A utility trailer may be used for some heavy-duty transportation, but that doesn’t mean it can’t look good! If yours looks like it’s on its last leg (or wheel) but still performs well, then there’s no need to spend money on a new one. Instead, save some cash and take up a little DIY project by breathing some life into the one you already have! c
1. New Paint and Rust Proofing
Let’s start off with perhaps the most obvious and easy of the bunch. Did you know that if done correctly, repainting your trailer every few years will actually extend its life? To do this, you’ll need to try to remove as much rust as possible with a wire brush before you get your paint brush out. We recommend taking it a step further with a commercial rust sealer, sealing off any rusty spots to make sure it doesn’t return.
Once this is nicely finished, spray a thin coat of paint onto your trailer, paying special attention to the little corners and edges. Chances are you won’t do a perfect job the first coat, so 2 or 3 coats may be necessary.
2. Replacement Wood Decking
Functionally speaking, the wood plays a crucial role in any flatbed trailer. If you can swing it, it’s worth spending a bit more on high-quality wood as it’ll not only look better but generally last much longer. While it may seem like quite the task, it shouldn’t take you any longer than an afternoon to finish the job. Of course, if you have a buddy who can help you, that will make the job even easier as the treated boards can get heavy – especially after lifting multiple.
3. Custom Wheels and Tires
A tire is just a tire, right? If it’s broken, don’t fix it? When it comes to trailer wheels and tires, this is actually quite far from the truth. Trailer tires tend to last for an average of anywhere between 12,000 to 40,000 miles or 3-6 years. That means if you’re coming up to the end of this timeframe, you should replace them to avoid safety hazards.
Also consider replacing the wheels if you’ve left them sitting for a while. This can cause the tires to flatten out in certain places, which can cause unevenness while pulling, putting them at greater risk for blowouts but also creating less efficiency.
There are 2 kinds of trailer tires: radial and bias-ply. Each comes with its own set of pros and cons, so you’ll have to choose which works best for your needs. As flat tires are the number 1 cause of trailer breakdowns, it would also be a great addition to add a spare tire carrier, which can easily be mounted to trailer rails!
4. LED Lighting
Another way of really upgrading the functionality of your trailer is by replacing the incandescent lighting with LED lighting. You see more and more people doing that these days, for an array of reasons, on top of them consistently being more affordable. LED lights are much brighter, which means others around you on the road will see your brake lights better in both daytime and nighttime.
Moreover, they also illuminate quicker, which is important when you need to stop with little notice. The best models will be waterproofed and sealed so they can work well in any kind of weather conditions. Some can even handle momentary, complete submersion!
The longer-lasting lights are more resistant to shock and vibration, making them perfect for any kind of surface, such as bumpy non-paved roads or gravel. Most feature tough, yet very lightweight shells made of materials like aluminum to ensure they last you for years to come!
If you want to make the replacement process easier on yourself, we recommend searching for LEDs with the same mounting style as the lights you already have on your trailer.
5. Strap, Eyebolts or Hooks
The rest isn’t going to matter much if the cargo you’re transporting isn’t properly secured! Straps, eyebolts, and hooks are much smaller components of the trailer but all play an important role.
Replacing the strap on trailers is quite common, as they can quickly become worn out with exposure to the sun, rain, and more. Thankfully, the replacement process is relatively simple, and shouldn’t take you more than an hour for the entire process.
Replacing or adding eye bolts may take a bit more time, but you’ll greatly cut the process time down if you have a power drill. They come in a wide variety of different styles and materials, and different models can hold more or less weight. Eye bolts act as the essential foundation in a tie-down technique while transporting cargo in your trailer, so these may be tiny but they’re incredibly important to have in good shape.
Hooks also play a crucial role in transporting heavy loads, and cost next to nothing to replace, so there’s no reason why yours shouldn’t be in perfect working condition. Make sure you get the right size and weight limit for your trailer and the cargo you’ll be carrying. Weight limits vary anywhere between around 4,000 pounds to over 40,000 so pay attention to this!
Read More: 10 relevant uses of enclosed cargo trailers
Now that you’ve had the chance to read through the top 5 ways of updating your utility trailer, which task will you be taking on first? If you have a lot of time on your hands, why not do them all? One thing is for sure: you’ll be able to reap the benefits immediately and it’s much cheaper than replacing the entire trailer itself! We hope that our guide has given you some great DIY ideas so that your trailer is always in supreme shape. Thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you again soon!