I used to work out of a long-bed cargo van. Initially, it seemed like the right way to go -- plenty of sheltered cargo space, rear- and side-door access, and lockable storage to deter theft. Basically, I drove a fully loaded toolshed to work. A roof rack handled ladders and long stock. And the exterior surface provided a generous area for an eye-catching graphic to advertise our presence on the job. But the pluses soon gave way to the minuses: Access was awkward -- I had to climb inside, stoop over, and rummage around by the dim glow of the dome light to find tools and supplies. Organized storage was compromised -- inward-sloping sidewalls, wheel wells, and those not-so-handy side and rear doors didn't leave enough usable area for shelving. With the shelves stuffed full and their contents soon forgotten, the remaining narrow floor area became more or less permanently choked with miscellaneous hand and bench tools, buckets, cords, parts, and items long assumed lost. My best intentions for getting organized were overwhelmed by sheer impracticality. After a few years of growing frustration, I finally decided to upgrade my rig.

I didn't want to be tied to my tool collection everywhere I went, so a bigger truck wasn't the solution. A trailer, pulled by a pickup, would allow me to park the tools and ride unencumbered between work and home, run errands, and transport other cargo and passengers independently.

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