If you own a truck, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll be not only towing a trailer at some point but owning a trailer, as well. We’ve learned a lot from years of hauling trailers around the country and want to take the opportunity to share the tools and other gear that we keep in our trailer toolbox. We’ve found it important to keep enough supplies to secure a vehicle, fix any issue that might arise with the trailer, and even load non-running vehicles. It’s quite the eclectic group of goods, all stuffed into one small tongue box. So follow along as we take a look at what’s in our trailer toolbox.
We’ve found ourselves hauling around a lot of different things in the past year. Thankfully, our trusty heavy-duty Carson utility trailer has always been up to the task. With an 18-foot deck and pair of eight-lug axles, we’ve hauled everything from this 2021 Can-Am Maverick X3 to a crew-cab Chevy Silverado 2500HD pickup and everything in between.
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Early on, we added a Delta aluminum toolbox to the tongue of the trailer to help haul all of the gear we might need. With a little organization we’re able to fit a lot into the small space.
Truck and 4×4 Tie-Down Straps
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The most important tools we keep in the box are our set of Mac’s tie-down straps. For many years, Mac’s have been the only straps we’ve trusted to keep our toys secure. We’re proud to say we’ve never had an issue when using Mac’s 2-inch tie-down straps.
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Despite never having an issue, we also keep a new spare Mac’s 2-inch strap in the trailer toolbox as well.
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In addition to a full new strap assembly, we also carry a pair of end hooks in the toolbox. We’ve found the hooks are more prone to accidental damage than the webbing is.
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We keep all of the Mac’s straps neat and organized in this tote. It’s hard to believe this setup has been in heavy use for nearly five years, isn’t it?
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Although we’ve not had any issues with our Mac’s tie-down straps, and we carry a new spare setup in the toolbox, we also carry a full secondary tie-down set. Why, you ask? In the extreme case that our straps are either stollen, cut, or worse, we have a backup set locked in the trailer toolbox.
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Because we haul such a wide variety of trucks, off-roaders, toys, and more, we carry a set of 10 axle straps. We’ve used them for strapping vehicles by the axle, hooking straps through the trailer’s stake pockets, grabbing the chassis of UTVs, and so much more.
Trailer Hitches and Balls
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While our go-to trailer hitch is an adjustable 14,000-pound unit from Curt Manufacturing, we also make sure to haul a variety of different hitches in the trailer toolbox. We’ve got various drops and rises, along with both 2-inch and 2 5/16-inch balls ranging in capacity from 6,000 pounds to 12,000 pounds.
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We also carry a pair of 2 -inch to 2-inch receiver hitch adapters. Since we bounce between trucks more often than most people (testing new trucks and such) we need the option to run standard hitches in the common 3/4- and 1-ton Class 5 receivers.
Tools of the Trailer Toolbox
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Having hitch shanks and balls is no good without the tools to change them. For this reason, we keep a large box wrench with 1 1/8-inch and 1 -inch ends specifically for tightening hitch balls. We’ve also found that a hammer and file are critical tools to have in the trailer toolbox.
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While most of the off-road toys that we haul around have decent jacks inside of them, we find it important to keep a jack of its own in the trailer’s toolbox. We opted for the 2-ton bottle jack and jack stand combo because of its more than 18-inch lift height and compact size.
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Also important, and often overlooked, is a good tarp. Having a tarp in the trailer toolbox makes working on things a much cleaner and more enjoyable experience. It’s also good for covering whatever is on the trailer should the weather turn for the worse.
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It should go without mentioning, but keeping a good assortment of work gloves in the trailer toolbox is a must. Protecting your hands while working around dirty, heavy, and sometimes broken machines is of utmost importance.
Trailer Tire Tools
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Much like the jack, we often carry an electric impact wrench and socket set in either the tow rig or in whatever is on the trailer. However, it’s important to keep a good tire iron in the trailer toolbox, as well. This tool from Craftsman can fit a bunch of different lug nut sizes, can be configured in several different ways, and collapses into a tidy little package for storage.
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Arguably, nothing is more important to trailer tire health than running the proper air pressure. To ensure that we’re rolling down the road at the correct psi, we carry this 100-psi pressure gauge from Autometer in our toolbox.
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We carry two full-size spare tires on our flatbed utility trailer. However, in the event that two spare tires aren’t enough, we keep a small 12-volt air pump and bottle of Slime tire sealant in the toolbox as well.
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While not directly tire related, we have found that it’s important to have a pair of wheel chocks in the toolbox as well. You wouldn’t believe how helpful we’ve found it to be having even cheap blocks like these.
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Powering our trailer is the largest Odyssey deep-cycle battery that we could fit in the toolbox. After nearly five years, the Odyssey batter is working just as good as it did on day one. Having a large battery onboard makes winching easy should the need arise.
Trailer Winch for Dead Things
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Speaking of winching, while not technically in the toolbox, our Warn VR-8000s winch has proven invaluable. We opted for a Warn winch because even though it won’t be used too often, when we need the trailer winch to work, we want to be assured that it will work. We also keep the winch covered to protect it from the sun’s harsh rays.
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What does live in the trailer toolbox, however, is our Warn winch controller. We make sure to never leave home without it.
Other Odds and Ends
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One of the things we’ve learned over the years is that it’s important to keep a few spare parts in the trailer, as well. While bearings, hubs, and such are a given, we’ve found it important to keep a spare brake/taillight in the toolbox as well. It sucks towing with no taillights.
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We also keep spare locks in the trailer toolbox. People suck, so we make sure things are always locked up tight. This includes spare locking hitch pins, spare Masterlock shackles, and steel Masterlock cables.
What’s in Our Trailer Toolbox?
- Mac’s Tie Down Straps
- Mac’s Axle Straps
- Receiver Hitch Adapters
- Spare Drop and Rise Trailer Hitches
- 2-inch Trailer Balls
- 2 5/16-inch Trailer Balls
- Spare Hitch Pins
- Box Wrench
- Bottle Jack
- Craftsman Tire Iron
- Tire Inflator
- Tire Slime
- Autometer Tire Pressure Gauge
- Wheel Chocks
- Odyssey Battery
- Warn Winch