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Have you ever been in a situation where someone asked if they could borrow your trailer? Is it even legal? What could be the problem if you decide to let them borrow your trailer? Before deciding, there is a list of things you should consider and it can become quite tricky.

In most states, you are generally allowed to let your friends and family borrow your trailer; however, since the trailer’s license is registered under your name, you may be responsible and liable in some situations or in case of damages and accidents.

Deciding whether or not to let someone borrow your trailer depends on several things that you should consider. As you go along, you will see what are these things and what you should do beforehand.

Is It Legal to Let Someone Borrow Your Trailer?

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Most states do not have any problems if you let someone borrow your trailer. As long as you are not renting it out without a commercial license and you are not receiving rent or any payment for letting them drive it, then it isn’t illegal. It is still private property so you can use it however you want; including lending it to friends or family.

Even though your trailer is registered under your name and is meant for your personal use, you can still let someone use it. The only thing that you have to be aware of is if anything happens that involves your trailer, it would still be your responsibility.

Will Your Insurance Still Cover a Trailer In Case of an Accident?

Before you let someone else use your trailer, you have to be conscious that something that is beyond your control can happen. Like accidents, injuries, and damages to your trailer or someone else’s. With that, you should know which kind of situation you are going to be able to use your insurance.

Here are a few things that you should look into before you let someone borrow your trailer:

Property Insurance Vs. Liability Insurance

First, you have to understand that there’s a difference between property insurance and liability insurance. Property insurance covers loss or damage to the insured property which, in this case, is your trailer. Liability insurance, on the other hand, covers accidents that cause injury or damage to another person or someone’s property.

These two are distinct and may be separate so it’s best to check with your insurance agent beforehand if you have them in your current policy. 

Every Trailer Insurance Policy is Different

The reason it gets complicated is that every insurance policy is different. Generally, your primary car’s insurance somehow extends to your trailer. Given, of course, that you own both of them. But this is a different case since the towing car’s insurance does not have the trailer listed in their policy. The towing car’s insurance may, in some policies, partially cover some of the liabilities. Although I wouldn’t expect it, it doesn’t hurt to ask. It is important that you are aware that you may share some of these responsibilities.

You Should Ask Your Insurance Agents

Another problem in cases of borrowed trailers is that the borrower cannot place a claim against your trailer’s insurance since only you can apply for that. Add to that hassle, the higher premiums you have to pay in the next bills due to the claim. Ultimately, it will cost you.

In any case, the best way to go is to really speak to both your insurance agents and ensure you know what you really are covered for; both the towing car and your trailer.

Who Should You Allow To Borrow Your Trailer?

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Some of us form some kind of attachment to our camper and it’s totally normal to be wary of who you can entrust it with. Just like a home, it’s personal so declining someone’s request to borrow your trailer should totally be understandable to the other party with no hard feelings. As much as that is true, I am also open to letting another person use my camper when I am not using it; but, this is limited to a handful of people.

When letting someone borrow my trailer, it has to be either a trusted friend or family. Of course, they have to have the license and know how to operate an RV. Additionally, I’d also like to know where they’re traveling and that I am confident they know how to operate it in that terrain. I am just more at peace when I know this. So, I think you should ask them beforehand as well.

Although I can’t expect them to take care of my stuff as I do, still I’d remind them to, at least, treat it like it’s their own. I should fully trust that the person is responsible enough to do this.

Lastly, the person has to acknowledge that he will take full responsibility for my trailer or at least assure me that in case anything happens, we share the burden.

In short, you should accept the risk that there could be problems while your RV is with them and you are fully OK with that even to the extent of taking on some of the liabilities yourself.

What To Do Before Letting Someone Borrow Your Trailer?

When you decide to lend or let your friends/family borrow your camper, it becomes your duty to not only give them an enjoyable experience but also to make sure that they will be safe during their entire trip. Surely, your concern now is not only your trailer’s safety but also your friends’/family’s. To help you out so you don’t worry too much, here are some tips to keep everything in check before they hit the road.

Perform a full safety check of the trailer

The first thing you should consider doing is to perform a full safety check of the trailer. It includes checking the tires and making sure that the brakes and tail lights are all working. Batteries should be fully charged and the water system should properly be working. Basically, I check everything like how I would normally do before my trip.

Ensure that trailer insurance is up-to-date

You know how important insurances in RVs are. It is especially true in situations like this so it’s best to ensure that your insurance policy is up-to-date as well as the towing car’s insurance. I would highly suggest that you speak to your insurance agents and know what you are covered for.

Make sure everything’s clean and working 

Although I always keep my trailer clean and tidy, I double-check everything when I know someone’s using it. I drain and refill the water system and I check for any leaks. I also make sure that all appliances are working so I can let them know if there’s anything they should bring before their trip.

Share everything they need to know about your camper

It’s best if we share our own personal tips in operating the RV. Every trailer is different. If there’s anything they need to know you should tell them. If something’s not working as it should or is not in tip-top shape, you should let them know. Don’t forget to leave them tools in case there’s any problem. The information you share with them is not only for the safety of your trailer but for their safety as well.

Make sure they have a good time

Lastly, just make everything available and ready to use for them. Try to get them familiarized and get them comfortable in the camper ahead of time. Once done with all the precautionary steps and reminders, it’s best you make them feel at home. They should, at least, feel that you trust them and that you don’t worry too much.

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Final Thoughts

Knowing all these, I would highly discourage lending someone your camper. It’s not being selfish but most of the time, problems can cause more damage to your relationship or friendship than the actual damage left in the trailer. If I was traveling with them then it’s easy. No problem. Let’s take it.

If I am not traveling with them, however, it depends. In most cases, it’s a no-go for me. I would try to respectfully turn down their request and hope there are no bad feelings. I think that’s far better than causing strain in your relationship.

But on rare occasions, I might let them borrow my trailer. I would limit it to very few trusted friends and family, though. When I do, I have my own checklist to follow so they’re both safe and I don’t worry too much. I’ll make sure that they have fun with it too.

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    Shauna Kocman founder Family Travel Fever
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    Shauna Kocman founder of Family Travel Fever

    Hi, I’m Shauna – Welcome to Family Travel Fever.  We are a large family, that was bitten by the travel bug!  We travel with kids and extended family.  I take the kids by myself sometimes because I don’t mind flying or driving solo with my crew to discover the coolest places.

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