How to pick the right size trailer for your utv atv

What is the Best UTV Trailer?

You found the perfect ATV or UTV at your favorite local dealer... now what?  Finding the best trailer for your new machine is a tedious endeavor. Make sure you get exactly what you need while not breaking the bank. 
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Best UTV Trailer or ATV Trailer

We put together a cheat sheet, including pros and cons, of all the available powersports trailers on the market today. There is a lot to choose from so this post is here to help you along your journey and address (and avoid) potential buyer's remorse. We gathered feedback from our own experience, chatting with other owners around the campfire, and direct from the product sales teams. 

This post will address the most common questions when searching for trailers:

  • What type of UTV trailer do I need?
  • What size UTV trailer do I need?
  • How much do UTV trailers cost?
  • What is the length of my UTV or ATV?
  • What trailer accessories should I put in/on my UTV Trailer? 

Types of UTV Trailers and ATV Trailers

Open Bed (Utility) Trailer

The most popular and one of the cheaper of the many options is the open (or open bed) trailer. The "open" part means that the vehicle or contents you plan to haul are exposed to the elements, parking lots and eyeballs. This type of trailer typically has small side rails to keep contents from falling off while in transit, and give you a bunch of tie down options depending on the trailer manufacturer.

open bed utv atv trailer ideas

Trailer Pros:

  • Price. Comparing this trailer style to some of the other options on this list you'll quickly see why this is the most popular.  
  • Easy access. Need to grab something off of the trailer? Boom, super easy to access, add, remove or use. 
  • Load ramp. Because the back wall of the trailer is the load ramp, preparing your trailer for loading is a snap (just remember to keep it mounted to your truck).

Trailer Cons:

  • Theft. Even a stock UTV is prone to theft if left unattended in an unsecure location. If you have to store your trailer at a public storage facility, make triple sure you don't leave anything in or on your machine before storing. It might make sense to beef up your insurance to cover all upgraded aftermarket accessories in case someone decides to make what is yours theirs.
  • Typically the floor of the open bed trailer is going to be made of a natural source like wood. This makes the unit cheaper, however maintenance must play into your decision because the floor WILL need to be replaced eventually. You'll also want to make sure the load rating of the trailer exceeds your loaded vehicle weight (gas, tools, cooler, etc).

 


Flat Bed Trailer

The flatbed trailer is the beefier cousin to the open bed trailer. The flatbed trailer has no side rails, and the only way to load your machine(s) is to manually assemble ramps on the back of the trailer. Typically the flat bed trailer has a higher load rating than an open trailer and can accommodate three, four, even five+ UTVs on one trailer (as long as your truck can handle it).

flatbed utv atv trailer ideas

Trailer Pros:

  • Price. Not quite as cost effective as the open bed trailer, the flat bed trailer is still cheaper than some of the other options out there.
  • Tie Downs. You can find wood slatted flat bed trailers but the most common version is a full metal version (see pic above) with dozens of tie down options for any vehicle arrangement.

Trailer Cons:

  • Theft. Same as the open bed trailer, make sure you don't leave anything laying around on an exposed trailer setup like this. Even gas cans, helmets, goggles or charge cables are prone to theft if left unattended for too long. 
  • Storage. Because the flat bed option does not have side rails or half walls, bungie cording or adhering anything to the trailer becomes difficult or even impossible. 

 


Truck Racks

Want to haul your UTV right on top of your truck? The truck rack is your option. Not the most common way to move your UTV around but a great solution if you have limited space and don't want to own another insurance liability (trailer). The rack bolts directly to your vehicle so you can quickly mount up and get on the road.  

Trailer Pros:

  • Cost. If you know how to wrench, this could be the cheapest of the options because you don't have storage fees, insurance and a physical trailer you have to purchase.
  • Loading. Depending on your driving experience, this could be an easy load or the most painful/scary day of your life.

Trailer Cons:

  • UTV Length/Width. Did you upgrade to that long travel kit? Did you go for the 35" tire option? Make sure your machine will fit before you start down this path. Measure any and every potential hazard three times to make sure.
  • Cost. Because you are literally driving your machine on top of your truck, the installation of the rack can require some steep hours and permanent modifications to your truck. Remember resale value before making this choice. Yes, you should always ensure the total weight of your vehicle (gassed up and loaded) does not exceed roof trailer capacity.

 


Adventure Trailer

For those of you who want the best of both worlds of camping and hauling, the adventure trailer is your solution. There are dozens of adventure trailer brands and models in a myriad of lengths, widths and prices so do your research. Quality matters when you're paying full pop for a large budget solution, make sure you look at welding quality, material durability and overall clearance.

Trailer Pros:

  • All in one. Want a basecamp and a trailer? This is a great way to live out of your trailer with ample storage and sleeping opportunities to keep you out of inclement weather.
  • Accessibility. All of the theft worries of a open bed trailer or flat bed trailer go out the window on this option with tons of lockable storage bays and bins for all of your camping/riding gear. Some of the upper end models have a full kitchen and plugins for all sorts of electronics if that is your thing.

Trailer Cons:

  • Price. Again, do your research on this type of trailer because although the adventure trailer might seem like an amazing Swiss Army Knife for most situations, you may be shocked at how much these things are going for. 
  • Weight. In most cases these trailers are the heaviest of the options but the built in amenities might be worth it to some.

 


Closed Trailer

Storing your UTV or ATV in a public storage lot? Want to keep everything together so you don't clutter up your garage with gear? The closed trailer is a superb option for those with a larger budget and want to protect their investment from weather, sun damage, theft and vandalism. 

how to pick a UTV Trailer

Trailer Pros:

  • Security. Closed trailers can store your UTV and your portable fire pit, shovels, gas cans, spare wheels/tires, generators, camp chairs, Pro Eagle jack, etc. Live in a state with four seasons, this option might be your best bet because during off season (winter), you can lock this trailer up and walk away until the sun comes back. You spent a bunch of money buying your new machine, this solution will protect your investment.

Trailer Cons:

  • Price. Although the closed trailer is a big upgrade with lots of pros, you're going to want to keep an eye on options and accessories which can push you in the $40-50K range for full aluminum framed version. On average you'll pay around $10K for a covered trailer, nearly double the price compared to other options on this list. 
  • Accessibility. Need something quick while on the road? Forget about it. This trailer requires you to pop locks, open doors and crawl around/over your machine to get what you need. Not a deal breaker, just something to consider if you like to grab and go.

How Much Do UTV Trailers Cost?

  • 18' Open Bed (Utility) Trailer: $6,500 
  • 20' Flat Bed Trailer: $8,500 
  • Truck Rack: $2,500
  • 18' Adventure Trailer: $20,000 
  • 18' Closed Trailer: $14,000 

Above costs are averaged across multiple vendors and spec levels. You should be able to find a used option for much cheaper than prices listed. Prices are based on "average" build or trim model. Costs based on 2023 inventory.


What size UTV Trailer Do I Need?

Picking the right trailer depends on a bunch of factors, however first on that list is what size machine(s) you own. Owners of 2-seater UTVs are going to be looking at very different trailers than those with four seats. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when you're looking/pricing out trailers.

  • You'll want to balance your UTV or ATV in the center of the trailer. Too far forward or to the back of the trailer, and you'll put unnecessary stress on moving parts that could increase your chances of failure. 
  • For our closed trailer fans, trust us, you'll want a few extra feet of space on the front, back and sides of your machine to open/close doors and easily tie down. The last thing you want to do is have to contort into the fetal position every time you want to tie your machine down (from experience). That one foot difference could mean the difference between fitting great and not fitting at all.
  • Trailer GVWR. The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the maximum amount of weight the trailer is able to safely hold and transport, as rated by the manufacturer. The gross vehicle weight (GVW) is how much the trailer and its payload weighs together. Don't forget about your hauling vehicle! If your trailer weighs 3,000 lbs and your new UTV is pushing 2,000 lbs, your vehicle needs to be rated for at minimum 5,000 lbs. Most of the ol' timers will tell you that in order to tow comfortably, never exceed 70% of your vehicle's total towing capacity.
  • UTV manufacturer's lengths vary per model and in some cases per year. We've listed a few overall lengths here for reference. All lengths are for 4-seat model unless noted.
    - Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 = 6.9 feet
    - Polaris RZR Turbo S 4 = 12.5 feet
    - Polaris RZR XP 4 = 12.3 feet
    - Polaris Ranger Crew = 12.7 feet
    - Polaris Ranger Crew XD = 13.6 feet
    - Polaris Xpedition XP 5 = 12.7 feet
    - Polaris General XP 4 = 12.5 feet
    - Polaris RZR Pro R 4 = 13.8 feet
    - Can-Am Maverick X3 Max RS = 13.7 feet
    - Can-Am Defender Max = 13.2 feet
     
    - Can-Am Maverick R X RS = 11.7 feet
    - Can-Am Maverick Sport Max = 12.4 feet 
    - Can-Am Commander Max = 13.4 feet
    - Can-Am Outlander Max = 7.8 feet 
    - Kawasaki Brute Force 750 = 7.2 feet 
    - Kawasaki Mule Pro = 11.1 feet 
    - Kawasaki KRX 4 = 13.1 feet 
    - Honda Rincon = 6.9 feet 
    - Honda Foreman = 6.9 feet 
    - Honda Recon = 6.2 feet 
    - Honda Pioneer 1000-5 = 9.7 feet 
    - Honda Talon XS-4 = 12.7 feet 

Here are some quick stats to help you choose the right trailer for specific UTV models. We always recommend having a minimum of a couple of extra feet (one foot on each end of vehicle) to ensure easy load and unload as well as ease of tie-down. You can always cram a 13' machine onto a 14' trailer but we're offering the below suggestions based on recommendation from dozens of sources and years of experience. Please keep in mind these are based on 2024 specs, your exact length may vary if you have a model earlier than 2024. "Trailer" below is the length of trailer we recommend based on specific vehicle size. Keep in mind that wider models like the RZR Pro R and Maverick R are ridiculously wide so you'll need a minimum of a  8.5' wide trailer in order to safely transport.

VEHICLE LENGTH TRAILER
RZR XP 4 12.3 ft 16 ft
RZR Turbo S 4 12.5 ft 16 ft
RZR Pro R 4  13.8 ft 16 ft
Maverick R X RS 11.7 ft 14-16 ft
Outlander Max 7.8 ft 10-12 ft
Maverick X3 Turbo RR 4 13.7 ft 16-18 ft

 


Recommended Trailer Accessories

We put together a list of our must have trailer accessories on this post: Top 10 items you want in your trailer - Did we miss anything? 

 

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