Good Trailer Design - Introduction

Trailer Design Intro

What Makes A Good Trailer?

A 4-Page Article About Trailer Design Needs

There are three general categories of "Good" trailer design:  Strength, then Stability, and Versatility.  This page is the article introduction. The next several pages will discuss each of these topics in more detail as they relate to trailers in general, and to utility trailers in specific.

Generally, a utility trailer is typically simple - designed to carry a wide variety of "stuff".  They are most often a flatbed, or flatbed with sides.  Sometimes they will have options like tall sides, a tailgate, built-in ramps, or a top - thus adding Versatility.  That's important for utility, but first, there are a lot of basics that make the trailer pull well, and behave well, on the road.

What Makes Good Trailer Design?The best trailers carry the required "stuff", and they have good towing manners, and last for years.  But, why are some trailers so nice to use, and others so problematic?  That's what these pages are about.

It is key to note that not all items discussed on these pages will, or even can, be present in every trailer.  Also, some items are not applicable to every application.  This article is not the end-all in trailer design, nor is it super technical.  The intent in these pages is to give a better understanding of some things that make a difference in the pleasure of ownership, longevity, and usefulness of your trailer.

Trailer Design Main Article Topics:

Follow these links (and in the sidebar menu) to join the conversation on these "Good Trailer Design" topics.

  1. Trailer Strength   -  Factors in determining a sufficiently strong design.
  2. Dynamic Stability   -  Why are some trailers stable, while others wander all over the road?
  3. How much Versatility?   -  A look at trailer function and some optional features.

Then, for putting it all together in a practical sense:

Use this page as a launching point to all of the articles we have about trailers. One more source for good information is our Engineering Case Studies which also include some good information about custom trailers, and tiny house trailer design. You can find all of this and more in the Library.

Trailer Design
Fun photo from

There are so many great ideas for trailers out there.  Each has its unique features to performs a unique job.  Yet, though all of the uniqueness, there are fundamentals of trailer design that must be right.  The frames must be strong enough for the job, the axles must have the right position(s), the alignments and measurements all must work together for the trailer goals.  Even with "generic" utility trailers, the fundamentals are just as important.  Enjoy the following article pages.

For More On Trailer Design and Build

For those that wish to dive much deeper into design specifics, and for trailer and building tips, we have a whole other website dedicated to good ways to build things.  Mechanical Elements is a portal with hundreds of articles about building things like trailers.  In some of those articles we discuss things like "Where does the Axle Go?" and "Materials for Building Trailers".

If this is an area of interest, we invite you to go there after completing the reading on these next article pages.

Concluding Thoughts ...

Trailer design includes much more than just the cool options you want.  A "Good" trailer includes more than nice looks.  Check out the following pages, then you'll know a lot more when you go to build or buy your next trailer.

Continue Trailer StrengthNext Up:  Trailer Strength  -  Factors in a sufficient design.

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