How to build tent trailers for off road

Written by zach lazzari
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How to build tent trailers for off road
Most tent trailers are designed for highway driving. (camping,trailer image by Greg Pickens from

Most tent trailers are not designed for off road driving. This is limiting for many adventurous campers because off road driving is required to reach remote campsites. Fortunately, tent trailers can be adapted for rugged terrain. The improvements require at least one full day of work and some mechanical tools and skills. Once completed, the trailer can be towed through mud and over rough, bumpy roads. The job can be completed by a single person but several people make it much easier.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wrench
  • 3 jacks
  • Off road tires
  • Springs

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  1. 1

    Use a wrench to loosen the lug nuts on the trailer tires. Use a jack on each end of the trailer to lift it off the ground. Lift the trailer slowly and check that it is stable on the jacks.

  2. 2

    Completely remove the lug nuts and remove both trailer tires. Check the trailer springs for quality. Many trailers do not have quality springs to support the tent trailer weight off road.

  3. 3

    Add larger springs from a trailer suspension kit if the current springs are compressed and worn. Weld the springs directly to the axle with a spot welding stick and electric welding cables. Support the weight of the trailer frame with a third jack while replacing the springs. Use extra caution and wear a welding mask during this process.

  4. 4

    Place aggressive, off-road tires on the trailer. Use a wrench to replace the lug nuts.

  5. 5

    Lower the jacks and place the trailer on the ground. Use the wrench to completely tighten the lug nuts. It is important that the nuts are tight as possible.

Tips and warnings

  • Add extra large springs to the trailer if you plan on serious off road use. You can also add air suspension but it is overkill for a small trailer.
  • Be extra careful while working on the raised trailer. If the jacks are not stable, you will be risking serious injury.

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