need repair work to bring your existing trailer back into operating condition, please contact Phoenix Coach Works and schedule a consultation.

We do what we do so you can do what you love.

‘To serve as a diversion rather than for serious or practical use’, that’s the definition of “toy”.

The notion of what a toy is has a tendency to change over time.  Children play with toys in the form of action figures, dolls or building blocks.  As they become teenagers, the thought of playing with toys becomes ‘uncool’ but teens play board games, video games and on their smart phones and computers just the same.  But when teenagers cross that dreaded threshold into adulthood, something strange happens; the idea of owning and playing with toys begins to surface again.  Only now, the toys are larger, more expensive and require time and maintenance to keep them functional.

These toys range from classic cars and motorcycles to any variety of off-road vehicles.  Adult toys are fast, shiny and fun to ride or drive.  And just as a child takes his/her favorite toy to school for show- and-tell, adults like to show their toys to their friends and tell about the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into them.  But toys this size can’t be shoved into a pocket or a backpack.  These toys need their own kind of special transportation.  These toys need toy haulers.

Lucky for you Phoenix Coach Works also builds toy-haulers and enclosed trailers as well as custom horse trailers.  All designs are fully customizable but rest assured that everything we build is done to the following standards:

  •  seamless aluminum roofs to withstand leaks
  • axle/tire combination specifically designed to your needs
  • pressure treated plywood floor with undercoat to prevent rotting
  • all-steel frame with aluminum exterior
  • full unit insulation

With this in mind, let us we take a moment to showcase the Phoenix Bike and Car RV.  This home away from home can fit two motorcycles in the 8’ width or a car in the 8.5’ version.  You find all the amenities you desire in the bathroom complete with a shower, vanity, toilet and remote electric fan.  The kitchen boasts a 2-burner cook-top with a fan, microwave, sink and a 2.5 cubic foot refrigerator/freezer.  And after a long day on the trail or in basking in the sun, you can relax and replenish yourself using the fold-down couch and dinette that easily converts into a bed.  The Phoenix Bike and Car RV is available in lengths ranging from 16’ to 24.’

It’s very important to choose the correct design for your needs so if you have any questions at all regarding our toy haulers and enclosed trailers (including 4, 6 or 8 horse trailers or a Phoenix Coach Works series van) please contact our staff and schedule a consultation.  With over 25 years of experience in over the road hauling and custom fabrication, we’ll hook you up!

We are proud to provide quality service and satisfaction to our customers.  Even more, we are happy to do it.

Here at Phoenix Coach Works, we are fully aware that many of you are seasoned travelers, having towed horse-trailers, RVs or toy haulers hundreds of times and thousands of miles throughout your life.  However, in recent weeks we have been focusing our attention on proper towing techniques and other safety related items. Our purpose is not to bore or insult the intelligence and experience of our weathered vets but rather to educate and inform those who are just beginning their travels.

Whether you tow a 6×8 tilt-bed or a 4 horse trailer with a tack room and sleeping quarters, there are certain techniques and driving habits that must be learned and observed.  If a driver fails to abide by these principles, vehicles, trailers, people and their animals may fall victim to their negligence and unsafe towing practices.  That is why it is important to discuss safety at such lengths.

Practice, Practice, Practice:  Before cruising on the interstate, you’ll need to get some practice operating your rig.  Even if it’s a small trailer, the additional weight as well as your extended length will change the way your vehicle handles.  If you’re used to heavy, last-minute braking, you need to practice giving yourself more space and time to slow your rig to a stop.

One of the most frequent complications when towing a trailer is backing up.  Practicing backing will not only ensure the safety of your rig and those riding in it, but it’ll impress bystanders as they watch you finesse your trailer into position.

WIDE LOAD:  If you’re towing a trailer or RV that has a wider wheelbase than your vehicle, you will need to replace the standard side mirrors with a larger set or install mirror extensions.  You also want to consider the length and width of your rig when making any spatial judgments including turns and passing other vehicles (most likely you’ll be the one getting passed as safe towing requires driving at reduced speeds).

Keep it steady:  Aside from being scary, trailer sway can be extremely hazardous and cause your rig to jackknife if not corrected promptly.  In order to prevent trailer sway, make sure your load is evenly distributed and maintain a steady, consistent speed with as little lane change as possible.  If your trailer has independent brakes, you can correct trailer sway by applying the trailer brakes without the vehicle brakes.

It seems that almost anything truly enjoyable comes with some sort of risk or hazard.  Traveling while towing a trailer is no different.  Whether you’re hauling quads in your enclosed trailer or livestock in your 6 horse trailer, safety should always be your number one concern.

And if you happen to discover something during your rig’s inspection that needs repair or slight fabrication, please contact Phoenix Coach Works and schedule a consultation.  We take pride in what we do so you can take pride in what you tow.

Although last week’s blog contained a lot of valuable towing information with a comedic twist, we want to continue our exploration of tow-weight capacities and vehicle requirements this week.  There are many other factors that must be considered when attaching a trailer to your vehicle besides a vehicle’s maximum towing capacity.

Before you even think about towing, have your ball and hitch inspected by a qualified hitch installation company.  They will determine your maximum tongue weight which is typically 10% of the hitch’s rated capacity.  If you are unsure of the loaded weight of your horse trailer, toy hauler or RV, Phoenix Coach Works recommends being safe rather than sorry in regard your hitch and ball setup until you can get your rig to a weigh station.

Your trailer should sit level when attached to the towing vehicle with little or no sag in its rear.  Once you know the total weight of your trailer, be sure to place your load as follows:

Single Axle 10% minimum/15% maximum
Tandem Axle 9% to 15%
Travel Trailer 11% to 12%
5th Wheel 15% to 25%


Inspect your safety chain for broken or damaged links and attach them in a crisscross fashion to provide a saddle in the incident that your hitch or tongue should fail.

Another important factor is the wheelbase of the towing vehicle and the length of the unit being towed.  People who tow small utility trailers with relatively short wheelbase SUVs may not be affected but when you haul a 4, 6 or 9 horse trailer weighing 15-20 thousand pounds and measuring between 15 and 30 feet, you need a much longer wheelbase to handle the extended load.

A general rule of thumb is that the bridge length (length from the pivot point of the tongue to the center of the trailer’s axle) should be 1.25 times the towing vehicle’s wheelbase.  Most ½, ¾ and 1 ton pickups with an extended cab and 8ft beds work well for long trailers as long as you comply with the vehicle’s maximum towing capacity.

There are many more details that must be considered depending on your specific setup [vehicle, vessel and items being towed, and distance and roadways traveled].

If you have any questions or to arrange a consultation for a custom built trailer, trailer accessory installation or general trailer repair and maintenance, please contact Phoenix Coach Works directly.  With over 60 years of combined experience in the hauling and towing industry, our expert will be able to steer you and your rig in the right direction.

Feel free to join us next week as we discuss trailer operating techniques including backing and braking.  From safety to proper hauling practices, we know the importance of keeping a vehicle on the road and we do what do to make that possible.

*Tongue weight chart courtesy of Sherline trailer loading and towing guide.

Following a little bit of fun last week with our thoroughbred expose, it’s time to get back to business. In past months our blogs have ranged from traveling checklists to trailer tire selection and maintenance.  At this point it almost feels as if we’ve discussed nearly every possible topic related to towing horse trailers, toy haulers and RVs.  However, as with everything we do, our dedicated staff is committed to consistently providing a quality product for our visitors and customers each week.

It’s probably safe to assume that many of you are familiar with big box retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot.  If so, it’s likely that you have seen someone loading their vehicle with a much heavier burden than what it’s designed to carry; to the extent of shattered leaf-springs, blown-out tires or front wheels lifting off the ground.

If laughter truly is the best medicine, then hang around the contractor’s area long enough and it’s almost certain you will see someone overloading their compact SUV or hybrid crossover.  You will be healed…repeatedly.

So why are all these folks over loading their vehicles?  Maybe no one ever told them that too much weight in the trunk or bed can greatly affect the way their car handles (i.e. braking and steering) not to mention causing unnecessary wear to the drive-train, suspension and tires.  Maybe they think that a few extra bags of concrete over the axle of their tilt-bed trailer won’t make that much of a difference.  Or maybe they just don’t care.  Whatever the reason, let this anecdote serve as a warning: DO NOT OVERLOAD YOUR VEHICLE.

Vehicles are built to withstand certain load extremes set by the manufacturer and ignoring these regulations can land you in serious trouble.  You can be fined for hauling more weight than what your vehicle is rated and potential repairs would only add insult to injury.  That is why we have included a link to the Online Towing Guide that outlines a variety of popular vehicles and the towing capacity that they are rated for.

If you tow a trailer or use your truck or SUV for light duty hauling, do yourself a favor and find it on this list.  Doing so will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.  You can avoid costly and unnecessary damages to your vehicle and you won’t have to take off  work to plead your case at the local courthouse.

That goes without saying that you will keep everyone who rides in your vehicle safe.  And as we remind our readers each and every week, safety is the most important part of hauling and towing.   Once you have that covered, your mind will be at ease and you can enjoy the rest of the trip.

As always, if you have any questions regarding towing guidelines, custom trailer construction, trailer repair or trailer maintenance please feel free to contact Phoenix Coach Works for more information.

Be safe and enjoy the ride!

If you’re a frequent visitor to this site or follow our blog regularly, you are well aware that we offer a variety of services ranging from trailer accessory installation to custom-designed trailer construction.  In recent weeks we have discussed at length many of the designs we offer such as the Phoenix Sprinter 2-horse van and reminded trailer owners about many of the MUSTs that accompany towing a trailer including insurance and proper maintenance/inspection techniques.

Although we take our business here at Phoenix Coach Works very seriously, sometimes we like to embrace the opportunity to lighten up and have some fun.  As many of our clients are horse-lovers we thought it would be fun to discuss one of the world’s most prestigious events: the Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing.

The Triple Crown is awarded to the horse and jockey that win the three most prestigious events in the sport; the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes.  There has not been a Triple Crown winner since 1978 when Steve Cauthen rode to victory atop Affirmed, a three year old colt owned by Harbor View Farm and trained by Lazarro S. Barrera.  With the Kentucky Derby scheduled on May 5th, the Preakness on May 19th and the Belmont Stakes on June 9th, the tension is beginning to rise as the world’s finest competitors race toward greatness.  That said let’s take a look at what makes thoroughbred racing such a fascinating sport: the athlete.

It may come as a surprise to learn that the thoroughbred breed is only 300 years old.  Around the beginning of the 18th century, three stallions known for their speed, courage and agility were brought from the orient to England where they mated with large English mares.  These three horses, the Darley Barb, the Byerly Turk and the Godolphin Arabian, are known as the foundation sires and all thoroughbred bloodlines can be traced back to at least one.

In combining these breeds the result was a large, powerful animal with light bones literally born to race.  Thoroughbreds also have two unique characteristics that make them particularly suited for lengthy, high speed sprints.

Their long necks move in unison with their front legs, propelling them forward as their hind legs spring in a straight line, further enhancing the efficiency of each stride.  The average stride length of a thoroughbred horse is more than 20 feet and they are capable of taking 150 strides per minute reaching speeds of 40mph.

The ability to endure such speeds throughout a race is due to an extremely efficient oxygen delivery system.  Breathing only through their nose, thoroughbreds inhale while extended and exhale when their legs come together, similar to a bellows.  Their large heart circulates 75 gallons of blood per minute and their spleen increases red blood cell production from 35 to 65 percent to provide ample oxygen during races.

We could spend another 400 words elaborating on how thoroughbred bloodlines are tracked, the rules of the Jockey Club regarding the qualifications of an animal and the capacious industry that has grown from the loins of the three foundation sires but at this point we will bring it full circle and part ways on a professional note.

If you happen to be or know someone who is involved in thoroughbred racing, let Phoenix Coach Works help to safely and efficiently transport your valued animals.  From independent race teams who need 4 and 6 horse trailers to commercial haulers that desire an 8, 9 or 15 horse trailer and everything in between, Phoenix Coach Works has a design that will work for you.

If you’re not really into horses but find yourself still reading, leave a message or pick up the phone and let us know how we can help you build or repair your motorcycle trailer, car trailer or toy hauler.

Let Phoenix Coach Works make your new or old trailer move like a thoroughbred…unique and efficient.

In several past articles we have mentioned the necessary supplies of traveling while pulling a trailer.  From emergency and first aid kits to paperwork and other miscellaneous must-have items, Phoenix Coach Works’ main concern is that our customers and those who visit our site travel safely while still having a great time.

That said, even the most prepared and cautious travelers have been known to have bad experiences.  As the saying goes, “accidents happen,” and we would hate to see you left in the dark if something was ever to happen to you or your trailer.  For this reason we would like to take time this week to discuss trailer-towing regulation and insurance.

Whether you’re traveling to a horse competition, a fox-hunt gathering or a prestigious car show, the most important part of any trip is mapping your quest and preparing for the road ahead.  However, one thing that often goes overlooked while traveling interstate is the variance in towing laws.

Before we discuss these differences, let’s go over a few things that are an absolute must regardless of where you’re headed.  No matter where you travel, you WILL NEED taillights and a light for your license plate.  Though not required in every state the following items are just as important while pulling a horse trailer, toy hauler, custom trailer or recreation vehicle: safety chains, brake lights, clearance lights, turn-signals, reflectors and breakaway brakes.

While many states share similar requirements for people hauling trailers, some states may have different regulations that complicate traveling interstate.

For example, if you’re traveling from Alabama to Mississippi, you could suddenly be exceeding the maximum towing speed without even knowing (towing speed decreases by 10mph), you’re trailer may be too wide (maximum width narrows by 6 inches) and you may find yourself without trailer brakes in a state that requires them.

To avoid any of these mishaps, and the fines and penalties that go with them, be sure to always check the towing laws and regulations of the states you plan to travel through.  Doing so will not only keep you on track by avoiding any holdups, but it will also protect your pocketbook and driving record.

In the case that an accident does occur, you want to be absolutely certain that all damages to your trailer are fully covered when you bring it to Phoenix Coach Works for repair.  When you spend 10’s of thousands of dollars on a 4 horse trailer, you want the security of knowing that it is insured in the event that anything should happen. Enter…trailer insurance.

Just as individual states can complicate traveling with a trailer, auto insurance companies often do the same.  While some companies will cover liability and partial damages for a trailer accident that occurs while on the road, others will leave you to foot the entire bill for repair.  That is why you need to read your policy’s fine print and if you have any questions, call your customer service representative.

If it just so happens that there is limited or no guaranteed coverage for your trailer, it may be time to start looking for trailer insurance.  Even though some companies may cover trailer accidents that occur while towing, this does not protect you from natural disasters such as fire and flood.  Many companies that specialize in RV insurance also provide trailer insurance as well.  Not to mention that many major insurance companies offer additional coverage for trailers. Something else to consider is if something happens to your trailer while it is on your property, it may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance.

Lastly, once you have hashed out your insurance woes regarding your trailer, be sure to find out if any of your insurers have safety standards that must be followed to ensure your insurance.

As always, we hope that you have found this article both helpful and informative.  If you are currently in need of repair, custom construction or a difficult install please feel free to contact Phoenix Coach Works.  You may also contact us if you have any further questions regarding finding and obtaining trailer insurance.

And remember…in a time when it’s difficult to trust and rely on anyone, Phoenix Coach Works is here for you!