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Discussion Starter #1
As a new ATV owner I'm trailering my 570 150mi each weekend and have come up with a few things to make my life easier and safer while on the road. I'm sure someone has done some of these before but I thought I'd share mine.

Mods:

* Added 2x10 boards over the expanded metal on my trailer to better distribute the ATV's weight while allowing easy cleanup. (I pull my trailer through a lot of mud)

* Replaced my old tie-down straps with chain for securing the front of the ATV. It makes loading easy- Simply drive to the front of the trailer, attach hook and back up until tight. Attach two rear straps and you're done.

* For extra piece of mind I have a piece of tie down strap that loosely is attached from the trailer's tongue to the Sportsman's winch hook. ( this may be over kill but I feel better with it there.

* "Off-road" lights from west marine. I use these on my offshore fishing boat; they are cheap ($29.00) but durable, very bright bright and made with stainless brackets and fasteners.

* Lastly, to take some of the stress off my winch cable when not in use I've added a hard rubber "cushion". It is intended to be used as a boat trailer shaft end cap. Cost $8.29 and fits perfectly

C E SMITH Molded Rubber Trailer Rollers, Guards and Caps at West Marine

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nice work!! I like the piece of chain on front I'm gonna steal that idea!! lol


2013 850ho
I would recommend grade 8 fasteners to be on the safe side. Cheap bolts would defeat the purpose. Just Google grade 8 bolt image if you are not sure what they should look like. After bolting the chains in place, I deformed the bolt threads so that the nuts can not back off.
 

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Nice work!! I like the piece of chain on front I'm gonna steal that idea!! lol


2013 850ho
I would recommend grade 8 fasteners to be on the safe side. Cheap bolts would defeat the purpose. Just Google grade 8 bolt image if you are not sure what they should look like. After bolting the chains in place, I deformed the bolt threads so that the nuts can not back off.
I'll weld my chains to the trailer.


2013 850ho
 

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Thanks for sharing, I needed an idea like this.
 

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Man those little atv trailers sketch me out.

They seem so cheaply built. I have a home made trailer that is ridiculously overbuilt. But it also has tall sides, so there is no need to strap the machine down.
 

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...I have a home made trailer that is ridiculously overbuilt. But it also has tall sides, so there is no need to strap the machine down.
Friend of mine is a cop and investigated a single vehicle accident this summer.

The vehicle was pulling a trailer carrying an unsecured ATV. While at speed, the right side wheel of the trailer caught a deep hole in the road shoulder causing the trailer to fishtail and tip enough to eject the ATV.

The good news...the ATV did not hit anything except a tree and hard ground.

The bad news...the ATV was significantly damaged and the driver was cited for failing to secure a load.

One can only imagine what the legal cost might have been had the ATV hit someone or something of value.
 

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I would reinforce the area on your trailer that you're attaching the chain too. those smaller trailers aren't built with heavy metal. to save weight and more importantly cost. that means that the material you're attaching too is not very strong as fare as a tie down point goes. you get any good jerks on that you're going to be deforming the Angle iron and reducing the strength of that supporting frame member. your ratchet straps would have enough strength to do this. not a good situation. Also, you should be using a shackle with a chain on it, not a bolt with a chain on it. Right now the bolt is in single shear which is not nearly as strong as a chain shackle would be. Even moving up to grade 8 bolts wouldn't compare to a shackle as far as strength is concerned. Remember, any modifications that you make to the trailer are on you if they fail and cause damage to someone else or their property.

As for tall sides and not securing the trailer, that's just a bad idea all together. In WA it's $1000 minimum for unsecured load. not to mention the damage to the ATV and any other vehicles/people involved in the accident. a blown tire is enough to flip a trailer. It's your trailer and your ATV, but you'll never catch me trailering without straps on all four corners of an ATV.

Bsutton, I don't know your welding experience but I will caution. welding on a trailer is not a job for a beginner or novice welder. It's not always as simple as throwing a thicker piece of metal on there and a couple beads. Also, Welding on chains is not allowed on trailers. So if you're going to weld, Weld a section of 3/8" or 1/2" U shaped stock to the trailer with the chain threaded or shackled to the stock. or weld on a section of 1/4"-1/2" plate with a hole for a shackle and than chain.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I would reinforce the area on your trailer that you're attaching the chain too. those smaller trailers aren't built with heavy metal. to save weight and more importantly cost. that means that the material you're attaching too is not very strong as fare as a tie down point goes. you get any good jerks on that you're going to be deforming the Angle iron and reducing the strength of that supporting frame member. your ratchet straps would have enough strength to do this. not a good situation. Also, you should be using a shackle with a chain on it, not a bolt with a chain on it. Right now the bolt is in single shear which is not nearly as strong as a chain shackle would be. Even moving up to grade 8 bolts wouldn't compare to a shackle as far as strength is concerned. Remember, any modifications that you make to the trailer are on you if they fail and cause damage to someone else or their property.
Thanks for the suggestions, I agree shackles and a little reinforcement would be a good idea. As prior Navy and an owner of two boats, I bet I have a shackle or two laying around somewhere not being used.

I do prefer chain over straps; I've had quite a few ratchet straps fail over the years but not many chain gripe setups. Even hauling loads of over 75 Tons (M1A1 tank), in 8- 10 ft seas onboard the LCAC (hovercraft) I used to pilot, chains kept it secure. BTW, the chain gripes were assembled with grade 8 bolts but they were rated at 25K lbs. Of coarse they were much larger than the 1/2" ones I used on my trailer.
 

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How did you hook up your "off-road lights"
 

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Man those little atv trailers sketch me out.

They seem so cheaply built. I have a home made trailer that is ridiculously overbuilt. But it also has tall sides, so there is no need to strap the machine down.
Come to Texas with an unsecured item on a trailer and let a Highway patrol officer see it and you will get a hefty fine. All the ******** who go to the Highlifter Mud Nationals always find out the hard way. You would be surprised the crap they will put on a trailer and not tie it down.

Ronnie
 

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I would reinforce the area on your trailer that you're attaching the chain too. those smaller trailers aren't built with heavy metal. to save weight and more importantly cost. that means that the material you're attaching too is not very strong as fare as a tie down point goes. you get any good jerks on that you're going to be deforming the Angle iron and reducing the strength of that supporting frame member. your ratchet straps would have enough strength to do this. not a good situation. Also, you should be using a shackle with a chain on it, not a bolt with a chain on it. Right now the bolt is in single shear which is not nearly as strong as a chain shackle would be. Even moving up to grade 8 bolts wouldn't compare to a shackle as far as strength is concerned. Remember, any modifications that you make to the trailer are on you if they fail and cause damage to someone else or their property.

As for tall sides and not securing the trailer, that's just a bad idea all together. In WA it's $1000 minimum for unsecured load. not to mention the damage to the ATV and any other vehicles/people involved in the accident. a blown tire is enough to flip a trailer. It's your trailer and your ATV, but you'll never catch me trailering without straps on all four corners of an ATV.

Bsutton, I don't know your welding experience but I will caution. welding on a trailer is not a job for a beginner or novice welder. It's not always as simple as throwing a thicker piece of metal on there and a couple beads. Also, Welding on chains is not allowed on trailers. So if you're going to weld, Weld a section of 3/8" or 1/2" U shaped stock to the trailer with the chain threaded or shackled to the stock. or weld on a section of 1/4"-1/2" plate with a hole for a shackle and than chain.
Been welding heavy for 10 yrs now!! And yes I know not to weld chain to trailer I'll be using a weld on shackle. Thanks for the caution though u never know anyone's knowledge or skill


2013 850ho
 

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Discussion Starter #14
How did you hook up your "off-road lights"
I used a "spare" hot wire that is energized only when the key is on. It is located under the headlight pod. I used an inline fuse for protection and a switch that allows operation when either the high or low beam lights are on or even if they are not, if desired.

I used the common ground terminal block where my winch's ground is connected.

These lights are only 55W halogen flood lights but they really make a difference. I like them pointed a few degrees right/left of center for an extra wide field of view. Good for spotting critters when out on the trail.
 

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Man those little atv trailers sketch me out.

They seem so cheaply built. I have a home made trailer that is ridiculously overbuilt. But it also has tall sides, so there is no need to strap the machine down.
I would never haul any of my quads unsecured. Seen and heard several horror stories of unsecured quads on trailers.
 

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I had one of the cheaper trailers and first trip out with the atv on it was a little scary - got an all aluminum trailer from Triton with folding ramp, movable tie downs, etc. If you can afford a triton, its the way to go - I really couldn't afford the aluminum but did it anyway - last trailer I will ever buy.
 

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Sounds familiar.......the Tractor Supply trailer I bought would not track for squat! Returned it, sucked it up and bought a AlumaTrailer. Damn nice trailer, pulls very nicely!

If the trailer the OP has works for him, then that's all that counts.
 

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I would reinforce the area on your trailer that you're attaching the chain too. those smaller trailers aren't built with heavy metal. to save weight and more importantly cost. that means that the material you're attaching too is not very strong as fare as a tie down point goes. you get any good jerks on that you're going to be deforming the Angle iron and reducing the strength of that supporting frame member. your ratchet straps would have enough strength to do this. not a good situation. Also, you should be using a shackle with a chain on it, not a bolt with a chain on it. Right now the bolt is in single shear which is not nearly as strong as a chain shackle would be. Even moving up to grade 8 bolts wouldn't compare to a shackle as far as strength is concerned. Remember, any modifications that you make to the trailer are on you if they fail and cause damage to someone else or their property.

As for tall sides and not securing the trailer, that's just a bad idea all together. In WA it's $1000 minimum for unsecured load. not to mention the damage to the ATV and any other vehicles/people involved in the accident. a blown tire is enough to flip a trailer. It's your trailer and your ATV, but you'll never catch me trailering without straps on all four corners of an ATV.

Bsutton, I don't know your welding experience but I will caution. welding on a trailer is not a job for a beginner or novice welder. It's not always as simple as throwing a thicker piece of metal on there and a couple beads. Also, Welding on chains is not allowed on trailers. So if you're going to weld, Weld a section of 3/8" or 1/2" U shaped stock to the trailer with the chain threaded or shackled to the stock. or weld on a section of 1/4"-1/2" plate with a hole for a shackle and than chain.
Been welding heavy for 10 yrs now!! And yes I know not to weld chain to trailer I'll be using a weld on shackle. Thanks for the caution though u never know anyone's knowledge or skill


2013 850ho
No worries, thus my first sentence. and since it's a caution not needed by you it will serve as a caution for anyone else reading this thread.
 

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It always amazes me how people will buy a $5k-$10k+ machine and then balk on spending money on what transports it. I spent $750 on a used trailer that was in pretty rough shape. Tandem axle 14'x6'. It had drop axles and brakes on both axles but only a 4 pin wiring harness, and that harness was a rats nest of presidential solutions. I've put about $500 into the trailer at this point. Larger wheels and tires from 13"-15", Flipped the axles to spring over and replaced all spring bushings and hangers. New cross members, from 2x2x1/8" unevenly spaced rusted angle to 2x2x1/4 angle 24" on center. New brakes, new drums/hubs/bearings, I fabricated tie down points out of 1/2" plate and located them on the outside of the frame at the cross members. Added stake pockets and made removable side walls, built 8' ramps that are conservatively rated at 3200 lbs. each. will be putting about $100 in paint on it next spring after sand blasting it and for $1350 or so I've got a trailer that would cost me $2500 new. and the new one wouldn't have the 16 tie down points, the 8' 3200 lbs. ramps, or removable sides.

I did all of this before I bought my ATV. I built the trailer to be a multifunction utility trailer. it's got a payload of 5400 lbs. It rides level with a 2" drop hitch with my truck and doesn't scrape the valleys on my property while driving through the grass to the shop. or drag the transition up the steep driveway.

I know not everyone has the equipment, experience, or skills to do this on their own. But knowing how you're going to transport your toy before you buy it is a good idea. it's not really putting the cart before the horse, but it kinda is.
 

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Darn great point Thor'
 
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