COOL TRICKS & HACKS FOR YOUR TRAILER

COOL TRICKS, HACKS & MOD­I­FI­CA­TIONS FOR YOUR TRAILER

4 Wheel & Off Road - - CONTENTS - Chris­tian Hazel BY EDI­TOR@4WOR.COM PHO­TOG­RA­PHY CHRIS­TIAN HAZEL

Cus­tomiza­tion doesn’t end with your 4x4. Cus­tom­ize your trailer too.

MOST HARD­CORE OFFroad­ers trailer their 4x4 to the trail­head, and our read­ers are no dif­fer­ent. At least a third of our au­di­ence owns both a trailer and a tow rig. But how many of those en­thu­si­asts ac­tu­ally cus­tom­ize their trailer with even a frac­tion of the mod­i­fi­ca­tions they make to their trail rig or tow ve­hi­cle? It’s funny, but as it turns out the an­swer is pretty few.

While we’re not about to cover fully stocked en­closed race trail­ers with air con­di­tion­ing, on­board tire ma­chines, and Frap­puc­cino mak­ers, we did take the op­por­tu­nity to prowl a few park­ing lots, streets, and condo com­plexes while at the 2018 Moab Easter Jeep Sa­fari to see what good trailer cus­tomiza­tion ideas popped out at us. Here are tips and tricks oth­ers have done that we thought were worth a men­tion.

1 Whether it’s sur­plus ammo cans, a cheap plas­tic truck box from the lo­cal auto parts store, or a heavy-duty lock­ing con­trac­tor’s box, a place to store your tie-down straps, chain, jack, spare wheel bear­ings, grease gun, and other trailer essen­tials is a must on any open-deck hauler.

2 Con­sider adding a sec­tion of re­ceiver hitch stock to the front of your trailer. We welded one on ours and use it for any­thing from a bike rack (like in the lead photo) to our Warn SDP 6000 winch. Note the hole-sawed stake pock­ets as well; they make it eas­ier to at­tach front tie-down straps when haul­ing ve­hi­cles.

3 At­tached ramps can be nice if you only ever haul ve­hi­cles. They greatly speed up load­ing the trailer. These ramps have kick­ers to sup­port the rear of the trailer, al­low­ing it to be loaded with­out the tongue at­tached to a tow ve­hi­cle. One caveat to a setup like this is that if the rear of the trailer is fac­ing any kind of in­cline, the kick­ers may in­ter­fere with the ground and pre­vent the ramps from sit­ting flush.

4 You can find these bolt-on tie-down points at most trailer, auto part, hard­ware, and even Wal­mart stores. Make sure you use Grade 8 hard­ware with sim­i­larly graded wash­ers on the back side to pre­vent the tie-downs from pulling out in the event of a col­li­sion. The last thing you want is your trail rig com­ing through your rear win­dow.

5 If your trial rig is pretty wide, you’ll want some sort of drive-over fend­ers that will sup­port its weight with­out crush­ing. That can en­tail any­thing from heavy di­a­mond-tread fend­ers with a cen­tral sup­port such as these, adding a thick spacer with sup­ports to the trailer frame un­der­neath your sheet­metal fend­ers, or adding a bent or miter-cut ex­ter­nal tube or frame sys­tem of some sort over your sheet­metal fend­ers. 6 This trailer holds a cou­ple 5-gal­lon fuel jugs that can be handy for fill­ing your trail or tow ve­hi­cle, but more im­por­tantly it has mounts for two full­size spare trailer tires. If we had a dol­lar for ev­ery story we heard of some­body suf­fer­ing mul­ti­ple trailer tire blowouts on one trip we’d have enough to buy an ad­di­tional trailer wheel and tire combo and the mount to hang it on our trailer. This per­son is smart!

7 Here’s a nice pickup box bolted to the trailer deck where it’s not in the way of the towed ve­hi­cle. How­ever, what’s even cooler is the LED light­ing that has been added to aid in night­time load­ing and strap­ping. If you don’t want to bother wiring in ser­vice lights on your trailer, bat­tery-pow­ered LEDs are su­per-bright. We have a pair of cheapie trac­tor lights we mounted un­der our trailer’s dove­tail that are wired into the seven-pin con­nec­tor’s backup light circuit so when we put our tow rig in Re­verse the trailer backup lights come on, but af­ter see­ing these we’ll be adding some work lamps to the top of our trailer deck for work­ing at night.

8 We are sure this trailer hauls a trac­tor or skid steer dur­ing the work­week, but there’s no ar­gu­ing the high-ca­pac­ity fuel tank that’s notched for front bumper clear­ance. Not ev­ery­body needs that much ad­di­tional fuel, but its shape serves as a re­minder that not ev­ery trailer box or fuel tank added to the front deck will al­low clear­ance for longer-wheel­base ve­hi­cles or trailer loads re­quir­ing more tongue weight. This gives you way more op­tions to move your load around the trailer deck as needed.

9 A sim­ple set of jack stands such as these al­lows you to load your trailer with­out hook­ing up to a tow rig. The cheap, light­weight stands are held in place with a pull pin. Just don’t for­get to raise them be­fore hit­ting the road.

10 An­other sim­ple method for load­ing an un­cou­pled trailer is to add a set of swivel­ing tongue jacks to the rear. While more com­mon on marine trail­ers, these jacks can be locked ver­ti­cally or hor­i­zon­tally by pulling a set pin, swivel­ing the jack, and lock­ing into place.

11 While it’s way more com­mon for shiny hot rods and show rigs, a gravel shield of some sort af­fixed to the front of your trailer will keep de­bris from kick­ing up off your tow rig’s tires as well as di­vert air from blow­ing your trail rig’s hood or other body parts around go­ing down the high­way. This is ac­tu­ally a Tay­lor roof wing for a big rig or pickup, but we thought the way it is used here was very clever. Also note the cool tow truck hook on the trailer winch, which makes hook­ing to a front axle hous­ing or frame cross­mem­ber easy.

12 While we don’t usu­ally see them this tall (or re­in­forced, for that mat­ter) a front bump rail is a nice fea­ture for any trailer. It pre­vents the ve­hi­cle from un­in­ten­tion­ally rolling for­ward and into your tow rig in case of an ac­ci­dent while driv­ing or dur­ing load­ing. If your flat-deck trailer didn’t come with one or it would be ob­tru­sive for your other tow­ing needs, you could rig up some re­mov­able bump rail us­ing the trailer stake pock­ets.

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