A Quick Guide to Choosing the Right ATV Trailer

Finding the right ATV trailer requires research and on-hand inspections. Read our quick guide to make an informed decision. 

Getting an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) trailer is a great way to transport your quad to riding spots, camping grounds, hunting areas, or wherever your next adventure takes you. These tough machines make off-road activities, whether for work or pleasure, more enjoyable.   

It’s unsurprising that off-road vehicles have grown in popularity over the years. Overall, the ATV market was valued at USD$ 3.2 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow to USD$ 3.7 billion by 2028.

But with so many trailer options available, it can be tricky to choose the right one to suit your specific needs and budget. In this quick guide, we’ll discuss the key factors to consider when picking an ATV trailer so you end up with the perfect match.

  • Match the trailer size to your ATV

The first step is getting a trailer designed to fit your ATV properly. When checking out trailers for sale in Bedford PA and other locations, you’ll notice they vary in width, length, ramp configurations, and weight capacities. Generally, the trailer must be a few inches wider and longer than your quad to give you enough room to load it safely. 

Make sure to measure your off-road vehicle. Most trailers range from four feet up to over 10 feet long, supporting off-road bikes from small single-seat quads to big utility 4×4 ATVs packed for long camping trips. 

  • Assess its capacity 

Double-check the maximum weight rating to ensure the trailer can handle the fully loaded weight of your quad plus any gear you’ll carry. Account for racks and accessories to get a trailer with adequate hauling capacity. Additionally, validate that your towing truck can handle the weight safely by checking its tow rating, determining the maximum load your vehicle can pull.

  • Consider ATV usage

Think about how you plan to use your ATV trailer. Will it be used on rough backroads or just pavement? Are you looking to haul one large or compact-sized ATV or a couple of smaller quads? Do you need dedicated storage for helmets, fuel cans, and gear? The answers to these questions will help narrow options. 

Analyze when, where, and what you’ll haul to pick the right trailer type. For instance: 

  • A single-place steel trailer with leaf spring suspension offers durability in ultra-tough terrain.
  • A double-rail trailer works well for easy pavement hauling.
  • Enclosed trailers provide storage and protection from the weather.
  • Tilt-bed tandem axle trailers offer more ground clearance for uneven routes.

ATV trailers are also made from different materials, each with pros and cons. For example, an aluminum trailer is lighter than steel but is typically costlier. Those made of wood offer the cheapest option but they’re the least durable. 

Ultimately, the right design and materials will depend on your budget, needs, and towing usage. When comparing, prioritize durability over cost to pick the ATV trailer that aligns with how and where you plan to haul your quad.

  • Check loading systems 

What good is an ATV if you can’t load it seamlessly on your trailer? Start your adventure by ensuring that your hauling machine can easily accommodate your quad. 

Most trailers use ramps but consider lift-assist options like power tilt or electric winches for lifting heavy quads. Manual tilt trailers use leverage from tongue jacks to lower the tilt bed, reducing lifting effort.

Ensure the ramp angle isn’t too steep for your ATV’s ground clearance and that the ramp length gives stable accessibility. The easier the loading system is to use, the happier you’ll be when loading and unloading in unfavorable terrain. 


  • Inspect suspension systems and brakes for stability

The axle configuration, suspension, and tires all impact the towing experience. Single-axle trailers are lighter, making them good for smaller quads. Double-axle or tandem axle ones offer more stability when hauling larger quads at higher speeds. However, the extra axle adds weight.

  • Suspension systems

Leaf springs, torsion bars, and air ride suspensions all cushion the payload from brutal bumps. Air ride creates the smoothest ride but requires maintenance. Heavy-duty components, breakaway kits, and better tires increase durability for off-road conditions. Better-built trailers cost more but last longer.

  • Trailer brakes

Electric and hydraulic surge trailer brakes that activate when you brake provide critical stopping power. They’re usually not needed for small single-place trailers but help immensely when handling heavier double-rail or tandem-axle trailers. This is particularly important if you plan to haul on highways where speeds and distances make brakes a necessity.

  • Prioritize trailer security 

ATVs can be dangerous in the wrong hands. That’s why some states require teens to get a safety certificate before operating one without adult supervision. 

Another facet of ATV safety is ensuring its safe transit. All quality ATV trailers have tie-down points to fasten your machine. When inspecting, ensure enough sturdy D-rings, slots, or tracks, with included ratchet straps or fastening ropes to keep your quad stable and centered, preventing shifts during transport. Good tie-downs prevent disastrous damage from a loose off-road vehicle that can harm you or others. 

A Quick Guide to Choosing the Right ATV Trailer – Choosing the right match

Carefully considering the key factors above can help you find the perfect ATV trailer for your needs and budget. If money is tight, you can find good used ATV trailers from dealers and private sellers instead of new ones. Off-season winter buying and end-of-model-year sales also offer significant savings.

More importantly, take your top trailer options for a test drive with your quad and gear. This lets you evaluate its towing stability before committing to a purchase. Follow this guide and you’ll have the right trailer to haul your beloved ATV for years of happy adventures on the trails, backroads, and beyond.

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