New guy here working on my daughter's '64 Aristocrat Lo-Liner. She has had it about 1.5 years now. PO's did a bunch of restorations on it. The bottom plywood looks good and solid but just raw wood. I have been reading here LOTS of threads about painting/sealing the bottom. The trailer will mostly be parked but I know what happens to wood left outside. Granted the sun won't see it but splashing rain, snow and the occasional trip down the highway will introduce the wood to water. I'm in Upstate/Western NY.
I saw the raw wood because I am moving the axle to be under the leaf springs instead of above them. The way it was, you have to deflate the tire to remove it from the hub. Then re-inflate it AFTER you get it back on the hub. STUPID design because of what I will call "fender skirt" design like cars from the 50's and 60's.
Anyway, I have read here of; driveway sealer, "goop," spray in truck bed liner, "snow slop," asphalt fence post paint and rubberized undercoating.
My problem is that it is winter here and I have to move the trailer about 350 miles in about 4 weeks to where it will live until at least the fall. So temperature is an issue for application. The trailer is in my driveway on stands while I work on the axle/springs issue. Now would be the time to do it while it is jacked up. But what would be a better product to use? I've read pluses for pretty much each one except the rubberized undercoating. Lowes has an exterior paint that can be applied when it is as cold at 32ish degrees. But it can't go lower for about 24-36 hours.
Thanks in advance to all for your knowledge and experience, Greg
Hi Greg, Welcome to the forum. Have u heard of water and ice shield? It's a roll roofing very sticky on one side,check out lip gloss and power tools and how she researched her ultimate decision. Good luck with your build. Mark
Post by 57 Trotwood on Feb 22, 2019 5:17:03 GMT -8
I too live in Western New York, The weather here changes by Zip Code as you know. I wouldn't worry too much about getting the floor coated for one trip. Not something you want to do on your back and then have to re do it when it flakes off. I plan on using POR15 on the steel frame and roll on bedliner on the rest when I get to the bottom.
Mike - yes I know of ice & shield. I had not thought of that. A lot less mess to deal with for sure. One to keep in mind. And I'm looking for lip gloss' post.
Trotwood - I think you are correct about the one trip thing. Then I can let the "owner and purchaser" (my daughter) enjoy the privileges and joys of ownership! I'll make sure it is travel worthy and safe to get there.
Currently waiting for the first coat of paint to dry on the axle in my basement. Nice mess I made wire brushing it with a drill. Had to do it in the basement so it would be warm enough to rattle can it today. Hope to have the suspension back together tomorrow so I can order tires on Monday. Deadlines suck.
I don't have an answer but coming from a boat building/repair background there are a couple of things to consider.
Epoxy sealing of boats is popular and it does work.... till something breaks the epoxy shell. Water seeps in the wood and then has no way out out. So the boat rots from inside out and it rot must faster than it would it if was open to the air where it could breath and dry out.
Applying a sealer to the bottom of the camper floors would keep water out. But if there are ANY gaps where water can get into the wood the moisture it not coming out. Bare plywood has a better much chance of drying out. Wood getting wet isn't a problem as far as rot, it is when it stays wet.
Again, don't have an answer to what works best but if I were replacing floors I would paint or coat them with something. But I would be hesitant to try to seal one after it was built. I would be afraid of just making a moisture trap.
I agree with kudzu, getting wet once in a while isn't the problem, staying wet is.
Here in northeast Ohio, there's lots of barns that have had their paint weathered off decades ago. The wood is discolored but rot free. Indeed my neighbors barn has more rot inside than out due to the hay getting wet and keeping the floors wet.
Hey Guys, I decided to agree that one trip won't be so bad for the wood. It will have lots of circulating air to dry when it gets parked if it gets wet. But yesterday, my daughter tells me that she had contacted the PO and found out that they did indeed use pressure treated plywood. So my worries for that are over for a while.
Thanks for the ideas and thoughts. Good stuff to know for later.
I'm not sure what my Aristocrat underside was coated with, but it's bare plywood and wood joists and they've held up well for over 50 years. It might be some oil based paint or sealer. It's black. Definitely doesn't look like paint or undercoating. I store it outside on gravel. I worry too about coating or covering with anything that might trap moisture. Pressure tteated-I would be concerned if it's in contact with aluminum. Never understood why people use PT on a trailer. Save it for fenceposts and mudsills.
We used the fence post asphalt paint on our uninsulated floors. We were building our trailer under a carport, out of direct rain, but still had mildew forming on our plywood throughout the build process. Lots of bleach and Kilz primer was used throughout. It's just too humid where we live, stuff can't dry out. Even under cover, untreated plywood will mildew, warp, delaminate, and eventually rot.
I would have used pressure treated for the floor if it weren't for the risk of off-gassing chemicals into an enclosed space.
I wonder if it would be worthwhile to cover the underside of an untreated floor with Tyvek house wrap. It's supposed to "help prevent the infiltration of air and water, but lets water vapor escape to prevent rot and mold".