Frequently Asked Questions

At Triad Trailers, we get asked a lot of questions about our products, and some of those questions seem to be asked by our customers on a more frequent basis than others. In an effort to provide the very best in customer support and service, we have assembled answers to the 20 most popular questions our customers ask. If you still have questions after looking through this list, please contact a Triad Trailer Specialist by emailing us at or by calling us at (919) 782-6007.

1. How Do I Order My Trailer?

To place an order for a custom-crafted Triad trailer, you can either call us by phone at (919) 782-6007 or e-mail us at To process your custom trailer order, we will need the following information:

  • The legal name(s) to whom the trailer will be registered
  • The legal address where the trailer will be registered
  • City, State and Zip Code
  • Day time telephone number
  • Alternative phone number
  • email address
  • The trailer model you would like to order: (Lift On/Off, Float On/Off, Special Float On/Off) 
  • Which brake system would you like: Hydraulic surge or Electric drum
  • Which options would you like to add
  • When would you like the trailer delivered

Once Triad Trailers receives this information, we will generate an invoice and email it to you for approval. Upon approval of the order, we will require a 50% deposit to before we begin building your custom trailer order. The deposit can be made with a  personal check, bank check or credit card check. Currently, we do not accept credit cards.

2. How Long Does It Take To Build My Custom Trailer?

Typically, the lead time to craft your custom trailer ranges between 4 to 6 weeks. However, this will vary depending upon the time of the year and the workload we are servicing. As a rule of thumb, when you are busy prepping your boat for the up-coming season, we are already very busy building custom boat trailers. As you enjoy your time on the water in the spring and summer months, our work-load usually has lessened and we are able to turn custom trailer orders around faster. Therefore, if you are considering purchasing a custom trailer for the next season, it is best to place your order in the fall to ensure very early spring delivery.

3. I Want A Trailer, But I Don’t See My Boat In Your Trailer Gallery. Can You Make It?

With over 35 years of experience crafting custom boat trailers, it is extremely likely that we will already have trailer plans for your particular boat model in our engineering database. However, in the unlikely event that we do not have precise plans already on file, we can build your custom trailer to your specifications by using one or more of the following courses of action:

  • If we do not have your boat hull measurements already on file, we will search for blueprints on-line to see if we can find the dimensions
  • If we cannot find blueprints on-line, we will search for a local sister-ship and take measurements from that boat. (free measuring service if the boat is within 2 hours driving distance from our shop)
  • We will provide you with very detailed instructions to you on how to measure your boat.  You can provide those measurements and we can craft the trailer from those dimensions.
  • If you are not comfortable measuring your boat, a Triad Trailer Specialist can travel to your location to take precise measurements (travel costs assumed by client plus$350 measuring fee credited back when an order is placed)

4. Once My Triad Trailer Is Complete, How Do I Get It?

Though not required, we welcome new Triad Trailer owners to come to our facility in Raleigh, NC to pick up their trailer.  If you are unable to personally pick up your trailer, we have selected Quality Drive Away or Baker Transportation to handle most of our trailer deliveries. In our experience, we have found both of these companies to be very reputable and reliable and they will deliver trailers anywhere in the continental United States. Both companies are Department of Transportation certified and fully insured.

If you elect to have your Triad Trailer delivered, most often your trailer will be delivered with either 1, 2 or 3 other trailers. (there is a chance your trailer will be delivered alone) The delivery cost can range between $1.40 and $2.00 per mile, one way plus any tolls. This delivery rate will typically be split equally between the amount of trailers being delivered as we try to group trailers being delivered by similar regions. Typically, delivery fees range between $350 and $400 along the Route 95 corridor between NJ and Newport, RI. Triad Trailers will arrange shipments through Quality Drive Away or Baker Transportation for each customer.  Unless other arrangements have been made prior to delivery, all customers must be at the drop location to meet their trailer.

Please note that each individual customer is responsible for all unloading fees at their selected/assigned drop point, as well as disposal fees of the metal/wood stacking bars that may accompany stacked trailers.  We estimate unloading and disposal fees to be less than $100.00 per trailer.

Quality Drive Away and Baker Transportation will accept either credit card payments over the phone/fax or certified funds at the drop point or cash at the drop point.  Please note that Triad Trailers is unable to add the cost of delivery to your trailer invoice due to North Carolina Law which prevents motor vehicle dealers from paying for delivery as doing so indicates the trailer was not sold at the North Carolina dealership. Therefore, once the trailer is ready to ship, and we have a confirmation on the shipment, we will email you the details, along with a credit card authorization form which you fill out and either email or fax back to the shipping company.5. How Do I Register My Trailer?

When your receive your custom-crafted Triad Trailer, you will receive a packet of instructions on how to register the trailer. This instructional information will outline explain that you will need to take the certificate of origin for trailer, along with your invoice, to your Department of Motor Vehicles. There, you will register your Triad Trailer in the same fashion you would register a car.

5. What Should I Do If I Lose My Certificate Of Origin (COO)?

If you lose your certificate of origin, and your trailer has not yet been registered, Triad Trailers can issue a duplicate certificate of origin to the original purchaser of the trailer. To process the paperwork, we need the following information faxed to us:

  • A notarized statement confirming that the boat was never registered,
  • Proof of ownership
  • $65 fee to process a new COO

Triad Trailers cannot issue a duplicate COO if the trailer has already been registered. If it has been registered, you must contact your State Department of Motor Vehicles.

6. What Should I Do If I Lose My Title?

The Title to your trailer is a very important document and it is important that it remains safe and secure for future reference. Your title is issued by your State, and we are not able to help you if you lose your title. If your title is lost, you will have to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to begin the duplicate title application process.

7. How Do I Get A New VIN Tag?

Triad Trailers can only issue a new VIN Tag for trailers that were manufactured after 1995. If your trailer was manufactured after 1995, your Vin number will start with 1T9 in positions 1, 2, 3, and 013 in positions 12, 13 and 14. If your VIN number meets these requirements, you will need to submit proof of ownership, along with your VIN number . We are unable to produce new VIN numbers for trailers manufactured before 1995 because the Government changed the pin number structure of the VINs. Our special software auto-generates VIN numbers and we cannot adjust the numbers to accommodate numeric styles prior to 1995.

8. How Do I Get Temporary Plates?

Triad trailers can provide you with 30-day, temporary plates if the following information is provided to us:

  • Proof of Liability Insurance for the trailer
  • VIN
  • Vehicle Insurance Policy

9. Can You Modify My Triad Trailer After I Purchase It?

It may be possible for Triad Trailers to modify your trailer after you have specified the configuration. However, since all boats and trailers are different shapes and sizes, we must evaluate your situation individually. We must consider engineering measurements such as axle centerline distance, hull support locations and keel supports. It is more likely than not that it will not be possible to effectively modify a custom trailer to fit another boat.

10. Can I Make My Lift-Off Into A Float-Off Model?

Yes, it is possible for Triad Trailers to turn your Lift-Off style boat trailer into a Float-Off style. However, for this to be possible, a bow stop and ladder will be required. If your trailer doesn’t have a bow stop or ladder, is likely your trailer is too short to modify from a Lift-Off to a Float-Off. If you have a bow stop, suggesting that we can likely make the modification, you’ll need to bring your trailer into Triad Trailers so we can evaluate it to make a final determination.

11. Can I Add A Bow Stop Or Ladder To My Existing Trailer?

Typically, this modification is not possible because when the trailer is originally ordered, trailers without a bow stop are fabricated 2 feet shorter than those designed with a bow stop. In essence, there will be no room to put it the shorter trailer. However, in some rare cases, it can be done. To see if your boat trailer is a candidate for this modification, follow these steps:

  1. Hang a plumb-bob from the bow
  2. With the plumb-bob on the bow, measure the distance from the bow to the center of the ball

You’ll need at least 36 inches forward from the plumbob to the center of the ball. If you do not have this clearance, we cannot make this modification.

12. What Is The Difference Between A Lift-Off, Float-Off, And A Special Float-Off?

Lift-On/Off Models

A Lift-On/Off model is designed for crane or travel lift launching.  Therefore, it does not provide any ramp launching capabilities.

         Both the Float-Off and Special Float-Off Packages are equipped with:
    • A bow stop with mounting ladder
    • Atop the bow stop will be a launching and retrieval winch
    • A set of keel guides that will keep the keel centered on the keel support
The major differences between the Float-Off and Special Float-Off package are in the length of the extendable tongue and how the extendable tongue is used.

Float-Off/Off Models

The Float-Off Package extension tongue is located on centerline of the trailer frame.  In fact, the extension bar, when in the stowed position, is the same piece that you tow with. Because the extension bar is located on centerline, the length of the extension bar is limited to the first set of hull support pads which is generally about 8 feet. When the extension bar is extended, it will support the tongue weight of the loaded trailer.

Special Float-Off Models

The extension bar on the Special Float-Off Package is located off of the centerline of the trailer frame which allows us to run the extension bar along side of the keel. The length of the extension bar on the Special Float-Off Package will be roughly 18 feet long. Because the extension bar is so long, it would bend if it had to support the tongue weight. For this reason, we have added a dual-pneumatic set of launching wheels that will support the tongue weight while you are launching and retrieving your boat. When the bar is stowed and you are traveling, the launching wheels are retracted and remain in a horizontal position. If the extendable tongue is not long enough for the ramp you are using, the airplane wheels can be used in conjunction with suitable cord or chain to let the trailer ride down the ramp.
Choosing between the Float-Off Package and the Special Float-Off Package is a tough decision. If the ramp you are planning on using has a steep grade and deep water, you might get by with the Float-Off Package. However, if you plan on using the trailer on several different ramps, or on lakes – then the Special Float-Off would offer more options to get the boat off the trailer.

13. How Fast Can I Drive With My Triad Trailer Attached?

Triad trailers recommends that drivers adhere strictly to the legal, posted speed limit and we do not suggest that you should drive faster than any posted speed limit. When towing your boat and/or trailer, keep in mind that you are towing extra weight and will need extra stopping distance and room to maneuver to avoid an accident. Please also consider dangerous road conditions such as inclement weather (such as, but not limited to snow, rain, ice, fog). It is up to your sole judgement of how fast you can safely, legally travel with your towing capacity, visibility and road conditions.

14. Do You Sell Used Trailers? Can I Rent A Trailer From You?

Triad Trailers does not sell used trailers since trailers are customized and specifically suited to particular models of boats. Similarly, we do not rent boat trailers because it is very hard to match the trailer to the size of the boat and its hull design. Essentially, it is impossible to inventory a stock trailer in hopes that it would properly fit a specific boat hull making it safe for transport.

15. Can I Buy Just Engineering Plans From You? I Want To Build My Own Trailer.

No, Triad Trailer does not sell plans for boaters to construct their own boat trailers. All of our designs are proprietary, intellectual property and have been developed and refined over our 35 years of custom crafting boat trailers. Furthermore, due to liability and legal restrictions, we are unable to disclose or provide any trailer measurements for you to base your personal sailboat trailer off should you attempt to build one yourself.

16. How Do I Maintain My Trailer?

For optimal performance, safety and trailer-life, Triad Trailers recommends that regular inspections and service are performed on your trailer. Please refer to the attached maintenance schedules provided in our Resources section that clearly outline the schedules and procedures to be performed on your trailer at specific intervals. If you need additional maintenance information, please call or email Triad trailers.

17. I Need To Transport My Trailer Into Canada. What Should I Do?

To legally transport your Triad Trailer into Canada, you will need to provide the Canadian Motor Vehicles Department with a trailer recall clearance letter. We can provide this letter which certifies that your Triad Trailer is safe and there have been no recalls on your particular trailer model. To obtain this verification, please fax Triad Trailers proof of ownership, along with your Vin number – and we will create the proper paperwork for you.

18. What Type Of Vehicle Do I Need To Tow My Boat And Trailer?

Due to the extensive amount of brands and models of towing vehicles on the road, Triad Trailers cannot advise you on the best towing vehicle for your particular needs. We suggest that you consult with your preferred vehicle manufacturer to determine the best model vehicle that will meet your specific towing requirements based upon weight, rating, etc.

19. Do You Paint Trailers? How Should I Repair My Rusted Trailer?

Triad Trailers no longer paints trailers. Instead, all of our custom-crafted trailers feature a hot-dipped, zinc-galvanized finishing process which is much more durable and more suited to harsh, corrosive marine environments. In addition to being corrosion-resistant, our durable zinc, galvanized finish will resist chipping and provide excellent aesthetics for years to come. On the production end, galvanizing is much more environmentally friendly than painting and offers significant advantages in helping to reduce lead-times on your custom sailboat trailer.

However, if you have an older model, painted Triad Trailer that is showing some rust, follow these tips to preserve its integrity and finish:

  1. Sand the rust spots down flush with the metal
  2. Apply a high-quality primer
  3. Re-paint your trailer with a color that closely matches the original finish faint paint finish