CargoBuckle Retractable Ratchet Tie-Downs – SO EASY!

Trying to tie down an ATV, side-by-side or boat on a trailer for safe towing can be a real pain in the neck! Fortunately, we’ve discovered the CargoBuckle Retractable Ratchet Tie-Downs which are a total game changer for us.

CargoBuckle Retractable Ratchet Tie-Down System is SO EASY!

Easy to install and a cinch to use, the CargoBuckle retractable ratchet straps revolutionized our tie-down process!

For the past six years, we have towed our Polaris RZR 900 side-by-side in three towing arrangements:

  1. On a flatbed trailer behind our fifth wheel in a “double tow” arrangement (also known as a “triple tow”)
  2. On a flatbed trailer behind our dually truck (with and without our truck camper)
  3. Inside our Genesis Supreme toy hauler.



Using traditional tie-down ratchet straps, we found it was nearly impossible to keep the straps fully tightened as we drove. We’d have to stop after an hour or so to tighten the straps, and then we’d stop to check them every hour or so after that if the trip was long. More often than not, they’d have loosened again and we’d have to re-tighten them.

Also, the setup on our flatbed trailer had some sharp corners and awkward angles that the tie-down straps had to cross in order to secure the side-by-side onto the trailer. This caused the straps to sever completely multiple times. We bought at least three sets of ratchet straps in just a few months of towing our side-by-side!

Needless to say, all of this was very annoying, and also made us quite uneasy when we were underway!

Triple tow Fifth wheel and flatbed trailer with side-by-side double-tow arrangement

Traveling with The Train, we got a LOT of chucking in the caboose…!

Tow Polaris RZR 900 XC EPS Edition on utility trailer-min

Mark used traditional ratchet straps at first.



Cargo Buckle Retractable Ratchet Strap secures a side-by-side onto a flatbed trailer

CargoBuckle G3 Retractable Ratchet Tie-down permanently mounted on a flatbed trailer.

Mark did some research and found a product called the CargoBuckle Retractable Rachet Tie-Down System that mounted permanently to the flatbed trailer, one for each corner of the side-by-side.

In order to tie down the side-by-side, you simply pulled out each strap and hooked it onto a tie-down location on the RZR and ratcheted it tight. To unload the side-by-side, you simply released the tension on each strap to unhook and then let it retract. Easy peasy!

Mounting the straps on the utility trailer eliminated the need to tie everything down from scratch each time we secured the RZR to the trailer. Instead, the strap was right there where we needed it. All we had to do was pull it out!

CargoBuckle Retractable Ratchet Tie-Down system for permanent instsallation

CargoBuckle G3 (2″ strap).

This is a super slick concept and it completely revolutionized our tie-down process. Now we could tie the RZR down in just a few minutes by pulling out each strap, hooking it onto the RZR and ratcheting it tight. Even better, the straps never loosened underway, so we never had to stop to tighten them or worry that they might come loose as we drove.

Cargo Buckle Retractable Ratchet Straps for front of a side-by-side on a flatbed trailer

The front of our RZR is tied down with two CargoBuckle retractable ratchet straps mounted on the front of the flatbed trailer.

Two CargoBuckle Retractable Ratchet Straps secure the back end of a side-by-side on a flatbed trailer

The back of our RZR is tied down with two CargoBuckle retractable ratchet straps mounted on the rear sides of the flatbed trailer.

It was just a matter of a few minutes to get the RZR off the trailer too. All we had to do was release each ratchet handle, unhook the strap from the side-by-side and let the strap retract. Best of all, we didn’t have to deal with long messy tie-down straps or stow them anywhere.

We loved this whole concept so much that when we bought our fifth wheel toy hauler we got another set! In addition, we got an S-hook Adapter to bolt onto each CargoBuckle so we could hook the CargoBuckles into the D-rings rather than bolting them permanently to the garage floor.

CargoBuckle Retractable Ratchet TIe-Down System for a toy hauler

The CargoBuckle G3 ratchet strap is bolted to an S-adapter hook for removable installations like the D-rings on a toy hauler floor.

Besides providing a very secure tie-down as we drive, these straps are work with that we don’t hesitate to unload the RZR to go exploring for an while and then load it back into the toy hauler and carry on. This is ideal for seeking out boondocking locations down unfamiliar dirt roads.



Our first CargoBuckle installation on our flatbed trailer was straight forward.

We aligned each of the retractable straps so there was a straight line between the CargoBuckle and the tie-down point on the RZR. Then we drilled a hole in the frame of the trailer for each strap and bolted the CargoBuckle onto the trailer frame. Done!

We angled the CargoBuckles slightly to ensure the straps wouldn’t cross over anything sharp that could make them chafe through. And that was it!

Use an awl before drilling a hole in the side of a flatbed trailer

First we made a starter hole in the flatbed trailer frame with a center punch.

Before drilling into a flatbed trailer frame spread 3-in-one oil on the drill bit

Then we lubed a small drill bit with 3-in-1 oil to keep the metal cool while drilling.

Drill a hole in the frame of a flatbed trailer before mounting CargoBuckle Retractable Ratchet Straps

Then we drilled a pilot hole.

We then selected larger and larger drill bits and repeated the lubrication/drilling process until the hole was big enough to fit the bolt.

Bolt the CargoBuckle Retractable Ratchet Strap onto the frame of a flatbed trailer

Once the hole was drilled, we bolted the CargoBuckle ratchet strap onto the flatbed trailer frame.

Cargo Buckle Retractable Ratchet Strap secures a side-by-side onto a flatbed trailer

One down, three to go!



Securing the RZR to the flatbed trailer was now just a matter of extending each retracted strap and placing its hook in the tie-down point on the RZR and then ratcheting the strap until it was tight. Once all four straps were hooked up and tightened, the RZR was fully loaded and ready to go.

Unloading the RZR was equally easy. We released the tension on each strap, removed the hook from the RZR and retracted the strap into the CargoBuckle on the trailer.

We didn’t even have to mess with coiling and storing any long straps because they retracted out of sight on the side of the trailer!

CargoBuckle Retractable Ratchet Strap tie downs for a side-by-side

We positioned the front CargoBuckles close together to absorb the most severe shocks which is front-to-back.

The straps are 2 inches wide and are made of the same material as a car seatbelt. The ratcheting and releasing mechanisms are very smooth.

We’ve towed our flatbed trailer behind our truck, both with and without our pickup camper, for about 1,000 miles with no trouble whatsoever!



Polaris RZR side-by-side with Genesis Supreme Toy Hauler

Buddy checks out our toy hauler as the RZR waits patiently to be loaded.

The garage floor on our Genesis Supreme toy hauler has D-rings mounted on the floor (bolted to the frame) that are intended for tying down whatever toys you bring along in your travels — ATV, side-by-side, motorcycles, etc.

With an open box floor plan like ours, our garage is also our living room (yes, the RZR travels in our living space!) and the D-rings are right in the middle of our living room floor! So, the permanently mounted CargoBuckle retractable ratchet straps weren’t suitable.

Fortunately, the manufacturer of CargoBuckles, IMMI (Indiana Mills Manufacturing Inc.), makes S-Hook Adapter Straps specifically for situations where the CargoBuckles can’t be permanently mounted.

The S-Hook Adapter Straps gets bolted onto the CargoBuckle (G3) creating a single unit that has an open hook at one end, a locking hook on the other end and a ratchet mechanism in the middle.

Attaching the S-hook adapter strap to a Cargo Buckle Retractable Ratchet Tie-Down System for a toy hauler installation

The CargoBuckle G3 ratchet strap is bolted to an S-hook adapter so it can be hooked to a D-ring in the toy hauler floor.

Bolting the pieces together took no time at all and gave us four ratchet straps to hook into the D-rings in the garage floor and clip onto the tie-down locations on the RZR. The D-rings are not positioned symmetrically in our toy hauler.  However, we found four that worked well for tying down the RZR, two in the front and two in the back.

CargoBuckle Retractable Ratchet Tie-Downs for use in a toy hauler with D-rings on the floor

All four CargoBuckle ratchet straps have S-hooks attached for use in our toy hauler.



When loading the side-by-side, we simply hook the CargoBuckle S-hook onto the D-ring in the toy hauler floor, extend the strap so it can reach the tie-down location on the RZR and clip the CargoBuckle hook onto it. We do this for all four contact points on the side-by-side.

When unloading, we release the tension in each CargoBuckle, unclip it from the side-by-side and unhook the S-hook from the D-ring in the floor. We stow our CargoBuckles on the floor by the toy hauler ramp door along with the rubber mats we place under the RZR wheels to protect the flooring as we travel.


We have towed our RZR using the CargoBuckle retractable ratchet tie-downs 10,000 miles so far. We’ve set up camp in 64 different campsites and loaded and unloaded the side-by-side each time. In addition, we’ve loaded and unloaded the RZR dozens of other times for scouting and exploring while in transit.

Loading and unloading the RZR has been a sheer delight, and the whole setup has been rock solid in the garage and has never loosened once.

Tightening a CargoBuckle Retractable Ratchet Strap

Tightening the CargoBuckle at the rear of the side-by-side in the toy hauler.

Tightening a Cargo Buckle Retractable Ratchet Tie-Down

Ratcheting the rear of the RZR in the toy hauler.

Perhaps the most impressive testament to the security of this tie-down system was our 94 mile drive between Shiprock and Gallup, New Mexico, on US-491 in 2023. If you can avoid this highway, please do! It is loaded with shallow dips you can’t see as you drive but that sent our entire rig flying any time we were going faster than 50 mph.

When we finally got to our destination, we were astonished to find that the RZR hadn’t budged and the CargoBuckles were all still completely secure. However, the Lifetime cooler that we keep tied down in the back of the RZR was another story, Even though it was tightly secured on the side-by-side, it jumped clear out of the RZR on one of those flying dips.  When we opened the toy hauler ramp door, we found it dangling off the back end of the side-by-side!

Back end of a Polaris RZR side-by-side is tied down in a toy hauler using CargoBuckle Retractable Ratchet Straps


If you have to tie down anything in your travels, whether it’s a side-by-side, ATV, motorcycle or boat, no matter what kind of trailer you’re tying it down to, your life be a whole lot easier if you use CargoBuckle Retractable Ratchet Tie-downs!

These clever retractable straps transformed our whole attitude towards bringing our fun little RZR along on our adventures!

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8 thoughts on “CargoBuckle Retractable Ratchet Tie-Downs – SO EASY!

  1. That’s some great information. I don’t do much hauling, but when I have done some in a small pickup, I wish I’d had those type of tie downs!

  2. Definitely different. Very interesting. Haven’t looked them up yet. Are there replacement straps available or do you have to purchase a whole assembly if it wears out? Thanks for a great article Emily & Mark! I didn’t see Buddy in this one. 😀

    • I don’t know if there are replacement straps available. We got the whole assembly for each trailer and there’s no sign of wear on either set after a few years of use. Definitely a great investment! Buddy actually appeared in one photo where he was checking out the toy hauler at sunset right before we loaded the RZR. He thinks the CargoBuckles are cool too!


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