Adding a truck bed trailer to your pickup truck can be an excellent DIY project. You can do this project without spending so much money. The important thing at the start is choosing the best truck bed trailer ideas, which is what I will help you do in this article.
There are two basic ways you can build your truck bed trailer. One option is to make it from scratch. The other option is to buy a truck bed kit and assemble it yourself. Whatever option you choose, you need to have the required tools, materials, and skills.
Building your truck bed trailer is less expensive than buying a complete unit out of the factory. If you build it yourself, you will also have more opportunities to customize your trailer. Of course, you will sweat it out making the trailer, but you gain the satisfaction of building it yourself.
Read on to learn more about truck bed trailers and the many ideas you can use to build your unit.
Truck Bed Trailer Ideas
You can build your DIY truck bed trailer if you have the skills and tools. There are two options of how you can do this. One option is to build your unit from scratch. The other option is to buy a kit and assemble the trailer yourself.
Whatever option you choose, you need to have the tools and materials to do it. If you have decent DIY skills, along with some needed help from an assistant, you can build the trailer and gain the satisfaction of doing it yourself.
You also need some ideas on how to build it. You can search the internet for these ideas. This article will set you off in this direction by providing you with some great ideas about how you can build your truck bed trailer.
You may wonder, is it cheaper to build a trailer than to buy a finished one? It is cheaper to make it yourself. In addition, you have a lot more chances of customizing the truck bed trailer if you will do it on your own.
A truck bed trailer straight out of the factory gives you limited customization options. This means your trailer will look just like the many others. However, you should be ready to sweat it out if you want to build your trailer.
The reward is excellent after building your personalized truck bed trailer. It’s the only one of that kind in the lot, and you’ve made it yourself.
What Is a Truck Bed Trailer?
First, let us establish what a truck bed trailer is. It is many things to many people. But generally, most people think of it as a pickup bed trailer or a truck box trailer.
This means it could be a modified pickup truck bed separate from the pickup truck or vehicle. This trailer is usually hitched to the back of a pickup truck and used for trailer hauling.
To be used for hauling, a truck bed trailer should be strong and heavy. The weight of these trailers can range from 1,000 to 2,000 pounds. There is a wide variation in their weights because of the modifications and customization their owners do to them.
You have to consider the final weight of the truck bed trailer that you will build because it will affect the performance of your tow truck. There’s no point in making a truck bed that your tow truck will be hard put towing.
Ideas for Customizing Your Truck Bed Trailer
We now get to the crux of this article – the many ideas you can use to customize your truck bed trailer. Here are some ideas that you can consider in personalizing your truck bed trailer:
1. Trailer Caddy
Most truck owners have bulky things we throw down on our trailer beds. What about those little things we also throw at the back of our trailer?
This is where a trailer caddy can be useful in a truck bed trailer. It could just be a simple DIY caddy that you can fasten or hook with the screws on the trailer bed.
2. Roll-On Trailer Bed Liner
If you are a person who wants their bed liner always clean, then why not make a roll-on trailer bed liner?
You can buy a suitable truck bed liner of sufficient thickness and strength and then cut it out to the shape and size of your trailer bed. This way, you can also prevent scratches and dents on the bed.
3. Trailer Pool
Would it be wonderful if you could bring your pool home on a road trip with your family? It is possible to do that if you turn your trailer bed into a small pool for your kids to wade in when you’re on a road trip.
The Pick-up Pools is a company that can transform your trailer bed into a small wading pool. Or you can do it yourself by buying the necessary materials for making a leak-proof truck bed liner. Just use your regular garden hose to fill it up with water.
4. Trailer Bed Drawers
If you want to be organized, you can build drawers. Build two big drawers as your base.
Then add several compartments in each drawer. They will be instrumental in keeping the things you throw on your truck trailer tidy and within your easy reach.
5. Trailer Bed Lights with LED Strips
Lights, whether it is made of LED strips or some other kind of bulbs, will make your tailgaters on the road enjoy running behind your pickup truck. It will also make your loading and unloading of stuff in the dark of the night brighter and easier.
Again, how do you make a truck bed into a trailer? You can either make your truck bed trailer or buy a truck bed kit you can assemble. Both options require tools, materials, and skills.
How to Build a DIY Truck Bed Trailer
Truck bed trailers a very handy and can be used for different reasons. You can use it to haul tools and equipment or your music gears for your scheduled gig. They can be used for fun and also for business.
The value of having a truck bed trailer differs from knowing how to build one. If you don’t have decent DIY skills, you won’t be thinking about doing this project. But don’t let this thought keep you from thinking that you can’t have one of your own.
If you are not keen on building it on your own and would rather have it made by someone with more inclination for this kind of work, you still need to know how a truck bed trailer is built.
Here are the basic steps to building a truck bed trailer:
1. Choose the Type of Trailer
The type of truck trailer that you will build should be customized according to your wishes. So, you must specify its length, width, weight capacity, and whether it will be open or enclosed.
How do you go about choosing the type of truck bed trailer? Consider the following:
- If you use it to haul equipment and tools, the truck bed trailer should be strongly built, enclosed, and secured to discourage theft.
- It should not be enclosed if you use it to haul lumber or similar stuff. The length of the bed should also be long enough to accommodate lumber. Its suspension should also be stronger, and it should have full-size wheels.
- Your tow truck will also help determine the type of truck bed trailer you need to build. It should have enough power to be able to haul the stuff that you are going to load into the trailer bed.
2. Plan Your Work
Secure a working diagram or a plan of the type of truck trailer bed you want to build. This is necessary if you want to build it from scratch. The working plan or diagram should include the materials you will need to build the trailer bed.
However, the plan should already be included if you buy a kit. It will show you how to assemble the whole thing.
3. Choose the Construction Method
There are two ways you can build your truck trailer bed. You can choose to do it from scratch or buy a truck trailer bed kit and assemble it on your own. Either way, you need the tools and materials, as well as the required skills, to complete the project.
Be aware that if you choose to do it from scratch, it will be more difficult and time-consuming than if you will assemble a truck trailer bed kit. However, if you want to personalize the trailer bed, doing it from scratch is the better method.
4. Be Honest with Your DIY Capability
Before starting this project, you must assess your ability to complete it. What you need to have in yourself are the following:
- Working knowledge in basic carpentry
- Decent welding skills
- Strong enough to lift heavy objects
- Working knowledge about the installation and operation of electrical wires and switches
- You must have the tools and equipment such as welding equipment, metal cutters, pliers, electrical wire cutters, hydraulic or car jacks, and similar stuff.
5. Prepare All Tools and Materials
Take your working plan to check the materials needed to complete this project. Call for suppliers that can provide you with the project’s materials. Arrange for the delivery of these items.
You can also pick up the materials if their delivery takes a long time. Once you are done with that, gather the tools required to finish the job. You may need the following:
- Angle grinder,
- Power drill,
- Power saw,
- A set of pliers,
- Hydraulic jack, and so forth.
The more important materials or parts of the trailer bed that you need are a bed, a hitch, a ‘tongue’ or the wedge-shaped metal that extends from the front, tail lights, an axle with two wheels, and a frame for the license plate.
You can build these parts or buy them in separate pieces from suppliers and assemble them to form one whole truck trailer bed.
If you buy a truck trailer bed kit, all these parts and materials are already included in the kit. All you have to do is to assemble them to form one truck trailer bed.
6. Build the Frame of the Trailer
A standard trailer frame is composed of four steel angle-iron rods. There are two rods on the front and back and two on each side of the frame. The front and back will be shorter than the sides, depending on the length of your trailer.
The standard steps in building the frame are as follows:
- Miter all four corners of the frame so they will fit together at a 45° angle.
- Get the angle-iron rods and tack-weld them together. They should form a rectangle. Make sure to square the frame perfectly.
- Now, weld the support beams. The frame should have a minimum of 3 support beams. They should be made of flat iron welded across the frame’s width.
- Cut several 2 x 6 inch pressure-treated lumbers. There should be enough of these to cover the whole length and width of the frame.
- Drill holes where these boards intersect with the frame.
- Also, drill holes in the angle irons to match the holes on the boards.
- Bolt the pressure-treated 2 x 6-inch boards to the frame. The bolts should be inside the angle iron’s lip.
7. Attach the Axle and Tires to the Frame
- Get the hydraulic jack and use it to lift the frame off the floor.
- Place wooden blocks or similar hard materials on all four corners of the frame to keep it elevated from the floor.
- Now, use the welder to weld the axle under the frame. The axle should be attached on a 60/40 ratio. This means 60% of the frame should be in front of the axle, and 40% of the frame should be placed behind the axle.
- You can choose to build your trailer frame with or without springs. If you use a square-tube axle, it will be easier to weld the axle directly to the frame. But be aware that if the frame has no springs, it will result in a rougher ride.
- If you want a softer ride, you should install springs. But ensure that the axle’s center line will remain in the same spot specified in the 60/40 ratio.
- In installing springs, ensure that its fixed end should be toward the front of the trailer. The part of the spring that moves should be placed toward the rear of the trailer.
8. Install the Other Parts of the Trailer
- Once you have welded the hitch to the tongue, weld the whole assembly to the front of the frame. Ensure that it is centered on the frame.
- Then use the jack and place it behind the hitch on the tongue to support it.
- Prepare the electrical wires or wiring harness for the taillight and then route them from the front to the back of the frame.
- Ensure that the electrical connector of the taillight is at the front.
- Install the taillights. The taillight assembly should be composed of signal lights, brakes, and a park.
- You need to secure the wiring harness beneath the trailer. The taillights should be attached at the rear. Bolts should secure them to the frame, one on each corner.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section, I have provided you with answers to the most frequently asked questions about truck bed trailers so that you will be better informed about this topic:
Is It Possible for Me to Build My Truck Bed Trailer?
Yes, it is entirely possible. You can build a DIY truck bed trailer if you have decent DIY skills. There are truck bed trailer kits that are available in the market. These kits include all the things and materials you will need to build one.
The package should also include instructions on how to assemble the trailer. But be sure you have the tools to complete this project before buying the kit.
If you have enough DIY skills and the right tools to complete the job, you can build a truck bed trailer from scratch – and customize it. But you still need a plan or diagram that you can use as a guide in completing your project.
Is It Cheaper to Buy or Build a Trailer?
It is cheaper to build a trailer than to buy one. You won’t be paying for labor costs because you will be doing it yourself. However, be sure that you have the necessary building skills, tools, and help from one or two people so you can complete the trailer.
Is a Bolted Trailer Better than a Welded Trailer?
A welded trailer has greater strength than a bolted trailer. Bolts can get loose while welded parts are entirely attached.
Welding is also easier because you don’t have to punch holes in the material. Bolting metals together takes time because you must punch holds before you can bolt the metals together.
In Closing: Amazing Ideas for Truck Bed Trailers
If you want to build your truck bed trailer, you can choose one of the two most common methods.
Either build it from scratch or buy a truck bed trailer kit and assemble it yourself. Whatever option you choose, you need the right tools, materials, and of course, a set of skills to do the job.