UTV Trailers & Toyhaulers – Cost? Multiple Side-by-sides? ATV’s too?

picture of a Polaris RZR 570 on a trailer

What Size Trailer for a Side by Side?

In trying to figure out the perfect trailer for your side-by-side you are going to have to figure out some information and preferences first. You will want to decide if you want a trailer that fits your UTV snug all the way around or has room for camping supplies or other gear.

You will want to decide if you need just a flatbed trailer, or if you want it enclosed with walls and a roof and possibly even somewhere inside for you to sleep and do dishes more like a travel trailer.

As for the exact dimensions, some trailers will advertise what size UTV’s will fit on them so you can start looking at your options right away, but before you pull the trigger on a major purchasing decision get the tape measure out.


The Flatbed or Utility Trailer:

The sizes of utility trailers that I will be suggesting range in widths from 5 feet 4 inches up to 7 feet wide and lengths from 12 feet to 26 feet long. I’m going to be suggesting a very specific manufacturer of trailers but you could always look for any make of utility trailer with the above dimensions in mind.


Echo Trailers

If you’re looking for a utility-style trailer that’s designed from the ground up for motorsports than look no further than Echo Trailers. They have a huge selection of trailers that are built with different combinations of vehicles in mind.

They also have great options like built-in strap setups with quick-release pin-style ratchets. This is not a small outfit that’s only available to a few locals and people that want something shipped as they are offered by many dealers nationwide. Just use their dealer locator to find one near you. Here are a few of the trailers they offer:

4 seater UTV trailer

Echo offers 14 different trailers across 4 categories designed for your 4-seat side-by-side. Whether you want something that doubles as a utility trailer, is more flashy like a race rig, is super lightweight, or has truck bed loading capabilities then they have you covered with their four main categories of trailers.

Here are some of the four-seat trailer size options from Echo trailers:

  • 5′ 4″ x 12′
  • 6′ 4″ x 13′
  • 5′ 3″ x 14′
  • 5′ 3″ x 17′
  • 7′ x 17′
  • 5′ 3″ x 19′
  • 6′ 1″ x 24′
  • 7′ x 24′
  • 7′ x 26′

What size trailer for 2 side-by-sides?

So you’re looking to haul 2 big toys. Well, a few of the trailers in Echo’s lineup can handle that job. They have 24-foot and 26-foot trailers that will hold:

a combination of [two] 2-seater UTVs and [one] ATV

or [two] 4-seater UTVs.

Cost of a flatbed/utility trailer

Here are some listings near me on Facebook Marketplace to give you an idea of the cost:


6.5’x9′ for $1,500

16′ for $1,750

18′ tilt for $3,500

The Enclosed Trailer:

An enclosed trailer is a very nice upgrade from a standard utility trailer as now you have more amenities like keeping your rig out of the weather, not having to worry as much about your load falling off, security, protection, and a list of ways to make these trailers multi-purpose.  

But it does also come with some drawbacks like visibility being one of the biggest ones. You’ve now made your rearview mirror almost completely useless and will now have to completely rely on the side mirrors and if they don’t extend off the side of your vehicle very far you may need mirror extensions (they look like clip-on mirrors) to even see past the trailer.

This decision may impact what you can use as a tow vehicle as you will now most likely be moving up to a higher weight class of trailer. You might have been able to pull a small flatbed trailer with your smaller SUV or minivan but you can’t pull that off with an enclosed trailer.

With that said, I’ve owned both a utility trailer and an enclosed trailer and the upgrade was a huge one. I upgraded from a 12’ flatbed trailer to a 16’ enclosed trailer and boy did I feel spoiled. I got so much more use out of the enclosed as well.

I became that go-to friend for helping people move and when I moved from Colorado to Arizona for a couple of years to attend college, it was so awesome to be able to take everything with me. No moving trucks for this guy, although I did have to pay to store it as my HOA said no way after I had already fabricated a new double-wide gate to get it into the backyard as they could still see it over the top of the fence.

But back to offroading… After I upgraded to the enclosed for hauling my huge sand toy around. I now had not just a trailer, but a tow-along tent the didn’t need setup or teardown. Just pull the toys out at the campsite, blowup the airbed, and make sure the Mr. Heater was ready to go and I had a huge room to sleep in at night. It was awesome.

Cost of an enclosed trailer

The cost of a new enclosed trailer can run anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000 and higher depending on your needs.

Here are some used examples from my local area on Facebook Marketplace:


4×8 for $1,800

7×14 for $4,999

8.5×18 for $7,500

What size enclosed trailer for a side by side?

Your standard widths for enclosed trailers are between 6′ and 8′. I personally recommend an 8-foot wide trailer so that getting in and out of the UTV while in the trailer doesn’t feel like a chore every time. If you go with a 6-foot width you’re not going to be opening the UTV doors any time soon. You’ll have to pull a Dukes of Hazzard entry/exit every time.

An eight-foot-wide trailer is nice because it really affords you a lot of extra storage room as well but keep in mind that you are now going to be taking up the entire lane that you are driving in. You will want to really keep an eye on a wide trailer to make sure you aren’t getting too close/crossing over the double yellow lines or taking one wheel off-roading or barricade bumping.

As for the length of the trailer, some common lengths of UTVs are in the 9 to 12-foot lengths. So without getting super technical with your specs you could start by looking at 10-12 footers for shorter UTVs and 14-16 footers for your 4-seaters. Once you start narrowing down your search and think you have a small selection of favorites, get the tape measure out and make sure it will fit before committing.

Picture of an example layout of a toy hauler

Do side by sides fit in toy haulers?

Yes, they do, is the quick and dirty answer. Now do all side by sides fit in all trailers? No, of course not. But, do most UTV owners have a toy hauler option? Yes. Now there are a few different ways in which these travel trailer companies have set up their toy haulers.

One way is to have the garage space and the living space as a sort of hybrid of somewhere to park the toy and then when it’s out you can move different furniture down into place like seating & sleeping areas. Most of these scenarios have a small bump out of cabinets (usually on the left side) which is where the kitchen, bathroom, or some other item starts. 

This means we now have another place that we will have to get measurements from to make sure our UTV fits not just in between the wheel wells, but also in the smaller space way upfront. You may just have to pull your vehicle in and off to one side.

My mom recently got a toy hauler for her VW powered sand rail and it’s such a tight fit that we have to pull it in 95% of the way and then someone lifts the frontend up and over the passenger side wheel well to get the wheels past the trailers built-in storage.

Cost of a toy hauler

Here are some listings near me on Facebook Marketplace to give you an idea of the cost:


2008 18′ for $8.500

2006 SuperLite for $11,980

2015 Keystone for $19,995

Weight

Weight Distribution

If you put the majority of your load weight at the front of the trailer it will give you too much tongue weight.

If you put the majority of your load weight at the back of the trailer it will create trailer sway while driving.

Ideally, you want to put the majority of the load weight over the axles for the best towing experience. 


Weight Definitions

Your truck and your trailer should both have a plate/sticker that has its weight and towing weight information on it. Check the driver’s door jam on the truck and near the hitch on the trailer. The owner’s manual is a good resource for this information as well.


  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is the maximum amount of weight either the truck or the trailer can handle as they will both have their own GVWR.  


  • Truck GVWR > Truck weight + driver weight + total passenger weight + fuel weight + cargo + trailer tongue weight.

A truck’s GVWR is the maximum amount of weight the vehicle can handle including its own weight.


  • Trailer GVWR > Trailer weight + load weight

A trailer’s GVWR is the maximum amount of weight the trailer can hold including its own weight.


  • Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)

The Gross Combined Weight Rating is the total amount of your towing vehicle and the trailer with a load.


  • Tongue Weight (TW)

The tongue weight is the weight of the downforce right at the connection of the trailer to the towing vehicle. Your towing vehicle will have a maximum tongue weight it can handle and your trailer will have a max tongue weight as well. This area can definitely be affected by how you distribute your trailer weight.


  • Payload capacity

The payload capacity is the empty/dry weight of the trailer subtracted from the GVWR of the trailer. As an example, if you had a trailer with a 3,000lb GVWR and that trailer weighed 1,000lb by itself, then you could technically have a payload of 2,000lbs. But just because you can put 2,000lbs of ‘stuff’ on that trailer doesn’t mean you should try to fill it all the way up to max. It’s probably a good idea to give yourself a buffer. Your trailer will thank you in the form of a good pulling experience.


  • Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR)

The Gross Axle Weight Rating it the max distributed weight each axel can take.


  • Curb Weight

The curb weight refers to how much the rig weighs without the passengers or cargo.


Hitch Weight Classes

Class I – up to 2,000 pounds (light loads)

Class II – up to 3,500 pounds (light loads)

Class III – up to 5,000 pounds (larger loads)

Class IV – up to 10,000 pounds (larger loads)

10,000 – 25,000 pounds – Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck Hitches are required.


Trailer maintenance costs

  • Yearly licensing (plates)
  • Storage
  • Insurance?
  • Tire replacement
  • Wheel bearing greasing/maintenance
  • Brakes/maintenance
  • Stain or wood replacement (on flatbed utility trailers)
  • Vent covers (from hail damage)

Other things you will need

The truck/SUV will need a wiring harness for a trailer (towing package)

Receiver hitch with correct size ball.

Spare trailer tire

Check out our Trailer Accessory Recommendations on the gear page:


Trailering Speed Limits 

Generally speaking, throughout the US there is a maximum of 55-65 MPH for towing check into the States you will be traveling in to stay legal. 


UTVs in the back of the truck

If you’re thinking about putting your UTV in the back of your pickup truck then check out our article about truck racks here.

What Side by Side Fits In A Truck Bed? Ramps, Racks, & What Not To Do

Before buying a Side by Side I wanted to know all the different expenses involved and one of the big costs is going to be how to haul a UTV. Questions came up like: does my current truck work? Am I going to have to invest in a trailer? Which UTVs will actually fit in my truck bed?

When investigating these questions I didn’t find just one source for all the answers I was searching for so I decided to make one.

UTVs That Fit in a Truck

In general, the side by sides that are going to fit into a truck bed are the trail class UTVs that are 50″ wide and under. Here are some examples:

  • Cam-Am Maverick Trail
  • Polaris RZR 570 / 800 / 900
  • Honda Pioneer 500
  • Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail
  • Older Yamaha Rhino (52″)

Some things to consider now will be getting the UTV up into the truck, keeping the weight off the tailgate, and not smashing into the back window.

And for all of you wanting to fit a larger 60″ UTV, there are still options out there for your truck. Keep reading.


Advantages of Hauling a UTV in your Truck

  • Speed can be a factor. In almost every state there is a towing max speed limit of between 55 – 65 Mph. Here is a great resource to find specific state information. drivinglaws.aaa.com

  • You won’t have the additional costs of owning a trailer like licensing, maintaining, or storing.
  • You can free up your hitch for towing additional toys or a camper. (This could be an answer to the question: how to haul 3 side by sides)

Photo credits: Green Mountain MetalWorks

The Average Truck Bed Size

The two average truck beds we are going to be talking about here are the ‘short bed’ and ‘long bed’ truck beds which are 6′ and 8′ in length roughly. Both are designed to be able to pick up building materials that come in 4′ x 8′ sizes like drywall or OSB particle board in between the wheel wells.

There is only 48″ in between the wheel wells and a trail UTV is usually right at 50″ so that means you will have to drive up and over one or both of the large wheel well ‘humps’ in the back of the truck.

In the picture below, this person fabricated a ramp system for the back of their truck to get around the wheel wells.

Picture credits: grage on RZR Forums

Weight on the Tail Gate

Because of the overall length of most UTVs, the tailgate will have to remain down as the UTV will be sitting on it. Tailgates were not designed to hold a significant load so you will need a solution.

I have seen some different custom fabricated options in the forums where people weld up some square tubing going from the end of the tailgate all the way down to the receiver hitch of the truck for added support.

A company called DG Manufacturing created a product that looks like a steel strap that works in conjunction with your stock tailgate cables. The Tailgate EX Support is available for just about every truck on the market and are in the $80 range. Click here to go shop for one on Amazon.

Picture credits: DG Manufacturing

Getting a Side by Side up into your Truck

There are many options when it comes to getting the UTV in your truck whether it be just a couple ramps all the way up to a push-button system.

Ramps

If you are going to use just a pair of ramps you will want to make sure you buy ramps that have a weight rating that covers your UTV, any fuel in it, and your weight included. That should be in the 1500lb range. Don’t just ‘wing it’ with some old lumber you have laying around the house. Be safe.

A great ramp option is the Yaheetech Aluminum folding ramps. They have a 1500lb capacity rating and come with safety straps to hook to your truck to make loading safer. They are in the $150 range and you can click here to go shop for them on Amazon.

When it comes to loading a UTV in a truck bed, I recommended you pull it in backward so that the majority of the weight is not directly over the tailgate. The engine in a UTV is located above the back wheels making that area the heaviest. This is where you would want to get a product like the Tailgate EX Support mentioned earlier for added tailgate strength.

Truck Cab Safety

Something to consider when putting a UTV directly in the bed of a truck is keeping your Side by Side from driving right into the back of the truck cab.

Two great options for keeping your truck cab safe are wheel chocks for the UTV and a headache rack for the truck.

The wheel chocks can be a very inexpensive way to avoid a very expensive accident. This could be something you make yourself out of wood or you can buy plastic chocks on Amazon for around $16.

A headache rack is a metal frame system that helps protect the back window and cab area of a truck. It is also used as a way to haul lumber and ladders that are too long for the truck bed. This is something you could custom fabricate or just pick one up off of Amazon for $140.

Don’t forget straps. No matter what solution you end up deciding on you will want to buy some good straps to keep your UTV securely in place. Make sure they are rated to secure 1500lbs or more. Click here for our recommendation on Amazon.


Pivoting Ramps

Another ramp option that has a unique pivoting system is the Mad-Ramps. It connects to your receiver hitch for a quick secure installation and keeps the back wheels of the UTV just off the tailgate for added safety. Mad-Ramps sell for $995 plus tax and shipping. See them in action below and visit their website to check out their 27 five star reviews! madramps.com

One great feature of the Mad-Ramps is that you don’t have to remove the ramps every time. You just simply slide the forward and lock them in place as opposed to removing them completely and then having to find somewhere to store them during transport.


The In-The-Truckbed Rack and Ramp Option

A custom metal fabrication company called Tumbleweed-Mfg out of Amarillo, TX has made a rack setup that attaches to and is supported by your receiver hitch and on the other end connects to a gooseneck ball.

The large rectangular frame can be installed by one person and will let you put a 4 seat UTV in a 6.5′ truck bed. Check out this YouTube video to see it in action and give them a call at 806-622-9411 to get yours.


UTV Carrier Rack

For a lot of truck owners, the idea of a carrier rack can be a very appealing one as it puts the UTV up and out of the way of the tailgate making it possible to tow a trailer or camper as well as haul the UTV. This also frees up the bed of the truck to store more gear.

DiamondBack sells a flatbed carrier rack that is mounted to the top of your truck bed and sits on top of your bed rails much like a Tonneau cover.

It has a built-in headache rack so you don’t have to worry about smashing your back window and includes ramps and a tailgate-panel jack post that lets you open and close the tailgate with a UTV loaded.

This carrier rack accommodates for UTVs up to 60″ wide and is priced in the $2800-$3300 range depending on which finish option you choose. Delivery in the US is included. Diamondbackcovers.com


4 Seater UTV Truck Rack

So you have a larger 60″ Side by Side and still want to fit it in your truck? A company called Green Mountain Metalworks custom fabricates rack systems that extend up and above the cab of the truck to accommodate for larger UTVs like the Can-am Maverick X3 Max and other 4-seater UTVs.

They make a bold claim that they can custom build a rack for almost any truck and UTV. The racks advertised on their site are in the $2400 – $2600 range and they offer accessories like a roof guard, winch mount, and fuel can rack. Get yours started today with a $515 deposit by visiting gmmetalworks.com.


The Hydraulic Lift Option

If you really wanted to go all out on your truck rack option then the Hydraulic Tufflift is in a category of its own. They specialize in custom fabricating what amounts to a flat deck that you can park a UTV on at ground level and then a hydraulic arm pulls/lifts your load up onto your truck.

These bad boys are in the $10k – $15k range but they do offer financing and occasionally offer used trade-ins on their Facebook page. If you want to see more videos, check out their website at tufflift.net.


What NOT To Do

The video below shows plenty of examples of what NOT to do including… trying to load without ramps, not securing ramps, wheelieing into a vehicle, jumping/pulling/throwing out of a vehicle, and just a lot of stupidity.