Enclosed trailers and vans are a popular and practical way to transport cargo and loads that are too small or too fragile for standard flatbed or auto-hauling. Easy to use and transport with a quick hitch, they’re also easy to expand!
Enclosed trailers have a ton of empty space that can be a blessing when carrying larger loads or a lot of equipment, but a nightmare to try and organize. An easy way to avoid creating a disorganized trailer is to invest in enclosed utility trailer shelving! Make the most of your trailer’s space with these creative and practical cargo trailer shelving ideas.
Top Enclosed Trailer Shelving Ideas
Enclosed trailers and vans tend to come pretty bare and empty, which you should see as a good thing! It leaves room for the imagination and customization of your enclosed trailer shelving ideas. It’s important to know that not every trailer is designed to support the same kind of shelving as another. This also means that there are many different construction trailer shelving ideas to choose from! The material the shelves are made from, if they are collapsible or moveable, any accessories – all key things to consider when designing shelves to outfit your trailer.
1. Cargo Trailer Shelving: Wood or Metal?
There are two materials most commonly used for designing tool trailer shelves and they are luckily easy to find if you are making this your own DIY project: metal and wood. But, there is also the question of metal or wood. Which, according to professionals, is the best material for shelf ideas for enclosed trailers? Let’s dive in:
i. Wood Shelving:
Lumber is a reliable and sturdy material to build with and a cost-effective option! We used wood for centuries to craft tables and chairs, why not use it for enclosed trailer shelving? Though easy to build with, wood is also heavy and can be weak if you choose too-thin a board to store heavy-duty equipment. Wood has a tendency to shift as well, expanding or shrinking if it comes into contact with liquid or humidity. After many years of use, it can also become deformed; a perfectly straight surface of a coffee table may develop grooves from spots commonly used to set down cups or knick-knacks after years. The same can happen with using lumber as an organizer or tool trailer shelf. While it’s the easiest way to build a shelf idea for your enclosed trailer all on your own, wood shouldn’t be relied upon for perfect or long-lasting use.
ii. Metal Shelving:
If you’re not in the market or have the time to build a DIY shelving system for your cargo trailer, then metal is your way to go! Usually pre-built or easy to assemble, metal shelving tends to be made of steel, composites, or aluminum which can be a strong, lightweight, durable material. Unlike wood, this metal won’t warp, break, or become deformed as easily when handling heavy items. On top of it all, if you ever find yourself transporting or storing liquid materials or products, metal shelving will be easier to clean than wood in the event of spillage. The downside that comes with choosing metal for your utility trailer shelving ideas is that you may be spending more money and – depending on the exact metal used – adding to your total weight capacity. Steel shelving may weigh down your trailer during transit, especially if it’s in use and holding even heavier tools or equipment. For some haulers, this is a deal-breaker for metal construction trailer shelving.
2. Horizontal and Vertical E-Track Brackets
The easiest way to install your enclosed trailer shelving may be to first install E-Track and E-Track brackets. E-Tracks typically are available in three different designs: horizontal, vertical, and cross. As such, their brackets come the same way. Depending on the E-Track system you choose to install to the walls of your cargo trailer, you will have to make sure you purchase the right kind of bracket.
E-Track brackets are a quick and easy way to create a customized enclosed trailer organizer shelf. They are adjustable and removable, clicking easily into your E-Track rail slots. These brackets add flexibility to your trailer, as you’re able to raise, lower, or remove these E-tracks or brackets from your trailer organizer system when needed!
Don’t need to use the shelf anymore? Simply unclick the bracket from the E-Track rail and store it until needed. Suddenly need more space to get your equipment off your trailer’s floor? Add two brackets and the shelving wherever you need quickly and easily! Horizontal and vertical E-Track brackets make getting your trailer organized a whole lot simpler!
3. V-Nose Trailer Shelving
V-nose trailers are becoming an increasingly popular choice among enclosed cargo trailer haulers because of the space they provide compared to a flat trailer. The extra space created by the V-nose’s unique design is easily transformable, and you can add v-shaped shelving to the walls for additional storage! Rather than flat shelves, cabinets work especially well in this v-nose enclosed trailer shelving design! Being able to close the drawers saves space and keeps all items inside protected if you hit a hard brake or sharp turn.
4. Integrate the Storage Options
There are a ton of additional storage options or accessories available to enhance or improve your enclosed utility trailer shelving ideas! Items like filing cabinets, storage bins, folding trays, tire racks, corner helmets, enclosed cargo carriers – the list are endless! If you need something especially unique to keep your enclosed trailer organized, you can also order or design a customized storage option yourself!
Benefits of Cargo or Utility Trailer Shelving
- Good shelf ideas for enclosed trailers will lead to keeping equipment off the floor of your trailer. More space gives a more professional look and more room to work with!
- Keeping all your tools, equipment, and accessories in one place helps you keep track of all your supplies.
- Tool trailer shelving ideas also help keep all your equipment easily accessible – you won’t have to waste time searching for a specific tool, chain, or e-track straps if you know exactly which shelf you keep all that equipment in.
- Investing in construction trailer shelving ideas will lead to more organization, less mess, less stress, and higher productivity. Look professional while being functional!
Whether you decide to build your own enclosed utility trailer shelving ideas or you choose to purchase a pre-built design, you will be saving a lot of money in the long run! By keeping all your tools neatly organized in sturdy, dry, and durable shelving you are improving their lifespans for years to come. The options for cargo trailer shelving ideas have only the limitations of your imagination, goals, and size of the trailer. Utility trailer shelving ideas are highly customizable, especially if you decide to build them DIY style or purchase a trailer-specific racking system like the V-Nose trailer. Save on time, mess, and stress and make your enclosed trailer shelving ideas a reality today!
Also Read: Enclosed Trailer Tie-Down System
Enclosed Trailer Shelving FAQs:
While there is no “one right way” to install cargo trailer shelving ideas, generally speaking the easiest way to attach shelves to an enclosed trailer or van is to choose the location of your rack, position the shelf against the wall to make sure it will not tilt, space the brackets evenly on the underside of the shelf board, and carefully drill or weld the shelving rack shelf and brackets into the wall of your van or trailer. Check the shelving is sturdy and tightened properly into place.
You will need to purchase or cut the shelving boards in a triangle-shape of proper width to slot perfectly against the shape of your V-nose trailer. Measure the distance between the two walls of the V-nose trailer to determine how wide your shelving needs to be, then find shelving online or cut any lumber/boards to match that width. Continue to check that the shelving will fit in the space between the walls before you drill or weld the shelving racks into your V-nose trailer walls. You can also take your trailer to get professionally fitted if you cannot do this yourself, though it will cost more.
The easiest way to hang shelves on a trailer wall is to invest in an E-track system. Simply drill the E-track into the wall of your enclosed trailer and purchase E-track shelving accessories. These shelving accessories will be designed with brackets – or brackets will be available separately – in order to slot easily into the E-track rail. Make sure you purchase the right kind of shelving brackets depending on the kind of E-track system you install (horizontal vs vertical).
The price for full installation of a shelving system in your van or trailer interior will vary depending on the style of installation (DIY vs Professional) and the material you use (wood vs metal). Enclosed trailer shelving ideas can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands – make sure you know what your budget is for this project and your own skill-level. Professional installation will be costly, but it is more likely to last longer, provide more customization options, and give your van or enclosed trailer an overall more professional look!