A step-by-step guide to building an easy-to-use motorized trailer dolly for moving trailers in tight spots.
This how I built a dolly to help move my trailers around instead of using the truck or tractor and saving on fuel.
What You’ll Need
- 3″ channel iron 2ft long
- 2″ inch black pipe 4ft long
- 2 12 inch wheels (like the ones on garden trailers)
- A 12 volt two-way toggle switch
- 1″ black pipe 18″ long
- 2pcs 3/4″ steel rod 1ft long each
- A 12 volt battery
- 14 gauge wire about 8 ft
- A welder and welding rods
- welding clamps
Get your welder ready settings on your preference, remember you are going to be welding pretty heavy stock. First you need to get you channel iron this is going to the basic frame of the whole thing, Lay it on your work bench channel down. Then find center of the piece of 1′ back pipe and find center or the channel about 1ft from whichever end is going to be the back. Line up the 2 center marks and clamp the black pipe to the channel, now you can tack weld those 2 together or wait till later. This is going to be the axle for the machine.
Now get the 2 pieces of 3/4″steel rod, insert them in either end of the black pipe axles that 6″ is sticking out on each side the rods should touch in the middle (you can also do this with a solid piece of rod but it will bend easier with heavier loads. now weld a bead around the ends of the black pipe securing the rods. that is the bases of your dolly.
Next we’ll start working on the power train. First thing is to decide if you want to use a gear drive or belt drive. For a gear drive you’ll nee to have about a 2′ gear with an arbor hole to fit the 3/4″ rod in the axle. T use belt drive you need a 3″ pulley to fit the axle, remember a belt drive slips easier under heavy loads). Which ever you choose you weld your gear/pulley to the shaft on either side (keep in mind the side the gear/pulley is on is the same side the motor shaft will have to be on) about an inch and half from the frame.
Now we need to consider the motor. First it must be 12 volt, and have enough power to do the job. It isn’t as hard to pull a garden cart as it is a fifth wheel camper so choose wisely when it comes to a motor. I used a motor from an old sailboat my dad had in the junk yard, it was the motor used to raise the sails so it had a good bit of power. Once you’ve chosen your motor next is to mount it, I suggest welding a plate to the frame to enable adjustment to the tension on your chain/belt The motor should be mounted as close to the rear axle as possible so as not to let the chain get too close to the wheels. Then you need to attached a gear/pulley to you motor’s shaft aligning it with the on the axle, you want to use a gear/pulley that is 2-3 inches bigger than the one on the shaft. Then measure around both gears/pulleys to determine size of chain/belt you’ll need.
Published in: Do-It-Yourself