Another Trailer Rebuild

Paul Freeman

New member
So far:

Got the metal deck off and wire brushed the inside of the frame. Acid washed the cage, and slapped it back on the frame. Planning on cutting off the ramp carriers and welding the cage to the frame Monday.

I want to lighten up the load, so I'm going to put a wood deck on it. I'm wondering if I should add additional cross members either to the frame or maybe weld 1/4" x 2" flat bars across the cage or just drill into the 1/8" x 3" C channels that are already there? I like the last option best, but I'm also concerned about weakening the frame.

To be honest, drilling a bunch of holes into those C channels makes me a bit nervous.

What do you think?

frame.jpg c_channel.jpg


Paul Freeman

New member
Here's another one...

This one is going to be a softwash rig. Already did all the grunt work (it was a rust bucket). It just needs paint and rims.

I can't believe how much paint costs these days. It cost me almost $100 for 1qt primer, a few oz of hardener, and 1gal of reducer.


Scott Stone

New member
I am not certain that a wood deck would be lighter. If you do go that way, you will not need additional supports. Typically, they put more supports on a steel floor.

Paul Freeman

New member
Hi Scott, your right. But, I don’t want to go back with 1/8” diamond plate because the weather here ate mine up so fast. If I go to 1/4” DP it weighs 11.25lbs sq ft.

I’d rather have to replace a few boards every season than to have to replace the whole deck every 3 – 5 years.


New member
Pressure treated wood, there's no coating or sealer that can hold up. I have a trailer with 3/4" pressure treated plywood that has lasted 4 years of full time flatwork use and always water running on it and still holding up fine. I would consider plywood sheets and line everything up with the crossbeams, make sure it's anchored - maybe a channel or some beams over the top. Myself I woudn't think twice about drilling holes in that c-channel.


My trailer is regular 2"x6" boards and it will be 8 years old in January.

I have had a lot of leaks, rain since it is kept outside and no serious issues with the boards, they are not even treated.

Since I live on the Gulf Coast, I thought the boards would have rotted out after a few years but the are still in ok shape.

The trailer is very rusty but will be retired in a couple weeks when the new trailer gets here.


You've got plenty of support on there as is but I wouldn't think twice about drilling into that frame if you wanted to. My trailer used 2x6s, easy to replace if they get bad or in my case I've moved stuff around so much they got holes drilled all over from mounting stuff.

Paul Freeman

New member
Really appreciate the replies, thanks!

Tomorrow the cage gets welded on. Then the undercarriage is going to get an Ospho bath and undercoated a couple days after. Then I have to DA the frame and fenders, put some new metal in the wells, and it’s ready for prime and paint.

I’m going to use 2x6 untreated wood and make sure I stay OC when drilling into the existing C channels.

Tom, I wish I could get away with plywood, but the dampness and humidity here eats everything. The piece of wood in the pic below is ¾ treated, slightly sloped side to side and downward from the building which is a barn I built from scratch less than 4 years ago. When I replace that deck I’m going with treated 5/4 and a 16p nail as a spacer.

As far as the weight issue, it’s going to be a wash, and that’s only because I’m taking out the ramps and ramp racks. The trailer will still weigh in at about 2k. I honestly thought wood would weight less, but a board ft of 2x6 weighs 6.5lbs and a sq ft of 1/8" diamond plate weight 6.16lbs.

I'll post some pics when its done.