How to Build a Collapsible Motorcycle Trailer

How to Build a Collapsible Motorcycle Trailer
There is no reason four-wheel vehicles should have all the towing and camping fun. You can fashion a small popup-style collapsible trailer for your motorcycle using an old utility trailer and materials gathered at home improvement shops.

If using a larger utility trailer that requires you to cut it down and weld, be sure you have a ventilated working area. Check with your local DMV before beginning construction to get any laws or regulations pertaining to the registration or legal sizing of a motorcycle trailer for your state.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Motorcycle hitch mount kit
  • Wheel chocks
  • Measuring tape and marker
  • Small utility trailer
  • Axle mount
  • 12-inch tires
  • Treated deck timbers (refer to design plans, typically six sections of 8-foot length)
  • Power sander
  • Power saw with wood and metal saws
  • Bolts, nuts and washers
  • Screws
  • Pop-up camp tent
  • Diamond plating
  • Plywood
  • Two 8-foot-long 2 by 4s
  • Optional:
  • Welding torch
  • Welding gloves, apron and goggles
  • Trailer lighting kit and wires
Step 1
Park the utility trailer in your workshop space. Place wheel chocks under the front and rear of each tire. Measure the length and width of the utility trailer and determine if it is legal for a motorcycle trailer based on findings from the DMV. If too big, put on your welding gear and open the shop windows.
Step 2
Remove the trailer lights off the back of the trailer. Set the lights and wires aside. Cut down the rear end of the trailer with the welding and cutting torch on the metal portions. If there are wood floors or sections needing cutting, use a power saw. Sand down the ends of any cut metal or wood.
Step 3
Measure the floor size of the now cut-down trailer. If the trailer is the correct size, use that dimension. Go to a hardware or home improvement store and have the store cut down a piece of metal diamond plating to your trailer floor size. Have them drill four holes in the plate, one at each corner and 1/2 inch from the edges.
Step 4
Attach the diamond metal plating to the floor of the trailer. Drill out holes that will align with the pre-drilled holes on the metal plate. Align the holes and use the bolts and huts, with a washer on the metal plate side to firmly attach to the floor of the utility trailer.
Step 5
Assemble a frame made of the 2 by 4s. Place around the utility trailer floor so the frame goes up 1 foot from the floor. On the side edges of the utility trailer, drill holes every 4 inches, beginning at the front left corner.

Place the 2 by 4 frame into the trailer bed and drill out holes that align with the trailer edge holes you just drilled. Use the bolts and nuts to attach the frame to the trailer.
Step 6
Change the blade on the power saw to a metal cutting blade. Go around and cut down the ends of the bolts so there are no protruding metal bits extending out from the bolts. Sand down the ends so they are smooth and flush.
Step 7
Measure the plywood sheets so you have two pieces that are equal in size and will cover the top of the trailer frame. Attach two hinges in the middle to connect the two plywood pieces once they are cut down.

On each end of each piece of plywood sheeting, attach a clip and hook. These are used to fasten the top to the trailer for transport on either end of the trailer frame.
Step 8
Set the pop-up tent in the middle of the trailer for assembly. Align the tent so there is space for sleeping when standing. Collapse the tent and store in the tent's storage bag.

Place foam mattress pieces onto the floor inside the trailer. Place the tent on the floor. Put the plywood ceiling on the trailer frame and use the clips to secure it in place for transport.

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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