Getting your toys to your riding area is always a balance.
Too many toys, not enough space. Buying a trailer vs. hauling in your truck bed.
Buying a toy hauler vs. using camp trailer and putting toys in the truck bed.
Side x Side Vehicles are an interesting size. Smaller than
a jeep or sand car, but bigger than an ATV.
Many UTV owners have come up with some unique ways to transport
them to riding areas.
In California, the legal speed limit when towing is 55 mph. That
is one of the major factors that drove me to have a truck rack built for my
short bed. I also modified my 16' flatbed trailer to haul a RZR sideways.
Others already have a camp trailer that cannot haul anything (or
any more), so they turn to hauling in the truck bed.
The cheapest way to haul your UTV is in the back of your
truck. Most long travel UTVs (with the exception of a few RZR kits) are too
wide to fit in the bed of your truck. There are a few issues with hauling in
Watch the back window of your truck when you load so the
bumper of your UTV doesn't go through the window. Also make sure
you strap the UTV down well so it doesn't surge forward under heavy
Don't trust the cables on your tailgate!
When loading use 4x4 and make sure your ramps are strapped well.
It is easy for a ramp to slide out when trying to get the front wheels over the
wheel wells in the truck bed.
In the Bed
One way to save your tail gate is with a "GateSaver".
This product uses your hitch to support the rear tires of the UTV so your
tailgate doesn't have to.
In the bed with a "GateSaver" from
A properly sized truck rack will allow even a long travel
UTV to be stored above the bed rails. There are a few minor downsides to
this method - higher center of gravity and the need for longer ramps
(I wouldn't do it with anything less than 10' ramps).
Shortbed Truck Rack - Roggy Enterprises
If you want to haul your UTV in the back of your short bed
truck and still be able to tow a camp trailer, the other option is an over
cab truck rack. The advantage here is the UTV is completely within the
tailgate. The downsides are the same as the normal truck racks, but
add to that additional wind resistance and a bit higher center of gravity.
Roggy Enterprises also makes custom truck racks.
Over Cab UTV Truck Rack - Dean Hoover
This is a custom made rack that Dean made. There is no business
involved with making this specific rack, but I liked the concept so I
included it here.
On the Back of a 5th Wheel
Saw this setup in Winchester Bay, OR at DuneFest. It was connected to
the back of a 5th Wheel!
If you are looking to haul a UTV in the back of your
truck, I would suggest installing a set of air bags on your truck so
you can make sure the truck is level and the ride is firm. Air bags
are installed between the frame and the suspension and are designed
to maximize the safe load carrying capacity, stability and ride
quality of your truck.
Air Bag Helper Springs from Firestone
If you are going to use a rack in the bed of your
truck, make sure it is securely fastened. Once you put a UTV up on
top and hit a few bumps while turning, you will see why. I did
not trust relying on a few straps attached to the factory tie down
hooks. It is not that I worried about the straps breaking. It
was more that I did not trust the factory tie down hooks fastened to
the sheet metal in the bed.
People have been dealing with a similar problem with
slide in campers for years. The best solution I found was a
set of frame mounted tie downs. This not only gives you a solid
point to attach, but also moves the tie down location out to the
edge of the rack where it is most effective in controlling movement.
Torklift Tie Down
Upgrading shocks isn't a bad idea either. OEM
shocks do wear out, and aren't up to the task of going from an empty
truck to a loaded truck.
I went with a set of adjustable
RS9000XL shocks from
Rancho Suspension. Rancho’s
RS9000XL shock absorbers feature 9 position adjustable damping and a larger
shock body allows the RS9000XL to run more consistent & cooler even
under the most demanding conditions.
Rancho RS9000 XL Shocks