The term "ATV trailer" may refer to two distinctly different types of trailers: a trailer that hooks up to an ATV, or All Terrain Vehicle, to enhance the ATV's capabilities as a utilitarian vehicle; or an ATV trailer that hooks up to an automobile to haul an ATV. The former type of ATV trailer is usually quite small and intended for smaller jobs around the home or business; the latter is larger, and it must be street-legal to be used as a trailer on roads. A trailer used to haul an ATV usually features a sturdy metal frame, brake lights, two to four wheels, and a trailer hitch attachment.
An ATV trailer that will be used to haul an ATV may have a drop-down gate that will allow the ATV rider to drive the ATV right onto the trailer. Other trailers, however, may not have such a gate and may require the trailer itself to be tipped downward. The ATV can then be loaded by hand, usually by two or more people. To make the process easier, one might consider placing sturdy boards on the trailer to act as a ramp rather than attempting to load the very heavy ATV by hand. All trailers that are intended for use on the road must feature street-legal brake lights, security chains, and tires that meet local or regional regulations.
Larger ATV trailers can hold two or more ATVs rather than just one. These trailers are often much wider or longer than a single ATV trailer, and they must usually be secured to a larger hauling vehicle such as a medium duty or full-sized truck, since the combined weight of the trailer and the ATVs it is hauling can be quite significant. Multi-purpose trailers can often be used as ATV trailers as well, though the user should be sure to properly secure the ATVs to prevent shifting during transport.
Smaller, lighter duty ATV trailer designs are meant for use around the house or business. These trailers also feature trailer hitches or another method of fastening the trailer to the ATV. The ATV can then haul loads short or medium distances. These trailers vary in size, shape, and durability. Lighter duty ATV trailer designs may be made from lightweight materials such as plastic or lightweight aluminum; such trailers are the lightest duty trailers and are meant for small jobs only. Larger, more sturdy trailers may be made from steel or other heavy metals, and they usually feature a stronger axle and larger tires. Such a trailer can be used for heavier duty jobs and larger loads.