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.
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