What Are Trailers Made Of?

What Is The Best Material For A Trailer?

presserure treated lumber for trailer floor

The best material for a trailer to be made of is either aluminum or steel. Being the best material for a trailer means it has to be excellent in many ways, for example, the material payload capacity, its maneuverability, Durability, acknowledging which material will last you the longest, and its cost. If you’re researching the best material for your trailer, you might come across steel or aluminum. In this blog, we’ll cover the best trailer material. 

Payload capacity

When it comes to payload capacity, it depends on the size of the trailer you are purchasing as well as if it’s a tandem axle or a single axle (you can check that on the VIN). The thicker the axle, the more it will haul. Standard steel utility trailers have a payload capacity of 4,400 lbs, while classic aluminum utility trailers have 3,000 lbs. Knowing the payload capacity the material of a trailer will hold is very important. Enclosed steel and aluminum trailers have more payload capacity than utility trailers. The enclosed steel trailer has a payload capacity of 5,000 pounds. In comparison, enclosed aluminum trailers have a payload capacity of 7000 pounds.


Maneuverability is an essential factor to consider when looking for the best trailer material. Aluminum trailers are the best for maneuverability because they make it easier to make sharp turns and maneuver than steel trailers because they are lightweight. Stable maneuverability over your trailer gives you control when driving through curvy roads with a heavy load. If you have control/maneuverability over your trailer, you could avoid jackknifing your trailer.


Compared to steel trailers, aluminum trailers have more Durability. Since steel trailers are prone to getting corrosion and rust. Aluminum trailers are corrosion-resistant as well as rust-resistant and have better Durability overall. Both steel and aluminum material trailers need upkeep maintenance over time.


Well, cover the advantages and disadvantages in the lower sections. As mentioned above, steel trailers are prone to corrosion, which is very bad for a trailer and can weaken your trailer. Regarding longevity, aluminum trailers are the best, with a lifespan of 15 years, while steel trailers have a shorter lifespan because there are so many factors that damage a steel trailer. 


When it comes to cost, steel trailers are much cheaper than aluminum trailers. Aluminum trailers could be more expensive than a steel trailer, but it gives their worth with multiple benefits. For example, it will not rust over time, has more weight capacity than a stolen trailer, and better maneuverability when overturned with a heavy load. Steel trailers could be cheaper than aluminum but lead to problems over time.

How Do I Know If My Trailer Is Steel Or Aluminum?

6 5x16 used alum utility 1

There are many ways to check if your trailer is steel or aluminum. You can try attaching a magnet to the trailer to see if it sticks. If it sticks to the trailer, it is a steel trailer. If it doesn’t, it’s an aluminum trailer. Since magnets don’t attach to aluminum. Aluminum trailers are resistant to rust, so if you see rust, it’s a steel trailer.

Aluminum vs. Steel Trailer

6 5x16 used alum utility 1

Steel trailers are very sturdy and stronger than aluminum trailers. Aluminum trailers are lightweight and have multiple benefits over steel trailers. Steel trailers are a significant investment if you live in a snowy, rainy weather area because steel trailers are heavier and provide excellent traction on the road than aluminum trailers. Aluminum trailers are better with fuel economy than steel trailers, and you can haul more loads than steel trailers. If you are planning to use your trailer for a long time investing in an aluminum trailer is your best option. Here are some of the pros and cons of aluminum and steel trailers.

Aluminum Trailer Pros

  • Rust and corrosion-resistant
  • Lightweight 
  • Longer lifespan
  • Fewer damages
  • Different sizes available than a steel trailer
  • Easy to haul

Aluminum Trailer Cons

  • Expensive
  • Low Hardness

Steel Trailer Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Stronger and durable
  • It can be nailed and screwed 
  • Sustainable material
  • More rigid
  • Drives and handles excellent in heavy weather conditions

Steel Trailer Cons

  • Rusts over time
  • The floor of steel trailers gets damaged more than aluminum trailers 
  • It has a lower resale value compared to aluminum trailers

Galvanized Steel vs. Regular steel 

steel vs galavized trailer jpg

What is galvanized steel? Galvanized steel is a zinc coating that is applied over steel or iron to prevent them from getting rusted. Regular steel, on the other hand over time gets corrosion and results in deterioration over time. Galvanized steel trailers are better than standard steel trailers since galvanized trailers last longer than regular steel trailers.

Is Steel Stronger Than Aluminum?

Steel or aluminum which is stronger trailer

Steel trailers are stronger and sturdier than aluminum trailers, but that doesn’t mean aluminum trailers are not strong enough to withstand the load. Aluminum trailers could haul more loads than aluminum trailers because they are lightweight. 

How Long Will Aluminum Trailers Last?

How long would aluminum trailer last

Steel trailers have multiple downsides that affect their lifespan. Aluminum trailers last 10-15 years and more if properly maintained. Aluminum trailers could be expensive to purchase but are also cheaper to maintain and repair than steel trailers.

How Do I Keep My Steel Trailer From Rusting?

rusting trailer

How do you keep your steel trailer from rusting? Rusting is an enemy of steel because it will eat away the steel weakening the frame of your trailer when you’re hauling a heavy load. To solve this problem, paint the metal to prevent it from rotting, or you could get a galvanized trailer. Galvanizing your trailer means applying a coating of zinc to your trailer to prevent it from rusting as well as to stop it from spreading in your trailer. Another way is keeping your trailer clean by using a rust prevention product which could be a hassle after a long drive, but it’s worth it in the long run. 

What Kind Of Wood Is Used On The Trailer Floor?

heavy equipment trailer with pine floor

For trailer flooring, pressure-treated lumber is used because pressure-treated lumbers don’t rot and get damaged quickly like regular wood. Pressure-treated lumber is high quality, durable, and moisture resistant, making it the best for trailers. Pressure-treated lumber is also fire- and insect-resistant, giving it advantages over untreated wood. Most common wood floors rot and are weakened by insects that eat away the floor.

In-stock Trailers in Bowling Green, Kentucky

If you’re around Bowling Green, Kentucky, and you’re looking for an aluminum trailer, steel trailer, or galvanized steel trailer, we have you covered. We have car hauler trailers, heavy equipment trailers, and a variety of other trailers that are new as well as used that are built to last. Check out this link to view our inventory.

If you need trailer parts, Four Winds Store has a selection of trailer parts for your specific trailer. Whether you need trailer lights, trailer plugs in KY, or trailer jack stands we have what you need.