ATV Haulers, How Are You Going to Transport Your ATV From Home to the Riding Area?
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ATV haulers come in many configurations from small trailers to utility trailers and toy haulers. Let’s examine some of the choices.
Almost everyone that owns an ATV needs some way to move their bikes to where they can legally ride. The problem is how? Although it seems obvious, there are really more ways to carry an ATV then you might imagine.
ATV’s can be hauled in many configurations; end to end, sideways, piggy back etc. You can haul the bike in the bed of a pickup or on racks over the bed, in a small trailer, on a trailer hitch receiver rack, in enclosed cargo hauler trailers, in the back of toy-hauler RV’s and the list goes on…
The big question is… what is the best option for your hauling needs? You have to take into consideration such things as…
How many bikes need hauling?
Very important for making your purchasing decision. If you only own one bike now, will you always have one bike or do you plan to add more later? Think ahead about size requirements and purchase Accordingly.
How often do you plan to haul?
If you only haul ATV’s a couple times a year and don’t need a hauling device for other transport needs, consider renting or borrowing.
How much do the ATV’s weigh?
ATV’s can weigh from 300 to 800 pounds and more. This is an important consideration for the weight hauling capacity of your transport and towing/hauling vehicle.
The bikes have to safely fit on the transport. Don’t assume proper fit, measure before choosing your hauling solution. ATV haulers advertised as holding multiple bikes, may not necessarily fit multiple full sized ATVs.
Different types of road surfaces traveled
Many trailers, pickups and cars are suited for the highway only. If you plan to travel over unimproved roads, be sure the vehicle and or the transport can handle the strain.
Tow or hauling vehicle availability
What do you have at your disposal to transport your ATV(s) with? Know the towing or hauling capabilities of your vehicle or the one you plan to buy.
What can you spend on your ATV transportation needs? Be it a $200 kit trailer or a $30,000 toy-hauler or anything in between. The best bang for the buck isn’t necessarily what someone is trying to sell you or even a friends recommendation. Make sure of what you are getting in ATV haulers before you purchase.
There’s more to safety then what you drive or how you drive it. Hauling ATVs is much more then just loading up and going. Proper tie-downs are very important no matter how you intend to haul. Are they adequate for the job? Are they able to handle the weight? Will they stay tight for the duration of the trip?
Loading ramps are another consideration. Are they wide enough? Strong enough? Can they be safely secured to the loading surface? My ATV and I have fallen off the ramp before, not much fun. Make sure all the lights and brakes work. You don’t want a ticket or have another motorist hit you from behind.
Check the lug-nuts, tire pressure and condition of the tires (always carry at least one spare tire). Make sure you have a safety chain for trailers too.
ATV hauler options
It’s time to examine some of the many different ways and means to transport ATVs. You decide which of the ATV haulers is best for you.
If you own a pickup truck and have only one ATV,
all you need is a good loading ramp for about $100, some screw-in tie-down hooks, and tie-down straps for about $40 to put you on your way. You can always buy a trailer to pull behind the truck loaded with more ATV’s.
Pickup truck ATV Carrier
Another popular pickup truck option is
the ATV Carrier A rack that mounts in the bed of a pickup allowing the owner to haul up to two ATVs, either forward or side facing. The load capacity is about 1,000 lbs, they cost about $1,500 and you still have the use of most of the truck bed to carry other items.
The little trailer to the right is a kit that
I put together for under $300. It has a 4X8 bed, the construction is strong and you can fold it up to store in the garage. The load capacity is 1,000 lbs of ATVs, garbage, wood, camping gear or whatever. This trailer weighs in at 350 lbs, so we tow it behind the ATV’s for yard work and at camp. I still have this little trailer and after over 25 years of loyal service, it still does it's job.
Single ATV trailers
The single ATV trailers come in many shapes
and sizes and are suitable for one ATV or a couple Dirt bikes. This type of trailer consists of old pickup beds made into trailers, utility trailers and special ATV trailers, some with tailgates that double as a loading ramp. Prices for these ATV haulers vary from $200 to over $700.
Double ATV trailers
These trailers are built to haul two ATVs
at a time and usually come with either tail-gate ramps or side loading ramps. The configuration can be either end to end, or side by side facing forward or sideways. Construction is stronger for some; weaker for others. Certain models will have smaller tires, while the stronger ones come with full size tires. Prices vary from about $1,250 to $2,000.
Triple and Quadruple ATV trailers
The three and four ATV haulers are about
as big as the average ATV enthusiast needs to go. Any larger trailers are better suited for the commercial ATV rental companies. I frequently see a ¾ ton pickup with an ATV in the bed towing a trailer with four more ATVs behind. Plan to pay close to $2,000.
Enclosed ATV haulers are really nice if you
can afford one and have a suitable tow vehicle. These trailers come in various lengths and configurations from small single axle 5X6’s to over 35 feet long. Being enclosed has many advantages, especially keeping the bikes out of the weather and providing a handy garage when needed.
On a recent hunting trip, I drove a ¾ ton diesel pickup while pulling a large enclosed hauler loaded with a Jeep in the rear, two ATV’s in front and lots of other gear, with room to spare. The larger models have doors in the front as well as a rear door with a loading ramp. Prices start about $1,000 and can go up to over $5,000.
Toy haulers are Recreational vehicles
combined with enclosed compartments and ramps at the rear for transporting ATV’s and motorcycles to camping destinations etc. Look for the large door in the rear of Motorhomes, Fifth wheel and conventional trailers. Expect to pay from $10,000 to over $50,000.
No matter what your needs are, there is an ATV hauler solution for you. You just have to look at all the options before you buy.
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