Powered, Hand, or Electric Trailer Dollies: Which Is Best?

Trailer dollies are a fantastic investment because they assist you in making more precise maneuvers when your trailer is in smaller environments. They also allow you to move small distances without going through the hassle of hitching them back up with your tow vehicle. However, when you’re in the market for a trailer dolly, you’ll encounter three kinds: powered, electric, and hand dollies. While each type has its own strengths and weaknesses, you need to pick one based on the kind of trailer you have. So which is best for you between powered, hand, or electric trailer dollies? Find out here.

Hand Trailer Dollies

As the name suggests, you operate hand trailer dollies by hand. They’re thus the simplest of the three. Hand dollies often need assembly when they first arrive at your door to make shipping them more efficient, but the building process is by no means complex. Because hand trailer dollies have to be manually useable, they can only handle a fraction of the weight of motorized dollies. Because you have to rely on your own strength, you’ll only be pulling lighter trailers with them anyway, though.

Hand dollies typically come in two- and three-wheel configurations, with the latter often being more popular due to its greater stability. While less capable, hand dollies are cheaper than their heavy-duty counterparts and may be ideal if you’re only handling smaller trailers with light loads.

Electric Trailer Dollies

Electric trailer mover dollies use battery-operated electric motors to remove all physical labor and increase the strength and durability of the dolly. Typically controlled with a remote, these machines can tow much heavier weight capacities. They can also incorporate higher-quality materials that would be too heavy to operate by hand. For example, electric trailer dollies have heavier steel components that can handle more intensive applications. Some electric dollies also use treads instead of wheels so that they can traverse rough terrain and eliminate the risk a tire would have of popping.

Since you control it remotely, you’ll have a much easier time maneuvering your trailer with precision. This is especially true because you can move around and ensure you have a good line of sight rather than trying to peer around as you pull directly.

Powered Trailer Dollies

Powered trailer dollies are functionally the same as electric trailer dollies. In fact, you’ll often hear “powered” and “electric” used interchangeably to describe dollies. However, while every electric dolly is a powered dolly, not every powered dolly is an electric dolly. A powered trailer dolly can also include a gas-operated motor or a hand crank. Gas-operated motor dollies are identical to electric dollies in function, but they’re much louder and less environmentally friendly. Furthermore, it may be more difficult or less convenient to bring spare gas with you than it is to have extra or rechargeable batteries for an electric dolly.

Which Is Best for You?

You may be starting to form a clearer idea of the kind of trailer dolly you should buy. However, there may be some other benefits or circumstances that you should consider before deciding whether powered, hand, or electric trailer dollies are best.

Weight Capacity

As touched upon, your trailer’s weight capacity is the first and foremost factor to weigh. Hand-operated dollies can only handle a few hundred pounds before sustaining damage, while powered and electric dollies can handle tens of thousands of pounds without an issue. So, for instance, if you plan on traveling with a five-wheel camper, then a motorized trailer dolly is the way to go. If your trailer is small and light, a hand dolly is feasible, but you may still consider the convenience, strength, and precise maneuverability of powered and electric dollies.


The construction of dollies—whether hand, powered, or electric—differs depending on the model. Consequently, it’s good to take that into consideration when you’re narrowing down your options. For instance, the hitching ball and wheels often differ depending on the brand, and you’ll need to make sure the dolly you choose is compatible with your trailer. Some couplers will accept hitches that are two inches or bigger, while other hitching devices may only accept very specific sizes. As for the wheels, some brands will use inflatable tires, flat-proof tires, or even treads. So consider carefully what kind of terrain you expect your dolly to traverse.

If you’re choosing a hand dolly, then you’ll also want to consider the handle itself. At its most basic, the handle needs to be long and sturdy to ensure it can provide you with the leverage necessary to move a trailer that’s hundreds of pounds heavier than you. The longer the handle, the more leverage you’ll have.


Flexibility relates to the construction of your dolly. Many quality dollies will be adjustable to better accommodate a wider range of trailers, which is advantageous. For instance, a good feature to look for is the ability to adjust the hitch height without fully depressing the handle. If it’s capable of that, the hitch will require minimal force to adjust, which will be especially beneficial when traversing rough and uneven terrain.


When it comes to maintenance, hand dollies are obviously the simplest since they don’t have complex components. Each type of dolly isn’t terribly hard to clean and maintain, though. Also, you can find plenty of replacement parts for things like wheels. However, you may need some professional help if something goes wrong with an electric or powered dolly’s motor.

Environmental Impact

If reducing your environmental impact is a priority, then an electric or hand dolly will be your preferred option. Hand dollies naturally produce no carbon footprint since you manually operate them. Electric dollies are also environmentally friendly, as they release no harmful byproducts into the environment and have rechargeable batteries that help cut back waste.

Your Own Health

Lastly, consider your own health when choosing a dolly. Hand dollies can stress your body, and if you have a pre-existing condition, you may end up hurting yourself. You can easily hurt your back if you overexert yourself, so you must know and understand your limits when considering what dolly you should buy. Even if you’re towing a lighter trailer, a motorized dolly can save you from a lot of strain.


Choosing which dolly is best can depend on many factors, but we hope we’ve helped you gain a better understanding of your options. TRAX Power Dolly Systems, LLC is a foremost expert on trailer dollies, so never hesitate to reach out to us if you need more help choosing your trailer dolly!

Powered, Hand, or Electric Trailer Dollies: Which Is Best?