Trailer overhaul

Started by 94touring, September 24, 2022, 05:41:22 PM

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94touring

The time has come to fix up my trailer bed.  The boards were starting to rot and I had to toss on some make shift boards to get my bus home after the breakdown. So today went and got some lumber. 16 foot lengths 10 inches wide.  Took some trickery to get them to pop within the frame.  I eventually got good at doing it and didn't need all the ballast but was able to put a wedge on the end, then hammer out the boards in the center and it would pop right into place.  For stain and waterproofing I used a farmers trick for fences and barns by taking some of my used motor oil and diesel, mixing it at 50/50.  Used a paint roller and did the bottoms, sides, and ends, then did the top once it was all in place.  Few boards were warped, which required me getting the bottle jack out, pressing them straight, nailing a board across the tops, then moving onto the next length.  Basically it was some work. Once everything was in place the temporary boards came off and everything came out straight as an arrow. 

Willie_B

Turned out nice. Ready for more years of service. Well done.

cstudep

Looks much better! I had to do the same thing to my dad's trailer several years ago. His was a little easier in that there was a 2x2 angle at the back of the trailer that held down that end of the boards. It was just stitch welded onto the back frame piece with a 1" weld every 12" or so. I just cut those welds loose and pulled the angle out, the boards set down in then you just put the angle back in on top of them and welded it back down.

I thought I was going to have to do it like you did until I investigated how it was built a little better. It sure made replacing the boards a piece of cake on his.

94touring

Quote from: Willie_B on September 24, 2022, 06:33:46 PM
Turned out nice. Ready for more years of service. Well done.

Hopefully the last time I'll have to replace the boards!  I figure once a year I can give it another diesel/oil coat and keep the wood good.  The trailer itself back when I bought it 6 or 7 years ago was pretty affordable for a trailer and I have to assume the wood used wasn't the highest quality to begin with.  I know I went through and redid all the lights because the wiring connections were crap.  It has been a life saver a few times and paid for itself many times over.  Makes moving cars to and from Dave's easy too.

94touring

#4
Quote from: cstudep on September 24, 2022, 08:44:33 PM
Looks much better! I had to do the same thing to my dad's trailer several years ago. His was a little easier in that there was a 2x2 angle at the back of the trailer that held down that end of the boards. It was just stitch welded onto the back frame piece with a 1" weld every 12" or so. I just cut those welds loose and pulled the angle out, the boards set down in then you just put the angle back in on top of them and welded it back down.

I thought I was going to have to do it like you did until I investigated how it was built a little better. It sure made replacing the boards a piece of cake on his.

That would have been nice if I had a few welds to bust but the frame on this thing is pretty solid.  The boards they used weren't the full 16 feet but cut short then screwed into the frame across a couple rails.  Since I have them fit snug there were no screws into the frame required.  Since 4 of the temporary planks used to haul the bus back were only 12 footers and I wanted to use them (wood is expensive these days!) I had to cut 1 of them up to provide 16 feet on the other 3.  That being said, I put 2 of them on the outside frame rail and one down the center, basically where wheels wouldn't ride on them.  Where the ends meet sit right on a cross rail but unless they're screwed into that rail want to raise up.  Having some additional 8 x 4 foot lengths, I ran them under the bed along that rail and bolted the top planks to them.  Cinches it down nicely and makes it a little beefier for rear wheels to sit on.

cstudep

I hear ya on the wood prices, working on some building projects and I sure am glad the customers are paying for the wood and not me. The really odd thing is, they are so overstocked on treated wood in this area now (you could not even find any a year or so ago) it was actually cheaper to buy a 16ft treated 2x4 than it was an untreated 16ft 2x4. Strange times for sure.

The used Oil/Diesel trick actually works pretty well, and not just for wood either. People used to use it as undercoating on vehicles.......it really helped keep rust at bay here in the salt belt. Stunk like hell for a while after being applied.....obviously and there are better options for such things these days I think, but I know a lot of people that used to use it and a few that still do.

Brit_in_TX

I did a similar project a couple of years ago when I bought a trailer from a neighbor where it had been setting in their yard for the about 7 years.  Once I finished I think I was into it for about $1500, which includes the trailer, new boards, painting the frame, re wiring it, and new wheels and tires (I only got new wheels as etrailer had an offer that made the tire and wheel combo only $10 more than just the tire). 

Your post also reminded me that it is time to treat the boards again. 

94touring

Luckily didn't set me back 1500!  It was a few hundred in supplies.  I was out there today burning the old planks.  The oil/diesel had soaked well into the wood and sure did look nice!  I'm going to need to drive it around just to show it off  ;D

Brit_in_TX

I had to buy the trailer off the neighbor, but just the boards and paint I was a few hundred dollars in. 


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