Shawn's 8 1/2x16 Custom Carpentry Tool Trailer

E-track and fancy cabinets


USED FOR Construction Carpentry
MODEL Bravo Star
BODY Enclosed Trailer, Flat Nose


Floor storage
Ceiling storage
Interior lights
Wired electric
Stand inside?

See more of Sampson's Home Improvement


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Put your name on your toolboxes. more »
Create toolkits for specific jobs. more »
Use a shore power socket and keep cords out of your doorway. more »


Sawdust Adikt

Sampson's Home Improvement

Gales Ferry, CT USA

Shawn's cargo tool trailer is used for his business, Sampson's Home Improvement, in Gales Ferry, Connecticut. This tool trailer build is absolutely next level!

Shawn's use of E-track, combined with his excellent carpentry skills, have resulted in a well-executed trailer that can haul anything and be easily reconfigured.

The Trailer

The trailer is a steel-framed Bravo Star with a flat nose. It's 16' long, 8 1/2' wide, with an interior height of a little over 6 feet. The trailer has a ramp door and a 36" wide side door.

Shawn points out that the long 54" tongue makes the trailer highly maneuverable and has helped keep the front of the trailer clean and undamaged.

If you're buying a new trailer, watch Shawn's video about his trailer experience.

His Bravo trailer had many, many problems, but when a tree fell on it, the trailer survived enough that he could still work out of it and it still drove straight on the road.

Slick Cabinets

The cabinets on the driver side of the trailer have retractable doors that swing out and up from the bottom then slide out of the way on top of each cabinet. This design gave him storage spaces that could be open or closed.

Individual tools have individual cubbies, so it's easy to find the right tool for the job. The cabinets each have LED strip lights mounted inside.

Shawn's 8 1/2x16 Custom Carpentry Tool Trailer
Shawn's Carpenter's Tool Trailer Setup Image from Sampson's Home Improvement

Hand Tool Storage

The driver side front of the trailer has a set of custom cabinets built just for holding tools. The width of the cabinets is set by the mechanics tool box that is mounted sideways.

One neat thing about the tool box mount: Typically, a mechanic's tool box has a flip up lid. In most builds, the builder needs to leave that space above the box open in order to access the box contents. This results in a loss of storage space.

To keep that space above the lid usable Shawn built a slide-out shelf for the tool box so he can pull it out of a cubby. When packed, the space above the tool box is occupied by a cabinet.

Shawn's hand tools are neatly packed in drawers lined with Kaizen foam to keep them protected and rattle-free.

Don't Forget About Food

Shawn also built in a microwave and coffee station into his cabinets. For coffee, he uses an electric kettle paired with an insulated carafe to keep the brew warm.

Movable Shelves

On the passenger side of the trailer are three floor-to-ceiling bookshelf-style units. Their unique feature is that they are also on wheels. They secure to the wall with E-track and ratchet straps, but they also stand off the wall enough so that there is a storage space for Shawn's shovels, sledge, and other outdoor tools.

Material Hauling

Shawn has a great setup for hauling raw materials, made easy by his use of E-track throughout the trailer. Running down the floor from front to back are two lengths of E-track that are recessed into the floor. Lumber can be secured to the floor with ratchet straps at any point along the E-track, which would also make it easy to haul equipment.

The movable shelves are also part of the material hauling system:

The shelves taper from bottom to top so that sheet goods can lay against the shelves unsecured, and then be tied down. This is a timesaver since sheets are already braced in position while you strap them.

Many contractors instead use slot storage for sheetrock and plywood, but this space goes unused on jobs that don't require larger materials.

DIY Tools Make It Easier

We like these custom tools that make working easier:

Shawn's plywood cut table is a grid of plywood planks on edge. A piece of plywood on top can be cut in any shape while the cut table will only sustain minor cuts to the up-facing edge. This is not a common tool to have, but makes it a lot easier to support plywood and drywall chunks that might splinter or tear the main workpiece if they fall.

He also uses a Bosch Gravity Rise Table with his miter saw. To make it easier to work with long pieces of wood, he built two table extensions to support the workpiece.

Generator Power

While the trailer can be plugged in to the grid, Shawn also built in a sheetmetal lined generator cabinet in the front of the trailer. The cabinet is accessed from outside the trailer and has a slide-out tray to allow easy access to the generator.

It'll charge a deep cycle battery or run any of Shawn's tools.


Shawn's trailer has some unique designs that allow him to have an enormous amount of clear space inside. His use of E-track gives him more hauling ability and allows the trailer to be more configurable. The cabinet and shelf work are beautiful and different ways to get what you want out of a tool trailer.