How to Build a Trailer to Pull Behind an ATV

How to Build a Trailer to Pull Behind an ATV
Sometimes it would be nice to have a trailer for your ATV to get your gear where it needs to go. If you dread those long portages to and from the lake, or need a trailer to help get gear and supplies into the river camp for your canoe or kayak tour, you can build your own custom ATV trailer to haul gear or your boats. The task of making your own ATV trailer requires skills with cutting torches and welding. The project will take a bit of time, so plan on this being a task where a few days will be needed.


Difficulty: Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Welding apron, gloves and goggles
  • Welding cutting torch
  • 4- by 8-foot metal trailer grate
  • Work bench or fire-resistant set of work horses.
  • 2- by 2-inch steel rectangular tubing
  • Wheels with trailer hubs and axle
  • Hitch kit for ATV
  • Lights kit with wiring
Step 1
Get the dimensions of your ATV, either by taking measurements or reading the user manual. Check the manual for trailer size recommendations and weight-pulling limitations.
Step 2
Measure out the size of the trailer you want that also meets with the ATV dimensions and the maker's specifications. Set the metal grate onto a flat surface and mark out the planned trailer size. Set the mesh grate onto a fire resistant work horse or bench. Put on your welding gear and spark the torch. Cut out the pattern from the metal grate with the torch. Discard the extra metal grating.
Step 3
Cut out the trailer railing with the 2 by 2 steel rectangular tubing. Cut away each end of the tubing with the torch as you measure it against the sides of the metal grate. Weld the rectangular tubes to the sides of the metal grate, making the basic trailer frame and sides.
Step 4
Flip the frame over on the work bench and weld a 6-foot length of the steel tubing down the center of the trailer frame. Align the axle and wheel hubs in the middle edges of the trailer bottom and weld them into position. Take care to keep them even and extremely straight. Keep the angle identical on each wheel well. Failure to do so results in tires wearing out faster.
Step 5
Attach the trailer hitch to the butt end of the 6-foot extension from the trailer. Attach the lighting kit to the trailer according to the kit's instructions, making sure to place the lights according to your state laws regarding ATV trailers.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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