Welding Project: Weld a Storage Container to Your Trailer
During the summer you’ll have plenty of outdoor gear to haul around if you take a boat or other recreational vehicle out for an afternoon. If you have a welder and a large storage container, you can easily attach this container to your boat trailer in order to haul life jackets, tools, spare parts, or anything else you need for your boat, ATV, or anything else large enough that you can’t strap it to the top of your car.
Thankfully, welding a storage container only takes a few pieces of metal to use as brackets and a basic welding machine. You don’t need complex plans to get started, and the project summary from Lincoln Electric makes it simple enough to start welding immediately.
Materials You’ll Need for This Welding Project
Lincoln provides a material list for this welding project, but you can naturally change this list based on your trailer.
- Storage bin (You can use anything you can get your hands on and be a little creative on exactly how you attach it.)
- Standard drill
- Metal file
- 3/8” bolts and nuts
- Flat washers and lock washers
- 4 pieces of 3” channel cut to size (these would be the mounting brackets for the box – since they are pretty thick, you may want to get them cut somewhere, or you can give it a go yourself with a reciprocating saw.)
Guidelines for This Welding Project
The original plans for this welding project come from plans at Lincoln Electric for a trailer for a catamaran where there is one central piece of metal between the boat and the car for you to use for your storage container. Your own trailer or recreational vehicle/boat may require a different kind of storage container setup.
Predrill the Holes Before Welding
At the start of this welding project, you’ll want to begin by cutting two cross pieces that will be welded onto the trailer and serve as brackets. When you measure the brackets, make sure they’re wide enough to hold the storage box securely since these are the pieces of metal that your storage box will be bolted to. Predrill holes on both ends of the bracket so that you can place bolts, washers, and nuts on them when you’re done with this welding project. Leave room in the middle for the trailer.
Tack Weld the Brackets to the Trailer
After centering the two brackets on the trailer, tack weld them into place. Make sure the brackets are far enough apart that they provide a stable base for the storage box. If your storage container is particularly long (and really, why not?), add one or two extra brackets to the middle for added stability, especially if you have some heavy gear to place in the box.
This project was originally completed with a stick welder on the Lincoln Electric welding project site, but you can certainly use a MIG welder if you’re able to either wheel it out to your trailer or bring the trailer closer to your garage. A stick welder is nice for a project like this since they’re usually very portable and you don’t have to do much metal prep on your trailer.
Once you’ve tacked the brackets into place, you can finish off the welds and clean off any excess material—especially if you used a stick welder. If you want to paint the welds, do that before you attach the storage box.
Attach the Storage Box
Line up the storage box with the holes in your brackets, reach up from the bottom to mark the holes with chalk, and then drill holes into the bottom of your box. Using washers, nuts, and bolts, attach the storage box to the brackets that you’ve welded to the trailer.
That’s it! You’re now ready to head out into the great outdoors with all of your gear safely stowed away. This is one of the easier welding projects, but it’s also extremely useful for anyone who enjoys spending time outside.