How to Build a Trailer

A trailer is a vehicle with wheels pulled by another vehicle. It does not have its own engine. A simple trailer can be used just for storage. The term has become associated with mobile homes, which contain living quarters, as well as travel trailers with their own engine.

A simple trailer is mainly a box on wheels. It has an attachment at the head allowing it to be linked to a motored vehicle so it can be pulled easily.


Materials and Tools You Need


  • metal sheets
  • main frame of a trailer
  • angle iron
  • welding machine
  • cut off saw
  • wheel and axle assembly
  • tongue
  • wheels


Step-By-Step Instructions


  1. Create a design for your trailer. You can choose to have a trailer without a roof. A fully enclosed trailer can be circular, rectangular, or somewhere between the two. Include measurements in the design to guide you in choosing materials.
  2. Make sure you include a hitch in the design. The hitch is the mechanism connecting the trailer to your vehicle.
  3. Choose the materials you need. Use the measurements of the design you made to guide you with how much material you will buy. Remember to buy extra materials whenever possible so that you can use them if you make any errors building the first time. You can also buy or borrow any equipment you do not have yet.
  4. The most important part of the trailer is the wheel and axle set. Make sure you choose one that is sturdy and can handle the size of the trailer you designed.
  5. Trace the designs for the body of the trailer on metal sheets. Cut out the outline. Weld the parts together. Make sure the parts are welded properly so that there are no gaps in between the parts.
  6. Determine where the axle will be placed. The axle is a rod placed in the middle of wheels. If you want a trailer that tilts backward when it isn’t attached to a vehicle, place the axle near the body’s center of gravity. It should also be placed at the center of the width of the body.
  7. The tongue weight is the amount of force exerted by the trailer on the hitch. To get the tongue weight, determine the weight of the full frame and use 5% of the total. Make sure your tongue can handle that weight.
  8. Turn the frame over and place the tongue. The tongue extends from the frame and allows it to connect to a vehicle. It includes the handwheel, the latch, and the coupler. Place the tongue ahead of the axle. The standard tongue is formed by two steel pieces with holes. A round bar is often placed in the hole to join the two pieces together. This allows the tongue to bend so that the trailer can turn properly with the motored vehicle towing it.
  9. Attach a latch to the frame. This allows the trailer to remain balanced. This will be used in hitching the trailer to a vehicle as well.
  10. Attach fenders to the frame to protect the wheel. Weld them with low heat. Small metal rods can be used. You can attach an angle iron to help in supporting the fenders.
  11. You can weld angle iron together to reinforce the back of the frame. If you are building an open trailer, this can be used to support the gate you will build.
  12. After all the parts are assembled, you can then paint the trailer. Make sure any rust on the parts is removed so the paint job will last longer.

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