Trailer Tricks

Tips, tricks, hacks, and mod­i­fi­ca­tions for your trailer

Jp Magazine - - Trailer Tricks - By Chris­tian Hazel jped­i­[email protected]­magazine.com Pho­tog­ra­phy: Chris­tian Hazel

The way things are now, you’ll prob­a­bly be read­ing this March issue in Jan­uary. Why?

We’re not re­ally sure, but that’s not the point. The point is that if it is Jan­uary, then you very well could be in the midst of reg­is­ter­ing for Easter Jeep Sa­fari in Moab, Utah. You, like many oth­ers do­ing the same thing, are also likely to be trai­ler­ing your Jeep to Moab. Many hard-core off-road­ers trailer their 4x4s to the trail­head, and our read­ers are no dif­fer­ent.

While we’re not here to cover fully stocked, en­closed race trail­ers with air con­di­tion­ing, on­board tire ma­chines, and Frap­puc­cino mak­ers, we have spent years prowl­ing the park­ing lots, streets, and al­leys of Moab dur­ing Easter Jeep Sa­fari to see what good trailer-mod ideas popped out at us. Here are some tips and tricks we’ve seen or done that we thought were worth a men­tion. 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.

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 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.

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 with the ground. You can find these bolt-on tie-down points at most trailer, auto parts, hard­ware, and even Wal­mart stores. Make sure you use Grade 8 hard­ware with sim­i­larly graded wash­ers on the back­side 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. If your trail rig is pretty wide, you’ll want some sort of drive-over fend­ers that will sup­port your vehicle’s weight with­out crush­ing. That can en­tail any­thing from heavy di­a­mondtread 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.

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 about 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!

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