Whether you’re hauling a commercial load, a bulky boat, or a cozy camper, backing up a trailer is a chore. And the process becomes even more challenging—if not outright impossible—when you need to squeeze a sizable trailer into a tight space.
That’s why the electric trailer dolly is such an essential accessory for everyone who tows. Rather than stressing yourself out with a hellish hundred point turn, the trailer dolly lets you navigate through narrow areas with ease. And having an attached electric motor means no more back busting attempts at moving the cargo by hand—a godsend when you’re transporting an oversized load.
You’ll find several different electric trailer dollies on the market, each with distinct pros and cons. To help you pinpoint the ideal option for you, we’ve put together an in-depth guide and reviewed the Top 8 Electric Trailer Dollies to buy in 2023.
- Deciding on the Perfect Dolly
- Top 8 Best Electric Trailer Dollies 2023
- 1. Best Overall Trailer Dolly: Trailer Valet TVXL25 XL Trailer Dolly
- 2. Best Budget Trailer Dolly: Trailer Valet TV5X Lift Jack Electric Trailer Dolly
- 3. Best Premium Trailer Dolly: Trailer Valet RVR9 Motorized Trailer Dolly
- 4. Easiest Trailer Dolly to Use: Parkit360 Force ISC 5K B2 Motorized Electric Trailer Dolly
- 5. Fastest Trailer Dolly: TRAX TX6000 Power Dolly
- 6. Most Durable Trailer Dolly: Tow Tuff TMD-3500ETD Electric Trailer Dolly
- 7. Most Maneuverable Trailer Dolly: Happybuy Trailer Mover
- 8. Best Simple Trailer Dolly: Biltek Trailer Mover 350W
- Everything You Need to Know About Trailer Dollies
- The Best Electric Trailer Dollies: Final Thoughts
Deciding on the Perfect Dolly
Before you start perusing our recommendations, we recommend you read up on the key features to consider. With a basic understanding of the technology, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and pick out the best option for you.
Trailer dollies have a specified weight capacity that refers to the maximum load it can support. Always work off the Gross Trailer Weight (GTW), which includes the trailer and any passengers and cargo.
Tongue Weight Capacity
Tongue Weight (TW) refers to how much weight the end of a trailer exerts onto the towing vehicle’s hitch ball or the dolly. A correctly loaded trailer should have a tongue weight that is 10-15% of the gross trailer weight.
The number, type, and dimensions of the wheels have a significant impact on how maneuverable the dolly will be. Different wheels are ideal for different circumstances, so be sure to factor in your personal needs.
Larger self-powered dollies with electric motors make it easier and faster to move big trailers back and forth, so aim big if you’ve got an enormous rig. Cordless drill-powered dollies are cheaper but can be slow and laborious to use.
High-end electric trailer dollies come with a built-in automatic braking system to ensure the trailer doesn’t run astray. Cheaper, non-electric dollies tend to have inferior brakes, if any at all.
If you need to stash your dolly away inside a trailer or car, you’d be better off getting a lightweight model you can lift without straining your back. Heavy-duty dollies weigh a ton and are best left on the ground.
If you’d like to read about these in more detail, skip ahead to the key considerations section of our in-depth guide. If you’ve got the basics down, though, you should be ready to look at our list of the best electric trailer dollies on the market today.
|Product||Weight Capacity||Max Jockey Wheel Load||Tongue Weight Capacity||Wheels||Electric Motor||Dimensions||Rating|
|Trailer Valet TVXL25 XL Trailer Dolly||10,000 lbs||1,000 lbs||Two 9.25” wheels||Cordless drill (sold separately)||28 x 12.3 x 8.9”; 54 lbs||5|
|Trailer Valet TV5X Lift Jack Electric Trailer Dolly||5,000 lbs||500 lbs||Dual pneumatic tires||Cordless drill||8 x 26 x 17”||5|
|Trailer Valet RVR9 Motorized Trailer Dolly||9,000 lbs||900 lbs||Caterpillar treads||Electric motor and remote||30 x 30 x 30”; 77 lbs||5|
|Parkit360 Force ISC 5K B2 Motorized Electric Trailer Dolly||5,000 lbs||900 lbs||Two 4” tires||7 horsepower||30 x 15 x 55”; 123 lbs||4.5|
|TRAX TX6000 Power Dolly||6,000 lbs||600 lbs||5” tires and aluminum wheels||36V electric motor||4.5|
|Tow Tuff TMD-3500ETD Electric Trailer Dolly||3,500 lbs||600 lbs||Two 13” tires, one 8“ swivel caster||24V electric motor||48 x 24 x 37“; 100.8 lbs||4.5|
|Happybuy Trailer Mover||5,000 lbs||600 lbs||One 8” wheel||350W 12V motor||49 x 13.5 x 11.5”; 32.4 pounds||4|
|Biltek Trailer Mover 350W||5,000 lbs||600 lbs||8-inch solid rubber wheel||350W 12V motor||74 x 12.6 x 10.6”; 35.28 lbs||3.5|
1. Best Overall Trailer Dolly: Trailer Valet TVXL25 XL Trailer Dolly
- Weight Capacity: 10,000 lbs
- Tongue Weight Capacity: 1,000 lbs
- Wheels: Two 9.25” wheels
- Electric Motor: Cordless drill (sold separately)
- Dimensions: 28 x 12.3 x 8.9”; 54 lbs
It’s hard to find a cost-effective electric trailer dolly capable of moving a massive load—many of us don’t have thousands of dollars to splurge on a heavy-duty device. And that’s where the Trailer Valet TVXL25 XL shines: steadfast maneuverability at a fraction of the cost of the competition.
Capable of moving a 10,000 lb trailer with 1,000 lb at the hitch, it’s ideal for budget-conscious camper trailer owners who stash their rig in the garage. And the fact its lightweight 55 lb frame fits neatly inside a trailer means you can take it with you to the RV park. Of course, there’s no harm in using it on smaller loads like boats or jet skis as well.
While it’s undoubtedly a bargain, it’s essential to recognize the limitations at play.
The jacking mechanism and the wheels are powered either by hand or by an electric drill. With the former, you get precision cranking at the cost of strenuous physical effort. Attach a cordless drill, however, and it’ll do the hard work for you at high speed, but it’s far from ideal.
The drill crank tends to get stuck or skip gears, making maneuvering challenging and potentially dangerous if not done carefully (at least the automatic brake will engage when the handle is released). Your best bet is to switch between the two as needed: hand cranking for precision and the drill bit for speed.
Another pitfall is the device isn’t great for gravel surfaces; it does work beautifully on concrete, even if there’s a slight incline. If you expect to work on less than ideal surfaces, upgrading to the Trailer Valet RVR9 Motorized Trailer Dolly might be worthwhile.
Although it’s not without its drawbacks, most people won’t find a better 10,000 lb trailer dolly for the price.
- Cost-effective trailer dolly
- Suitable for trailers up to 10,000 lbs
- Portable enough to stow inside a trailer
- Good for home garage use
- Works well on a slight concrete incline
- Requires cordless drill (sold separately)
- Drill crank mechanism is tiresome to use
- Doesn’t perform well on gravel
2. Best Budget Trailer Dolly: Trailer Valet TV5X Lift Jack Electric Trailer Dolly
- Weight Capacity: 5,000 lbs
- Tongue Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
- Wheels: Dual pneumatic tires
- Electric Motor: Cordless drill
- Dimensions: 8 x 26 x 17”
As one of the better value budget dollies, the Trailer Valet TV5X is perfect for positioning light loads at a low cost. It can support up to 5,000 lbs with 500 lbs on the hitch, making it ideal for boats and small trailers but not bigger RVs.
The dolly is super easy to install and can be attached to most trailers with the 8-inch mounting bracket—flip it up onto the trailer frame for fast storage after each use. High and low gears make for easier cranking on the patented drive system, while a positraction function improves handling in tight spaces.
While it’s fantastic for maneuvering trailers on a hard flat surface like asphalt and concrete, it doesn’t do well on inclines or soft ground. Even with the cordless drill, you’ll struggle to move a trailer at the 5,000 lb limit if the surface isn’t sufficiently hard and flat. The drill attachment position is also a little too low for our liking. You’ll need to bend down and strain your back when cranking—not ideal for older users.
Nonetheless, it works well with lighter trailers on flat smooth surfaces and won’t break the bank. If you’re happy to enlist the help of a friend to position your trailer, this budget-friendly dolly is well worth considering. Those who need to lift very heavy weights or will be working alone might want to look at the Trailer Valet TVXL25 XL Trailer Dolly instead.
- Cost-effective solution
- Includes 8-inch mounting bracket
- Easy to maneuver in tight spaces
- Works well on concrete
- Doesn’t work well on inclines
- Only suitable for trailers under 5,000 lbs
- Requires bending over to operate the drill
- Weight Capacity: 9,000 lbs
- Tongue Weight Capacity: 900 lbs
- Wheels: Caterpillar treads
- Electric Motor: Electric motor and remote
- Dimensions: 30 x 30 x 30”; 77 lbs
The RVR9 from Trailer Valet is ideal for taking the chore out of parking a trailer. Complete with heavy-duty caterpillar treads and a tough torque-optimized electric motor, it’s easily capable of maneuvering trailers up to 9,000 lbs.
The highlight, however, is the remote control, which lets you effortlessly glide your trailer into position with a few lazy swivels of the thumb—no more arduous hand cranks here. The function makes it especially popular among solo RVers as there’s no need to enlist a spotter every time you park up. Guiding a trailer into a tight garage or car space is a one-person job with the RVR9, a benefit that justifies the high price tag for many consumers.
The unit comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that’ll give you 30 minutes of juice, more than enough to position a trailer. And with a remote control range of 40 feet, you don’t need to get right up close to guide it into position.
At 77 pounds, it’s relatively heavy, so don’t expect to pick the dolly up on your own.
Maneuverability, on the whole, is impressive; the RVR9 is nimble enough to pull off tight turns. Just be aware the dolly needs to be in motion to turn, and there’s a slight delay with movement and stopping upon each button push (this prevents the trailer from jerking when coming to a stop).
While the RVR9 works wonderfully on hard surfaces like concrete, it’s not suitable on dirt or grass if you’re hauling a heavy load. The unit just doesn’t get enough traction on the soft stuff, especially when the ground is damp—you might get away with using it on dry grass for light trailers, however. Gravel is doable, even with heavy loads, but you’ll need to watch out for stones getting stuck in the caterpillar treads. This won’t matter to most people, but if you’re often finding yourself on soft surfaces, the TRAX TX6000 Power Dolly could be a more reliable option.
Despite its drawbacks and the hefty price tag, the RVR9 is an awesome option for effortless trailer parking on hard surfaces like concrete; thus, it’s a winner in our book.
Looking for a different weight capacity? Trailer Valet offers other options on its website.
- Trailer parking becomes a one-person job
- No physical exertion required
- Heavy-duty caterpillar treads
- Remote control for easy maneuverability
- Good for concrete and gravel
- Must be in motion to turn
- Can’t move heavy loads on dirt or grass
- Slight delay on button press
4. Easiest Trailer Dolly to Use: Parkit360 Force ISC 5K B2 Motorized Electric Trailer Dolly
- Weight Capacity: 5,000 lbs
- Tongue Weight Capacity: 900 lbs
- Wheels: Two 4” tires
- Electric Motor: 7 horsepower
- Dimensions: 30 x 15 x 55”; 123 lbs
The Force ISC 5K B2 from Parkit360 is an outstanding option for time-poor trailer owners who want hassle-free parking at home.
Powered by a beefy 1.7 horse powered electric motor, the unit is suitable for a wide range of trailers and requires virtually no physical effort to use. Pop it in neutral and wheel it to the trailer to connect to the hitch, then use the forward and reverse toggle switch to steer it into position. You’ll be facing towards the trailer while maneuvering for a broader view and can park with the hitch facing forward to deter would-be thieves.
Not only is it easy to use, but the Force ISC 5K B2 requires no fiddly installation as it’s virtually ready for action right out of the box. All you’ll need to do is connect the battery and secure the ball mount before use.
Portability is another big plus. Although the whole package weighs a hefty 123 lbs, the body without the ball, handle, and battery is just 70 lbs—light enough to lift into the trunk of your truck with a second pair of hands. It’s ultra-versatile, too, boasting compatibility with a wide range of ball mounted trailers (campers, bumper pulls, cargo trailers, boat trailers, and more).
Parkit360 is upfront with the limitations on their dollies, namely that you want to use a level surface with a maximum 4-6% incline. A steeper angle may be possible on hard concrete with a lighter trailer, but note the narrow wheels can’t withstand making turns on a slant.
A wall plug and voltmeter let you keep the battery topped up with ease, and there’s an electric surge brake controller for optimal safety.
Is this too small for your trailer? Try the 10K model from Parkit360 instead.
- Powerful motor does the hard work for you
- Face forwards for hassle-free precision parking
- Parks with hitch forward to deter theft
- Minimal installation required
- Portable and versatile
- Not suitable for inclines above 6%
- Only for trailers up to 5,000 lbs
5. Fastest Trailer Dolly: TRAX TX6000 Power Dolly
- Weight Capacity: 6,000 lbs
- Tongue Weight Capacity: 600 lbs
- Wheels: 5” tires and aluminum wheels
- Electric Motor: 36V electric motor
As the flagship electric dolly from TRAX, this tough little unit has developed a bit of a reputation in the towing world. The TX6000 is known for its speed, capable of reaching an impressive 222 feet per minute with a full load.
If that doesn’t sound all that fast, remember that cheap electric trailer dollies cruise along at a snail-pace rate of 10-20 feet per minute or so. And the fact the TX6000 can travel several times faster makes it an attractive option for commercial towers; it’s great for moving trailers around a vast warehouse in a timely manner.
For the RVer, the extra speed isn’t entirely necessary as they’ll only be moving their trailer a short distance anyway. What the home user will adore, however, is how easy the unit is to operate. A variable thumb controlled switch on the dolly lets you navigate around tight spaces without breaking a sweat. It lasts for ages on a single charge and has an in-built LED warning light to let you know when the battery’s running low.
Another thing we love about the TX6000 is its heavy-duty design. With chunky 12.5-inch tires, a reinforced rear wheel caster, and an ingenious ball mount puzzle tab adapter, it’s remarkably robust for its size. Unlike the cheaper electric dollies out there, you’ll easily be able to move the max load limit—6,000 lbs, in this case.
And for folks who need to park up on grassy areas, the good news is this works off-road. Of course, you’ll still need a relatively flat and hard surface to work on.
On the downside, a lot of the best features aren’t included in the advertised retail price. You’ll need to fork out extra for different hitch ball types and adapters, while the battery kit and tire upgrade will set you back a pretty penny. Although these added extras enhance customization, get ready to spend big if you want one with the lot.
- Fast speed of 222 feet per minute
- Easy to operate
- Durable and stable design
- Easily withstands maximum loads
- Extras add substantially to the price
6. Most Durable Trailer Dolly: Tow Tuff TMD-3500ETD Electric Trailer Dolly
- Weight Capacity: 3,500 lbs
- Tongue Weight Capacity: 600 lbs
- Wheels: Two 13” tires, one 8“ swivel caster
- Electric Motor: 24V electric motor
- Dimensions: 48 x 24 x 37“; 100.8 lbs
If you’ve got a lightweight trailer of 3,500 lbs or less, then there’s no need to spend thousands of dollars on an uber-powerful dolly. Case in point: the TMD-3500ETD from Tow Tuff does the job brilliantly for a fraction of the cost.
The crème de la crème of its durable design is the triple wheel layout, which features two beefy 13-inch tires up front and a solid rubber 8-inch swivel wheel at the back. The format provides both optimal stability and maneuverability, allowing you to park with pinpoint accuracy.
It’s pretty spritely, too, with a respectable top speed of 1.5 mph thanks to the brawny 24V motor. You don’t have to operate at max speed all the time as the switch controller features a variable speed adjustment.
Two sealed 7 AH batteries power the motor and give you plenty of juice to stow several trailers at a time. Recharging is best done overnight and is all too easy with the included 110V charger.
With an adjustable ball height of 22 to 35 inches and a universal two-inch coupler, it’s suitable for most sub 3,500 pound trailers out there—versatility is a strong point with this one.
One issue worth mentioning is the traction isn’t all that great. Try to use the Tow Tuff on a slippery or loose surface, and you can expect her to underperform. Stick to the hard, dry stuff (say, concrete), and you should be okay.
- Cost-effective light trailer dolly
- Fast and easy to maneuver
- Effective three-wheel design for added stability
- Suitable for most smaller trailers
- Good battery life
- Traction could be better
7. Most Maneuverable Trailer Dolly: Happybuy Trailer Mover
- Weight Capacity: 5,000 lbs
- Tongue Weight Capacity: 600 lbs
- Wheels: One 8” wheel
- Electric Motor: 350W 12V motor
- Dimensions: 49 x 13.5 x 11.5”; 32.4 pounds
If budget is your primary consideration, then this product could be a ‘happy buy.’ The low-cost unit performs surprisingly well at maneuvering mid-sized trailers around small garages and yards, perfect for the RVer who frequently stows their rig at home.
Although it’s rated at 5,000 lbs with a 600 lbs tongue weight capacity, we advise you to approach with caution. Attempt to push the limit, and you may find it becomes unstable under the load—lighter trailers are fine, though.
Two separate control panels adjust the jockey wheel height and give the motor power, while multiple gears help you achieve ample torque. As you’d expect from a low-cost dolly, it’s only got one relatively small wheel, so you won’t get much traction once you leave the pavement. Also, note it’s not appropriate for gradients above 5 degrees.
We’re impressed by how easy the unit is to install, partly thanks to the fact it comes with handy mounting brackets that fit most trailers. Another major plus is how compact the dolly is; you won’t have any issues popping it in the boot or storage inside your travel trailer. The automatic brakes work as they should, keeping you and your trailer safe from harm.
The big downside to the dolly is durability, or lack thereof. Use it occasionally in perfect conditions (flat hard ground), and it’ll likely last for years to come. But push it to the limits, and the dolly will encounter all sorts of issues, most of which are challenging to resolve. The rocker switch, the wire connector in the handle, and the welded nut are all prone to breakage (among other things), so you better be ready to MacGyver some DIY repairs.
And that’s why the Happybuy is so cheap: it works well until it breaks, at which point you’ll need to figure out how to fix it or buy a new one.
- Easy to maneuver with two separate controls
- Simple to install with included mounting brackets
- Effective automatic brakes
- Compact and lightweight
- Has trouble supporting the full 5,000 lb limit
- Various parts are prone to wear and tear
- Doesn’t perform well off-road or on inclines
8. Best Simple Trailer Dolly: Biltek Trailer Mover 350W
- Weight Capacity: 5,000 lbs
- Max Jockey Wheel Load: 600 lbs
- Wheels: 8-inch solid rubber wheel
- Electric Motor: 350W 12V motor
- Dimensions: 74 x 12.6 x 10.6”; 35.28 lbs
The first thing that might attract you to the Trailer Mover 350W from Biltek is the low price. Coming in at a fraction of the cost of some of our favorite electric trailer dollies, it’s an enticing option for cash-strapped towers. And while it’s easy to use with light trailers on hard concrete surfaces, the device does have its downsides.
First off, the airless rubber tire and flimsy jockey wheel make the dolly struggle to support the advertised 600 lb tongue capacity—give it a miss if you’re trailer is pushing the upper limit.
It also doesn’t come with any mounting brackets, meaning you’ll be forced to drill holes into the trailer frame. Depending on the contour of your trailer, that may require considerable DIY skills. And, consequently, the mount is bound to rattle around and offers inadequate grip.
We also wish there was some way to swing the dolly up underneath the trailer when driving. It’s a pain in the neck to reattach it each time.
On the plus side, the motor is plenty powerful, and it is relatively easy to maneuver around. The button control handle is intuitive to use, and the automatic brake function works as expected. It comes with a key-lock system, which is handy if you’re worried about theft.
All in all, it’s a decent dolly for the price. Just be sure to stick to hard flat surfaces (concrete or dry grass) and don’t go anywhere near the 600 lb jockey wheel limit.
- Super low-cost electric dolly
- Easy to maneuver handle
- Powerful and reliable motor
- Braking system works well
- Jockey wheel doesn’t support the advertised weight
- Mounting requires drilling holes
- Can’t swing up for driving
Everything You Need to Know About Trailer Dollies
An electric trailer dolly requires a considerable financial outlay, so it’s in your best interest to thoroughly research the technology before making a purchase. To help you understand the finer details of this uber-convenient accessory, we’ve put together an in-depth Electric Trailer Dolly Buyer’s Guide.
What Is an Electric Trailer Dolly?
It’s all in the name: an electric-powered dolly for trailers. While a truck or SUV is your best bet for transporting a trailer over a large distance, a dolly allows you to navigate narrow angles over a short stretch—perfect for parking in tight spaces.
The Benefits of an Electric Trailer Dolly
Although they don’t come cheap, a trailer dolly is a worthy investment for anyone who needs to position their trailer into a confined space. Let’s take a quick look at the key advantages of the device.
Wide Range of Motion
When positioning a trailer with a truck, you have limited freedom of movement and may need to perform multiple adjustments to achieve the desired angle. A good dolly like the Parkit360 Force ISC 5K B2 Motorized Electric Trailer Dolly gives you a 360-degree range of motion, enabling you to maneuver the trailer in sharp angles that would be otherwise unachievable.
Less Physical Effort
An electric motor cranks the trailer up and down so you can easily couple it to the hitch without having to exert physical force. Electric dollies also have a motor connected to the wheels, which lets you move it around with a remote or switch instead of strenuous manual pushing.
This mechanized design is beneficial for large trailers that are too heavy to crank or maneuver by hand. Elderly RVers who lack the physical strength to maneuver a trailer manually are especially fond of the devices.
Safer and Less Stressful
Backing up a trailer is a challenging endeavor; one wrong move could see you bump into an obstacle and damage your rig. Positioning a trailer with a dolly, on the other hand, is relatively easy, and you’re unlikely to bash into anything in the process. And that equates to fewer costly repair bills and less stress when it comes time to uncouple your load.
Electric trailer dollies are compatible with numerous trailer types, allowing you to use the one dolly on several different trailers. So long as it exceeds the relevant gross trailer and tongue weight, there’s a good chance your dolly will work with most trailer types out there. Nonetheless, it pays to do your due diligence and thoroughly research compatibility before you buy.
Electric Trailer Dolly Versus Manual Trailer Dolly: Which Option Is Best for You?
Is it worth splashing out on a high-tech electric trailer dolly when the manual variety costs a fraction of the price.
There’s no right or wrong answer; it all depends on your personal circumstances. Let’s look at what factors you should consider when deciding whether to get an electric or manual trailer dolly.
Electric trailer dollies don’t come cheap, with the high-end models costing several thousands of dollars. Then you’ve got maintenance costs to consider as you’re bound to encounter issues eventually with prolonged use.
Manual trailer dollies go for several hundred dollars, making them a viable alternative when money is tight. One excellent low-cost option is to get a manual trailer dolly you can power with a cordless drill. These won’t break the bank, nor your back when it comes time to crank the trailer.
If you’ve got a tiny little trailer to haul something like a jet ski or a small load of commercial supplies, you’ll probably do okay without an electric dolly. Pint-sized trailers are easy enough to crank and maneuver by hand, so you won’t necessarily need assistance from an electric motor.
Big commercial trailers and bulky RVs, however, are incredibly cumbersome. Hand cranking a 10,000 lb load takes a considerable amount of time and physical effort—but it’s all too easy with the help of an electric motor.
If you only use your trailer a couple of times per year, it might be hard to justify forking out thousands just to make the coupling and positioning process easier. Some infrequent towers are prepared to put up with a manual trailer dolly because they rarely have to suffer through the process.
Folks who uncouple their trailers every single day—think industrial workers and full-time RVers—would get much more value out of the investment. The time and effort saved with each uncoupling would quickly make the purchase worthwhile.
Electric Trailer Dollies: The Key Considerations
Take the following factors into account before purchasing an electric dolly for your trailer.
The most crucial thing to consider with an electric trailer dolly is the weight capacity, which refers to how many pounds the device can withstand. If you overload a dolly, you run the risk of buckling the jockey wheel due to excess force, severely damaging it and the trailer in the process and potentially causing injury or death.
It’s important to note the figure to consider is Gross Trailer Weight (GTW), which refers to how much your trailer weighs when fully loaded. Take your trailer to a weigh station to learn how heavy it is when you’re hauling your boat, jet ski, or whatever other cargo you’d typically carry. If you’re towing a camper, be sure to factor in food, furniture, and a full tank of fuel and water.
Tongue Weight Capacity
Tongue weight (TW) refers to the weight exerted on the dolly hitch. A properly loaded trailer should have a tongue weight that’s approximately 10-15% of the Gross Trailer Weight (GTW). If your trailer GTW is 10,000 lbs, for example, then the TW will ideally be about 1,000-1,500 lbs.
Important: the ideal tongue weight also depends on the type of hitch. A bumper pull trailer should have a TW that’s 5-10% of the GTW, while a gooseneck TW should be 15-20% of the GTW.
However, you can’t assume your TW will be the correct percentage of the GTW. The way the trailer has been loaded has a significant effect on tongue weight. An incorrectly loaded trailer will put too much pressure on the hitch, potentially causing it to snap—severe damage, injury, or death may ensue. Another disastrous consequence of a poorly configured load is trailer sway, a common cause of towing accidents.
The easiest way to check your tongue weight is to bring your trailer to a weigh station and pay a fee of $10 or so. If you regularly need to check tongue weight (which is common for commercial towers), then it’s worth investing in a tongue weight scale so you can do it yourself. These nifty devices save frequent towers time and money in the long run.
The number of wheels on your dolly will affect how much weight it can support. While smaller, low-capacity dollies tend to have a basic configuration, high-end models use heavy-duty wheels.
Basic dollies, for example, only require one small wheel to support a relatively low load capacity. As the weight increases, it puts extra pressure on the tires; thus, a second wheel (or sometimes a third) is typical on medium-sized dollies.
For extra heavy-duty dollies made for supporting massive loads, the preferred set up is the caterpillar-style wheel design. Although expensive, these can move huge trailers around with ease and still retain an impressive range of motion.
Size matters, too. Bigger wheels provide more support and enhance the overall longevity of the product.
Cheap electric dollies require you to crank the wheels and hitch with a cordless drill, while the top-end models include an advanced electric motor with plenty of grunt.
The big advantage, of course, is an in-built motor negates the need to push the trailer yourself at any time—a challenging task when you’re working with a high GTW. The price difference is pretty significant; however, so some trailer owners prefer the cheaper option.
The electric motor is often measured in horsepower or watts, with the higher numbers equating to more juice.
The last thing you want is for your enormous trailer to start rolling downhill the moment you uncouple it from your truck. To prevent this potentially deadly situation from arising, electric trailer dollies have brakes built into the system.
High-end dollies designed for heavy loads have advanced braking systems that automatically engage when required. Cheaper dollies tend to have less sophisticated brakes, which the user may need to set themselves.
It’s always wise to double-check the brakes are correctly engaged before leaving a trailer unattended.
The ideal size and weight depend on what you’re planning on using the trailer for. If you need a dolly for your camper or fifth wheeler, then look for something relatively small you can pick up and put inside after each use. The same logic applies if you’re towing a recreational vehicle like a boat, jet ski, or ATV—you want a dolly you can fit in the trunk of your car.
Industrial towers, on the other hand, do most of their dolly work in the warehouse. Therefore, a big dolly that’s too heavy to lift isn’t a problem as it’ll remain on site.
If you’re planning on bringing your dolly with you, look at something compact like the Happybuy Trailer Mover.
Electric Trailer Dolly FAQ
If you’ve still got questions about the electric trailer dolly, there’s a good chance we’ve covered them in our FAQ.
What Is the Best Electric Trailer Dolly?
The ideal electric trailer dolly depends on your requirements, so be sure to factor in things like size, price, usage frequency, and trailer weight. We rate the Trailer Valet TVXL25 XL as the best electric trailer dolly overall for its portability, affordability, and heavy-duty design.
How Much Is an Electric Trailer Dolly?
Electric trailer dollies range from about $250 for a basic model to $4,000 plus for a top of a line machine. Take a read through our in-depth Buyer’s Guide to determine what features you need.
Can You Move a Trailer Traveler by Hand?
While it’s possible to move a lightweight travel trailer by hand with a manual dolly, it’s certainly not easy—the backbreaking process requires plenty of muscle power. Even a bodybuilder would struggle to move a big trailer with a manual dolly—the electric motors come in handy here.
What Is a Power Trailer?
A power trailer refers to any sort of motorized dolly mechanism, whether it runs on electricity or gas. Power trailers are useful for moving big trailers that are too heavy to maneuver by hand.
What Is a Trailer Valet?
Trailer Valet is the name of a well-regarded company that manufactures electric trailer dollies. We review multiple Trailer Valet products on our Top 8 List.
The Best Electric Trailer Dollies: Final Thoughts
An electric trailer dolly uses a motor to jack and maneuver a heavy trailer on your behalf, turning the once backbreaking chore into a breeze. And for frequent towers, that saves a significant amount of time and money, making the investment entirely worthwhile.
Take the time to review our in-depth Buyer’s Guide to get up to speed on the finer details of the device. Next, it’s time to scroll through our Top 8 Recommendations and pick out the perfect product for you.
With the right electric trailer dolly at hand, you won’t have the stress about the nerve-wracking and exhausting task of positioning a trailer in place. The machine takes care of all the hard stuff on your behalf, allowing you to focus your attention elsewhere.