How To Build A Utility Trailer

Successfully building a utility trailer has as much to do with your planning skills as your mechanical skills. If you are going to build from a utility trailer kit you will have detailed instructions to follow and only have to be concerned about aspects that you have personal preferences for. To build your own trailer there are many aspects that have to be considered and then brought together in a complete design and blue print.

Type & Size

Do you want a simple flat bed trailer, an enclosed utility trailer or just a small utility trailer? What is the ideal size for your trailer? You need to be able to relate the load bed size to the wheel spread and towing tongue dimensions.

Weight to carry

The weight that the trailer has to carry will affect your choice of materials and suspension system. If you are only having a single axle, the weight you will want to carry will dictate the axle kit you will need to buy and the best form of suspension.

Tongue weight

The vehicle that will tow the trailer will give an indication of the height at which the tongue should be set and where the centre of gravity should be. The tongue weight should be calculated for the towing vehicle.


At the design stage you can work out the best materials to use in each section to build rigidity and strength without making the trailer too heavy.


The design stage will allow you to plan what special tools you might need to buy or rent. You will probably need a welder, grinder, axle stands, drills and clamps.

Special parts

Some of the parts you cannot make yourself so you would need to work out how they would fit into your deign.

  • Axle kit - The axle kit will either bring the wheels under the load bed or on either side of it depending on how you design the trailer. The position of the wheels will partly dictate the type of axle kit you buy
  • Towing hitch
  • Towing latch
  • Lighting
  • Wiring loom
  • Wheels
  • Tires


If your trailer is going to be used for heavy weight items you might consider fitting an automatic braking system to assist the towing vehicle breaks.

Final design phase

Once all the details of materials and parts are decided you need to plan an order of construction so that you can arrange the materials in a logical order. You will need to ensure that you have all the necessary fasteners and parts in the right place. You will also have to make sure you will have the space available in which to work.

Walk through the construction

Using your design you will be able to walk through the construction and write your own instructions. Writing down this walk through will give you a good idea of how the actual construction will proceed and identify any trouble spots.

With proper design and planning building your utility trailer will go forward very smoothly.