Lets talk about horse trailer floors and ramps
So I'm looking to replace the rubber mats in my horse trailer this year once the weather settles down and warms up and I got to looking at the floor and ramp and have these questions:
1. My ramp looks like it needs to be replaced. I didn't take it off since I am still using the trailer and its "okay". It looked bolted on - once I take it off will it be noticeable how I need to bolt it back on to the metal ramp?
2. Besides very obvious damage, what are signs to look for to replace the wood floors? My wood floors look okay and feel solid but I know sometimes looks can be deceiving. I would rather replace something sooner than really needed but I don't want to be wasteful either.
3. Should the ramp and floor be waterproofed with the sealer before installation?
4. What kind of wood do I use and where do I get it? Is it just lumberyard wood?
5. Is there any way to reinforce the floors so that if the wood does break there's something I can do to potentially help the horse come through okay? It's a big fear of mine that he will crash through while I'm driving though its not based on anything other than me being paranoid.
6. Is the floor just laid down or is it attached in some way? (I didn't go looking too closely)
7. Should I always replace both sides of the flooring or does the side I don't use have less importance?(I have a 2h bumper pull and only ever haul my own horse).
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Hey I've had a bunch of trailers LOL, I really like to buy and sell... Like everything I own several times over ha ha... So I'll try to answer what I've learned from my experiences with that.
1) sometimes, I know this isnt the answer you want but, its how it is. I wouldn't bank on remembering where the bolts go so I would figure out a system of remembering what goes where, especially in the ramp style trailers because they to my knowledge have spring mechanisms which make it easier to move up and down. Versus moving the entire 200lb slab of wood/metal up and down.
2) things to look for... I would look for areas of excessive rust and mark them if you plan to do something about Slowing down it's oxidation process. In regards to the wood though, I would replace anything wood that looks soft, cracked, excessively dry, excessively moist, very dark or very gray. Though 9/10 of the times it's fine structurally but, like you said better safe than sorry. I would especially check the wood nearest to the walls because that's where moisture tends to collect the most.
3) you can waterproof and seal it. I'm planning to stain and varnish the whole inside of my trailer tack room and horse compartment. Though I would consider whether or not it will affect your horses ability to gain traction on the ramp.
4) I would only use 2x8 pressure treated STRUCTURAL wood. Some people don't like persecute treated wood because it's got formaldehyde but, I still do for safety.
5) you can, once you lay your floor down, put a large piece of plywood onto of the wood floor but, under your mats. though I would be cognizant and pull the ply when the trailer was in storage as it likely would retain a large amount of moisture. Wth 2x8 structural wood checked and maintained regularly I wouldn't be too concerned honestly.
Hope this helped you a bit
I would always replace both sides, just because you're already doing it and lumbar is pretty cheap. Not to mention for resale people are going to be like "... You only replaced half of the floor?..." lol, or in other words, not very impressed.
To answer your question about installation it really depends on your trailer. I've heard of people having to cut the middle beam to slide the planks in and reweld when they were done. Though i cut the wood along the beams, popped the rusted screws with a chisel and a hammer. Then I slid the new planks in (after taking the old ones out of course). But, be cognizant of where your light wires are because I've seen older trailers that run their wires along the wood beams.
well did you look at the wood you could check the wood by taken a screwdriver and seeing if you could go though the floor check you under side that is were the rot will start
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