I go into a bit of greater depth on the individual steps of overland trailer build, but for those who like a cheat sheet, I wanted to do a summary page. So, for the sake of brevity, let’s get to it.
- Used 4×4 flatbed trailer from Facebook Marketplace. Here is a similar base trailer.
- 3500 Pound Axle.
- 4×4 Angle Iron from Metal Supermarket.
- 2×8 lumber, stain and hardware from Lowes.
- Trailer light kit and light protectors.
- 15×8 Procomp steel wheels and Cooper tires.
- Custom tarp from Covers & All.
If ordering parts, be sure to verify size and fit as Amazon sellers tend to change their products from time to time.
The Trailer Base
I was luck enough to score a trailer that someone made out of an old highway electronic sign trailer. Got a great deal on it and it had a pretty sturdy frame.
Sturdy trailers like this are hard to find, but check Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. You can also go with a 4×8 kit trailer. Ones like this from Ironton are fairly popular for offroad trailers. You would just may want to cut it down a bit which would be easy.
I decided to keep the slipper springs, for now at least, but replace the axle. I wanted a 3500 pound axle to handle bigger tires and I wanted a straight axle with no camber.
Most axles have camber built in so that they ride well under load. Since I will have a 1000 pound trailer on a 3500 pound axle, it would never have enough weight to ride right.
I chose this one from TK axle. Had the 5 on 5 bolt pattern to match my Jeep JK and zero camber.
I also picked up a new U bolt kit since the new axle was much larger than the stocker and, of course, some wheels and tires to match the Jeep. Little bit of a size difference here.
I really just want a big box to put stuff in and I do not have the facility or skills to weld, so I went with a wood box.
Angle iron corners with 2×8 slats. The idea is that it would be solid and the sides would be easy to replace if damaged. I got the angle cut to size by Metal Supermarket, so all I had to do was bolt it on.
Then came the 2x8s. Just cut them to size, added a little 1×4 bracing on the back to prevent warping and bolted them on.
After staining them of course.
Keeping everything clean and dry is a custom 5×5 tarp from Covers & All. Made in India and very heavy duty for around $30.
The tarp is secured at the front with a 1×4 board and I use a custom bungee cord to keep it nice and tight.
Got to have lights to keep it legal. Nothing fancy, just the basic trailer lights. I did use light protectors. You can get these at eTrailer.
These are pretty stout. You can actually stand on them.
I decided to utilize the tire carrier from the jeep for the off road trailer build. Around town I only carry a plug kit and a Smittybilt air compressor. It helps to keep 100 pounds off the Jeep.
On the trail, I have my spare and it keeps the rear tailgate more accesible, great for the dog.
Done For Now
Offroad trailers are just like Jeeps, you are never done. For now though, it is ready to roll.