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The major trailer rental companies, such as U-Haul, often sell their older trailers. You will have to be the judge of the quality of any particular used trailer you may consider.


Who is going to own the trailer? Your chartered organization? I would be surprised if you could register the trailer in the troop's own name or get insurance through the troop's name. Troops are not legal entities that can enter into contracts or own property such as vehicles or real estate.

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1) the size of the trailer. buy the biggest you can afford. if your Troop is new, the trailer you need today will probably not be big enough for you five years down the road.


trailers dont depreciate much (at least those kept in good shape), so you may get a little more bang for your buck by buying a slightly used one. just be carefull that the lights/brakes all work well if buying used.


2)brand of trailer. specifically, check the structure of the internal frame of any trailer you look at- this is where one will be attaching shelving. as with most anything else, you get what you pay for.


3)braking systems. trailers with electric brakes will require vehicle(s) fitted with such.


4) extra costs, of course plates and insurance. check on insurance; just because one has auto/homeowners insurance that may cover the trailer in case of accident, some/all do not cover contents.


likewise, make sure where you store the trailer has insurance to cover contents as well, in case of fire, etc. remember, the Charter Org actually *owns* the trailer, so you'll need to start there for insurance questions (and for registering etc) & with their agents.


5) shelving and any decals will cost you extra.


6) get a trailer with both rear and side doors (if you can afford it). they are worth their weight in gold on rainy days


7) if you store LP in the trailer, make sure it has adequete ventilation


and hopefully you'll have a 4-wheel drive to pull it (especially if its heavy). while not necessary, i cant tell you how many axle-buried,two-wheel drive vans and trucks i have passed on rainy, mud-covered Scout-Camp roads, that were waiting for the ranger to pull them out with his tractor.


Good Luck in your search, & i hope this helps.

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Okay, this may be unpopular, but I'll give you my personal thoughts on troop trailers. These are my thoughts, and quite possibly mine alone, but having said that, here goes:


1) It's not a cost, but it is a potential one. Where are you going to store the troop trailer? Someone's driveway? The Church or school parking lot? Elsewhere? That thing is going to exist 24/7, so you have to park it somewhere. This is not an insurmountable hurtle, but it must be considered.


2) Others have brought up insurance, etc. so I don't need to go there.


Now we get to my philosophy about the things. Realize that I grew up in an era (1970's Scouting) when all the really cool troops had their own bus. Most were worn out school buses, but that's a story in itself. Secondly, my troop did just fine with no troop trailer and no bus.


The way I see it, here are some of the benefits of having a troop trailer:


a) All the troop's gear in one place

b) Good place to store equipment when not in use

c) If built to do so, can be used for shelter, cooking, storing food, etc.

d) The sides can be great advertising for a troop.

e) You don't need extra adults/vehicles just to haul gear


Those were in no particular order other than how they struck my little brain.


The down-side is easier for me to list because I've seen it happen too many times


1) Storage of the trailer itself will eventually become an issue. Okay, the church lets you park there . . . until 10 years from now when they have an addition built to the church, or it grows, or the city decides a trailer is a vehicle and can not be left out.


2) The troop grows reliant on the trailer and begins to limit its camping opportunities to places where they can park the trailer.


3) Eventually, you find two people consistently on campouts -- the Scoutmaster and the guy who hauls the trailer. When I was a Scoutmaster, there was a time or two when extra adults came along (and often stayed) because we had to haul boys and gear in multiple vehicles.


4) No, we didn't have our troop number, etc. pasted outside of a trailer -- which would have been good advertising. However, we did have multiple vehicles filled with boys in uniform inside, which with their propensity to wave at people also made good advertising.


5) I've seen this one myself. Troop trailers make it pretty easy to ignore gear that was put away wet or dirty until just before (or after) you need it on the next campout.


The disadvantages shouldn't rule out a troop trailer. All I'm saying is that I think taking the time to think it through -- long term (5-10 years) is worth it.


Just don't get me started on buses.



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I will second most of what has been said so far. Based on our experiance with our trailers. Buy the biggest you can get with a double axle. A single axle trailer just does not usually have the weight capacity for what you will have in it. yes parking maybe a problem, but I would caution NEVER leave it at your sponsors parking lot. All yu need to do is read the stories of the thefts of troop trailers that occur to convince you of that. I keep ours in my back yard or at one of the other ASM's houses where it is under positive control. Buy good locks, a 25ft peice of chain, and a lock for the coupler also. If you go some where that its going to be left alone park it by a tree or immovable object and chain it down. Untill you really look at the cost of trailer and gear you don't realize what its worth. The last time we inventoried ours we figured it would cost close to 10K for new trailer and gear. It only takes a min for someone to hook up and drive away.


The insurance you need is for the replacement of the trailer and gear incase of theft or accident. Liability is always on the towing vehicle.


As far as registering, you need to ask your state motor vehicle dept what the rules are for your state. In NY a troop can register it in the troops name, all 5 of ours are registered to our troop, not the CO. Depends on your local laws.


I go along with EagleSM, don't store Propane in trailer except for short periods of time. Very bad news if tank leaks in closed trailer.



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Granted, there are pros and cons to everything in life. We are a brand new troop of just a few months with 10 boys. We are praying and dreaming of the day we get a trailer. Yes, you have to consider insurance and storage, but those are small potatoes compared to the gyrations we go thru to go camping. We have no troop equipment yet. The SM has a personal chuckbox that the adults use and another chuckbox that the boys are currently using. They are stored in his garage. The boys use my gas bottle, distribution tree and lantern. Another leader has purchased items such as dishpans (that won't fit in the chuckbox with everything else) that are stored at her house. Trying to pull everything together can be a chore. We've had occasions where one of the leaders would be out of town and we had to scramble to find more gear. Yeah, yeah....poor planning on our part. :) Our charter is a very small church that lets us use a Sunday School room and has no storage area for us. A trailer would allow us to store all of our gear in one place and have it available with the ease of hooking up and driving off. We are raising funds now to buy needed gear with an eye to the future for a trailer. Until then, our gear will be spread across town in various garages and we will always drive of without something. The bright side is it teaches us to improvise.

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Trailers are the choice of the troop. I was merely giving my opinion. If I were a smart man, I'd be a lawyer. I'm not a lawyer, so therefore . . . don't put too much stock in my writings. All I ask is a bit of thought.


If you'd like a troop trailer, and that's what your troop needs, then go for it. Whatever is best for your boys is best for your boys and is something you should do.


I merely tried to point out an angle or two you may not have thought of.


I do have to admit that I smile when I see troop trailers on the road -- it is good pr for the BSA.



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Many Troops have a shed or Dutch barn for equipment and the trailor is kept empty. This avoids the theft of trailor and all equipment problem. It also avoids the problem of propane tanks left in the trailor.


At the end of the campout or event, all Scouts are expected to stay to help put equipment away. Some Scouts and parents may want to skip out on the end of the event.

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The registration and insurance for trailers varies from state to state. In Illinois our trailer is titled and insured in the name of the Troop. It sure helps to have one central location for all gear. Fortunately we have had no problems in finding a member willing to store the trailer for us.

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We purchsed one this year. Agree w/ other posts for the most part. We have 23 boys, and while we could use a larger trailer, a 5x10 sinlge axle is owrking for us. We tried to pare down what we "needed" from what we "wanted". Another advantage of a lighter trailer is that a smid-sized vehicle can pull it.

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The best trailer I could find in our area was a Leonard. Dealer gives breaks for Boy Scouts, churches and other non-profits. 16 inch on center metal studs, plywood interior, salt treated lumber flooring, dual axle, electric brakes, back barn doors with extra side door. Requires beastly vehicle to haul loaded (we have lots of boys) long distance. Very sturdy and well built. Should last a long time. Local car dealer logo'ed and lettered it for free as his contribution to us. $3350 rolling. Checked with Virginia DMV and accountant and got Federal ID number and registered in Troop's name/number. Permanent trailer tags, requires annual inspection because of dual axle in VA. Check your own state rules. Recommend you do not try to get old U-haul (remember Mom...don't put that in your mouth, you don't know where it's been). Get best new you can afford. Dual axle with brakes is safer. Easier to pull especially if driver is inexperienced. Also recommend you require each family in the troop to have a monster vehicle to haul trailer in the same color scheme as the trailer so you look good going down the road...just kidding...

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