OUR TOP PICK
ATVs are not only a fun way to travel over terrain that would be tiresome on foot. In some places, and especially at some times of year, they can be a lifeline. They can make the difference between having the things you need where you need them and not being able to keep a household running.
To really get the most out of your ATV in those circumstances though, whether you’re hauling logs and fuel, gasoline or groceries, you need a great ATV trailer.
But how do you know which ATV utility trailer will give you the most value for money? How do you compare must-have features and good-to-have features?
Idle your engines for a minute. We’ve lined up the leading ATV trailers for you to choose from.
What's the best ATV Trailer? Our top pick is the Polar Trailer 8262 Heavy Duty ATV Trailer for its sturdy wheel base and 1,500 lb hauling capacity. For a lightweight trailer option, the MotoAlliance Impact ATV/UTV Heavy Duty Utility Cart Cargo Trailer is 25% lighter and has removeable steel mesh side rails.
Our Top 5 Picks for Best ATV Trailer in 2021
OUR TOP PICK
When picking an ATV trailer, you need to think about a handful of things. Load capacity is good to know, because it will tell you if your trailer is going to be big enough to meet your needs. Size is good to know too, because after all, you don’t want to find yourself hauling an awkward, cumbersome trailer over uneven or rough terrain. And you should also make sure to check the total weight, because as with trucks, ATVs have limits on the weight they can safely and legally haul, and the last thing you want is to be stuck in the middle of frozen nowhere with a trailer full of logs and a buckled axle.
The Polar Trailer 8262 HD 1500 TA is a sturdy, go-pretty-much-anywhere trailer, with a trailer weight of just 212 pounds and a hefty 1,500 pound carry limit for its 22 cubic feet of loadspace.
The 8262 is among the toughest ATV trailers on the market, and is happy hauling rocks, timber, you name it. The 8262 just shrugs, squares its heavy duty steel shoulders to the job, and gets on with its day.
On top of the steel framing, it’s made of hardcore high impact polyethylene, so it’s a tough mud-wagon and no mistake. But the polyethylene also makes it lighter than it could have been.
Tough, light, with a big mouth for cargo and a strong set of steel shoulders to stop it from tipping. Looking good so far?
With four rugged wheels and heavy duty 18x8.5 inch pneumatic tires, it’s about as sturdy as you could ask for in an off-road setting. Hit a bumpy patch and the 8262 will more than likely keep on trucking, because it’s equipped with shock absorbing double axles, more or less precisely for that reason.
It also has a pass-through axle for clearance when attaching it to your ATV, which should be straightforward, given it also comes with a quick-release tipper latch.
All of this makes the 8262 a formidable ATV trailer to beat in today’s market.
What seals the deal is the 5-year warranty that comes with it. That’s a mark of confidence in a world-class UTV trailer.
- Heavy load-capable up to 1,500 pounds
- Steel frame, strong but lightweight polyethylene body
- Shock absorbing double axles
- Quick-release tipper latch for easy ATV connection
- 5-year warranty
- You pay for every inch of the 22 cubic feet of loadspace
- Maximum off-road towing speed of 10 mph
Coming in close behind the leader, the MotoAlliance Impact Heavy Duty Utility Cart Cargo Trailer is a workhorse open trailer, no matter the heavy loads or equipment you are hauling.
Matching the 8262 for weight tolerance at 1,500 pounds, it has a smaller loadspace of just 15 cubic feet. That said, 15 cubic feet of loadspace is still a heck of a lot for an ATV trailer, so it’s not as if most circumstances will leave you feeling the want of those 7 cubic feet. The trailer itself weighs in significantly lighter than the 8262, at just 158 pounds, which might well be a factor worth considering unless you have some seriously heavy-duty hauling to do.
The side rail of the MotoAlliance are cast in steel mesh, which cuts the weight of an otherwise potentially bulky trailer. Why otherwise bulky? Because the trailer bed is made of solid steel, to support your cargo and keep it safe. If you have the need, you can even remove the side rails as you see fit, to lighten the load still further.
In many other areas too, the MotoAlliance is nipping at the 8262’s wheels. It comes with pneumatic 18x8.5 inch pneumatic tires for solid off-roading performance. It’s worth noting though that the 8262 needs four of those for additional stability, while the MotoAlliance goes along a more traditional trailer route and only uses two wheels. A pass-through axle gives you 11 inches of ground clearance, and the MotoAlliance has a maximum off-road speed tolerance of 10 mph too. The MotoAlliance even matches the 8262 with a quick release latch.
So at the top of our list, it’s very much six to five and pick ’em. The 8262 gives you two extra wheels, shock absorbing double axles and 7 cubic feet more loadspace. The MotoAlliance Impact gives you a steel bed, rather than one made of polyethylene, and gives you the flexibility to remove the steel mesh side rails. One of these will appeal to some ATV drivers, one of these some others. Where you sit on the question will depend largely on the kind of hauling you most regularly need to do.
On another day, in another list, the MotoAlliance might well have taken our top spot. It’s certainly good enough to challenge the 8262 where it lives. Think Coke and Pepsi. Think iPhones and Androids. Think McDonalds and Burger King. In the ATV trailer market right now, there are these two, and then the rest.
- Heavy loading weight of 1,500 pounds
- Steel bed for extra assurance of safe haulage
- 11 inches of ground clearance for stability
- Flexible configuration with removable side-rails
- Smaller loadspace than some, at 15 cubic feet
- Only two wheels
For every Scooby Doo, there is a Scrappy – a smaller version built on similar lines but with more zip and less experience.
Meet the Polar Trailers Scrappy Doo.
With lots of the same features that made the 8262 top our list, the 8232 is actually more of a direct competitor for the MotoAlliance Impact. Like that trailer, the 8232 trundles around on just two wheels. Like that trailer too, it has a loadspace of 15 cubic feet. And like it one more time, it’s much less of an actual burden to attach to your ATV, weighing in at just 107 pounds. If you have a smaller ATV, that weight drop could well make the difference in the trailer that’s perfect for you. While it weighs a lot less than either of our top two trailers, you can still safely haul up to 1,200 pounds in the 8232.
With the same strong but lightweight polyethylene body shape as its bigger cousin, only scaled down for more diversity, the 8232 is Polar Trailers’ most popular model by far. Partly, that’s due to the significant price drop from the crème de la crème that is the 8262, but more than that, the 8232 has more of a can-do attitude in terms of versatility. Home use, farm use, off-road use you name it, the 8232 is neither too big and bulky, nor too weak and flimsy – it can come with you and turn your trip into something extra-useful.
As with most if not all ATV trailers, ride it on the freeway and you’ll have a dead trailer, so don’t do that. But with that exception, the 8232 will do most anything you need it to, without carrying excess weight in its body. In fact, it will give you most of the same basic functions as its larger cousin – including easy dumping, courtesy of a quick-release tipper latch.
With its two wheels and its tilt and pivot frame giving it extreme maneuverability, you could argue that the 8232 is more widely useful than its larger scale cousin. Less hardcore, and less hassle to get out on a daily basis, it might well be that for your needs, the 8232 deserves first place on your list.
- Highly versatile trailer for everyday use
- Strong but light polyethylene body
- Weight limit of 1,200 pounds in a smaller, lighter trailer
- Significantly less costly than the 8262
- Could struggle with some heavier jobs
When it comes to ATV trailers, why should grown-ups have all the fun?
The Peg Perego Adventure Trailer Ride On is by no means comparable with any of the first three trailers on our list. That’s because in many respects it fills a different niche. This is an ATV trailer – for kids.
No, not a toy. Not a toy by any means. But a way of getting the youngsters involved – not to say ‘trained’ – in helping out with hauling loads along with the grown-ups. We could tell you about the boost to their self-esteem this can give them, helping out as part of a family effort. We could tell you about the wholesome family values instilled through collective work. We could even tell you about the fun to be had from sharing tasks like this. And we could even tell you about the opportunities to break down social programming it offers – it’s not just ‘Dad’ who drives the cool ATV with a trailer full of cargo any more; boys and girls both can lend a hand.
We could tell you about all of that, but we know you want some specs.
Naturally, as it’s designed to be attached to ATVs driven by younger riders, it has nowhere near the capacity of the full-size models. That said, you can still haul up to 66 pounds of cargo in the Peg Perego Ride On.
And while the size shift inevitably gives it the look of a toy, it comes equipped with all the features needed to follow the bigger models over rough terrain. Rugged wheels and a proper locking pin ensure it’s as safe as it can be when attached to either a 12V or 24V Polaris or Peg Perego ATV.
US-made, the Peg Perego Ride On is a training wheels version of a full ATV trailer, and can help families build memories of proud co-operation for years to come.
- 66 pound maximum weight
- Encourages young people to get involved in hauling
- Full safety locking pin
- Rugged wheels for off-road safety
- Has an air of being a toy – and could as easily be discarded
The Strongway Steel 2103Q091 trailer does a lot of the things that higher placed trailers on our list does. It has a maximum carry weight of 1,200 pounds, so it’s no slouch. There are lighter body weights out there for that kind of carry weight, as the Strongway weighs in at 139 pounds. But that could well be due to the fact that the Strongway is constructed in all steel – no meshes, to removable side rails, no lightweight polyethylene. Steel. Solid, dependable and a material which, you have to admit, sings in the American heart more than polyethylene ever will.
It comes with a removable tailgate, to keep your cargo safe while on the move and yet allow for easy dumping when it’s reached its destination. It’s attached, either to an ATV or a lawn tractor, by an R-pin hitch, and has a foot pedal dumping mechanism, so you won’t struggle to unload it. And there are some handy guardrails to keep your cargo safe in transit.
More than rugged off-road use or even really full-on farm use, this is a house pet cast in steel. For garden or yard work, it’ll give you good, reliable service, but if you try to play with the bigger trailers on our list, some weaknesses will stop you fairly quickly. The wheels on the Strongway trailer, for instance, are just 16 inches on a single axle, so they have less robustness and less flexibility than you’d need for true off-road or cross-country work. But as a common home or garden trailer, it will serve you well.
- Robust carry weight of 1,200 pounds
- All steel construction
- Removable tailgate for safety and ease of dumping
- Foot pedal mechanism to minimize cargo removal difficulty
- Guardrails to keep cargo safe in transit
- Smaller wheels reduce the robustness of the trailer
- Restricted to home and garden use
Finding the Most Suitable ATV Trailer
When you’re buying a trailer to attach to your ATV, there are a handful of things to keep in mind if you want to end up with the right trailer for your needs.
Weight Is An ATV Issue
When buying a trailer, you need to be sure that it’s within the weight tolerances for your ATV. That includes both the weight of the trailer itself and its maximum load weight. Getting that wrong can leave you in the middle of nowhere with your wheels spinning uselessly. Also be aware that larger trailers still need to be maneuverable through the terrain in which you mostly use them. Check for size, tilt, shock absorption and maneuverability before pressing the ‘Buy’ button.
Location, Location, Location
The kind of trailer you need depends largely on where and in what kind of terrain you intend to use it. It would be a massive overspend, for instance, to buy a Polar Trailers 8262 if you only needed something for garden or extended yard work. Likewise, if you tried to take the Strongway Steel 2103Q091 over the sort of terrain that would be meat and drink to the 8262, it would probably cry and shudder and fall to pieces rather than carry on. Understand the needs of your location and your likely hauling trips – and make sure you buy a trailer that’s appropriate for that environment and that work.
All the trailers on our list are stable when attached to an ATV. But there’s ‘stable’ and then there’s ‘STABLE.’ The level of stability in an ATV trailer depends largely on the sort of terrain it will likely encounter.
So while the Strongway Steel gets away with smaller wheels and an R-pin hitch, it only gets away with that because it’s used more or less exclusively in domestic environments. Throw it a curved ball or a semi-submerged boulder and things get interesting in a hurry.
Likewise the 8232 and the MotoAlliance Impact, while only having the stability of two wheels to rely on, both have ground height clearances of 11 inches or more, to let them credibly go off-road without falling over and bursting into metaphorical flames every time they find an unexpected rock or tree root.
And at the expensive end of the market, the 8262 comes with shock-absorbing axles as well as the ground clearance and four wheels to make it extra stable for heavier loads.
Choose your trailer according to the ATV you have, the terrain you’re going to drive it through, and the loads you intend to carry in it, and everything should be fine in your trailer-dragging future.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best material for an ATV trailer?
This can depend on where you’re using it. Steel is always a good bet, though many bestsellers use steel tubing and advanced plastics like polyethylene rather than sheet steel, which can be heavy and surprisingly prone to bending. Aluminum trailer models don't tend to be as durable. We've even tested a few that seemed like the perfect trailer, but the extruded aluminum floor got mauled when I dropped my gear or tossed in a spare tire.
Is the biggest trailer always the best?
Not always, no. Bigger trailers are right for bigger, more rugged jobs. If you have generally smaller jobs, then buy a generally smaller trailer. Save yourself some money and get a trailer more tailored to your actual needs. It also saves time on unloading, and easy loading is the key to a great trailer in my book. Plus at a certain size, you might need a rear ramp, which just adds extra gear. Might as well grab an enclosed trailer for your quad at that point.
How do I know what sort of terrain I’m going to use my ATV trailer in?
Look around. What sort of journeys have made you want an ATV trailer in the first place? Chances are those are the journeys where you’ll use your trailer. At the very least, they’ll be a good indication on which to base your initial decision.