Trailer Tales

When The Boss announced – prior to our move to rural Mallorca – that we’d need a trailer when we were living on the island, I did wonder whether this wasn’t a case of a desire for a new Man Toy. We certainly hadn’t needed one living in Oxfordshire. However, The Boss’s convincing case for owning a trailer once we were living in the Mallorcan countryside meant that we bought one before we moved, in case we couldn’t find a suitable one on the island. If only we’d known . . .

The Manacor area – in which we live – is largely agricultural and it seems that most country dwellers here have a trailer of some sort; we even regularly see one that has clearly been home-made: an old wooden fruit box that’s been mounted on a set of redundant pram wheels and is towed by an ancient moped ridden by an equally ancient man. There are plenty of more robust ones like ours too, and several places in the area where we could have bought one, as it happens.

Our trailer – manufactured in the Netherlands and bought in Oxfordshire – did, however, serve a useful purpose before we’d moved here. About a month before the Big Move, we drove our car and trailer down through France and Spain to Barcelona, where we caught the ferry to Mallorca. It was an opportunity to do some work on the finca and to bring some of our possessions with us in the trailer, in advance of the removal men bringing everything over. We shared the driving and I was surprised to find that towing the trailer didn’t present any particular problems (although I’m not sure I could have parallel parked the car/trailer combo, had I needed to!).

Bureaucracy Rules . . .

But if you’re moving to Mallorca – or indeed the Spanish mainland – I’d recommend buying a trailer when you arrive, to save all the bureaucratic processes involved in importing a vehicle. Yes, although our trailer has no engine, it went through the same processes as our car in order to be registered in Spain, and the task took almost as long as it did for the car to be legalized. Our problem was that we had no ficha técnica, the official document detailing the full technical specifications of the vehicle.  We had all the paperwork provided by the retailer of the trailer – which included a brochure containing all the technical details required. But it wasn’t an official Spanish ficha técnica, and therefore didn’t cut any mustard with officialdom.

Long (and oh-so-boring) story short, we had to contact the trailer manufacturer in the Netherlands to obtain additional details to enable us to meet the legal requirements here. We then had to have our trailer measured and inspected by a local official who, having confirmed that the details provided by the manufacturer were correct, produced the necessary ficha técnica. But this was only one of some nine documents required to complete the registration of the trailer in Spain. With the benefit of hindsight, we would have bought the trailer on Mallorca.

But, despite my initial reservations about the need for a metal box on wheels, our trailer has been very useful. It’s an easy way to transport large unwanted items to the local Ecoparc (where we do our recycling); bring construction materials home with us (saving a delivery charge) and, several times during the winter, to collect logs for our stove from a wood yard. And the cats have found a use for it too . . .

Shorty, Beamer and, almost hidden, Sweetie - enjoying the trailer life

Shorty, Beamer and, almost hidden, Sweetie – enjoying the trailer life

Jan Edwards Copyright 2013

Trailer Tales

In preparation for our move to live in rural Mallorca, The Boss purchased a trailer to hitch up to our car. I wasn’t convinced that such a piece of equipment – known here as a remolque – would really be necessary in our new country life, but it’s proved to be very useful for all manner of things.

Having towed it down through France and Spain before we moved here (loaded with some items for our future new home), we had to set about legalising it for use on Mallorca’s roads. It proved to be a task fraught with complications. Long story short, the process took longer than it did to transfer our car registration from British to Spanish – involving phone calls to the trailer manufacturers in the Netherlands, visits to various ITV (Inspección Técnica de Vehículos) centres, and much rending of garments and gnashing of teeth.

Hitch ‘er Up

But it’s all been worth it. We soon discovered that having logs delivered for our woodburning stove was an expensive exercise, and meant that we had no choice in the wood that we received. Having the trailer has enabled The Boss to go and buy our wood from a farmer who sells it from his land, and he can hand-pick decent logs that will fit inside our stove.  We’ve also used it to take sizeable unwanted items to the local Parc Verde (recycling and household refuse centre).

We recently went to buy a large quantity of small stones to put down on our drive, and were shocked to find that the cost of delivering them to our property was higher than the cost of the stones themselves. So The Boss duly hitched up the trailer and returned to the builders’ merchants to collect the stones himself.

A Trailer of Two (or More) Kitties

Shorty, Beamer and, almost hidden, Sweetie - enjoying the trailer life

Shorty, Beamer and, almost hidden, Sweetie – enjoying the trailer life

But we’re not the only ones who see the value in having this trailer. With its soft black cover in place, it has proved very popular as a lounging spot for some of our family of adopted cats. I guess that makes it worth every penny . . .

Jan Edwards Copyright 2013