Replacing aluminum floor with wood? - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By horselovinguy
  • 2 Post By SilverMaple
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-06-2018, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Replacing aluminum floor with wood?

I have a 99 3 Horse sundowner bumper pull. The aluminum floor has corroded out, Iam in Canada and having a very tough time finding help or replacement part to repair the aluminum. I have been told to just put wood or aluminum sheeting over top, but I would think it would just be a band aid. As the original aluminum would just keep corroding. Donít want to spend a ton of cash so donít really want to go into acid washing and all those spray in floors.

So my question is.. how far apart do the cross members have to be to safely put planks instead of having the aluminum. And what is the safest size planks to use?? Any help or info would be greatly appreciated! Thanks
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-07-2018, 07:15 AM
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I think before you decide to cut a floor out you better have someone who understands structural integrity, layout and design look that trailer over carefully.
If you have a welded in floor, which you do...cutting it off just unsecured your walls.

Part of the reason you may have the problem you have is if you have not had that aluminum cleaned of the caustics of road salt, horse feces and urine often enough......
It isn't just putting in cross-members...
It is what is going to structurally hold, maintain and enhance the trailer.
Just where is each rib in that trailer....

As for boards...most trailers with wood floors use 2x6 boards 2" think as a minimum...but that space is all figured in in the design...
Walls are attached to a metal/steel frame then the floor...not sure about how separate each component is in a all aluminum wall and floored trailer.

You are taking a flooring system, a integral part of the trailer and critically severing it if you remove it...

Take the trailer to a horse trailer shop for some input of pro and con to the changes you contemplate.
Take it to a body shop that does aluminum work and see what it would cost to fix what you have...
You need a place that does fabrication work...not just body putty and paint but fabrication.

By the time you add steel or aluminum cross-members to support, tie in wall ribs, add a super-structure for the floorboards and then purchase top grade lumber it might not be as expensive as you think replacing the aluminum floor to original condition.
I would contact Sundowner directly and see what they can offer you for servicing of the trailer.
I know they have dealers in Canada.
Good luck.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-07-2018, 08:55 AM
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Before you completely write off acid washing and lining the floor...I did mine myself for $200. I have a two horse slant load, bought two gallons of the herculiner and the muratic acid. Husband helped me do the acid wash, then we let it dry...then painted on the liner. Was fairly easy, I'd do it again on a new trailer. Just need to make sure the floor is WORTH saving. Mine was still pretty new and in the beginning stages of corrosion, no actual holes all the way through yet.
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-07-2018, 11:02 AM
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Yeah, you don't want to cut out the floor on most of those as it is crucial to the structural integrity of the whole trailer. I would call the original manufacturer and ask them for specs on the construction, and a recommendation of somewhere in your general area to take it to for a look-over. Sometimes trailers with corroded floors are worth saving. Often they are not.
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-07-2018, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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I have called and emailed sundowner many times and emailed the head office and no one has really helped me, they all just kind of shrug it off and don’t seem to know what to do. Although I know this is NOT the first sundowner to have this problem.
I do know that the floor is snap together pieces and you can buy replacement ones, but when trying to contact the sundowner parts to find out which ones I needed they never responded.
This floor definitely needs some major work as it has totally corroded from the butt wall and has little holes all through it
I have only used this trailer 3 times, only had a couple years, it is from the previous owners. I had always washed my floors well, but with the extra rubber layer sundowner puts between the mats and floor the pee just sits in there, was something I was unaware of when buying ��

Last edited by E11abe11a; 06-07-2018 at 09:29 PM.
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-08-2018, 12:50 PM
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Honestly, I'd sell it to someone who wants to put the work into it. The repairs it needs are not going to be cheap. You'd probably be better of buying something else.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-17-2019, 10:45 AM
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Did you end up replacing your floor with wood. Any issues? I have a 2000 Sundowner with same issues.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-17-2019, 10:55 AM
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I have a similar floor issue with my 2000 Sundowner. What did you finally do? Issues?
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-20-2019, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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I finally got to talk with a very reputable trailer mechanic, and he told me to just put aluminum on top of old floor. We used checkered plate aluminum sheeting. Had a aluminum fabrication shop do it. Was a $1000
Than we riveted it down so it wasnít so loud when horses stepped on it.

But I would make sure yours is not aluminum frame as the urine would have corroded it also, but as mine is steel it was still in good shape!
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-21-2019, 08:16 PM
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My frame is steel and appears to be in good shape. However the powder coating is coming off along the butt wall. Did you have this issue? I think I should sandblast and repaint in this area. Is the new diamond plate aluminum floor one piece or several?
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