How Wide Is an Enclosed Trailer?
April 18, 2022
Here the the facts and some rules of thumb for figuring out enclosed trailer widths.
If you just want general widths, see the table below. There may be a little variance depending on the manufacturer, but these widths will be mostly consistent.
|Nominal width||Exterior width||Interior width||Width between wheelwells|
|8.5 or 8 foot||8.5’||8’||7’|
What Is the Trailer's "nominal" Width?
Nominal width is the "named" width. A 2"x4" isn't actually 2" by 4", we just call it that - those are nominal, or named, dimensions.
Enclosed trailers come in 4 nominal widths.
- 5 foot
- 6 foot
- 7 foot
- 8.5 foot
Sometimes, people talk about 8 foot trailers (we even do it), but they are really just talking about 8.5' foot trailers.
Enclosed Trailer Exterior Width
Enclosed trailers are actually named for the outside width of their box. A nominal "5 foot trailer" is 5 feet wide on the outside.
Remember that some manufacturers might have a little variation, but this should be mostly consistent.
Rule of thumb: The outside width of a trailer is the same as it's name.
Enclosed Trailer Interior Width
The inside width on an enclosed trailer is governed by the width of its walls. Trailer walls are typically 3" thick, so if you subtract 6" off the exterior width, you'll have the interior width.
Rule of thumb: The inside width of an enclosed trailer is the outside width minus 6".
If you're really counting inches, know that some manufacturer's will skin the inside walls with different thicknesses of plywood. This will have three impacts on you:
- Affects the strength of your walls.
- Affects weight.
- Affects inside width.
If you're ordering a trailer, you can tell them you want a different wall thickness. Thicker walls can make it easy to hang cabinets and shelves, but they can add significant weight if you're trailer is large.
Width Between Enclosed Trailer Wheelwells
Some trailers have their wheelwells inside the trailer. This cuts down on inside width!
Rule of thumb: The width between wheelwells that are inside an enclosed trailer is 1.5' less than exterior width.
Typically, only 8.5' trailers have wheelwells inside.
These interior wheelwells can be inconvenient if you want to store sheet goods or ladders against the walls. Some contractors put these items on top of the wheelwell, store ladders overhead, or build a "false wall" or storage that is flush with the inside of the wheelwell to lay sheet goods against.