Renown Cargo Trailers

The Ultimate Guide to Enclosed Cargo Trailer Tie Downs

inside of a gooseneck trailer with tie downs

When it comes to traveling with enclosed cargo, securing it correctly is an absolute necessity. As you travel, your motorcycles, equipment, and other cargo will shift and move about the trailer if you do not have it properly tied down. That is where some reliable tie-downs for trailers are a vital component for every enclosed cargo trailer. But what are tie-downs for trailers? Where do you attach them to the cargo trailer? What kind of cargo can be secured with tie-downs for trailers? 

In this guide, we will discuss the purpose of tie-downs for trailers, what they are, and cover some tips and tricks for how to use them to secure your cargo the most securely. Hold on tight as we get rolling out to the world of tie-downs for trailers. 

What are Tie-Downs for Trailers?

Tie-downs for trailers are heavy-duty straps that are used to secure hefty cargo so it cannot be jostled about while in motion. Made to be capable of securing monumental payload weights, cargo tie-downs are designed to keep even heavy motorcycles or vehicles safe and secure in transit. 

Most cargo tie-downs consist of a strap or net, some form of a hook to attach it to an anchor. Oftentimes, tie-downs for trailers will include a mechanism called a ratchet to tighten and loosen the strap. With the strap or net portion typically being made from super-tough Nylon and the hook being made from a steel alloy, the materials used are intended to be stout and secure. 

Available in nearly every color and a variety of materials, cargo tie-downs come in a variety of lengths. Typically, you can get tie-downs in lengths from about 6 feet for smaller loads, to about 40 feet for larger cargo. 

Quick terms: 

  • Break Weight: The break weight refers to the maximum weight that the cargo tie-down can support before breaking. This limit should be available on every type of tie-down for trailers. The break weight will be a higher number than the working load strength as it is not intended to be the everyday capacity.
  • Working Load Strength: This refers to the everyday weight limit that the cargo tie-downs are capable of supporting. This weight is meant to indicate the daily conditions that the tie-downs can be used in that will not cause damage. This will be lower than the break weight as the working load strength is meant to be safe for continued use on a daily basis. 

The Nitty Gritty: Types of Straps and Hooks

Digging a little deeper into the types of tie-downs for trailers, there are a few different types of straps and hooks available to secure your cargo. Though there are numerous types on the market, here are the most common straps and hooks for cargo tie-downs:

Types of Straps:

  • Lashing straps: Lashing straps are intended to be used with smaller loads and weights. With easy-to-use gator clips, a smaller working load strength, and lighter break strength, lashing straps are ideal for loads around 100 lbs and lighter.
  • Cam buckle straps: Cam buckle straps are intended for medium loads like ATVs and dirt bikes and are going to have a heavier capacity than lashing straps. With a working load strength of around 500 lbs and a break strength of up to 1,500 lbs, cam buckle straps are ideally used when securing moderately heavy cargo.
  • Ratchet straps: Ratchet straps are the heaviest duty of tie-downs for trailers that are used for large and weighty loads. Named after the locking mechanism to secure the straps in one position, the ratchet straps have an easy-to-use securing instrument. The working load strength of most ratchet straps is an impressive 5,000 lbs and the break weight of ratchet straps is 15,000 lbs. Ideal for the largest cargo, motorcycles, automobiles, and industrial loads, ratchet straps are a hefty option for motorcycle tie-downs for trailers or cargo tie-downs for trailers.

Types of Hooks: 

  • S-hook: As the typical standard on most types of motorcycle tie-downs for trailers and cargo tie-downs, the s-hook is made from a steel alloy in the shape of an “S.” With one end of the s-hook being closed around the end of the strap and the other end being open, these hooks are easy to attach to nearly any anchor type.
  • Snap hook: The snap hook is going to include a closing hook that is more secure than the s-hook. By snapping around the anchor, the snap hook needs to be unhitched to be removed. This gives cargo an extra layer of protection in transit and is compatible with most types of anchors.
  • Flat hook: The flat hook is a versatile hook shape that is unobtrusive. The flat hook is designed to be secured around the rub rails of trailers and can be secured to other cargo tie-downs for trailers as well. 
  • J-hook: Used to tightly grip the anchor, j-hooks are a multi-point hook that is on one end of some cargo tie-downs for trailers. Often used with heavy-duty straps are a hardy option for cargo securement 

Where to Secure Tie-Downs for Trailers

Whether you are transporting a vintage show car or your mobile concession stand equipment, the right anchors for your tie-down are a major part of your enclosed cargo trailer. Most enclosed cargo trailers are going to be equipped with some form of anchor to secure cargo tie-downs. These anchors are attached securely to the side walls or floor in a fixed location. This provides an unyielding connection point to secure the trailer tie-down and hold cargo in place. 

There are two common types of anchors found in enclosed cargo trailers. Depending on the type of cargo you intend on hauling, it is important to get the right anchor to ensure that your haul gets there safe and sound. Here at Renown Cargo Trailers, we can equip your enclosed cargo trailer with either d-rings, e-tracks, or both if you need a more diverse anchoring system. 

Types of anchors for tie-downs for trailers

  • D-rings: D-rings are small half-rounded rings that are embedded into the floor or sidewalls of a trailer. Providing a fixed point for attaching cargo tie-downs, d-rings are ideal for transporting the same type of cargo over and over. You may want to install d-rings into your trailer if you plan on using motorcycle tie-downs for trailers, automobile tie-downs, or other vehicle tie-downs for trailers. 

The downside of d-rings as cargo anchors is that they do not offer much in the way of flexibility. D-rings are secured to a fixed point that may limit your hauling capabilities depending on what you are needing your enclosed cargo trailer to carry.

  • E-tracks: As the name suggests, e-tracks are E-shaped tracks that are installed into the floor or side walls of a cargo trailer. These versatile anchoring systems have multiple slats in which a cargo tie-down and be attached. This offers numerous points of contact for your cargo tie-downs and allows more flexibility for what cargo you can carry. E-tracks can also be combined with d-rings to create a system of anchor points to attach cargo tie-downs for trailers. 

Tips and Tricks for the Most Secure Cargo Tie-Downs

Whether you are transporting sound equipment to your next concert or bringing your ATV along for a weekend in the great outdoors, knowing how to utilize tie-downs for trailers is essential for the long haul. Of course, the exact method will depend on what you are carrying, the type of cargo tie-downs you are using, and the anchoring system your trailer is equipped with. However, here are some general tips and tricks to properly securing your cargo. 

  • Center you load: When loading your cargo, the position in the trailer matters. By positioning the cargo in the middle of the trailer or near the hitch side, you can keep the weight of the load evenly distributed across the trailer and keep it from hitting the walls as you move. This gives it enough room to move slightly without banging up against the wall of the trailer.
  • Be sure your tie-downs are tight: Once you have everything tied down, be sure to inspect the tension of the tie-downs. This will make sure all of your connections are securely in place and will not move during the trip. 
  • Do not over-tighten: You want to make sure that your cargo tie-downs for trailers are tight and secure, but not too tight. Especially with cargo like automobiles and motorcycles, overtightening your tie-downs for trailers could cause damage to your cargo. 
  • Use additional straps: It is much better to use additional tie-downs for added security than it is to have loose cargo. Use as many straps as you can. 

Have the Cargo, Need the Trailer? Renown is Here to Help

Whether you are carrying something across town or across the country, Renown Cargo Trailers has the perfect enclosed cargo trailer for you. With numerous ways to customize your trailer, you add all the tie-down anchors you could ever need. Request a quote from us today. 

What Does a 6×12 Enclosed Trailer Weigh and How Much Towing Do You Actually Need?

6x12 enclosed trailer

How much does an enclosed trailer weigh? How much does a 6 ft enclosed trailer weigh? What size trailer can my vehicle tow? We face these types of questions all the time from customers wondering what size trailer they are able to purchase based on how much their vehicle can tow. Since the 6 x 12 is one of the most popular sizes we carry at Renown, in this spotlight series we’ll go over everything you need to know to match the perfect trailer to your vehicle and set up. 

Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) & Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

Enclosed trailer weight is arguably one of the most important considerations when it comes to picking out your new trailer. In considering a 6 x 12 enclosed trailer weight, you need to know two key measurements when it comes to how much your vehicle can safely haul. These are the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, or GVWR, and Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). These measures are provided per the manufacturer’s specifications as a threshold for the safe maximum load a vehicle and/or trailer can take. Let’s look at each in more detail:

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR):

GVWR is the maximum weight determined by the manufacturer that a vehicle can safely hold. This includes all of the components of the vehicle, fuel, passengers, and any cargo within the vehicle. The vehicle’s “curb weight” or weight empty and the vehicle’s payload capacity added together equate to the GVWR. When towing, it is important to know the limitations of your vehicle so always keep the GVWR in mind as you’re loading up.

Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR):

This is the one trailer owners really need to be aware of. That’s because the GCWR is the maximum weight a manufacturer specifies is safe for both the vehicle and the towed trailer. The GCWR is basically the GVWR plus the weight of the trailer when fully loaded. Remember both your vehicle and the trailer have safe payload capacities. To put this in perspective, lists the 2020 F-150XL SuperCrew’s GCWR as 13,100 pounds. This means the weight of the loaded trailer and the loaded vehicle should never exceed 13,100 pounds. Different options like axle ratios and engine size affect the truck’s max loaded trailer weight. We’ll cover payload versus towing capacity later in the post.

To make it really easy to find different trailer weights, a complete listing of all Renown’s trailer weights can be found on our Enclosed Trailers Weights page. Popular queries like 16 enclosed trailer weight and 6×12 enclosed trailer weight are all displayed. You can also see empty weight, tongue weight, and payload capacity for the many different sizes and axle options we carry.

Payload Capacity versus Towing Capacity

Payload capacity and towing capacity are sometimes used interchangeably but they are in fact two different important measurements for the trailer owners to have in mind. 

Payload capacity is important both for the vehicle and the trailer. This measurement is indicated by the manufacturer as the maximum amount you can safely transport inside of the vehicle or trailer. Both the vehicle and the trailer will have their own payload capacity so it’s important to know each as you are loading up your cargo. 

On the other hand, towing capacity applies to the tow vehicle’s maximum that it can safely haul with an attached trailer. Oftentimes, truck commercials will boast of their vehicle’s high towing capacity so many owners are aware of this number but may not consider payload capacity and how this all adds into the GCWR for safely towing your vehicle. 

Ignoring these numbers can be extremely dangerous for you and other drivers sharing the road. We’ll highlight the reasons for this below.

Additional Considerations and Why Trailer Weight Matters

So far we’ve looked at the different measurements used to specify how much a vehicle can safely hold and transport. But, there are several other important considerations in the realm of trailer weights that should be accounted for in the safe operation of a tow vehicle and a loaded trailer.

6x12 enclosed trailer - single axle
  • Single Axle vs. Tandem Axle: It’s important to remember that trailer length doesn’t always mean it can tow more than a shorter trailer. Most know that dual axle trailers will tow more than a single axle trailer. Shorter dual axles will very often have a greater payload capacity than a longer single axle trailer. Single axle enclosed trailer weight will typically be less than the same length trailer with tandem axles. This would equate to a lower GCWR like we looked at above. 
6x12 enclosed trailer -tandem axle

For example, a 6 x 10 enclosed trailer weight might be significantly more than a 6×12 enclosed trailer weight when the 6 x 10 is a tandem axle model and the 6 x12 is a single axle. Empty, a 6×12 single axle enclosed trailer weight runs 1,200 pounds. Comparatively, an empty 6×12 tandem axle runs 1,800 pounds. That extra 600 pounds in a trailer of the same width and height is a really important consideration when examining how much your vehicle can safely haul.

  • Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR): this is the maximum weight that each axle can safely support. If you have a well distributed load on two axles, each axle will more or less carry an equal share of the load. Obviously, a tandem axle will have a higher GAWR than a single axle trailer but this is also an important safety consideration for the tow vehicle. Gooseneck trailers attach to mounts in a truck’s bed which rests over the rear axle. Exceeding the vehicle’s GAWR can lead to a host of different problems, which can be exceedingly dangerous while in transport. When looking at trailers, be cognisant of your vehicle’s GAWR as well as the prospective trailers to be sure your intended use matches the trailer.
  • Stability: overloading a trailer can be devastating while driving, especially at high speeds like on the interstate. Braking systems can overheat and fail, suspension can bend and break, tires can blow and cause whipping, and you can even have complete engine failure in the tow vehicle when the trailer is over its safe payload capacity. 
  • Stopping Distance: overloading a trailer and/or a tow vehicle can be extremely dangerous when it comes to your ability to stop. Most trailer owners know that the added weight increases your stopping distance but overloading a trailer can put extreme wear on the braking systems of either the tow vehicle or the trailer’s, if so equipped. Renown’s 6×12 tandem axle trailers come with an independent braking system to help your vehicle slow down but overloading the trailer can still be detrimental to the system. 
  • Max Tongue Load: this is the maximum weight which a trailer hitch can handle from the trailer’s tongue bearing down on it. Remember, hitch receivers have a much higher max tongue load than bumper hitches.

Tips for Safely Towing a Loaded Trailer

Towing adds additional stress to your vehicle and requires increased awareness on the road. Here’s several basics for safe towing:

  1. Distribute Weight and Cargo Properly: remember, around 60 percent of the cargo’s weight should be in front of the axles. Also, do your best to balance the load from side to side in your trailer. Keep anything that can move securely tied down so it doesn’t inadvertently shift when turning a corner or braking.
  1. Turn Wide: taking a corner too tightly can run your trailer into the curb and other obstacles. Be sure to make a wide enough turn to clear corners. Available options like Renown’s extended trailer tongue help make turning and maneuvering with a trailer easier.
  1. Braking: as we highlighted above, you will need more stopping distance with an attached trailer. A vehicle’s braking system is usually rated for its GVWR not the GCWR so if your trailer doesn’t have its own braking system, your vehicle is bearing all of that extra effort by itself.
  1. Accelerating: conversely to braking, acceleration will be affected while towing. Make sure when passing to especially give a lot of distance between your trailer and the slower vehicle. You may even need to downshift the tow vehicle in order to get better acceleration.
  1. Check Tire Pressure: before you get on the road with your trailer make sure to check the tires. Underinflated can heat up fast and fail which could mean losing control. Equally, overinflated can lead to uneven tread wear and severely impact traction and/or stopping power.

Following basic safe driving techniques and knowing your vehicle’s limits is critical to safely towing a trailer. If you have any questions about which trailer is right for your vehicle, our trailer pros are here to help. Contact us now.

Knowing the Numbers: Renown Helps You Find the Perfect Trailer for Your Set-Up

Our trailer pros are some of the very best in the business. We take the time to listen to your unique situation and then can offer the best options to fit your needs. We don’t believe in providing anything less than our very best each and every day. It’s the Renown Cargo Trailer difference and is right on our logo. We do our work to honor God and are thankful for the opportunity to serve your needs with integrity. When you are ready for a whole new trailer buying process, come visit us in Douglasville, GA or you can browse our entire selection online and have your trailer shipped just about anywhere in the U.S. 

Contact a knowledgeable Renown Trailer expert now to go over which trailer would work best for you.


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