Trailers make very convenient utility vehicles, because you can load anything you want on them without having to dirty your tow vehicle or worry about denting anything. Problem is, trailers aren't cheap, making purchasing one a bit unattainable for some. But a cheap way to get a trailer is to build one yourself out of an old truck bed. It's not easy, but for a minimal investment, you can have your own trailer and use it for whatever you like.
Things You'll Need
- Donor truck
- Jack stands
- 3/8-inch ratchet and sockets
- Eye protection
- Hearing protection
- Reciprocating saw
- Tape measure
- Permanent marker
- Trailer coupler
- Two 4-foot sections of 6-inch steel channel
- MIG welder
- Welding helmet
- 40 feet of 18-gauge wiring
- Blue butt connectors
- Wire cutters
- Wire strippers
- Trailer wiring plugs
Find a donor truck to use for your project. This can be a truck with a salvage title, because you don't need to drive it. It can be damaged or wrecked in the front end as well. As long as the rear half of the truck from the back of the cab backward is fine, you're in good shape.
Lift up the vehicle using the jack and place it on jack stands. Make sure there is a stand at the rearmost section of the cab, and the frontmost portion of the bed, so that when you cut the two of them apart, neither part falls on the ground.
Put the gloves, eye protection and hearing protection on to ensure that you don't injure yourself.
Unbolt the driveline and the gas tank from the vehicle using the 3/8-inch ratchet and sockets. Place them to the side so that they're out of the way.
Place the blade of the reciprocating saw in the gap between the cab and the bed. Cut the frame using the reciprocating saw, separating the cab and the bed. With the help of an assistant, lift the cab and move it out of the way. You can resell the parts from the cab if need be, and partially recoup your purchase price.
Measure the distance from the front of the bed to the end of the cut section of the frame using the tape measure. One frame stub will most likely be longer than the other, so use the reciprocating saw to cut the longer section of frame to length.
Place the C-channel steel onto the ends of the cut section of frame, and point them together to form a V shape, using the jack stands to support the steel. You want the point of the V to point away from the bed of the truck, because that's where the truck will connect to the tow vehicle. Weld the C-channel to the frame and at the point, using the MIG welder and welding gloves.
Weld the trailer coupler to the end of the V shape made with the C-channel steel using the MIG welder.
Run the 18-gauge wire from the trailer coupler to the taillights on the truck bed. Then wire the taillights to the 18-gauge wire using the wire cutters, wire strippers, wire crimpers, and the blue butt connectors. Wire the 18-gauge wire to the trailer wiring. Make sure the plug on the trailer wiring is the same as the plug on your tow vehicle, so you can plug the two of them together.
How to Build a Flatbed Trailer
A flatbed trailer is a great help when you have heavy things to move. You may be surprised by how much use...
How to Salvage a Chevy Truck Bed
A salvaged Chevy pickup truck bed has many uses, including as a trailer, replacement and as a general container. Removing the bed...
How to Build a Pickup Bed Trailer
One of the handiest accessories for your truck is a trailer. It will help you haul dirt to the job site, trash...
How to Make Stake Bed Trailer Sides
Stake bed sides keep cargo on a trailer. To install stake sides, the trailer or truck bed must have stake bed metal...
How to Convert a Truck Bed Into a Camper
Converting the bed of your truck into a camper allows you more options when carrying loads. You can protect your cargo, plus...
Homemade Dump Bed
You can save a significant amount of money if you make your own dump bed for a pickup truck. You can purchase...
How to Attach a Trailer to a Pickup
Pickup truck hitches can haul many things, including trailers, campers, boats or anything else that can attach to the hitch. The most...
How to Build a Stage From a Flat Bed Trailer
If you or your community are hosting an outdoor musical event, one thing to consider is what type of outdoor stage to...
How to Build a Wood Truck Bed
Trucks are designed for hauling heavy, long items. Naturally this usefulness can come at a price. If your truck bed has been...
How to Build a Catering Truck Trailer
A catering trailer is a freestanding unit that is transported to different locations on the back of a truck for the purpose...
What Is the Difference Between a Trailer & a Motorhome?
Recreational vehicles or RVs populate the nation's highways in larger numbers when the spring and summer driving seasons get underway. These vehicles...