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Tips for Transporting Your ATV or UTV with a Trailer

ATV Trailer

Once you’ve purchased your ATV/UTV, a trailer may be the next purchase you make for your recreational or utility vehicle. Chances are you’re going to want to get around and check out different off-road terrain. Many truck beds won’t be able to fit larger ATVs/UTVs, and if you have multiple off-road vehicles, a towing trailer is an absolute necessity. ATV Trader has put together some excellent advice for ATV/UTV trailers so you can make the right purchase, tow your four-wheeler safely, and venture to new destinations.

The Basics of ATV/UTV Trailers

Trailers for ATVs and UTVs are used to transport them from place to place when either distance or terrain prevent them from simply being ridden there directly. Not only are many truck beds not large enough to carry large or multiple off-road vehicles, they’d also require you to move your ATV/UTV up a steep incline with a ramp that’s stable and can support the vehicle’s weight and secure the ATV/UTV on your truck bed. An ATV/UTV trailer is the clear and simple solution to avoiding these headaches.

ATV/UTV trailers are specially made to be more accommodating when it comes to towing and transporting your recreational or utility vehicle. Many can support multiple ATVs/UTVs in size, space, and weight.  When searching for a trailer, you’ll notice they differ in size, number of axles, and whether they’re open or enclosed. You can choose the right trailer based on exactly what you’ll need for the type of ATV/UTV you need to transport.

Trailers sometimes come with ratchet straps to tie down and safely secure the four-wheeler. Often they have lower deck levels that let you easily get your ATV/UTV onto the trailer. Conveniently they also often come with attached ramps. If your trailer does not have a ramp, you can shop for ramps based on their weight capacity and design.

Before You Buy:

There are several things you’ll want to consider before you purchase the trailer for your ATV or UTV.

  • For road use, your trailer will need a license, registration, and insurance
  • Make sure your towing vehicle can support the weight of the trailer with the ATVs/UTVs you are towing
  • Know the trailer’s dimensions and your route so you have proper clearance on the road when fitting on narrow lanes and lower tunnels or overpasses
  • You’ll need a towing hitch that’s compatible with the trailer based on its height as well as the weight and dimensions of the trailer with your ATVs/UTVs on it
  • Check with the seller for more on specifics with the size and weight limits for the trailer with your ATV/UTV when it’s being towed
  • Find out if the trailer comes with a ramp. If not, you’ll need to separately purchase a correctly sized ramp that is the appropriate height and can support the weight of the ATV/UTV

Loading the ATV/UTV Onto the Trailer:

To make sure you load your ATV or UTV onto your trailer safely and smoothly, here are some points you’ll want to keep in mind.

  • The trailer should be on level, flat ground
  • Make sure the trailer tongue height is level. You can measure its distance from the ground to ensure it’s at the right height for your towing vehicle. If the heights are different, purchasing a drawbar can compensate for the difference in height
  • Make sure the onboarding ramp is secure
  • If you’re towing multiple ATVs/UTVs that are different in size, the larger vehicle should go on the trailer first. This will give you more visibility when towing
  • Wearing your helmet, drive the ATV/UTV onto the trailer on the ramp. Using little throttle, keep it in its lowest gear, and use four-wheel drive if you have this option. If you have enough support to move it without driving it, guide the ATV/UTV up the ramp. You’ll want to follow this procedure when getting your ATV/UTV off the trailer
  • Using a winch is another option to get the ATV/UTV on the trailer
  • The heaviest part of the ATV/UTV should be near the front of the trailer. Overall, you want a level load on the trailer to prevent it tipping and swaying when towing
  • Make sure the ATV/UTV is turned off and the parking brake is on
  • Tie and secure the ATV/UTV with ratchet straps, which need to be fastened to the frame of the trailer. Make sure these straps aren’t loose, dragging, or hanging off. Tie the excess length of the straps
  • If you’ve got a pickup gate, ensure it’s closed and locked
  • Plug in any trailer lights and brakes, make sure the trailer battery is charged
  • Always make sure your chains, brakes, and lights are fully functional and secure. Check your tires for any punctures and ensure their pressure is sufficient

While You Transport:

  • Drive slower and cautiously 
  • Regularly perform inspections on your towing equipment/trailer, and periodically during longer transportation trips


Now that you know the specifics with ATV/UTV trailers, you can get going on your next exciting ATV/UTV outing. If you’re a first-time ATV/UTV trailer buyer or you’re looking to make another trailer purchase, is the best marketplace to find new and used trailers.


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Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller

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