Towing an ATV or UTV

Jun 2, 2016

Before you can go off-road with your ATV, you’re going to need to safely transport it to your favorite destination. For those of you that are looking at buying an ATV and don’t want the expense of purchasing your own trailer, the experts at World of ATVs say, “For anyone that needs to transport their ATV/UTV, renting a trailer from U-Haul is a great option”. Here are some tips and advise on towing an ATV or UTV with a U-Haul trailer.

Towing an ATV (4)

What You Will Need

Picking a Trailer

The 5×9 Utility Trailer will fit a max load of 1,650 lbs while the 6×12 trailer fits a max load of 2,110 lbs. Most All-terrain vehicles range between 50″ and 57″ wide, both of these U-Haul trailers have a ramp width of  57″ so most ATV’s will fit just fine, but you will want to check your ATV’s width before you rent one though. Wider UTVs are about 64″ wide and will not fit in a utility trailer, so a U-Haul Auto Transport would be the best option for you. If you are going to be towing a larger UTV, watch this video for instructions on how to use auto transport. To use an auto transport, the combination will have to be validated by our Hitch Central Hotline at 1-800-234-8869.

  • Heavy-duty tie-down rings help to secure the vehicle in place
  • Low-bed and ramp allows for easy loading of ATV onto the trailer

towing an atv

Loading and Securing your ATV

  1. Engage the parking brake on the towing vehicle
  2. Verify that the trailer coupler hand wheel is tight
  3. Verify that the trailer safety chains are properly connected and secure
  4. Remove the two latch pins on each side of the trailer and carefully lower the ramp gate until it rests on the ground
  5. Push the ramp slightly as you lower as it is equipped with spring assistance
  6. Place 4 ratchet straps on the tie-down rings inside the trailer bed
  7. Guide your ATV onto the trailer, ensuring that the heaviest part of the ATV or the front is at the front of the trailer ensuring the 60/40 rule
  8. Keep the ATV centered for proper weight distribution
  9. Secure the ATV to the trailer with ratchet straps.  Ratchet straps should be connected to a sturdy area of the frame.
  10. Do not attach hooks to suspension or axles as they can easily be bent when straps are tightened.
  11. Check your ATV owner’s manual for recommended attachment points
  12. Tighten the ratchet straps even and check that they are secure and your ATV remains vertical
  13. Close and secure the ramp gate by lifting and re-connecting the latch pins

Towing an ATV

When it comes to towing an ATV in a utility trailer, the same rules apply as in towing any other cargo:

  • Make sure you are following the safe towing checklist
  • Verify that 60% of your load is distributed towards the front of the trailer and 40% is towards the back.
  • Adjust your driving to allow adequate room for maneuvering — a trailer will add weight, length, and width to your vehicle. This generally means reducing your speed by about 10 miles/hr.
  • Adjust your side mirrors to see your trailer and the objects around you
  • Wear a seatbelt!
  • Verify that your load is secure

For more information, check these trailer users instructions and your ATV’s owner’s manual.

Was this article helpful in deciding to rent a trailer for your ATV? Tell us in the comments.

Flickr cc: via robertthigpen


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