How to Build a Trailer

A trailer makes transporting heavy items or large payloads much easier. It can save you multiple trips and a lot of strain on your back. Though you can buy a trailer, it is also possible to build your own. The process is relatively easy and does not cost a lot of money. You will need a variety of basic tools and supplies such as plywood, two-by-fours, an electric drill, several L-brackets, trailer lighting and electrical wiring, and heavy duty nails and screws. The amount and size of the materials needed is based on the size trailer you intend to build. Determine the size based on the items you plan to haul. No matter what you plan to haul, the trailer needs to be sturdy enough to drive on the street. Optional features include enclosures, windows, and a variety of different doors.

A basic trailer has four wheels, a platform bed, and four walls. The top is open to allow you to load the trailer. You will also need a way to attach the trailer to your car or truck. If you plan to pull the trailer in traffic, you will need to set up brake lights connected to your vehicle.

Assemble the Basic Trailer

Begin the assembly of the trailer. Attach the side plywood boards to the base. Start with one of the short ends and use two L-brackets spaced evenly apart on the two boards. For additional support, attach L-brackets to the inside and outside of the trailer. Once all four sides are attached to the plywood base, you can reinforce the side connections with additional brackets. In most cases, the side panels do not need to be more than a foot high, but anticipate your hauling needs when determining the right height for your trailer. If your sides are higher, you can double-reinforce the sides with two sets of brackets connecting each of the four corners. The brackets might need to be tightened periodically as you use the trailer, so check them before each use.

 Add Wheels

Now you can add the wheels. If you plan to haul the trailer on roadways and in traffic, you need to use sturdy tires. Standard car tires, even small ones, need to be installed on axles, so this might not be the best choice for a basic trailer. You can get basic wheels that attach directly to the plywood base. They are easy to install and should work well for basic, short-distance hauling.

Once the wheels are installed, you need to rig the lights. Attach the light boxes to the back of the trailer so they are visible. The wires can be attached to a generic wiring harness that plugs into your car or truck. This system is similar to those used by three-wheel recreational vehicles. You will need the assistance of another person to test the lights. Have them step on the brakes in your vehicle while you make sure both lights illuminate.

Though you can create a more elaborate trailer, most people are satisfied with a basic four-sided trailer. The project should take only a few hours to complete and you will be able to haul average-sized loads a short distance.

Additional Reading on How to Build a Trailer

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