If you do not already have a trailer when you are buying a new UTV (side by side or SXS), that can be almost as important to the buying experience as picking the right UTV. Buying a new UTV and trailer is an expensive ordeal so it is important to make sure you plan ahead and ensure your UTV(s) will fit property in the trailer you get. There is a lot to consider. First and foremost is what size trailer you need to buy.
What size trailer do you need for a UTV? The short answer is that you can fit many single UTVs in a 5 X 12 foot trailer, although a 14 foot or 16 foot trailer will be necessary for many UTVs. Note, all dimensions mentioned in this article refer to the interior of the trailer.
Picking the Right Size UTV Trailer
UTVs generally come in two different widths: the 48 inch models and the 58-62 inch models. The lengths aren’t so uniform. The length of adult-sized UTVs range from 100 to 160 inches. Your first step is figuring out the dimensions of your UTV. Note thi
If your UTV is under 120 inches, it should fit in a 12 foot trailer. If your UTV is 120 inches or over, up to 142 inches, you will need at least a 14 foot trailer. If your UTV is one of the longer models, usually a 4-seater, you will need at least a 16 foot trailer
As for width, the calculation is a bit easier. If you have a smaller 48-inch wide UTV, you are fine with a 5 foot wide trailer. If your ATV is in the 60 inch wide range, you will want a 6 foot-wide trailer.
Now, if you are carrying more than one UTV, you will of course need a bigger trailer. The most popular size for carrying 2 UTVs is a 22 foot trailer, though you may get away with a 20 foot trailer if you have smaller UTVs.
Beyond those basics, there are a lot of considerations that should go into buying a UTV trailer and picking the right size trailer for you. A good place to begin your research after this article is to check out our extensive guides to UTV dimensions and UTV weight.
Can you just Use your Truck Bed to haul a UTV?
This is going to depend on the size of your UTV and the size of your truck bed of course. If you have a smaller 48 inch UTV, you will likely be fine putting it most standard truck beds. If you have a bigger UTV, it will only fit in the largest of truck beds. If you are interested in this, you will want to check out our complete guide to hauling a UTV in a truck bed with details on pretty much every truck model and bed size.
You will want Extra Space in your Trailer
When you are looking to buy a new trailer and are taking measurements, a big mistake you may make is forgetting that you want extra room in the trailer to carry things other than the UTV. For that reason, you will most likely want to buy a trailer a little bigger than you think you need. While a 5 X 12 trailer may get the job done, a 5 X 14 or even a 5 X 16 trailer will give you enough wiggle room to carry the extra supplies you need and just generally make life better for you. It is also worth getting extra width if you think you need it. A 77-83 inch wide trailer is a popular size for those that want to have some extra room.
Finding the Right Tire Size
There are a couple other reasons people generally recommend avoiding a smaller trailer to haul an UTV. One of those other reasons is the tires. Generally, smaller trailers come on smaller tires.
Smaller tires can be trouble on the many dirt and gravel roads you are likely to be driving down to get to good riding trails. Another problem with smaller tires is that they wear out more quickly than larger tires. While changing tires is always a painful ordeal, you especially do not want to worry about getting stuck with a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. Service fees can be quite expensive in remote areas. Another reason the extra space of a bigger trailer is nice is the extra room to carry a couple spare tires just in case. As a general guideline, you want to get a trailer with at least 13 inch tires if possible.
Obviously, the last thing you want is a busted trailer during an off-road trip, so make sure you get a trailer with enough capacity to carry your UTV and everything else. Some trailers will give you an overall load capacity or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), which is the maximum the trailer can hold (including the weight of the trailer), but you also want to be sure to check the axle and tire ratings. As a general rule, make sure the tire and axle ratings are enough to carry the full weight of your UTV plus five hundred pounds.
Other Things you Need with a Trailer
Unless your truck already has a towing package, you will not be able to just hook the trailer up and go. You will need to make sure you have the proper lighting accessories, like a plug-in wiring harness, to ensure your vehicle controls the lights on the trailer. You will also need proper hitch hardware and a trailer ball and mount to ensure the trailer can be properly connected to your vehicle.
You will also want a pin, clip and coupler lock to keep the trailer safely connected and something to lock the trailer doors and something to lock the trailer in place to prevent it from being stolen when not in use. As mentioned above, you will want spare tires and somewhere to mount them if there isn’t room in the trailer. Finally, you will need ramps to actually load and unload the UTV unless you are lucky enough to get a tilt trailer.
Other Things to Consider
- Buying used on a trailer is usually a great option if you don’t have money for a new one. Trailers are pretty basic pieces of equipment that should last a long time. If they look like they are in good condition, drive well, have good tires and don’t have any electrical issues, there shouldn’t be much risk in getting a bad trailer.
- For driving consideration, you would be better off with a longer, rather than wider, trailer. Ideally, you would like a trailer the same width or only slightly wider than your truck. This makes it easier to haul and saves on fuel as well. If you are getting an enclosed trailer, the same consideration should be given to the height of the trailer. If the trailer is significantly taller than your truck, it can make it a rougher and less fuel-efficient drive.
- You will need somewhere to store your trailer when not in use. If you are storing it in a garage or other storage facility, you need to make sure the trailer will fit, with enough room to get it in and out without too much hassle. It may also be necessary to check your CC&Rs, if you are subject to them, to ensure your neighborhood allows parking a trailer where you are planning to keep it stored.
- You will likely need to license your trailer depending where you live. The requirements may vary by state, but the process should be pretty simple. The trailer should come with a Manufacturer Certificate of Origin if you buy a new trailer. You can take that and a bill of sale to your DMV to obtain a title. If you buy a used trailer, you should get a title with the trailer. It is a huge pain to get a trailer licensed without a title so don’t buy one without a title unless you get a crazy deal and are willing to put up with the headache that is coming.
Once you have your new UTV and trailer, don’t forget to pick up some good ramps. We have a pair we highly recommend, along with other great gear in our Recommended Gear so check it out.