Considering buying a trailer for your ATV or UTV
It’s a good idea, but there are a lot of elements that most ATV and UTV owners aren’t aware of when they buy a trailer for their vehicle.
We’re here to tell you the ups and downs of a new ATV trailer, why your UTV trailer might run into problems, and how to use them properly so you don’t get frustrated along the way.
What Size do I Need for my ATV?
Well, what are you hauling?
Whether it’s being used on the farm or just for bringing camping gear to a recreational spot, you need to assess how much your ATV is rated to pull, and what you’re going to do with it.
There are a bunch of ATVs that can only tow about 200 lbs on their own due to the horsepower in the motor. These are the inexpensive, recreational ATVs that are just designed for single- or dual-rider fun.
There’s nothing wrong with these ATVs, but they’re going to have a smaller price tag and capability. Converting one of these ATVs into a work-related or farm vehicle is possible, though.
You have to account for your weight and the empty trailer weight when factoring in how much you need for your ATV. Typically, about 15 cubic feet of space will be good enough for most ATVs, and allow for a 1,300 to 2,000 lb maximum weight capacity.
For UTVs, it’s a different story. You can use ATV trailers on them, but there is absolutely a difference. Some UTV trailers will come with up to six wheels instead of the standard two on an ATV trailer, which helps account for more weight.
Because UTVs can usually pull a lot more weight than an ATV, these trailers have a much heavier empty weight. There’s a UTV trailer from Yutrax that’s very popular, and while it only pulls 1,250 lbs, it weighs nearly 200 lbs on its own.
For a UTV trailer, you’re going to find 12 cubic feet up to about 30 cubic feet, depending on where you look. This is because usually, people get a UTV if they’re hauling a lot of heavy duty items around.
What Type of ATV/UTV Trailer do I Need?
What’s your reason for getting it?
That’s going to play a big role. You have a few different types to choose from:
- Utility: These single axle systems have two wheels, and low side walls typically designed for moving bulky items; you wouldn’t move gravel or anything loose in here. A utility trailer is the most common type you’ll see that has you relieving the Radio Flyer days in your head.
- Dump: These ones are designed for moving loose items, such as gravel. Basically, you’re still looking at a single axle system, but there’s a tailgate on the back. This opens up (usually from the bottom, while the top sits on an axle that’s connected to the corners/side walls), and the flap opens up to let the gravel or loose items spill out. These are good for small tasks, because there’s no way to control the force of the items coming out. You just pop it open, and let it go.
- Flatbed: Pretty self-explanatory: a flat bottom that you can hold a bunch of items in, just like your flatbed pickup. The side walls on this are likely to be very short, but it will allow you to move bulky items that would otherwise be impossible to maneuver with just your hands. If you get a flatbed ATV trailer, it’s a good idea to get some straps to keep whatever it is you’re transporting tied down.
- Bucket: Single axle systems that kind of act like a wheelbarrow. You can manipulate it, usually with a lever, to lean backwards and dump out whatever contents you’re carrying on the ground by shifting the entire bucket.
Where to Buy One?
Buying an ATV trailer isn’t as difficult as it seems. Apart from online retailers like Amazon offering deliveries, you can also visit your local Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Tractor Supply Co. to find good quality ATC trailers.
Ordering these trailers online has become incredibly simple in recent years. Thanks to Amazon becoming the global giant when it comes to shipping goods, their own delivery services handle larger packages that used to cost you insane amounts of shipping.
While you still might run into shipping costs when you hit a certain weight, you’re paying far less for the convenience—and for saving your time—than you used to. Online selections are generally the same as those in-store.
That being said, it’s not always the same. If you want a specific trailer or you need a certain cubic footage space that you can’t find online, don’t be afraid to call smaller places around you and ask if they have them in stock. You might be surprised.
How to Attach Your Trailer to Your ATV/UTV?
It depends on which hitch type you have. There are ball hitches, receivers, and rotating ATV hitches as well. It’s important to know what hitch you’re dealing with before you ever purchase a trailer.
If your system has a hitch pin, you can simply attach your hitch pin through the hole in the bottom and use the latch on your ATV trailer to connect to the half-circle latch underneath the pintle. These are found on combination hitches that can be a mix of ball, rotating, and receiving hitches.
Hindle pitches are perhaps the most simple to use. You can simply back up your ATV to the trailer, and the system clicks into place. An auto-locking mechanism keeps it in place, so you can drive without consequence or worrying about your trailer falling off.
What is the Weight Limit of the Average ATV/UTV Trailer?
On average, you can haul anywhere from 800 lbs up to 3,000 lbs (1.5 tons) with an ATV trailer. However, UTV trailers are different, and offer about 1,000 lbs up to 10,000 lbs (5 tons) worth of carrying capacity. It depends on the material, size, and what ATV/UTV it’s being attached to.
There’s a tightrope that manufacturers have to walk here, because when they recommend their trailers for specific vehicles, people usually don’t listen. They put rigorous guidelines in place so that you know what you’re getting into.
If a manufacturer states that you need a certain level of horsepower in your ATV to reach the max weight limit (rather, to pull it effectively), and you don’t listen to that, there’s no reason to be disgruntled; they laid out the guidelines right from the start.
Manufacturers go under a lot of scrutiny as a result. These weight limits aren’t just helpful suggestions – they’re something you should listen to in order to avoid injuries, overstressing your motors, and actually getting the utility/speed you want when hauling one of these trailers.
How Long Does an ATV/UTV Trailer Last?
ATV and UTV trailers are made out of a high grade steel or iron. They’re not meant to be one-year or two-year purchases: they’re designed to last for as long as you’re willing to take care of them. Most of that depends on you.
If you look at the weld marks on any trailer, you’re going to see that it’s been put together with durability in mind. It shouldn’t come apart whether you crash it, smash it, or ding it up along the fences of your farm.
An ATV or UTV trailer body will last for longer than your vehicle will. With proper care and maintenance to ensure there’s no rusting, the lifetime is exceptionally long.
When you get into the bits and bobs, you’re going to need maintenance. You can’t get away from this Scott-free.
Your wheels are not going to last for a decade. Your latch isn’t going to make it for as long as the body does. Since the body is just a solid piece of metal, protecting it is easy – it’s not physically doing anything other than holding onto weight.
When you have a heavy load, you have more stress on your wheels and latch, which is going to put your entire trailer through a little more tension. Expect to replace the wheels and latch at least once in the first five years, just to be on the safe side.
Traveling With Trailers on Your ATV
Once you master using your ATV and UTV trailers, you’ll have much better utility than you had before (which is the hope, right?), as well as a flawless way to transport goods and materials.
Whether it’s a UTV on your homestead to help with new construction, or an ATV to bring equipment to the campsite for a three-day weekend, you need to know what you’re getting nito. Now it’s just time to