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 to make sure you get exactly what you need while not breaking the bank. 
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We put together a cheat sheet to help you along your journey and address/avoid some of the buyer's remorse from current owners who wish they had a do-over. We will address some of the most common questions:

  • What type of UTV trailer do I need?
  • What size UTV trailer do I need?
  • How much do UTV trailers cost?
  • 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 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.

Trailer Cons:

  • Theft. Even a stock UTV is prone to theft if left unattended in an unsecure location. If you don't have land/property to store your trailer/UTV on and have to store both 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 they want to ruin your day and steal.
  • 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.

 


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 and can accommodate three, four, even five+ UTVs on one trailer.

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 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 a 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 the easiest load or the most painful/scary load 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.

 


Adventure Trailer

For those of you who want the best of both worlds, camping and hauling, the adventure trailer is your solution. There are dozens of adventure trailers out there in a myriad of lengths, widths and prices so do your research on these because quality matters when you're paying full pop for a large budget solution.

Trailer Pros:

  • All in one. Want a basecamp and need a trailer? This is a great way to live out of your basecamp 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.

Trailer Cons:

  • Price. Do your research because although the adventure trailer is an amazing Swiss Army Knife for most situations, you may be shocked at how much these things are going for. 
  • Weight.

 


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 not only your UTV but your portable fire pit, shovels, gas cans, spare wheels/tires, generators, etc. without a worry to where you store your trailer and for how long. You spent a bunch of money buying your new machine, this solution will protect your investment.

Trailer Cons:

  • Price. Big upgrade for a fully covered trailer with options and accessories pushing you in the $40-50K range for full aluminum framed. 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 option requires you to open doors, pop locks and crawl around your machine to get what you needed it. 

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 used for much cheaper. Depending on your spec requirements, you'll more than likely be higher than what is suggested above. Costs based on 2022 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.
  • UTV manufacturer's lengths vary per model and in some cases per year. A 2021 Polaris RZR Turbo S 4 (four seater) has an overall length of 12.5 feet. The Can-Am Maverick X3 Max RS Turbo RR has a length of 13.7 feet. 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.

Here are some quick stats to help you choose the right trailer for specific UTV models. Please keep in mind these are based on 2021 specs, please reference your UTV dealer for exact model length/width. "Length" below is the OEM length of the specific vehicle mentioned. "Trailer" below is the length of trailer we recommend based on the specific vehicle size. Keep in mind that wider models like the Turbo S and Maverick Turbo RR are 72" wide so you'll need an 8.5 wide trailer in order to safely transport.

VEHICLE LENGTH TRAILER
Turbo S 10.2 ft 14 ft
Turbo S 4 12.5 ft 16 ft
General  9.9 ft 14 ft
General 4 12.5 ft 16 ft
Maverick X3 Turbo RR 11.1 ft 14 ft
Maverick X3 Turbo RR 4 13.7 ft 16-18 ft

 

 


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