Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I've been looking into getting a trailer, to use for my entire show setups, with the artwork.
My medium is Photography.
Goal is to have EVERYTHING in the trailer. Leave it in there between shows.
Thin king 5x8 or 6x10 might be fine.
Trailer is just for show stuff, not a human lodging (unless I'm feeling extra cheap)
Will mostly pull with an Avalanche (4x4, 7000# tow, factory installed tow system with extra coolers, Very capable vehicle)
I do not believe load / weight capacity would be an issue with my medium.
In research I've been given differing, contrasting opinions.
A) One axle or Two:
I) One axle is less on tolls, less parts wear etc.
II) Two axle... if only one axle and I get a blow out, trailer may flip and destroy artwork., A single flat tire, disables trailer until repaired, whereas two axles allows me to continue to drive it (with tire removed) until I feel like replacing tire.
III) Multiple axle less worry on load balancing.
B) Brakes... to stop or not:
I think having brakes in the trailer is very good idea.
I) To surge or not to surge?
II) Electric brakes that need adjusting or setting each time you change load.
III) Other braking options?
C) Size matters (despite what some say):
I) I would like it to be as small as possible for parking, show maneuverability etc.
II) Currently everything fits into the Avalanche, with a cargo truck cap and midgate down. However expertise in packing has been utilized. Must allow for expansion too.
III) Is walking height important? Is low height to allow for clearance of 7'2" as many parking garages, more important?
D) Tailgate & Doors:
I) I believe the drop down door becoming a ramp would be best. Saves lifting, allows to roll out on carts.
II) Want front door also for flexible access.
III) Have been told front doors might leak (disastrous to photography)
IV) Long tailgate / ramp impedes on space at show setups
E) Just Venting here:
I) roof vent reduces heat, cleaner air.
II) Roof vents WILL eventually leak see disastrous above)
F) Keep it for myself or allow others to "borrow"
I) A boot for the wheel like police use
II) just a hitch lock when it is not attached to vehicle.
III) Don't bother and assume no one likes my art enough to steal the trailer
Just trailers. Not the Sprinter VS Trailer discussion, please.
The end of last summer we bought a new 6x10 single axle. We were going to buy smaller but at the last minute decided to up to the 6x10. It's roof is high enough inside that dh, who is 5'11" can stand up straight in it. No stooping over. He is thankful for that. The others we had looked at would not allow him to stand up straight. This was important to us, maybe not to everyone. It saves on the back and legs when you can stand up straight.
Dh had brakes installed on our trailer. It is pulled using our 2011 Suburban which already had a towing package on it. I don't know all the details of our brakes but can ask dh if anyone is interested. The added brakes did save us well after dark from a show. Some idiot decided to brake suddenly and pull off quickly on to the shoulder. Though we were following at a safe distance the suddenness required that the trailer brakes kick in. It saved us from a pile up for sure.
We got double doors that swing out on the back, as well as a single curbside door (passenger side) that swings out. The kind that act as a ramp require more room when parking at your booth to load unload. The doors like we have open completely and dh has rigged it so they will stay open to allow easy access. We have a step stool just inside at the back and side for easier entry/exit from the trailer.
Dh had a venting system put in. It keeps it cooler in our hot summers here in south Louisiana. It is the kind that can remain open when traveling down the road.
Our trailer has at least some of our stuff loaded in it at all times. So loaning it out would be an effort. A trailer is quite an investment, even on the low end of costs. It is not something we take lightly when considering loaning it out. It is covered by our auto insurance when hitched and homeowners when sitting at home. We have a hitch lock for when it's hitched and a boot when it's sitting in the driveway or unattended at a show.
We have keyed locks on both doors any time we are not actively working on stuff in the trailer or doing maintenance on it.
I had asked a dealer about upgrading the locks. They had no options for it. I understand the traditional door locks are inferior. So I will have to come up with a better solution.
Our locks were from the dealer. Dh go them. I'll try to get a picture later today.
The size of trailer you mentioned 5x8,6x10, I'm not sure if it's available with double axle? But I don't think it's necessary for what you will be using it for. Single axle should be fine. If you get brakes for the trailer, you'll need to get the brake controller for your vehicle. Without trailer brakes, you'll need a couple of extra seconds to brake but it really doesn't sound like your trailer will be very heavy? Roof vent is worth it, will help release the heat. Mine never leaked unless I forgot to close. I would get the ramp, easier to roll equipment into trailer. Now, what I would do differently is upgrade the locking mechanism of the doors. Something that can't be cut with bolt cutters. I've had 3-4 break ins without anything ever stolen once the thieves realized what was in there. But they are looking for tools which they will assume you are a contractor. Eventually I just left the trailer unlocked so I wouldn't have to replace parts.
I learned the hard way about overloading a trailer and GVWR. Had 4-5 blown tires on a single axle 7x14 trailer in 2-3 yr period. Never close to flipping over so really shouldn't be an issue for you. One tip on smaller trailer vs. larger trailer is smaller trailers are harder to control in reverse. Greater tendency to move whichever way. Larger heavier trailers you have more control going in reverse. Lastly, I would upgrade the tires to the highest 'ply' you can buy for that particular size tire. So if you go with a single axle, find one that will hold a larger tire. With larger tires, you have a greater chance to find say a "10-ply" tire vs. a cheap 4-ply tire. And of course always have a fresh spare.
I was considering no spare.
My reasoning: I have roadside assistance coverage. My vehicles all have very good tires. Although they all have spares, I have not used a spare in over 20 years. If the trailer has double axle I would not need a spare while on the road unless I get two flats at the same time. Saves space (which is a premium). as I'm thinking of a triangle / V front there is not good room for the spare on the outside. A spare is only good for storage a limited time span. when not being used, baking in the sun, they dry rot. Sooo. I was thinking no spare and if I have to buy another tire... while on the road it will be rare and a savings.
My avalanche I've had for 15 years. It still has the original spare. A garage told me DON'T USE IT! Open to opinions, I'm no tire expert.
I could be wrong but most likely your car tire won't fit your trailer tire. What are the chances a garage will have a 'specialty' tire that will fit your trailer? Trailer tires are anywhere from 12-16". Your Avalanche is likely in 18-22" range. Most likely AAA or any other RA won't have access to your specific tire needs. You will have to find a trailer/Uhaul dealer. A double axle trailer won't get to get very far on 3 tires. $100 investment, have it mounted on the front or side for another $100/150. Being stuck just once, you'll wish you had.
I don't know enough about it. A dealer told me, with a double axle, I could drive cross country with one flat. He said just remove the blown wheel and continue to drive, without a problem. Again, I don't know, that is why I ask.
I'm not worried about the expense.
I'm well aware my Avalanche wheels would not fit the trailer.
I always carried a spare for my boat trailer and that was double axle.
I just figured in a road flat situation, with double axles I would just complete my trip and get it fixed / replaced when I had time.
We got a spare. We also have a v front on our trailer. Dh has it and other necessary tire changing tools right inside the curbside door. Having the spare gives us peace of mind, especially when considering we often travel after dark when coming home from shows. We don't have to wait for roadside assistance.
Toss the spare and get a new one. The rubber compound breaks down over the years, even after little or no use. Some tire companies recommend replacing tires after 8-10 years, regardless of use.
I had read of this before. Yet, I also read where this was false.
I don't know enough to determine which is accurate. Guess I'll have to research more.
Same with us - we just bought this set up and hope that it works for us - car and trailer both new (to us) so that we can haul everything to shows. Did not purchase trailer with brakes, but got all security measures. it's a 5x8. We have 20 shows scheduled through Sept. and hope this setup will do the trick. Still sorting out business personal property insurance for contents at this point, but hopefully we have the right set up to get us around. I personally would not loan out the trailer due to insurance issues. We did get a boot, puck lock and hitch lock. And while we can't stand upright in it, we felt it was enough for us with the side door, venting and back door. We will bring a dolly to get everything we need to the tent set up spots. As newbies, we're gleaning most everything from ArtFair insiders (bless you all) and hopefully are making the right decisions! Good luck!
My comment about "borrow" was a joke about others stealing my trailer. Not meant to imply "loaning" it out.
I've been told the prices down south are significantly less than up north, NJ / PA areas. Has anyone found the price difference significant enough to warrant the extra costs in acquisition?