Tilt Top Trailer Conversion Plans

It’s time to welcome the tilt top trailer.  You, as customers and readers, request this a lot, for a while.  So, now we have it.  Rather than revisiting the design for all our trailers in all the sizes, we now offer conversion plans.  These are an added option that works with – and enhances – our normal utility trailer plans.

Buy the utility trailer plans and buy the conversion plans.  The two plan sets work together.  The conversion plans show what to change to make your trailer into a top tilt.

If you’ve been watching the site, then you’ve seen us dabble with the Tilt Top Trailer.  Well, now it’s official.  Plans are now available (see the links below).

Why Conversion Plans?

We could design a full new line of tilt top trailer plans.  Certainly, that’s the traditional thinking.  While it sounds easy enough, we would then need to make a bunch of new plans.  They would be almost duplicates of the trailers we already have.  That sounds like a lot of work.  It would also make a more confusing Trailer Plans Catalogue for you to view with so many near duplicates.

One example:  For the 5′ x 10′ Utility Trailer size, we would need:

  1. The standard trailer plans with leaf springs;
  2. A 2nd version with a torsion axle;
  3. Another set of plans with leaf springs + the tilt;
  4. And one with a torsion axle + the tilt.

It would double the small trailer plans — with many repeat sizes — which is contrary to easy website navigation.

Tilt Top Up and Down

So, let’s solve this by making a conversion plan that works with many instead.  Choose your trailer plans (ie. 5×10 utility trailer) with all the normal options.  Then, get the matching Tilt Top Conversion Plans also!  The plans go together and make the Tilt Top an added option for your trailer.

Most options (like the sides, tailgates, tie-down points, accessories, etc.) have nothing to do with the tilt, and will work fine.  So, the options don’t need repeating.  Since a tilt top trailer is basically the same main frame, a good conversion plan just needs to show changes for the tilting top.  That makes it easier for you to find, and easier for us to maintain.  Win – Win.

Designing A Tilt Top Trailer

Works With Options TooThe tilt top is a nice feature for both loading and unloading certain types of cargo.  It’s not for everyone, but if you have the need, it is sure helpful.  That’s why customers are asking for it.

The concept is simple.  Allow the trailer bed to tilt back while the tongue still attaches to the tow vehicle.  There is a pivot at the end of the tongue, under the trailer, and a release point where the front of the bed meets the tongue.  Release it, then tip the trailer bed back.  Easy.

The conversion is “Gravity Tilt”.  For simplicity, cost, weight, etc., the plans have a mechanical pivot.  That said, there are plenty of ways for power assist, but with the small trailers, there’s not so much need.  Bigger dump trailers work with a hydraulic ram or other method for power tilting.  We’ll do that when we get to the larger trailers.

Plans include all the detail for conversion.  We show the approach, provide the material list, and include detail for changing from the original “fixed tongue” trailer plans.  Plans include step by step instructions for building it all.  They also include materials and parts lists.  (We even give you McMaster.com part numbers for super easy access.  Or, choose other venders if you want.)

While the design concept is quite simple, the details make a big difference in function.  We have all that in the design.  It’s all in the plans.

Options and Variations

Like all of our plans, these tilt top trailer conversion plans include options.  Here are a few:

Tilt Top Trailer Plans

  • Material choices.  Plans do suggest materials, and options.  Beam shapes (like angle, channel, or tube) and sizes, based on your desires for the trailer.  Options for tube instead of angle or channel for instance.
  • Also material types.  Choosing stainless steel for some components so they won’t rust as an example.
  • Our utility trailers have options for deck type, which can change the frame a little.  So, we made the new tilt conversion to work with all of them.  Choose a plywood deck, a double thick deck, or a plank deck.  The tilt conversion will work, and the plans explain how to adjust for various deck types.
  • While the prime design is a hitch pin for securing the tilting deck, you can choose other options like a spring latch, a prop rod, and lift assist levers if you want.
  • By design, tongue length for the tilt top is roughly the same as the base trailer.  As a variation, the tongue can lengthen a little or even shorten some, depending on your needs.  (Read about the benefits of tongue length.)  It’s all up to you.

Yup, when it comes to DIY projects, we believe you should Build it Better than You can Buy it.  If that means a Tilt Top, make the trailer the way you want it.  That includes customizing your trailer too.  Options in the plans help you do just that.

Available Tilt Top Trailer Conversions

For now, the Tilt Top Trailer conversion is for our 3500# utility style trailers.  It works with trailers having either a leaf spring suspension or torsion axle.  Here is a list of trailer plans with the Tilt Top Trailer Conversion that will fit.

4′ width / 5′ width Tilt Top Conversion Plans

Will work with these 4′ wide and 5′ wide, 3500# utility trailers  —  Add Conversion To Cart

There are differences for each trailer size, of course, and that information is all in the plans.  The plans show how to adapt for each of the 4-foot and 5-foot widths.

6′ width / 6’10” width Tilt Top Conversion Plans

Will work with these 6′ wide and 6’10” wide, 3500# utility trailers  —  Add Conversion To Cart

Remember, the conversion plans are in addition to the standard trailer plans.
For a Tilting Top, please buy BOTH the trailer plans, AND the matching Tilt Top Conversion plans.  In some cases, you may also want the Torsion Axle Conversion plans.  When you have all the pieces, all the desired options, then you are set to build.

Good Luck with Your Project!

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