The inside of an empty trailer

There's no doubt that the driver of this trailer could benefit from tie down hangers -- that's a lot of tie down straps.

Joshua Carpenter/iStockphoto

Anyone who owns or uses a trailer knows the way it typically works out. You have a load to carry, and you need a way to keep it safely in place for the journey ahead. Of course, you already have plenty of ways to secure your cargo -- it's all in that big plastic bin full of tow straps, bungee cords, hooks, rubber straps and other towing equipment. But what you're looking for this time is the half-dozen or so ratcheting tie-downs you purchased just for this occasion. As you open the bin, you see a mass of rope, rubber and nylon that resembles a bowl of spaghetti. You haven't seen anything this tangled since the last time you looked for the Christmas lights in your attic.

With any luck, you can find the end of at least one of the straps and begin to unravel the twisted mess, but one thing's for sure: It's going to take you a while. What a waste of time. As you near the end of your untangling, unknotting task, you realize that there must be some way to keep your tie-downs organized -- but how?

Tie-down hangers may be the answer. Tow strap tie-down hangers are an excellent way to keep various tie-downs out of the way when they're not in use. When tie-down hangers are used properly, they can keep tie-down straps well organized, untangled and tightly secured against the wall of your trailer, garage or wherever they're installed.

Tie-down hangers have a rather simple design. Most closely resemble a very small towel rack. Other designs look more like a piece of angle iron -- a flat piece of metal bent to form a 90 degree angle -- with holes drilled at measured intervals. Both designs are very effective, and they come in a variety of lengths to match your installation needs.

Now that you've decided that tie-down hangers are likely the best way to get rid of your spaghettilike pile of straps, a few questions remain. Where can you purchase a set of tie-down hangers, and once you have them in hand, how will you install them? Read the next page to find out.