The Best Way to Tie Down Your ATV or Side by Side (Step by Step Guide)

22 May 2019

This guide is meant to provide you with a Step by Step method on how to install E-Track (on an aluminum trailer). E-track makes for an outstanding method for securing your ATV or Side by Side to your trailer. To assist in understanding this installation, make sure you check out the associated YouTube video on our channel (Click Here).Have questions, comments, or concerns? Leave a comment below!

Parts Needed:

E-track - Click here to see the ones we used

Straps - Click here to see the ones we used

Rubber - Thin but solid all weather flooring

Bolts - Strong bolts (we used 5/16s but it required us to drill the e-track slightly bigger when drilling through the trailer)

Thick Washers - Matching washers for the bolts purchased

Rubber Washers - Used on the udnerside of the trailer; should match bolts purchased

Locking Washers - Matching locking washers for bolts purchased

Step 1: Plan E-track Placement

The first thing you will want to do is figure exactly where you want the e track mounted on your trailer. Depending on what you want, I recommend measuring your ATV to assist in figuring out the width. For me, this was approximetly 45 inches from center tire to center tire. I was happy with this measurement because even if I wanted to use a different ATV, I know it is close enough that I will still be able to tie it down with ease.


Step 2: Cut E-track

Once you know where you want the e-track, you will want to measure and cut it. The best method to do this is probably a table saw and proper metal blade. Good metal blades for table saws are expensive, however. So I took the cheap route and clamped the e-track down to a workbench and used a sawsall. A sawsall with a metal blade (much, much cheaper) works pretty well, the biggest concern is just making sure you cut straight.


Step 3: Cut Rubber

This step may not be necessary for you. If you are installing on a wood trailer, you should be able to secure the e track directly to the trailer. In our case, we were using an aluminum trailer, and you have to be very cautious when installing e track on an aluminum trailer becuase disimiliar metals can have a bad reaction (think rust). So to help avoid this, I used a strong but thin all weather rubber between the aluminum and e-track.


Step 4: Drill Holes

Once the e-track is cut, and the rubber is cut and matched up under the e-track its time to drill. First ensure that the e-track is straight and in the exact area you would like. Then I recommend drilling one hole, slipping a bolt in it to hold it, then do the exact same thing on the oposite side of the etrack. Doing this will help ensure that the etrack won't move on you, then you can focus on drilling all the holes you would like. A couple things to keep in mind:

1. Ensure you get a decent amount of your holes through the frame or something else strong and enforced.

2. While you should ensure you use enough mounting holes on the etrack to secure it, you do not need to use every hole. That would be overkill (at least on standard e-track like the one we mentioned using above).


Step 5: Paint / Seal

Once you have all the holes drilled, I recommend using some paint or a sealent to seal up all your fresh drill holes and cuts. We used a clear sealant from Rustolium. We sprayed all the fresh drill holes, as well as the e track end we had cut and the holes we were going to be using (remember, we drilled them out a little bigger).


Step 6: Secure E-track

Once the paint or sealant is dry, its time to lay the rubber back down, then the e-track. I do recommend giving it one last cleaning or brush off prior, just to ensure random dirt or leaves do not get stuck between the rubber and the aluminum. Once you have the rubber and etrack lined back up, you are ready to start securing bolts! Get your bolts in, then on the bottom use your rubber washer, followed by your think metal washer, your locking washer, then your nut. Again remember the thick rubber washer is to help keep the different metals from touching each other. Once you have all the bolts tightly secure, you should be ready to test it out!


Step 7: Secure & Ride

Once you have the e-track properly installed, you should be ready to try it out. To do this of course you will want to get some nice etrack style straps. We provided a link at the top under needed parts for the ones we use. They are inexpensive and work well, so consider giving them a look. Now that you have everything installed and tested, its time to ride!

Have a question or think I missed something? Leave a comment down below. As always, thanks for reading and I hope to see you on the trail.


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