UNLOCK ADVENTURE: MUST-HAVE FEATURES IN A TRAILER

UNLOCK ADVENTURE: MUST-HAVE FEATURES IN A TRAILER

ATVs and Side x Sides open a world of adventure.  But even the most off-road ready machine needs a ride sometimes.  That’s where ATV trailers come in.  Whether you’re a die-hard Kawasaki rider or a loyal Can-Am fan, every off-roader needs a dependable ATV or UTV trailer.  Read on to discover the must-have features in a trailer for your next off-road escapade!

ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT

Off-road adventure starts with a different challenge: hauling your trusty ATV or UTV safely and securely.  Forget flimsy trailers – you need a fortress on wheels, built to secure your machine through every bump and rut along the way.  So, what are the must-haves for the ultimate off-road trailer?  Here is our list of what to look for.

  • LOCKED AND LOADED VS. OPEN AIR:  Enclosed trailers offer Fort Knox-level security, and shield your equipment from the elements.  But this peace of mind comes at a premium.  They can be pricier, require more towing muscle, and loading / unloading might be slightly trickier due to the limited entry points. 

Polaris UTV on single axle trailer with folding end ramp Aluminum trailer with ATV and UTV on hunting trip with Deer in UTV bed

  • STEEL or ALUMINUM CONSTRUCTION:  Both can be built into formidable off-road trailers.  Steel boasts impressive strength, but at the expense of weight.  Aluminum, on the other hand, sheds pounds, making towing easier.  However, neither metal is invincible.   Both require a protective coating to shield them from the elements and prevent corrosion.
  • ONE AXLE OR TWO?  THE TRAILER’S BALANCING ACT.  A single axle can handle a couple of ATVs or a single UTV, but be prepared for a heavier load on your tow vehicle’s hitch and a bumpier ride. Think of it as a bare-bones workhorse. Double axle trailers, on the other hand, distribute the load more evenly, minimizing tongue weight and offering a smoother ride.  Both single and double axle trailers can utilize leaf springs or the more popular torsion axles for suspension.

Aluma Trailer with dual torsion axles and electric brakes on each axle. ATV, UTV TOrsion axle withhout Electric Brake

  • DON’T SKIMP ON STOPPING POWER:  WHY BRAKES MATTER.  Forget relying solely on your tow vehicle’s brakes!  Especially when hauling hefty UTVs, trailers with multiple axles need a dedicated stopping system.  Enter electric brakes: these provide a serious boost in stopping power.  But here’s the kicker: look for a system with a safety backup in case the trailer ever disconnects.  You want to know your trailer can stop on its own, no matter what.  So, prioritize electric brakes with a safety feature.  It’s a small price to pay for major peace of mind.

Safety brake system on trailer hitch

  • LIGHT UP THE ROAD:  WHY LED LIGHTS RULE.  Forget dim, flickering bulbs!  LED lights are the undisputed champions for off-road trailers. They’re bright enough to be seen from a mile away, built to last through any adventure, and require minimal power.  Make sure your trailer boasts a generous spread of LEDs, especially on the rear for maximum visibility.  Don’t forget a few on the sides and front corners for added safety.  And here’s the kicker:  reliable wiring is crucial.  Make sure all the wiring for your lights and brakes is properly protected and securely fastened to the trailer frame.  It’s a small detail that can make a big difference in reliability and your off-road peace of mind.   

LED end lights and side marker lights on an Aluminum trailer with elded Tie-down loop

  • INTEGRATED RAMPS:  DITCH THE DRAMA.  Ever felt the heart-stopping moment of a ramp twisting out from under your ATV or UTV mid-load?  It’s a nerve-wracking experience, and one you can easily avoid.  The key? Integrated ramps! These come in two forms: permanently attached folding ramps or built-in ramp rails.  Ramp rails feature a channel along the trailer edge, and an opposite lip on the ramp end that drops into the channel, keeping it safely in place during loading.  Both options keep your ramps secure and eliminate the “ramp rodeo” – you know, the one where you’re wrestling a metal plank while balancing a ton of off-road fury.  Focus on the ride, not the ramp drama.

Trailer safety ramp rail Trailer End ramp and side ramp ATV loading feature

    • TIE-DOWN LOOPS – SKIP THE STRAP STRUGGLE:  Look for a trailer with plenty of pre-installed or welded tie-down loops.  Loading becomes a breeze, and your straps stay safe from wear and tear caused by sharp edges.  Tie-down points are one of our must-have features in a trailer.

    Trailer Tie Down loop

    • TRAILER TIRE SIZE:  When it comes to trailer tires, size matters!  Larger options offer a smoother ride, longer life, and less wear.  Choose the best size for your needs, and always carry a spare for unexpected situations.  Remember, most tire places will be closed on the weekends when you’re most likely to be hauling.  A spare and a few tools can save the weekend. 
    • EASY LUBE AXLES – GOODBYE GREASY HUB HEADACHES:  Traditional trailer maintenance meant wrestling with hubs and bearings, all while trying not to drop either in the dirt.  Easy Lube axles are here to save the day!  With a simple zerk fitting, greasing becomes a breeze – no disassembly required. 

    Easy Lube trailer hub cover with grease zerk.

    READY TO ROLL

    Unless your backyard transforms into a daily off-road playground, a trailer is the key to unlocking the full potential of your ATV or SxS.  When it comes time to pick one, follow our guide to the must-have features in a trailer and you’ll be ready to roll!

    Our article on how to strap your ATV or UTV down and the tools needed: https://atvillustrated.com/content/safe-travel/

    Preferred Quality Trailer Suppliers:

    ALUMA: www.alumaklm.com

    LEGEND TRAILERS: https://legendmfginc.com/

    Tools for Towing

    CURT ECHO BRAKE CONTROLLER: https://atvillustrated.com/content/curt-echo-brake-controller-product-review/

    ROCKERBALL HITCH: https://atvillustrated.com/content/curt-rockerball-review/

    Utility trailer with end ramp loading ATV

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