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Classification of Trailers as Homemade
(less than 10,000 lbs gross vehicle weight)

Light weight camp and utility trailers typically contain very few components, summarized as the body, frame, suspension, axles and fenders. Many times, an old used trailer is purchased primarily for one or more of the aforementioned components and subsequently rebuilt. This is to differentiate from the situation where there is a tendency to call a manufactured trailer homemade because the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is no longer visible to match to ownership papers. There are also homemade trailers that are fabricated from all individually purchased components.

If, under special circumstances, this policy is applied to a trailer 10,000 lbs. or more gross weight capacity, then it should only be used as a guide since these are typically commercial trailers and discretion is advised.


Axle is that portion of a trailer supporting the wheels, tires and, if present, the brakes.

Body is that portion of a trailer intended to contain or carry the trailer's intended load. On flatbeds and open box trailers, this will mean the floor material and will also include the sides on an open box trailer. On boat trailers, this will mean all components intended to be in contact with the boat for support through to their connection to the frame.

Complete Component is any of the parts of a trailer herein defined.

Fabricated means constructed by combining or assembling individual pieces of material to form a complete component.

Fender is a separate piece of material installed and formed to cover the tires. If the trailer body covers over the tires (eliminating the need for separate fenders), then the fenders will be considered as being present as part of the body.

Frame is that portion of the trailer that supports the body on the suspension and/or axles, and always includes the tongue of the trailer. In designs where a portion of the frame is integral with the body so that the suspension and/or axles attach to the body, the frame will be considered as a present part of the body.

Suspension is that portion of a trailer that provides for elastic movement between the frame and axle(s) and maintains the position of the axle(s). Some light trailers may not have a suspension as herein described.

Trailer is a motor vehicle meeting the legal definition of a trailer contained in Connecticut General Statute Title 14, 14-1.

In order to qualify as a homemade trailer, it needs to have been composed or assembled from two or more used trailers or three or more of the following complete components shall have been fabricated and/or individually purchased for the assembly of a trailer or for repairs made to rebuild a used trailer:

  1. Added, replaced, or rebuilt axle(s).
  2. Fabricated, replaced or rebuilt body.
  3. Fabricated or replaced fenders.
  4. Fabricated or replaced 50 percent or more of the frame. For the purpose of this policy, the tongue section of the frame shall be considered 50 percent regardless of the length of the trailer.
  5. Added or replaced springs and pins of the suspension.

Verification of Homemade Classification

A homemade trailer composed or assembled from the parts of two or more used trailers will need proof of ownership of or receipts for the purchase of the trailers. In order to verify that any one of the previously listed five (5) classifications (qualifying measures) has been accomplished, the following evidence shall be considered acceptable:

  • The receipt for an entire purchased complete component.
  • A receipt for purchased assemblies necessary to rebuild a complete component or a repair order indicating the rebuilding of a complete component.
  • The receipt for the fabrication of or the materials for a complete component.
  • Proof of ownership of or the receipt for purchase of a used trailer obtained for its parts or to be rebuilt.
  • Photographs of a rebuilt trailer prior to being rebuilt which clearly show the conditions of complete components replaced.
  • For any components fabricated from materials on hand for which no receipt is generally available, the person shall sign under penalty of false statement an affidavit attesting to the type and source of the individual pieces of material.

All homemade trailers are required to be inspected and a VIN assigned at a DMV Saftey Inspection location.

For registration information, please see Requirements for the Registration of a Camp Trailer.