Side-by-side vehicles, also known as UTVs (Utility Task Vehicles) or SxS (Side-by-Side), have gained immense popularity among off-road enthusiasts. When it comes to transporting these vehicles, choosing the right trailer is crucial for convenience and safety.
Below, we’ll go ahead and cover the best trailer options for side-by-side vehicles, including suitable sizes, enclosed trailer options, where to buy side-by-side vehicles, and provide an estimate of the costs involved.
Choosing the Right Size Trailer
The size of the trailer depends on the dimensions and number of side-by-side vehicles you need to transport. For single UTVs, a 10 to 12-foot-long trailer is usually sufficient. However, if you plan to haul multiple vehicles or have larger side-by-sides, a longer trailer, such as a 14 to 18-foot model, may be more appropriate. It’s essential to consider the weight capacity and axle rating of the trailer to ensure it can handle the load.
Enclosed Trailer Options
While open trailers are commonly used for side-by-side transportation, enclosed trailers offer additional benefits such as protection from weather elements and security. When selecting an enclosed trailer, ensure that it has enough interior height and width to accommodate your side-by-side vehicle comfortably.
Look for features like reinforced flooring, tie-down points, and a rear ramp door for easy loading and unloading. Well-known trailer manufacturers like Pace American, Haulmark, and Featherlite offer a range of enclosed trailers suitable for side-by-side vehicles.
Where to Buy Side-by-Side Vehicles
Side-by-side vehicles can be purchased from various sources, including dealerships, online marketplaces, and private sellers. Authorized dealerships provide the advantage of warranties, servicing, and the ability to see and test-drive the vehicles before making a purchase.
Popular manufacturers like Polaris, Can-Am, Yamaha, and Arctic Cat have extensive dealer networks across the country. Online marketplaces such as eBay Motors and ATV Trader offer a wide selection of new and used side-by-side vehicles. Additionally, local classified ads or online forums dedicated to off-roading can be sources to find side-by-side vehicles for sale. What’s more, you can buy side-by-side vehicle trailers from a number of different places, including the following places:
- Trailer dealers: Trailer dealers will have a wide selection of trailers to choose from and will have folks on hand who have real-world knowledge of the products they sell.
- Online retailers: Online retailers like Amazon and eBay have a wide selection of trailers and often offer better prices than trailer dealers. However, not being able to see and inspect the trailer in person can be a significant downside.
- Manufacturers: Some manufacturers of side-by-side vehicles also sell trailers. This can be a good option if you want a trailer that is specifically designed for your vehicle. Though, these may be a bit harder to visit in person.
Beware these Red Flags When Buying a Side-by-Side Trailer
When purchasing a side-by-side trailer, it’s essential to be vigilant and look out for any potential red flags that may indicate problems or issues with the trailer. Here are some SxS trailer red flags to watch out for:
- Poor build quality: Inspect the trailer for signs of shoddy craftsmanship or low-quality materials. Look for signs of rust, weak welds, loose or misaligned components, or any visible damage that could affect the trailer’s structural integrity.
- Inadequate weight capacity: Ensure that the trailer has a weight capacity suitable for your side-by-side vehicle(s). If the trailer’s weight rating seems too low or if the manufacturer’s specifications are unclear or absent, it’s a red flag indicating potential safety and performance issues.
- Faulty or insufficient braking system: A trailer equipped with brakes is crucial for safe towing, especially when hauling heavy side-by-side vehicles. Check if the trailer has a properly functioning braking system, including brakes on all wheels, brake lights, and a breakaway system. Inadequate or malfunctioning brakes are serious red flags.
- Poor tire condition: Inspect the trailer’s tires for signs of excessive wear, uneven tread, bulges, or dry rot. If the tires are in poor condition, it may indicate neglect or a lack of maintenance, and it could lead to tire failure during towing.
- Inadequate lighting and wiring: Ensure that all the lights (brake lights, turn signals, and running lights) on the trailer are functional and properly wired. Faulty or non-working lights can pose safety hazards and may indicate underlying electrical issues.
Estimating Side-by-Side Vehicle Trailer Costs
The cost of side-by-side vehicle trailers can vary based on several factors such as size, material, features, and brand. Open trailers suitable for single side-by-side vehicles can range from $1,000 to $3,000, depending on the quality and specifications.
Enclosed trailers designed specifically for side-by-side vehicles tend to be more expensive due to added features and protection, with prices typically ranging from $3,000 to $8,000 or more. Customization options and accessories like winches, toolboxes, and spare tire mounts can increase the cost further.
Tips for Loading Your New Side-by-Side Trailer
Once you have chosen a trailer, you need to make sure it is properly loaded and secured. Here are a few tips for loading your side-by-side vehicle on a trailer:
- Center the vehicle on the trailer: The vehicle should be centered on the trailer from front to back and side to side to place the weight in the strongest portion of the transport.
- Secure the vehicle with tie-downs: Use tie-downs to secure the vehicle to the trailer. Tie-downs should be placed at the front, rear, and sides of the vehicle so it doesn’t shift while in transport.
- Lower the ramp: Once the vehicle is secured, lower the ramp and carefully drive the vehicle onto the trailer, slowly – preferably with someone guiding you as you load it.
Raise the ramp: Once the vehicle is on the trailer, raise the ramp and be sure to secure it in place to ensure that the ramp doesn’t come loose during transport.
By following these tips, you can safely and securely transport your side-by-side vehicle on a trailer and have peace of mind. Plus, now you know how to pick the right size, the options, where to purchase, red flags to heed, and estimated cost.
About Halo Lockers | OX Off-Road
Based in Odessa, FL, Halo Lockers is the UTV branch / division of OX Off-Road. Strong product quality characterizes our UTV aftermarket products, which are proudly made in the USA. When you call us to discuss upgrading your side-by-side vehicle with a new sway bar or pin locker, you are going to talk with a UTV expert. Please call 727-230-7803 with any product questions or for assistance with the purchasing or pin locker installation process.