How to Build a Trailer

To build a good trailer, you need to first choose a good axle kit. Pick one that will suit your needs in terms of weight and towing capacity. You also need to figure out what kind of trailer you want to make as well, and find some detailed plans on the Internet, or at the local hardware store.

Required Materials/Tools

  • Detailed plan
  • Angle iron
  • Welding torch or metal saw
  • Tool to mark the metal
  • Tape measure
  • Axle kit
  • Research legal size and length of the trailers through your local DMV
  • Gather paperwork for licensing

Instructions

  1. After going over the plans you purchased/downloaded, shop for the supplies you need.
  2. We need to cut up the main pieces for the frame in the length specified by the designs. You can use a cutting torch or a saw to do this.
  3. Make sure to use a flat surface when making these, if you build this unevenly, it will not be good. Things will roll off your trailer.
  4. Check the diagram and decide where the axle is. Depending on the type of trailer, you will want to position it more to the center of gravity than others. For a tilting trailer, you would want the axle near the center balance point for easy tipping.
  5. Calculate the tongue weight. Usually it’s about 5 percent of the trailer’s weight.
  6. Make sure you center the axle in the frame. It must be in line with the center of the frame. Make sure to measure the distance between the wheels and the hitch is equal on both wheels. The axle and the tongue need to be square as well.
  7. Turn the frame upside down and mount the tongue on the cross bar.
  8. Attach the latch to the trailer. This will keep the trailer from tilting.
  9. You can choose to mount small rods for the fender. This can be accomplished by using low welding heat.
  10. The rails on the sides can be made with angle iron or other materials.
  11. Use angle iron to create the back of the trailer. You can opt to create a gate if needed.
  12. You can then paint the trailer. Be sure to grind off the rust before painting.
  13. Go to your local DMV and get it registered.

Tips/Warnings

  • You must register your trailer at the DMV. This process may take a few days.
  • Make sure to install lights on the trailer, along with the license plate.
  • Ground the frame, or it will dim the lights on the trailer.
  • There’s nothing like the pride you feel when you create something. Buying trailers can be expensive; these steps will save you plenty of money and will be a fun weekend project for the do-it-your-self’ers out there!

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