How to Build Homemade Tilt Trailers

Written by scarlett gauthier
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How to Build Homemade Tilt Trailers
Tilt trailers help avoid the need for special ramps to haul items on and off. (loading up image by Pix by Marti from

Many trailer owners prefer the convenience that a tilt trailer offers because it eliminates the extra ramps typically used to load and offload equipment. The frame of a tilt trailer is hinged at the rear so it can pivot upwards or downwards easily. Tilt trailers are useful in many situations and can be used to transport equipment such as motorcycles and boats. They also ensure that rain and snow will slide off the trailer because of its tilting option, which will easily extend a trailer's life.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 5/8-inch bolts
  • 5/8-inch hitch pins
  • 5/4-inch by 6-inch treated deck lumber
  • Safety glasses
  • Paintbrush
  • Rust-resistant paint
  • Welder
  • Metal cutter
  • Drill press
  • Axle
  • Wheels
  • Suspension springs
  • Trailer coupler
  • Steel U-channel
  • Steel tubing

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  1. 1

    Decide on the maximum load the trailer will be carrying. This will help determine the size of the wheels, axle and suspension springs, as well as the strength of the steel and framework that needs to be constructed.

  2. 2

    Sketch the plans for the trailer in order to determine the dimensions and amount of materials required.

  3. 3

    Purchase steel tubing long enough for the trailer's tongue. The tongue should extend from the coupler to the front of the trailer. It should also be 4 inches before where the axle will be.

  4. 4

    Purchase a length of steel U-channel one foot longer than the measurement from the trailer's axle to the top of the trailer's deck. Make sure the U-channel is big enough so the steel tubing for the trailer's tongue will fit inside.

  5. 5

    Purchase enough steel tubing to form the trailer's chassis. It should be long enough to fill the entire chassis from one side to the other.

  1. 1

    Use the metal cutter to cut all pieces of steel according to the measurements needed to form the chassis. Lay the pieces out on a flat surface and weld them together.

  2. 2

    Weld the chassis cross member approximately 4 inches before where the axle will be.

  3. 3

    Insert the steel tubing that will serve as the trailer's tongue into the U-channel. Make sure the tubing and U-channel end flush to each other; no tubing should be sticking out.

  4. 4

    Drill a 5/8-inch hole approximately 2 inches from the end of the U-channel and steel tubing. Drill into both pieces of steel at once so the holes will line up.

  5. 5

    Insert a 5/8-inch bolt into the holes through both the steel tubing and U-channel.

  6. 6

    Repeat step 4 to drill an additional hole at the opposite end of the U-channel and steel tubing. Remove the bolt from the tongue and U-channel on the other end.

  7. 7

    Center the U-channel at the bottom part of the chassis cross member. Make sure to position it ahead of the axle and at the underside of the cross member so the open end of the U-channel is pointing downward when the trailer is set upright.

  8. 8

    Use the welding tools to weld the U-channel tightly to the frame and cross member.

  9. 9

    Affix the coupler to the end of the trailer tongue tubing, where the tubing has not been drilled into.

  10. 10

    To construct the tilt system pivot point and lockdown mechanism, bolt the tongue tubing at the end of the U-channel under the trailer. Use a 5/8 bolt to bolt the tubing and a 5/8-inch hitch pin to lock it into place. Insert hitch pins in the holes in the deck of the trailer to ensure the trailer is hitched securely.

  11. 11

    Assemble the remaining parts of the trailer such as suspension, axle and wheels.

  12. 12

    Use a paintbrush to coat the steel parts of the trailer with rust-resistant paint and allow the paint to dry before attaching the deck boards.

Tips and warnings

  • Place the trailer's tail lights through the tongue of the trailer. Make sure to leave enough loose so they will not be stretched or broken when tilting the trailer.
  • You can add sides, lights, fenders and other custom features to the trailer to give it a sleek, finished look.
  • Use caution and always wear safety glasses when handling welding materials.

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