I am closer to my Trailer restoration due to revision of our families plans and probable relocation. I expect we will need a place to live for my husband or my whole family during house renovations and job transition.
I anticipate we will be rebuilding the entire trailer frame off using birch not the veneered wood like they have inside. At least that is the plan. We will have room to do it in my dads mega garage where all the tools are at the ready and before we pack him up to move after we do. Thats option A, but we are open to outsourcing the build to a trailer shop since my dad will get really nosy and question everything. Either way restoration is only about 3-4 years out.
I'm a planner obviously. And since we just stayed in our trailer, I started thinking of our revised timeframe and wrote down a few more musts to our ongoing list.
I really wanted to know if anyone has reinforced the corners of their trailers with sturdier wood, cross braces, metal brackets, etc. I was wondering if this is something that creates too much rigidity and if it would negatively impact the trailer structure over time. I want to put in 2x4s in the 4 corners instead of 2x2s. I want to use screws not nails throughout the framing. I want to add a few more roof support beams as well. They are about 18" apart. I want to use a thicker gauge aluminum on the roof and gravel guard but dont know how to get that folded seam with the metal.
There is a lot more...but basically I was interested in knowing what modifications are detrimental to a rebuild and which ones are good ideas.
I have a 1969 Terry trailer that is 18' bumper to hitch. The underside of the trailer also has aluminum...Its single axle and has every luxury I want and the best layout. Its in decent shape and the fantastic design and build quality is evident. The structure is out of 2x2.
I'd appreciate some direction with my plans to beef up the structure.
The first thing that comes to my mind is why? Was there a problem you are trying to fix? Or is this just an "I think I need to do it?". There are always areas that could be improved but you can also create problems too.
The designers obviously knew what they were doing of it wouldn't have lasted all these years. Of course something like adding an A/C unit to the roof to a camper not designed for one, yes, a little reinforcement might be required.
I rebuilt my trailer different from original, using plywood for the side walls. When the walls went up everything was extremely wobbly, as you could imagine. After adding all cross braces, a child could still wobble the walls, I had to be careful not to lean on anything. After adding each piece of built-in furniture, it got stiffer (we would try to shake the walls every time, to test stiffness). We installed a floor-to-ceiling cabinet, and it got stiffer. Then the rear bed platform, even stiffer. After kitchen counters and dinette, I could flex the trailer suspension and shake the entire trailer around by shoving on a corner from the outside, and not have a single perceptible wobble in any of the walls.
It's repeated many times on here, the built-in interior stuff is what gives the walls their strength. Everything you install is reinforcing a corner, whether it's where 2 walls meet, or where a wall meets the ceiling or floor. Securely attaching these items IS your corner bracing.
I just want strong corners. We do have the front bed and I had to take that out to replace the 2x2 that had rotted a little as well as the front lower corner when i opened a wall to replace the delaminating wall. It wasnt awful in there, but it could have been better.
The issue I see is that my trailer has these weird curved corners on the front and back they seem to multiply the surface area of the seam and make it less watertight over the years as the dum dum breaks down.
I want to overbuild because thats what I do on everything and these areas are twice exposed with these curves and dual seams as a regular corner would be. I thought about possibly re-engineering the corners without these complex sections but I have grown to like them and they are probably like that for a reason. Anyway, I dont like fixing the same thing twice so I want to get this right.
Anyone use screws for their trailer framing instead of nails? Anyone resto a trailer with aluminum under the floor? What exactly is the purpose of this other than sorta waterproofing.
I want this trailer to last forever...and I want to restore it once really well.
I cant get flicker to do its thing on the mobile version so here is a link
I just want strong corners. We do have the front bed and I had to take that out to replace the 2x2 that had rotted a little as well as the front lower corner when i opened a wall to replace the delaminating wall.
As a boat builder I can tell it is not about how much surface area has little to do with water getting in. It is poor joints not sealed properly that allow water in.
You have not shared any photos so we can only guess at the corners are you talking about. But putting in stronger wood isn't going to stop rot. The only thing that will stop rot is proper construction and sealing and maintaining the seal at the joint.
You need to figure out why it failed. My guess is the putty was never replaced.
I added a link to Flickr showing the trailer. The mobile version is different than the PC desktop So I couldn't follow the photo tutorial to include the picture properly.
I am sure the seal was never replaced. But there 2 Seals vs. 1 and where the roof line curves down, there is a spot where the side and roof meet at a proper corner, And then equal with the top of the window line, there is this odd Conversion into a curved corner. There is just so much Extra sealing to be done. This is why I question these corners.
I would take a close up of that specifically to convey this, but my trailer is down at my dad's right now.
I feel like the complexity of the corner is going to cause more issues than a traditional corner.