Tips, tricks, hacks, and modifications for your trailer
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!