How to build a sled to pull behind a snowmobile. Few things bring as much fun for both adults and kids as towing a sled behind a snowmobile on a snow day.
Your kiddos will keep screaming with excitement riding on behind the snowmobile while cruising downhill, at breakneck speed, together with your grown-up friends is simply an out-of-this-world experience!
Now, if sledding is your favorite fun winter activity, here’s a simple DIY guide that will assist you to make your custom sled to tow behind your snowmobile- and save a couple of grand.
How to build a sled to pull behind a snowmobile
Whether you need a tow behind sled for cold weather recreation or to help you haul cargo – these snowmobile partners can carry almost anything.
Here are practical designs and the steps to build an iconic sled at home.
This article discusses how to construct both a recreational and a cargo-hauling ski sled at home.
Option 1: How to build a sled to pull behind a snowmobile for recreational expeditions
- Used wood pallet.
- A few power and hand tools including a jigsaw (or a handsaw), a hammer, and a drill.
- Accessories such as nails or screws and sandpaper.
Prepping the pallet
The first task is to remove the supporting boards from the bottom of your pallet. Don’t worry about the removed boards- we will need them shortly.
Making the frame
Cut your pallet in half – with your jigsaw/handsaw. You want to cut along the length, either side of its middle supporting board.
Most DIYers are good at sawing so you’ll probably have little problems splitting the pallet into two.
Cover the spaces
Recall the boards we took off the pallet at the start? Yeah, you’ll now use them to fill all the huge gaps in the frame. This should be pretty straightforward- place the boards on the gap where you want to seal and secure them using nails or screws.
Remember to cut the installed boards to be flush with all sides of the sled.
Get it into shape
We all want to have a sled that pulls through snow incredibly easily behind the wheeler. To achieve this, the sliding surface must be curved out, at the front, the right way.
Do this: Cut a curve – be keen because you want it perfect- out of the sled’s front.
You’re almost done
You’re nearly there but a handle is missing.
Look for a rope or some heavy-duty string that can function as a solid handle (even a water ski rope can work).
Now cut the rope to a reasonable length and run the two ends through the freshly drilled holes- I must add that the length of the rope is usually a compromise between throwing massive ice chunks at your youngsters and giving them whiplash(ouch!).
Smoothing and finishing
Get hold of sandpaper and proceed to sand spots that feel rough to the touch of your wood.
And to deliver a “wow factor”, consider throwing on one or two coats of gorgeous, high-quality paint and leave it to dry completely.
And voila! You’re ready for the hills!
Tip: Consider painting the sled to match your snowmobile. It often turns out so cute.
Option 2: How to build a sled to pull behind a snowmobile for winter haulage
While towable sleds that can ferry vast amounts of cargo are readily available, creating your own super capable pull-behind snowmobile sled can be the height of ingenuity.
Here is how to invent one to bring your essential equipment along on your cold-weather excursions.
- Old skis
Buy two sets from a thrift store or anywhere else you can find them cheap (It’s easy to find them dirt cheap on Craiglist).
- 6 pieces 1×6, 8 feet long
- 1 piece 2×6, 8 feet long
- Hand saw (we recommend 24-inch)
- Hand drill (and necessary drill bits)
- Tape measure
- A hammer
- Speed square
- A pencil
- 10d nails -have enough
- 2” wood screws (coated)- again purchase enough.
- Cut 3X six-inch-long pieces from the 2×6 lumber. These will be used as spacers.
- Predrill holes through all the skis, and be sure to countersink each of them- a properly sized drill bit should work here. For maximum strength, the first hole should be a couple of inches after the tip, the second about the midway point, and the final one a few inches before the end
- Line up a pair of skis on each side of the soon-to-be sled. Ensure the sets are parallel to each other.
- Proceed to screw the three spacers into each pair of skis – you can use two to three screws per each spacer-then screw the two sides together.
- Next, three spreaders (cut from the 1×6 lumber, 24-inches long) are nailed on top of the spacers. The deck is fashioned from four 6 ft. 1x 6 pieces and cut 5ft. 6” long, nailed on the spreaders.
- Lastly, drill a few holes through the deck, then thread a tow rope (of suitable length) through, and that’s it.
Tip: For both designs, it is better – and important for your peace of mind to use a stout tow bar instead of a tow rope or chain! Experiment and find ways to fit one.
Whether you’re hauling loads of gear and supplies or out onto the rough, twisting mountainous trails for the thrill, there are many precautions to take to be safe.
Always check that the hitch is rigid and sturdy and that the sled is securely fastened on the snowmobile before making any move. In addition, you should be extremely cautious about speed- maintain a slow enough speed to ensure you’re in control of the situation at all times.
Finally, beware of fellow snowmobile junkies- your winter outing with family may quickly turn to tragedy if you collide with a second snowmobile.
References and Citations:
Susan Robishaw and Stephen Schmeck; Homesteading Life with Steve & Sue: Home-built Sleds- https://www.manytracks.com/Homesteading/Sleds.htm