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Trailer Redeux

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  • Trailer Redeux

    I've had my car trailer for at least 25 years and the implement paint that came on it is pretty well gone and the undercarriage is pretty rusty so its time to do something about it before I literally lose the trailer to the rust goblins. I got a great price to have it sandblasted and epoxy primed but I need strip it down so they can do the work on it (I don't want to pay their price to strip the trailer).

    So I've started pulling the deck off. It has a pressure treated wood deck that has held up well for all these years and I intend to replace it with similar product. A number of years ago I added a pressure treated 2X12 runner and a couple of spots with the 2 X 12s doubled to raise the car - this was mostly to allow me to open the door on the Camaro and get out. I later added a stop block so I had something to lash the car against as I tightened the straps. All of this has worked well. I thru-bolted the stop blocks and the rear risers which kept the 2 X 12's tight to the deck as they had a tendency to warp. Sadly, those bolts DID NOT want to come out and I can't pull the trailer deck until I get the parts I added off.

    SO some pics of progress to date:

    Here's the deck off the beaver tail area. I'm not coming up with how they installed the deck at the factory as the beaver tail boards are too long to slide one end in, center it, and screw the pieces in place (which is what I expected). So I had to cut these to get them out but I'm working on a different way to reassemble the deck.

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    All the stuff I added on the left side is off. If you look at the right side you can see the trailer in the configuration that I've been using it. I plan to reinstall the added parts as it has worked really well for me.

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    More to come as the project progresses.

    Dan
    Last edited by DanStokes; June 21st, 2019, 05:15 PM.
    pdub and Deaf Bob like this.

  • #2

    Re: Trailer Redeux

    Dan, if you do it it will be more than perfectly done. I wish you lived next door to me, I'd wear you out doing things for us.

    Charter member of the Turd Nuggets

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    • #3

      Re: Trailer Redeux

      Why do you think I picked Wilmington??

      BTW - I want to treat the treated lumber before I reinstall it. I'm thinking deck stain or some such. Any suggestions out there?

      Dan

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      • #4

        Re: Trailer Redeux

        I'm thinking about our pier at the lake house in SC. I think you can stain treated lumber if I remember correctly, but it's only for looks. I think.

        EDIT: Oh now I remember - if you use one of those water treatment protection compounds, the wood gets slicker than snot when it's wet. I mean fall on your butt slick.
        Last edited by pdub; June 20th, 2019, 07:38 PM.
        Charter member of the Turd Nuggets

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        • #5

          Re: Trailer Redeux

          Thought about sanded paint for walkways.
          About as far as I went

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          • #6

            Re: Trailer Redeux

            Dan, those boards will lift right off - AFTER you remove the slightly bent piece of flat steel welded at the sides. You will have to grind the welds, but that is how they are assembled at the factory.

            We also leave the new replacement boards loose instead of screwing them down.
            Of all the paths you take in life - make sure a few of them are dirt.

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            • #7

              Re: Trailer Redeux

              Dan, those boards will lift right off - AFTER you remove the slightly bent piece of flat steel welded at the sides. You will have to grind the welds, but that is how they are assembled at the factory.

              We also leave the new replacement boards loose instead of screwing them down.
              That's kind of what I decided, too and I'm in the process of cutting that piece out. Mine has some short pieces that extend down from the bent piece to the channel under it which have to be cut to release the bent piece and I'm trying to decide if I can just leave those hanging in the air when I'm reassembling the trailer. Any force downward would cause the short pieces to land on the channel so it should hold weight just fine. I'll post pics tonight which should make all this more clear.

              I thought I'd put like 1 screw per board just to keep things in place as my trailer is slightly wider than 14ea. 6" boards (measured at 5 1/2"). I might rip a half board to pack the boards tightly together as I sometimes haul gravel and it would be handy not to have the slight spaces that are there now. Just thinkin' out loud here.

              BTW Stiney - this is a "Load Trail" brand. Familiar with these? I'm thinking it's kind of a generic trailer though it does tow nicely.

              Dan

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              • #8

                Re: Trailer Redeux

                I've never had much luck with screws holding boards to trailers due to moisture and movement between the wood and iron....they always rot and loosen up. I've done better with 5/16 carriage bolts going through, snugged down with nylock nuts. Still when it comes time for replacement they usually have to be cut away. With a trailer built with tubing crossmembers rather than angle or channel, through bolts would be tough to do however.
                ...

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                • #9

                  Re: Trailer Redeux

                  BTW Stiney - this is a "Load Trail" brand. Familiar with these? I'm thinking it's kind of a generic trailer though it does tow nicely.
                  Dan
                  Not familiar with them, but I do see several design elements that I highly approve of.

                  Those fenders would be easily converted to "wing-nut removable" for instance. No more raised blocking needed, lower COG, even more better nicely towing.

                  I get you on ripping a board to take up the gaps. Don't get them TOO snug though. They need to expand and shrink some. I am thinking a drop in fit, not a hammer-them-in fit. You will do fine.


                  Of all the paths you take in life - make sure a few of them are dirt.

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                  • #10

                    Re: Trailer Redeux

                    I've never had much luck with screws holding boards to trailers due to moisture and movement between the wood and iron....they always rot and loosen up. I've done better with 5/16 carriage bolts going through, snugged down with nylock nuts. Still when it comes time for replacement they usually have to be cut away. With a trailer built with tubing crossmembers rather than angle or channel, through bolts would be tough to do however.
                    The wood on this one was installed with Tek Screws (or similar) and I'm surprised at how well they've held up. Many are almost rusted in two in the area where they go thru the wood but after at least 25 years that's not TOO bad. I think I can get SS Tek type screws which might be worth doing. I was planning to use the same type of fasteners to hold down the boards but the stop blocks and risers are all carriage bolted in place which has worked well.

                    If it holds up another 25 years I'll be 97 and I doubt I'll much care if it falls apart!

                    Dan
                    Last edited by DanStokes; June 21st, 2019, 08:18 AM.

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                    • #11

                      Re: Trailer Redeux

                      Instead of having screws go into the wood itself, you might want to have another piece of metal strap across the top near the middle of the trailer, and through bolts, sandwiching the wood between metal. Although my trailer has 16' long boards, set into a channel shape at the rear, and with a single strap across the front, and it works fine.

                      I'd also not try to jam the boards tightly together--let them move and breathe and dry out. If you need to haul gravel, put a tarp down first.
                      My fabulous web page

                      "If it don't go, chrome it!" --Stroker McGurk

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                      • #12

                        Re: Trailer Redeux

                        Mine has a strap I thought had to come out. Nope...
                        Pried most out easily. 1/3 of the bolts broke when tried to vise grip them out.
                        Boards slide in from the front, drop past the strap then pulled back to the front..
                        We did not add the bolts to every spot. Some had two bolts, we just added one..
                        If you board the trailer during the dry season, wetness will swell the wood, splitting it or deforming the trailer.
                        Can always lay down junky plywood to haul gravel..

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                        • #13

                          Re: Trailer Redeux

                          Today's progress:

                          Almost nekkid trailer. I didn't take a pic before I cut off all of the de-headed Tek Screws but suffice it to say that the boards had to be lifted up and off the stubs then the stubs were cut off at the top of the cross members. Bob - the bent piece had to be removed as the front of the deck boards slide under the front cross piece so you couldn't pull them up from the front w/o cutting them. Guess your trailer is made a bit different from mine. A bit of weld thru primer will be in order upon reassembly.

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                          Here's the top of a cross member post-cutting. I don't see an issue in leaving the cut off bits in the trailer.

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                          Note the stink bug stance. The trailer is a LOT lighter than it was.

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                          Tomorrow I'll pull the lights and do a bit of welding here and there.
                          Last edited by DanStokes; June 21st, 2019, 05:14 PM.

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                          • #14

                            Re: Trailer Redeux

                            Hopefully the new screws can miss the old left inners..
                            PB Blaster and vise grips, my daughter had them off pdq...
                            Tail end of mine is like a 3/16"X3-1/2 to 4" angle across the back the boards go into.. Lots room to slide in then back out to go under.
                            Different brands for sure. Mine is Big Tex...

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                            • #15

                              Re: Trailer Redeux

                              Try using KDAT (kiln dried after treatment) 2 X 6. Really stable product that we use down here in FL.
                              "Somewhere the zebra is dancing". Garth Stein's The art of racing in the rain.

                              Matt

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