How to Build a Trailer? Key Tactics The Pros Use For Building Trailer

how to build a trailer

Last Updated on September 23, 2020 by Michael J. Branco

Today, it’s convenient to buy pre-made products such as trailers, but you just feel more fulfilled upon seeing one and being able to say “I built it.” For businessmen and travelers, the utility of a multifunctional trailer is unparalleled. And for those who want to learn how to build a trailer themselves, this can be a simple task upon using this guide.

Frankly speaking, there is nothing to be afraid of when building a trailer. The trailer consists of a basic structure, and although it involves some mathematical operations, it is certainly not rocket science. So do relax and don’t feel that you need to call a skillful college graduate for advice on this. In this guide, we have introduced some very basic knowledge to help you move forward quickly.

The trailer is suitable equipment for various applications, from hauling your tools to the job or your gear to the campsite. Whether you plan to build a trailer for your business or occasionally need a trailer for family camping, this article will provide you with the information you need to build your trailer!

Things You’ll Need to Build a Trailer

When working on how to build a trailer, you will need some tools. Without the tools, you cannot build your trailer. If you have these tools already, then it’s good, and if not, get them right now and start building your trailer. We have picked the best products and recommend here to don’t have to find it online or go to any shop. Get them right now and start building your RV. Get the following:

  • Six plates 12 meters long, pressure-treated
  • Two trailer wheels with 60 feet 2 by 2-inch angle iron in 12-foot sections
  • Two by a 12-inch mounting, trailer axle with suspension
  • A 12-foot section of 2-by-4-inch square steel tube

Welding Gloves

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RAPICCA Leather Forge Welding Gloves Heat/Fire...
3,920 Reviews
RAPICCA Leather Forge Welding Gloves Heat/Fire...
  • EXTREME HEAT RESISTANT PROTECTION – RAPICCA Forge Welding & BBQ Gloves are guaranteed to withstand extreme temperatures up to 662°F(350℃).The inside of the gloves feature a 100% soft sweat absorbent cotton lining for added softness and heat resistance, that makes these gloves ideal for gripping hot stuff such as burning coal or wood & heat oven or cookware.Perfect for handling animal like DOG CAT BIRD REPTILE from getting bited!
  • SUPERIOR SECURITY FOR FORERAMS - The 14 inches extra long glove with 5.5 inches long sleeve protect your forearms from grinding debris, welding sparks, hot coals and open flames, hot kitchen ware and hot steam. Effective even in extreme environments.
  • KEVLAR REINFORCED WING THUMB- Reinforced Wing thumb design provide the most extreme heat protection to handle high heat hazard jobs and make them not easy to wear out. Leather hanging loop provide convenience for hanging.
  • THICK AND DURABLE - RAPICCA Welding & BBQ gloves are made from carefully-selected thick and soft shoulder split natural cowhide leather which is heat resistant, oil resistant, puncture resistant, fire resistant and cut resistant. This pair of gloves lasts for a long time.
  • MULTI - FUNCTION FOR MEN & WOMEN - They are not only for welding but also useful for many other work and home tasks. Idea for Fireplace, Grill, Barbecue, Stove, Oven, Fireplace, Cooking, Pruning flowers, Gardening, Camping, Campfire.

Trailer Lighting Kit

MaxxHaul 70205 12V All LED Submersible Trailer Light...
7,070 Reviews
MaxxHaul 70205 12V All LED Submersible Trailer Light...
  • Kit includes stop, tail and turn signal lights, two amber clearance lights and wiring harness
  • Includes 23 and 4 foot 4-pole color coded wiring harness. Product Type: Lighting and Electrical
  • High visibility LED taillights last longer than standard incandescent lights
  • Complies with DOT standards; Side lens are with standard bulb. Corrosion resistant housing. For trailers less than 80 Inch wide
  • Includes 23-foot wiring harness with UV coated jackets

Welding Helmet

Antra AH7-860-0000 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Huge...
446 Reviews
Antra AH7-860-0000 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Huge...
  • 【Safety & Protection】Passive Filter with Permanent shade 13 to UV/IR, combined with double-layered auto dimming LCD shutter, providing sufficient and accurate shade range within 4/5-9/9-13 to visible lights; Full face neck coverage protecting welders from spatters and harmful radiant; Meets ANSI Z87.1 Standards
  • 【Comfort & Convenience】Luxury large viewing area fully automatic lens 3.86X3.50" (13.5 SQI), more comfortable to have a clear view of joints and welding puddle, getting better control on the whole welding process and beautiful beads finish; light total weight reduces neck stress; Inside shade setting to avoid accidental changes and great to be used in tight spaces
  • 【Performance】4 Premium redundant arc sensors, with highly responsive detecting and controlling units providing super-fast switching time and accurate auto shading, minimizing harmful radiant bypass, avoiding eye stress
  • 【Reliability】Interference Suppression Technologies, minimizing false triggering: less sensitive to sun lights, workshop lights while very responsive to welding arc, even the hardest to detect DC TIG: Rating > 2 Amps
  • 【Versatility】A great personal protection equipment that can handle whole process of Plasma Cutting, abrasive wheel cutting/grinding, DC TIG, AC TIG, MIG/MAG, MMA/Stick welding, which are popular in metal fabrication industry, welding schools, welding shops, auto manufacturing and repair industry, ship factories as well as DIY hobbyists projects

Framing Square

Mr. Pen- Carpenter Square, Framing Square, 8 inch x 12...
122 Reviews
Mr. Pen- Carpenter Square, Framing Square, 8 inch x 12...
  • Black Framing Ruler, The Shorter Leg Measures At 8 Inch Outside And 6.5 Inch Inside – Longer Leg Measures At 12 Inch Outside And 11 Inch Inside
  • This L Ruler Includes Imperial Units On One Side With 1/16-Inch Graduations And Metric Units On The Other Side With mm Graduation
  • Easy To Read Markings With Bright White On Black Design
  • High-Quality L-Ruler, Carbon Steel Material – Sturdy And Durable Against Rusting
  • Ideal For Carpentry Applications In Framing, Roofing, Stair Work, In Making Layouts And Patterns - Can Also Be Used As Straightedge For Determining Flatness Of A Surface

Digital Laser Tape

LEXIVON 2 in 1 Digital Laser Tape Measure | 130ft/40m...
927 Reviews
LEXIVON 2 in 1 Digital Laser Tape Measure | 130ft/40m...
  • INNOVATIVE - 2In1 design combines 130ft/40m laser distance measure and 16ft/5m AutoLock tape measure
  • INSTRUMENT - Smooth Single-Button operation provides quick and easy long distance laser measurements & Feet to Metric unit switch
  • PRECISION - fractional & continuous measurements displayed on a large LCD screen are accurate to ±1/16 inch - Up to 130ft/40m
  • COMFORTABLE - Anti-skid high impact rubberized ABS case, AutoLock tape mechanism, 3/4" dual-sided print scale with nylon coating and true-zero magnetic hook
  • FEATURES - Auto Off technology, Belt clip, Stud center markings, One year warranty, 2*AAA battery and screwdriver included.

Trailer Coupler with a 2-inch Channel

CURT 25135 Straight Tongue Trailer Coupler for...
238 Reviews
CURT 25135 Straight Tongue Trailer Coupler for...
  • PRECISE FIT. This trailer coupler is designed to mount onto a 2-1/2-inch wide trailer tongue beam and couple to any standard 2-inch diameter trailer ball
  • EASILY ADJUSTABLE. Equipped with a posi-lock spring and adjustable nut on the inside, this trailer hitch coupler can easily be adjusted to ensure a snug fit on the trailer ball
  • SECURE COUPLING. The posi-lock latch mechanism of this trailer tongue coupler accepts a safety pin or coupler lock for enhanced security
  • HIGH-STRENGTH. Constructed from punched, die-cut steel, this trailer ball coupler is rated as a class 2 trailer coupler and has a capacity of 3,500 lbs. gross trailer weight and 500 lbs. tongue weight
  • CORROSION-RESISTANT. To easily outlast the elements, including rain, snow, dirt, road grime and more, this straight tongue trailer coupler is finished in a durable zinc plating and makes a great boat trailer coupler

Alternative Saw with a Metal Cutting Blade

Diablo D1080N Non-Ferrous Metal & Plastic Cutting Saw...
274 Reviews
Diablo D1080N Non-Ferrous Metal & Plastic Cutting Saw...
  • Laser Cut Stabilizer Vents Trap Noise And Vibration Keeping It Cool And Reducing Blade Warp
  • Laser cut heat expansion slots allow blade to expand due to heat build-up keeping the cut true and straight
  • Durable micro grain titanium carbide for extreme durability, razor-sharp cuts, and long life
  • Package height:14.0"

Trailer Wiring

Reese Towpower 85205 4-Way Bonded Trailer Wiring,Multi
352 Reviews
Reese Towpower 85205 4-Way Bonded Trailer Wiring,Multi
  • Bonded wire for a neat installation
  • Replacement wire when rewiring trailer
  • Operates left, right turns, tail lights and ground
  • Heavy 16/18 gauge wire
  • Length is 25 Ft.

Galvanized Transport Screws

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Plastic Drywall Wall Anchors Screw Assortment Kit 300...
1,381 Reviews
Plastic Drywall Wall Anchors Screw Assortment Kit 300...
  • 4 colors and 10 sizes, most useful household sizes meet most useful repair needs
  • 300pcs within a reusable plastic case organized in compartments for easy storage
  • Constructed from durable plastic to last for years. self-drilling screws kit is made of high quality Stainless Steel
  • Useful for different needs:hang bathroom/kitchen accessories, shelving, light fixtures, mirrors, picture frames, and more
  • warranty: Package includes expansion tube and self-tapping screws and one-year product replacement

Drill

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DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill Combo Kit, 2-Tool...
11,174 Reviews
DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill Combo Kit, 2-Tool...
  • Ergonomic design: Lightweight tools designed to fit the user’s needs
  • Increased Visibility: The DCF885 features a built in Led with 20 second delay after trigger release
  • Includes: (1) DCD771 drill/driver, (1) DCF885 1/4 inches impact driver, (2) 20V Max Lithium Ion 1.3 Ah battery packs, 20 volt max charger, and (1) kit bag
  • One handed bit loading: The DCF885 has a 1/4 inches hex chuck and accepts 1 inches bit tips, Power Tool type: Cordless
  • High performance motor: The DCD771 delivers 300 Unit Watts Out (UWO) of power ability completing a wide range of applications

Metal inert Gas Welder

Forney Easy Weld 140 MP, Multi-Process Welder
186 Reviews
Forney Easy Weld 140 MP, Multi-Process Welder
  • MULTI-PROCESS WELDER- 3 in 1 Stick Welder, MIG Welder and DC TIG Welder (Accessories for TIG Welding not included) everything you need in one machine
  • EASY TO USE- Easy start makes every strike EASY! Three position switch allows you to change process quickly
  • CONTROL YOUR WELD- Infinite voltage and wire feed speed controls allows you to dial in the perfect weld. Rated output voltage range- 12 - 23V. Rated output current range- 43 - 110A. Full output curren range- 10 - 140A
  • RUGGED- All metal case, Built to take the day to day. Big enough to handle 2 and 10 pound rolls of wire. Full metal wire drive assembly
  • WELDER INCLUDES- 10' MIG gun, 8' electrode holder, 8' ground clamp, Integrated handle with torch wrap, 20A - 15A adapter and one additional .030" contact tip. Backed by a 12-month warranty
  • PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS- Dimensions: 14.19" (360.47 millimeters) x 19.31" (490.48 millimeters) x 11.61" (294.91 millimeters). Weight: 24.81 lbs. (11.25 kilograms). Plate thickness range: Up to 1/4" (6.35 millimeters). Uses gas or gasless wire up to 0.35 in. and up to 1/8 in. stick electrodes

Forming the bottom part of the trailer 

Zinus Deluxe Memory Foam 8 Inch RV / Camper / Trailer /...
921 Reviews
Zinus Deluxe Memory Foam 8 Inch RV / Camper / Trailer /...
  • Conforming memory foam comfort and support for a refreshing night's sleep
  • Mattress layers include: 2 inches Memory Foam, 2 inches Pressure Relieving Comfort Foam, and 4 inches High-density Base Support Foam
  • The latest evolution of memory foam, BioFoam, replaces some of the traditional petroleum with natural plant oil to help keep your mattress fresh
  • Only the Highest Quality of Foam - Foam is CertiPUR-US Certified for durability, performance, and content
  • Smartly Shipped - Our patented technology allows our mattresses to be efficiently compressed, rolled and shipped in a box conveniently to your door

How to Build a Trailer Step By Step 

Step-1 

Place the angle iron on an even surface and place the two 12 feet parts 6 feet away from each other, while the iron’s angles are facing each other. Use a metal saw to cut a notch of 45-degrees at all ends of the 12-foot lower lip sections. These parts will make up the side railings of the trailer.

Step-2

Cut two 6-ft angle irons and place one on all ends of the 12ft section to make up a rectangular shape on the floor. Using a jigsaw, cut the same 45-degree angle petals from the two 6-foot-long ends to fit the 12-foot-long section. Using a square, make sure the 6ft and 12ft parts’ angle is 90 degrees, then weld all the corners in place. When it is determined every corner is perfectly aligned at 90 degrees, the final welding of all the trailer’s corners can then be completed.

Step-3

Rotate the frame to make the flat portion of the angle iron to face upward. Cut three more angle irons with a length of 6 feet and place them as keys every three feet, while measuring the gap around the 12-meter-high side rails. After ensuring that they are at a 90-degree angle to the 12-meter-high side rails, weld them in place.

Read More: How to Clean the Outside of a Camper Trailer

Assembling the Axle and Tongue 

Step-4

Cut out a notch of 2 inches in the middle of the foremost iron bracket so that the 12ft-long square steel part is comfortably installed on the trailer frame’s bottom. The preceding brace located at the front part of the trailer shouldn’t be cut off. Put the square steel into the notch, then place it tightly on the next angle bracket. Do make sure that the tongue is placed at an angle of 90 degrees to the trailer, then go ahead to affect the welding at the spot in which the three points touch the frame. Failing to guarantee that the tongue is seated at a 90-degree angle will give rise to the trailer’s inadequate control during the driving, which may result in an accident.

Step-5

Measure through the front to the rear end of the trailer, 7ft on all sides, and put the center portion of the axle there. Take adequate measurement of all the rear points and front axles of the trailer to guarantee proper installation, then weld them or fix the spring suspension bolts in place. 

Step-6

Install the tires of the trailer, and then turn over the entire trailer. 

Step-7

Install the coupler lighting and floor

Step-8

When necessary, install the trailer’s hitch by drilling a square steel pipe and secure it firmly in place with screws. You do not need to weld at this point, as the coupler could be damaged in the process of usage.

Step-9

Connect the light to the trailer’s rear through a square tube. Set up the brake lights and side position lights, and then connect them properly according to the instructions on the trailer light packaging.

Step-10 Use galvanized transport screws to install the pressure-treated floor on the trailer.

Read More: How to Build a Lightweight Truck Camper

Frequently Asked Questions  

Is it cheaper to build a trailer?

how to build a trailer

Usually, we feel that building a trailer is cheaper than buying it. Cost is also one of the important reasons why people want to build trailers. Generally, we believe that the construction cost is lower than the purchase cost. Really?

Almost all new trailers you see in many places are factory-made. These factories purchase their materials (steel, aluminum, etc.) at very low prices because of their large purchases. They can also use these materials more efficiently because they can build many trailers, so there is not much waste per unit. For axles, wheels, tires, hooks, bolts, and other parts, the same pricing applies.

In all, considering the materials, parts, time to manufacture, build, paint, and the cost of additional tools you buy, the cost of building a trailer may be higher than the cost of purchasing. If you are working on building a trailer park, the costs would add up as well.

How can I make my trailer longer?

Sometimes the trailer is not long enough. A 6-foot trailer cannot comfortably carry 8-foot-thick plywood or wall panels or frame wood, or various other objects. It is possible and usually easy to “trade-in” to replace a shorter trailer with a longer one, but this is not the choice of every house, farm, ranch, or a business owner. An extended trailer may be the only option. This can be done, but it requires welding equipment and professional knowledge, and strict mechanical skills.

Step 1

Plan the trailer expansion carefully. Don’t just add a few feet at the end. The trailer must be balanced to ensure safe and efficient operation. It is planned to increase by one foot for every foot extended backward. Calculate new braces and longer yokes; an extension may change the turning ratio. Examine existing frames to determine the size and type of metal frame; some trailers use angle irons, some square tubes, and some U-shaped grooves with one side opening.

Step 2

Remove all wiring from the floor and tail lights and brake lights; keep the wiring to install replacement parts. Purchase new steel to match the existing frame; get more sheets and braces. Measure the frame and mark points to install the extension. Buy some thin steel plates or strap steel for gussets or reinforcement for new joints.

Step 3

Use an angle grinder, metal saw, or welder’s torch to cut the frame at the marked position. Support the trailer so as not to remove parts without tipping over. Set the removed end aside. Using an angle grinder or welder’s cutting torch to cut its welded joints on the frame, remove the existing fork frame at the front.

Step 4

Measure and cut the extension frame. Clamp it in place with welding tongs, and then weld it to the existing frame at both ends. Cut the steel plate or strap steel and weld it under the new joint for additional support. First, weld the back extension. Remove the yoke completely from the front, then weld the extension to the frame and add support underneath.

Step 5

Replace the fork frame. If it is possible to solder back the existing one, please use it. Make a new fork or extend the old one to weld the fork’s rear end to the frame in front of the axle spring hanger. Extend the existing fork frame by replacing the triangular part or removing the hook ball cover and welding on a single extension line and replacing the hook ball cover. Weld the cross brace or triangular gusset where the reinforcement is added.

Step 6

Install a new floor and replace the brake wire and tail light wire harness using new wires or connecting old wires with crimping. Wrap all wire connectors with electrical tape to seal them.

How do I make my utility trailer wider?

If the entire utility trailer needs to be wider, just perform the following steps:

Separate the trailer from the middle (front to back). Cut all the beams and add the middle part.

Ensure that the beam is quite strong enough to accommodate the new width. Longer beams must be stronger to withstand the same load. The material will make a difference.

If only the existing beams are connected, the new additional parts must overlap to obtain a good firm weld after cutting.

Create a new “flatbed” trailer bed. Make sure that the new beam is straight, square, and flat when making beam connections. Skills like cross members are very suitable for building a flatbed trailer as well.

How much does it cost to build a cargo trailer?

A cargo trailer is a rectangular box with a top plate and four sides, mounted on one or two axles. The enclosed area’s height may only be 4′-5′, but most are 5.5′ or higher. To build a single-axle enclosed cargo trailer, it is expected to cost around $1,000-$4,000. It also depends on the size and building materials and additional options such as dome lights, power outlets, or additional doors or ramps.

How do you turn a utility trailer into an enclosed trailer?

how to build a trailer

A ready-made enclosed trailer will cost more than $1,500. In contrast, you can make an enclosed trailer for a little fraction of that price, upon utilizing a utility trailer. The door can be handmade with bolt handles and locks.

To turn a utility trailer into an enclosed trailer, determine the size of the enclosed trailer, and then obtain the utility trailer closest to that size. You will need to construct the trailer’s sides to fit the existing mounting slots of the utility trailer and wheels.

Next, take a proper measurement of the utility trailer to get the actual center. Next, put the axle in the center area of the utility trailer. Install the tongue on the crossbar aligned with the axle. The tongue is triangular, and the trailer is connected to the transport vehicle by ball bolts.

Turn the utility trailer over and fix the tongue on the crossbar with screws and bolts. Fix the latch in the center of the trailer. The latch will keep the trailer balanced during movement. The hole at the tongue’s edge will be connected to the transport vehicle’s rear by a movable ball bolt.

Now What! Well

Cut five pieces of plywood on the four sides and top of the trailer. The trailer’s angles and sides can be nailed with liquid solder to stabilize the plywood and serve as a rigid foundation for the top of the trailer.

Before installing the floor on the trailer, use a utility knife to cut the polyethylene trailer floor to a certain size. Polyethylene will provide traction and weight to your trailer floor. Use nails or rivets to pin the edges to prevent curling.

Coat the outside of the finished trailer with a soft aluminum plate, one on each side of the trailer, and the roof. Fix the aluminum plate with nuts and bolts, and press the edges to make the trailer airtight.

Install the trailer license plate and light bracket at the back and side of the trailer. The spacing of the sidelights should be 12 inches and should be smaller than the standard tail lights. Install traffic tail lights and fix them with bolts and screws.

How long should a trailer tongue be?

The general rule is that the trailer tongue’s length should be twice the distance between the wheels, so the force from acceleration and braking will be distributed along with a slender triangle. This arrangement reduces the tendency of the trailer to turn from one side to the other.

Most states have also established regulations that stipulate the maximum length of the trailer tongue, with a standard of six feet. Long tongues can be harmful to other drivers who are not used to following articulated vehicles in corners or parking lots.

How do you modify a utility trailer?

To modify the utility trailer, cut out the frame, and insert the required part. Next, continue to add other modified materials on the front and back. Finally, weld them together again.

Do cargo trailers hold their value?

Yes. Cargo trailers are usually made of highly durable materials, so they can maintain their value for a long time. This also ensures that they do not have too many problems.

Does anyone rent trailers Besides U Haul?

Travelers who plan to go on a weekend journey or take a vacation of several months can rent a trailer to haul motorcycles, boats, or cars. They can result in renting a pop-up tent trailer for their fun trips or rent a cargo trailer with enough household items and personal tools to turn an unfurnished house into a comfortable home for long-term living. They can also rent a utility trailer from sources other than U Haul, such as:

  • Sunbelt Rentals
  • Budget Truck Rental
  • Penske
  • Tow Dolly Rentals

What is enclosed trailer walls made of?

Most enclosed trailers will use aluminum, galvanized steel, sometimes called galvanized sheet; or FRP. For wall beams, steel or aluminum is used. Fixed to the beam is plywood, aluminum, or a combination of them. The most commonly used is aluminum exterior.

How do you frame a tiny house on wheels?

The trend of tiny houses on wheels has swept the Internet and our hearts. If you desire to work on how to build a trailer house or tiny house on wheels, use wood with a shape suitable for a flat floor, and use metal brackets to fasten it. You need to wrap the frame in plywood (or you can use OSB-it is equally durable). Don’t skimp on the metal bracket; you shouldn’t be worried about the finished house’s aesthetics. Once the house is covered, the metal supports will be invisible, and you will know 100% that your project will not collapse.

Final Words

In conclusion, a trailer stands as a great tool which can serve its owner in diverse capacities. Furthermore, for those who desire to work on how to build a box trailer, the steps highlighted above would act as a sure aid.

Last update on 2020-10-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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