Fixing up trailer - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-14-2013, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Fixing up trailer

My Trailer is at least 12 years old, maybe even older than that.

It needs a new paint job. What is the best paint to use?

It has some rust around the top vent and there is a leak somewhere (maybe the vent). Suggestions on fixing?

The only other concern I have is that the wood sides of the trailer may need to be replaced. It did get infested with termites a few years ago (and was treated) so the area near the door where it gets rained in on is rotted out in a 6-12 inch section.

How do you replace the side boards? Is there a way to do it yourself or should I get someone to do it for me? Is there a way to patch it? The boards are solid except for one rotted section.

Floors are completely solid. No problems there.

This is the left side. Picture is sideways so the floor is on the right. The rotted area reaches to the edge of the grey cushion. After that the board is solid.

This is the right side which isn't as bad. Only the bottom few inches are rotted out.

Right side again- some rot at the top near where the butt bar attaches.

and some minor rust started:

Last edited by 4horses; 09-14-2013 at 11:52 AM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-15-2013, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-15-2013, 06:10 PM
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Hi, here is my trailer fixing Working On Trailer (new pictures, update)

Let me know if you need to know more ^^ I would be happy to help.
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-15-2013, 06:15 PM
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I will start with paint first. Paint is big thing with horse trailers. If you dont want to spend $500 bucks on auto paint that lasts forever with the right care without much touch up work in the years to come. I dont want to go that way when I painted my trailer. As I can put that in other places. Along with a trailer that older I wont spend that much. The next best thing to use is oil based paint. Such as rustolume paint that can come in lots of color. Then sand down the trailer, wash...etc do repair work. Wash again and roll on the paint. Just use a small roller and roll it on. You can spray it on as well.
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-17-2013, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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As for the side boards, how do you replace those? I had my dad look at it and he didn't know. What are they attached too and what holds them in place?
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-17-2013, 01:49 AM
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The side boards are just going to be screwed in place, or they will fit behind a lip on the end. It really is not hard to replace them, if they are a screw style, just remove or drill out the screws and replace, if they are the lip style you will have to pry them out and pry the new ones back in.

When you replace them use Sanded CDX plywood of the same thickness, be sure to put the sanded side in, it is more expensive, but using non sanded means you could give your horse a very painful sliver.

As for paint, personally for trailers I like rust oleum, you can buy it by the one gallon can, it is cheap, it is hard, it can be rolled or sprayed, and you can get rattle cans for touch up anywhere.

As for the rust, there is a product made by Sherwin Williams called Ossfoa, it is a rust neutralizer, chip off the rust as much as you can, paint it with Ossfoa, then if there are no rust holes through paint over it, if not you will need to figure out a patch.
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-23-2013, 10:53 AM
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We redid all the wood in my 2 horse last year. We pulled old wood all out. Sanded, washed, and rustoleum metal painted the inside. Then used a combination of glue (not everyone uses glue) and screws to attach large pieces of plywood. Before installation we used a water sealer on the plywood. It's very porous so it absorbed a lot. Then we used 2x 10 marine grade planks for the flooring.
Getting a trailer restoration done by a professional shop is very costly and the wood work is probably the easiest to do yourself.
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-04-2013, 01:28 PM
Green Broke
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Trailer needs a little TLC as you are doing....

At the floor where there is the worst rot you are going to find the worst rust also. This is a steel trailer, older and no getting away from "they rust".
The sides of the trailer in your case are plywood. They need replacing... as suggested a sanded side facing in for the horses safety... I would look into a marine grade plwood which is made to take the outdoor elements... your elements are urine & poop along with inclement weather conditions.
That plywood should slip into a channel which has a recessed piece of metal to secure the bottom to the wall then random screws and that bumper pad is there to add more securement along with protection.
The right side looks to be totally gone of the metal bar you have on the bottom... it looks nasty with cancerous rust and the floor looks to be rotted in that corner with that bad split... check it very carefully.
The back by the doors takes the worst abuse as the hind feet are there and they scramble and stomp the side walls sometimes unloading and while traveling.

I don't know if Rustoleum paint applied after you scrape the rust off is going to be enough to stop the rusting. You need to get to clean metal actually not gloss over or scrape off a layer of continues under that paint.
Horse trailers can be extremely corrosive with the acidity of urine and feces in the air, the condensation from the horses breathing...
Have you considered getting a $ estimate on having those select areas sand blasted, then go after it with the Rustoleum...
Costliest is to have it done right by removing and replacing that rusted area especially by the door, having welded in new metal pieces to secure the wall boards properly...

It is an investment though that can repay you for may years once done it is done and not rust bubbling through and back nor continuously growing in size under what you think is a nice safe, shiny surface...don't be fooled.

There are special paints for doing horse trailers. Contact a body supply store and ask, they can offer you the best advice on many products that can be cost effective and easy to apply. You could also go to a body shop and ask for an estimate to do the work...
If you are close to a high school with a "auto shop and body work program" they might take on a project such as this for minimal cost or free as the kids learn under qualified adult supervision how to do some of this "reconstruction and repair".
I know by where I grew up there was a "trade-school-program" that taught in-depth how to do this kind of thing... you needed to leave your vehicle/trailer with them for a few months but when returned it was done top to bottom, inside and out and done right. Sometimes it was "free" sometimes only a small amount to offset costs they would not normally have like PT lumber for the floors say...
Look into your all options might be pleasantly surprised.

Oh..your roof vent, silicon sealer around the edges or possibly a new vent complete... just bought one, it was $49.00 and has a wind up crank and screen in it. Installing myself this weekend in my own trailer...

Good luck and please post project pictures as you go along and of course finished ones...I would love to see the work in progress.

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post #9 of 9 Old 10-05-2013, 07:36 PM
Green Broke
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Honestly, I would take these trailer to whomever does the best welding and metal work in your area, unless you have one in the family, and have them go over this first to identify any problems that you might be missing.

Rust needs to be addressed before wood or paint.

And check the ball/hitch carefully, and the undersides.

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